100 books like The Body and the Blood

By Charles M. Sennott,

Here are 100 books that The Body and the Blood fans have personally recommended if you like The Body and the Blood. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East

T.C. Kuhn Author Of The Byzantine Cipher

From my list on the longest empire in western history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After my third visit to this part of the world, I decided to revisit the locales that had become engrained in my memories in the company of a character I had tentatively invented some years back who was in search of a time and place to emerge it seemed. As a retired archaeologist and amateur historian of early time periods I became fascinated with Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, which lasted for a thousand years and has received so little attention in average history books and even college and public school teaching. Constantinople sat at the center of a unique and important world and deserves far more attention than we have often given it.

T.C.'s book list on the longest empire in western history

T.C. Kuhn Why did T.C. love this book?

Are you a fan of travel literature? If so, then you will be as amazed as I was to find this remarkable account. In the 1990s, the author, a noted travel writer, undertook a task that would be impossible to duplicate today for obvious reasons. Based upon the contents of a rare manuscript, he decided to trace the footsteps of two eastern orthodox monks who, in the Sixth Century, traveled through much of the Byzantine World, moving from one ancient monastery to another while describing their adventures. Tracing their route, the author relates in a witty, yet always respectful and well-written narrative the many obstacles he and his predecessors 1,300 years earlier faced. “The more things (and people) change the more they stay the same,” if for different reasons, and nothing can point that euphemism out better than this entertaining and informative book of a lost world and a time…

By William Dalrymple,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked From the Holy Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the spring of A.D. 587, John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist embarked on a remarkable expedition across the entire Byzantine world, traveling from the shores of Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt. Using Moschos’s writings as his guide and inspiration, the acclaimed travel writer William Dalrymple retraces the footsteps of these two monks, providing along the way a moving elegy to the slowly dying civilization of Eastern Christianity and to the people who are struggling to keep its flame alive. The result is Dalrymple’s unsurpassed masterpiece: a beautifully written travelogue, at once rich and scholarly, moving…


Book cover of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East

Zachary Wingerd Author Of Syria Crucified: Stories of Modern Martyrdom in an Ancient Christian Land

From my list on Christians in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was infuriated to learn how my government was misrepresenting the recent war in Syria. I learned of this deceit from Syrians who had fled their war-torn country and relayed a very different narrative from the one we're all hearing. From 2016-17 Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History sponsored and archived our collection of audio-recorded interviews of Syrian Christians. This book is the end result of their entrusting us with their harrowing testimonies. I'm a Senior Lecturer in History at Baylor University. I routinely teach, among other courses, the history of the United States from a Global Perspective in which I discuss with my students the same lessons I learned while writing Syria Crucified.

Zachary's book list on Christians in the Middle East

Zachary Wingerd Why did Zachary love this book?

Like most Americans I grew up with a simplistic view of the Middle East. From Western news it is easy to assume that the "Arab world" is filled almost exclusively with Muslims who live and die in an Islamic world. Gerard Russell, a former British and UN diplomat, disproves this oversimplification with his detailed travelogue in which he recounts his journeying among "forgotten" religions and civilizations such as the Mandeans and Ezidis (ancient Gnostic communities of Iraq), the Zoroastrians ("fire worshippers" of Iran), and Coptics (a pre-Islamic civilization of Egyptian Christians whose language harkens back to the Pharaohs). 

By Gerard Russell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they…


Book cover of Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World

Zachary Wingerd Author Of Syria Crucified: Stories of Modern Martyrdom in an Ancient Christian Land

From my list on Christians in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was infuriated to learn how my government was misrepresenting the recent war in Syria. I learned of this deceit from Syrians who had fled their war-torn country and relayed a very different narrative from the one we're all hearing. From 2016-17 Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History sponsored and archived our collection of audio-recorded interviews of Syrian Christians. This book is the end result of their entrusting us with their harrowing testimonies. I'm a Senior Lecturer in History at Baylor University. I routinely teach, among other courses, the history of the United States from a Global Perspective in which I discuss with my students the same lessons I learned while writing Syria Crucified.

Zachary's book list on Christians in the Middle East

Zachary Wingerd Why did Zachary love this book?

