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Here are some interesting-seeming books in the 200s. I mostly just compiled it from lists in various discussions in this group, and already it's longer than I expected. I'll expand it later. I guess I'm dreading this category overall not because any individual subcategory is horrible (though I haven't covered all the subcategories yet, so who knows?), but because I'm just not sure I want to read so many books about Christianity.
200 Religion: The Great Transformations
201 Religious mythology, general classes of religion, interreligious relations and attitudes, social theology: The World's last night and other essays or A Short History of Myth
202 Doctrines: A History of God
211 Concepts of God: The Courtier and the Heretic
212 Existence, attributes of God: Isis Unveiled (I initially thought this was a mistake, and it does have a different number in a lot of places, but the Library of Congress apparently puts it here)
215 Science & religion: How We Believe
220 Bible: The Year of Living Biblically
228 Revelation: A History of the End of the World
229 Apocrypha & pseudepigrapha: Apocrypha
231 God: Miracles or God: a Biography
239 Apologetics & polemics: Orthodoxy
242 Devotional literature: A Grief Observed
248 Christian experience, practice, life: The Screwtape Letters
261 Social theology: God and the New Physics
270 Christian church history: Augustine of Hippo: A Biography
273 Heresies in church history: Out of the Flames
277 Christian church in North America: Blue Like Jazz
283 Anglican churches: Letters to an American Lady
290 Other & comparative religions: The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man
291 Comparative religion: Hero with a thousand faces
292 Classical (Greek & Roman) religion: Mythology by Edith Hamilton
297 Islam & religions originating in it: Islam: A Short History
I'm going to divide this into two parts - Christian-oreinted books and Non-Christian or neutral books.
First, the Christian-oriented:
230 Christian Theology - Jesus with Dirty Feet by Don Everts - I actually thought this was awful, but It was only 80 pages, so if you're looking for something quick, it's great for that.
232 Jesus Christ and His Family - The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel - Haven't read this one yet, but it's very popular. About a journalist who investigated the claims of Christ and finds them persuading.
234 Salvation and Grace - What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey - Wonderful, wonderful book. Yancey is a great writer - especially among Christian writers where I swear the bar is set pretty low. Highly recommended.
242 Devotional Literature - Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman - I love this devotional. Very useful for getting through difficult times.
261 Social Theology - Velvet Elvis:Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell - Interesting if you can get past the horrendous formatting and slightly poor writing.
280 Christian Denominations and Sects - The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A. Noll - I'm almost tempted to but this in the other list, but a scholarly look at this history and downfall of intellectualism in the Evangelical church.
Non-Christian or neutral books:
200 Religion - The Devil is a Gentleman: Exploring America's Religious Fringe - A journalist (I believe) looks at religion in America. Looks interesting enough.
220 Bible - God's Secretaries - About the making of the King James' Bible
241 Moral Theology - Pride: Seven Deadly Sins - Another one of those little seven sins books mentioned by nperrin.
248 Christian, Experience, Practice, Life - Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis - Lewis's memoir of his childhood and time spent as an atheist. Talks some about his conversion to Christianity, but not really about doctrine or theology.
273 Heresies in Church History - The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels - Pagels talks about the Gnostic gospels, those of the Dead Sea Scroll, what they believed, why they were shunned by the church. Quite enjoyable.
291 Comparative Religion - One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism by Rodney Stark - Actually read this for a Sociology of Religion class, but while a little dense, it's pretty readable if you have an interest in the subject.
294 Religions of Indic Origin - Some of the Dharma by Jack Kerouac - Has very little to do with religion at all. I'd really only recommend if you're a huge Kerouac fan.
297 Islam and religions originating in it - No god but god - Been on my wishlist for a while. Looks like an interesting look at Islam.
Another one for 232 Jesus Christ & his family is Jesus for the Nonreligious by Bishop John Shelby Spong, which I have picked up a couple times at the store (but never bought). I should borrow it from the library though, it definitely looked interesting.
And it looks like those seven deadly sins books are coming in handy!
ETA: The seventh book, Anger, is bizarrely under 294 Religions of Indic origin. The subject headings say it involves Buddhism.
