- Teaching Mysticism. William B. Parsons, ed. I have been greatly influenced by the Christian mystical tradition.
- Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity. By Kimberley Christine Patton. This would be a valuable addition to my never-ending world religions studies.
- Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition. By James K. Hoffmeier. I read, some years ago, Hoffmeier's excellent Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition. I've wanted to read his Sinai book for some time.
- The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. By Bart Ehrman. One of my doctoral comprehensive exams was on the Christology of the early church. I think I'd enjoy Ehrman on this.
- Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis. By Michael Ward. Allen Jacobs of Wheaton College comments: "Noting Michael Ward's claim that he has discovered "the secret imaginative key" to the Narnia books, the sensible reader responds by erecting a castle of scepticism. My own castle was gradually but utterly demolished as I read this thoughtful, scholarly, and vividly-written book. If Ward is wrong, his wrongness is cogent: it illuminates and delights. But I don't think he is wrong. And in revealing the role of the planets in the Chronicles, Ward also gives us the fullest understanding yet of just how deeply Lewis in his own fiction drew upon those medieval and renaissance writers he so loved." And N.T. Wright blurbs: "Planet Narnia is an example of a very rare species: a work of literary detection which, despite the breathtaking daring of its central thesis, is utterly convincing and compelling."
- Buddhist Fury: Religion and Violence in Southern Thailand. By Michael K. Jerryson. Jeff D - this might be an interesting read for you! "Buddhist violence is not a well-known concept. In fact, it is generally considered an oxymoron. An image of a Buddhist monk holding a handgun or the idea of a militarized Buddhist monastery tends to stretch the imagination; yet these sights exist throughout southern Thailand."
- Sacred High City, Sacred Low City: A Tale of Religious Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods. By Steven Heine. Dan and Allie - you might find this interesting. "In Sacred High City, Sacred Low City, Steven Heine argues that lived religion in Japan functions as an integral part of daily life; any apparent lack of interest masks a fundamental commitment to participating regularly in diverse, though diffused, religious practices."
- Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Jonathan Kvanvig, ed. I would especially like to read Kevin Kimble and Timothy O'Connor's "The Argument From Consciousness Revisited," since a few years ago I read J.P. Moreland's Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument.
- Evidence and Religious Belief. Kelly James Clark and Raymond J. Vanarragon, eds. Here are 11 new essays on the question of whether religious belief must be based on evidence in order to be rational. In my Philosophy of Religion classes I present Plantinga's support of this, based on "properly basic beliefs."
- Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism. By Stephen Backhouse. "'Christian nationalism' refers to the set of ideas in which belief in the development and superiority of one's national group is combined with, or underwritten by, Christian theology and practice. A critique of Christian nationalism is implicit throughout the thought of Soren Kierkegaard, an analysis inseparable from his wider aim of reintroducing Christianity into Christendom."
- Tragic Soul-Life: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Moral Crisis Facing American Democracy. By Terence L. Johnson. One of the books I read when I began teaching at Payne Theological Seminary was Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk. I think this new text would be important for me to read.
- Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. By Alvin Plantinga. I am a huge Plantinga fan, so this is a book I probably will eventually read. On the compatibility of science and religion.
- Morality Without God? By Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. I'm with W.L. Craig and several atheists that a moral ontology without God is impossible. But Sinnott-Armstrong does not agree. He has debated Craig on this before. Several years agdo I read the debate between S-A and Craig, published as God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist. I consider this discussion re. moral ontology among the most important today in the philosophy of religion.
- Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights. Thomas Banchoff and Robert Wuthnow, eds. "Are human rights universal or the product of specific cultures? Is democracy a necessary condition for the achievement of human rights in practice? And when, if ever, is it legitimate for external actors to impose their understandings of human rights upon particular countries? In the contemporary context of globalization, these questions have a salient religious dimension. Religion intersects with global human rights agendas in multiple ways, including: whether ''universal'' human rights are in fact an imposition of Christian understandings." I've read some of Wuthnow's stuff, so this book looks appealing and important to me.
- Religion in American Life: A Short History. By Jon Butler, Grant Wacker, and Randall Balmer. This might be the one book to read on the subject.
- Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois. By Jonathan S. Kahn. More good stuff on the important contribution of Du Bois.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Image of God. By Richard Wills. "Richard Wills's Martin Luther King Jr. and the Image of God is the most illuminating account to date of the central theological themes in King's life and thought. King emerges as a skillful and synthetic thinker and practitioner who stands in continuity not only with the Hebrew prophets and the radical Jesus but with the seminal theological minds of the Christian tradition. And in reconnecting King to the religious past, Wills offers new ways of appropriating King's legacy as a resource for contemporary religious thought and social activism." --Charles Marsh, Director of the Project on Lived Theology and Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Thomas P. Flint and Michael Rea, eds. My Ph.D was in philosophical theology, so this book, with an amazing collection of articles by great scholars, warms my heart.
- Analytic Theology: New Essays in the Philosophy of Theology. Oliver Crisp and Michael Rea, eds. Another great collection of essays.
- Jesus: A Very Short Introduction. By Richard Bauckham. Having read Bauckham's wonderful Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, I'll look forward to reading his little book on Jesus someday.
- Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction. By Thomas Dixon. I'll be reading texts on this issue until I can't read anymore.
- And finally... On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears. By David Brown. Because I'm as interested in monsters as you are.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
"Planet Narnia," Buddhist Violence, Monsters, and a Few Other Books On My Wish List
In my MCCC mailbox I received the newest Religion Catalogue from Oxford University Press. I just spent some time reviewing and discovered (shock!) more books I'd like to read. Here are some I highlighted, that look interesting to me and are relevant to my Jesus- and - academic interests. If anyone wants to buy all these for me and send Linda and I away to some island paradise for a month, I'll welcome it.