One of the country’s top biblical scholars, Bart Ehrman, returns to the subject of the historical Jesus in How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. Ehrman’s scholarship is always solid and his writing a model of clarity, even while his conclusions—as well as his stance as a nonbeliever—challenge and irritate more traditional Christian believers and scholars. A response book is forthcoming, and publisher HarperOne, which has had success with Ehrman previously, is smartly bringing out the book during the Lenten season, a time of reflection for Christians preparing for Easter.
Those who want to duck that debate altogether can instead opt for Women of Duck Commander by the female side of the Duck Dynasty, Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica, and Lisa Robertson. Books by the hirsute reality TV hunting clan continue to fly, so this extension of the brand also underscores the faith (and female) element of the family story.
Other familiar names bring new offerings. Instinct by T.D. Jakes is an Oprah-ish book about relying on intuition to achieve success. Its success will demonstrate whether the preacher’s own instincts for populist applied Christianity remain on target. Going deeper is Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity by Ronald Rolheiser, a Catholic priest and author, who uses the lens of Catholic spirituality to trace the arc of spiritual maturation. One of Rolheiser’s previous books, The Holy Longing, has sold more than 200,000 copies, and is a consistently popular title on the subject of spirituality. Another author with a track record, Brian McLaren, promises to continue adapting Christianity to postmodernity with We Make the Road by Walking, which develops “spoken-word theology” for modern audiences. The book’s chapters are designed to be read aloud.
WWII books have proven appeal for history buffs, and two forthcoming titles examine figures from that era, one familiar and the other not so much. Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh is still another biography of the German Resistance martyr and Lutheran pastor, whose life and choices continue to fascinate. Marsh, a religious studies scholar who heads a project on lived theology, draws on new research and archival access. (A 2010 biography, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, was a bestseller.) Less famous is American Army chaplain Henry Gerecke, who ministered to Nazis on trial for war crimes at Nuremberg. His story is the subject of Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis by religion journalist Tim Townsend. PW’s review said, “Townsend’s accessible account captures the strangeness and horror of Gerecke’s assignment”; Morrow is printing a hefty 50,000 copies.
Talking about religion these days often brings up talk about nonreligion and/or atheism. The screechy first-generation atheist screeds have been succeeded by more nuanced consideration of nonbelief; The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God, by journalist and historian Peter Watson, charts the post-Nietzsche death of God by looking at the effects of atheism in a variety of fields, among them the arts. A starred PW review in our February 18 issue praised Watson’s ability to “elegantly connect the dots.” But believers will also have their day. The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text by biblical studies scholar Michael Coogan takes a new and brief look at the Decalogue, examining its history and underlying ideals. Those who would just as soon skip both atheism and what’s new in biblical studies in favor of a novel have a choice in Child of Mine by Beverly and David Lewis. Beverly is the mamm of the Amish romance novel craze, and this one includes an Amish nanny but is not principally set in the Amish world, instead involving a mother whose child was kidnapped.
PW’s Top 10 Spring Religion
How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. Bart D. Ehrman. HarperOne, Mar.
Women of Duck Commander. Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica & Lisa Robertson. Howard Books, Apr.
Instinct. T.D. Jakes. FaithWords, May.
Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity. Ronald Rolheiser. Doubleday/Image, Mar.
We Make the Road by Walking. Brian McLaren. Jericho, June
Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Charles Marsh. Knopf, Apr.
Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis. Tim Townsend. Morrow, Mar.
The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God. Peter Watson. Simon & Schuster, Feb.
The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text. Michael Coogan. Yale Univ., Apr.
Child of Mine. Beverly & David Lewis. Bethany House, June
Mom Seeks God: Finding Grace in the Chaos by Julia L. Roller (Apr., paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4267-7102-6) chronicles a young mother’s yearlong journey through spiritual disciplines while keeping up with her toddler.
Vinedresser’s Notebook: Spiritual Lessons in Pruning, Waiting, Harvesting and Abundance by Judith Sutera (Apr., paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1426773839). The author, a vinedresser, theologian, psychologist, and nun, offers a visual meditation combined with short reflections about the spiritual life.
Embracing the Love God Wants You to Have by Taffi Dollar (June, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-0-06-231672-1) teaches every woman how to bolster her most pivotal relationship: the one she has with herself. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Global Religious Movements Across Borders: Sacred Service, edited by Stephen M. Cherry and Helen Rose Ebaugh (Mar., paper, $39.95, ISBN: 978-1-4094-5688-9), explores how religious roots are shaping organizations that seek to aid people across political and geographic boundaries.
St. Peter’s B-list, edited by Mary Ann B. Miller (Mar., paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-59471-474-0), features poems by such award-winning poets as Mary Karr, Paul Mariani, Franz Wright, and Kate Daniels, inviting readers to view the saints in fresh, quirky ways.
No Problem by Robert J. Wicks (Mar., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-933495-64-4) shows that personal transformation is attainable through a day-by-day process of identifying and turning the next corner of one’s spiritual life.
Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer (May, $16.99, paper, ISBN 978-1-4336-8388-6) shows how churches and individuals can use the power of the Gospel to help people in recovery. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
Double Play: Faith and Family First by Ben and Julianna Zobrist, with Mike Yorkey (Apr., $24.99, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-4336-8331-2). Major League Baseball all-star Ben Zobrist and his singer wife, Julianna, share how their faith has affected their family life and careers in professional baseball and music.
How to Be a Christian Without Going to Church: The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community by Kelly Bean (July, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8010-7242-0) offers a hopeful vision of alternative Christian community for those disenchanted with traditional churches.
Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated by James Emery White (May, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8010-1623-3) analyzes popular ministry models that fail to reach the “nones” (those who claim no traditional faith) and offers proven tactics for bringing them into the church.
Leisure and Spirituality: Biblical, Historical, and Contemporary Perspectives by Paul Heintzman (June, paper, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-8010-4872-2) explores the link between leisure and spirituality, offering a comprehensive Christian understanding of its importance for contemporary society.
Where Is God When I’m Afraid? Live with Confidence That He Is Always with You by Pamela L. McQuade (June, paper, $2.99, ISBN 978-1-62416-997-7) shows God is always with you, in spite of and in the midst of worries.
Thank You, Billy Graham: A Tribute to the Life and Ministry of Billy Graham by Jerushah Armfield, Aram Tchividjian, and Boz Tchividjian (Mar., paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-1-62836-634-1) compiles inspiring stories about the evangelist and his legacy.
The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confession by John Cornwell (Mar., hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-465-03995-1) relates the history of the sacrament and explores its power.
Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy, edited by Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi (Feb., paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-8070-7975-1). The editors of the groundbreaking anthology Love, InshAllah compile essays that explore the most intimate parts of Muslim men’s lives.
Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life by Sarah Jakes (Apr., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7642-1209-3). The author, daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes, shares her inspiring story of overcoming past mistakes and finding faith and purpose again. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions by Craig Blomberg (Apr., paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-58743-321-4) offers an accessible, nuanced argument for the Bible’s reliability in response to contemporary extreme views about the authority of Scripture.
Face to Face with Jesus: A Former Muslim’s Extraordinary Journey to Heaven and Encounter with the God of Love by Samaa Habib & Bodie Thoene (June, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8007-9579-5) recounts the experience of a former Muslim woman’s journey to heaven and back when she was a victim of a terrorist bombing.
Looking Forward, Looking Backward: Forty Years of Women’s Ordination, edited by Fredrica Harris Thompsett (May, paper, $14, ISBN 978-0-8192-2922-9) explores the effects of women’s ordination on the church, anticipates the future, and features voices from across the Anglican Communion.
Columbia Univ. Press
Atheists in America by Melanie E. Brewster (June, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-231-16358-3) features more than two dozen narratives by atheists from different backgrounds across the U.S., ranging in age, race, sexual orientation, and degree of irreligiosity.
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines (May, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-60142-516-4) affirms the key tenets of a gospel-centered, orthodox hermeneutic while presenting a clear and compelling case for embracing diversity of sexual orientation.
David C. Cook
AHA by Kyle Idleman (Mar., paperback, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-7814-1049-6) explores three vital ingredients—awakening, honesty, action—that can combine for lasting change.
Rich in Love: When God Rescues Messy People by Irene Garcia (Feb., paperback, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4347-0688-1) is the true story of a couple who have birthed, fostered, or adopted 32 children.
Live Right Now: Honest Answers to Life’s Tough Questions by Sabrina D. Black (Feb., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-57293-816-8) offers hard-hitting answers to tough questions women often ask about spiritual growth, grief and loss, burnout, sexuality, parenting, leadership, and more.
Wm. B. Eerdmans
Dare We Speak of Hope? Searching for a Language of Life in Faith and Politics by Allan Aubrey Boesak (Feb., paper, $18, ISBN 978-0-8028-7081-0). The phrase “hopeful politics” has dominated public discourse in connection with the inspiring rise of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and the remarkable election of Barack Obama as president of the U.S. But what happens when that hope disappoints?
Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks by Walter Brueggemann (Feb., paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-8028-7072-8). One of the most highly regarded Old Testament scholars probes society in crisis from the ground up.
The Book of Psalms by Beth Tanner, Nancy deClaisse-Walford, and Rolf Jacobson (July, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-0-8028-2493-6) is a detailed one-volume commentary on the Psalms that reflects the combined insights of three brilliant younger biblical scholars.
Instinct by T.D. Jakes (May, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-4555-5404-1) shows readers how to use their God-given intuition to achieve ultimate success.
You Can Begin Again by Joyce Meyer (Apr., hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-1-4555-1741-1) explores the beauty of new beginnings through God’s inexhaustible grace.
Now You See Me by Kathy Sanders (Apr. hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-1-4555-2619-2). The grandmother of two Oklahoma City bombing victims reveals her secret correspondence with one of the convicted terrorists in this surprising tale of faith and forgiveness.
