100 books like Faith and Vision

By Cameron J. Anderson (editor), Sandra Bowden (editor),

Here are 100 books that Faith and Vision fans have personally recommended if you like Faith and Vision. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Naming the Animals: An Invitation to Creativity

Ned Bustard Author Of It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God

From my list on art and Christianity.

Who am I?

In my late high school years and during college I was confronted with a question that has dogged many artists over the years who are in the church: should a Christian be in the arts or not? As it turns out, the first person to be described as filled by the Spirit in the Bible was an artist. I had to wait until my college years to find that out by reading Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible. This and Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water gave me a theology that valued art. Now I'm a full-time artist and curate a small art gallery, but I've never stopped looking for good books on Art and Faith.

Ned's book list on art and Christianity

Ned Bustard Why did Ned love this book?

What if creativity was not a talent given to a chosen few, but an invitation extended to us all? What if the desire for beauty was not gratuitous in life, but central to our faith? Drawing upon the biblical account of Creation and the witness of a myriad of creative thinkers, this book asserts that all of us—from plumbers to painters and meteorologists to musicians—were made in the image of an imaginative God. In that light, Naming the Animals encourages us to see creativity as an essential part of God’s design for partnership with humanity. This is a great introduction to the Art and Faith conversation.

By Stephen Roach, Ned Bustard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A brief invitation to all people to live creative lives. Stephen Roach is host of the Makers and Mystics podcast and founder of The Breath & the Clay creative arts movement takes the reader back to the initial creative acts of God at Creation and explores the implications of Adam naming the animals, drawing out applications on how that merciful gift informs creative acts today of all kinds.


Book cover of Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith

Ned Bustard Author Of It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God

From my list on art and Christianity.

Who am I?

In my late high school years and during college I was confronted with a question that has dogged many artists over the years who are in the church: should a Christian be in the arts or not? As it turns out, the first person to be described as filled by the Spirit in the Bible was an artist. I had to wait until my college years to find that out by reading Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible. This and Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water gave me a theology that valued art. Now I'm a full-time artist and curate a small art gallery, but I've never stopped looking for good books on Art and Faith.

Ned's book list on art and Christianity

Ned Bustard Why did Ned love this book?

Kelly Crow of The Wall Street Journal said that the Art World is like a cocktail party that has been going on for quite some time. Without question Rainbows for the Fallen World: Aesthetic Life and Artistic Task is a critical voice for Christians to hear in that conversation, and it is a classic that should be required reading for everyone. But there are other conversations at the art cocktail party and, as in most professions, there is a peculiar language that must be learned in order to pick up the nuances and meanings in the discussions. How is the newcomer to the party to learn the vocabulary and begin to understand the accents at this party? Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith stands out as a one-of-a-kind method to begin picking up “art speak.” Objects of Grace is a collection of conversations with some intriguing artists—Sandra Bowden,…

By Sandra Bowden (editor), Mary McCleary (editor), James Romaine (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Conversations with some of today's most intriguing artists-Sandra Bowden, Dan Callis, Mary McCleary, John Silvis, Edward Knippers, Erica Downer, Albert Pedulla, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Joel Sheesley and Makoto Fujimura-focuses on the intersection of Christianity and creativity.


Book cover of Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue

Ned Bustard Author Of It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God

From my list on art and Christianity.

Who am I?

In my late high school years and during college I was confronted with a question that has dogged many artists over the years who are in the church: should a Christian be in the arts or not? As it turns out, the first person to be described as filled by the Spirit in the Bible was an artist. I had to wait until my college years to find that out by reading Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible. This and Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water gave me a theology that valued art. Now I'm a full-time artist and curate a small art gallery, but I've never stopped looking for good books on Art and Faith.

Ned's book list on art and Christianity

Ned Bustard Why did Ned love this book?

Possibly the most helpful book for those looking to engage both Art and the Church. In Visual Faith the reader will find a wonderful overview of art history from a Christian perspective, beginning with art in the Early Church and coming all the way up to Warhol, Pollock, and art today. There is also an entire chapter devoted to making and looking at art. If there was one book I’d give to people in my church who were interested in engaging with art, this would be it.

