Welcome to Wellington City Libraries' page of resources on Christianity. Here you'll find a cross-section of what the library holds on Christianity, some quick links into our online databases and the library's catalogue, and links to websites selected by our subject librarians. Books on Christianity are spread over a range of Dewey Decimal numbers. Try our Catalogue Quicksearch to help focus your searching, or else check out the Beliefs homepage for a comprehensive list of Dewey numbers relating to religion.
Last updated 20 February 2013.
Books:Jesus wars : how four patriarchs, three queens, and two emperors decided what Christians would believe for the next 1,500 years, by Philip Jenkins.
Historian Philip Jenkins tells the fascinating, violent story of the Church's fifth century battles over 'right belief' that had a far greater impact on the future of Christianity and the world than the much-touted Council of Nicea convened by Constantine a century before. Over the last 2000 years, Christians have repeatedly struggled to resolve the tension between two seemingly rival claims: Jesus was fully human and yet fully divine. Never was the debate more central to Christianity than during the Church Councils of the fifth century.... (drawn from Syndetics)
In the footsteps of Jesus : a chronicle of his life and the origins of Christianity, by Jean-Pierre Isbouts.
"Using new archaeological discoveries, Isbouts takes readers on a trip back in time to uncover Jesus and the places where he lived, preached, and died. The first part of the book, The World of Jesus, looks at the larger Roman world as well as the locales that nurtured Jesus and his work. The text then goes on to trace the life of Jesus as he moved through Galilee, ending up in Jerusalem for his final days. The book concludes with a look at the Christian communities that sprang up throughout the Roman Empire. An epilogue tracks various pilgrimage routes. ... Good for browsers and students of the period alike." drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics.
A cultural handbook to the Bible, by John J. Pilch.
"Pilch, author of The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible (1999), provides Bible scholars and readers with another insightful collection of articles that helps place the Bible in a historically accurate cultural context. ...Pilch has a knack for making potentially dry material lively and interesting, using pop-culture references like Garrison Keillor and Hollywood musicals to illustrate a particular point in a relevant and entertaining way. While this is first and foremost a reference book for those seeking to broaden their understanding of the Bible using current knowledge of Middle Eastern cultures, it may prove to be a draw for history buffs as well. (Drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)
Unapologetic : Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense, by Francis Spufford.
"A book written for atheists. I was giggling all of the way through. A very sweary book but I think the language helps make his point. For once we have a defence of faith which is predicated not on nit picking arguments but rather on how it feels to believe, and how it feels right to the author. I identify with him a lot. I love the honesty of his writing. He has no pat answers. I'm sure many traditional Christians will be offended by this book. And that is sad. Couldn't put it down..." Goodreads customer review.
Jesus of Nazareth : the infancy narratives, by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) ; translated by Philip J. Whitmore.
In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order to 'make known the figure and message of Jesus'. Now the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmation of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. ... Ultimately, Jesus' life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy and freedom. (drawn from the publisher's description)
Jesus : a theography, by Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola.
Biographies of Jesus generally have been written by those trying to investigate the historical Jesus with little attention given to the grand narrative of Scripture. On the flip side, those interested in tracing the theology of Scripture are typically disinterested in historical Jesus studies. These two approaches have yet to converge...until now. Written for the average reader as well as scholars. (drawn from the book summary)
My sisters the saints : a spiritual memoir, by Colleen Carroll Campbell.
Author Colleen Carroll Campbell blends her personal narrative of spiritual seeking, trials, stumbles, and breakthroughs with the stories of six women saints who profoundly changed her life: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. Drawing upon the rich writings and examples of these extraordinary women, the author reveals Christianity's liberating power for women and the relevance of the saints to the lives of contemporary Christians. (drawn from the publisher's description)
The illustrated Bible retold and explained : from the Creation to the resurrection, editor-in-chief Father Michael Collins.