Fordham Univ. Press
(dist. by Oxford Univ. Press)
More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church: Voices of Our Times by Christine Firer Hinze and J. Patrick Hornbeck II (Mar., paper, $28, ISBN 978-0-8232-5658-7) gives voice to the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons with and within the Catholic Church.
Be Still and Know: God’s Presence in Silence by Norris J. Chumley (Feb., paper, $29, ISBN 978-1-4514-7051-2) introduces hesychasm, or silence, and the lives of its early practitioners, showing how the spiritual practice can be applied today.
Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation by Richard Rohr (Mar., paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-1-61636-757-2) focuses on finding God in the depths of silence.
Saint Francis, Pope Francis: A Common Vision by Gina Loehr (Mar., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-61636-747-3) explores the relationship between the new pope and his namesake.
Georgetown Univ. Press
Sex, Violence, and Justice: Contraception and the Catholic Church by Aline H. Kalbian (May, paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-62616-048-4) outlines the Church’s position against artificial contraception as principally rooted in three biblical commandments.
How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee by Bart D. Ehrman (Mar., hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-177818-6) argues how Jesus became God in the minds of his followers and how this belief became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin (Mar., hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-202423-7) brings the Gospel stories alive and invites readers to experience the living Jesus through prayer and contemplation. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor (Apr., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-202435-0) explores what it means to live in darkness, uncertain and unsure, and provides a way to find spirituality in those times when answers aren’t apparent. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Harvard Univ. Press
Latino Pentecostals in America: Faith and Politics in Action by Gastón Espinosa (May, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-72887-5) explores the Pentecostal church’s struggle for indigenous leadership, racial equality, women in the ministry, and immigration reform.
Finding Freedom Through Illumination: Achieving Christ-Consciousness by Cardwell C. Nuckols (May, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-7573-1778-1) explains that realization (sometimes called enlightenment, samadi, or moksha) is about becoming one with the Creator.
Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Post-Biblical Times by Edwin Yamauchi and Marvin R. Wilson (July, paperback, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-61970-460-2) provides background information on the world of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament from 2000 B.C.E. to approximately 600 C.E.
In Praise of Adya Kali: Approaching the Primordial Dark Goddess Through the Song of Her Hundred Names by Adita Devi (Mar., paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-935387-54-1) contains text and commentaries on a liturgy of the goddess Kali’s 100 Names.
Women of Duck Commander by Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica & Lisa Robertson (Apr., hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-6330-9). The women of the reality TV hit Duck Dynasty speak out about their roles in the Robertson family and the family’s core values.
Good Call by Jase Robertson (May, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-6353-8). The straight-faced funny man of Duck Dynasty opens up about his personal life, his childhood days with a drunken father, and how he came to faith.
Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God’s Holy Ones by Scott Hahn (May, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-307-59079-4) shows how the examples set by angels and saints can lead to a new, heartfelt understanding of holiness.
Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity by Ronald Rolheiser (Mar., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0804139144) is the long-awaited follow-up to The Holy Longing, one of the top-selling books on Catholic spirituality.
Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.
The Complete Life of Rama: Based on Valmiki’s Ramayana and the Earliest Oral Traditions by Vanamali (July, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-62055-319-0) retells the Ramayana, the ancient Indian tale of love, duty, and sacrifice, for a modern audience.
The Cross and Gendercide: A Theological Response to Global Violence Against Women and Girls by Elizabeth Gerhardt (May, paper, $22, ISBN 978-0-8308-4049-6) proposes a holistic theology of the cross as the basis for a response by the church to a problem that is not only moral and ethical but also confessional.
Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus by C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison (June, paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-8308-4114-1) invites Christians out of franchise-style faith and back into the way of the kingdom of God.
We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren (June, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-14555-1400-7) revitalizes the lost art of “spoken-word theology” for modern audiences, showing how to create a life-changing faith community.
Inventing Hell by Jon M. Sweeney (June, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-4555-8224-2) shows how the modern concept of hell (and who goes there) is based more on Dante’s imaginative Inferno than on biblical text.
The Chutzpah Imperative: Empowering Today’s Jews for a Life That Matters by Rabbi Edward Feinstein (June, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-58023-792-5) creates a new view of chutzpah as Jewish self-empowerment to be God’s partner and repair the world.
The God(s) of Judaism: A Theological and Historical Journey, edited by Rabbi Or N. Rose (June, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-58023-782-6), offers a new look at the many faces of the one God in Judaism from ancient times up to today.
Jewish Publication Society
(dist. by Univ. of Nebraska)
Bar Mitzvah: A History by Michael Hilton (June, paper, $30, ISBN 978-0-8276-0947-1) reviews the long history of the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony.
Future of the African American Church: An Invitation to Dialogue by Ralph Watkins and Justin West (Mar., paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8170-1742-2) doesn’t come with a crystal ball but does serve as an invitation to a conversation.
Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh (Apr., hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-307-26981-2) draws on new research in offering a fresh and comprehensive look at the revered Christian martyr. 35,000-copy announced first printing .
