New Books Network

Henrietta Harrison, “The Missionary’s Curse and Other Tales from a Chinese Catholic Village” (University of California Press, 2013)
Henrietta Harrison‘s new book is the work of a gifted storyteller. In its pages, the reader will find Boxers getting drunk on communion wine, wolf apparitions, people waking up from the dead, ballads about seasickness, and flying bicycles. You will also find a wonderfully rich account of three centuries of... Read More
Reza Aslan, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” (Random House, 2013)
Christians in the United States and around the world have varying images of Jesus, from one who turns the other cheek to one who brings the sword. Reza Aslan, in his highly popular and beautifully written new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Random House, 2013),... Read More
A. Glenn Crothers, “Quakers Living in the Lion’s Mouth” (University Press of Florida, 2012)
Deservedly or not, the members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) are often portrayed as one of history’s Good Guys.┬áThe Society was the first organized religious group to condemn slavery on moral and religious grounds. In Quakers Living in the Lion’s Mouth: The Society of Friends in Northern Virginia, 1730-1865... Read More
Scott Sowerby, “Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution” (Harvard UP, 2013)
We all know that the “victors” generally write history. The “losers,” then, often get a bum rap. Such was the case with King James II. He’s got a pretty poor reputation, largely due to the purveyors of the “Whig Interpretation of History.” They claimed that James II was a tyrant... Read More
Michael D. Bailey, “Fearful Spirits, Reasoned Follies: The Boundaries of Superstition in Late Medieval Europe” (Cornell University Press, 2013)
Superstitions flourish in our world–think of the elaborate rituals of baseball players, or knocking wood to avoid tempting fate, or that bit of happiness (or relief) we might experience from finding a lucky (heads up only!) penny. Yet it is part of the mythology of modernity that ours is a... Read More
Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America” (UNC Press, 2012)
Jesus has inspired millions of people to both strive for social justice and commit horrific acts of violence. In the United States, Jesus has remained central in the construction of American identities and debates about Jesus have frequently revolved around his skin color and bodily appearance. In The Color of... Read More
James K. Wellman, Jr.,  “Rob Bell and A New American Christianity” (Abingdon Press, 2012)
As one of Time Magazine‘s “100 Most Influential People in the World” Rob Bell is a name that is now known well beyond the confines of his megachurch in Grandville, Michigan or within evangelical circles. Bell has been at the forefront of contemporary Christian movements in America and is situated... Read More