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Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions 
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Post Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions

April, May & June 2007


This thread is for making (general interest) NONFICTION book suggestions for 2nd Quarter of 2007 (April, May & June). For those that are new to BookTalk I will briefly explain our book suggestion process.

We read and discuss 2 different nonfiction books concurrently each quarter.

1 book is a "freethought" nonfiction selection
1 book is a general interest nonfiction book


There is a suggestion thread created for each of the above two categories. The thread you are in now is where you make your general interest nonfiction book suggestions. Books that represent and promote freethought should not be added to this thread. Please use the above freethinker suggestion thread.

We should probably come up with a better term than "general interest," since we don't read "just any" nonfiction book around here. Our focus is on books that are highly rated, of broad appeal, are available on Amazon.com, and are apt to generate deep thought and quality discussion. Books about specific obscure events or people are probably not going to be exciting to most of our members, so please put some thought into your suggestions.

Important

1. Provide the title, author, copied and pasted review or summary, and a link to Amazon where we can read more.

2. Please comment on other people's suggestions. This is probably the most important thing you can do. Don't make a suggestion and then vanish. Be ACTIVE in this thread.

So what general interest nonfiction books would you like to read and discuss for Q2, 2007?

And as I mentioned in the above freethought suggestion thread I'd really like to select our Q2, 2007 books early this time. It is in our best interest to give plenty of advance notice so visitors and members have time to order the upcoming books at least 3 weeks before the start of the next reading period. So provide your suggestion now so that they have a chance of appearing on the poll!




Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal by Anthony Arnove

From Publishers Weekly
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Three years into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the dire predictions of the prewar opposition have proved remarkably prescient, notes activist, writer and editor Arnove (Voices of a People's History of the United States) in this impassioned, categorical argument for immediate withdrawal. But today's broad sentiment against the war



Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:44 pm
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Post Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

As presented by Dawkins and as championed by Fiske (well maybe not championed, but you get the idea).

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The popular perception of the Bible as a divinely perfect book receives scant support from Ehrman, who sees in Holy Writ ample evidence of human fallibility and ecclesiastical politics. Though himself schooled in evangelical literalism, Ehrman has come to regard his earlier faith in the inerrant inspiration of the Bible as misguided, given that the original texts have disappeared and that the extant texts available do not agree with one another. Most of the textual discrepancies, Ehrman acknowledges, matter little, but some do profoundly affect religious doctrine. To assess how ignorant or theologically manipulative scribes may have changed the biblical text, modern scholars have developed procedures for comparing diverging texts. And in language accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman explains these procedures and their results. He further explains why textual criticism has frequently sparked intense controversy, especially among scripture-alone Protestants. In discounting not only the authenticity of existing manuscripts but also the inspiration of the original writers, Ehrman will deeply divide his readers. Although he addresses a popular audience, he undercuts the very religious attitudes that have made the Bible a popular book. Still, this is a useful overview for biblical history collections. Bryce Christensen



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Post Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Here's a look at Religions working together, learning from one another and utilizing the very best of biological science and environmental studies to address crucial ecological crises around the planet.


The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology by Roger Gottleib

Book Description
Quote:
The last two decades have seen the emergence of a new field of academic study that examines the interaction between religion and ecology. Theologians from every religious tradition have confronted world religions past attitudes towards nature and acknowledged their own faiths complicity in the environmental crisis. Out of this confrontation have been born vital new theologies based in the recovery of marginalized elements of tradition, profound criticisms of the past, and ecologically oriented visions of God, the Sacred, the Earth, and human beings. The proposed handbook will serve as the definitive overview of these exciting new developments. Divided into three main sections, the books essays will reflect the three dominant dimensions of the field. Part one will explore traditional religious concepts of and attitudes towards nature and how these have been changed by the environmental crisis. Part II looks at larger conceptual issues that transcend individual traditions. Part III will examine religious participation in environmental politics. Roger S. Gottlieb is professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.


