Reading Religion Bi-Weekly Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 5

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.  The second in our 2019 line-up: Reading Religion's interview with Michelle Mary Lelwica, author of Shameful Bodies: Religion and the Culture of Physical Improvement (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). Stay tuned for more interviews with some of today's most exciting authors.

Read interview with Michelle Mary Lelwica HERE.

Take a moment to browse the fantastic new reviews and latest 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, 3/1/2019 to 3/15/2019


Finding Rest in the Nature of the Mind: Trilogy of Rest, Volume 1. By Longchenpa (Shambhala, 12/5/17). Reviewed by Dominic Sur.


Christianity (mostly), history of

The Reformation 500 Years Later: 12 Things You Need to Know. By Benjamin Wiker (Regnery History, 8/28/17). Reviewed by Armand Boehme.

Paul: A Very Brief History (Very Brief Histories). By John M. G. Barclay (Society for Promoting Christian Knolwedge, 10/19/17). Reviewed by R. Ward Holder.

Asceticism of the Mind: Forms of Attention and Self-Transformation in Late Antique Monasticism (Studies and Texts) . By Inbar Graiver (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Department of Publications, 9/5/18). Reviewed by Daniel Lemeni.

To Live Like a Moor: Christian Perceptions of Muslim Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Spain (The Middle Ages Series). By Olivia Remie Constable; Robin Vose (ed) (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1/5/18). Reviewed by Thomas Franke.

Christian Women in Chinese Society: The Anglican Story (Sheng Kung Hui, Historical Studies of Anglican Christianity in China). By Wai-Ching Angela Wong and Patricia Chiu (eds) (Hong Kong University Press, 7/1/18). Reviewed by Minjung Noh.

Divine Deliverance: Pain and Painlessness in Early Christian Martyr Texts. By L. Stephanie Cobb (Univ of California Press, 11/29/16). Reviewed by Isabelle Lemelin.


Christianity, biblical interpretation and reception

Rhetorical Mimesis and the Mitigation of Early Christian Conflicts: Examining the Influence that Greco-Roman Mimesis May Have in the Composition of Matthew, Luke, and Acts. By Brad McAdon (Pickwick Publishers, 1/16/18). Reviewed by Amanda Brobst-Renaud.

Exploring Biblical Backgrounds: A Reader in Historical and Literary Contexts. By Derek S. Dodson and Katherine E. Smith (eds) (Baylor University Press, 7/28/18). Reviewed by Brent Niedergall.

The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences. By Yii-Jan Lin (Oxford University Press, 1/4/16). Reviewed by Steve Young.


Christianity, contemporary

Religion, Flesh, and Blood: The Convergence of HIV/AIDS, Black Sexual Expression, and Therapeutic Religion. By Pamela Leong (Lexington Books, 5/6/2015). Reviewed by Darius Bost.

Pentecostals in the 21st Century: Identity, Beliefs, Praxis. By Corneliu Constantineanu and Christopher J. Scobie (eds) (Cascade Books, 1/11/18). Reviewed by David Bradnick.

Radical Friendship: The Politics of Communal Discernment. By Ryan Andrew Newson (Fortress Press, 4/1/17). Reviewed by Abbylynn Helgevold.

American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame's Father Ted Hesburgh. By Wilson D. Miscamble (Penguin Press, 3/12/19). Reviewed by Todd C. Ream.

Listening to Sexual Minorities: A Study of Faith and Sexual Identity on Christian College Campuses (Christian Association for Psychological Studies). By Mark A. Yarhouse, Janet B. Dean, Stephen P. Stratton and Michael Lastoria (InterVarsity Press, 4/24/18). Reviewed by Jessica Knippel.


Christianity, ethics and social justice

The Spiritual Virtuoso: Personal Faith and Social Transformation. By Marion Goldman and Steven Pfaff (Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 12/14/17). Reviewed by Anne Blue Wills.

This Economy Kills: Pope Francis on Capitalism and Social Justice. By Andrea Tornielli, Giacomo Galeazzi (Liturgical Press, 8/17/15). Reviewed by Alec Sixta.


Christianity, theology

Karl Barth's Infralapsarian Theology: Origins and Development, 1920-1953 (New Explorations in Theology). By Shao Kai Tseng (IVP Academic, 3/18/16). Reviewed by Bradley Penner.

Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. By Nils Ole Oermann, Paul Lauer (Translator) (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 1/24/17). Reviewed by James C. Ungureanu.

Essays on the Trinity. By Lincoln Harvey (ed) (Cascade Books, 7/23/18). Reviewed by Jim West.

Aspects of Pentecostal Christianity in Zimbabwe. By Lovemore Togarasei (ed) (Palgrave Macmillian, 7/14/18). Reviewed by Aidan (Kwame) Ahaligah.

