Suggested Reading
Books by OCN members

An Introductory Booklist

These titles have been chosen because the books are not too long, not too expensive, recently publihed and reasonably approachable. They are not necessarily the "best" books by the authors listed. The date given is of first publication.


'Click on title for details'


J.D. CROSSMAN & N.T. WRIGHT - The Resurrection of Jesus (2006)

Two leading New Testament scholars discuss their different understanding of the historical reality and theological meaning of the resurrection.
They constructively debate the literal and metaphorical interpretations.

Bart EHRMAN - Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (1999)

"This should be the first book for any lay reader interested in the historical Jesus" wrote The Kirkus Reviews.
Ehrman is a scholar with a most attractive and humorous writing style.

Anthony FREEMAN - God in Us: A case for Christian Humanism (1993)

Philosophy Now wrote of this book: "Brilliantly lucid, clear, common-sense and to-the-point style."
In this very short book Freeman clarifies his disagreements with orthodox Christianity.

John HICK - The Fifth Dimension: An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm (2004)

The author explores the distinction between an ultimate reality, if such exists, as unknowable and the ideas about such a reality as found in the writings of the main religious traditions.

Richard HOLLOWAY - Godless Morality (1999)

"A book of morals for our brave new world, by a very wise man indeed" wrote Fay Weldon.
Holloway is a retired anglican bishop whose many books are a delight to read.

Michael MORWOOD - Is Jesus God? Finding Our Faith (2001)

The author was formerly a priest with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Australia.
His sincere questiioning of many tenets of the Church led to the banning of his first book.

John S. SPONG - Why Christianity Must C


hange or Die (1998)

This very influential book shows God not as a superperson running the universe, but as the source of light and love; and Jesus not as the founder of a hierarchical institution, but the initiator of a community of faith and service.

James TABOR - The Jesus Dynasty (2005)

The author is an American biblical archaeologist who throws an entirely new light on many matters which one assumed had been settled. Amongst other things, he questions the justification for including the words "This is my body..." in the Eucharist.

Geza VERMES - The Passion (2005)

"No one alive since the first century AD," wrote the Catholic Herald, "can claim to know more about Jesus Christ the man than Geza Vermes." This is his shortest book, in which he carefully compares the texts of the Gospels, indicating what we can, and cannot, learn from them.

Keith WARD - A Guide for the Perplexed (2002)

Until recently Ward was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, and is a joint president of the World Congress of Faiths. "Witty, accessible and prodigiously erudite," wrote one reviewer.

Tony WINDROSS - The Thoughtful Guide to Faith (2004)

Thirty-seven very short pieces, outlining the objections raised to formal Christian religion, and suggesting ways of dealing with them that do not compromise people's intellectual integrity.



Suggested Reading
The following books are strongly recommended by at least one member of the Open Christianity Network
(<empty>  indicates a work written by a member of the Open Christianity Network.)
Author Title
Karen ARMSTRONG Through the Narrow
Charles BIGG The Origins of Christianity
Sheila CASSIDY Sharing the Darkness
McNeil DIXON The Human Situation
Donal DORR Divine Energy
Bart D. EHRMAN Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium
Silvio FITTIPALDI How to Pray Always (without always praying)
Matthew FOX Original Blessing
Patrick FRANCIS The Great Design
Andrew FURLONG <empty> Tried for Heresy
Rene GIRARD I See Satan Fall Like Lightning
Richard HOLLOWAY Doubts and Loves
Godless Morality
William JAMES The Varieties of Religious Experience
Michael KIRWAN Discovering Gerard
Hugh MONTEFIORE The Miracles of Jesus
Michael MORWOOD Is Jesus God?
Sean O'CONAILL <empty> Scattering the Proud
Uta RANKA-HEINEMANN Putting Away Childish Things
John S. SPONG Liberating the Gospels
A New Christianity for a New World
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism
Why Christianity Must Change or Die
Rodney STARK Victory of Reason
James D. TABOR The Jesus Dynasty
Geza VERMES The Authentic Gospel of Jesus
The Changing Face of Jesus
Jesus the Jew
Hilary WAKEMAN <empty> Saving Christianity
Keith WARD God: A Guide for the Perplexed
Tony WINDROSS A Thoughtful Guide to Faith
John Hick The Fifth Dimension: An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm (2004)
Anthony Freeman and John Shelby Spong God in Us: A Case for Christian Humanism (Sociatas)(2001)
Gabriel A. Almond, R. Scott Appleby, and Emmanuel Sivan Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World (The Fundamentalism Project) (2003)
Malise Ruthven Fundamentalism: The Search for Meaning (2005)


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