New Books Network

Phil Zuckerman, “Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment” (New York University Press, 2010)
It is not uncommon for many Americans to believe that morality and order comes from God and religion. A society without these elements would consequently be immoral and chaotic. When Phil Zuckerman traveled to Scandinavia, however, where he would spend the next fourteen months, he found a stable and content... Read More
Kathryn Lofton, “Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon” (University of California Press, 2011)
In December of 2011, Oprah Winfrey appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to talk about her new big plans and her inspirations for the future. Oprah replied, “For me at this particular time in my life I recognize that everything is about moving closer to that which is God. And... Read More
Hank Glassman, “The Face of Jizō: Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism” (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012)
In this episode, we talk with Prof. Hank Glassman who’s written a new book titled The Face of Jizo : Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism (University of Hawaii Press, 2012). Jizo is a Buddhist Bodhisattva whose presence has become ubiquitous throughout Japan as the protector of travelers, women,... Read More
Robert F. Shedinger, “Was Jesus a Muslim?: Questioning Categories in the Study of Religion” (Fortress Press, 2009)
“Islam isn’t a religion – it is a way of life.” I have heard both Muslims and non-Muslims express this sentiment. For believers this statement is meant to demonstrate how comprehensive God’s message is, covering not only the so-called spiritual aspects of life but also the seemingly secular components too.... Read More
Elizabeth West, “African Spirituality in Black Women’s Fiction: Threaded Visions of Memory, Community, Nature, and Being” (Lexington Books, 2011)
Elizabeth West has written an insightful study about the presence of African spirituality in the autobiographies, poetry, speeches and novels of African American women, ranging from Phylis Wheatley to Harriet Wilson to Zora Neale Hurston. West’s book is titled African Spirituality in Black Women’s Fiction: Threaded Visions of Memory, Community,... Read More
Robert F. Barsky and Noam Chomsky, “Zellig Harris: From American Linguistics to Socialist Zionism” (MIT Press, 2011)
Zellig Harris’s name is famous in linguistics primarily for his early work on transformational grammar and his influence on his most famous student, Noam Chomsky. However, much of his linguistic work has since fallen into comparative obscurity. Moreover, his political research and activism – about which he was especially guarded... Read More
Eric Weiner, “Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine” (Twelve, 2012)
In his new book, Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine (Twelve, 2011), Eric Weiner, former correspondent for both NPR and the New York Times, confronts his spiritual side after a medical emergency takes him too close to death. Weiner’s quest to understand faith carries him across the globe,... Read More