Book recommendations from Tanya Luhrmann

May 15, 2014

I recently interviewed cultural anthropologist and New York Times columnist Tanya Luhrmann about prayer and religious experience. After the interview, I asked her for some recommendations of books on prayer that are not “how-tos.” What are some books that can help me understand prayer more conceptually and experientially? Here is what she said:

I’ve been rereading two books recently that people might find intriguing. One is Alister Hardy’s The Spiritual Nature of Man. He asked people (mostly Protestants—he was at Oxford) to send him accounts of the experience of the presence of God, and they make for fascinating reading. 

The other book I’ve been looking at again is Bob Orsi’s Thank you, St. Jude. This is a rich account of the way Catholic women pray and the way that a saint rose in popularity and importance.