This season, many books from religion and spirituality publishers deal with trauma—particularly relating to gun violence, as the nation continues to grapple with issues surrounding gun control. Also on the list are titles that exhibit reality TV’s ever-increasing influence on religious publishing.
Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim’s Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace
Anthony B. Thompson, with Denise George. Bethany, June 4
Thompson, a pastor, explains why he decided to publicly forgive Dylann Roof for killing his wife during the 2015 mass shooting at Charleston, S.C.’s Emanuel AME Church.
Consider the Women: A Provocative Guide to Three Matriarchs of the Bible
Debbie Blue. Eerdmans, $18
Examining the biblical stories of Esther, Hagar, and Mary, Blue, founding minister of House of Mercy in St. Paul, Minn., provides a female-centric rereading of Scripture that will be a conversation starter in congregations.
Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot
Valerie Elliot Shepard. B&H, Feb. 1
Jim Elliot was killed by the Huaorani tribe of Ecuador while working as a missionary among them. Here, Elliot’s daughter publishes letters he wrote to his wife in his final months. They reveal an intimate conversation about love, faith, and the work of missionaries.
Fire by Night: Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament
Melissa Florer-Bixler. Herald, Apr. 9
Mennonite pastor Florer-Bixler guides readers through the Old Testament, musing on issues including white supremacy, immigration, and the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities.
For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness After the Charleston Massacre
Sharon Risher. Chalice, June 1
Reverend Risher, whose mother was killed during the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., explores her mother’s life and the church she grew up attending. Risher describes her struggle to forgive her mother’s killer.
The Four Horsemen: The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution
Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Random House, Mar. 19
Made up primarily of a transcript of a conversation between the four major New Atheists in 2007, this also serves as an outline of their ideas and a strong response to criticisms directed at New Atheism.
In Love with the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, with Helen Tworkov. Random/Spiegel & Grau, May 7
This candid memoir from Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma traditions, recounts his decision to take an indefinite retreat and the near-fatal experience of food poisoning that inspires his ruminations on the Buddhist bardos.
Miracle Lady: Kathryn Kuhlman and the Transformation of Charismatic Christianity
Amy Collier Artman. Eerdmans, Mar. 19
Artman, religious studies instructor at Missouri State University, chronicles the life of Kathryn Kuhlman (1907–1976), a leading figure in charismatic Christianity and “miracle healing,” arguing that she has been unfairly overlooked in the religious history of the 20th century.
Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom
Elisabeth Hasselbeck. WaterBrook, Apr. 2
Former The View host Hasselbeck shares her life story as a journey of faith. She details her marriage and career in television alongside her relationship with God, exploring the challenges she has overcome and how her faith has matured because of them.
River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey
Helen Prejean. Random House, Jul. 16
Prejean, a Catholic nun and author of Dead Man Walking, writes about challenges facing the Catholic Church and passionately addresses the need to abolish the death penalty and reform criminal sentencing laws.