All the reform possible

It’s easy to imagine health-care reform that does more than the ACA. It's almost impossible to see it getting enacted, as Steven Brill's book reminds us.

Faith and Wisdom in Science, by Tom McLeish

Why do scientists turn to questions traditionally reserved for the humanities? Tom McLeish argues for a deep kinship between the two spheres.

The Thiselton Companion to Christian Theology, by Anthony C. Thiselton

This doorstop of a reference book was written entirely by Thiselton, professor emeritus of Christian theology at the University of Nottingham. The single authorship has the advantage of yielding a consistent style, but compared to multiauthor works, it lacks the expertise of specialists on the various topics. Most of the entries are quite short.

Holy terror

Secularists from Voltaire to Richard Dawkins have attacked religion for its connection to violence. Karen Armstrong flatly rejects the idea.

Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea, by Samuel L. Adams

Samuel Adams's book is important on two counts: he focuses on the once-neglected period of the Second Temple, and he asks economic questions rather than theological-spiritual ones.