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Old 11-23-2004, 12:08 PM   #1
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Good books on spirituality/prayer/faith/etc.

The "nonbelievers" thread made me think of this...does anyone have any good book recommendations (outside of the Bible, the Torah, the Koran--i.e. not PRIMARY religious texts) dealing with spirituality, religion, prayer, faith, etc.?

Here are some of my favorites:

Socrates Meets Jesus, Peter Kreeft
The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
She Who Is, Elizabeth Johnson
Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
Letters and Papers from Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:10 PM   #2
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Mere Christianinty - C.S. Lewis
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:13 PM   #3
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'the prophet' is wonderful.

so is your new avatar, pax.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:15 PM   #4
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Thanks! I cropped it out of a pic I found in PLEBA.

C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain is also a good read.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by dandy
'the prophet' is wonderful.

so is your new avatar, pax.
Yes! The "Prophet" is a wonderful book.

Also try "The Alchemist" One of the best books I've ever read. a NIce metaphoric book on Spirituality
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Old 11-23-2004, 01:32 PM   #6
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In an indirect way, the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. They're marketed as young adult fantasy novels (like some of CS Lewis' stuff), but there's a much deeper level to them. If you've grown up a Christian, his premises regarding God are hard to swallow and really turn some people off, but if you've got an open mind, dig in!
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Old 11-23-2004, 02:03 PM   #7
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We've been referring to these books lately:

Hard Sayings of the Bible, Walter Kaiser

Ten Lies About God, Erwin Lutzer
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Old 11-23-2004, 02:31 PM   #8
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well i'm sure everyone's heard the story about bono supposedly recommending some phillip yancey book (what's so amazing about grace? is that the title?) to noel gallagher. so it seemed somewhat appropriate to bring this up in a discussion about spiritual books on a u2 message board.

my question is...does anyone else find that book as utterly pathetic as i do? i'm honestly not being awkward, creating trouble, being derogatory for the sake of it, etc. just as an absolute non-believer in any form of religion, that book would have pushed me more in the direction of non-religiousness than convincing me that any religion (christianity) is in any way valid. i mean it just seemed ridiculous, irrelevant, more intended to reaffirm someone's beliefs than to encourage others to believe.

or maybe i'm just too much of a hardened cynic to appreaciate it.

thoughts?
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Old 11-23-2004, 02:47 PM   #9
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"A Non-Churchgoers Guide to the Bible" Michael Gantt
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Old 11-23-2004, 04:20 PM   #10
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Anything by Rabbi Harold Kushner or Reverend Billy Graham

I haven't read this, but it's been on the best seller list for 2 years. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I saw a bit of his interview on Larry King last night and it seemed good

http://www.purposedrivenlife.com/

"Finding God In The Questions" by Dr. Tim Johnson

An interview w/ Dr. Tim

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/143/story_14389_1.html
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:38 PM   #11
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"Understanding the Bible" by Stephen Harris is the textbook we're using this semester. A purely historical, literary look at the Bible, and the cultures it emerged out of.

It's an easy, enjoyable read. Obviously it's in textbook format so it's not the most entertaining, but I'm finding it's a good start.
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:55 PM   #12
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Don't Laugh but I am reading "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism" and finding it interesting...it just gives you the generalities. I also really love the CS Lewis book "The Four Loves" Very good indeed....

Peace,
Brenda
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Old 11-23-2004, 08:54 PM   #13
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Since spirituality was included in the original quest, I may recommend the following list... those books include a variety of ways... some of them not recommended for everyone (esp. 6 and 7)

1) Rastafari - The New Creation by Barbara Makeda Blake-Hannah (2003 edition)

Definitely uplifting, and very interesting. Includes topics like the Bible and The Ark of Covenant. You can find it at www.onedropbooks.com

2) The World is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness by Joachim Ernest Berendt. Destiny Books (May 1st, 1991)

I read this book when I was 17 and it blew me away.

2) The Upanishads by F. Max-Muller (Translator)
Wordsworth Editions Ltd (March 23rd, 2000)

ok, its a primary religious text, so let me mention the following one as a secondary..

Commentaries on the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita: The Three Branches of India's Life-Tree by Sri Chinmoy
Blue Beyond Books (Dec. 31st, 1996)

3) Zen (Colour Book Series) by Toichi Yoshioka, H. Maezumi (Translator) Japan Publications Trading Co (Oct. 27th, 2000)

Good introduction to Zen schools and theory on meditation.

4) Cosmic Canticle (Us) by Ernesto Cardenal, John Lyons (Translator) Curbstone Press (Dec. 1st, 1993)

Cardenal is one of the most famous poets and priests of Latin America. He actively followed liberation theology.

5) Abide in Love by Ernesto Cardenal, Mev Puleo
Orbis Books (Aug. 1st, 1995)

6) Grimorium Verum

..dating back to 1517, very interesting, but practically impossible to find. I found a part of it though.. a word of warning, be careful with all Grimoires, there are several others out there which may be easier to find (18th century etc.) ..they deal with dark stuff.

7) Voodoo, Past and Present by Ron Bodin, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana (Dec. 1st, 1990)

Good book I found in New Orleans. Only recommended if you are interested in Voodoo.

8) back to India.. just reading The Great Secret - Talks on the Songs of Kabir, by Osho, a spiritual master from India. There are some very beautiful parts, like a part of the "Tale of Love" that I have blogged (yes, in english!) at

http://www.myblog.de/showpage.php?bl...kstep&id=75007

9) Healers on Healing (New Consciousness Reader) by W. Brugh Joy, Jeremy P. Tarcher (Feb 1st 1989)

Just reading that one..

As to primary texts, the Kaballah should be included, and I am trying to find the 6th and 7th book of Moses.
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Old 11-23-2004, 08:55 PM   #14
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Right now I'm reading "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong. It tells about how the beliefs and concept about God evolved over the centuries, from ancient Babylon to the present. It covers mainly the three monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - but it also explains and compares how other religions view God, and the huge influence ancient Greek philosophy has on the concept of God. It also talks about how atheism evolved and ponders the future of God in a secular, scientific age.

Its a good read, and it explains a lot!
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Old 11-24-2004, 09:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mildred
well i'm sure everyone's heard the story about bono supposedly recommending some phillip yancey book (what's so amazing about grace? is that the title?) to noel gallagher. so it seemed somewhat appropriate to bring this up in a discussion about spiritual books on a u2 message board.

my question is...does anyone else find that book as utterly pathetic as i do? i'm honestly not being awkward, creating trouble, being derogatory for the sake of it, etc. just as an absolute non-believer in any form of religion, that book would have pushed me more in the direction of non-religiousness than convincing me that any religion (christianity) is in any way valid. i mean it just seemed ridiculous, irrelevant, more intended to reaffirm someone's beliefs than to encourage others to believe.

or maybe i'm just too much of a hardened cynic to appreaciate it.

thoughts?

i thought the first half of that book was really touching. the story of the protestant father forgiving the IRA, was especially moving. the first half really moved me in my belief in Grace; however, the latter half of that book was filled with far too much dogma (ie anti-gay) for my tastes. yancey is probably (despite half of this book) one of the better current christian writers. his books on jesus and jesus's bible were both very insightful. plus he wrote a book about his faith surviving the church...how many american christians talk like that? no, he's not quiet as progressive as i'd like him to be, but it's better than Jerry Falwell (not that that says much).
The Bhavidad-Gita and the Tao Te Ching are books that i cherish. Gandhi's Autobiography (Struggles with Ahimpsa) is also a must read.
Oh, and how could i forget the Tao of Pooh...that book is seriously one of my all-time favorites.
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