Books

Books

Examined lives

Books on spirituality abound, and the publication of new ones seems not to abate. Writings in this genre often focus on experience and practical disciplines of spirituality. The books featured below are not practical in that way; rather, they provide historical and theological analysis that is foundational to spirituality.

The Word Made Flesh

All too often the story of theology has been told as though it were purely cerebral. “Brains on a string,” as someone once quipped. The flesh and the mind of the church are sundered. Margaret Miles gives us a picture of the whole thinking, breathing, gendered ecclesial body.

Spirit and Flesh

If you want to understand how Christian conservatives think, act and interact, here is a balanced narrative combined with groundbreaking analysis. The son of a Methodist bishop, James M. Ault Jr. was educated at Harvard and Brandeis universities, then served as a professor of sociology at Harvard and at Smith College.

Cross purposes

As the British actress Charlie is lured from the London stage into the violence and intrigue of Middle East terrorism in John Le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl, her Israeli handler tells her she will have a part in “the theater of the real.” Though I would not place Orhan Pamuk’s Snow in the same category as Drummer Girl, the novel and its subject matt