By William A. Dyrness,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How can art enhance and enrich the Christian faith? What is the basis for a relationship between the church and visual imagery? Can the art world and the Protestant church be reconciled? Is art idolatry and vanity, or can it be used to strengthen the church? Grounded in historical and biblical research, William Dyrness offers students and scholars an intriguing, substantive look into the relationship between the church and the world of art.

Faith and art were not always discordant. According to Dyrness, Israel understood imagery and beauty as reflections of God's perfect order; likewise, early Christians used art to…


Book cover of Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God

Ned Bustard Author Of It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God

From my list on art and Christianity.

Who am I?

In my late high school years and during college I was confronted with a question that has dogged many artists over the years who are in the church: should a Christian be in the arts or not? As it turns out, the first person to be described as filled by the Spirit in the Bible was an artist. I had to wait until my college years to find that out by reading Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible. This and Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water gave me a theology that valued art. Now I'm a full-time artist and curate a small art gallery, but I've never stopped looking for good books on Art and Faith.

Ned's book list on art and Christianity

Ned Bustard Why did Ned love this book?

From the moment that Jesus Christ first proclaimed the Kingdom of God, he appealed to our imagination. He made that appeal through the parables, the paradoxes of the Gospel, his miracles, and those moments when the heavens opened and the ordinary was transfigured. In this book, the poet Malcolm Guite explores how the creative work of poets and other artists can begin to lift the veil, kindling our imaginations for Christ. N.T. Wright has commended this book, calling it “A small treasure-house of beauty and imagination, helping us in turn to imagine God’s world and God’s love with multi-faceted and grateful wisdom.” Although I heartily recommend other recent books, Lifting the Veil is my favorite new work in the Art and Faith conversation. 

By Malcolm Guite,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Christianity has often been suspicious of the human imagination, equating it with what is imaginary or merely made-up, while in the secular world the arts are often seen as little more than a source of entertainment. In Lifting the Veil, Malcolm Guite explores the vision from which all his writing springs - that there is a radiant reality at the heart of things which our dulled sight misses, and that the imagination is an aspect of the image of God in us that can awaken us to the presence and truth of God shimmering through all creation.

He considers how…


Book cover of The Isenheim Altarpiece: God's Medicine and the Painter's Vision

Mark William Roche Author Of Beautiful Ugliness: Christianity, Modernity, and the Arts

From my list on Books that examine beauty and ugliness.

Who am I?

My fields at the University of Notre Dame, where I teach and do research, are philosophy and literature, and I have often been attracted to broader questions. I found ugliness to be a topic of considerable fascination, also for students, and yet it has almost never been addressed. I wrote the book to discover for myself what ugliness is and what it has to do with beauty.

Mark's book list on Books that examine beauty and ugliness

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

I was overwhelmed as I stood before Grünewald’s 16th-century Crucifixion in Colburg, France. At almost nine feet tall, the powerful Crucifixion was at the time the largest ever painted in Europe. 

Blood flows from Christ’s side and head, which hangs low into the breast. Some of the thorns have broken off and are projected into the flesh, which is marked with pustules, sores, and lesions. The wounds are visible, the ribs protrude, and the skin and lip colors evoke death. The nails have become instruments of torture. 

Hayum’s comprehensive historical investigations underscore the healing mission of Grünewald’s Crucifixion: ugliness can be empathetic; ill patients could identify with Christ’s suffering and pray for healing and redemption.

By Andree Hayum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Andree Hayum approaches Matthias Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece, now at the Musee d'Unterlinden in Colmar, as a structural and iconographic entity and restores it to its broader cultural context in the early sixteenth century. She interprets the altarpiece in terms of its hospital context, then explores how this polyptych functions as a system of communication, in relation to contemporary sermons and in response to an emerging print culture. The meaning and motivation behind the direct visual appeal of the Isenheim panels are considered within the liturgy and the sacramental economy.


Book cover of The Web of Images: Vernacular Preaching from Its Origins to Saint Bernardino of Siena

Jamie Kreiner Author Of The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction

From my list on medieval brainiacs.

Who am I?