God's Two Words: Law and Gospel in the Lutheran and Reformed Traditions. By Jonathan Linebaugh (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 8/1/18). Reviewed by Jason Pickard.


Comparative Religions, Anthropology of Religions

Ritual Gone Wrong: What We Learn from Ritual Disruption (Oxford Ritual Studies Series). By Kathryn T. McClymond (Oxford University Press, 4/6/16). Reviewed by Sarah Burton.


Critical Theory, Methods/Theories in Religious Studies

Lost Ecstasy: Its Decline and Transformation in Religion (Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Mysticism). By June McDaniel (Palgrave Macmillan, 6/26/18). Reviewed by Samuel Wagar.

Cultural Approaches to Studying Religion: An Introduction to Theories and Methods. By Sarah J. Bloesch and Meredith Minister (eds) (Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc., 10/4/18). Reviewed by Andrew Walker-Cornetta.

The Bloomsbury Reader in Cultural Approaches to the Study of Religion. By Sarah J. Bloesch and Meredith Minister (eds) (Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc., 10/4/18). Reviewed by Andrew Walker-Cornetta.

Revelatory Events: Three Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths. By Ann Taves (Princeton University Press, 10/25/16). Reviewed by Taylor Dean.



The Qur'an and Its Biblical Reflexes: Investigations into the Genesis of a Religion . By Mark Durie (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 10/15/18). Reviewed by Abdulla Galadari.

Islam, Politics and Change: The Indonesian Experience after the Fall of Suharto (Debates on Islam and Society). By Kees van Dijk and Nico J. G. Kaptein (eds.) (Leiden University Press, 5/15/16). Reviewed by Hanisah Binte Abdullah Sina.

God is Beautiful: The Aesthetic Experience of the Quran. By Navid Kermani (Polity, 2/16/2015). Reviewed by Halla Attallah.

Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition (Religion, Culture, and Public Life). By Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Columbia University Press, 8/21/18). Reviewed by Lloyd Strickland.

Between Christ and Caliph: Law, Marriage, and Christian Community in Early Islam (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion). By Lev E. Weitz (University of Pennsylvania Press, 4/26/2018). Reviewed by Amy Fallas.



The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (New Jewish Philosophy and Thought). By Mara Benjamin (Indiana University Press, 5/24/18). Reviewed by Dustin Atlas.

Epistemology and Logic in the New Testament: Early Jewish Context and Biblical Theology Mechanisms that Fit Within Some Contemporary Ways of Knowing. By Douglas W. Kennard (Wipf and Stock, 11/30/16). Reviewed by Mark J. Boone.


Philosophy of Religion

John Stuart Mill: A Secular Life (Spiritual Lives). By Timothy Larsen (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 9/5/18). Reviewed by James C. Ungureanu.

Acting Liturgically: Philosophical Reflections on Religious Practice. By Nicholas Woltersdorff (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 5/22/18). Reviewed by James Arcadi.

Freelance Christianity: Philosophy, Faith, and the Real World. By Vance G. Morgan (Cascade Books, 6/8/17). Reviewed by Mark Coppeneger.

A History of Western Philosophy: From the Pre-Socratics to Postmodernism. By C. Stephen Evans (IVP Academic, 10/9/18). Reviewed by Josue Carames.


Religion & Politics

Religion in the Age of Obama. By Juan M. Floyd-Thomas and Anthony B. Pinn (eds) (Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 8/23/18). Reviewed by Jeff Scholes.


Religion & Science

Religion and Science: The Basics, 2nd Ed. (The Basics). By Philip Clayton (Routledge, 10/5/18). Reviewed by Jamin A. Hübner.

God and Gravity: A Philip Clayton Reader on Science and Theology. By Philip Clayton; Bradford McCall (ed) (Cascade Books, 8/23/18). Reviewed by Jamin A. Hübner.

Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?: An MIT Professor Answers Questions on God and Science (Veritas). By Ian Hutchinson (InterVarsity Press, 9/11/18). Reviewed by Jim Sharp.


Religion in North America

Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global. By Marla Frederick (Stanford University Press, 12/16/15). Reviewed by Madison Tarleton.

The Peyote Effect: From the Inquisition to the War on Drugs. By Alexander S. Dawson (University of California Press, 9/4/18). Reviewed by Benjamin R. Kracht.

God on High: Religion, Cannabis, and the Quest for Legitimacy. By Laurie Cozad (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 6/20/18). Reviewed by Sarah Tomerlin.


Religion, Art, & Music

Middle of Nowhere: Religion, Art, and Pop Culture at Salvation Mountain. By Sara M. Patterson (University of New Mexico Press, 2/15/2016). Reviewed by Megan Leverage.



