MJ Smith’s Literature Reading List – Bible, Religion or Ethics inspired

Reading List

Based on Biblical characters

  • Ashcroft, Mary Ellen. The Magdalene Gospel
  • Bishop, Jim. The Day Christ Was Born and the Day Christ Died
  • Brelich, Mario. Navigator of the Flood | Noah
  • Brelich, Mario. Holy Embrace | Abraham and Sarah
  • Brelich, Mario. The Work of Betrayal | Judas Iscariot
  • Bulgakov, Mikhail. The Master and Margarita | Jesus and Pontius Pilate
  • Caldwell, Taylor. Dear and Glorious Physician | Luke
  • Caldwell, Taylor. Great Lion of God | Paul
  • Caldwell, Taylor. I, Judas
  • Carbo, Nick and Dehamel, Denise, editors. Sweet Jesus: Poems About the Ultimate Icon
  • Coelho, Paulo. The Fifth Mountain | Elijah
  • Crace, Jim. Quarantine: A Novel | Forty days in the desert
  • Diamant, Anita. The Red Tent | Dinah
  • Douglas, Lloyd C. The Big Fisherman | Peter
  • Douglas, Lloyd C. The Robe: The Story of the Soldier Who Tossed for Christ’s Robe and Won
  • Duquesne, Jacques with Spencer, Catherine translator. Jesus: An Unconventional Biography
  • Gide, Andre. “Return of the Prodigal Son”
  • Graves, Robert. King Jesus: A Novel
  • Grossman, David with Schoffman, Stuart translator. Lion’s Honey: The Myth of Samson
  • H. D. Pilate’s Wife
  • Hamilton, Adam. 24 Hours That Changed the World | last 24 hours of Jesus’ life
  • Hareven, Shulamith. Thirst: The Desert Trilogy | Wandering in the desert from Exodus
  • Hays, Edward W. The Gospel of Gabriel : A Life of Jesus the Christ
  • Heller, Joseph. God Knows | David
  • Heym, Stefan. The King David Report
  • Hurston, Zora Neale. Moses: Man of the Mountain
  • Hussein, Kamel M. City of Wrong: A Friday in Jerusalem | Good Friday
  • Junius manuscript. Exodus | 10th plague to defeat of Pharaoh at the Red Sea
  • Kazantzakis, Nikos with Vasils, Theodora. Alexander The Great: A Novel
  • Kazantzakis, Nikos with Bien, P. A. translator. The Last Temptation of Christ
  • L’Engle, Madeleine. The Genesis Trilogy: And It Was Good, A Stone for a Pillow, Sold into Egypt
  • Lagerkvist, Pär with Blair, Alan translator. Barabbas | Nobel Prize in Literature 1951
  • Lagerkvist, Pär with Walford, Naomi translator. The Death of Ahasuerus | wandering Jew who legend places in the Passion; Nobel Prize in Literature 1951
  • Lagerkvist, Pär. Herod and Marianne | Nobel Prize in Literature 1951
  • Lagerkvist, Pär with Walford, Naomi translator. The Holy Land | continuation of The Death of Ahasuerus in Tobias tetralogy; Nobel Prize in Literature 1951
  • Lagerkvist, Pär with Walford, Naomi translator. Pilgrim at Sea | continuation of The Death of Ahasuerus in Tobias tetralogy; Nobel Prize in Literature 1951
  • Lagerkvist, Pär with Walford, Naomi translator. The Sibyl | continuation of The Death of Ahasuerus in Tobias tetralogy; Nobel Prize in Literature 1951
  • Lagerlöf, Selma. Christ Legends | Nobel Prize in Literature 1909
  • Lawrence, D. H. The Man Who Died
  • Lindgren, Torgny. Bathsheba
  • Linney, Romulus. Jesus Tales
  • Mailer, Norman. The Gospel According to the Son: A Novel
  • Maine, David. The Book of Samson
  • Maine, David. Fallen | Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel
  • Maine, David. The Flood aka The Preservationist | Noah
  • MacLeish, Archibald. J. B.: A Play in Verse | Job; Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1959
  • Mann, Thomas with Woods, John E. Joseph and His Brothers: The Stories of Jacob, Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt, Joseph the Provider | Nobel Prize in Literature 1929
  • Mann, Thomas. “The Tables of the Law” | Moses; Nobel Prize in Literature 1929
  • Meyer, Gabriel. Gospel of Joseph: a Novel
  • Michener, James A. The Source: A Novel
  • Moore, Christopher. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
  • Oursler, Fulton. The Greatest Story Ever Told: The Timeless Story of the Life of Jesus Christ
  • Pinsky, Robert. The Life of David
  • Rice, Anne. Life of Christ: Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt: A Novel
  • Rice, Anne. Life of Christ: Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana: A Novel
  • Saramago, Jose with Costa, Margaret Jull translator. Cain | Nobel Prize in Literature 1998
  • Saramago, Jose with Pontiero, Giovanni translator. The Gospel According to Jesus Christ | Nobel Prize in Literature 1998
  • Sheen, Fulton J. Life of Christ
  • Simon, Neil. God’s Favorite | Job
  • Steinbeck, John. East of Eden | Cain and Abel
  • Theissen, Gerd. The Shadow of the Galilean: The Quest of the Historical Jesus in Narrative Form
  • Tóibín, Colm. The Testament of Mary: A Novel | Mary
  • Twain, Mark. Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven | Adam, Moses and others
  • Twain, Mark. The Diary of Adam and Eve
  • Videl, Gore. Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal
  • Waltari, Mika. The Secret of the Kingdom | early Christians
  • Wangerin Jr., Walter. The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel
  • Wangerin Jr., Walter. Jesus
  • Wangerin Jr., Walter. Naomi and Her Daughters: A Novel
  • Wallace, Lew. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
  • Wibberley, Leonard. The Centurion
  • Zozimus. “The Finding of Moses” / poem

