Religion's record-breaking run at the center of the cultural conversation continues, and so does its vitality as a publishing category. Offered in evidence: the abundance of new and forthcoming books exploring the intersections of religion with key areas of public life, including politics, current affairs and social controversies. A range of titles discusses how U.S. politics is affected by different faith groups and their often conflicting senses of mission. Especially notable is the number of new books examining evangelical Christian involvement in politics, with passionate criticism coming from both within and outside of the movement. In the past several years, Christian publishers have launched new imprints and lines to publish current affairs books from a conservative point of view; we'll ask: As President Bush's poll numbers sink, is the market for these books waning? Then we'll look at books dealing with hot social issues from a faith perspective. Finally, new—and sometimes radical—portraits of Jesus have emerged in force this year. Are readers still curious about who he really was? The bestseller lists confirm that they emphatically are.
Volume 253 Issue 21 05/22/2006