Before the Holy Roman Empire, there was Byzantium. Prior to better-known names like Charlemagne or Thomas Aquinas, there were men like Justinian, who codified Roman law for posterity, or Photius the Great, who gave concise theological treatises to eager audiences of the highly literate populace of Asia Minor. Wells explores the heart of Roman civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean where the flourishing Byzantine Empire preserved ancient learning. Sailing from Byzantium investigates the historical and geographic forces at play which eventually made Byzantium a "forgotten" empire, yet which today—whether it's acknowledged or not—has left its indelible mark on the modern world in remarkable ways. This is not just a journey into history, but an intellectual pilgrimage into the time and setting of almost forgotten intellectual and spiritual giants. 

By Colin Wells,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sailing from Byzantium as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping intellectual adventure story, Sailing from Byzantium sweeps you from the deserts of Arabia to the dark forests of northern Russia, from the colourful towns of Renaissance Italy to the final moments of a millennial city under siege. Byzantium: the successor of Greece and Rome, this magnificent empire bridged the ancient and modern worlds for more than a thousand years. Without Byzantium, the works of Homer and Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Aeschylus, would never have survived. Yet very few of us have any idea of the enormous debt we owe them. The story of Byzantium is a…


Book cover of The Way of a Pilgrim and the Pilgrim Continues on His Way

Zachary Wingerd Author Of Syria Crucified: Stories of Modern Martyrdom in an Ancient Christian Land

From my list on Christians in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was infuriated to learn how my government was misrepresenting the recent war in Syria. I learned of this deceit from Syrians who had fled their war-torn country and relayed a very different narrative from the one we're all hearing. From 2016-17 Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History sponsored and archived our collection of audio-recorded interviews of Syrian Christians. This book is the end result of their entrusting us with their harrowing testimonies. I'm a Senior Lecturer in History at Baylor University. I routinely teach, among other courses, the history of the United States from a Global Perspective in which I discuss with my students the same lessons I learned while writing Syria Crucified.

Zachary's book list on Christians in the Middle East

Zachary Wingerd Why did Zachary love this book?

The Way of the Pilgrim is a Christian classic that should be read repeatedly. It is a beautiful guide to a pilgrim’s pursuit of St. Paul’s directive to pray without ceasing. Set in nineteenth-century Orthodox Russia, the penitent pilgrim wanders the countryside with a bag of dried bread at his side and the "Jesus Prayer" on his lips. For a twenty-first-century Westerner like me, this narrative was an introduction to the persisting spirituality of ancient Rus. This small book is a simple yet powerful story of a man and his rule of prayer. 

By Anonymous 19th Century Russian Peasant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Way of a Pilgrim and the Pilgrim Continues on His Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collector's edition is cleanly formatted for easy reading. The Way of a Pilgrim was written by an anonymous nineteenth-century Russian peasant and depicts his examination of how to pray without ceasing. Through his voyages and travels, he delves into the value and power of prayer. As he becomes open to the promptings of God, the reader, too, is enlightened as he shares these rich religious experiences, presented in a humble, simple, and beautiful narrative.


Book cover of The Politics of Persecution: Middle Eastern Christians in an Age of Empire

Gary M. Burge Author Of Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians

From my list on helping Christians understand Israel and Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a professor of New Testament theology who has served in a variety of Christian settings in higher education. My introduction to the world of the Middle East came in the 1970s when I spent a year in Beirut, Lebanon, at the American University. Here I studied Arabic, Islam, and regional politics—and unexpectedly had a front-row seat during the Lebanese civil war. After I completed a PhD in theology and began my career, I returned to the region many times. It was my frequent trips to Israel/Palestine that caught my attention. I’ve led countless student trips to this region and participated in theology conferences. But it's the puzzle of Israel-Palestine that always draws me back.

Gary's book list on helping Christians understand Israel and Palestine

Gary M. Burge Why did Gary love this book?

Raheb is a pastor/scholar who lives in Bethlehem and has become one of the most important Palestinian voices describing the Arab Christian experience within the Israeli occupation.

It is rare to read an actual Palestinian voice in this conflict—and rarer still to hear one coming from the church. Raheb is widely respected in academic work but also in the regional church. He has started a remarkable university (Dar al-Kalima University College) and a myriad of projects to alleviate the problem of Bethlehem’s life under military occupation.

By Mitri Raheb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Persecution of Christians in the Middle East has been a recurring theme since the middle of the nineteenth century. The topic has experienced a resurgence in the last few years, especially during the Trump era. Middle Eastern Christians are often portrayed as a homogeneous, helpless group ever at the mercy of their Muslim enemies, a situation that only Western powers can remedy. The Politics of Persecution revisits this narrative with a critical eye.

