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Books on spiritual and religious themes - modern: See individual essay pages for related recommendations about specific areas.

Pope Benedict XVI - who I am finding, more and more, to be one of the greatest theologians of this or any century

Paul McPartlan: intriguing treatment of the Eucharist, with extensive relation to the New Testament.

Mary Margaret Funk, OSB - excellent exploration of classic Christian approaches to the life of prayer, based largely on the writings of John Cassian, and well adapted to modern interpretation.

The Trinity - best I've found on this intriguing topic:

Related to the Scriptures and early Christian development (not that I agree with all of the authors' positions - but all are worth a look - read more than one to watch the authors have "rows" with one another):


New International Greek New Testament Commentaries - superb commentaries with in-depth treatment of the nuance and historical influences affecting the original texts. It is not necessary to have knowledge of Greek in order to benefit from the commentaries. I use varied works in scripture study, but this series remains my favourite.

N.T. Wright - intriguing treatment of the historic Jesus with great orthodoxy and faith in the process

Raymond Edward Brown - landmark 20th century Scripture scholar - very orthodox and historical approach:

Karl Rahner - my favourite 20th century theologian - fresh perspective bridges the gap between Eastern and Western Christian theologians

Glorious Battle: The Cultural Politics of Victorian Anglo-Catholicism
John Shelton Reed - A tempting combination of history, humour, and delectably irreverent descriptions.

Gary Macy
Treasures from the Storeroom
Medieval Religion and the Eucharist 

This volume belongs on the shelf of any medievalist or student of theology - it is perhaps more enlightening for the 21st century than for the 13th century climate, since the pluralism of the latter was far more genuine and intelligent. Its humour and insight make it a pleasant dose of originality - and it is the first comprehensive study I've seen of this area. Special attention to the Franciscan theologians (who, in England particularly, were quite extraordinary - even Aquinas looks bland next to Bonaventure and Duns Scotus.) 

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt

Back in print - modern language:
The Cloud of Unknowing

Thomas Keating
Words that seem very simple ... for ten seconds. Then, a gold mine.

Jean-Pierre De Caussade

Thomas Dubay

Rowan Williams

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan

The Mystery of the Trinity
Trinitarian Experience and Vision in the Biblical and Patristic Tradition 
Boris Bobrinskoy

The English Mystics
Tarjie Park

Thomas Merton

M. Basil Pennington Julian of Norwich/modern treatment:

C.S. Lewis -
Lewis, a former atheist whose later works presented a crystal clear reflection of Christian ideals, had a commonsense viewpoint that, in focusing on truth, gives the reader a depth of perception that exceeds mysticism in its capacity for wonder. His humour and sensible viewpoint makes the journey not only enjoyable but often hilarious.

Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton
Whenever I read a page of Chesterton, my prayer is that I'll write one sentence to match his before I die!

Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith
G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton argues irresistibly - and with great wit - that orthodoxy can be a far more exciting brand of non-conformity than a studied conformity to the unorthodox which is all the more fashionable.

Sisters in Arms : Catholic Nuns Through Two Millennia
Jo Ann Kay McNamara
Forget the cosy mental pictures of sweet and pious souls who were tied down by oppression! These courageous and original ladies have dimensions of which one may never have dreamt.

Alone of All Her Sex : Myth and Cult of Virgin Mary 
Marina Warner
This intriguing treatment of culture, legend, and artistic expression is a rich and absorbing study that treads paths a devotional work would avoid.

The Book of Kells: An Illuminated Introduction
by Bernard Meehan - wonderful gift book

Sisters in Crisis :
The Tragic Unraveling of Women's Religious Communities
Ann Carey
Untainted by political correctness or pollyanna agenda, Ann Carey paints a broad, insightful, and compassionate picture of how wonderful religious women (left, right, and centre) have sought to both preserve and re-identify their identity in the wake of massive changes.

Titles by Revd Dr John Polkinghorne and
Hans Urs Von Balthasar

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