Recommended Books


Currently presented in no particular order, this page is a work in progress and may be updated and reorganized frequently.  I only recommend things I have actually read and found valuable in my own spiritual formation.  While some of the listed books have an inter-religious or comparative aspect, it is limited primarily to books with a clear Christian connection.    Please keep in mind that I do not agree with everything in each of these books.  Titles are either linked to, or to free online versions marked with asterisks.  Please let me know of any broken or misdirected links.

Legend: (A) Art and Symbolism; (B) Biblical Criticism; (E) Exegesis; (F) Spiritual Formation; (H) History; (I) Inter-religious; (M) Meditation, Prayer, and other Spiritual Practices;  (N) Non-Dualist; (R) Rites and Rituals; (S) Social and Political; (T) Theology, Christology, Mariology and Sophiology

*The New Man, by Maurice Nicoll [my review] (E, F, M)

*The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich [more of an homage than a review] (F)

Dynamics of Faith, by Paul Tillich (F, T)

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, by Marcus Borg (B, F, T)

The Heart of Christianity, by Marcus Borg (B, E, H, T)

Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia Bourgeault (F, M)

*Open Mind, Open Heart, by Thomas Keating (F, M)

The Good Heart, by the Dalai Lama  [my review] (E, I)

Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hanh (I)

Light from Light, by Louis Dupre and James Wiseman (F, H, T)

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, (F, H, T)

*Revelations of Divine Love, St. Julian of Norwich

*The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis (F)

Conscious Love, by Richard Smoley (F)

Inner Christianity, by Richard Smoley (H, T)

The Return of the Mother, by Andrew Harvey (E, F, H, S, T)

Sophia-Maria: A Holistic Vision of Creation, by Thomas Schipflinger (H, I, T)

Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God, by Caitlin Matthews (H, I, T)

Sophia, the Wisdom of God: An Outline of Sophiology, by Sergius Bulgakov, (E, H, T)

The Holy Grail and the Eucharist, by Sergius Bulgakov (E, T)

*Eighty Aphorisms and Maxims of Louis-Claude de Saint Martin (F, T)

*The Way to Christ, by Jakob Boehme (E, F, T)

Christian Kabbalah, by Ernst Benz (H, T)

Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ: A Gnostic Christian Kabbalah, by Tau Malachi (H, F, M, R, T)

Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition…, by Stephen Hoeller (E, H, T)

The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters, by Elaine Pagels (E, H, T)

*Esoteric Christianity, by Annie Besant (E, H, T)

Lost Christianity, by Jacob Needleman (F, H, T)

Christian Meditation, by James Finley (F, M)

*Meister Eckhart’s Sermons, trans. by Claud Field (E, F, T)

*The Essentials of Mysticism, by Evelyn Underhill  (F, T)

*Dark Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross (F, M)

Works of Love, by Soren Kierkegaard (E, F, T)

*The Sickness Unto Death, by Soren Kierkegaard (E, F, T)

*Fear and Trembling, by Soren Kierkegaard (E, F, T)

The Political Teachings of Jesus, by Tod Lindberg (E, F, S)

The Politics of Jesus, by John Yoder (E, S, T)

Introducing Liberation Theology, by Leonardo Boff and Clodovis Boff (S, T)

Spirituality of the Beatitudes, by Michael Crosby (E, S, T)

A Knock at Midnight, by Martin Luther King, Jr.  (E, F, S)

Homosexuality and the Christian Faith, by Walter Wink (E, S)

*Christianity and Homosexuality Reconciled, by Joseph Pearson (B, E, H, S)

The Five Gospels, by Robert Funk, Roy Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (B, E, H)

Honest to Jesus, by Robert Funk (B, E, H, T)

Prayer and the Five Stages of Healing, by Ron Roth (F, M)

Soultypes, by Sandra Krebs Hirsh (F)

Four Spiritualities, by Peter Richardson (F, I)

Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey (F, M)

Who We Are Is How We Pray, by Charles Keating (F, M)

New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton (F, M, T)

The Inner Experience, by Thomas Merton (F, I, M)

The Supreme Identity, by Alan Watts (N, T)

Behold the Spirit, by Alan Watts (N, T)

Stages of Faith, by James Fowler (F)

Mysticism, Mind, Consciousness, by Robert Foreman (M, I)

Mysticism and Religion, by Robert Ellwood (H, I, M)

Mystical Theology: The Science of Love, by William Johnston (H, I, T)

Seeking a God to Glorify, by Leroy Howe my review (E, T)

The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized…, by Elaine Pagels [my review] (H, S, T)

The Existential Jesus, by John Carroll (E, T)

  9 Responses to “Recommended Books”

  1. Excellent! Some of the titles are familiar to me, others are not, but putting up a recommended reading list is a great idea. A book can change the direction of a life, that’s for sure. In some ways, Light from Light is the book that started me on this path over 12 years ago.

  2. A book I would really like to suggest that is the most powerful book (audio) I think I have ever read about the Spirit and heart: “Song of the Sun” by Andrew Harvey

    • Welcome, and thanks, Ninette. I don’t believe I’ve read that one, but I’m a big fan of Rumi’s poetry and I have several books by Harvey, including The Teachings of Rumi. I just followed your link and saw some of your photography. Fantastic work! I love birds of all sorts. In fact, bird songs are one of my mindfulness cues.

  3. I think that I canceled out of my first comment, so I’ll say it again. Thanks for recommending “Behold the Spirit” by Alan Watts. In my opinion the best book on Christian Mysticism ever written. Thanks

    • Yes, it’s a wonderful book. I’m a bit more fond of The Supreme Identity because of it’s wonderful in-depth discussion of the Trinity from a non-dualist perspective. Years ago it was handed to me at just the moment that I was beginning to formulate similar views, and so played a significant role for me once again identifying with Christianity.

  4. Have you crossed paths with Frank Tuoti’s book, “Why Not be a Mystic”, which I am reading now. It’s published by Crossroads Publishing.

    Tuoti apparently wrote a followup book “The Dawn of the Mystical Age.” Not sure of the difference.

    Both books appear to be Thomas Merton centric. Are you familiar with Tuoti?

    Thanks in advance

  5. How about including “A Christian Book Of Mystical Verse” by A.W. Tozer?

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