Sumptuously illustrated, this large book format book is a useful introduction to the stories of the Bible. It's coverage extends well beyond the well-known favourite stories such as Noah's ark and Paul's conversion. The illustrations complement the text well and include paintings, landscape photos and explanations of how people lived in Bible times, archaeology, historical artefacts, and specially commissioned maps.
Mana Māori and Christianity, edited by Hugh Morrison...[et al.]
"This book examines encounters between the Christian church and Māori. Christian faith among Māori changed from the missionary endeavours of Pakeha settlers, to the development of indigenous expressions of Christian faith, to partnerships between Maori and Pakeha in the mainline churches, and the emergence of Destiny Church. The book looks at the growth, development and adaptation of Christian faith among Māori people, and considers how that development has helped shape New Zealand identity and society. It explores questions of theology, historical development, socio-cultural influence and change, and the outcomes of Pakeha interactions with Māori."--Publisher information.
Connecting Christ : how to discuss Jesus in a world of diverse paths, by Paul Louis Metzger.
"Metzger explores how the faithful and conservative Christian can engage in open and respectful dialog with those of other faiths without losing sight of the obligation to witness. His work includes brief comments from leaders in other faith traditions. VERDICT Anything that can promote courtesy, across faiths or other lines, is welcome; Metzger's book should be required reading for evangelical pastors and preachers. (drawn from Library Journal, courtesy of Syndetics)
Did Jesus exist? : the historical argument for Jesus of Nazareth, by Bart D. Ehrman.
"The short answer is yes. But Ehrman, who's written much on early Christian history and literature (e.g., Misquoting Jesus, 2005), ... shows how empirical historians examine the evidence to conclude that Jesus almost certainly existed. He concludes with an account of who Jesus was historically, namely, an apocalyptic prophet. Finally, those who do not advocate belief in Jesus might be more successful, he says, if they emphasized the discrepancies between the historical Jesus and Jesus as modern Christianity represents him rather than harping on his nonexistence. As engrossing a rigorously nontheological work about Jesus as you're ever likely to encounter. (drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)
A lever and a place to stand : the contemplative stance, the active prayer, by Richard Rohr.
"This book, by a well-respected spiritual master, offers a critique of religious attitudes that create an alternative pious world for their believers without really challenging the oppression, materialism, and sectarianism of our modern world. According to Richard Rohr, religion without a genuinely contemplative stance is often at the root of the problem. He explains that religion can only recover its purpose as a transformational system if it overcomes its own temptation to embrace power, certitude, wealth, and fundamentalism. ...(drawn from the book jacket)
A controversial churchman : essays on George Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand and Lichfield, and Sarah Selwyn, edited by Allan Davidson.
New Zealand's first Anglican bishop, George Selwyn, was a towering figure in the young colony. Denounced as a 'turbulent priest' for speaking out against Crown practices that dispossessed Maoori, he brought a vigorous approach to episcopal leadership. .... Selwyn promoted participatory church government, founded the innovative Melanesian Mission, and developed a distinctive style of colonial church architecture. More controversially, he battled with the Church Missionary Society, and was caught up in the bitter maelstrom of settler and Maori politics. His personal links with colonial and ecclesiastical networks gave him access to the heart of empire. ...His place in Treaty history, as a political commentator and a valuable source of historical information, is recognised. George Selwyn left a large imprint on New Zealand church and society. This collection both honours and critiques a controversial bishop.
