The 10 Books on Religion You Must Read

(1) The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Byrne’s New Age religious self-help book explores the power of positive thinking. The spirituality espoused in the text operates under the principle of the „Laws of Attraction.“ This principle underscores how one’s own thinking can control the outcome of all areas of life.

(2)The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Rushdie’s highly controversial novel creates a fictional tale with powerful religious implications. The actions of the two protagonists, Saladin Chamcha and Gibreel Farishta, as well as Gibreel’s dreams offer a strong critique of fundamentalist Islam as well as Christianity. While he focuses primarily on Islam, Rushdie subverts the foundational tenants of both creeds to reveal the danger of absolutist religions.

(3) The Shack by W.M. Paul Young
In this story, Mack, a father grieving over the tragic loss of his daughter, experiences God in his painful and emotional return to the shack where she was supposedly killed. Mack’s encounters with God demonstrate the living reality of the Divine.

(4) Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Lewis, a twentieth-century theologian, explores the tenants of Christianity in this examination of the complicated issues of theology. Lewis‘ text articulates why Christian’s believe what they do revealing the spiritual rationale which informs Christianity.

(5) The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis
Despite being written in the fifteenth century this religious The Imitation of Christ continues to be a foundational text which articulates Catholic and Christian religious ideology. A Kempis‘ inspirational words underscore the importance of living a life devoted first, and foremost, to Christ.

(6) In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
Although written in 1896, this book started the „What Would Jesus Do“ movement. Sheldon’s fictional novel demonstrates the expansive social reformation achieved after the congregation of one church agrees to live their life under this principle for one year.

(7) Loss and Gain by John Henry Newman
Cardinal Newman’s fictional narrative is based upon his own conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism. His choice to convert was highly controversial given the religious environment of nineteenth-century England. Newman’s book provides a helpful examination of the theological issues that separate Protestantism from Catholicism.

(8) The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Warren’s devotional offers daily inspiration focused on ways to apply and integrate Christian principles into one’s life. Bible verses are used throughout the book and Warren reveal how Scripture can come alive through one’s own actions.

(9) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver’s novel highlights the problematic aspects of Christian evangelism. The narrative focuses on Nathan Price and his family who are missionaries in the Congo. The book explores the consequences of forcing religion onto other people and the price Nathan’s own family must pay for his religious ‚call‘.

(10) The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
A canonical seventeenth-century allegory, Bunyan’s didactic novel characterizes the the journey of Christian, the protagonist. Christian’s pilgrimage charts the trajectory of salvation, including struggles as well as triumphs. Next to the Bible, Bunyan’s text was the most read book of the nineteenth-century.

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