I wanted to put together some books that explored the idea of faith, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with anything too overtly religious. The fact that I hesitated made me wonder why I felt this way. In New England, at least, we do not spend a lot of time publicly talking about our own personal religious beliefs (unless we are a politician). Why don’t we talk about our faith? Is it because faith and religion have become so polarized in our society? Even the words “faith” and “religion” are loaded with symbolism. We make so many assumptions about others based on what we know, or think we know, about their religious beliefs (or lack of them).
From the Table:
First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander M.D.
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death by Judy Bachrach
Nine Parts Of Desire: The Hidden World Of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks
Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler
Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich
How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee by Bart D. Ehrman
Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Hanh
Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul by Tony Hendra
Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman
Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo
Lunch with Buddha by Roland Merullo
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey by Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity by James J. O’Donnell
Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom a Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz
Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern
New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Night by Elie Wiesel (new translation
Other books that I would recommend:
- The Sparrow, by Maria Doria Russell, about a Jesuit priest who travels to the Alpha Centauri solar system, in a misguided attempt to connect with a culture of artists.
- Vatican Waltz, by Roland Merullo, explores what might happen when a modern day miracle threatens to upend the Catholic church.
- American Saviour, also by Roland Merullo, explores what might happen if Jesus Christ appeared in modern day America.