Each year some 32,000 authors in America attempt to crack the book-sales barrier with new volumes in a variety of fields. Chances are relatively remote that a religious book will become a bestseller, as have such recent entries as World Aflame by Billy Graham, The Gospel According to Peanuts by Robert L. Short, and Are You Running With Me, Jesus? by Malcolm Boyd. Yet American publishers, recognizing the growing demand for religious books, are boosting their promotion of them. In the first six months of 1967, reports Publishers’ Weekly, 890 new books and new editions were published in the religious field. Religion ranked fifth in total number of new titles, following sociology and economics (1,714), education (1,483), juveniles (1,131) and science (1,072).
Our preview of new religious books for the fall of 1967 shows an interesting assortment of titles. Readers who thought the “God-is-dead-no-he’s-not” stream of books had subsided may be surprised to find still more books on a deathly theme: Atheism Is Dead by Arthur J. Lelyveld, The Premature Death of Protestantism by Fred Benbeaux, Jr., The Grave of God by Robert Adolfs, and Who Killed God? by Thomas A. Fry, Jr.
Religious writers are learning the value of the provocative title. Particularly intriguing new ones include Grace Is Not a Blue-Eyed Blonde by R. Lofton Hudson, Christ the Tiger by Thomas Howard, For God’s Sake Laugh by Nelvin Vos, Never Trust a God Over 30 edited by Albert Friedlander, I’m Not Mad at God by David Wilkerson, and On Not Leaving It to the Snake by Harvey Cox.
Fall offerings reveal continued preoccupation by religious writers with the ecumenical movement, the relevance of Christianity to modern man, and liturgical renewal. A host of new biblical studies, ...1
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