Based on religious issues

  • Kadare, Ismail. The Three-Arched Bridge | Christian-Muslim relations
  • Kazantzakis, Nikos. Christ Recrucified: A Novel
  • Kelby, N. M. In the Company of Angels: A Novel | war
  • Kolitz, Zvi. Yosl Rakover Talks to God | refusal to abandon God in face of the Holocaust
  • Roberts, Michèle. Impossible Saints
  • Smith, Lee. Saving Grace | life of an Appalachian preacher’s kid
  • Taher, Bahaa’ with Romaine, Barbara translator. Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery: A Novel | Egyptian Coptic Christian-Muslim relations

Ethical considerations

  • Atwood, Margaret. Orxy and Crake | social inequality et. al.
  • Carrere, Emmanuel with Coverdale, Linda, translator. Class Trip: A Novel | effect of crime on family
  • Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World | cloning et. al.
  • Irving, John. Cider House Rule | abortion
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go | cloning for organ donation
  • Kincaid, Jamaica. Autobiography of my mother | abortion
  • Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird | prejudice and discimination
  • Mamet, David. The Old Religion | racism, justice
  • Miller, Arthur. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts | socially sanctioned violence
  • Okuizumi, Hikaru. The Stones Cry Out | coping with memories
  • Rio, Michel. Parrot’s Perch | recovery from torture
  • Russell, Mary Doria. The Sparrow
  • Strangerup, Henrik
  • Yoshimura, Akira. On Parole | guilt and redemption

Hagiography

  • Anouilh, Jean. The Lark | Joan of Arc
  • Bolt, Robert. A Man for All Seasons | Thomas More
  • Brecht, Bertolt. Saint Joan of the Stockyards
  • Brenton, Howard. Paul
  • Donne, John. “Ignatius His Conclave”
  • Eliot, T. S. Murder in the Cathedral | Thomas Becket; Nobel Prize for Literature 1948
  • Flaubert. “La Légende de Saint Julien l’Hospitalier”
  • Forbes, F. A. The Life of Saint Columba, Apostle of Scotland
  • Forbes, F. A. The Life of Saint Monica
  • Forbes, F. A. Life of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Forbes, F. A. Saint Athanasius: The Father of Orthodoxy
  • Giardina, Denise. Saints and Villains | Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “For a Picture of Saint Dorothea”
  • Kazantzakis, Nikos. God’s Pauper: A Novel St. Francis of Asissi
  • Keneally, Thomas. Blood Red, Sister Rose
  • Lachman, Barbara. The Journal of Hildegard of Bingen: A Novel
  • Lachman, Barbara. Hildegard: The Last Year
  • Mann, Thomas. The Holy Sinnerr | Pope Gregory; Nobel Prize in Literature 1929
  • Rossetti, Christina. Some Feasts and Fasts | John, Holy Innocents, Peter, Paul, Mark ...
  • Shaw, George Bernard. St. Joan. A Chronicle Play in Six Scenes and an Epilogue
  • Tennyson, Lord Alfred. “St. Simeon Stylites”
  • Twain, Mark. Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
  • Undset, Sigrid. Catherine of Siena | Nobel Prize in Literature 1928
  • Waugh, Evelyn. Helena
  • Werfel, Franz. The Song of Bernadette
  • Wilde, Oscar. Salome

