99 books like The Idea of the Holy

By Rudolf Otto,

Here are 99 books that The Idea of the Holy fans have personally recommended if you like The Idea of the Holy. 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 The Exorcist

Matt Cardin Author Of What the Daemon Said: Essays on Horror Fiction, Film, and Philosophy

From my list on religion, horror, and the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

Religion and horror have long appeared to me like the double helix of some mysterious, transcendental strand of DNA. This relationship has been lived out in my own life. I am simultaneously an author of supernatural horror stories, a critic and scholar of the field, and a student of religion and philosophy with a master’s in religious studies, a Ph.D. in leadership studies, and a lifetime of involvement in various Christian churches. As both a writer and a human being, I hold a special focus on the mutual implications of religion, horror, and creativity, which all seem to arise from and lead back to the same ultimate mystery.

Matt's book list on religion, horror, and the supernatural

Matt Cardin Why did Matt love this book?

Blatty’s classic novel is recommendable as much for its cultural impact, which is of course inextricably bound up with its legendary film adaptation, as for its own content. With the story of young Regan, a 12-year-old girl in the modern technological world who becomes possessed by an ancient demon, Blatty, a committed Roman Catholic, deliberately set out to communicate a vivid sense of supernatural evil to a modern, skeptical, jaded audience. Many people don’t realize that The Exorcist is actually a Christian novel. As Blatty himself later put it, if he could get people to believe, even fictionally/emotionally, in demons, they would also know what it feels like to live in a universe where God and angels are real. The result, regardless of your religious beliefs, is unforgettable.

By William Peter Blatty,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Exorcist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Father Damien Karras: 'Where is Regan?'
Regan MacNeil: 'In here. With us.'

The terror begins unobtrusively. Noises in the attic. In the child's room, an odd smell, the displacement of furniture, an icy chill. At first, easy explanations are offered. Then frightening changes begin to appear in eleven-year-old Regan. Medical tests fail to shed any light on her symptoms, but it is as if a different personality has invaded her body.

Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest, is called in. Is it possible that a demonic presence has possessed the child? Exorcism seems to be the only answer...

First published…


Book cover of Religion and Its Monsters

Steve A. Wiggins Author Of Holy Horror: The Bible and Fear in Movies

From my list on bringing horror and religion into conversation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up religious but loving scary things—horror movies, scary comic books, Dark Shadows, and The Twilight Zone. Even the music of Alice Cooper. While I’m no longer religious, I have a doctorate in religious studies and I still have a fascination with media that cause fear. I also write horror stories. Beyond Holy Horror I have written two more books on religion and horror and I read every book about this odd combination as soon as I can get my hands on it. I believe you should never judge people by their tastes in media—they can be decent folk even if they like horror.

Steve's book list on bringing horror and religion into conversation

Steve A. Wiggins Why did Steve love this book?

Religion and Its Monsters started this whole conversation.

Timothy Beal successfully transitioned from an author of academic books to an author of trade books, and this one shows how he did it. He selected two unexpectedly compatible subjects and demonstrated that they lurk in the same mental spaces.

I was inspired by this book to allow myself to reclaim my childhood interest in monsters as an adult. If serious scholars wrote about such things, why shouldn’t I read about them?

Unfortunately, Beal never followed up with another book on the topic.

By Timothy K. Beal,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Religion and Its Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Religion's great and powerful mystery fascinates us, but it also terrifies. So too the monsters that haunt the stories of the Judeo-Christian mythos and earlier traditions: Leviathan, Behemoth, dragons, and other beasts. In this unusual and provocative book, Timothy K. Beal writes about the monsters that lurk in our religious texts, and about how monsters and religion are deeply entwined. Horror and faith are inextricable. Ans as monsters are part of religious texts and traditions, so religion lurks in the modern horror genre, from its birth in Dante's Inferno to the contemporary spookiness of H.P. Lovecraft and the Hellraiser films.…


Book cover of Maps of Heaven, Maps of Hell: Religious Terror as Memory from the Puritans to Stephen King

Steve A. Wiggins Author Of Holy Horror: The Bible and Fear in Movies

From my list on bringing horror and religion into conversation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up religious but loving scary things—horror movies, scary comic books, Dark Shadows, and The Twilight Zone. Even the music of Alice Cooper. While I’m no longer religious, I have a doctorate in religious studies and I still have a fascination with media that cause fear. I also write horror stories. Beyond Holy Horror I have written two more books on religion and horror and I read every book about this odd combination as soon as I can get my hands on it. I believe you should never judge people by their tastes in media—they can be decent folk even if they like horror.

