The Ancient Origins of Consciousness; How the Brain Created Experience by Todd Feinberg & Jon Mallatt. MIT Press, 2017 paper. Consciousness appeared earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assume
The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt. W.W. Norton, 2017. The enduring story of mankind’s first parents. Greenblatt is the author of Will in the World, an all-time favorite of mine.
The Face of Water; A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible by Sarah Ruden. Pantheon, 2017. A reconsideration of the Bible’s language and how translation maters.
The Story of Hebrew by Lewis Glinert. Princeton University Press, 2017. The hold that Hebrew has had on Jews and Christians who have invested it with symbolic power, more than any other ancient language.
The Jesuits; A History from Ignatius to the Present by John O’Malley. Roman & Littlefield, 2017 paper. The history of this religious order from Ignatius of Loyola to the present.
The Templars; The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors by Dan Jones. Viking, 2017. Crusading knights from Western Europe take on charitable activities.
Last Testament; In His Own Words by Pope Benedict XVI & Peter Seewald. Bloomsbury, 2017 The first pope to resign in over seven hundred years. An old man when he became Pope, Benedict was worn out by the job.
The Evangelicals; The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitrzGerald. Simon & Schuster, 2017. Twenty-five percent of all Americans are evangelicals but, on the other hand, the movement has been fragmenting.
Islamic Jesus; How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims by Mustafa Akyol. St. Marin’s Press, 2017. The connection between the two religions is through the “heresy” of Jewish Christianity.
The Triumph of Christianity; How a Small Band of Outcasts Conquered an Empire by Bart Ehrman. Simon & Schuster, 2017. The growth of this Palestinian sect within the Roman Empire.