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Sunday, November 20, 2011

25 books every Christian should read

Lee has a recent post mentioning a list of "25 books every Christian should read", bolding the ones he himself has read and asterisking the ones he's read part of. I thought I'd give this a try myself, also putting in bold the ones I've read and giving an asterisk to those I've read bits of. Sadly, I haven't read all that many on the list and some I'd not even heard of .....

1. On the Incarnation, St. Athanasius
2. Confessions, St. Augustine
3. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Various (*)
4. The Rule of St. Benedict, St. Benedict
5. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
6. The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous (*)
7. Revelations of Divine Love (Showings), Julian of Norwich (*)
8. The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
9. The Philokalia, Various
10. Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin
11. The Interior Castle, St. Teresa of Avila
12. Dark Night of the Soul, St. John of the Cross
13. Pensees, Blaise Pascal
14. The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
15. The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence
16. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law
17. The Way of a Pilgrim, Unknown Author
18. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky (*)
19. Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
20. The Poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins (*)
21. The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (*)
22. A Testament of Devotion, Thomas R. Kelly
23. The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
24. Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
25. The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri J.M. Nouwen

I'd also add to the list ....

The autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola ... it's pretty short and can be found online and downloaded at places like this - link. I'm not sure, but I think sometimes some non-Catholics may be wary of reading anything by Ignatius as he's so often portrayed as an anti-reformation saint, but what I've read by him has been about spirituality, about experiencing God, not about religious politics. I'd also add Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises (which can be found online too), but it isn't exactly a reading book but more a retreat manual .... I made the mistake of just starting to read it and the meditation on hell scared my socks off :)


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