Saturday, November 28, 2009

World Religion Challenge

Oh, my! I have gotten totally involved in the Women Unbound reading challenge, and now I've found another that grabs me. The World Religion Challenge, hosted by J. T. Oldfield (Bibliofreak), runs for the entire year 2010, from January 1st through December 31st.
1.  The Bare Bones Path
Read something about what are *technically* the only world religions:  Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.  (These are considered, by some scholars, to be the only world religions because while Judaism and Hinduism have the numbers, they don't proselytize or really invite other people to join, making them more of an ethnicity.)
2.  The Penthouse Path
Read something about the five major world religions:  Hinduism, buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
3. The Universalist Path
Read something about all five of the major world religions PLUS more books about any or all of the following:  Shintoism, Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wicca, Mythology, Atheism, Occult, Tribal Religions, Voodoo, Unitarianism, Baha'i, Cults, Scientology, Mysticism, Rastafarianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Satanism, Manichaeism, Deism, comparative Religion, Religious Philosophy, Jungianism, Symbolism, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.
4.  The Unshepherded Path
Read as many books as you would like about whatever religions you want.

I'm choosing the Unshepherded Path so I can read as many books of any religions as I choose.  J. T. Oldfield also calls this the "Don't Tell Me What to Do Path," which sounds totally appropriate to me.  Here are some books that are on my shelves that fit the criteria for this challenge (Eva and J.T. also have great lists of books):

The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels ~ by Thomas Cahill, 1998
The Red Tent: A Novel ~ by Anita Diamant, 1997
The Woman Who Laughed at God: The Untold History of the Jewish People ~ by Jonathan Kirsch, 2001
The Triumph of Deborah: A Novel ~ by Eva Etzioni-Halevy, 2008
The Song of Hannah: A Novel ~ by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
The Garden of Ruth: A Novel ~ by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 2003
The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth ~ by Thomas Jefferson, 1989
The Bible: A Biography ~ by Karen Armstrong, 2007
God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now ~ by John Dominic Crossan, 2007
What Paul Really Said About Women ~ by John Temple Bristow, 1988
The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity ~ by Hyam Maccoby, 1986
The Metaphor of God Incarnate: Christology in a Pluralistic Age ~ by John Hick, 2005
The Grand Inquisitor ~ by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Constance Garnett, 1956 (or the translation by David McDuff, 1993)
The First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity ~ by Thomas Sheehan, 1986
Is Jesus God?: Finding Our Faith ~ by Michael Morwood, 2001
The Jesus Legend ~ by G. A. Wells, 1996
A World Full of Gods: The Strange Triumph of Christianity ~ by Keith Hopkins, 1999
The Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene, the Companion of Jesus ~ by Marvin Meyer
The Gospel of Judas ~ edited by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst, 2006
The Complete Gospels ~ edited by Robert J. Miller, 1994
The Essence of the Gnostics ~ by Bernard Simon, 2004
Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing ~ by Stephan A. Hoeller, 2002
Islam: A Concise Introduction ~ by Huston Smith, 2001
The Namesake: A Novel ~ by Jhumpa Lahiri, 2003 
Tribal Religions / Animism / Shamanism
Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux ~ by Nicholas Black Elk, as told through John G. Neihardt, 1932, 2000
Atheism / Agnosticism
Humanism for Parents: Parenting without Religion ~ by Sean P. Curley, 2007
The God Delusion ~ by Richard Dawkins, 2006
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever ~ edited by Christopher Hitchens, 2007
Comparative Religion
The Great Transformation: The Beginning of our Religious Traditions~ by Karen Armstrong, 2006
People of the Book: A Novel ~ by Geraldine Brooks, 2008
Train to Pakistan: A Novel ~ by Khushwant Singh, 1956, 2007
The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism ~ by Karen Armstrong, 2000
Agape Love: A Tradition Found in Eight World Religions ~ by John Templeton, 1999
God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism ~ by Jonathan Kirsch, 2004
Martyrs' Crossing: A Novel ~ by Amy Wilentz, 2001
The Rock: A Tale of Seventh-Century Jerusalem ~ by Kanan Makiya, 2001
We Just Want to Live Here: A Palestinian Teenager, An Israeli Teenager, An Unlikely Friendship ~ by Amal Rifa'i and Odelia Ainbinder, 2003
The Sea of Galilee Boat: A 2000 Year Old Discovery From the Sea of Legends ~ by Shelley Wachsmann, 2000 
Religious Philosophy
Re-Discovering the Sacred: Spirituality in America ~ by Phyllis A. Tickle, 1995
The Twentieth Century: A Theological Overview ~ edited by Gregory Baum, 1999
Tomorrow's God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge ~ by Neale Donald Walsch, 2004
After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s ~ by Robert Wuthnow, 1998
Searching for God to Love ~ by Chris Blake, 2000
Science and Religion
How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science ~ by Michael Shermer, 2000
God for the 21st Century ~ edited by Russell Stannard, 2000
The Hidden Face of God: How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth ~ by Gerald L. Schroeder, 2001
Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible ~ by Gerald L. Schroeder, 1990
The Portable Jung ~ edited by Joseph Campbell, translated by R. F. C. Hull, 1971
There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives ~ by Robert H. Hopcke, 1997
Et cetera
The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community ~ by Jesse Rice, 2009


J.T. Oldfield said...

Welcome to the Challenge! I love your list! I especially like Borg and Crossan and Armstrong and Jung and...there's a ton on your list I love! :)

alisonwonderland said...

I'm committed to not committing myself to another challenge this year - but I'll be eager to read about what you're reading!