Steve's book list on bringing horror and religion into conversation

Steve A. Wiggins Why did Steve love this book?

Thinking of this book still leaves me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. I can’t say precisely why, but this book by a Jesuit monk discussing horror struck me as intelligent and deeply personal.

Conversant with many kinds of scary stories associated with religion, this is the most academic book on my list. The fact that Edward Ingebretsen discusses Stephen King really gives readers something to think about. This isn’t the only book to discuss Stephen King and religion—Douglas Cowan also wrote a book about this—but it does so in a way that brings some “aha moments” to your reading.

By Edward J. Ingebretsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From its beginnings in Puritan sermonising to its prominent place in contemporary genre film and fiction, this book traces the use of terror in the American popular imagination. Entering American culture partly by way of religious sanction, it remains an important heart and mind shaping tool.


Book cover of The Secret Life of Puppets

Brandon R. Grafius Author Of Lurking Under the Surface: Horror, Religion, and the Questions that Haunt Us

From my list on horror and religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of horror since I got sucked into Scooby-Doo as a three-year-old. When I started my academic career, I kind of kept that passion tucked inside as something to be embarrassed about – after all, I wanted to do serious work, and horror movies aren’t serious, right? Graduate school made me rethink that assumption, and pushed me towards seriously considering the engagement of horror and religion. I wrote my dissertation on a chapter of the Book of Numbers as a slasher narrative, and I haven’t looked back since.

Brandon's book list on horror and religion

Brandon R. Grafius Why did Brandon love this book?

Nelson’s book is a revelation in how it explores the work that both religion and popular culture can do – her readings of Lovecraft’s work are particularly evocative. I’m not on board with the sharp line she draws between high and low culture, but it’s one of those books that’s fascinating even when you disagree with it.

By Victoria Nelson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret Life of Puppets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this work, Victoria Nelson illuminates the deep but hidden attraction the supernatural still holds for a secular mainstream culture that forced the transcendental underground and firmly displaced wonder and awe with the forces of reason, materialism, and science. In a backward look at an era now drawing to a close, "The Secret Life of Puppets" describes a curious reversal in the roles of art and religion: where art and literature once took their content from religion, we came increasingly to seek religion, covertly, through art and entertainment. In a tour of Western culture that is at once exhilarating and…


Book cover of Holy Sweat

Pamela Christian Author Of Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies

From my list on intellectual understanding with spiritual realities.

Why am I passionate about this?

Realizing I had made a complete mess of my life—being the farthest from my life’s hopes and dreams ever, I cried out to the God I learned about as a little girl. On that very dark night, with complete abandon, I sought God, desperately hoping He was real. I learned He, in fact, is real and everything and more, the Sunday School teacher explained. I was transformed in an instant. I have never come close to the despair and hopelessness of that night ever since. Now, I live my life helping others discover and live in the same life-giving Truth, leading people to balance rational thought with spiritual realities.

Pamela's book list on intellectual understanding with spiritual realities

Pamela Christian Why did Pamela love this book?

After making it through the difficult extended season of life, I needed to regroup.

The “Ten Keys” the author presents are to unlock the Kingdom of God within each one of us to embrace our God-given purpose. “Start, vision, goals, courage, teamwork, excellence, the ability to fail, perseverance, joy, and giving it all away” provided not only ten keys to success, but a path forward.

Anyone who leads and works closely with others will benefit from this book which helps us capture God’s vision, know our mission, and helps others replicate the process. Any person who is struggling to stretch an area of his or her life in a positive direction is a peak performer if we simply stay engaged in the process.

