Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal RoperIn Martin Luther, Oxford University historian Lyndal Roper provides a detailed biography of the great Reformation leader in time for the 500th anniversary of his theological debate challenge in the form of 95 Theses. Presenting well-known history in a fresh and engaging manner, Roper portrays Luther's family background, depicts key friendships, and discusses important influences on his theological evolution. Candidly and with restraint, she examines his uncompromising stances on such significant matters as his rejection of humanism and his anti-Semitic proclamations. Both scholars and general readers will appreciate the "grace and perceptiveness" (Booklist) of this volume.
Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy
by Anne Lamott
In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by "facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves." It's up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere—"within us and outside us, all around us"—and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it's crucial, as "kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all."
Full of Lamott’s trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, Hallelujah Anyway is profound and caring, funny and wise—a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality.
Focus on: Spiritual Memoirs
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Life of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-WeberWhen stand-up comic Nadia Bolz-Weber found herself leading a memorial service in a comedy club, she recognized that the gathering represented her kind of people: alcoholics, depressives, and cynics. Could it be that she was meant to be their pastor? In Pastrix, Bolz-Weber relates how she responded to this unexpected spiritual calling and was ordained in the Lutheran church; she recounts her experiences in an engaging, sarcastic, sometimes profane narrative. Fans of Anne Lamott's memoirs, especially Traveling Mercies and Plan B, will appreciate Bolz-Weber's ability to find holiness in unexpected people and places.
Nine Essential Things I've Learned about Life by Harold S. KushnerLooking back on his life and his career as a rabbi, well-known author Harold Kushner offers a compendium of lessons he's learned about faith. He emphasizes that learning is more important than knowing and recounts events that taught him to listen well and discern the deep questions that lead to God. With chapters such as "Forgiveness Is a Favor You Do Yourself" and "Leave Room for Doubt and Anger in Your Religious Outlook," Kushner grounds his theology in the realities of human existence, just as he did in his now-classic When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Kushner's fans and those new to his writing will appreciate this "balm for the skeptical and the religious" (Publishers Weekly).
The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy by Rainn WilsonBest known as Dwight Schrute on television's The Office, comedian Rainn Wilson didn't fit in while growing up (and never was a bassoon phenom), and he struggled financially early in his acting career. He also floundered spiritually until he reconnected with Baha'i, the faith of his childhood. In The Bassoon King, Wilson irreverently and movingly details the challenges of his youth, dishes gossip on The Office, and shares the importance of openly embracing Baha'i and living according to its teachings. Whether you're a fan of his career (which he broadcasts on Twitter) or interested in his spiritual life, be sure to pick up this autobiography.
Contact the Library for more great titles!