A public faith : how followers of Christ should serve the common good, by Miroslav Volf. (2011)
"Religious perspectives properly belong in the public sphere, Volf argues, because religions often foster healthy social environments. While acknowledging that Christianity has been historically complicit in coercive conversion, Volf focuses on internal religious "malfunctions" that have allowed such unfaithfulness. ...Although writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, Volf cites scholars such as Mohammad al-Ghazali and Moses Maimonides to emphasize that individual and communal flourishing constitutes a defining concern of many religious traditions. ... This insightful exploration of how Christians may faithfully engage today's political and pluralistic culture provides accessible, wise guidance for people of all faiths. (drawn from Publisher's Weekly courtesy of Syndetics)
The spirit of the past : essays on Christianity in New Zealand history, edited by Geoffrey Troughton & Hugh Morrison. (2011)
Contents include : Researching the history of popular religion in New Zealand / Alison Clarke ; Who you know: Māori, missionaries and the economy / Adrienne Puckey ; Mrs Hampson and the 'hot gospel' / Janet E. Crawford -- Richard Booth and gospel temperance revivalism / Geoffrey Troughton ; 'The evils of mixed marriages': Catholic teaching and practice / Christopher J. van der Krogt ; Westminster Fellowship Evangelicals and the history of Presbyterianism in New Zealand / Stuart Lange ; Rediscovery of a forgotten history: The Uawa Misson Station Cemetery at Mangarara Pa, Tolaga Bay / Stephen Donald.
Shaping Godzone : public issues and church voices in New Zealand 1840-2000, by Laurie Guy.
"This ground-breaking book highlights the influence of the church in shaping 'Godzone' - Aotearoa New Zealand. It audaciously claims that the church has been midwife to the nation. Without missionary influence there would have been no Treaty of Waitangi and no New Zealand as we know it today. In the nineteenth century church voices were nation-shaping on issues as wide-ranging as alcohol restraint, voting rights for women, the use of Sunday and the exploitation of workers. In the last generation there were vocal church voices on the Vietnam War, a nuclear-free New Zealand and the 1981 Springbok Tour. ... On other matters the church ought to have spoken out, but largely failed to do so: e.g. World War One, or against racism in the hundred years after 1860....." (drawn from book description).
Bible & Treaty : missionaries among the Māori : a new perspective, by Keith Newman. (2010)
"Brings a fresh perspective to the missionary story, from the lead-up to Samuel Marsden's first sermon on New Zealand soil, and the intervening struggle for survival and understanding, to the dramatic events that unfolded around the Treaty of Waitangi and the disillusionment that led to the Land Wars in the 1860s. While some missionaries clearly failed to live up to their high calling, the majority committed their lives to Maori and were instrumental in spreading Christianity, brokering peace between warring tribes, and promoting literacy - publishing, for instance, the first indigenous-language Bible in the Southern Hemisphere. This highly readable account, from the author of Ratana Revisited: An Unfinished Legacy (2006) and Ratana: The Prophet (2009), shines a new light on the ever-evolving business of New Zealand's early history. (drawn from the publisher)
CDs you may have missed
The art of letting go [6 CDs] : living the wisdom of Saint Francis / Richard Rohr.
Rohr gives listeners a six-session learning course that explores: the surprising richness we discover through simplifying our lives, without taking a vow of poverty; liberation from our self-limiting biases and certitudes; contemplation and action, two key steps toward communing more deeply with the divine and more.
The beginner's guide to contemplative prayer [one CD] / [James Finley].
"A uniquely Christian tradition for experiencing God directly through meditation is vividly brought to life here. The author, who lived and prayed with Thomas Merton for six years, shares the fruit of this authentic approach to prayer and its role at the center of Christian life. Beginning with a look at how the forms of prayer differ, and concluding with step-by-step instructions for getting started with a contemplative prayer practice of your own, here is a welcome guide to the fundamental meditations and teachings of this cherished tradition" (Syndetics summary)
Revelations [CD - 5 discs], by Elaine Pagels.
Explores the New Testament book of Revelation in a historical first-century context, reinterpreting the book as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome that was subsequently adopted by early Christians as a weapon against heresy.
Heaven is for real [CD] : a little boy's astounding story of his trip to Heaven and back, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent.
"When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery. He talked of visiting Heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born."
Magazines (in print):
Please check out the very large selection of journals available for free through our online databases!
