Join the faculty authors of CSU, Chico's Department of Religious Studies as they explore a range of exciting and provocative issues in religious studies and related disciplines. The following books are available for purchase from bookstores across the country. The links below will take you to or where you can read reviews, peruse related texts, and buy new or used copies of these volumes.

Jason Clower

Jason Clower

Jason Clower, The Unlikely Buddhist: Tiantai Buddhism in Mou Zongsan's New Confucianism (Brill Academic Publishers, 2010)

I have tried to write a book that will accessible and enjoyable for anyone at all who is curious about contemporary Chinese philosophy. Now that more people have "woken up" to modern China as a place of interest, I thought it was time that we had a book in English about Mou Zongsan (1909-1995), the towering figure of modern Chinese philosophy. Famous for reviving Confucianism as a going concern in philosophy, Mou declared that he had actually drawn many of his key concepts from Buddhist thought, though it has long been hard to explain why or how he did that, or even what he thought some of these Buddhist concepts meant. Therefore I aimed to give a a reader-friendly unpacking of Mou’s ideas about Buddhism, Confucianism, and metaphysics with the precision needed to make them available for critical appraisal.

Jason Clower, Late Works of Mou ZongsanJason Clower, Late Works of Mou Zongsan: Selected Essays on Chinese Philosophy (Brill Academic Publishers, 2014)

For further publication information or to order The Unlikely Buddhist, visit

Back to Top

Kate McCarthy

Kate McCarthy

Kate McCarthy, Interfaith Encounters in America (Rutgers University Press, 2007)

In my latest book I explore the paradox of Americans' deeply held religious beliefs and simultaneous commitment to diversity and freedom of religion. Through a set of case studies of five sites of interfaith encounters in the United States (ranging from the intimate domestic dynamics of multifaith families to the official exchanges of religious institutions at academic and ecclesial conferences) the book is an on-the-ground exploration of what motivates people to engage with those who are religiously different, what happens when they do, and what these encounters can tell us about the evolving meanings of religious identity in America.

  Katherine G. McCarthy (co-edited with Eric Mazur), God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2010)Katherine G. McCarthy (co-edited with Eric Mazur), God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2010)


For further publication information or to order Interfaith Encounters in America, visit

God in the DetailsKate McCarthy and Eric Mazur, eds., God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2000)
God in the Details gave me the chance to combine a lifelong interest in popular culture generally and popular music specifically with my training in religious studies. The book is a collection of essays on the religious dimensions of everyday American life - everything from watching The Simpsons or the Superbowl to eating pork barbecue or going to a Bruce Springsteen concert. In the current American landscape, where religion is significantly privatized, eclectic, and individualized, this look at the religious insights and quasi-religious practices of popular culture tells us something about the deep values and conflicts that are shaping our lives as individuals and in communities. If you've ever had the suspicion that there was some deeper meaning to the music you listen to or the movies you enjoy, you might find these essays both fun and enlightening.

To read reviews, order God in the Details, and peruse related volumes, visit

Back to Top

Daniel Veidlinger

Daniel Veidlinger

Daniel Veidlinger, Spreading the Dhamma: Writing, Orality and Textual Transmission in Buddhist Northern Thailand (University of Hawaii Press, 2006)

An important idea in this modern “information age” is that the medium through which a message is communicated affects the way this message is understood. While it seems to me self-evident that listening to a text provides a very different experience than does reading it, most studies of Buddhism have focused on the content of the sacred texts to the exclusion of the ways in which they were communicated to the faithful. In this book, I examine the two main ways by which Buddhist texts were historically disseminated in Southeast Asia: through the oral tradition and through written manuscripts. The book focuses mainly on the development of writing and its displacement of the oral tradition in northern Thailand, and is based on data drawn from extant manuscripts, inscriptions, chronicles, archaeological evidence and reports of early European and Chinese travelers. I have tried in this book to paint as detailed a picture as possible of the roles that both memory and manuscripts had in the dissemination and preservation of Buddhist canonical texts. I also touch upon the different attitudes that various segments of society had towards writing and the oral tradition, and show that not everyone was happy to see the written word eclipse the oral tradition as time went on.

For further publication information or to order Spreading the Dhamma, visit

Daniel Veidlinger (coedited with Gregory Price Grieve), Buddhism, the Internet, and Digital Media: The Pixel in the Lotus (Routledge, 2014)Daniel Veidlinger (coedited with Gregory Price Grieve), Buddhism, the Internet, and Digital Media: The Pixel in the Lotus (Routledge, 2014)

Veidlinger from Indra's Net to InternetDaniel Veidlinger, From Indra's Net to Internet: Communication, Technology, and the Evolution of Buddist Ideas (University of Hawaii Press, 2018)

For further publication information or to order From Indra's Net to Internet visit, 

