New religion and spirituality books releasing in October include Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön’s thoughts on death, history professor David Hollinger’s take on Christianity’s American Fate, and two titles that are timed with Halloween: The Untamed Witch and The Book of Seances.


Oct. 4

How We Live Is How We Die by Pema Chödrön (Shambhala, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-61180-924-4). Buddhist nun Chödrön considers how Tibetan teachings on life and death can inform one’s day-to-day decisions. 50,000-copy announced first printing.

To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II by George Weigel (Basic, $30, ISBN 978-0-465-09431-8). Weigel, a distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, examines the importance and legacy of the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s.

The First Advent in Palestine: Reversals, Resistance, and the Ongoing Complexity of Hope by Kelley Nikondeha (Broadleaf, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5064-7479-3) examines the gospels of Luke and Matthew and proffers historical contextualization for Jesus’s birth in Palestine.

The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick by Lidia Pradas (Fair Winds, $24.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7603-7663-8) outlines how to customize one’s witchcraft practice and get creative with its applications.

The Power of Ideas: Words of Faith and Wisdom by Jonathan Sacks (Hodder Faith, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-3998-0001-3). This collects the radio broadcasts and articles of the late Sacks, an Orthodox rabbi in the U.K. from 1991 to 2013.

Oct. 6

Does Scripture Speak for Itself? The Museum of the Bible and the Politics of Interpretation by Jill Hicks-Keeton and Cavan Concannon (Cambridge Univ., $27.95, ISBN 978-1-108-49331-4) probes the intersection of scripture and politics by arguing that the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., promotes white evangelicalism.

Oct. 11

Christianity’s American Fate: How Religion Became More Conservative and Society More Secular by David A. Hollinger (Princeton Univ., $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-23388-8). History professor Hollinger chronicles the surging popularity of conservative evangelicalism since the 1960s.

Confessions of a Crappy Christian: Real-Life Talk About All the Things Christians Aren’t Sure We’re Supposed to Say—and Why They Matter to God by Blake Guichet (Tyndale Momentum, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4964-5704-2) offers guidance to Christians who feel unsure about how to fulfill God’s vision for them.

Oct. 15

The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals about the Compulsion to Believe by John C. Wathey (Oct. 15, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-63388-806-7). Computational biologist Wathey explores the behavioral and evolutionary mechanisms that give rise to perceptions of and belief in the divine.

Oct. 18

Beyond Welcome: Centering Immigrants in Our Christian Response to Immigration by Karen González. (Brazos, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-58743-560-7). González reflects on immigrating to the U.S. from Guatemala and offers guidance on how Christians can fight xenophobia and better serve immigrants in churches.

Behind Closed Doors: A Guide to Help Parents and Teens Navigate Through Life's Toughest Issues by Jessica Peck (Thomas Nelson, $18.99, 978-0785291985). Pediatric nurse practitioner, mom of four explores how to open lines of communication with teenagers in order to enhance their mental health and sense of security.

The Book of Seances: A Guide to Divination and Speaking to Spirits by Claire Goodchild (Little, Brown Spark, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-35334-2) dishes on supernatural encounters and how to safely commune with the dead.

Hearts Ablaze: Parables for the Queer Soul by Rolf Nolasco Jr. (Morehouse, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64065-365-8) offers a queer-positive analysis of 10 parables that highlight Jesus’s commitment to welcoming all followers.

Global Faith, Worldly Power: Evangelical Internationalism and U.S. Empire, edited by John Corrigan, Melani McAlister, and Axel R. Schäfer (Univ. of North Carolina, $29.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4696-7059-1), lays out how missionary objectives overlapped with the expansion of American imperialism from the 19th century to today.

Oct. 25

40 Questions about Women in Ministry by Kelley Mathews and Sue Edwards (Kregel, $23.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8254-4725-9) uses a question-and-answer format to grapple with the roles women play in Christian institutions.

Oct. 27

Care: How People of Faith Can Respond to Our Broken Health System by G. Scott Morris (Eerdmans, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8028-8237-0) outlines how faith-based organizing can meet the needs of people underserved or shut out of the U.S. healthcare system.

Oct. 28

The Kabbalistic Tree by J.H. Chajes (Penn State Univ., $99.95, ISBN 978-0-271-09345-1) presents an illustrated exploration of ilanot, or the parchment sheets, used by ancient Jewish practitioners to visualize the divine with treelike drawings.

Oct. 30

The Death of Christ: The Bible and Popular Culture vs. Archaeological and Historical Evidence by Steven Rutledge (Pen & Sword, $34.95, ISBN 978-1-399-08877-0) situates Jesus’s life within the historical and political context of the Roman Empire.

Oct. 31

Sympathy, Solidarity, and Silence: Three European Baptist Responses to the Holocaust by Lee Spitzer (Judson, $29.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8170-1835-1) details how theology led Baptists in France, Germany, and the U.K. to adopt divergent reactions to the horrors of Nazi Europe.


Oct. 4

Within These Gilded Halls: A Regency Romance by Abigail Wilson (Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7852-5330-3). Phoebe Radcliff apprentices for esteemed painter Miss Drake and helps her renovate a storied ballroom until Miss Drake’s murder leads Phoebe on an unexpected hunt for a fabled treasure.

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon (Revell, $17.99 paper, ISBN 978-0800736194). Forensic pathologist Grace Reilly notices a series of suspicious deaths among elderly residents, and Sheriff Nate Cox is skeptical until an investigation turns dangerous.

Oct. 11

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright (Bethany, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7642-3833-8). A remote healer makes an unlikely alliance with the local doctor after she’s targeted by a murderer.

Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck (Enclave, $24.99, ISBN 979-8886050080) follows Jolan the Dream Teller in the glacial nation of Norgard who is betrayed by those closes to her. She must find forgiveness in order to save the man she loves, her calling, and her freedom.

Oct. 25

Happily Ever Amish by Shelley Shepard Gray (Kensington, $26, ISBN 978-1-4967-3982-7). This series launch set in the Apple Creek Amish community follows shy Addie Byler as she develops a courtship through letters with a secret admirer.