Beliefnet
The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Paul Elie The Life You Save May Be Your Own
by Paul Elie

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This group biography of four mid-20th century Roman Catholic writers—Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Walker Percy—explores an era when American Catholicism enjoyed an intellectual high tide. Far from portraying his protagonists as avatars of some vaunted Catholic golden age, however, Elie shows how they worked out their ideas and exemplary lives in a context no less daunting than our own. Elie's vivid group portrait is a serious work of criticism that can also serve as an introduction to the four writers' work and lives. It is our fourth Beliefnet Book of the Year.


Our Book of the Year finalists:

Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels Beyond Belief
by Elaine Pagels

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Beginning with the poignant story of her return to church during her son's illness, Pagels' highly readable narrative delves into early Christians' competing views of the nature of Christ. Reconstructing the philosophical debates about Jesus' divinity as a textual battle between the Gospel of Thomas, discovered in Egypt in 1945, and the Gospel of John, Pagels offers a Christianity that is more diverse and mystical than the church we know today.
The Lord Is My Shepherd by Harold S. Kushner The Lord Is My Shepherd
by Harold S. Kushner

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The author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" dissects one of the Bible's most beloved passages line by line, peppering each exploration with the blend of personal experience, philosophy, and comforting words of wisdom he is famous for.
Tantrika by Asra Nomani Tantrika
by Asra Nomani

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An assignment to investigate the Tantric sex fad leads Nomani, a Wall Street Journal reporter, on an unexpected personal journey that carries her through a reexamination of her upbringing in Islam, her Hindu ancestry and current events in the Middle East to an encounter with the authentic teachings of Tantra.
Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden Jonathan Edwards
by George M. Marsden

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This biography of one of the founding fathers of American religion is the first to appear in 60 years. The fact that it is an emotionally complex, almost novelistic account by one of the country's foremost evangelical thinkers makes it an extraordinary read.
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
by Deepak Chopra

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Using concepts from quantum physics, Chopra locates an overarching rationality in the random coincidences of our lives. Combining his science-based speculations with a firm belief in the power of meditation, this book represents Chopra at his best.
The Transformation of American Religion By Alan Wolfe The Transformation of American Religion
by Alan Wolfe

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In interviews with believers across the American religious spectrum, the Boston University sociologist tracks the long battle between religion and culture in the United States, and says culture has won.
Practicing Resurrection by Nora Gallagher Practicing Resurrection
by Nora Gallagher

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Shortly after her brother's death, Gallagher begins her "discernment"--the formal time of contemplation before becoming an Episcopal priest. Her questions about the nature of life, priesthood, and the sacraments parallel her parish's struggles over sexuality and same-sex marriages. Her fine writing and sometimes poetic way of addressing these questions will help Christians of all stripes at a time when these issues consume the church.
In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham In the Presence of My Enemies
by Gracia Burnham

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When she and her husband were captured by Muslim militants in the Philippines, Gracia Burnham was convinced of her faith. This honest telling of the ordeal that followed sees that faith tested, along with many of Burnham's assumptions about forgiveness and spiritual survival.
Stillness Speaks Stillness Speaks
by Eckhart Tolle

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While many spiritual how-to's attempt to restore us with torrents of words, Tolle’s concise book is a refreshing cup of water. Tolle invites readers to pause as each phrase sinks into the soul, in the process constructing one of the most eloquent and practical guides to inner peace and being we've seen for some time.

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