Biographies of religious and spiritual figures are enduringly popular, and readers have many new and forthcoming choices.
The Mind of Pope Francis: Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s Intellectual Journey by Massimo Borghesi (Liturgical, Oct.) debunks the idea that Pope Francis is a pastor and leader but lacks the intellectual depth of his recent predecessors.
Benedict XVI: His Life and Thought by Elio Guerriero (Ignatius, Aug.) is based on the first interviews of Benedict XVI since his historic departure from the papacy.
12 Faithful Men: Portraits of Courageous Endurance in Pastoral Ministry by Collin Hanson and Jeff Robinson (Baker Books, July) profiles such men as the apostle Paul, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, and John Bunyan.
Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Wife of Charles H. Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes Jr. (Moody, Sept.) tells how Susannah Spurgeon worked behind the scenes in her husband’s ministry, editing and publishing his sermons, planting a church, and writing five books of her own.
Saint Oscar Romero: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr (tentative title) by Kerry Walters (Franciscan, Oct.) tells the story of El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated in 1980 by right-wing politicians. Pope Francis has declared Romero a martyr for the Catholic faith; he will be canonized as a saint in Rome on October 14.
A Man Called Mark: The Biography of Bishop Mark Dyer by Tom Linthicum (Church, July) is the official biography of a leader in the American Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion who advanced the causes of ordination of women and gay people. With photographs.
Padre Pio, The True Story, Revised and Expanded, 3rd Edition, by C. Bernard Ruffin (OSV, Sept.) updates the story of the Italian priest who allegedly bore the wounds of Christ (stigmata) and was canonized in 2002. With photographs.
Father Miguel Pro: A Modern Mexican Martyr by Gerald Miller (Ignatius, Sept.) is the story of a Catholic priest who was executed by firing squad in 1927 by the anticlerical government. With photographs.
On Thomas Merton by Mary Gordon (Shambhala, Dec.) is the best-selling novelist and memoirist’s personal story of encountering the thought of Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk who authored some of the most influential spiritual writing of the 20th century, including The Seven Storey Mountain. Gordon is the author of Final Payments and other titles. The new book ties into the 50th anniversary of Merton’s death.
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