Dead Wood and Rushing Water: Essays on Mormon Faith, Culture, and Family
Boyd Petersen, the incoming editor of Dialogue, opines on Mormon faith and culture.
Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide
Grant Hardy's close literary reading of the Book of Mormon. My Review • 12Qa • 12Qb
Terryl L. Givens: People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture
The history of LDS architecture, music, dance, theater, literature, cinema, and scholarship in light of four "paradoxes" in Mormon culture: authority vs. autonomy, certainty vs. searching, sacred vs. banal, and election vs. exile.
Post 1 • Pub Note • T&S intvw
The Angel and the Beehive
Armand Mauss uses sociology and history to look at the 20th-century LDS stuggle to be accepted as mainstream while retaining a unique Mormon identity.
Pub Note • My Review
Mauss interview • 12Qa • 12Qb
Gregory A Prince: David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism
Winner of MHA's 2006 Turner-Bergera award for Best Biography. Surprising new perspectives on many of the key events of the McKay era and the decade following. A must read for any Church history buff.
Intro • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3
The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
John H. Walton presents his theory that Creation is God's temple.
Post 1 • Post 2 • Post 3
Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
An enlightening little book, with emphasis on understanding what is happening in modern Christianity.
Post 1 • Post 2
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter
Stephen Prothero's religions of the world book.
Post 1 • Post 2
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us
A detailed empirical look at what has happened in American religion the last fify years. • Post 1 • Post 2
Neil Shubin: The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People
A follow-up to Shubin's Your Inner Fish, this time emphasizing the cosmic rather than the terrestrial story of the development of human anatomy. We are star dust.
Alone in the Universe: Why Our Planet Is Unique
The prolific astrophysicist and science writer John Gribbin reviews where Earth came from, why it is here, and how it will end (in a rain of cometary chunks from the Oort Cloud in about a million years). Read all about it in my post The Fate of the Earth.
The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet
Robert M. Hazen gives a geologist's fascinating review of earth history. Magma is a lot more interesting than you thought. In my post Volcanism, Mormonism, and Historical Contingency I note the connection between the stupendous eruption of Tambora in 1815 and the relocation of Joseph Smith's family from Vermont to Palmyra, New York.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Working in the EP paradigm, Jonathan Haidt shows there is more to morality than harm and fairness (add liberty, loyalty, authority, and sanctity). My Review
The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions
Karl Giberson and Francis Collins on evolution, the age of the earth, and other faith-science issues.
Post 1 • Post 2
Karl Giberson: Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution
He went to college a fundamentalist Christian and graduated as a Christian (but no longer fundamentalist) physicist.
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
Carl Sagan, of Cosmos fame, talks about astronomy and his own views on God and religion. • Post 1 • Post 2
John Polkinghorne: Exploring Reality: The Intertwining of Science and Religion
A scientist-theologian looks at physics, human nature, ethics, and evil. • My Post
John Polkinghorne: Belief in God in an Age of Science
How does God act in a world governed by natural laws? • My Post
Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief
Biologist Lewis Wolpert investigates how we form our beliefs about the natural world and religion. • My Post
Francis S. Collins: The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
A geneticist on theism. • My Post
The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began
How the Great War quickly came to overshadow other major events that preceded it. In my post The Lost History of 1844 I suggest the assassination of Joseph Smith in 1844 did much the same thing, albeit on a much smaller scale.
All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age
Two noted philosophers use Homer, Dante, Descartes, Kant, and Melville to find meaning in our disenchanted modern world. • My Post
A Brief History of History: Great Historians and the Epic Quest to Explain the Past
Reviews the great historians of the past, including those writing problematic religious and church history. • My Post
Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy
How the problem of evil framed the project of modern philosophy. • My Review
The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart
Is residential self-sorting driving polarized politics and associated changes in society and religion? • My post
Damon Linker: The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege
All about the vast right-wing religious conspiracy, by a former conspirator. • My post
Simon Baron-Cohen: The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism
Presents research that, even at birth, female brains are predisposed toward empathy and figuring out "other minds," whereas male brains are inclined to systematize and classify.
The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America
Companion volume to the PBS series.
American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
200 years of public religion.
Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times
Marathon, Thermopylae, and all that.
Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England
Property law conquers New England.
A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History
Mind-expanding. • My Review
Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West
A guide for the perplexed.
Pub Note • Part 1 • Part 2
1491 : New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Up-to-date survey. My Review
Blackburn: Think: A Compelling Intro to Philosophy
It will make you think. Part 1
A Short History of Modern Philosophy
Scruton's fine intro to philosophy.
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Help for the metaphorically impaired.
Literary Theory: A Very Short Intro
Crisp introduction to literary theory.