Uncovered: The Truth about Honesty and Community by Rod Tucker (Mar., paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-8796-5). In voice and style evocative of Donald Miller and Scot McKnight, yet with a message all his own, Tucker explores how Christians have become masters of self-deception and fake moral living.
(dist. by IPG)
Why Can’t They Get Along? A Trialogue Between a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian by Dan Cohn-Sherbo, Daewoud El-Alami, and George Chryssides (June, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-7459-5605-3) explores the question of why Christians, Muslims, and Jews often do not get along, even though they all stem from Abraham.
McGill-Queen’s Univ. Press
In Praise of Mixed Religion: The Syncretism Solution in a Multifaith World by William H. Harrison (May, hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-7735-4358-4) advocates for a profound shift in thinking about the mix-and-match approach to religion.
Mercer Univ. Press
Separation of Church and State: Founding Principle of Religious Liberty by Frank Lambert (May, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-0-88146-477-1) tackles the central claims of those who insist that America was conceived as a Christian state.
Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis by Tim Townsend (Mar., hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-199719-8) recounts the story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, in a tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch (Mar., paper, $13.99, ISBN 978-0-8024-1152-5) will help parents study and become an expert on their own children.
United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity by Trillia J. Newbell (Mar., paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-0-8024-1014-6) will inspire, challenge, and encourage readers to pursue the joys of congregational diversity.
Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick (Feb., hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-60142-456-3) tackles the near-universal experience of negative internal chatter.
The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths About Marriage and Divorce by Shaunti Feldhahn and Tally Whitehead (May, hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-60142-562-1) marshals more than seven years of reporting and research to bust destructive myths about the rate of divorce among Christians.
New Leaf/Master Books
Gifted Mind by Dr. Raymond Damadian with Larry Leech (June, casebound, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-89051-803-8). The inventor of the MRI discusses his life, struggles, accomplishments, and faith in God.
New World Library
(dist. by PGW)
Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times by Matthew Fox (July, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-60868-265-2). A contemporary religious maverick connects a 13th-century religious maverick’s radical ideas to our times.
In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Medieval Saint by Donald S. Lopez and Peggy McCracken (Apr., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-393-08915-8) shows how the story of the Buddha was transformed into the legend of a Christian saint.
The Twelve Degrees of Silence by Sister Marie-Aimée de Jésus, edited, trans., and with an intro. by Lucinda Vardey (Feb., paper, $10.95, ISBN 978-2-89646-545-3), guides Catholics from all walks of life through the process of silent prayerful meditation, through the words of a 19th-century spiritual mystic and Carmelite nun.
Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible Through Palestinian Eyes by Mitri Raheb (Feb., paper, $20, ISBN 978-1-62698-065-5) argues that the reality of empire shapes the context of the biblical story and the ongoing experience of Middle East conflict.
From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace by Amy Eilberg (Apr., paper, $25, ISBN 978-1-62698-061-7) shows how ancient Jewish traditions offer a guide to reconciliation and peace building in our lives and world.
Oxford Univ. Press
Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture by Jeff Wilson (Aug., hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-19-982781-7) studies the explosion of American interest in the Buddhist concept of mindfulness.
The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women by Paula Kelly Harline (June, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-19-934650-9) looks into the lives of 19th-century polygamous Mormon wives.
Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church by Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen (Mar., hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-19-934107-8) spotlights young Catholics in America, using data from the groundbreaking National Study of Youth and Religion.
(dist. by PGW)
How to Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh (Apr., paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-937006-58-7) inaugurates a new series of how-to titles by the revered Zen master.
(dist. by IPG)
Prostitutes, Virgins and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women by Paula Trimble-Familetti (June, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1932181951) challenges traditional interpretations of the stories of selected biblical women by asking difficult questions.
The Pilgrim Press
The Gospel According to The Wiz: And Other Sermons from Cinema by Otis Moss III (Feb., paper, $17, ISBN 978-0-8298-1991-5) compiles sermons from the renowned preacher based on popular films such as The Wiz, Avatar, The Color Purple, and The Book of Eli, juxtaposing them to the Bible.
The Parables of Jesus and the Problems of the World: How Ancient Story Comprehends Modern Malaise by Richard Q. Ford (July, paper, $20, ISBN 978-1-59815-144-2) applies the parables of Jesus to modern social justice issues.
Princeton Univ. Press
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography by David Gordon White (May, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-691-14377-4) retraces the course of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra from its ancient origins through its modern resurgence since the 19th century.
Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography by Bernard McGinn (May, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-691-15426-8) tells the story of the most important theological work of the Middle Ages.
Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do by Robert Boston (Mar., paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-61614-911-6) argues that the religious freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment is an individual right, not a license allowing religious organizations to impose their views on others.
American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church by Alex Beam (Apr., hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-61039-313-3) recounts the dramatic weeks leading to the murder of America’s most influential religious prophet, Joseph Smith. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
dist. by PGW
Embattled Saints: My Year with the Sufis of Afghanistan by Kenneth P. Lizzio (May, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-0-8356-0923-4) examines Sufism, Islam’s mystical dimension, through the author’s experience of living in Afghanistan.
Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Sammy Ikua Gachagua (Apr. hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-0-8007-2279-1). A young American woman’s visit to a Kenyan orphanage where she planned to stay one night becomes a year that changed her life and the future of one orphan.
Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller (July, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-59463-282-2) applies the influential Manhattan preacher’s message to the workplace.
Rizzoli Ex Libris
Following St. Francis: John Paul II’s Call for Ecological Action by Marybeth Lorbiecki (Apr., hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-8478-4271-1) presents the environmental teachings of this beloved pope and the hopeful words of Pope Francis.
Rowman & Littlefield
Demystifying Islam: Tackling the Tough Questions by Harris Zafar (June, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-4422-2327-1) offers a guide to what Islam teaches about provocative current issues and also outlines multiple viewpoints within Islam.
Inside the Jesuits: How Pope Francis Will Change the Church and the World by Robert Blair Kaiser (May, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-1-4422-2901-3). An award-winning journalist shows how Pope Francis’s Jesuit spirituality has influenced some of his most symbolic acts and how it will continue to influence his papacy, the Church, and the world.
The Broken and the Whole: Discovering Joy After Heartbreak by Charles S. Sherman (Mar., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-4516-5616-9). In the vein of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, a rabbi gains wisdom after his young son suffers a catastrophic brain-stem stroke.
(dist. by Random House)
Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West by Andrea Miller (Apr., paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-59030-623-9) compiles teachings from the best-known and most respected Buddhist teachers, including Pema Chödrön, Sharon Salzberg, and Roshi Joan Halifax.
Most Intimate: A Zen Approach to Life’s Challenges by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara (Mar., paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-59030-974-2) is the long-awaited first book from this prominent modern American Zen teacher.
(dist. by Random House)
Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism by Yongey Mingyur and Helen Tworkov, foreword by Matthieu Ricard (July, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1611801217) gives detailed instruction and friendly and inspiring advice for those embarking on the Tibetan Buddhist path, from the author of The Joy of Living and Joyful Wisdom.
Simon & Schuster
The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God by Peter Watson (Feb., hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1476754314) reconstructs the history of one of the modern world’s most important and controversial intellectual achievements: atheism.
SIx Points Press
(dist. by Midpoint Trade)
Sixty-Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Passover Haggadah by Nellie Foster and Cass Foster (Feb., paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1589852600) shows how to organize a traditional Jewish Passover seder, from planning through preparation to presentation.
The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings by John Philip Newell (June,hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-59473-542-4) explores eight major features of a new birthing of Christianity using the holy island of Iona as a symbol of new beginnings.
Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla’s Comic Teaching: Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom by Imam Jamal Rahman (Apr., paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-59473-547-9). A first-of-its-kind combination of the legendary wisdom stories of Islam’s great comic foil with spiritual insights for seekers of all traditions or none.
Keeping the Faith Without a Religion by Roger Housden (Mar., hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-62203-091-0) is for the growing population of “spiritual but not religious” seekers, with help for finding an individual path.
Growing Up Godless: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Without Religion by Deborah Mitchell (Apr., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-4549-1098-5) provides guidance to agnostics and atheists struggling with how to assert their beliefs in a reasoned and honest manner.
St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne
American Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton by Joan Barthel (Mar., hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-312-57162-7) is a biography of Elizabeth Seton, the first American saint and founder of the first order of American nuns.
The World’s Great Wisdom by Roger Walsh (Jan., paper, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-4384-4958-6) surveys spiritual and philosophical traditions that speak to the search for wisdom for modern times.
Humble Before the Void by Chris Impey (Apr., hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-59947-392-5) narrates the experience of teaching cosmology to Buddhist monks in Tibet.
King Rules: Ten Truths for You, Your Family, and Our Nation to Prosper by Alveda King (June, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-4002-0500-4). The niece of Martin Luther King Jr. shares a personal collection of lessons and truths that have guided the King family for generations.
The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are by Sheila Walsh (Feb., hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-4002-0487-8) guides women in navigating the emotional storms of life.
Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family’s Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption by Vinh Chung with Tim Downs (May, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-0-8499-4756-8). A Chinese family living in Vietnam joins the ranks of “boat people” and overcomes struggles to raise children in the foreign culture of America.
Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry by Perry Noble (Apr., paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4143-6886-3) A leading pastor admits to struggling with anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide, and walks readers through a plan for overcoming depression and anxiety.
Uncommon Marriage: Learning About Lasting Love and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Together by Tony Dungy and Lauren Dungy, with Nathan Whitaker (Feb., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4143-8369-9). The Super Bowl–winning coach and his wife of three decades share the secrets that hold them together.
Univ. of Notre Dame Press
Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age: Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor, edited by Carlos D. Colorado and Justin D. Klassen (June, paper, $39, ISBN 978-0-268-02376-8), offers a host of analyses of the religious and theological threads running throughout Taylor’s oeuvre.