Back to Top

Joel Zimbelman

Joel Zimbelman

Moral Dilemmas in Community HealthcareJoel Zimbelman and Becky White, eds., Moral Dilemmas in Community Healthcare: Cases and Commentaries (Pearson Longman, 2005)
Most people who teach health care ethics, public policy, law, and business think that case studies can help students understand both the theories they have encountered and the messiness of real moral deliberation and justification. We agree. But in the past most case books in bioethics have usually focused on the commentary of one or two types of professionals and a few professional ethicists. Our book tries to change this in some significant ways. The cases in this volume have been posed not only by physicians, but also by nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians, and citizens and take place in rural or small-town health care settings (not, for the most part, in large, technologically sophisticated tertiary medical centers). The 20 cases cover a wide range of clinical encounters that focus on dilemmas involving the management of patients who are chronically ill; in extended care facilities and ambulatory care/outpatient settings; who have a limited choice of providers or institutions; and whose cultural and religious tenets are typically underrepresented in the extant health care setting and larger community. Analyses by physicians and ethicists are supplemented by those of nurses, social workers, psychological and religious counselors, lawyers, health care administrators, pharmacists, and private citizens. Introductions to each case identify key moral components and pose study questions to help students think through these issues.

Read reviews or order a copy of Moral Dilemmas in Community Healthcare on

Back to Top

Sarah Pike

Sarah Pike

Sarah M. Pike, For the Wild - Ritual and Commitment in Radical Eco-Activism, (University of California Press, 2017) 

Click here to purchase 

Dr. Pike's book

For the Wild explores the ways in which the commitments of radical environmental and animal-rights activists develop through powerful experiences with the more-than-human world during childhood and young adulthood. The book addresses the question of how and why activists come to value nonhuman animals and the natural world as worthy of protection. Emotions and memories of wonder, love, compassion, anger, and grief shape activists’ protest practices and help us understand their deep-rooted dedication to the planet and its creatures. Drawing on analyses of activist art, music, and writings, as well as interviews and participant-observation in activist communities, Sarah M. Pike delves into the sacred duties of these often misunderstood and marginalized groups with openness and sensitivity.


New Age and Neopagan Religions in AmericaSarah Pike, New Age and Neopagan Religions in America (Columbia University Press series on Religion in Contemporary America, 2004)
This book is part of a series that surveys the American religious landscape at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries. I describe the nineteenth-century roots of the Neopagan and New Age movements and their emergence from the 1960's counterculture. I focus on healing, gender and sexuality, millennialism, and ritual experience as the aspects of these religions that attract participants as well as critics.

Read reviews or order a copy of New Age and Neopagan Religions in America on


Earthly Bodies, Magical SelvesSarah Pike, Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community (University of California Press, 2001)
Recent decades have seen a revival of Paganism, and every summer people gather at Neopagan festivals across the United States to celebrate this increasingly popular religion. I attended these festivals over a five-year period, interviewing participants and sometimes taking part in rituals and workshops. In the book I look at debates over drumming, sacred space and sexuality and conflicts between Neopagans and other religious communities, such as conservative Christians and Native Americans.

Read reviews, order Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves, and peruse related volumes on

Back to Top

Jed Wyrick

Jed Wyrick

The Ascension of Authorship Jed Wyrick, The Ascension of Authorship: Attribution, Textualization, and Canon Formation in Jewish, Hellenistic, and Christian Traditions(Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2004)
I was never really as interested in the question "who wrote the Bible?" as I was in the question, "who did early Jews and Christians think wrote the Bible?" Most scholars really get caught up in the first question, and forget or ignore the second. But the thing is, the second question is in some ways more crucial for understanding how the Bible and other ancient texts were shaped than the first. This book explores the evidence from the nooks and crannies of literary history (such as passages from the Jewish Talmud, references in the Apocryphya, Pseudepigrapha, and Dead Sea Scrolls, scribal headings attached to the Psalms in the Bible and its early translations, Greek grammatical handbooks, writings by ancient historians and theologians) that convey information about the way books such as the Hebrew Bible, Homeric Epic, and the New Testament got written down, and by whom. My conclusion: Jews, Greeks, and Christians judged the authenticity of the book in question by evaluating the status of its scribe and his place in the prophetic succession (Jews and Christians) or the likelihood that it was actually written down by the person whose name it bore (Greeks and Christians). I also maintain that the modern Western notion of the author stems from St. Augustine's amalgamation of Greek and Jewish views on how much a text can be credited to the person who composed it.

Click here to read reviews or order a copy of The Ascension of Authorshop on

Back to Top

Bruce Grelle

Bruce Grelle

Antonio Gramsci and the Question of Religion: Ideology, Ethics, and Hegemony Paperback – September 29, 2016

Click here to purchase Dr. Grelle's latest book Antonio Gramsci and the Question of Religion 

Photo of Grelle book

Antonio Gramsci and the Question of Religion provides a new introduction to the thought of Gramsci through the prisms of religious studies and comparative ethics. Bruce Grelle shows that Gramsci’s key ideas – on hegemony, ideology, moral reformation, "traditional" and "organic" intellectuals – were formulated with simultaneous considerations of religion and politics. Identifying Gramsci’s particular brand of Marxism, Grelle offers an overview of Gramsci’s approach to religion and applies it to contemporary debates over the role of religion and morality in social order and social change. This book is ideal for students and scholars interested in Gramsci, religion, and comparative ethics.