By Tim Hansel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Suggests ten keys to reaching one's peak performance, tells how to develop one's inner, spiritual life, and argues that faith is the foundation of a successful life


Book cover of Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches About the Unseen World - and Why It Matters

R.J. Wilson Author Of Awakening

From my list on powerful young adults and supernatural worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading certain texts in the Bible growing up began my love for all things supernatural. The more I studied the subject and understood the worldview of the biblical authors and of other ancient cultures, the more I began to see these scenes in vivid color. With my passion for theological study (personally and as part of a master’s program), my work as a police officer, and my love for fantasy fiction perfectly positions me to write stories in which deep supernatural elements intersect with the gritty and real space of everyday life.

R.J.'s book list on powerful young adults and supernatural worlds

R.J. Wilson Why did R.J. love this book?

I’ve always wondered what an apocalyptic battle between angels and demons would look like.

Though this book is a theological non-fiction piece, it vastly expanded my imagination, in that realm, as I came to learn more about the supernatural worldview of the biblical authors and of other ancient religions.

What I loved most about the book was the exploration of this theme that hidden, divine beings walk among us.

It captures the fascinating image of the ordinary world being interrupted by that which is extraordinary—and these extraordinary phenomena are a lot closer than we think.

By Michael Heiser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You may never read the Bible the same way again.

Angelic beings taking human wives. Ancient giants. God holding royal court among other gods. In Supernatural, Dr. Michael S. Heiser tackles these remarkable biblical themes and many more, based on his fifteen years of research into what the Bible really says about the unseen realm. Heiser shines a bright light on the supernatural world--not a new light, but rather the same light in which the original, ancient readers and writers of Scripture would have seen it.


Book cover of How Faith Works

Danyelle Scroggins Author Of Blame It On My Boots

From my list on for spiritual growth, healing, and hope.

Why am I passionate about this?

In every book that I have recommended, you’ll find the dynamics of family and love. I’ve been a pastor for over fifteen years and now work as an author of both Christian fiction and non-fiction books. I'm a Chaplain for a Trauma One leveled hospital, and I counsel people of all ages. My master's degree in Religious Education is also a much-used tool as I’ve used education to deepen my quest to obtain knowledge. My love of books about family and love began when I lived in Yokosuka, Japan. I was far away from my family, beginning a new chapter with my own family, but right on the verge of learning how friends can truly turn into family.

Danyelle's book list on for spiritual growth, healing, and hope

Danyelle Scroggins Why did Danyelle love this book?

When I was seeking God for some things greater than I felt I deserved, I began to search for reading material that could strengthen my faith and help me understand some of the things shared in the Word of God pertaining to faith. Well, the late Dr. Fredrick Price became my go-to-author. In this book, he really dissects some of the greatest stories pertaining to faith found in the Bible and helps his readers to get a full and complete understanding. I am recommending this book because it’s definitely an easy but informative read that you won’t soon forget.

By Frederick KC Price,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The principles of faith are God's design to bring you everything you need. The better you understand these principles, the easier it will be for you to overcome adversity and walk in victory. In this book Pastor Frederick K.C. Price reveals from the Bible what faith actually is, and how the spiritual laws that cause faith to work will allow God to work supernaturally to bring the answers you need. Start learning how to step beyond natural circumstances of life into the supernatural flow of God.


Book cover of Switched

Jade Varden Author Of Justice

From my list on switching places in all time periods.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books about switching places and mistaken identity have always interested me. Sometimes, it takes a comedic turn where the hero bumbles through misadventures. Sometimes, there's something sinister at play at the hero must fight to get their own lives back. Whether funny or scary or romantic or thrilling, it’s always a wild ride. The fun of it, and the frightening part, is that the reader must guess what's happening along with the hero. You have to figure out who is who and what is what, so there's always a mystery. 

Jade's book list on switching places in all time periods

Jade Varden Why did Jade love this book?