I’m a historian of the early Middle Ages. There are all sorts of unexpected differences and similarities between modern and medieval life, and things get especially interesting when it comes to thinking about thinking. Our understanding of how our minds work has obviously changed—and so have the ways that we actually use them. Medieval thinkers in Europe and the Mediterranean world struggled with concentration and memory and information overload, just like we do. But they were savvier in dealing with those problems, and these books invite you into the wonderful world of their cognitive practices. You’ll probably find yourself experimenting with many of these techniques along the way!

Jamie's book list on medieval brainiacs

Jamie Kreiner Why did Jamie love this book?

The medieval images that survive today might seem like simplistic or bizarre pictures now. But medieval viewers saw them differently. They treated images as tools for understanding, analyzing, and remembering complex ideas about the world.

Bolzoni works to crack that “code” through the case of late medieval Italy: she illustrates how viewers’ relationships to images changed the more they learned, how preachers communicated with their congregations in ways that listeners would visualize and internalize, and how certain images—like six-winged angels or trees of life—served as effective conduits of information but also as platforms for layered conceptual associations that got increasingly sophisticated the more that authors and audiences thought about them.

This beautiful, fascinating book is well worth seeking out from a library or used bookseller.

By Lina Bolzoni,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through her investigation of the mnemonic role of images in vernacular preaching and in mystical texts, Lina Bolzoni moves beyond the traditional art-historical approach to late Mediaeval and Renaissance art which tends to concentrate on style and iconography. She shows how these images were viewed at the time of their creation, and offers new ways of reconstructing their meaning. By bringing her knowledge of rhetoric and the art of memory to bear on the visual arts she opens up new perspectives for the study of religious art and literature of the Renaissance, and shows how these images actually functioned within…


Book cover of Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story

Christina St. Clair Author Of Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women

From my list on women whose spiritual understanding is enlightening.

Who am I?

One Christmas Eve many years ago when I was a little girl, I was too excited to sleep. I prayed to the baby Jesus whom I’d heard about in carols. I felt wrapped in love and woke up well-rested on Christmas morning. I’ve always believed life is a spiritual journey: I respect and learn from many religious and secular traditions. After I joined a church, I became a spiritual director. When I was sixty, I earned an MA in pastoral ministry and women’s studies. I have pastored two churches and also became a preacher—something I could not imagine I’d ever be able to do. It’s never too late!

Christina's book list on women whose spiritual understanding is enlightening

Christina St. Clair Why did Christina love this book?

This somewhat academic collection of articles, essays, and poems began in a Boston living room when a group of Jewish women recognized that traditional Jewish study was invariably seen through the lens of men. These women had formerly dismissed the Book of Ruth as irrelevant to them, nothing more than a tale about an old man marrying a younger woman.

They decided to compile a commentary about the Book of Ruth using female voices. These writings encouraged me to compile my own midrash (interpretation) and deeply impressed me with their understanding that this Biblical story is relevant for women today to explore powerlessness, vulnerability, loss, women mourning and rejoicing, and relationships.

By Judith A. Kates (editor), Gail Twersky Reimer (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Book of Ruth is one of Western civilization's great narratives of women's relationships. This collection of modern-day interpretations brings together the wisdom, sensitivity, and spirituality of the biblical story with the struggles and insights of contemporary women. Readers will be moved and inspired by these essays."
--Susannah Heschel
Editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist
With Reading Ruth, two creative scholars have brought together an amazingly eclectic group of Jewish novelists, essayists, poets, rabbis, psychologists, and scholars--including Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsbrun, and Nessa Rapoport--to explore one of the most beloved stories in the Bible. In lively essays,…


Book cover of Just in Case You Ever Wonder

Samantha Gassman Author Of Dear Rainbow Baby

From my list on reading to your rainbow baby.

Who am I?

When I started writing children’s stories in 2018, I never would've guessed that my first book would be about rainbow babies. I hadn’t even heard of the term until I miscarried the following year. As I grieved the baby we would never hold, I used writing to work through the mess of emotions I felt: pain, disappointment, sorrow… until the words “Dear Rainbow Baby” appeared. My husband and I didn’t know if we could or would have a rainbow baby, yet, writing a letter filled me with hope that one day she would come. We recently celebrated our daughter’s second birthday, and the publication of my first picture book Dear Rainbow Baby.

Samantha's book list on reading to your rainbow baby

Samantha Gassman Why did Samantha love this book?