Biblical archaeology review
"Enhance your Biblical knowledge with the latest discoveries and controversies in archaeology, breathtaking photography, informative maps and diagrams." (Amazon)
Books & culture : a Christian review.
"Some of the best-known authors of our time dig deeply into current issues and analyze them from a Christian perspective, revealing how our culture reshapes itself as society changes." (Amazon product description)
Aims to cover current American evangelical Christianity.
DVDs:The Bible [DVD] : a history / Pioneer Productions for Channel 4.
The story of the most influential works ever written: a collection of over 60 books which tell the story of the creation of the world, the birth of mankind, the promise of a homeland for the Jewish people and the remarkable life of Jesus Christ, before cluminating in a terrifying vision of the end of the world.
A history of Christianity - a BBC TV co-production with the Open University and Jerusalem Productions.
"In this fascinating series Profesor MacCulloch explains how Christianity first spread east, extending into Syria, Central Asia, India, and the Far East. He explores the extraordinary and unpredictable rise of the largest single body of Christian devotion in the world, the Roman Catholic Church, and reveals how confession was invented by monks in a remote island off the coast of Ireland. As the series progresses it charts Eastern Orthodox Christianity's fight for survival after its glory days in the eastern Roman Empire and looks at the Reformation and rise of Protestantism as well as the evangelical revial and the American-led rise of Pentecostalism" (container).
The miracle maker / producer: Naomi Jones ; directed by Stanislav Sokolov & Derek Hayes. In a claymation animation style, this move is appealing to adults and children alike. The stories of Jesus' life rely heavily on the actual Biblical passages - without a whiff of Disney. IMDB reviewer concludes "The plot is well-known but the film still does a good job with it, careful with what it drops and what it includes, building the main blocks of the tale and allowing enough to be hammered home without doing so much that it would overwhelm with events....Considering the millions who went to see the lesser "Passion of the Christ", this film deserves to have many more viewers."
Son of God. a BBC Discovery Channel co-production in association with Jerusalem Productions and France 3, (2008).
"Using the most scientific and historical research, along with computer graphic technology, this three-part series attempts to uncover what this First-Century peasant was trying to do and say"--Case slick.
The Exodus decoded
After six years of unprecedented research, host Simcha Jacobovici and a team of renowned archaeologists, Egyptologists, and theologians shed revelatory new light on the Exodus and the era's ruling Egyptian dynasty. Their new theory pushes events hundreds of years earlier than previously believed, allowing age-old stories to sparkle with new perspectives and startling historical impact. Using elaborate, state-of-the art CGI, 'The Exodus decoded' offers a stunning virtual account of stories like the birth of Moses, the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea."--Case slick.
Celebration of Catholicism : history of the popes in the 20th and 21st century.
This collection celebrates Catholicism's 2000-year history through a trio of inspirational documentaries: "From the manger to the cross" recounts the life of Jesus Christ through the words of the New Testament; "I beheld his glory" presents an alternate telling of the Crucifixion through the eyes of a Roman soldier; and "History of the popes in the 20th and 21st century" offers biographical profiles of every pope from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI.
The nativity story, (2006)
The Nativity Story chronicles the journey of two people, Mary and Joseph, a miraculous pregnancy, and the history-defining birth of Jesus.
Conversations with God.
Based on the true story of Neale Donald Walsch after he unexpectedly breaks his neck in a car accident and loses his job. Soon after, we witness his transformation from your everyday guy to a homeless bum struggling just to stay alive. Neale's eye-opening roller coaster ride takes us through his emotional battle to get enough food, make friends and regain his life. And just when things seem to be going his way, they get worse. Feeling like a complete failure in all aspects of his life, Neale, full of anger and bitterness asks God a pile of demanding questions. Much to his disbelief, Neale received his answers! The unworldly conversations that follow end up being read by over 7 million people in 36 languages around the world.
Jesus, produced by Howard Ellis ; written by Albert Ross based on material by John Goldsmith ; directed by Kevin Connor. (2006)
Seen from the eyes of Mary as she watches her infant son grow to manhood, inspiring the known world with his miracles and teachings on the word of God.
Jesus of Nazareth, produced by Vincenzo Labella ; directed by Franco Zeffirelli; originally produced as a tv mini-series in 1977.
In-depth version of Jesus' life (382 minutes). Zeffirelli also provides the sociopolitical background that gave rise to Jesus' following and the crisis in belief it caused for the people of Israel (and one or two Romans).
NEW! Begin learning NT Greek today
Ever had a hankering to know a bit more about Greek of the Christian New Testament?
Learn at your own pace, in your own time, for free. If you wish, begin at the basic level which assumes no prior knowledge and work your way through the 50 lessons, with an option to save your progress.
Login with your library card details and select the Greek (Koine) language option from the over 40 available on Mango languages.
Yes! we now have downloadable ebooks. Overdrive Ebooks is a free service.
Under the label "Browse Ebook Nonfiction" choose the Religion and spirituality heading to find books.
Titles include :
The Book of Job, by Harold S. Kushner.
The Legacy of the King James Bible, by Leland Ryken.
My Sisters the Saints, by Colleen Carroll Campbell.
Overdrive Audio is a free service which allows you to download and listen to audiobooks. Some can be saved onto CD for future listening.
Under the label "Browse Audiobook Nonfiction" choose the Religion and spirituality heading to find books by :
C.S. Lewis, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Brian McLaren, or Rick Warren.
Titles include :
Radical Together : unleashing the people of God for the purpose of God, by David Platt.
The Rage Against God: how atheism led me to faith, by Peter Hitchens.
Power thoughts, by Joyce Meyer.
The HarperCollins Bible dictionary, general editor, Mark Allan Powell.
"With more than 4,000 lively, informative, and reader-friendly entries, this essential reference book provides all the information you need to understand the Bible. Whether you are a pastor, layperson, or a student of scripture, you will find every important name, place, and subject that makes Bible study come to life. From Aaron to Zurishaddai, here are all the people, events, and ideas of biblical times. ... Over 200 contributors to the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, from a diverse group of authorities, represent an ecumenical and non-biased viewpoint of scripture from different positions - Roman Catholic, Jewish, mainline Protestant, and evangelical. (drawn from the publisher's description)
Online databases & articles
Featured database:(All available through Oxford Reference Online.)
- A Dictionary of the Bible
- Oxford Companion to the Bible
- Oxford Guide to People and Places of the Bible
- Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
- Oxford Dictionary of Popes
- Oxford Dictionary of Saints
- Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
Wellington City Libraries subscribe to a number of different online databases that provide news and periodical articles on a wide range of topics. Below you'll find some links to recent articles on Christianity, selected by our librarians.
If you have signed on to GALE (one of our magazine databases) in the last month, the article links below will take you straight in to the database to view the article. Otherwise, you will need to login to GALE first in another window, entering your library card number and surname details, then return to this page. If you'd like to discover what our databases have to offer on topics other than religion, visit our online databases section, www.mygateway.info.
- Peter as witness to Easter, by Gerald O'Collins, in Theological Studies. , 73 (June 2012): p263-.
"The article shows how the role of Peter as the official witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ continues to be neglected by such scholars as Martin Hengel, Christian Grappe, and Rudolf Pesch. Paul, Mark, Luke (in both his Gospel and Acts), and John offer historical and theological grounds for interpreting Peter's primary (but not exclusive) role in emerging Christianity as that of spreading and gathering the community through the power of his Easter message..."
- Korean Protestant Christianity: a missiological reflection, by Joon-Sik Park , in International Bulletin of Missionary Research, , 36 (Apr. 2012): p59-.