RL Stine's Switched isn't just a switching places story, it's a switching bodies story. And in this Fear Street installment, one of them is a killer. Yeah, it's intense. Nicole is a super normal teenager with pretty regular problems, like a boyfriend who can't get his act together and homework she can't manage, but a trip to the woods changes all of that. Next thing you know, people start to die. 

Things really take some strange twists and turns so you're in for a wild ride with this one. This is classic Stine and just a fun read, if your idea of fun is being shocked, confused and frightened with every page. What a great time!

By R.L. Stine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Switched 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?

Nicole always thought her friend Lucy’s life was so much better than hers. She had cooler parents and a cuter boyfriend—next to her, Nicole felt like a loser. So when Lucy asked if she wanted to switch bodies, Nicole thought it sounded like a fun idea. Good for a laugh.

She didn’t realize the switch would actually work. Or that Lucy’s life might not be so sweet after all. Turns out, Lucy’s got a few issues. And she’s about to get her revenge—using Nicole’s body!


Book cover of Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen

Steve A. Wiggins Author Of Holy Horror: The Bible and Fear in Movies

From my list on bringing horror and religion into conversation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up religious but loving scary things—horror movies, scary comic books, Dark Shadows, and The Twilight Zone. Even the music of Alice Cooper. While I’m no longer religious, I have a doctorate in religious studies and I still have a fascination with media that cause fear. I also write horror stories. Beyond Holy Horror I have written two more books on religion and horror and I read every book about this odd combination as soon as I can get my hands on it. I believe you should never judge people by their tastes in media—they can be decent folk even if they like horror.

Steve's book list on bringing horror and religion into conversation

Steve A. Wiggins Why did Steve love this book?

This book opened my eyes to how a scholar of religion could engage with horror films. I sat in my hotel room and started reading it the day I purchased it because I couldn’t wait until I got back home to start it.

Douglas Cowan deftly demonstrates how horror films engage in conversation with religion and he does this in non-technical language. In a culture where religion, or at least organized religion, is in decline, it still has incredible power in pop culture.

Many religious people avoid horror like they would a real monster. Sacred Terror, apart from suggesting a title for my book, shows horror and religion both benefit from the discussion. Cowan has written other good books on the subject as well.

By Douglas E. Cowan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sacred Terror examines the religious elements lurking in horror films. It answers a simple but profound question: When there are so many other scary things around, why is religion so often used to tell a scary story? In this lucid, provocative book, Douglas Cowan argues that horror films are opportune vehicles for externalizing the fears that lie inside our religious selves: of evil; of the flesh; of sacred places; of a change in the sacred order; of the supernatural gone out of control; of death, dying badly, or not remaining dead; of fanaticism; and of the power--and the powerlessness--of religion.


Book cover of A Rumour of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural

Joseph A. Scimecca Author Of The Not So Outrageous Idea of a Christian Sociology

From my list on scholarship on sociology and the Christian religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am currently a Professor of Sociology at George Mason University, a Research I Institution, and have now published 9 books. Until I wrote the book Christianity and Sociological Theory, I was a traditional sociologist, one who abided by the tenet of the discipline to profess neutrality in one’s scholarly work. My book, The Not So Outrageous Idea of a Christian Sociology, is not only my most controversial book, given its criticism of contemporary sociology, but also my most personal book.

Joseph's book list on scholarship on sociology and the Christian religion

Joseph A. Scimecca Why did Joseph love this book?

When I first read this book, even though I hold a Ph. D in sociology, it changed my whole view of the discipline. 

I was very disappointed in graduate school at first. Then I read some of Peter Berger’s works, who until his recent death, was the most well-known sociologist of religion. He wrote about making the case for a supernatural reality. This was something that was, and, still is, considered heretical in sociology. 

I met Peter a few years ago and told him how he changed my view of sociology. He smiled.

By Peter L. Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With unparalleled creativity & impeccable scholarship, this path-breaking classic confronts head-on the thesis that "God is dead." The new essays include discussions on religious politicization & the dilemmas of hardline morality.
Preface
The alleged demise of the supernatural
The perspective of relativizing the relativizers
Theological starting with man
Theological confronting the traditions
Concluding a rumor of angels
Notes


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