This book hardly needs an introduction! It has sold over a million copies worldwide, and for good reason. The most recently released version with art by Eve Tharlet is absolutely lovely. Rich with beautiful imagery and touching text, this book brings a religious element to having a baby. What I love most about this book is that the story can be read to a child of any age, from baby to toddler to kid because its message resonates with every age group. 

By Max Lucado, Eve Tharlet (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just in Case You Ever Wonder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book assures children of God's love through all their experiences--including during hard times such as being afraid of the dark or being bullied--and gives assurance that their parent was there when they were first born and will be with them in heaven.

From New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado comes Just in Case You Ever Wonder, the classic children's book that has made its way into hearts and story times around the world. This award-winning book about the love between a parent and child

has sold 1.7 million copies, touching lives for more than 25 years; reminds children…


Book cover of Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture

John Tolan Author Of Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today

From my list on making you realize you don’t know what religion is.

Who am I?

In the 1980s, I was living in Spain, teaching high school. On weekends and vacations, I traveled throughout the country, fascinated with the remnants of its flourishing medieval civilization, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims mingled. When I later became a historian, I focused on the rich history of Jewish-Christian-Muslim contact in Spain and throughout the Mediterranean. I also wanted to understand conflict and prejudice, particularly the historical roots of antisemitism and islamophobia in Europe. I have increasingly realized that classical religious texts need to be reread and contextualized and that we need to rethink our ideas about religion and religious conflict.

John's book list on making you realize you don’t know what religion is

John Tolan Why did John love this book?

If Donner shows that Muslims don’t necessarily know who Muhammad was or agree about him, Pelikan shows that the same is true for Christians and Jesus. He looks at various ways in which Christians over twenty centuries have conceived of Jesus: a sage Jewish rabbi? An apocalyptic preacher, warning of the imminent end of the world? King of the universe, destined to preside over the final judgment, model for worldly judges and kings? The paradigmatic monk and mystic? An egalitarian preacher of social justice? He has been all of these things to different Christians over the ages, and Pelikan shows how different people in very different circumstances have reinterpreted Jesus the better to fit their own ideas of what Christianity should be.

By Jaroslav Pelikan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jesus Through the Centuries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A rich and expansive description of Jesus' impact on the general history of culture. . . . Believers and skeptics alike will find it a sweeping visual and conceptual panorama."-John Koenig, front page, New York Times Book Review

Called "a book of uncommon brilliance" by Commonweal, Jesus Through the Centuries is an original and compelling study of the impact of Jesus on cultural, political, social, and economic history. Noted historian and theologian Jaroslav Pelikan reveals how the image of Jesus created by each successive epoch-from rabbi in the first century to liberator in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries-is a key…


Book cover of Making Peace with Your Past

Healey E. Ikerd Author Of Changing Your Feelings: A Workbook for Anxiety and Worry from a Christian Perspective

From my list on Christians determined to be more mentally healthy.

Who am I?

I am a licensed therapist who has been in the mental health field for over 15 years. I believe that God wants his followers to be mentally healthy! We are better witnesses to Him when we think and act in ways that reflect biblical principles. This is why I am a big fan of books that help me think and act more wisely and that also helps me follow God more deeply. Working through our mental ‘stuff’ and following God well are greatly intertwined. Whether in person or by recommending books, I love to be a part of that process with people.

Healey's book list on Christians determined to be more mentally healthy

Healey E. Ikerd Why did Healey love this book?

This is one of my most highly recommended books for those struggling with baggage from the past, such as rejection, resentment, and perfectionism. 

Wright takes readers through a process of going back to work through past baggage, forgive past hurts, and then change future responses. For Christians committed to moving (and living) beyond their past, this book can help them do just that. Wright is a leading expert in grief, loss, and trauma and has a number of other invaluable books.

By H. Norman Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Peace with Your Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Much of who we are, what we do, and how we feel is determined by our past. Whether they're relationships from our childhood or pressures from recent years, the events of the past can have a significant impact on our current behavior.

A continual bestseller now re-launched with a new look for new readers, this insightful and perceptive book shows readers how to face and move beyond the negative events and feelings of their past. Writing from a compassionate, Christian perspective, H. Norman Wright helps readers understand who they are, who is responsible for their character, and how they can…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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