Univ. of Pennsylvania Press
Zayd by David S. Powers (July, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-0-8122-4617-9) is a comprehensive biography of Zayd, Muhammad’s adopted and later repudiated son.
Univ. of Texas Press
American Christianity: The Continuing Revolution by Stephen D. Cox (Apr., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-292-72910-0) argues that American Christianity can best be understood as a faith always undergoing radical and unpredictable change as believers seek new ways of connecting with God.
(dist. by IPG)
Find It in the Talmud: An Encyclopedia of Jewish Ethics and Conduct by Mordechai Judovits (July, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-965-524-146-4) serves as a pathfinder for those interested in the Talmud.
And Life Comes Back: A Wife’s Story of Love, Loss, and Hope Reclaimed by Tricia Lott Williford (Feb., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-307-73198-2). After her husband died three days before Christmas, Williford explores the ways her family was held in the arms of God when they lost the man they loved.
Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life by Robert Benson (July, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4000-7435-8) describes the habits, practices, and disciplines that shape the author’s approach to the craft of effective, artful writing.
(dist. by Random House)
The Doors of Joy: 19 Meditations for Authentic Living by Daniel Odier (Feb., hardcover, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-78028-671-6) is a Chinese Zen–based approach to disengagement from habitual ways of thinking and practice in order to be present throughout the day.
Westminster John Knox
The Answer to Bad Religion Is Not No Religion: A Guide to Good Religion for Seekers, Skeptics, and Believers by Martin Thielen (Feb., paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-664-23947-3) uses personal stories to illustrate the dangers of bad religion and explains that there is an alternative to abandoning religion: good religion.
From Jesus to the Church: The First Christian Generation by Craig A. Evans (Feb., hardback, $30, ISBN 978-0-664-23905-3) looks at how a tumultuous chain of events from 30 to 70 C.E. led to the separation between the followers of Jesus and other Jews.
Meditation on Perception: Ten Healing Practices to Cultivate Mindfulness by Bhante Gunaratana (June, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-61429-085-8) shows how to use the unique Buddhist practice of meditation on perception, as taught by the bestselling author of Mindfulness in Plain English, to shift perspective and transform mental and physical health.
Inside the Grass Hut: Living Shitou’s Classic Zen Poem by Ben Connelly, foreword by Taigen Dan Leighton (July, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-61429-121-3), unpacks the timeless poem “Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage” by Shitou Xiqian and applies it to contemporary life.
Universal Aspects of the Kabbalah & Judaism by Leo Schaya, edited by Roger Gaetani (Feb., paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-936597-33-8), contains previously unpublished essays by a scholar of the Kabbalah and Judaism.
Yale Univ. Press
The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text by Michael Coogan (Apr., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0300178715) summarizes the complex and surprising history of one of the world’s most famous texts.
Radiant Truths: Essential Dispatches, Reports, Confessions, and Other Essays on American Belief, edited by Jeff Sharlet (Apr., hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-300-16921-8), collects American writings on belief from the Civil War to Occupy Wall Street.
Soul Keeping by John Ortberg (Apr., hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-0-310-27596-1) uses a popular, story-filled approach to the subject of what our soul is and how we can care for it.
What Works by Cal Thomas (Apr., hardcover, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-310-33946-5) looks to see what the past can teach about political, economic, relational, and spiritual solutions for today.
Loveology by John Mark Comer (Feb., hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-0-310-33726-3) answers questions on sex, love, marriage, romance, dating and singleness with rawness and honesty.
The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection: 5 Historical Romances Buoyed by the Sea by Cathy Marie Hake, Lynn A. Coleman, Mary Davis, Susan Page Davis, and Paige Winship Dooly (June 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-162836194-0). Five stories of adventure, challenge, and romance are set in historic locations along American shorelines.
Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Apr. 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-161626083-5). Amanda Pearson leaves the disgrace of a broken engagement and enters the work of a Quaker mission. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Where Courage Calls: A When Calls the Heart Novel by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan (Feb. 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-076421231-4). After a 14-year absence from prairie romance, Janette Oke returns with her daughter Laurel Oke Logan. When new schoolteacher Beth Thatcher is assigned a post in a remote mining community, her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected.
Undetected by Dee Henderson (Apr. 1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-076421243-7). Researcher Gina Gray is on the verge of a breakthrough in sonar technology, and what she’s told Navy Cmdr. Mark Bishop is only the beginning.
Child of Mine by Beverly Lewis and David Lewis (June 1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-076421254-3). Beverly Lewis partners with her husband as co-writer in a family drama. Desperately clinging to the hope of finding her long-lost daughter, Kelly risks missing out on the chance to find love—and a family—once more.
Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury (July, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-147670737-2) offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, designed to create an emotional connection to the Bible.
Threads of Home: A Quilting Story (Part 2) by Jodi Barrows (Feb. 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-080240938-6). The past threatens to destroy the good days ahead as four cousins settle into their new home in Fort Worth, Tex.
