"A compelling book, challenging Christians and atheists alike. He
presents a deeply authentic spirituality which reaches into the profound mystery
of the centre of Christian faith.
Fr. Richard Rohr, author of "Everything Belongs:"
"Western Christianity is at a major impasse, and this book gives you
the major reasons why. As long as we have a punitive, petty God, whose love is
entirely conditional, how can we expect history to be any different. Thank you
Amazon.com Product Description:
God without God takes the atheist case against God as a premise, then examines what remains of the western spiritual
tradition when the God of presumptive monotheism is removed. It finds right at the heart of the tradition a concept
of God, a concept of the divine, far more complex and mysterious than that which the atheist rightly rejects.
Far from being destroyed or diminished, the tradition flourishes in its liberation.
From the inside flap:
The Christian faith stands accused of arrogance, hypocrisy, abuse of power, imperialism, dictatorship and genocide,
discredited variously by science, rationalism, pluralism, Vatican politics and protestant fundamentalism, and finally
rendered obsolete by democracy, wealth, technology, and even the church's own liberal wing. Once the monopoly player
in the western spiritual marketplace, it looks increasingly like a bankrupt corporation destroyed by the weight of
its own history.
God without God has no argument with science or atheism or pluralism - indeed it takes these
as its premises, then sets out to explore what remains of the western spiritual tradition. It finds right at the heart
of that tradition a concept of the divine far more complex and mysterious than that which the atheist rightly rejects.
We move beyond theism and atheism to consider the mystery of existence itself, discovering a tradition full of
contemporary resonance, with a profound and timeless integrity for body, mind and spirit.
Title: "God without God: Western spirituality without
the wrathful king" Author: Michael Hampson Format: Paperback. Publisher: O Books ISBN-10: 1846941024 ISBN-13: 978-1846941023 Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.2 x 0.7
Release date: 2008-JUL Pages: 256 Cost: List: U.S. $19.95. Amazon.com sells it at 25% off for $14.96. They also often sell used copies at a very low
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Thomas A. Tweed, author of Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion:
"Jason Bivins takes readers on an engaging but unsettling tour of 'the dark
corners and sub-basements of American culture,' from Hell Houses to comic books,
and along the way we learn a great deal about religion and politics in the
United States. Indispensable for those interested in popular culture and
Robert Orsi, Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies, Northwestern
"In this fine work of critical cultural analysis, Bivins finds the anxious heart
of modern conservative evangelicalism in the United States, showing that fear,
powerfully nurtured and exacerbated, has been a potent energizer of Christian
public activism. This is a dark but necessary story. Democracy always has its
demons, and it is best we know their names. This is a sharp work of social and
religious analysis that deserves to be widely read."
James Morone, author of Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American
History and coeditor of Healthy, Wealthy and Fair:
"Jason Bivins takes us on a fantastic tour of Christian Right efforts to --
quite literally -- scare the hell out of true believers. Along the way, Religion
of Fear reveals edgy new ways of drawing the age-old line between a righteous us
and a sinful them. Lucid, graceful, fun, and disquieting."
Amazon product Description:
Conservative evangelicalism has transformed American politics, disseminating a
sometimes fearful message not just through conventional channels, but through
subcultures and alternate modes of communication. Within this world is a
'Religion of Fear,' a critical impulse that dramatizes cultural and political
conflicts and issues in frightening ways that serve to contrast "orthodox"
behaviors and beliefs with those linked to darkness, fear, and demonology.
Jason Bivins offers close examinations of several popular evangelical cultural
creations including the Left Behind novels, church-sponsored Halloween
'Hell Houses,' sensational comic books, especially those disseminated
by Jack Chick, and anti-rock and -rap rhetoric and censorship. Bivins depicts
these fascinating and often troubling phenomena in vivid (sometimes lurid)
detail and shows how they seek to shape evangelical cultural identity.
As the 'Religion of Fear' has developed since the 1960s, Bivins sees its message
moving from a place of relative marginality to one of prominence. What does it
say about American public life that such ideas of fearful religion and violent
politics have become normalized? Addressing this question, Bivins establishes
links and resonances between the cultural politics of evangelical pop, the
activism of the New Christian Right, and the political exhaustion facing
Religion of Fear is a significant contribution to our understanding of
the new shapes of political religion in the United States, of American
evangelicalism, of the relation of religion and the media, and the link between
religious pop culture and politics.