Other religious themes

  • Bernanos, George. The Diary of a Country Priest
  • Cather, Willa. Death Comes for the Archbishop
  • Church, F. Forrester and Mulry, Terrence J. The Macmillan Book of Earliest Christian Hymns
  • Citino, David. The Book of Appassionata: Collected Poems
  • Craig, Davie and McCann, Janet editors. Place of Passage: Contemporary Poetry
  • Deane, John F. editor Irish Poetry of Faith and Doubt: The Cold Heaven
  • Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose
  • Endo, Shusaku. Silence
  • Green, Hannah. Little Saint | reaction to Saint Foy
  • Hansen, Ron. Mariette in Ecstasy
  • Hassler, Jon. Staggerford | part of the Staggerford series;
  • Hassler, Jon. The Staggerford Flood | part of the Staggerford series;
  • Hassler, Jon. The Staggerford Murders | part of the Staggerford series;
  • Hassler, Jon. The New Woman | part of the Staggerford series;
  • Hassler, Jon. Dear James | part of the Staggerford series; a Loyola Classic
  • Horgan, Oayl. Things as They Are | a Loyola Classic
  • Jabes, Edmond. The Book of Margins
  • Karon, Jan. At Home in Mitford | The Mitford series 1
  • Karon, Jan. A Light in the Window | The Mitford series 2
  • Karon, Jan. These High, Green Hills | The Mitford series 3
  • Karon, Jan. Out to Canaan | The Mitford series 4
  • Karon, Jan. A New Song | The Mitford series 5
  • Karon, Jan. A Common Life | The Mitford series 6
  • Karon, Jan. In This Mountain | The Mitford series 7
  • Karon, Jan. Shepherds Abiding | The Mitford series 8
  • Karon, Jan. Light from Heaven | The Mitford series 9
  • Karon, Jan. Home to Holly Springs | The Mitford series 10
  • Karon, Jan. In the Company of Others | The Mitford series 11
  • Karon, Jan. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good | The Mitford series 12
  • Karon, Jan. Come Rain or Come Shine | The Mitford series 13
  • Maurensig, Paolo. Canone Inverso | musicians as descendants of Cain?
  • Melville, Pauline. The Ventriloquist’s Tale
  • O’Connor, Edwin. The Edge of Sadness | a Loyola Classic
  • Prudentius with Slavitt, David R. translator. Hymns of Prudentius: The Cathemerinon; or, The Daily Round by Aurelius Prudentius Clemens
  • Restrepo, Laura. The Angel of Galilea
  • Salzman, Mark. Lying Awake
  • Stenius, Göran. The Bells of Rome

Holocaust

  • Appelfeld, Aharon. Badenheim 1939
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. The Age of Wonders
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. Tzili
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. The Retreat
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. To the Land of Cattails
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. The immortal Bartfuss
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. For Every Sin
  • Appelfeld, Aharon. Katerina
  • Hoffmann, Yoel. Katschen and The Book of Joseph
  • Hoffmann, Yoel. Bernhard
  • Keneally, Thomas. Schinder’s List
  • Kosiński , Jerzy. The Painted Bird
  • Perec, George W, or the Memory of Childhood
  • Sebald, W. G. The Emigrants
  • Styron, William. Sophie’s Choice
  • Wiesel, Elie. The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day aka The Accident


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