Religious Mythology & Social Theology Books

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201. Religious Mythology & Social Theology

These books are general works meant to cover many religions or religion as a subject in itself.

Further Reading

Gregg Braden Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: The Hidden Power of Beauty, Blessing, Wisdom, and Hurt, 2005.

Bestselling author Gregg Braden spent twenty years searching for a form of prayer thought to be common in the early Christian church but lost in early canonizations of the Bible. In the 1990s, he found what he was looking for in Tibetan monasteries and in the American southwestern deserts. He shares his findings so that we may access the full power of deep prayer.

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Roger S. Gottlieb Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters, 2012.

Philosophy professor Roger S. Gottlieb looks at spirituality when it is divorced from religion both in earlier faiths and in modern life. The intentions of those who strive to be spiritual, but not religious, are often noble. But Gottlieb points out that the rigors of trying to live a mindful, loving, and accepting life without the support of religious structure can be quite difficult. He also shares studies of independent spirituality and its role in environmental and political activism.

Edward R. Kelly, et al., eds. Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality, 2015.

Is the physical universe really all that exists? In response to scientists and philosophers who answer “yes,” this book shares the work of a group of scientists and humanities scholars who argue it’s not. Using a combination of empirical phenomena, near-death experiences, and other mystical experiences, they present a reasonable alternative view.

Mark Lilla The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West, 2007.

For most of human history, governments have been based on political theologies in which an overriding myth or religious belief determines the societal order. But around five hundred years ago, nations in the West began to divorce themselves from these theological foundations, leading to the increasing secularization of global governments.  In recent decades, however, the idea of religious governance has regained popularity. Political scientist Mark Lilla examines how we are circling back to political theology and explores the consequences of intertwining governance and religion.

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Mike Williams Follow the Shaman’s Call: An Ancient Path for Modern Lives, 2010.

After studying with indigenous shamanic teachers all over the world, Mike Williams shares what he has learned about the otherworlds and how you can incorporate these insights into your own life. He presents exercises to accomplish such diverse tasks as clearing your house of negativity and meeting your spirit guides.

For more information about these and other books in the Further Reading series, please see Further Reading: Start Here.

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