Reading Religion Bi-Weekly Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 3

Dear Reading Religion Subscribers,

Check out the latest entry in Reading Religion's ongoing series of interviews with authors of a wide variety of recently published texts.  First up for 2019: Reading Religion's interview with Kirsten Fermaglich, author of A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America (NYU Press, 2018).  Stay tuned for more interviews with some of today's most exciting authors.

Read interview with Kirsten Fermalich HERE.

Take a moment to browse the fantastic new reviews and lastest additions to our inventory of books available for review.

If you know of titles (published since 1/1/15) that we should have on our website and don't, please drop us an email at and be sure to include the author/editor(s), full title, and ISBN-13.

Thank you,

Lisa Haygood, Managing Editor


BOOKS REVIEWED, 2/1/2019 to 2/15/2019


The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature. By Mario Poceski (Oxford University Press, 8/12/2015). Reviewed by Kevin Buckelew.


Christianity (mostly), history of

Teachers in Late Antique Christianity (Studies in Education and Religion in Ancient and Pre-modern History in the Mediterranean and Its Environs) . By Peter Gemeinhardt, Olga Lorgeoux and Maria Munkholt Christensen (eds) (Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Company KG, 6/1/18). Reviewed by Chance Everett Bonar.

Scottish Episcopal Acta volume I (Scottish History Society 6th). By Norman F. Shead (Boydell & Brewer, Ltd., 3/19/2016). Reviewed by John D. Hosler.

1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation. By Peter Marshall (Oxford University Press, 10/10/2017). Reviewed by Mark A. Granquist.

The Unbound God: Slavery and the Formation of Early Christian Thought (Routledge Studies in the Early Christian World). By Chris L. de Wet (Routledge, 6/22/17). Reviewed by Matthew Elia.

The World of Medieval Monasticism: Its History and Forms of Life (Cistercian Studies). By Gert Melville and James D. Mixson (trans) (Cistercian Publications, 3/4/16). Reviewed by Michael Owen Gaston.

St. Cyprian of Carthage and the College of Bishops. By Benjamin Safranski (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 9/15/18). Reviewed by Alistair Stewart.


Christianity, biblical interpretation and reception

Ecclesiastes and the Riddle of Authorship. By Thomas M. Bolin (Routledge, 4/4/17). Reviewed by Douglas Miller.


Christianity, contemporary

The State of the Evangelical Mind: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future. By Todd C. Ream, Jerry A. Pattengale and Christopher J. Devers (eds) (InterVarsity Press, 12/11/18). Reviewed by Michael Allen.


Christianity, ethics and social justice

Moral Leadership for a Divided Age: Fourteen People Who Dared to Change Our World. By David P. Gushee and Colin Holtz (Brazos Press, 10/16/18). Reviewed by Shaun Joynt.

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate. By Matthew Soerens, Jenny Yang and Leith Anderson (IVP Books, 7/3/18). Reviewed by Vahisha Hasan.


Christianity, theology

Putting God on the Map: Theology and Conceptual Mapping . By Erin Kidd and Jakob Karl Rinderknecht (eds) (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 9/15/18). Reviewed by Jamin A. Hübner.

Christ and Revelatory Community in Bonhoeffer's Reception of Hegel (Dogmatik in Der Moderne). By David S. Robinson (Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Company KG, 6/1/18). Reviewed by Matthew K. Jones.

Bonhoeffer on Resistance: The Word Against the Wheel. By Michael P. DeJonge (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 10/30/18). Reviewed by Myles Werntz.

Christos Yannaras: Philosophy, Theology, Culture. By Andreas Andreopoulos and Demetrios Harper (eds) (Routledge, 8/24/18). Reviewed by Angelos Gounopoulos.

Inhabiting the World: Identity, Politics, and Theology in Radical Baptist Perspective. By Ryan Andrew Newson (Mercer University Press, 5/1/18). Reviewed by William H. Brackney.

Christ Existing As Community: Bonhoeffer's Ecclesiology . By Michael Mawson (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 9/12/18). Reviewed by Nicholas Byle.

The End Is Music: A Companion to Robert W. Jenson's Theology (Cascade Companions). By Chris E. W. Green (Cascade Books, 3/15/18). Reviewed by Derek Hatch.

The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology. By Paul Avis (ed) (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 8/28/18). Reviewed by Annie Selak.


