Your knowledge of the Muslim World was probably Disney's Aladdin before 9/11. Then it became limited to the daily news cycle of the "war on terror." How did such a rich and diverse civilization become relegated to the dustbin of history? Ansary does a masterful job of putting modern conflicts in their historical context from Babylon to the Six Day War.
Like playing Axis and Allies, but for real. I've always been OBSESSED with WWI/II, and what makes this book really shine is experiencing the war from multiple perspectives, whether it be emperor of Austro-Hungary, or a floundering and short-lived democratic Soviet Union.
The Mormon Jesus by John Turner, answering all the questions you've been dying to ask like, was Jesus a polygamist? or did Jesus have abs?
Hot take: If I were ever to apostatize, I'd become an Orthodox monk. But seriously, Orthodoxy has so many surprising affinities to the Latter-Day Saint tradition, you'd be surprised.
If she - whipped herself for fun as a child - doesn't need food to live - moves popes and kings to do her bidding she's not your girl. She's St. Catherine of Siena
Perhaps the statement "ideas have power" sounds super-obvious. But if that's the case, we had gosh darn take a moment to examine what ideas are driving us. A timely book considering the strong ideologies present in politics today.
Most accounts of secularization are pretty flat: the march of clear and virtuous reason against the suffocating faith of the Middle Ages. Charles Taylor gives much more detailed account than these over-simplifications-- and regardless of your background, Taylor's work is an engaging read.
Lesson from 4th century Christianity: if someone excommunicates you, you excommunicate them right back. This book covering the history of Constantine, the Nicene creed, and the Arian heresy is a fascinating mirror in which to reflect on the doctrinal disputes and approaches of our own day.
This is my the beginning of my attempt to read Jordan Peterson's list of 15 books he considers central to his intellectual development, as posted on his website. I recently discovered Jordan Peterson through a recommended Youtube video after watching Jonathan Haidt's TED talk on the moral divide between liberals and conservatives. I had heard... Continue Reading →
Why this book Life of Moses is my first attempt at reading a work by the early church fathers. It was written by St. Gregory of the small town of Nyssa in Cappadocia, a region in present day Turkey. Gregory lived during the last days of the Roman empire (born AD 335, died AD 395).... Continue Reading →