A Library to Nurture the Whole Person

New Titles Added Each Week

To reverse an old aphorism: We must pray as if it all depends on us, and work as if it all depends on God (yes, you read that correctly)! God is humble and never comes if not first invited, but God will find some clever way to get invited.    

One clever way God invites us is through the thoughts, opinions, and research of others. I have loved reading ever since I got my first library card back in 1955. “Books and doors are the same, said Jeannette Winterson, open them and you go through to another world.”

They also give you another perspective from a different time and place. Most of Catholicism’s teachings have been based on the interpretations of Scripture by the “Fathers of the Church” and then by the male theologians and saints who are called “doctors” of the church. There are 36 such “doctors” but only four of them are women!

The major influences in Catholic theology and teaching has come from popes, cardinals, bishops and male clerics who were the founders or members of religious orders like the Benedictines, Dominicans, and the Franciscans. Their female counterparts were usually relegated to insights about prayer and spirituality and not too influential regarding doctrines, dogmas, and teachings. Most of the latter has come from popes and theologians who were male. Patriarchy is a systemic problem in the Catholic Church and indeed in Christianity! It gives a very limited perspective.

Check this post often as I will add to it the book titles and names of authors whom I believe are making the most contribution to “thinking outside the box” for Catholicism.

By Category

Some of my favorite books


Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood George Wilson, S.J.

The Other Side of the Altar: One Man’s Life in the Catholic Priesthood Paul E. Dinter

The Liberation of the Laity Paul Lakeland

Empire Baptized: How the Church Embraced What Jesus Rejected  Wes Howard-Brook

A Pilgrimage to Eternity Timothy Egan

The Truth At The Heart of the Lie  James Carroll

For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than Ever Natasha Moore

What Jesus Meant Gary Wills

Christ in Crisis Jim Wallace

 In the Closet of the Vatican Frederic Martel

The Kingdom of God is Within You Leo Tolstoy

Whose Church? Daniel C. Maguire

Bad Shepherds: The Dark Years in Which the Faithful Thrived While the Bishops Dod the Devil’s Work Rod Bennett

 A People Adrift Peter Steinfels

Head and Heart By Gary Wills

The Other Side of the Altar Paul Dinter

For the Love of God: How the Church id Better and Worse Than You Ever Imagined Natsha Moore

Catholic Church History

Dark History of the Catholic Church…. Michael Kerrigan


Saving Paradise Rita Nakashima Brock, Rebecca Ann Parker

Why Christianity Must Change or Die John Shelby Spong

After Jesus Before Christianity Erin Vearncombe

The Triumph of Christianity How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World Bart Erhman

Head and Heart: A History of Christianity in America Gary Wills

A Pilgrimage to Eternity Timothy Egan

Discipleship J. Henrich Arnold

Why Christianity Must Change or Die John Shelby Spong

After Jesus Before Christianity Erin Vearncomb

When Christians Were Jews Paula Fredriksen

The Kingdom of God is Within You Leo Tolstoy

‘Come Out, My People” God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond Wes Howard-Brook

Empire Baptized: How the Church Embraced What Jesus Rejected Wes Howard-Brook


Christ in Evolution Ilia Delio

Jesus Symbol of God    Roger Haight

Excavating Jesus   John Dominic Crossan

Jesus John Dominic Crossan

The New Dance of Christ Anthony Massimini

Misquoting Jesus Bart D. Ehrman

Jesus and Buddha edited by Marcus Borg

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time Marcus Borg

Jesus Bart Ehrman

Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography Bruce Chilton

Christ in Crisis Jum Wallis

Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography John Dominic Crossan

God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now John Dominic Crossan

Jesus Before the Gospels Bart Erhman


Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor Susan Haskins

Woman First Among the Faithful Francis J. Maloney, SDB

The Women Around Jesus Elizabeth Moltmann-WEndel

Women in the New Testament Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan

Psalms Now Leslie F. Brandt & Corita Kent

A Short Dictionary of the Psalms Jean-Pierre Prevost

The Spirituality of the Psalms Carroll Stuhmueller

The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic  John Shelby Spong

Jesus Before the Gospels Bart Ehrman

Jesus Symbol of God Rodger Haight


Back Pocket God  Denton and Flory

The Varieties of Religious Experience William James

A Religion of One’s Own Thomas Moore

Anatomy of the Sacred James C. Livingston

The Sacred Quest Cunningham, Kelsay, et al.

Beyond Religion David Elkins

Studying Religion Gary E. Kessler

Introduction to the Study of Religion Ring, Nash, et al.

The Elementary Forms of Religious Life Emile Durkheim

The Range of Religion Denise and John Carmody

Religion in Human Evolution Robert Bellah

The Great Transformation Karen Armstrong

Caesar’s Coin: Religion and Politics Richard P. McBrien

What is Religion? John F. Haught

Religion in Exile Diarmuid O’Murchu

Why Religion Matters Huston Smith

Theories of Primitive Religion E.E.Evans-Pritchard

A History of Religious Ideas Mircea Eliade

At the Altar of Wall Street Scott W. Gustafson

Anthropology and Religion Robert L. Winzeler

The Immortality Key Brian C. Muraresku


Atheism in Our Time Ignace Lepp


The Spirit of One Earth Ursula King

The Gift of Years Joan Chittister

The Spiritual Life Evelyn Underhill

Care of the Soul Thomas Moore

Ageless Soul Thomas Moore

Prayer: Our Deepest Longing Ronald Rolheiser

Wrestling With God Ronald Rolheiser

Divine Essence John Roger

Beyond Religion David Elkins

Through the Narrow Gate Karen Armstrong


This Little Light Michael O’Neil McGrath

Daily Reflections

Fragments of Your Ancient Name Joyce Rupp

Bread for the Journey Henri Nouwen


The Battle for God Karen Armstrong

The Case for God Karen Armstrong

A History of God Karen Armstrong

The God Gene Dean Hammer

The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Armand Nicholl, Jr.

Engagement with God Hans Urs von Balthasar

The Mind of God Jay Lombard

The God Who Won’t Let Go Peter van Breemen, S.J.

No God but God Reza Aslan

An Unsettling God Walter Brueggmann

The Tripersonal God Gerald O’ Collins, S.J.

The Three Persons in One God Gerald S. Sloyan

God, Galileo, and Geering Robert Jones

The Tears of God Wilfred Harrington


The Long Loneliness Dorthy Day

Through the Narrow Gate Karen Armstrong


The Lives of the Virgin Saints Giselle Potter

Saint John XXIII

An Artist and the Pope Giacomo Manzu

Pope John XXIII A Spiritual Biography Christian Feldman

Books written by Catholic Saints 

The Spiritual Directory Francis de Sales

Devotions, Prayers, Living Wisdom Teresa of Avila

Confessions Augustine of Hippo

City of God Augustine of Hippo

On Grace and Free Will Augustine of Hippo


The Two Popes Anthony McCarten


Statements, Reflections, Encyclicals, Misc.

Happiness in This Life, Pope Francis

Laudato Si, Pope Francis


Eternal Life John Shelby Spong

Theology and Sanity F.J. Sheed

Journeys to Heaven and Hell Bart Ehrman



Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychologist’s Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption M. Scott Peck

Christian Art Books

Angels Marco Bussagli

Christian Music Books

About Dr. Ernie Sherretta, D. Min.

Retired Director of Religious Education for the Catholic Church since 2014, granted a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Spiritual Well-Being Counselor
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