100 books like A Church with the Soul of a Nation

By Phyllis D Airhart,

Here are 100 books that A Church with the Soul of a Nation fans have personally recommended if you like A Church with the Soul of a Nation. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Church in the Canadian Era

Mark A. Noll Author Of A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada

From my list on the history of Christianity in Canada.

Who am I?

Instead of experiencing a mid-life academic crisis, I discovered Canada. Through George Rawlyk, a senior historian at Queen’s University in Ontario, and then through many fruitful contacts with older and younger Canadians as well as frequent visits north of the border, I became increasingly intrigued by comparisons with U.S. history. Most of my specialized scholarship has treated American developments, but I have been able to explain those matters more perceptively by keeping Canada’s alternative history in mind. The chance to introduce undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame to Canadian history provided a regular stimulus to think about a common subject (Christianity) taking somewhat different shapes in the two nations.

Mark's book list on the history of Christianity in Canada

Mark A. Noll Why did Mark love this book?

In the sixteen years between this book’s two editions, religion in Canada underwent a revolution. John Webster Grant’s history of developments in Canada’s first century after Confederation (1867-1967) sparkled with wit, limpid prose, and telling incidents succinctly portrayed. His deep research in French sources, as well as English, made for an exceptionally well-balanced account of both Protestants and Catholics, both Quebec and the rest of Canada. The new chapter he added in 1988 was just as informative, perceptive, and wise about the difficult days for the churches that began so suddenly in the 1960s.

By John Webster Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Church in the Canadian Era as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Webster Grant?s The Church in the Canadian Era was originally published in 1972. It remains a classic and important text on the history of the Canadian churches since Confederation. This updated edition has been expanded to include a chapter on recent history as well as a new bibliographical survey. Its approach is ecumenical, taking account not only of the whole range of Christian denominations but of sources in both national languages.


Book cover of Ravished by the Spirit: Religious Revivals, Baptists, and Henry Alline

Mark A. Noll Author Of A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada

From my list on the history of Christianity in Canada.

Who am I?

Instead of experiencing a mid-life academic crisis, I discovered Canada. Through George Rawlyk, a senior historian at Queen’s University in Ontario, and then through many fruitful contacts with older and younger Canadians as well as frequent visits north of the border, I became increasingly intrigued by comparisons with U.S. history. Most of my specialized scholarship has treated American developments, but I have been able to explain those matters more perceptively by keeping Canada’s alternative history in mind. The chance to introduce undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame to Canadian history provided a regular stimulus to think about a common subject (Christianity) taking somewhat different shapes in the two nations.

Mark's book list on the history of Christianity in Canada

Mark A. Noll Why did Mark love this book?

In his years as a historian at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) Rawlyk inspired a wealth of solid writing on Canada’s religious history, while also inaugurating an ambitious series in religious history for the McGill-Queen’s University press that continues to this day. Rawlyk’s own research detailed the religious history of the Maritime Provinces, especially the dramatic, long-term impact of radical Christian revivals in the period of the American Revolution that were spearheaded by Henry Alline. A special feature of this book is the shrewd assessment of how Canada’s early religious history differed from parallel developments in the United States.

By George A. Rawlyk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ravished by the Spirit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rawlyk sees the Baptists of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as reaching their zenith during the latter half of the nineteenth century. He makes some controversial comments on the differences between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Baptists of both the present and past century. Ravished by the Spirit does not deal merely with a distnt historical past but raises some fundamental and disconcerting questions about the vulnerability of the Baptist denomination in contemporary Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


Book cover of Religion and Public Life in Canada: Historical and Comparative Perspectives

Mark A. Noll Author Of A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada

From my list on the history of Christianity in Canada.

Who am I?

Instead of experiencing a mid-life academic crisis, I discovered Canada. Through George Rawlyk, a senior historian at Queen’s University in Ontario, and then through many fruitful contacts with older and younger Canadians as well as frequent visits north of the border, I became increasingly intrigued by comparisons with U.S. history. Most of my specialized scholarship has treated American developments, but I have been able to explain those matters more perceptively by keeping Canada’s alternative history in mind. The chance to introduce undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame to Canadian history provided a regular stimulus to think about a common subject (Christianity) taking somewhat different shapes in the two nations.

