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Non-Fiction > Philosophy & Religion

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message 1: by Jenny (last edited Aug 29, 2013 03:40AM) (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments A place to talk about and recommend your favorite books about Philosophy & Religion.


message 2: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Finished the book Jesus, An Historical Approximation. A highly recommended book. If any one wants to know more of the historical Jesus this book would satisfy your curiosity. It is not a popular book like that of Dan Brown's works. It is a scholarly work taking the materials from the meticulous researches and written in a lay man's language.


message 3: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Just began reading Simone Weil's Waiting for God. Seems to be an interesting book with some excellent reflections on faith. Will share about it as soon as I have completed reading it.


message 4: by dely (last edited Oct 06, 2013 04:03AM) (new)

dely | 5214 comments Absolutely The Bhagavad Gita with a good comment otherwise it is useless to read. In my opinion it is more philosophy than religion so it is a good book to read whatever religion we belong to.


message 5: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments dely wrote: "Absolutely The Bhagavad Gita with a good comment otherwise it is useless to read. In my opinion it is more philosophy than religion so it is a good book to read whatever religion we belong to."

I agree that people of all religions can find this worth reading. The commentary in my edition was only so-so, perhaps I should reread it sometime.


message 6: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Completed reading Simone Weil's Waiting for God. It is beyond doubt an 'unChristian' Christian spiritual classic...This is my review that could help you to understand the paradox: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 7: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments Has anyone read Martin Buber? I did a long time ago. I don't remember many details, but I do remember that at the time it was meaningful to me.


message 8: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments I haven't Gill, but he looks very interesting. What did you read by him?

Great review by the way Dhanaraj!


message 9: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments Jenny wrote: "I haven't Gill, but he looks very interesting. What did you read by him?

Great review by the way Dhanaraj!"


I readI and Thou and Between Man and Man. I also read some of Tales of the Hasidim but I don't think it was this edition.

This thread has brought the books back to mind. I think I'll look into them again.


message 10: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments I have read Martin Buber's I AND THOU long time back. I loved the way he introduced the element of God into the philosophical musings. But I have not much idea now. I should try him some other time.

Thanks Jenny for the compliments.


message 11: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments Dhanaraj (and everyone else also!), I've come across a Melvyn Bragg BBC Radio 4 discussion programme about Simone Weil. Here it is:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nthz3


message 12: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Thanks Gill for the link......I love Simone Weil.......


message 13: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Thank you for the link Gill, I haven't read anything by her yet, but maybe this will be a good chance to learn some more about her. I will listen into it once I have a bit of time on the weekend hopefully.


message 14: by Julia (last edited Oct 29, 2013 06:12AM) (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) I admire the teachings of Taoism, so the Tao Te Ching is one of my favorite books. This nature-based philosophy is expressed in the yin-yang symbol. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~koivanov/ta...


message 15: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Reading Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel. Finished the first two chapters. I am liking it a lot.


message 16: by Noel (new)

Noel Brady (noel-brady) The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image is a fascinating book. It's not strictly about religion (it covers a lot of subjects including anthropology, gender, the brain, etc) but it dives into some interesting arguments regarding polytheism, monotheism, and goddess-based versus god-based religions.


message 17: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Completed reading C. Milosz' To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays. A collection of his essays which among many other themes deals the important theme of the reason behind the unimaginable human atrocities caused in the aftermath of World war I, Russian and French Revolution and World War II. He searches for the reason in the philosophical thoughts that shaped man in the preceding years and his findings are very revealing and at the same time very frightening. For the situation has not yet changed much. His analysis of Existentialism, Reformation, Marxism is highly recommended. Moreover, if you are a Pole, it is obligatory to read Milosz.
Here is my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 18: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Gill, I have read Buber and think he is fantastic.


message 20: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments I haven't Diane, it does sound really interesting though. Have you?


message 21: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments Chrissie wrote: "Gill, I have read Buber and think he is fantastic."

Chrissie, I've got the audio version of I and Thou. It's years since I read it. I don't know how it will work in audio.


message 22: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Reading a collection of religious poems (Poems on Our Lady), Le litànie de la Madona. They are very simple and pious. It was written in the local dialect of the author (veneto - Italian of the region of Venice). It is a translation into Italian that I am reading. Unfortunately there are no other translations.


message 24: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13415 comments Mod
Charbel wrote: "Best religion books that you've read?