"The growth of Korean Protestantism in the past century and a quarter has been extraordinary by any measure. In 1995, according to the Population and Housing Census Report, 8,760,000, or 19.7 percent of the population, were Protestant Christians. The author concludes it is now at a crossroads : recover its essential identity and mission, ...or remain concerned only about its own well-being and survival.
I never knew the library had so many! Where are they? Mostly online - with free access through your library card. If you want to look at several journals offered by the same database service, you don't need to log on to view each title or issue. Here are the A-C titles currently being received :
- Anglican theological review from 01/01/1990 : found in Ebsco MasterFILE Premier
- Art and Christianity from 09/01/2008 : found in Gale Academic OneFile
- Australian biblical review from 10/01/2005 : found in Ebsco Australia/NZ Reference Centre
- Baptist history and heritage from 01/01/1999 : found in Gale General OneFile
- Books & culture from 09/01/2000 : found in Gale General OneFile
- Buddhist-Christian studies from 01/01/2000 to 1 year ago : found in Gale General OneFile
- Catholic digest from 01/01/2007 : found in Ebsco MasterFILE Premier
- Catholic historical review from 01/01/2003 : found in Gale General OneFile
- Christian century from 01/05/1994 : found in Australia/NZ Reference Centre
- Christian education journal from 09/01/2006 : found in Gale Academic OneFile
- Christian scholar's review from 07/01/2002 : found in ProQuest Research Library
- Christianity today from 10/01/1992 : found in Gale General OneFile
- Church & state from 04/01/1999 : found in http://wcl.govt.nz/wc-bin/acdemicresearch">ProQuest Research Library
- Colloquium (Auckland) from 05/01/2007 : found in Australia/NZ Reference Centre
- Commonweal from 04/01/1992 to 6 months ago : found in Gale General OneFile
- Conscience from 06/01/2002 : found in Gale General OneFile
- Counseling and values from 01/01/1990 to 1 year ago : found in Ebsco MasterFILE Premier
- Croatica Christiana periodica from 01/01/2006 : found in Gale Academic OneFile
- Cross currents from 06/01/1998 : found in Gale General OneFile
- Currents in theology and mission from 10/01/2002 : in Gale General OneFile
Other online titles:
- Online Journal of public theology (E-journal)
Produced by the US Center for Public Responsibility which seeks to "promote a more responsible form of public faith associated with the historic orthodox theology of the ecumenical Christian church".
- Touchstone (E-journal)
Eclectic content, with editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom - Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox.
- Whosoever (E-journal)
An online magazines for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians.
- Religion online
More than 4,700 articles and chapters. Access via a directory to include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education, or use the search function.
- Bible Gateway
Online Bible in many translations (including several audio versions). Features concordance search, cross-references, Greek or Hebrew for any verse.
- N.T. gateway
Large gateway type site maintained by the University of Birmingham, on everything from the Greek New Testament to Jesus in Film.
Explores relationship between Judeo-Christian faith and art through contemporary fiction, poetry, painting, art, sculpture, architecture, film, music and dance.
- VisionNetwork of New Zealand
One of the strengths is the directory to church and organisation web-sites (searchable e.g. by denomination).
- Christian Maori theology
- New Zealand Religious History Bibliography
Compiled by Peter Lineham. Also contains chapters of his publications:
- Chapter One: The Age of Missions, 1814-1850 (Word document)
- Chapter Two: Church and State in European New Zealand before 1875 (Word document)
- Chapter One: The Age of Missions, 1814-1850 (Word document)
- Chapter Three: Christianity and the Maori 1850-1985 (Word document)
- Chapter Four: The Churches and Colonial Society, 1875-1914 (Word document)
- Chapter Five: Between Two Wars, 1914-1945 (Word document)
- Chapter Six: Religion and Society 1945-1985 (Word document) * Creation vs. Evolution
Sites arguing both sides of the creationism and evolution debate.
Interested in finding out more about what the library holds on beliefs? Found a topical online resource you'd like to share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!