Table of Contents
Quote:
Introduction: Religion and Ecology-What's the connection and why does it matter? Roger S. Gottlieb

Part I Transforming Tradition
Chapter 1 Judaism- Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
Chapter 2 Catholicism- John Hart
Chapter 3 The Earth as Sacrament: Insights from Orthodox Christian Theology and Spirituality- John Chryssavgis
Chapter 4 The World of Nature According to the Protestant Tradition- H. Paul Santmire and John B. Cobb, Jr.
Chapter 5 Jainism and Ecology: Transformation of Tradition- Christopher Key Chapple
Chapter 6 Hindu Religion and Environmental Wellbeing- O.P. Dwivedi
Chapter 7 Buddhism- Stephanie Kaza
Chapter 8 Islam- Richard C. Foltz
Chapter 9 Taoism and Ecology- James Miller
Chapter 10 Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision- John Berthrong
Chapter 11 African Religions- Jacob Olupuno
Chapter 12 Indigenous Traditions: Religion and Ecology-John A. Grim

Part II Religion and Ecology: Conflicts and Connections
Chapter 13 Population, Religion, and Ecology- Daniel C. Maguire
Chapter 14 Genetic Engineering and Nature: Human and Otherwise- Thomas A. Shannon
Chapter 15 So Near and Yet So Far: Animal Theology and Ecological Theology- Andrew Linzey
Chapter 16 Religious Ecofeminism: Healing the Ecological Crisis- Rosemary Radford Ruether
Chapter 17 Science and Religion in the Face of the Environmental Crisis- Holmes Rolston III
Chapter 18 Religion and Ecology: Survey of the Field- Mary Evelyn Tucker
CHAPTER 19 The Spiritual Dimension of Nature Writing- David Landis Barnhill
Chapter 20 Religion, Environmentalism, and the Meaning of Ecology- Lisa H. Sideris

Part III Religious Environmental Activism
Chapter 21 Religious Environmentalism in Action- Roger S. Gottlieb
Chapter 22 Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America- Lois Ann Lorentzen and Salvador Leavitt-Alcantara
Chapter 23 African Initiated Churches (AICs) as Vehicles of Earth-Care in Africa- M.L. Daneel
Chapter 24 The Scientist and the Shepherd: The Emergence of Evangelical Environmentalism - Calvin B. DeWitt
Chapter 25 Religion and Environmentalism in America and Beyond- Bron Taylor

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 1/17/07 4:18 pm



Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:15 pm
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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Uh, that last book is $99 and 688 pages....




Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
D.H.: Here's a look at Religions working together, learning from one another and utilizing the very best of biological science and environmental studies to address crucial ecological crises around the planet.

Regardless of the price and size...$99 ::11

You do understand the purpose of this forum, right D.H.? This is not a site that strives to encourage religion in any way. I think you are preaching to the wrong audience.




Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
D.H. I also think it will provide a vision of religion that show a far more complicated and complex network of ideas...

Again, not the point of this forum. Really D.H., please stop preaching to us. Stop trying to convince us to read stuff that points to religion as contributing postively to society. Just because shite can make flowers grow (as you argue), doesn't mean I want to smell it. Just because religion can be manipulated for good outcomes doesn't mean we want to read about it.


Part I Transforming Tradition
Part II Religion and Ecology: Conflicts and Connections
Part III Religious Environmental Activism


Also I wouldn't call these descriptions and the chapter titles you gave "multifaceted." It seems to me the whole book is about religion and ecology, as the title of the book points out.

Edited by: irishrosem at: 1/18/07 5:23 pm



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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
99$ is steep...I hope it can reach paperback publication by the time we decide...this would substantially reduce costs. As for size, well, it does claim to provide the definitive overview of this developing movement within the worlds of religion, ecological studies, and environmental activism. As each chapter is from a different author, readers can choose which ones will demand the greater attention, and which to pass over.

I think the book will provide an important multifaceted, multicultural, global understanding of our planet's ecological crises; I also think it will provide a vision of religion that show a far more complicated and complex network of ideas, practices than simply deluded folk stumbling through existence clueless and afraid.




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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
LOL I had to read your post to my fiance just now, Rose. She laughed too. I have to remember the "just because shit can make flowers grow" anaology. Very good point.

Chris




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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
irishrose: I wouldn't call these descriptions and the chapter titles you gave "multifaceted." It seems to me the whole book is about religion and ecology, as the title of the book points out.

Well, I suppose a book that examined Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Eastern Orthodox, Taoism, African and Polynesian Indigenous religious systems would be somewhat narrow...add to it the ways in which these systems interact with various ecosystems and natural habitats and plant and animal species on every continent and throughout the oceans and sky, and it would seem a bit limited...and, as soon as you include discussions involving genetic engineering, animal husbandry, agriculture and farming, water supplies, technology and transportation, it only further narrows our scope...and, finally, I'm sure we've all examined how these different religious traditions have redefined theological assumptions, ethical obligations, congregational structures and political activism in relation to ecological threats and biological hazards in their different regions of the world. You're right: a tiny, narrow, unimportant book indeed.