Mark's book list on the history of Christianity in Canada

Mark A. Noll Why did Mark love this book?

This wide-ranging collection of authoritative chapters provides an outstanding general account of Canadian religion at the start of the twenty-first century. Coverage extends across the nation (New Brunswick, Quebec, Toronto, Alberta); the book includes perceptive articles on Catholics, mainline Protestants, and newer evangelical Protestant movements; there is revealing treatment of Jews and Sikhs, residential schools for Natives, and church-guided social reform, efforts of missionary outreach and more. The diverse ways that Canada’s religious organizations have engaged with national public life provide a strongly unifying theme.

By Marguerite Van Die (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Religion and Public Life in Canada as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Academic and popular opinions agree that Canadian public life has become wholly secularized during the last hundred years. As this book acknowledges, religion has indeed lost most of its influence in education, politics and various interest groups. But this rigorously researched volume argues that religion was one of the early institutional bases of the public sphere, and although it has since become differentiated from the state, it should not be overlooked or underestimated by historians and sociologists of modern Canada. A compilation of scholarly case studies, it addresses the continuing influence of religion on modern, 'secular' institutions and thus on…


Book cover of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, Volume 2

Mark A. Noll Author Of A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada

From my list on the history of Christianity in Canada.

Who am I?

Instead of experiencing a mid-life academic crisis, I discovered Canada. Through George Rawlyk, a senior historian at Queen’s University in Ontario, and then through many fruitful contacts with older and younger Canadians as well as frequent visits north of the border, I became increasingly intrigued by comparisons with U.S. history. Most of my specialized scholarship has treated American developments, but I have been able to explain those matters more perceptively by keeping Canada’s alternative history in mind. The chance to introduce undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame to Canadian history provided a regular stimulus to think about a common subject (Christianity) taking somewhat different shapes in the two nations.

Mark's book list on the history of Christianity in Canada

Mark A. Noll Why did Mark love this book?

With deep research in both French and English sources, Gauvreau offers a convincing explanation for the dramatic flight from traditional Catholicism that occurred in Quebec during the 1960s. He shows that young reforming Catholics, whose number included the future prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, successfully critiqued the stultifying conservatism, unthinking nationalism, and intellectual sterility of the province’s traditional alignment of church and state. Gauvreau also details the reasons why the reformers’ hopes for a reformed, but reinvigorated Catholicism were frustrated by trajectories they themselves had set in motion. The result was to transform Canada’s most actively religious province into its most secular, and to do so in less than a decade.

By Michael Gauvreau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, Volume 2 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A cogent study that investigates the Catholic origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution.


Book cover of Dance of the Happy Shades: And Other Stories

Mimi Herman Author Of The Kudzu Queen

From my list on transporting you to another time and place.

Who am I?

In my life, I have always loved visiting the unsung places: villages rather than cities, places where I am the only tourist. In both reading and writing, I’m drawn to the quietly dramatic times, the moments before important events, or the aftermaths. I want to see how real characters live in real places dealing with real problems, even if all three are invented. I spent most of my childhood getting lost in books, emerging only long enough to return to the library to discover more places and times where I could snuggle between the covers of a story. As a writer, I hope I can do this for other readers.

Mimi's book list on transporting you to another time and place

Mimi Herman Why did Mimi love this book?

We all need rock stars to idolize, and mine is Alice Munro, a Canadian writer whose books are mostly short story collections about the quietly intense lives of farmers and townspeople in rural Canada.

I’m from a generation of writers who learned about writing through the stories of Alice Munro, Anton Chekhov, and Raymond Carver, among others. Choosing my favorite Munro book is a challenge—for decades I read them all over and over—but if I had to, I’d say it’s Dance of the Happy Shades.

