Ten Books that influenced my life
Inspired by a Facebook meme, I thought this would be a nice change from my usual political griping:
Yes, really. Along with the works of Greece, this is the foundational document of Western Civilization. It is a timeless source of wisdom, poetry, and meaning.
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
Something I read on my way out of the Mormon Church. Helped me redefine what God meant to me.
The Big Book of AA, and associated literature
A vital text to coping with my disease, and in discovering a new way of living after Mormonism.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
We cannot build a heaven on earth and retain our humanity. What defines us as human beings are our flaws, our struggles, and our search for meaning in the midst of suffering.
The Federalist Papers by Madison, Hamilton and Jay
The definitive text on understanding the US Constitution, and therefore the definitive text on American politics.
The Road to Serfdom by Hayek
The conservative/libertarian’s catechism.
A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren
One of many books I’ve read that encourage the discipline of the Christian life, but without a dogmatic opposition to other forms of belief.
A New Birth of Freedom by Harry Jaffa
An exploration of the philosophical undercurrents of the American Civil War, and the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. The stakes for human freedom were truly high in the Civil War; Lincoln grasped this, and victory for the Union was essential for the cause of freedom to persevere.
Living Buddha, Living Christ
That which connects people of differing faiths is greater than that which divides us, and each of us can learn from and appreciate different traditions. That said, we best connect with other traditions when we delve deeply into living our own, for there we discover the transcendence that is at the root of them all.
The Beginning of Wisdom by Leon Kass
Taught me to approach scripture, not as literal truth or as worn-out mythology, but as wisdom literature that transcends time and has meanings to convey to all humanity. Helped me to learn to think mythically, that is, to comprehend the story, as archetype and as Truth, while not necessarily as literal, journalistic-style reportage. See also Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces.