Following up on the "Top Ten" list posted two-and-a-half weeks ago (last week the Corner was on Christmas vacation and computer glitches delayed this edition), here is some more good stuff from the year that just ended. We hear a lot of whining about the junk of the publishing world, but there are plenty of good books piled on bookstore tables or spine-out on shelves just waiting to be taken home, not to mention the offerings of your local library.
The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime, compiled and with an introduction by Phyllis Tickle (Doubleday). The third and final volume of this "manual for the contemporary exercise of fixed-hour prayer," based on The Book of Common Prayer, though with some changes, and with Scripture chiefly from The New Jerusalem Bible.
The Forbidden Image: An Intellectual History of Iconoclasm, by Alain Besancon (University of Chicago Press). A leisurely journey from the Old Testament and Plato to the Russian avant-garde of the early twentieth century. Look for a review of this book sometime in the next year or so in Books & Culture. (The copyright page says "2000," but we didn't receive the book until 2001, so I'm including it here in good faith.)
The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha, by Ravi Zacharias (Multnomah). An imaginary conversation that can easily be read in an evening, clarifying some of the central teachings of Buddha and showing how they differ from the teachings of Jesus. Persuasive and deeply moving, as the human dimensions of philosophical differences are brought to life. Zacharias spent many hours in conversation with Buddhist teachers in preparation for this book, and while his criticisms of Buddhism are uncompromising, there are no cheap shots here.
Heaven Below: Early ...1