The Mighty and the Almighty, by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward (HarperCollins) Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

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RELIGION

The Mighty and the Almighty, by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"The former secretary of state muses on the intersection of religion and foreign policy."

.....

The Great Transformation, by Karen Armstrong (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"Whatever else Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, and Greek rationalism may not share, they're all roughly the same age, dating to the ninth century b.c. A leading chronicler of world religions explicates their common bonds."

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Body Piercing Saved My Life, by Andrew Beaujon (Da Capo)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"A music journalist explores the thriving (and increasingly hip) Christian-rock scene."

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Double Crossed, by Kenneth Briggs (Doubleday)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"There are nearly 100,000 fewer nuns in the United States than there were forty years ago, and those that remain are systematically ill-served by the Catholic Church.

.....

Earthly Powers, by Michael Burleigh (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"The first of two planned volumes that will trace the intertwining of religion and political violence, this one focusing on the period between the French Revolution and World War I."

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Seminary Boy, by John Cornwell (Doubleday)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"The author of Hitler's Pope recalls an adolescence spent training for the priesthood in 1950s England."

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The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, by Levi H. Dowling (DeVorss & Company)
Reviewed by Philip Jenkins ("Cult Classics", April 2006)

"Dowling's work helped establish the popular New Age notion of Jesus as a displaced guru, who must have at least visited Tibet."

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Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene, by Bart D. Ehrman (Oxford)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"A historical study of three of Jesus' most famous followers finds almost no evidence that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, that Paul worked miracles, or that Peter was crucified upside down."

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The Devil is a Gentleman, by J. C. Hallman (Random House)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"A neo-Jamesian look at contemporary religious experience in all its variety, from Scientologists to Druids to Christian pro wrestlers."

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The New Faces of Christianity, by Philip Jenkins (Oxford)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"A leading religious scholar examines Christianity as it is experienced in the global South. Fundamentalist as many of these believers' biblical interpretations may be, Jenkins observes, they also contain a liberating ecstasy absent from the faith as practiced in the North."

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A Church in Search of Itself, by Robert Blair Kaiser (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"A survey of the Benedict-era Catholic Church by Newsweek's man in the Vatican, built around profiles of six cardinals from five different continents."

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A History of the End of the World, by Jonathan Kirsch (HarperSanFrancisco)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"A close reading of the book of Revelation, from its authorship to its various afterlives."

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Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925, by George M. Marsden (Oxford)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwartz ("Modernism, Minimalism, Fundamentalism", May 2006)

"Marsden elegantly synthesizes theological, social, cultural, and intellectual history to elucidate the roots and development of Christian fundamentalism..."

.....

Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches, by Charles Godfrey Leland, (Nuvision Publications)
Reviewed by Philip Jenkins ("Cult Classics", April 2006)

"The gospel tells the myths of the goddess Diana and her daughter Aradia (Herodias), and describes a whole spirit world of fairies and goblins, even offering practical advice about holding a witches' sabbat."

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Righteous, by Lauren Sandler (Vikinng)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", October 2006)

"Sandler...whose book focuses on evangelical youth culture...offers the most interesting conclusion: a call for the return of wonder, fellowship, and authenticity to the secular sphere."

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Basilica, by R. A. Scotti (Viking)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"The construction of St. Peter's in Rome required the combined efforts of Michelangelo, Raphael, and more than twenty popes, not to mention countless others."

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Rumspringa, by Tom Shachtman (North Point)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"Tradition dictates that Amish teens take time away from their community to sow their wild oats. Sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll ensue—followed, in 80 percent of the cases, by a return to the fold."

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The Necronomicon, by the Urantia Foundation
Reviewed by Philip Jenkins ("Cult Classics", April 2006)

"The 1920s horror writer H. P. Lovecraft made no pretense about the sources for the ancient lore with which he peppered his stories: he got most of it from the Encyclopedia Britannica... The greatest Lovecraftian pseudo-text was the sinister Necronomicon ("the law of the dead"), reportedly put into its known form by Abdul Alhazred in the eighth century A.D."

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The Urantia Book, by the Urantia Foundation
Reviewed by Philip Jenkins ("Cult Classics", April 2006)

"[The book] chronicles the past few hundred million years of geologic and evolutionary change on the planet Urantia, also known as Earth, culminating in the reincarnation of a spiritual leader we call Jesus. Bizarre, obsessive, and occasionally stunning."

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What Paul Meant , by the Garry Wills (Viking)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", December 2006)

"The author of What Jesus Meant turns to the apostle most often blamed for steering Christianity toward a joyless rigidity. Wills takes a more positive view, arguing that Paul's epistles (which predated the Gospels) 'stand closer to Jesus than do any other words in the New Testament.'"

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