Mitri Raheb charts the plight of Christians in the Middle East from the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799 to the so-called Arab Spring. The book analyzes…


Book cover of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

Lisa McClain Author Of Divided Loyalties? Pushing the Boundaries of Gender and Lay Roles in the Catholic Church, 1534-1829

From my list on how we got so confused about women, gender, and Christianity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I do what I do for completely self-interested reasons. I am a woman, wife, and mother; a history professor specializing in the Catholic Church and gender; and a Christian (Episcopalian). I used to compartmentalize those roles. I was a Christian at church, a secular scholar at work, etc. It was exhausting. I was frustrated by conflicting messages about gender and faith from my family, profession, and religion. I wanted to be true to all aspects of my identity in all situations, but how? History is full of people who’ve questioned and adapted at the intersections of gender and religion. I learn from their journeys and add another piece of the puzzle.

Lisa's book list on how we got so confused about women, gender, and Christianity

Lisa McClain Why did Lisa love this book?

Cooke makes us question what we think we know about gender.

MacCulloch makes us rethink what we think we know about Christianity. There are so many books of Christian history on the market it can be overwhelming. Many have social, theological, or political agendas. Not MacCulloch. A scholar of the first tier, MacCulloch unpacks Christianity, but this is no textbook.

With clarity and readability, MacCulloch rejects traditional Eurocentric narratives to explore Syriac churches, Thomist Christians in India, Orthodoxy, and the oft-forgotten Church of the East. He emphasizes how the strength of Christianity in all its different forms hasn’t been its supposedly unchanging nature but its adaptability—an important lesson to take into discussions of gender, lay roles, and religion.

By Diarmaid MacCulloch,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Christianity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Diarmaid MacCulloch's epic, acclaimed history A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years follows the story of Christianity around the globe, from ancient Palestine to contemporary China.

How did an obscure personality cult come to be the world's biggest religion, with a third of humanity its followers? This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main facts, ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organization and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.

Taking in wars, empires, reformers, apostles, sects, churches and crusaders, Diarmaid…


Book cover of Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World

Sue Prideaux Author Of I Am Dynamite! A Life of Nietzsche

From my list on philosophy and humanity’s search for meaning.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by humanity’s search for meaning. That is what I am exploring as I read philosophy and as I write my biographies of extraordinary individuals. Sue Prideaux has written award-winning books on Edvard Munch and his painting The Scream, the playwright August Strindberg, and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. She acted as consultant to Sotheby’s when they sold The Scream for a record-breaking $120 million.

Sue's book list on philosophy and humanity’s search for meaning

Sue Prideaux Why did Sue love this book?

Nietzsche said “God is dead, but in thousands of years there still may be caves where his shadow will be shown.” Tom Holland traces the effect of the long shadow on our lives.

By Tom Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A "marvelous" (Economist) account of how the Christian Revolution forged the Western imagination. Crucifixion, the Romans believed, was the worst fate imaginable, a punishment reserved for slaves. How astonishing it was, then, that people should have come to believe that one particular victim of crucifixion-an obscure provincial by the name of Jesus-was to be worshipped as a god. Dominion explores the implications of this shocking conviction as they have reverberated throughout history. Today, the West remains utterly saturated by Christian assumptions. As Tom Holland demonstrates, our morals and ethics are not universal but are instead the fruits of a very…


Book cover of Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh

Solange Ashby Author Of Calling Out to Isis: The Enduring Nubian Presence at Philae

From my list on ancient Nubia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in the art and written language of ancient Egypt due to its beauty and antiquity. Writing is art and art often contains text in this oldest written African language. I am fascinated with the process of religious change, intercultural interaction, and resistance to colonization. All of these themes are present in the study of the last functioning Egyptian temple, Philae, which is dedicated to the worship of Isis. What is often omitted from the history of this exceptional Egyptian temple is the fact that it was Nubians who defended and sustained the traditional religious practices long after most Egyptians had converted to Christianity. I wrote my book to research and share this neglected history.

Solange's book list on ancient Nubia

Solange Ashby Why did Solange love this book?

