Recommended Reading List

Here are a few good books that I highly recommend to anybody interested in expanding his/her vision. I've left off the classics — from Homer to Shakespeare to Tolstoi — because they are so obviously worth reading. But these titles below the radar are worth reading. They don't deal specifically with public relations, but in one way on another they have something to offer on topics of communication, dialogue, interreligious/intercultural reconciliation, new perspectives, and other concepts very much complementary to the discipline of public relations.

 

 

Cultural/Religious Anthropology

 

The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, by Martin Palmer (2001)
A historical and antoropological look at the 7th century introduction of Christianity in China and Tibet, and its eventual merger into Buddhist, with new translations of ancient Chinese documents and reports of recent archeological excavations.

 

The Zuni Enigma: A Native American People's Possible Japanese Connection, by Nancy Yaw Davis (2000)
In this an anthropological what-if about apparent Japanese influences on the Zuni tribe in New Mexico, the author weigns linguistic, religious, cultural and physical evidence and speculates about the circumstances surrounding a historically forgotten religious journey from Japan to the American South.

 

Guadalupe: Mother of the New Creation, by Virgil Elizondo (1997)
This book, which focuses on the traditional story of a Marian apparition as an example of spiritual conversion within one's own culture, also blends traditional Christian spirituality with a commitment to justice.

 

 

Novels

 

A Life of Jesus/Iesu no Shogai, by Shusako Endo (1989)
Drawing on what he calls his Japanese mentality of imaging God more of a comforting mother than a stern father, Endo gives both a personal and a historical interpretation of the life of Jesus, particularly the events of his final days.

 

The Bells of Nagasaki/Nagasaki no Kane, by Takashi Nagai (1984)
As he lay dying of leukemia, a Japanese doctor recalls the days following the bombing, in particular how team of medical students work with the sick. A committed Christian, Nagai ends the book with a theological reflection on suffering and forgiveness, and with a call for peace as symbolized by the cathedral bells.

 

Silence/Tinmoku, by Shusako Endo (1980)
Perhaps by the best novel by the Japanese Catholic writer, this historical novel focuses on one missionary priest who senses God's apparent silence in the face of the Christian persecutions of early 17th century Japan.

 

 

Prayer and Spirituality

 

Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hanh (1997)
This reflection by a Buddhist monk on the similarities and complements of Christianity and Buddhism offers some simple insight into living mindfully and spiritually.

 

Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit, by Robert E. Kennedy (1996)
A Jesuit priest who is also a zen sensi writes about his experience of the role of zen in Christian spiritual life.

 

Zen Catholicism: A Suggestion, by Dom Aelred Graham (1963/1994)
A Benedictine monk shows how zen meditation and Buddhist philosophy blends with Catholic spirituality.

 

Christian Zen, by William Johnson (1981)
A Jesuit priest reflects on the Christian applications of zen practice.