Comparative Religions, Anthropology of Religions

The Mana of Mass Society (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning). By William Mazzarella (University of Chicago Press, 10/24/17). Reviewed by William Mazzarella.

Religion and Illness. By Annette Weissenrieder and Gregor Etzelmuller (eds.) (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 11/4/16). Reviewed by Samuel I. Britt.


Critical Theory, Methods/Theories in Religious Studies

Reading J. Z. Smith: Interviews & Essays. By Willi Braun and Russell T. McCutcheon (eds) (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 7/27/18). Reviewed by Richard Kent Evans.



Siva's Saints: The Origins of Devotion in Kannada according to Harihara's Ragalegalu. By Gil Ben-Herut (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 8/2/18). Reviewed by Elaine Fisher.

Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (South Asia in Motion). By Anand Vivek Taneja (Stanford University Press, 11/21/17). Reviewed by Jaclyn Michael.

Women’s Authority and Leadership in a Hindu Goddess Tradition. By Nanette R. Spina (Palgrave Macmillan, 2/28/17). Reviewed by Karen Pechilis.

Rites of the God-King: Santi and Ritual Change in Early Hinduism (Oxford Ritual Studies Series). By Marko Geslani (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 7/9/18). Reviewed by Caley Smith.



Islam and Its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity, and the Qur'an (Oxford Studies in the Abrahamic Religions). By Carol Bakhos and Michael Cook (eds.) (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 8/22/17). Reviewed by Arzina Lalani.

Hamka's Great Story: A Master Writer's Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia (New Perspectives in Se Asian Studies). By James R. Rush (University of Wisconsin Press, 6/7/16). Reviewed by Majid Daneshgar.



Philo of Alexandria: An Intellectual Biography (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library). By Maren R. Niehoff (Yale University Press, 1/9/18). Reviewed by Sean Adams.

The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House. By Norman Eisen (Crown/Archetype, 9/4/18). Reviewed by Barbara Rader.

Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution That Made Our Modern Religious World. By Philip Jenkins (Basic Books, 9/19/17). Reviewed by Lee Blackburn.

Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism, 200 BCE-CE 200. By C. D. Elledge (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 7/11/17). Reviewed by Zev Garber.


Philosophy of Religion

New Models of Religious Understanding. By Fiona Ellis (ed) (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2/21/18). Reviewed by Swami Narasimhananda.

Two Dozen (or So) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project . By Jerry Walls and Trent Dougherty (eds) (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 9/4/18). Reviewed by Robert MacSwain.

Freedom of Religion: Foundational Documents and Historical Arguments. By Stephen A. Smith (Oxbridge Research Associates, 6/4/18). Reviewed by Donald Drakeman.

The Use of Bodies (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics). By Giorgio Agamben; Adam Kotsko (trans) (Stanford University Press, 3/16/16). Reviewed by Michael P. A. Murphy.


Religion & Law

America's Jails: The Search for Human Dignity in an Age of Mass Incarceration. By Derek S. Jeffreys (New York University Press, 6/5/18). Reviewed by Stephanie Gaskill.


Religion & Literature

Biblical Poetry and the Art of Close Reading. By J. Blake Couey and Elaine T. James (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 8/31/18). Reviewed by Rebecca W. Poe Hays.

Clashing Conviction: Science and Religion in American Fiction (Literature, Religion, and Postsecular Studies). By Albert H. Tricomi (Ohio State University Press, 8/20/16). Reviewed by Laura Vollmer.


Religion & Politics

Saving the People: How Populists Hijack Religion. By Nadia Marzouki, Duncan McDonnell, and Olivier Roy (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 11/1/16). Reviewed by Kirk Hawkins.

Government Surveillance of Religious Expression: Mormons, Quakers, and Muslims in the United States (Routledge Studies in Religion). By Kathryn Montalbano (Routledge, 11/1/18). Reviewed by Michael McLaughlin.

British Humanitarian Activity in Russia, 1890-1923. By Luke Kelly (Palgrave Macmillan, 12/29/17). Reviewed by Christopher Read.


Religion in North America

A History of Conversion to Islam in the United States, Volume 2: The African American Islamic Renaissance, 1920-1975 (Muslim Minorities). By Patrick D. Bowen (Brill, 10/5/17). Reviewed by Emily Goshey.


