In serious times like these, readers want solid information from authors with serious credentials. The trend of scholars writing trade books for non-specialist audiences has been gathering steam for the past 15 years, and today the confluence of world events and publishing realities has made the trend a full-fledged phenomenon, particularly in religion.

In this issue of Religion Update, we train PW's wide-angle lens on the rich variety of scholar/authors now working this fertile field, examining the topics they choose and how they approach the challenge of communicating their knowledge outside the traditional classroom, to a public hungry for what they have to offer. Now more than ever, readers of religion want substance and authority in the books they buy, and publishers and authors are finding success and satisfaction in providing it.

Books in Brief
What's new from academic and university presses.In Profile
Two scholars pursue their passions.The World Is Your Classroom
Editors offer scholars advice on crossing over.Hot Topics and Timely Trends
With many of the day's vital issues intersecting with religion, there's no shortage of subject matter for scholar/authors.The Peril and The Promise
There are still risks for scholars writing for general readers, but in today's world, authoritative voices are prized.All Faiths Calendar
Selected observances for November and December.