No one understands better what it’s like to be an adolescent girl than Alice Munro, and no one is more gifted at portraying it, particularly in the stories “An Ounce of Cure” and “Red Dress—1946,” with such generous characterizations and courageous honesty.

By Alice Munro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dance of the Happy Shades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013

In these fifteen short stories--her eighth collection of short stories in a long and distinguished career--Alice Munro conjures ordinary lives with an extraordinary vision, displaying the remarkable talent for which she is now widely celebrated. Set on farms, by river marshes, in the lonely towns and new suburbs of western Ontario, these tales are luminous acts of attention to those vivid moments when revelation emerges from the layers of experience that lie behind even the most everyday events and lives.

"Virtuosity, elemental command, incisive like a diamond, remarkable: all these descriptions fit…


Book cover of The Pillar of Light

Colton Mckay Author Of A Stone's Throw

From my list on fantasy authors that reveal Christ in their work.

Who am I?

I have been writing for more than a decade specifically in fantasy. My mind was filled with tales of magic, heroes, and mythical creatures for decades. When Christ called me it was like learning how to fit my creativity and imagination into this box. Except, He is the box from which all creativity comes. As for my expertise concerning the Word of God, I have studied the Bible from beginning to end and I have prepared and preached a number of sermons. I will one day be a full-fledged pastor, and writing is a part of the job. I have a unique blend of fantasy and Christ. 

Colton's book list on fantasy authors that reveal Christ in their work

Colton Mckay Why did Colton love this book?

I enjoyed Anna's writing because of her courage to include missionaries in her work.

Often times those who love Christ refuse to speak of Him or include Him.

Anna does not have this problem and her work is better for it. I found here a rich world that parallels our own in creative ways.

I didn't want to put it down and I am excited to read the rest of the series. 

By Anna Travis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pillar of Light as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lost in a magical world, an ordinary group of teenagers find themselves under threat from the Hunters of Avoria.

When a teen mission trip goes wrong, Nani and her friends find themselves stranded on the world of Milana. The key to their survival is buried somewhere in Nani's broken memory.

Nani's friends are counting on her, but if she wants her memories back, Nani will have to align with one of the very men trying to capture her friends. Can she trust the Hunter? Can Nani forgive him for his past, in order to regain her own? The Pillar of…


Book cover of The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play

Joseph Leo Koerner Author Of Bosch and Bruegel: From Enemy Painting to Everyday Life

From my list on against writers’ block.

Who am I?

My father was an artist who painted passionately, almost always outdoors. When I told him I wanted to become an art historian, he was sad partly because he hated art historians, but mainly because he imagined me chained (as a writer) to a desk, rather than marching the countryside looking for things to paint or draw. Like most writers, I sometimes get seriously bogged down, and his sadness comes back to haunt me. But then I pick up a book that, in just a few pages, puts my writing back on track, gladdening my father’s ghost.

Joseph's book list on against writers’ block

Joseph Leo Koerner Why did Joseph love this book?

Steven’s poems have the cadence of philosophical argument. Entering into this cadence can raise one’s own writing, and thoughts, to a higher plane, without its becoming flowery or affective. For years I kept this collection open to the poem “The Poems of Our Climate,” with its consolation:  “...the imperfect is so hot in us / Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds."

By Wallace Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Palm at the End of the Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This selection of works by Wallace Stevens--the man Harold Bloom has called “the best and most representative American poet”--was first published in 1967. Edited by the poet's daughter Holly Stevens, it contains all the major long poems and sequences, and every shorter poem of lasting value in Stevens' career, including some not printed in his earlier Collected Works. Included also is a short play by Stevens, "Bowl, Cat and Broomstick."


Book cover of The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity

Barrie Wilson Author Of Searching for the Messiah: Unlocking the "Psalms of Solomon" and Humanity's Quest for a Savior

From my list on early Christianity.

Who am I?

Barrie is an historian specializing in early Christianity. Today we now know that there were many different movements within the first few centuries, each claiming to be Christian. James’ Jewish group differed from Paul’s Christ religion and both differed from Gnostic Christianity which saw Jesus as a teacher of insight. None was dominant. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic writings add an intriguing overlay. The books selected are those that open up new ways of understanding the historical development of Christianity. Each in its own way has created a paradigm shift.