My list:
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
[book:Al-Ghazali's Path to ..."


Have you read the whole of Dante's wor?
I havenn't! Trying to do it now - even if I'm already behind!!!


message 25: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2690 comments I have. Plus we quickly went through it in my modern religion class and so I had an unfair advantage over the other students.


message 26: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Charbel wrote: "Best religion books that you've read?

My list:
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
[book:Al-Ghazali's Path to ..."


I've only read two of those so far Charbel, but they all look interesting!


message 27: by Shiv (new)

Shiv Harsh | 7 comments Charbel wrote: "Best religion books that you've read?

My list:
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
[book:Al-Ghazali's Path to ..."


I like The Bhagawad Gita. The philosophy oitlined in it is timeless and knows no national or religious borders. A good translation and commentary is essential, though.


message 28: by Everyman (new)

Everyman Charbel wrote: "Best religion books that you've read?"

C.S. Lewis: Surprised by Joy and The Screwtape Letters
The Journal of George Fox
Augustine: Confessions
Hodgkin: The Way of Jesus
a Kempis: The Imitation of Christ


message 29: by Lee (new)

Lee Whitney (boobearcat) wonderful list Everyman


message 30: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2690 comments Everyman wrote: "Charbel wrote: "Best religion books that you've read?"

C.S. Lewis: Surprised by Joy and The Screwtape Letters
The Journal of George Fox
Augustine: Confessions
Hodgkin: The Way of Jesus
a Kempis: T..."


I echo Lee. Great list. I'm actually thinking of adding confessions.


message 31: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments Shiv wrote: "I like The Bhagawad Gita. The philosophy oitlined in it is timeless and knows no national or religious borders. A good translation and commentary is essential, though."

I completely agree with you. It is one of the most important books I have ever read. I've read it with the comment of Paramahansa Yogananda and it was exhaustive and easy to understand. Now it's a year I'm following lessons with a Swamini who explains it in the deepest details.


message 32: by Shiv (new)

Shiv Harsh | 7 comments dely wrote: "Shiv wrote: "I like The Bhagawad Gita. The philosophy oitlined in it is timeless and knows no national or religious borders. A good translation and commentary is essential, though."

I completely a..."


Thanks for your comment, Dely. I have started a Facebook group for Gita discussions, and this is open to all. We would love to have you join this group. The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/90607....


message 33: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments Shiv wrote: "dely wrote: "Shiv wrote: "I like The Bhagawad Gita. The philosophy oitlined in it is timeless and knows no national or religious borders. A good translation and commentary is essential, though."

I..."


I'm sorry, I don't have facebook.


message 34: by Shiv (new)

Shiv Harsh | 7 comments dely wrote: "Shiv wrote: "dely wrote: "Shiv wrote: "I like The Bhagawad Gita. The philosophy oitlined in it is timeless and knows no national or religious borders. A good translation and commentary is essential..."

That's OK. If you like, I can email you my post about the Gita when I put it on my Facebook group. If this suits you, you can email me at harshs66@hotmail.com.


message 35: by Gail (new)

Gail (appleshoelace) I like books written by Carthusian monks. They are all anonymous - they just say 'by a Carthusian', because they weren't allowed to be named. Books like The Prayer of Love and Silence, Interior Prayer, etc. (no one has reviewed these yet, I see - maybe they are not widely available or people aren't interested in reading about the life and faith of Carthusian monks. I find it fascinating though.).

And I really liked the book about a guy who asked if he could live alongside the Carthusians for a while, to write a book about it: Hear Our Silence (I see no one's reviewed this one either. I'll have to add it and review it - I read it earlier this year, and remember the details quite clearly).

I like Karen Armstrong's books - about her time as a nun, and also about how she adapted back to life outside the convent and how she searched for her own understanding of God and spirituality.

I like Reframing Religious Life: An Expanded Vision for the Future, by Diarmuid O'Murchu (another one that hasn't been reviewed here yet) - about the future of monastic life and his suggestions of how it could be reframed and reworded to make sense in contemporary society.

I also like François Fénelon's writings.

And many more - it's hard to pick only a few favourites, but these are the ones that came to mind first.


message 36: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Wow Gail, some of those look fascinating!