Religion, Art, & Music

Georges de la Tour and the Enigma of the Visible. By Dalia Judovitz (Fordham University Press, 11/7/17). Reviewed by Amanda Dillon.


BOOKS RECEIVED, 2/1/2019 to 2/15/2019

Ancient Religions

Ancient Christian Ecopoetics: Cosmologies, Saints, Things (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion). By Virginia Burrus (University of Pennsylvania Press, 10/26/18).

Picatrix: A Medieval Treatise on Astral Magic. By Dan Attrell and David Porreca (trans) (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1/10/19).



The Buddha's Wizards: Magic, Protection, and Healing in Burmese Buddhism. By Thomas Nathan Patton (Columbia University Press, 10/16/18).

The Emanated Scripture of Manjushri: Shabkar's Essential Meditation Instructions (Tsadra). By Sean Price (Shambhala Publications, Incorporated, 2/5/19).


Christianity (mostly), history of

Ecstasy in the Classroom: Trance, Self, and the Academic Profession in Medieval Paris (Fordham Series in Medieval Studies). By Ayelet Even-Ezra (Fordham University Press, 12/4/18).

Paul's Theology in Context: Creation, Incarnation, Covenant, and Kingdom. By James P. Ware (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1/22/19).

Joan of Arc: In the English Imagination, 1429-1829. By Gail Orgelfinger (Penn State University Press, 1/10/19).

Writing the History of Early Christianity: From Reception to Bonhoeffer. By Markus Vinzent (Cambridge University Press, 4/30/19).


Christianity, biblical interpretation and reception

Inexpressible: Hesed and the Mystery of God's Livingkindness. By Michael Card (InterVarsity Press, 12/18/18).

Inquiry into the New Testament: Ancient Context to Contemporary Significance. By David T. Landry (ed) (Anselm Academic Press, 12/4/18).

Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States. By Seth Perry (Princeton University Press, 6/5/18).


Christianity, ethics and social justice

Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice: The Praxis of US Health Care in a Globalized World. By M. Therese Lysaught and Michael McCarthy (eds) (Liturgical Press Academic, 12/15/18).

Beyond the Noise of Solemn Assemblies: The Protestant Ethic and the Quest for Social Justice in Canada (McGill-Queen's Studies in the History of Religion 2). By Richard Allen (McGillQueen's University Press, 1/15/19).

Catholics and Evangelicals for the Common Good: A Dialogue in an Historic Convergence. By Ronald J. Sider and John Borelli (Cascade Books, 10/18/18).

God Can't: How to Believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils. By Thomas Jay Oord (SacraSage Press, 1/2/19).


Christianity, theology

God Evolution and Animal Suffering: Theodicy without a Fall (Routledge Science and Religion Series). By Bethany N. Sollereder (Routledge, 11/5/18).

Psychology and Spiritual Formation in Dialogue: Moral and Spiritual Change in Christian Perspective (Christian Association for Psychological Studies Books). By Thomas M. Crisp, Steven L. Porter and Gregg A. Ten Elshof (ed) (InterVarsity Press, 1/22/19).

Sculptor Spirit: Models of Sanctification from Spirit Christology. By Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. (InterVarsity Press, 2/5/19).

Jürgen Moltmann and the Work of Hope: The Future of Christian Theology. By M. Douglas Meeks (ed) (Fortress Press, 10/31/18).


Critical Theory, Methods/Theories in Religious Studies

Considering Comparison: A Method of Religious Studies. By Oliver Freiberger (Oxford University Press, 2/1/19).

Reframing the Masters of Suspicion: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud (Critiquing Religion: Discourse, Culture, Power). By Andrew Dole (Bloomsbury Academic, 12/13/18).


East Asian Religions, excluding Buddhism-only books

Dynamism and the Ageing of a Japanese 'New' Religion: Transformations and the Founder. By Erica Baffelli and Ian Reader (Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 12/13/18).



Gendered Morality: Classical Islamic Ethics of the Self, Family, and Society. By Zahra Ayubi (Columbia University Press, 8/13/19).

Teaching Islamic Studies in the Age of Isis, Islamophobia and the Internet. By Courtney M. Dorroll (ed) (Indiana University Press, 1/24/19).

Living Sharia: Law and Practice in Malaysia (Critical Dialogues in Southeast Asian Studies). By Timothy P. Daniels (University of Washington Press, 12/1/17).



Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: The Dynamics of Delegitimization (Studies in Antisemitism). By Alvin H. Rosenfeld (ed) (Indiana University Press, 1/9/19).

Historical Atlas of Hasidism. By Marcin Wodziński and Waldemar Spallek (Princeton University Press, 7/24/18).

Does Judaism Condone Violence?: Holiness and Ethics in the Jewish Tradition. By Alan L. Mittleman (Princeton University Press, 8/28/18).

The Autobiography of Solomon Maimon: The Complete Translation. By Yitzhak Y. Melamed and Abraham Socher (eds) (Princeton University Press, 5/4/18).

The Italian Executioners: The Genocide of the Jews in Italy. By Simon Levis Sullam (Princeton University Press, 8/28/18).

Facing Death: Confronting Mortality in the Holocaust and Ourselves (Stephen S. Weinstein Series in Post-Holocaust Studies). By Sarah Pinnock (ed) (University of Washington Press, 11/1/16).

Losing Trust in the World: Holocaust Scholars Confront Torture (Stephen S. Weinstein Series in Post-Holocaust Studies). By Leonard Grob and John K. Roth (eds) (University of Washington Press, 12/1/16).

Religion, Ethnicity and Xenophobia in the Bible: A Theoretical, Exegetical and Theological Survey (Routledge Studies in the Biblical World). By Brian Rainey (Routledge, 11/26/18).


Philosophy of Religion

Religion in the University. By Nicholas Wolterstorff (Yale University Press, 4/2/19).


Religion & Law

Institutional Rights and Religion: Competing Supremacies. By Leora Batnitzky and Hanoch Dagan (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 3/23/17).


Religion & Literature

"Charms", Liturgies, and Secret Rites in Early Medieval England (Anglo-Saxon Studies). By Ciaran Arthur (Boydell & Brewer, Incorporated, 6/15/18).

Passing Fancies in Jewish American Literature and Culture (Jewish Literature and Culture). By Judith Ruderman (Indiana University Press, 2/1/19).

Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence (Literature, Religion, & Postsecular Studies). By Jessica Hooten Wilson (Ohio State University Press, 10/11/17).

Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community. By Daniel Shank Cruz (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1/3/19).

Many Faces of Mulian: The Precious Scrolls of Late Imperial China. By Rostislav Berezkin (University of Washington Press, 11/1/17).


Religion & Politics

Twelve Lies That Hold America Captive: And the Truth That Sets Us Free. By Jonathan P. Walton (InterVarsity Press, 1/8/19).

Solidarity and Defiant Spirituality: Africana Lessons on Religion, Racism, and Ending Gender Violence (Religion and Social Transformation). By Traci C. West (New York University Press, 1/22/19).

Sightings: Reflections on Religion in Public Life. By Brett Colasacco (ed) (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1/1/19).

Religion and Democracy: Studies in Public Theology. By Torsten Meireis and Rolf Schieder (eds) (ISD Distributor of Scholarly Books, 6/1/17).

Doing Theology in the Age of Trump: A Critical Report on Christian Nationalism (Westar Seminar on God and the Human Future). By Jeffrey W. Robbins and Clayton Crockett (eds) (Cascade Books, 11/8/18).

Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo. By Seth Anziska (Princeton University Press, 9/4/18).

Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming. By William E. Connolly (Duke University Press, 2/17/17).


Religion & Science

The Fool and the Heretic: How Two Scientists Moved beyond Labels to a Christian Dialogue about Creation and Evolution. By Todd Charles Wood and Darrel R. Falk (Zondervan, 2/5/19).

Layer by Layer: A Primer on Biblical Archaeology. By Ellen White (Anselm Academic Press, 12/17/18).


Religion in North America

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism. By Jemar Tisby (Zondervan, 1/22/19).

The Writings of Elizabeth Webb: A Quaker Missionary in America, 1697-1726. By Rachel Cope and Zachary McLeod Hutchins (eds) (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1/9/19).


Religion, Art, & Music

Fruits of the Cross: Passiontide Music Theater in Habsburg Vienna. By Robert L. Kendrick (University of California Press, 11/27/18).

Modern Jewish Art: Definitions, Problems, and Opportunities (Brill Research Perspectives). By Ori Z. Soltes (Brill, 1/24/19).