BOOKS RECEIVED, 3/1/2019 to 3/15/2019


The Mindful Elite: Mobilizing from the Inside Out. By Jaime Kucinskas (Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 11/27/18).

Mandalas in the Making: The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang (Sinica Leidensia). By Michelle C. Wang (Brill Publishers, 1/18/19).


Christianity (mostly), history of

Baptists in Early North America: Welsh Neck, South Carolina, Volume V. By John Barrington (ed) (Mercer University Press, 1/15/19).

Ante Pacem: Archaeological Evidence of Church Life Before Constantine. By Graydon F. Snyder (Mercer University Press, 10/1/18).

The Theology of Sanctification and Resignation in Charles Wesley's Hymns. By Julie A. Lunn (Routledge, 11/29/18).

The Ever-New Tongue - in Tenga Bithnua: The Text in the Book of Lismore (Apocryphes). By John Carey (

Listening and Knowledge in Reformation Europe: Hearing, Speaking, and Remembering in Calvin's Geneva. By Anna Kvicalova (Palgrave Macmillian, 11/30/18).

Converso Non-Conformism in Early Modern Spain: Bad Blood and Faith from Alonso de Cartagena to Diego Velázquez. By Kevin Ingram (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/7/18).

Secularists, Religion and Government in Nineteenth-Century America. By Timothy Verhoeven (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/19/18).

Saint Patrick Retold: The Legend and History of Ireland's Patron Saint. By Roy Flechner (Princeton University Press, 3/5/19).


Christianity, contemporary

Women Choosing Silence: Relationality and Transformation in Spiritual Practice (Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology). By Alison Woolley (Routledge, 2/5/19).

Catholicism Engaging Other Faiths: Vatican II and Its Impact (Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue). By Vladimir Latinovic, Gerard Mannion and Jason Welle (eds) (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/9/18).

The Catholic Church in Taiwan: Birth, Growth and Development (Christianity in Modern China). By Francis K.H. So, Beatrice K.F. Leung and Ellen Mary Mylod (eds) (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/9/17).

The Church of England in the First Decade of the 21st Century: Findigs from the Church Times Surveys. By Andrew Village (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/12/18).

The Open Brethren: A Christian Sect in the Modern World. By Peter Herriot (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/13/18).

Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church's Obsession with Youthfulness (Ministry in a Secular Age). By Andrew Root (Baker Academic, 10/3/17).


Christianity, ethics and social justice

Different and Distinctive, but Nevertheless Baptist: A History of Northminster Baptist Church, 1967-2017. By C. Douglas Weaver and Aaron Douglas Weaver (Mercer University Press, 10/1/18).

Walter Rauschenbusch, Published Works and Selected Writings, Volume III: A Theology of the Social Gospel and Other Writings. By William H. Brackney (ed) (Mercer University Press, 10/1/18).

The Reception of Rauschenbusch: The Responses to His Earliest Readers. By William L. Pitts Jr. (Mercer University Press, 10/1/18).

Catholic Missionaries and Their Work with the Poor: Mitigating Market-Government Failure in Emerging Nations (Studies in World Christianity and Interreligious Relations). By Albino Barrera (Routledge, 12/11/18).

The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God. By Leona Stucky (Prairie World Press, 5/5/17).


Christianity, theology

The Body and Ultimate Concern: Reflections on an Embodied Theology of Paul Tillich (Mercer Tillich). By Adam Pryor and Devan Stahl (eds) (Mercer University Press, 10/1/18).

Barth's Ontology of Sin and Grace: Variations on a Theme of Augustine (Barth Studies). By Shao Kai Tseng (Routledge, 12/4/18).

The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology (Biblical Theology for Life). By Nicholas Perrin and Jonathan Lunde (eds) (Zondervan, 2/26/19).


Comparative Religions, Anthropology of Religions

A Secular Age beyond the West: Religion, Law and the State in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics). By Mirjam Künkler, John Madeley, Shylashri Shankar (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 7/5/18).

Hell and Damnation: A Sinner's Guide to Eternal Torment. By Marq De Villiers (University of Regina Press, 3/2/19).

Loving Water Across Religions: Contributions to an Integral Water Ethic (Ecology and Justice). By Elizabeth McAnally (Orbis Books, 2/20/19).

Religion and Human Security in Africa (Routledge Series in Religion). By Ezra Chitando and Joram Tarusarira (eds) (Routledge, 2/13/19).

Contemporary Religions in China (Religions in Focus). By Shawn Arthur (Routledge, 2/27/19).

Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions: How Narratives of Faith are Shaping Today's World. By James Walters (ed) (University of Chicago Press, 3/15/19).


