Friday, May 2, 2008

If you are thinking critically about religion or even just have some doubts as to it's trueness, then I have made this handy step by step guide of resources for those interested. This guide is particularly applicable to Orthodox Jews and partially to Fundamentalist Christians but the last few books are a great read for anyone.

1.) "How to read the Bible" by James Kugel. This is a great way to start because the author is an Orthodox Jew himself and his book is presented in a highly non-offensive way. He brings both sides and lets the reader make the choice to accept Biblical Scholarship or not.

2.)"A letter to my Rabbi" by Naftali Zeligman. A kind but questioning essay written as letter from a Orthodox student to his Rabbi.

3.)"Who wrote the Bible" by Richard Elliot Freedman. If you are interested in more about the Documentary Hypothesis then this is a good place to start. After reading this book you will have a basic understanding of the Bible from a scholarly outlook.

4.)"The End of Faith, Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason" by Sam Harris. The author is an outspoken atheist and has held many discussions about religion in general and especially dangerous religion like radical Islam. I've found this book to be the least abrasive.

5.) "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. A well known biologist and atheist. His credentials are sky high though he has been accused of taking the theory of evolution where no man has gone before. When I read this book, I flinched. I'm still churning over some of his ideas, especially regarding the education of children.

6.)"God is not Great, How Religion poisons everything." by Christopher Hitchens. If you thought the previous 2 books were rough then hold on to your seats because Hitchens' book is a no holds barred attack on religion. He is the only person I know of that can find the dirt on the holiest of people including Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama. I may not be as flaming of an "anti-theist" as he is but it's a great read nonetheless.

Check the resources label for more information.