Books for Adults

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"Doing Both" Books

Atheism and Humanism

  • Epstein, Greg, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do BelieveWilliam Morrow, 2009. A humanist rabbi writes about humanism.
  • Russell, Wendy Thomas, Relax It’s Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You’re Not Religious, Brown Paper Press, 2015. Makes the case that even in non-religious families, interfaith education is important for all children.
  • Stedman, Chris, Faitheist. Boston: Beacon Press2012Lively memoir of a gay Christian who became an interfaith-friendly atheist.
  • Zuckerman, Phil, Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions, Penguin Books, 2015. A sociologist writes a very readable account of how and why a shift away from religion is occurring.


  • Hanh, Thich Nhat Hahn, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Broadway Books, 1999. By a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, one of the most beloved and prolific Buddhist teachers.
  • Landaw, Jonathan et al., Buddhism for Dummies, For Dummies, 2011.
  • Suzuki, Shunryu, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shambhala, 2011. A classic introduction to Zen Buddhist meditation and practice.


  • Bolz-Weber, Nadia, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, Convergent Books, 2016. Lively memoir by a stand-up comic turned edgy Lutheran minister.
  • Borg, Marcus, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, HarperOne, 1995. A scholar’s account of the historical research on Jesus, and the impact it has on Christian faith.
  • Cone, James, Black Theology & Black Power, Orbis Books: 1997. A classic 1969 work by a prominent theologian on Christianity, white oppression, and Civil Rights.
  • Duffner, Jordan Denari, Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic, Liturgical Press, 2017. A memoir by a Catholic who advocates for interfaith engagement.
  • Evans, Rachel Held, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Thomas Nelson, 2015. Memoir by a progressive Christian on losing and regaining her faith.
  • Lee, Deborah Jian, Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism, Beacon Press, 2016. Journalistic account of progressive evangelical Christian movements.
  • Lewis, C.S., Mere Christianity, HarperOne, 2015. Based on a series of BBC Radio broadcasts from the 1940s, this book has had broad influence in the Christian world.
  • Merton, Thomas, The Seven Storey Mountain, Mariner Books, 1999. Brilliant spiritual memoir of a Catholic monk.
  • Spong, John Shelby, Jesus for the Non-Religious, San Francisco: HarperOne, 2008. A retired Episcopal Bishop with a progressive and even radical view of Jesus.
  • Thurman, Howard, Jesus and the Disinherited. Beacon Press: 2012. Classic work by a prominent African American theologian who influenced Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Wikstrom, Erik Walker, Teacher, Guide, Companion: Rediscovering Jesus in a Secular World, Skinner House, 2003. A Unitarian Universalist minister integrates secular and religious perspectives on Jesus.

Earth-Centered Religions

  • Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today, Penguin, 2006. Journalistic overview of Paganism by an esteemed practitioner.
  • Higginbotham, Joyce and River, Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions, Llewellyn, 2002.
  • Murrell, Nathaniel, Afro-Caribbean Religions, Temple University Press, 2009.
  • Nerburn, Kent (editor), The Wisdom of the Native Americans, New World Library, 1999.


  • Huyler, Stephen P., Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion, Yale University Press, 2002. A brief guide filled with stories and color photos by an anthropologist who converted to Hinduism.
  • Klostermaier, Klaus K., A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition. SUNY Press, 2007. An academic survey of the history, geography, and politics of the major branches of Hinduism.
  • Yogananda, Paramahansa, Autobiography of a Yogi, Philosophical Library, 1946. A classic memoir by a Hindu guru who brought yoga and meditation to America.


  • Armstrong, Karen, Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time, HarperOne, 2007. A popular religion writer creates an appreciative portrait.
  • Aslan, Reza, No god But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, Random House, 2009. An overview by a scholar who writes like a novelist.
  • Hussein, Amir, Oil & Water: Two Faiths: One God, CopperHouse, 2006. A theology professor explains Islam to Christians.
  • Lings, Martin, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Inner Traditions, 1983. A scholarly but readable classic biography on the foundation of Islam.
  • Moghul, Haroon, How to Be a Muslim: An American Story, Beacon Press, 2017. A memoir on forging an American Muslim identity after 9/11.
  • Patel, Eboo. Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010. A lively memoir by an interfaith leader.


  • Diamant, Anita, Living a Jewish Life, William Morrow, 2007. A readable introduction to Jewish homelife, holidays, community, and life-cycle events.
  • Falcon, Ted, and Blatner, David, Judaism for Dummies, For Dummies, 2013. Co-written by Rabbi Ted Falcon, one of the three touring “Interfaith Amigos.”
  • Green, Arthur, Judaism’s 10 Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers, Jewish Lights, 2014. A philosopher seeks to answer the question “Why Be Jewish?”
  • Waskow, Arthur, Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to the Jewish Holidays, Beacon Press, 1991. A lively guide to both traditional holiday celebrations and new interpretations.


  • Kaur, Meeta, Her Name Is Kaur: Sikh American Women Write about Love, Courage, and Faith, She Writes Press, 2014.
  • Singh, Nikky-Guninder Kaur. Sikhism: An Introduction (I.B. Tauris Introductions to Religion). I.B. Tauris, 2011.
  • Singh, Patwant. The Sikhs. Rupa & Co, 2002.

Unitarian Universalism

  • Buehrens, John and Church, Forrest, A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, Beacon Press, 1998.
  • Morales, Peter (editor), The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide, 5th Edition, Skinner House, 2012.

For In-Laws, Grandparents, Extended Family

  • Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws into Family, Ruth Nemzoff, St Martin’s Griffin, 2012. Wisdom from a Jewish interfaith grandmother. I also recommend her complementary book, Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with your Adult Children.
  • Memories for My Grandchild: A Keepsake to Remember, Suzanne Zenkel, Peter Pauper Press, 2010. This is an example of the type of easy fill-in books (there are several on the market) that elders can complete, even if they don’t have grandchildren yet (or for great-nieces and nephews), to create a keepsake.
  • Mingled Roots: A Guide for Jewish Grandparents of Interfaith Children, Sunie Levin, Behrman House, 2003. Very much written from a Jewish perspective, but contains some advice relevant to any interfaith grandparent.
  • To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to ComeBob Greene and D. G. Fulford, Doubleday, 1993. A book that will help you record more detailed and deeper stories of family members. Great gift for new parents or grandparents: record these stories while you still can.
  • Twenty Things for Grandparents of Interfaith Grandchildren to Do (And Not Do) to Nurture Jewish Identity in Their Grandchildren, Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky and Paul Golin, Torah Aura, 2007. Very much written from a Jewish perspective, but has some good advice.