Angels feature as a theme in this month’s recent acquisitions, together with religions in Korea and China, and the latest Rob Bell.
Spiritual letters, by Wendy Beckett.
“Apart from her celebrity status as the art nun, fueled by her popular television programs and prolific writing, Sister Wendy has been approached throughout her life for counsel on the spiritual life and the life of prayer. Here, for the first time, are collected some of the finest of her responses in the form of letters, kept and treasured by their recipients over the years. Sister Wendy herself has written a charming and very personal autobiographical preface in which she sets these letters in their context. This little book is a treasure trove of wisdom and sound simple advice.” (drawn from the publisher’s description)
What we talk about when we talk about God : finding a new faith for the twenty-first century, by Rob Bell.
“While in the past Bell has questioned traditional views on sex, sacrifice, and hell, now he tackles the big one: God. He writes of “waking up in new ways to the God who’s been here the whole time,” a divine being who is with, for and ahead of humanity so that a jaded generation of “spiritual but not religious” may see Jesus, and divinity, in all things. As always, his work is replete with unexpected stories, relevant pop culture references, and new takes on old scriptures; Bell is finally certain about his ontological uncertainty. Undoubtedly, conservative readers will find much to argue with, and Bell seems content with that, hoping that for many others, this book will be a welcome breath of fresh air in a spiritual haze. Agent: Chris Ferebee (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly)
Sharing Eden : green teachings from Jews, Christians and Muslims, by by Natan Levy, David Shreeve and Harfiyah Haleem ; edited by Lindsay Swan.
“Six green issues, including climate change, energy, and food, are discussed in terms of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious imperatives to care for the world. … After the faith groups’ theoretical concerns with each topic have been stated briefly, a list of exemplary responses already in effect internationally but largely in Britain is provided. Then comes a solid set of suggestions for the reader to consider undertaking, either alone or with his or her congregation. Studded with beautifully reproduced nature photos, this book is quick to read but has much for individuals and groups to digest and consider as options for bringing faith-based responses to environmental care.” (drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)
Understanding Chinese religions, by Joachim Gentz.
“Chinese religions are often represented as a unity in which each tradition possesses a number of features typical of a Chinese religious system. … Abundant historical material makes Chinese religions a highly interesting case. With their entirely different philosophical and political context Chinese religions are a challenging field of analysis for Western systematic questions and theories of religion. There is a rich and expanding scholarship in Chinese religions.” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)
The seven-point mind training : a Tibetan method for cultivating mind and heart, by B. Alan Wallace ; edited by Zara Houshmand.
“At the heart of the Seven-Point Mind Training lies the transformation of the circumstances that life brings us, however hard as the raw material from which we create our own spiritual path. The central theme of the Seven-Point Mind Training is to make the liberating passage from the constricting solitude of self-centeredness to the warm kinship with others which occurs with the cultivation of cherishing others. This Mind Training is especially well-suited for an active life. It helps us to reexamine our relationships – to family, friends, enemies, and strangers – and gradually transform our responses to whatever life throws our way.” (drawn from the publisher’s description)
Waking up in Heaven : a true story of brokenness, Heaven, and life again, by Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski.
Recounts the story of a young mother who underwent an intense near-death experience after she became unresponsive during a medical emergency, as she discusses the hardships of her past and the impact of the experience on her life.
Angels are for real : inspiring, true stories and biblical answers, by Judith MacNutt.
Angels – are they real or just part of our imagination? In her newest book, Judith MacNutt tackles this topic with Biblical information and real life stories. We pray about many things and don’t always notice how the prayer is answered. Angels could be at work. Have you ever had an experience where you know someone stopped you before a horrible accident? or, lost something that miraculously was found? These are just two of the ways angels could be working in your life. … The research that Ms. MacNutt has done will inspire you. (drawn from www.goodreads.com.)
An angel to watch over me : true stories of children’s encounters with angels, by Joan Wester Anderson.
If Jesus himself taught that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children, there’s no reason in the world not to believe that God can reveal his love to little ones through angels. More than 30 stories of children’s experiences with celestial beings are shared in this book — from a boy whose angels helps him conquer his fear of thunderstorms to a girl who is miraculously rescued from her burning home. (drawn from the publisher’s description)
From Gabriel to Lucifer : a cultural history of angels, by Valery Rees.
For sceptics, angels may be no more than metaphors: poetic devices to convey, at least for those with a religious sensibility, an active divine interest in creation. But for others, angels are absolutely real creatures: manifestations of cosmic power with the capacity either to enlighten or annihilate those whose awestruck paths they cross. (Syndetics summary)
Silence : a Christian history, by Diarmaid MacCulloch.
“The New York Times bestselling author of Christianity explores the vital role of silence in the Christian story. … MacCulloch shows how Jesus chose to emphasize silence as an essential part of his message and how silence shaped the great medieval monastic communities of Europe. He also examines the darker forms of religious silence, from the church’s embrace of slavery and its muted reaction to the Holocaust to the cover-up by Catholic authorities of devastating sexual scandals. A groundbreaking work that will change our understanding of the most fundamental wish to be heard by God, Silence gives voice to the greatest mysteries of faith.” (drawn from the publisher’s description)
Religion in Korea : harmony and coexistence, by Robert Koehler ; editor, Jang Woo-jung ; copy editor, Colin A. Mouat, Daisy Larios.
“Korea is a remarkable case study in religious coexistence. Even though only about half the country identifies as religious, the half that does displays a remarkable diversity of both indigenous and imported faiths, including Buddhism and Christianity (of both the Catholic and Protestant varieties). Korean religious pluralism is no recent phenomenon. Koreans have respected religious diversity since ancient times. Indeed…This book surveys the rich religious and spiritual tapestry that is contemporary Korea. We begin with the earliest of Korean faiths the shamanism that prehistoric Koreans brought with them as they migrated to the peninsula from Central Asia and continue on to today’s most prominent faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism. Korea has given birth to a large number of indigenous faiths, and we will take a look at some of these, too.” (drawn from the publisher’s description)
Slaying the dragons : destroying myths in the history of science and faith, by Allan Chapman.
“From the leading scientists of medieval times, many in holy orders, to the seventeenth-century popes who maintained an astronomical observatory in the Vatican, to the Christian people of science today, science and faith have grown up together”–Back cover.