A reading list with the best of 'em. Fifty reviews -- four to six pages a piece -- chalk full of Christian classics by not always overtly Christian writers who, by their own creative magic, ''speak to the human spirit, to that divine gift by which we transcend the limitations imposed by our self-absorption, our narrow-mindedness, and our moral cowardice.'' Jesuit priest, professor and journalist, Raymond Schroth ranges his ''best of'' through the ranks of fiction, biography, philosophy, theology and poetry -- so in name dropping we'll mention Augustine, Dante, Thoreau, Abraham Lincoln, Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Merton, J.F. Powers, Sigrid Undset, Bonhoeffer, Alex Haley, Shusako Endo and Albert Schweitzer. That's not even nearly half. Fr. Schroth maintains that there are no ''home-work, castor oil, or read-it-because-it's-good-for-you-titles on the list'' and that if we approach these books the way we should approach life -- ''fully open to human experience and God's grace, [they] can transform us in much the same way that a friend, a teacher, or a coach can help us become something we have not been before.'' He also includes helpful notes, his favorite editions and secondary works if you want to know more.
An Eighth Day View:
What do the book of Genesis, the Second Inaugural Address, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X all have in common? According to Schroth, they are all works worthy of being called classics of Christian literature. In Dante to DEAD MAN WALKING, Schroth discusses fifty works -- from books of the Old Testament to contemporary works -- that challenge the social conscience and raise moral and religious issues in a provocative way.