About the Author:
Jason C. Bivins is Associate Professor of Religion at North Carolina State
University and the author of The Fracture of Good Order: Christian
Antiliberalism and the Challenge to American Politics. He lives in Durham,
Title: "Religion of Fear: The
Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism"
Author: Jason C Bivins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.0 x 1.2 inches
Release date: 2008-AUG
Cost: List: U.S. $27.95. Amazon.com sells it at 20% off for $22.36. They also often sell used copies at a very low
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John L. Esposito, University Professor and Professor of Islamic Studies at
"Post 9/11 has seen an explosion of publishing on Islam. For many,
the question is who do I read if I only have a limited amount of time and want
to know what and why Muslims believe what they believe? The Muslim Next Door is
an excellent place to start. Sumbul Ali-Karameli presents Islam as a living and
lived faith. She combines scholarship with an engaging and accessible style and
frank self-criticism that crystallizes the faith and commitment of a majority of
mainstream Muslims in its unity and diversity."
Robert W. Hillman, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis:
"An engaging and enlightening work. The author has provided an indispensable
vade mecum for anyone interested in a sensitive and feminist perspective on
Islam, free of the rhetoric and exaggerations common in contemporary public
discourse. The book is conversational in tone and very readable and,
although the subject is serious, the author has a gift for applying a
lighter touch and humor at just the right moments. It should be read by
Dr. Eboo Patel, Ph.D., Sociology of Religion, Oxford & Executive Director of
Interfaith Youth Core Chicago, IL:
"There are few books that I would genuinely recommend to everybody I know,
and you are holding one of them. Sumbul Ali-Karamali has written a lovely,
lyrical and learned book about living Islam. Whether you are an expert in
the subject or a novice, a skeptic or a believer, you will find this book a
Title: "The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and
that veil thing"
Author: Sumbul Ali-Karamali
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.0 x 0.9 inches
Release date: 2008-SEP
Cost: List: U.S. $16.95. Amazon.com sells it at 32% off for $11.53. They also often sell used copies at a very low
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"In essence, the book asks, if Jesus taught peacemaking, forgiveness, and
compassion, and if a Christian is a person who follows Jesus, then why are
Christians supporting wars and other violence? It is a call to all Christians
to ask, are they Christians in name only, or do they really follow Jesus? I
give many examples of courageous people who follow Jesus as they walk through
harrowing challenges. I also provide research and suggestions for how we can
help our children to make wise and compassionate decisions in order to create
a more peaceful world."
Rev. Roy Gesley, United Church of Christ:
"This slim, humble volume offers truth in a heart-to-heart talk. Monson writes with a gentle tone and a healing timber.
She has the courage to ask what Jesus would do if he were to walk through our playgrounds, supermarkets, battlefields,
and polling booths. She challenges us to be honest about our actions that arise from fear. The tonic for those fears
is God's love."
Pastor Rev. Jeffrey Gaines, Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, San Francisco:
"Monson challenges her readers to reflect on the choices they make -- do
they lead to peace embodying the message of Christ and if not, why is
Patrick McAnaney, a volunteer reviewer for Amazon.com:
"A thoughtful and timely book. Readable and clear. Anyone who asks
themselves, "What would Jesus do?" Needs to read this book. One wonders
why Ms Monson's critical questions have not been shouted from every
pulpit. The inconsistencies in the actions and words of Christians are
long overdue for a careful examination. This is it."
OCRT/ReligiousTolerance.org Coordinator comment:
"I have long been troubled by the linkage between religion and
violence. On one hand, all of the major religions of the world teach
some version of the Ethic of Reciprocity (a.k.a.
Golden Rule). On the other hand 9/11 and
the vast majority of terrorist attacks ever since have been perpetrated
by deeply religious people who are motivated to violence by their
faith." This book offers hope.
Title: "The Jesus Question: Daring to walk the path of peace" Author: Christie Monson Format: Paperback.
