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The Meaning of Mary Magdalene

The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of ChristianityThe Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity by Cynthia Bourgeault
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fascinating and wonderful book, that I wish I had read earlier. Not only does it go a long way to recovering the role of Mary Magdalene, but it opens up fabulous new ways of looking at key Christian ideas and practices, and has many helpful practical suggestions for liturgy and ministry.

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Varieties of Spiritual Experience

The Varieties of Spiritual Experience: 21st Century Research and PerspectivesThe Varieties of Spiritual Experience: 21st Century Research and Perspectives by David B Yaden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About fifteen years ago I remember reading an article about the use of brain science to study religious experiences and was fascinated. I thought then that if I ever went back to get another academic degree, it would be something in that field. But beyond that initial interest I never did follow up.

So it was good to read this review of all the current research and hear about promising ideas for the future.

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The World As Will and Idea

The World as Will and Idea: Abridged in 1 VolThe World as Will and Idea: Abridged in 1 Vol by Arthur Schopenhauer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thirty years ago as an undergrad in a modern philosophy class, I first read some Schopenhauer. And despite him being a pessimist, I find the writing beautiful and the ideas exhilarating, even if I didn't fully agree with them.

All these decades later, I feel the same, now having read more fully his major work.

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How to Know a Person

How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply SeenHow to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen by David Brooks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful book. Full of insights and practical tools on how to live well. Brooks does a great job of balancing psychological research with insights from other fields, stories of real people, contributions from literature, and his own efforts to grow as a person. I look forward to opportunities to teach this book in classes at church.

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