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(RNS) Jesus, Paul, food, charity, and prayer were just some of the areas examined in this year's crop of books under the broad heading of religion. Here's our list of the year's most interesting religion books, numbered but not ranked.

15 Comments

  1. Another intriguing book on religion: Secret of the Savior: The Myth of the Messiah in Mark. Unearthing the hidden history buried beneath the surface story in the earliest Gospel. Find out where the story of Jesus really come from.
    http://amzn.to/14XwpHt

  2. Another lovely book about Jesus and food is The Food and Feasts of Jesus: Inside the World of First Century Fare, with Menus and Recipes, by Douglas E. Neeland and Joel A. Pugh, published by Rowman & Littlefield. It delves into the background of the many accounts of eating in the Gospels and gives the social setting. Intriguing perspective on the times.

  3. “Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now” is the sleeper book of the year. It focuses on the present earthly aspect of Jesus’ kingdom teaching. A real paradigm changer.

  4. Another great read for theological brainiacs is “Subversive Meals” which delves into the anti-imperial nature of Christian meals in the first-century under Roman domination.

  5. John Murawski apparently does very little research because the FOX News interview was an online interview, there was no TV interview. If Murawski can’t get something that simple right it makes me wonder what else he’s clueless about.

  6. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    3 books I liked reading this year are: “The First Thousand Years-A Global History of Christianity” by Robert Louis Wilken.
    “Crucified Again-Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians” by Raymond Ibrahim (His Coptic Christian family had to flee Egypt).
    And “Evangelical Catholicism” by George Weigel.

  7. It’s sad to see the book ostensibly about Scientology on a year-end list like this. I’ve been a Scientologist for more than 30 years and the characterizations the book makes about Scientology are so far from my experience — or the experience of any other Scientologist I know as to be laughable. And it doesn’t take 30 years of being a Scientologist to know it missed the mark. People around the world have seen a rush of new Churches of Scientology opening over the last several years, there has been an amazing expansion in Church supported drug education/rehabilitation programs and a virtual parade of successes for Church sponsored criminal rehab programs. What’s more, Scientologists are active in so many communities and professions these days that I doubt if there’s many, if any, degrees of separation for most Americans and a member of the Church. But this complete disconnect between the book and reality is not what makes the book’s inclusion sad. The tragic part is that a book like this, at least in some quarters, apparently wasn’t dismissed outright as an extremist, prejudiced tract. That says all too clearly that we have further to go as a culture to escape religious bigotry than we’d perhaps hoped.

  8. “Show trials … penal colonies … secrecy … spying …” Reading this review in the post I thought it must be some expose of Guantanamo Bay or the NSA. Instead it is just another big yawning lie about the Church of Scientology. ( See John Murawski’s endorsement, oh sorry, “review” of “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief,” by Lawrence Wright). As an active participant in Scientology for almost 40 years let me simply say that Scientology should be known for its good works across a broad spectrum of humanitarian endeavor, including countless hours of disaster relief across the planet, and highly successful programs for drug addiction, rehabilitation of criminals, and helping kids gain learning skills to name a very few. A lot of good folk get involved with Scientology to help their fellow man and to gain knowledge and insight into their own lives and spirituality and they stay connected with it because it gets results. I’d love to see for once an honest review and account of the truth about this religion and its good works. For some, apparently secret, reason the Washington Post has some other agenda. Meanwhile at least let your readers know that www.scientology.org
    will give them some of the other side of the story.

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