Publisher: Author One Stop
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.2 inches
Release date: 2008-OCT
Cost: List: U.S. $8.95.
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safely from Amazon.com
About the author:
Christine Monson is a public school teacher, writer and educational consultant who lives
in Pacific Grove, CA. She currently serves as a private tutor and consultant
to parents and students. She has served as an elder in the Presbyterian
Church (PCUSA), and now meets with others who practice contemplative prayer.
"Selfless Spirit, Selfish Ego: The way to everlasting peace for
and Islam: A biblical tribute inspired by
Oprah Winfrey's unprecedented,
event featuring Eckhart Tolle"
by John Cord
"Selfless Spirit, Selfish Ego is inspired by Oprah Winfrey's
unprecedented worldwide gathering on the Internet, featuring author Eckhart
Tolle's bestselling spiritual book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's
Purpose. Oprah revealed that one of the most-asked questions about A New
Earth is: 'Will it interfere with my religious beliefs?' Award-winning
author, John Cord, presents the spiritual substance of the Bible's Message in
hope that the over 3.5 billion people who follow Bible-based religions will come
to a meeting of the minds about its teachings of The Way of the Spirit of
Selfless Love. John Cord reconciles centuries of controversy about Biblical
scripture to The Way of the Spirit regarding such central issues as God,
Christ, Islam, Israel, the Temple Mount, religious terrorism, abortion,
homosexuality, marriage, '666,' secular progressives, the 'war on Christmas,'
salvation, damnation, prayer, charity, tithing, baptism, reincarnation,
predestination and the puzzling Book of Revelation. This book is intended to
help illuminate your spiritual path."
Midwest Book Reviews' comments:
" 'Selfless Spirit, Selfish Ego: The Way to Everlasting Peace for Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam' is a look at the three relationships and why peace and
harmony between them is possible. Explaining such modern critical issues such as
homosexuality, abortion, secularization, and others - and how each of the three
religions view them in a similar light, it's an eye opening account that we
aren't all so different, 'Selfless Spirit, Selfish Ego' is especially
recommended reading for students of religion, as well as non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject."
Title: "Selfless Spirit, Selfish Ego: The way to everlasting peace for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" Author: John Cord Format: Paperback. Publisher: Blue Dolphin Publishing ISBN-10: 1577332296 ISBN-13: 978-1577332299 Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches Release date: 2008-MAY Pages: 128 Cost: List: U.S. $12.95. Amazon.com sells it at 15% off for $11.01. They also often sell used copies at a lower price.
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William Lobdell's journey of faith and doubt may be the most compelling
spiritual memoir of our time. Lobdell became a born-again Christian in his
late 20s when personal problems -- including a failed marriage -- drove him to his
knees in prayer. As a newly minted evangelical, Lobdell -- a veteran
journalist -- noticed that religion wasn't covered well in the mainstream media,
and he prayed for the Lord to put him on the religion beat at a major
newspaper. In 1998, his prayers were answered when the Los Angeles Times
asked him to write about faith.
Yet what happened over the next eight years was a roller-coaster of
inspiration, confusion, doubt, and soul-searching as his reporting and
experiences slowly chipped away at his faith. While reporting on hundreds of
stories, he witnessed a disturbing gap between the tenets of various religions
and the behaviors of the faithful and their leaders. He investigated religious
institutions that acted less ethically than corrupt Wall St. firms. He found
few differences between the morals of Christians and atheists. As this
evidence piled up, he started to fear that God didn't exist. He explored every
doubt, every question, until, finally, his faith collapsed. After the paper
agreed to reassign him, he wrote a personal essay in the summer of 2007 that
became an international sensation for its honest exploration of
Losing My Religion is a book about life's deepest questions that
speaks to everyone: Lobdell understands the longings and satisfactions of the
faithful, as well as the unrelenting power of doubt. How he faced that power,
and wrestled with it, is must reading for people of faith and nonbelievers
About the Author:
William Lobdell has been a journalist for 25 years, winning many state and
national awards. In 2008 he left the Los Angeles Times after a long
tenure. He is on the visiting faculty at the University of California, Irvine.
He is married with four boys.