I'm almost certain some will end up on my to-read list. I'm particularly interested in the one by the former nun, but several others look good too. Thanks for sharing!


message 37: by C.D. (new)

C.D. (skymama) Shiv wrote: "Charbel wrote: "Best religion books that you've read?

My list:
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
[book:Al-Gh..."


I almost forgot about Crossing the Threshold of Hope, yes, that's a good one.


message 38: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) A friend just recommended this book to me, and I have it on order: Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. The Amazon blurb says:

"Showing the deep connection between our present ecological crisis and our lack of awareness of the sacred nature of creation, this series of essays from spiritual and environmental leaders around the world shows how humanity can transform its relationship with the Earth. Combining the thoughts and beliefs from a diverse range of essayists, this collection highlights the current ecological crisis and articulates a much-needed spiritual response to it. Perspectives from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American beliefs as well as physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, make this a well-rounded contribution. The complete list of contributors are Oren Lyons, Thomas Berry, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chief Tamale Bwoya, Joanna Macy, Sandra Ingerman, Richard Rohr, Wendell Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Sister Miriam MacGillis, Satish Kumar, Vandana Shiva, Pir Zia Inayat-Kahn, Winona LaDuke, John Stanley, John Newall, Bill Plotkin, Geneen Marie Haugen, Jules Cashford, and Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee."


message 39: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Presently reading Stations of the Cross. A lovely book that contains the paintings of Chris Gollon in colour. Chris Gollon had painted them in 8 years and today they are found in the Church of St John on Bethnal Green (London's East end). Basing herself on each of these paintings, the writer Sara Maitland has given short narrations. They are given in the form of small stories. They are simply excellent. She transports us to the times of Jesus and each of the character is presented in a human way. Loving this book.

Has anyone ever visited the church mentioned to see the paintings?

Here is the link to see the paintings: http://www.chrisgollon.com/collection...


message 40: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13415 comments Mod
I've been suggested today Philosophy As a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault. Have any of you read it? I'll look for it in my library soon...


message 41: by Noel (new)

Noel Brady (noel-brady) Dhanaraj wrote: "Finished the book Jesus, An Historical Approximation. A highly recommended book. If any one wants to know more of the historical Jesus this book would satisfy your curiosity. It is n..."

Wow, I came here specifically to ask about this topic, and here is a recommendation already! :) I am not religious, but I admire Jesus the person, his philosophies, and am curious to learn more about his life.


message 42: by Noel (new)

Noel Brady (noel-brady) Oh dang, my county library system doesn't have it. :( Does anyone have other suggestions for a biography of Jesus from an academic perspective?


message 43: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments @ Shannon: Try the Oxford University's Very Short Introduction on Jesus (Jesus: A Very Short Introduction). It may be short but in the section called 'suggested reading' you might find some interesting titles. But I would strongly recommend the Jose A. Pagola's book.


message 44: by Lee (new)

Lee Whitney (boobearcat) Just bought Christian Theology by Alister E. MCGrath and Mary by Sholem Asch at a church yard sale. So excited!


message 45: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Have you read that one before Lee? Let me know what you think once you've read it. Maybe I'll give it a try. :)


message 46: by Gill (last edited Apr 12, 2015 05:32AM) (new)

Gill | 5720 comments I enjoyed this animation about 'How do you know you're real?'

It brought back memories of our Descartes read-along.

http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/...


message 47: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2690 comments Gill wrote: "I enjoyed this animation about 'How do you know you're real?'

It brought back memories of our Descartes read-along.

http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/......"


Great video Gill! It reminded of philosophy class back in school, and a bit of our Bertrand Russell group read!


message 48: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2690 comments Gill wrote: "I enjoyed this animation about 'How do you know you're real?'

It brought back memories of our Descartes read-along.

http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/......"


Great video Gill! It reminded of philosophy class back in school, and a bit of our Bertrand Russell group read!


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

The Existential Jesus by John Carroll.

Lamarckism is rubbish.


message 50: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments I started reading The Sayings of Muhammad only because obliged by my son. I'm not liking it. It's informative but I don't like to read about Abrahamic religions. I have finished the introduction and now I should start to read the sayings, the most important sentences of the Quran. I hope to be able to finish it :/


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