“Long after ancient Egypt had been subdued by the Ptolemies and Rome, ancient Nubian civilization continued to thrive in late antiquity as an independent kingdom, first as a classical pharaonic culture and then as a Christian polity until the 15th century...like other forms of African Christianity that have been shaped by African traditional religions and culture. Nubian Christianity was fundamentally African.” Dr. Faraji’s book is a perfect complement to my own. As I trace the very late survivals of traditional pharaonic religion among the Nubians, Dr. Faraji teases out the earliest appearance of Christianity and traces its connections to the religions that preceded it.

By Salim Faraji,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The history of Late Antique Africa and the origins of Nubian Christianity have received little attention by Africanists and have been virtually ignored by Africana historians. For Nubiologists, church historians and scholars of late antiquity the story of this ancient African civilization and its conversion to Christianity has been primarily understood as an addendum to Greco-Roman classical antiquity thereby positioning ancient Nubia during late antiquity as a passive receptacle of culture as opposed to a historical actor emerging through the cultural anteriority of its own religious traditions. Ancient Nubia was at once a Nile Valley and Sudanic civilization. Its history…


Book cover of Orthodox Christians in America: A Short History

Victor Roudometof Author Of Globalization and Orthodox Christianity: The Transformations of a Religious Tradition

From my list on a quick introduction to Orthodox Christianity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a scholar of Orthodox Christianity for more than 20 years; & authored or (co-)edited several books. It took the fall of communism to overcome the relative poverty of Western literature & gain better knowledge of the Orthodox religious landscape. Personally, I am interested in the relationship between Orthodoxy and culture/politics. This relationship runs deep into the heart of several Orthodox nations – as the war in Ukraine aptly demonstrates. By the 21st century, Orthodox Christianity is no longer exclusively affiliated with its historical birthplace of Eastern and Southeastern Europe but there are millions of Orthodox Christians in North America and Western Europe.

Victor's book list on a quick introduction to Orthodox Christianity

Victor Roudometof Why did Victor love this book?

Although the faith has a history of nearly two centuries in the New World, to this day, there are only a handful of books about Orthodox Christianity in North America.

Among them, this is an easy-to-read monograph that offers a narrative of the faith’s history in the New World, going all the way back to the first Alaskan communities and later on to the institution of ethnic churches in the 19th and 20th century US.

The author offers a succinct overview of the important developments within various US-based ethnic communities and of 21st-century challenges. It is highly recommended because of the depth and breadth of its coverage.

By John H. Erickson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Orthodox Christians in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

This book follows the momentous events and notable individuals in the history of the Orthodox dioceses in America. Erickson explains the huge impact Orthodox Christianity has had on the history of immigration, and how the religion has changed as a result of the American experience. Lively, engaging, and thoroughly researched, the book unveils insightful portrait of an ancient faith in a new world.


Book cover of The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy: The Church AD 1071-1453

Victor Roudometof Author Of Globalization and Orthodox Christianity: The Transformations of a Religious Tradition

From my list on a quick introduction to Orthodox Christianity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a scholar of Orthodox Christianity for more than 20 years; & authored or (co-)edited several books. It took the fall of communism to overcome the relative poverty of Western literature & gain better knowledge of the Orthodox religious landscape. Personally, I am interested in the relationship between Orthodoxy and culture/politics. This relationship runs deep into the heart of several Orthodox nations – as the war in Ukraine aptly demonstrates. By the 21st century, Orthodox Christianity is no longer exclusively affiliated with its historical birthplace of Eastern and Southeastern Europe but there are millions of Orthodox Christians in North America and Western Europe.

Victor's book list on a quick introduction to Orthodox Christianity

Victor Roudometof Why did Victor love this book?

The separation of Christianity into a Roman Catholic and an Orthodox branch is a topic that conventionally has not received extensive treatment in Western scholarship.

The history of the relationship between these two branches of Christianity is also conventionally narrated from within Western lenses.

In this regard, this book is an invaluable corrective: It describes four critical and formative centuries of religious history from within the viewpoint of Orthodox Christianity.

It is an authoritative, indispensable study for understanding historical events (such as the Crusades and the Great Schism) from a perspective quite different from conventional Western histories of Christianity.

By Aristeides Papadakis, John Meyendorff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This text explores the history of the Eastern Church, spreading from Byzantium to the Orthodox Churches of the Balkans and Russia. It also examines the native Eastern Churches of Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Armenia and Georgia, and in the process exposes the many factors which contributed to the Christian disunity in the Middle Ages. The book also treats the impact on the East of such movements as the revolutionary Reform Papacy, the crusades, scolasticism and concilarism.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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