For 271 Religious orders, C.N.L. Brooke's The Age of the Cloister is a reasonably readable historical study.
For 292 Classical religion, John Scheid's An Introduction to Roman Religion is both short and clear, if not all that exciting, although it may be a bit basic for a classicist. Ramsay McMullen's Paganism in the Roman Empire is a much more interesting book, but it landed in 200, unfortunately.
I am going to recommend some books in the 200-249 range, and will do more later.
203 Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church is a very good reference book, but not a "read-through.
221.6 The Hebrew Bible : a Socio-literary introduction by Norman K. Gottwald - this is good enough to be better than any introduction to Christian scriptures that I've read.
222 Genesis (Anchor Bible) by Ephraim A. Speiser, a very well written introduction to Genesis by well-known scholar at the Univ of Penna.
Talking About Genesis, compiled by Bill Moyers, froma PBS series which included non-Christians and very diverse views.
224.06 The Prophets by Abraham Joshua Heschel - one of the best Jewish writers and appeals to many non-Jews.
232 Jesus and Christian origins outside the New Testament by F. F. Bruce. This looks at literature at the time of Christ and later which points one way of other to Jesus.
246 Walking on Water: Reflections on faith and art by Madeleine L'Engle. She wrote A Wrinkle in time and other children's and young adult books which are very readable, even by adults.
I have "A history of God: the 4000-year quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" listed as 291 not 202...Can I use it as my 202 book?
(It seems library list the same book in using different categories)
I think if libraries list the same book in different categories, it can count for any (or maybe even all) of those categories, as long as it's not just one library making a blatant mistake. In this case, even the LoC online seems to list A History of God under 202, so I'd say you're safe to count it there.
There's alot of cataloger's judgement that goes into creating a dewey number (same goes for LC, by the way), so books can be placed in a number of places depending on the library. You should be safe. :)
In fact, I noticed in the LC Challenge group, one member posted a book he'd read in the UA subheading. My library has it in JZ. Go figure.
When I was at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960's, and they were still on Dewey, there was variation in the university libraries for the numbers. The Fine Arts Library had four departments overseeing it: Fine Arts, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City Planning. Each of these depatments "owned" call numbers. Circulation rules varied depending on whether a book was fine arts or architecture on the one hand, and landscape arch or city palnning on the other. Fine arts and architecture had a more restricive circulation policy (shorter duration, more books for library use only, etc). There were a few books that the other two departments wanted their students to take home and read, but whose call number didn't belong to them. So, they would take a history book and make it 711.XX97345 (or something like that) and nest it in the city planning books. Therefore, the book could freely circulate. Now that Penn is presumably all LOC, I don't know how they handle departmental differences.
Interesting that you put the "Coutier and the Heretic" here. I would have thought that it belonged in Philosophy as it about Liebnitz and Spinoza and their competing philosophies. Much 18th Century philosophy was about God and whether he survived Liebnitz's rationalism (more to the point, Hume's skepticism) or Spinoza's deisim.
I think we're all pulling the Dewey numbers from library catalogs and such and not doing our own cataloging, so weird category assignations are someone else's fault :)
The LOC catalog also shows The Courtier and the Heretic in 211 (a religion category), not in any of the 100s (philosophy).
I wonder if it's triggered by having "heretic" in the title. What was once called "cataloging-in-data" on the fly-leaf includes (along with references to Spinoza and Leibniz) "God --- History of Doctrines". One could put any history of medieval scholasticism in that category. I didn't like the "tagging" system as it seem to lack order and be entirely subjective. I am, though, beginning to warm to it.
interesting list for the 200s.... I'll keep some of these in mind when going after some of them for my 1010 challenge.
interesting idea to compile a list from others' lists....
Some one pointed out some less typical 200's to me.
220 - The Wolverton Bible - it looks like this is primarily a collection of Wolverton's Biblical illustrations, which aren't quite like the typical Bible pictures
222 - The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb - graphic novel version of Genesis, apparently it includes all 50 chapters, all the sex, violence and destruction fully illustrated.
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