Book cover of The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland by Crawford Gribben
Europe

The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland

Ireland has long been regarded as a ‘land of saints and scholars’. Yet the Irish experience of Christianity has never been simple or uncomplicated. The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland describes the emergence, long dominance, sudden division, and recent decline of Ireland’s most important religion, as a way of telling the history of the island and its peoples. […Learn More]

Book cover of People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn
History

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present

A startling and profound exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to comfort the living. 

Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture—and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly antisemitic attacks—Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. […Learn More]

Book cover of Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier by Benjamin Park
History

Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier

In Kingdom of Nauvoo, Benjamin E. Park draws on newly available sources to re-create the founding and destruction of the Mormon city of Nauvoo. On the banks of the Mississippi in Illinois, the early Mormons built a religious utopia, establishing their own army and writing their own constitution. For those offenses and others—including the introduction of polygamy, which was bitterly opposed by Emma Smith, the iron-willed first wife of Joseph Smith—the surrounding population violently ejected the Mormons, sending them on their flight to Utah. […Learn More]

Book cover of God: An Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
History

God: An Anatomy 

An astonishing and revelatory history that re-presents God as he was originally envisioned by ancient worshippers—with a distinctly male body, and with superhuman powers, earthly passions, and a penchant for the fantastic and monstrous. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World by Malcolm Gaskill
Colonial Period

The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World

In Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Precious food spoils, livestock ails, property vanishes, and people suffer convulsions as if possessed by demons. A woman is seen wading through the swamp like a lost soul. Disturbing dreams and visions proliferate. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics and the community becomes tangled in a web of distrust, resentment and denunciation. The finger of suspicion soon falls on a young couple with two small children: the prickly brickmaker, Hugh Parsons, and his troubled wife, Mary. […Learn More]

Book cover of A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith by Timothy Egan
History

A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith

Moved by his mother’s death and his Irish Catholic family’s complicated history with the church, Timothy Egan decided to follow in the footsteps of centuries of seekers to force a reckoning with his own beliefs. He embarked on a thousand-mile pilgrimage through the theological cradle of Christianity to explore the religion in the world that it created. Egan sets out along the Via Francigena, once the major medieval trail leading the devout to Rome, and travels overland via the alpine peaks and small mountain towns of France, Switzerland and Italy, accompanied by a quirky cast of fellow pilgrims and by some of the towering figures of the faith–Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Martin Luther. The goal: walking to St. Peter’s Square, in hopes of meeting the galvanizing pope who is struggling to hold together the church through the worst crisis in half a millennium. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Vanishing: Faith, Loss, and the Twilight of Christianity in the Land of the Prophets by Janine di Giovanni
History

The Vanishing: Faith, Loss, and the Twilight of Christianity in the Land of the Prophets

The Vanishing reveals the plight and possible extinction of Christian communities across Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Palestine after 2,000 years in their historical homeland.

Some of the countries that first nurtured and characterized Christianity – along the North African Coast, on the Euphrates and across the Middle East and Arabia – are the ones in which it is likely to first go extinct. Christians are already vanishing. We are past the tipping point, now tilted toward the end of Christianity in its historical homeland. […Learn More]