The Turning by Davis Bunn (Apr., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-080241168-6). Five very different people get an unexpected yet recognizable message that may herald a religious renewal.
A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley (Feb. 18, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-030773078-7). When Laura Gantt returns home where she recently buried her mother, she hears a startling rumor her father staged his “drowning” and fled to the wild.
Woman of Fortune: A Texas Gold Novel by Kellie Coates Gilbert (June 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-080072272-2). Claire Massey’s world is turned upside down when her cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. How will she respond when her security no longer rests in her checkbook?
The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey (Mar. 11, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-140168822-6). For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for... and the last thing they expect to receive.
The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Feb. 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-141435948-9). Near the end of the Civil War, conditions at Andersonville Prison caused the deaths of 13,000 Union soldiers in a year. Christy Award–winner Groot recaptures the barbaric truths of the historical prison in a reimagining of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman (Feb. 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-141438975-2). When Slade reveals to Mariah his demands to collect his father’s claim to her home, Mariah learns that her own father’s farm was bought with stolen gold. Mariah and Slade must rise above their fathers’ resentments in a tale of love and redemption.
A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert (Apr. 15, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1601425904). In an attempt to save her career, Ivy Clark heads to South Carolina to model wedding dresses at the request of her stepmother. If only her future didn’t rest with Davis Knight, a mysterious photographer.
Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer (May 6, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0307731296). Dinah Hubley, desperate to escape the brothel where she was raised, applies to become a Harvey Girl in this historical romance with a redemptive theme.
Breath of Spring by Charlotte Hubbard (May 1, paper, $6.99, ISBN 978-142013307-3). In the bestselling tradition of Jan Karon ia a tale set in the Amish town of Willow Ridge, where romance and its entanglements put love, loyalty, and faith in the Old Ways to the test.
Huckleberry Summer by Jennifer Beckstrand (June 1, paper, $7.99, ISBN 978-142013358-5). A mischievous octogenarian Amish couple discovers there is nothing more rewarding than sparking unexpected love.
Distortion by Terri Blackstock (Mar. 11, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-031028314-0). After Juliet Cole’s husband of 15 years is gunned down in a dark parking lot before her eyes, she learns that what she thought was a random shooting was a planned attack, and she and her children could be in danger.
Diary of a Real Payne, Book 2: Church Camp Chaos by Annie Tipton (Mar., paper, $5.99, ISBN 978-162416826-0). It’s EJ’s first summer spending an entire week at Camp Christian: friends, swimming, bunk beds, games, campfires, s’mores, hiking, and a gigantic zip line. In classic EJ form, she dreams up fantastic adventures for herself. Ages 8–12.
City on the Hill by Mark Hall and Matthew West, illus. by Tatio Viana (May, $16.99, hardcover, ISBN 978-143368232-2). Hall, lead singer of the Casting Crowns, and writing partner West collaborate on a book based on the popular song of the same name to teach about the Kingdom of God. Ages 4–8.
The Knight and the Firefly: A Boy, a Bug, and a Lesson in Bravery (Firefly Chronicle series) by Amanda Jenkins and Tara McClary Reeves, illus. by Daniel Fernandez (Feb., $12.99, hardcover, ISBN 978-143368119-6). Oliver may be a brave and noble knight by day, but he is terrified of the dark by night until a wise old firefly helps him understand that God’s Word is the light. Ages 4–8.
Wm. B. Eerdmans
Jesus by Anselm Grün, illus. by Ferri Giuliano (Apr., hardcover, $16, ISBN 978-080285438-4), retells the familiar stories of Jesus’ life. Ages 4–8.
(dist. by Cardinal Publishers Group)
A Coat of Many Colors by Johannah Gilman Paiva, illus. by Dhanya M. (Feb., board book, $8.99, ISBN 978-148670048-6). Joseph was given a very special coat by his father, which made his brothers so jealous they sold him into slavery. But Joseph forgave his brothers and helped them, even though they hurt him. Ages 6–8.
(dist. by Kregel/IPG)
Candle Bible Handbook by Terry Jean Day and Carol J. Smith (Mar., paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-185985586-7) explores Bible history, following the key narratives from Genesis to Revelation. Ages 8–12.
(dist. by Guideposts/Ideals)
Rufus and Ryan Celebrate Easter! by Kathleen Long Bostrom, illus. by Rebecca Thornburgh (Feb., board book, $7.99, ISBN 978-082491919-1). Little Ryan and his stuffed monkey, Rufus, learn about the meaning behind the Easter holiday. Ages 2–5.
(dist. by Guideposts/Ideals)
Must-Have Marvin! by Christy Ziglar, illus. by Luanne Marten (Mar., hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-082495657-8). Marvin loves new things, especially the latest, most awesome new things. After he begins to let his friends down, Marvin learns that people are more important than things. Ages 4–8.
Story of Passover by David A. Adler, illus. by Jill Weber (Apr., hardcover, $15.95, ISBN 978-082342902-8), recounts the ageless story of Moses and the journey toward freedom. Ages 4–8.