Critical Theory, Methods/Theories in Religious Studies

Religion, Feminism, and Idoloclasm: Being and Becoming in the Women's Liberation Movement ( Gender, Theology and Spirituality). By Melissa Raphael (Routledge, 2/5/19).

Apples and Oranges: Explorations In, On, and With Comparison. By Bruce Lincoln (University of Chicago Press, 8/23/18).



Faith Movements and Social Transformation: Guru Charisma in Contemporary India. By Samta P. Pandya (Rawat Publications, 11/1/17).



Islam Instrumentalized: Religion and Politics in Historical Perspective (Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society). By Jean-Philippe Platteau (Cambridge University Press, 6/6/17).

Constructing a Worldview: Al-Barqui's Role in the Making of Early Shi'i Faith ( Miroir L'orient Musulman). By Roy Vilozny (Brepols Publishers, 11/23/17).

Jewish-Christianity and the Origins of Islam: Papers Presented at the Colloquium Held in Washington, DC, October 29-31, 2015: 8th ASMEA Conference (English/French Edition). By Francisco del Rio Sanchez (ed) (Brepols Publishers, 3/14/18).

Language, Society, and Religion in the World of the Turks: Festschrift for Larry Clark at Seventy-Five (Silk Road Series). By Zsuzsanna Gulácsi (ed) (Brepols Publishers, 1/24/19).

Dialectical Encounters: Contemporary Turkish Muslim Thought in Dialogue. By Taraneh Wilkinson (Edinburgh University Press, 4/30/19).



The Karaite Mourners of Zion and the Qumran Scrolls: On the History of an Alternative Rabbinic Judaism (Diaspora). By Yoram Erder (Brepols Publishers, 12/22/17).

Barbarians and Jews: Jews and Judaism in the Early Medieval West. By Yitzhak Hen and Thomas F. X. Noble (eds) (Brepols Publishers, 12/15/18).

Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures (Jewish Lives). By Adina Hoffman (Yale University Press, 2/12/19).

The Lost World of the Torah: Law as Covenant and Wisdom in Ancient Context (The Lost World Series, Volume 6). By John H. Walton and J. Harvey Walton (InterVarsity Press, 2/26/19).

The Dual Truth, Volumes I & II: Studies on NIneteenth-Century Religious Thought and Its Influence on Twentieth-Century Philosophy (Studies in Orthodox Judaism). By Ephraim Chamiel (Academic Studies Press, 1/23/19).

Alfred Stieglitz: Taking Pictures, Making Painters (Jewish Lives). By Phyllis Rose (Yale University Press, 3/26/19).

Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto: Writing Our History. By David G. Roskies (ed) (Yale University Press, 4/23/19).


Philosophy of Religion

Understanding Religious Experience. By Peter Connolly (Equinox Publishing Limited, 2/1/19).

The Mystical Sources of Existentialist Thought: Being, Nothingness, Love (Contemporary Theological Explorations in Mysticism)r. By George Pattison and Kate Kirkpatrick (Routledge, 11/29/18).

What is Philosophy of Religion?. By Charles Taliaferro (Polity, 1/30/19).


Religion & Literature

Romanticism and the Re-Invention of Modern Religion: The Reconciliation of German Idealism and Platonic Realism. By Alexander J. B. Hampton (Cambridge University Press, 1/31/19).

Symbol or Substance?: A Dialogue on the Eucharist With C. S. Lewis, Billy Graham and J. R. R. Tolkien. By Peter Kreeft (Ignatius Press, 1/20/19).

Jerusalem: City of the Book. By Merav Mack and Benjamin Balint (Yale University Press, 3/14/19).


Religion & Politics

Practicing Islam in Egypt: Print Media and Islamic Revival. By Aaron Rock-Singer (Cambridge University Press, 1/31/19).

Moral and Spiritual Leadership in an Age of Plural Moralities (Studies in World Christianities and Interreligious Relations). By Hans Alma and Ina ter Avest (eds) (Routledge, 1/2/19).

The Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria: Perspectives from Within (New Directions in Islam). By Edlyne Eze Anugwom (Palgrave Macmillian, 12/7/18).


Religion in North America

Slavery's Long Shadow: Race and Reconciliation in American Christianity. By James L. Gorman, Jeff W. Childers and Mark W. Hamilton (eds) (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2/1/19).


Religion, Art, & Music

Encounters: The Art of Interfaith Dialogues (Arts and the Sacred). By Aaron Rosen and Nicola Green (Brepols Publishers, 9/13/18).

Music, Liturgy, and the Veneration of Saints of the Medieval Irish Church in a European Context (Ritus Et Artes). By Ann Buckley (Brepols Publishers, 10/30/17).