As for manure: thank God it exists, otherwise, how would we ever enjoy our Roses.

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 1/19/07 11:05 am



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Post Re: Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Chris: She laughed too.

Oh good, people often don't like my sense of humor.

DH: Well, I suppose a book that examined Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Eastern Orthodox, Taoism, African and Polynesian Indigenous religious systems would be somewhat narrow...

Well I didn't say narrow. I said it wasn't multifaceted, which it isn't. The very title dictates that. This is a book about religion and ecology. It is a religious approach to ecology, not a multifaceted approach to ecology. Which may interesting to you, and interesting to this group of scientists. But it doesn't really have a place on this forum. This isn't a complicated point I'm making. You do understand the purpose of this site, right? That's why I started with that question to begin with. Chris, and others here, are not about to create a vehicle to show the positive power of religion. If that's what this site becomes, I'm out of here. And, at this point, I'm weary of reading your sermons. They're annoying and pointless.

As for manure: thank God it exists, otherwise, how would we ever enjoy our Roses.

On which day did god create manure?

I am glad for manure's ability to make flowers, as I said before. But I have no more intention of sticking my nose in the books you sometimes suggest, than I would stick my nose in a pile of dung.




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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Re: An Introduction to Hindusim,
Yeah, Chris, I searched Amazon for the best academic book I could find on Hinduism. Ultimately, for brevity's sake, it came down to this and another book by an author named Knipe. Knipe's book is said to be more readable, but I thought the viewpoint looked a little narrow. If anyone is sufficiently interested, it may be worth our while to do a little more review-hunting and see if maybe the Knipe book wouldn't be better.

Edited by: MadArchitect at: 2/4/07 4:20 pm



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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
I'll start out by saying that I don't think this book stands much of a chance. Still, we've talked before about how it would be in line with BookTalk's method and motives to read books of comparative religion, and Hinduism is one of those religious traditions that most of us know the least about. So...

An Introduction to Hindusim, by Gavin D. Flood

Review
"This new introduction to Hinduism is distinguished by exceptionally useful chapter divisions, good detail combined with ease of reading, and a particular focus on the integrated quality of the evolution of Hindu thought....The book's balance between scholarly detail and clear, readable elucidation of issues is commendable....In all, this is a valuable contribution to the undergraduate classroom. Libraries whose Hinduism holdings include other good introductions should, nonetheless, acquire this one." Choice

"Flood's book is a very welcome newcomer, comprehensive, detailed and judicious." Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Theological Studies

"...is one of the best and most informative intiations into Hinduism to date." Journal of Indo-European Studies

"An Introduction to Hinduism is a highly readable and authoritative conspectus on this great religion....An Introduction to Hinduism will surely find a much wider audience, for scholars of comparative religion, Indologists, and non-specialists in their distinctive ways will certainly find this handsome book well worth reading." David Hicks, Asian Thought and Society




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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Perfect suggestion for our community. This falls in the comparative religion category and I think plenty of our members would appreciate learning more about Hinduism. I'm assuming the book is written from an academic standpoint and not from the perspective of a Hindu who is trying to preach and convert. Good suggestion. ::80




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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Re: DH's suggestions,
You may be right that a biography of a philosopher could serve as a catalyst to get more people to read the original works that cemented that personality's fame. But I think picking a book that is appropriate for such a broad range of familiarity is probably pretty tough. I know Descartes pretty well, and I've been making myself more familiar with James; but I'm pretty sure that a biography that I might pick for myself would assume too much prior knowledge for some of the people here.

What would be needed, I suppose, is a book that is careful to give enough background on what views the philosopher espoused, without the whole thing coming across as a Cliff's Notes version of the subject's philosophy. Isaiah Berlin was adept at that sort of thing, but I'm not sure how often the world gives birth to an Isaiah Berlin.

Grayling's biography of Descartes might fit the bill on that account, but I would want to take a much closer look at it before I decided that it was the best match for this community. As for William James, maybe something like this...

A Stroll With William James, by Jacques Barzun

Book Description
With this book, Jacques Barzun pays what he describes as an "intellectual debt" to William James--psychologist, philosopher, and, for Barzun, guide and mentor. Commenting on James's life, thought, and legacy, Barzun leaves us with a wise and civilized distillation of the great thinker's work.





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