Barrie's book list on early Christianity

Barrie Wilson Why did Barrie love this book?

If we only had Paul to rely on for our knowledge of Jesus’ life, all we’d know is that he was born, was Jewish, had brothers and died. Written by a British academic, The Mythmaker is a break-through book that shows how Paul created Christianity by developing a mythology/theology about the significance of the death of Jesus as a Christ. Maccoby’s thought is further developed in my book, How Jesus Became Christian (2008) that demonstrates how different Paul’s religion was from that of Jesus.

By Hyam Maccoby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mythmaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Argues that Jesus Christ never broke away from Judaism and that the Christian religion was founded by Paul


Book cover of The Resurrection of the Son of God

Rodney Holder Author Of Ramified Natural Theology in Science and Religion: Moving Forward from Natural Theology

From my list on my Christian faith confirmed through science.

Who am I?

I believe that the most important questions one can possibly ask are, ‘Is there a God?’ and ‘Is Jesus God in human flesh?’ Since becoming a Christian at University in Cambridge the answers I have found to these questions have been the bedrock of my life. They have been confirmed by experience and I have wanted to share them. My academic work has been devoted to them. I am an astrophysicist as well as a priest and find, contrary to popular conceptions, that these vocations fit wonderfully neatly together. I am persuaded that there is a wealth of evidence for the truth of Christian beliefs, including from science itself.

Rodney's book list on my Christian faith confirmed through science

Rodney Holder Why did Rodney love this book?

Tom Wright is the leading New Testament scholar of today. This powerful and persuasive magnum opus brings Wright’s skills as the finest historian of the period to bear on his subject matter. He sets Jesus’ resurrection well and truly in its historical context. The idea of a general resurrection at the end of time may have been around but not the resurrection within time of a single individual. Yet all the evidence leads inexorably to the conclusion that this is precisely what happened. This was not a belief that emerged over time and then found its way into the gospels but the very foundation of Christian preaching and writing from the beginning and the basis of the existence and spread of the church from its earliest days.

By N. T. Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Resurrection of the Son of God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book, third in Wright's series Christian Origins and the Question of God, sketches a map of ancient beliefs about life after death, in both the Greco-Roman and Jewish worlds. It then highlights the fact that the early Christians' belief about the afterlife belonged firmly on the Jewish spectrum, while introducing several new mutations and sharper definitions. This, together with other features of early Christianity, forces the historian to read the Easter narratives in the gospels, not simply as late rationalizations of early Christian spirituality, but as accounts of two actual events: the empty tomb of Jesus and his "appearances."


Book cover of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity

Dawn Baumann Brunke Author Of Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake: Transformation, Healing, and Enlightenment

From my list on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes.

Who am I?

I am an animal communicator and author of many books about our deeper connections with the animal world. A powerful dream featuring an archetypal Snake ignited my curiosity about snakes and inspired me to learn more. I immersed myself into the history, biology, and incredible diversity of snakes as well as their role in art, myth, medicine, and dreams. I also lived with two rescue snakes: a shy ball python named Carl and lively corn snake named Chloe. What I found was not only fascinating but life-changing. This book celebrates the mystery of Snake and the undeniable wisdom and healing that it offers our world.  

Dawn's book list on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did Dawn love this book?

A thorough look at the origins of Christianity and how the once powerful role of serpent (along with the goddess) was undermined and cast as a tempter and deceiver.

Pagels details how a rigidly-patriarchal interpretation of Genesis perpetuates the myth of separation and disconnection from spirit, nature, and ourselves. While snakes as animals are not covered in any depth, this book does explore why negative perceptions of snake still figure so prominently in Western collective consciousness. 

By Elaine Pagels,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Adam, Eve, and the Serpent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. 

"Confirms her reputation as both a scholar and a popular interpreter.... Continuously rewarding and illuminating." —The New York Times

How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that  championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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