JEWISH PUBLICATION SOCIETY
(dist. by Univ. of Nebraska Press)
Grandpa’s Third Drawer: Unlocking Holocaust Memories by Judy Tal Kopelman (May, hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-082761204-4; paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-082761221-1). The story of a silent grandfather unexpectedly confronted by his curious and loving grandchild is accompanied by illustrations that show authentic preserved objects donated by Holocaust survivors from Theresienstadt. The original Hebrew edition won the Israeli Ze’ev Prize for Children’s Literature in 2003. Ages 5–8.
Elan, Son of Two Peoples by Heidi Smith Hyde (Mar., hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-0-7613-9051-0). After celebrating his bar mitzvah in 1860s San Francisco, Elan sets off for New Mexico with his Jewish father and Native American mother, where he takes part in a Pueblo coming-of-age ceremony. Ages 5–9.
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren (Feb., hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-4677-1194-4). In 1943 in Nazi-occupied Denmark, Anett and her parents hide a Jewish boy and his mother in their cellar until Anett devises a clever plan for their safe passage to the harbor. Ages 7–11.
The Patchwork Torah by Allison Ofanansky (Mar., hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-4677-0426-7). Fragments of damaged and rescued Torahs from several periods of history are woven together in a tale of four generations of a Torah scribe and his family. Ages 4–8.
(dist. by IPG)
The Lion Little Book of Bedtime Stories by Elena Pasquali, illus. by Nicola Smee (Apr., hardcover, $9.99, ISBN 978-074596459-1), offers 21 bedtime tales from around the world. Ages 3–5.
Just Because by Rebecca Elliott (Apr., board book, $8.99, ISBN 978-074596460-7) tackles the theme of disability in a story of sibling friendship. Ages 5–7.
(dist. by IPG)
Visiting a Mosque by Ruth Nason (Apr., paper, $10.99, ISBN 978-023754409-6) examines mosques and gives details about the special daily prayers. Ages 3–5.
Visiting a Church by Ruth Nason (Apr., paper, $10.99, ISBN 978-023754375-4) invites children to think about church buildings and gives them a peek inside. Ages 3–5.
Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1 by Chuck Black (Mar., paper, $11.99, ISBN 978-160142502-7). A science lab accident at college gives Drew skills and sight beyond that of a normal man in this series starter. Ages 12–up.
Parallax/Plum Blossom Books
(dist. by PGW)
Is Nothing Something? Kids’ Questions and Zen Answers About Life, Death, Family, Friendship, and Everything In-between by Thich Nhat Hanh, illus. by Jessica McClure (Mar., hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-193700665-5). Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh answers questions from kids, helping to plant the seeds of mindfulness. Ages 4–8.
SKY PONY PRESS
(dist. by Perseus)
Jonah and the Whale: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith (Apr., hardcover, $12.95, ISBN 978-162873589-5) is a Lego-brick retelling of the story of the prophet Jonah. Ages 3–6.
We All Need Forgiveness by Mercer Mayer (July, board book, $9.99, ISBN 978-140032250-3; paper, $3.99, ISBN 978-140032251-0). Little Critter learns forgiving not only helps others, it makes him feel better, too. Ages 4–7.
Being Thankful by Mercer Mayer (July, board book, $9.99, ISBN 978-140032248-0; paper, $3.99, ISBN 978-140032249-7). Grandma shows Little Critter why thankfulness is so important and helps make any situation seem so much happier. Ages 4–7.
Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess by Sheri Rose Shepherd, illus. by Shelley Dieterichs (Feb., hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-141437909-8), uses princess characters, simple Bible stories, and scripture from the New Living Translation to share spiritual wisdom and truths. Up to age 4.
Heaven: What’s It Like? How Do We Get There? by Stephen Elkins, illus. by Kirsteen Harris-Jones (Mar., hardcover, $12.99, ISBN 978-141437931-9), explains the foundations of the Christian faith in simple terms through 60 rhyming stories and illustrations. Ages 5–8.
Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World by Alexis York Lumbard, illus. by Alireza Sadeghian (Mar., hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-937786-19-9), shows young readers how important the act of prayer is to all of the major religions. Ages 2–4.
Pups of the Spirit by Jill Gorey and Nancy Haller (Mar., hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-031073061-3) uses puppies to teach about fruit of the spirit traits including love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Ages 4–8.
Whatever You Grow Up to Be by Karen Kingsbury, illus. by Valeria Docampo (Feb., hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-031071646-4), depicts a very special mother-son relationship. Ages 4–8.
Samantha Sanderson at the Movies and Samantha Sanderson on the Scene by Robin Caroll (May, paper, $8.99, ISBN 978-031074245-6) are the first two books in a new series about a girl who dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. Ages 8–12.
Life Behind the Wall: Candy Bombers, Hidden Bunkers, and Smugglers Treasure by Robert Elmer (May, paper, $13.99, ISBN 978-031074265-4) remembers the 55th anniversary of the creation of the Berlin Wall with a portrait of three generations who grew up around the wall. Ages 8–12.