The Practices of Global Ethics- Bruce Grelle 

The Practices of Global Ethics: Historical Developments, Current Issues and Contemporary Prospects

Co-author with Frederick Bird, Sumner B. Twiss, Kusumita P. Pedersen, and Clark A. Miller

Click here to purchase Dr. Grelle's The Practices of Global Ethics

Explorations in Global Ethics

Sumner B. Twiss and Bruce Grelle, eds., Explorations in Global Ethics: Comparative Religious Ethics and Interreligious Dialogue (Westview Press, 1998)
In 1993 Sumner Twiss and I attended the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. There we witnessed more than 6000 representatives of the world's major faiths and many smaller traditions who had gathered to mark the centennial anniversary of the origins of the modern interfaith movement. Attendees at the Parliament acknowledged the role played by religion in many of the world's conflicts, and they challenged the world's religious traditions to find constructive and collaborative ways to address a range of critical moral issues that are facing the global community - issues ranging from intolerance, violence, and the abuse of human rights to poverty and the destruction of the environment. These discussions culminated in the Parliament's approval of a "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic," a statement of minimal moral principles upon which it is hoped that the diverse religious and cultural traditions of the world can agree.

Twiss and I were struck by the gap that existed between the practical and dialogical approach to moral issues that we witnessed at the Parliament, and the more critical and theoretical approach to many of these same issues within our own academic field of comparative religious ethics. This book is an effort to help bridge that gap for the mutual benefit of both the interfaith movement and the field of comparative religious ethics.

Click here to read reviews, order Explorations in Global Ethics, and peruse related volumes.

Bruce Grelle and David A. Krueger, eds., Christianity and Capitalism: Perspectives on Religion, Liberalism, and the Economy (Center for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1986)

This book presents a range of diverse perspectives on the relationship between Christianity and capitalism. Among the contributors are Cornel West and Douglas Sturm, who provide a theological and moral critique of capitalism and the liberal assumptions about human nature and society that underlie this form of economic life. Others, such as Robert Benne and W. Widick Schroeder, argue for the compatibility between Christian moral principles and liberal capitalism. John T. Pawlikowski and David A. Krueger provide overviews of classic Catholic and Protestant approaches to the ethics of economic life. Franklin I. Gamwell and Daniel Rush Finn explore the intersections between ethical theory and economic theory. Kay Warren provides an anthropologist's perspective on capitalist expansion into the Third World, and my own essay assesses the role of Max Weber and other social theorists in shaping contemporary discussions of Christianity and capitalism.

Click here to read reviews, order Christianity and Capitalism, and peruse related volumes.

Back to Top

Gregory Cootsona

Greg Coostsona 

Mere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging AdultsMere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults

Click here to read reviews or order a copy of Mere Science on

Gregory S. Cootsona, C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a ChristianGregory S. Cootsona, C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian (Westminster John Knox Press, 2014)

Click here to read reviews or order a copy of C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian on

Gregory S. Cootsona, Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science (Geneva Press, 2002)Gregory S. Cootsona, Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science

Click here to read reviews or order a copy of Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science on 

Gregory S. Cootsona, God and the World: A Study in the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead and Karl Barth Gregory S. Cootsona, God and the World: A Study in the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead and Karl Barth (Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2001)

Click here to read reviews or order a copy of God and the World: A Study in the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead and Karl Barth on

Back to Top

Books by former faculty at CSU, Chico

Click on the titles below for further information.

Andrew Flescher, Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality (Georgetown, 2003)

Andrew Flescher and Daniel Worthen, The Benevolent Species: An Interdisciplinary Account of Human Altruism (Templeton Foundation Press, 2008)

Sarah Caldwell, Oh Terrifying Mother: Sexuality, Violence and Worship of the Goddess Kali

Jean Graybeal, Language and the Feminine in Nietzsche and Heidegger

Donald Heinz, Christmas: A Celebration of Christian Culture (Yale, 2006), The Last Passage: Recovering A Death of Our Own

Laura Hobgood-Oster, "She Glanceth From Earth to Heaven": The Phenomenon of Love Mysticism Among Women in Antebellum Virginia and Maryland. Religious Studies and Women's Studies Series

Laura Hobgood-Oster, The Sabbath Journal of Judith Lomax, editor and introduction, Atlanta

Derek Jeffreys, Defending Human Dignity: John Paul II

James Karman,

James Karman, Robinson Jeffers: Poet and Prophet (Stanford University Press, 2015) Robinson Jeffers: Poet and Prophet (Stanford University Press, 2015)

Stones of the Sur: Poetry by Robinson Jeffers/Photographs by Morley Baer; Of Una Jeffers: A Memoir; Robinson Jeffers: Poet of California

Loren Lybarger, Between Sacred and Secular: Religion, Generations, and the Transformation of Palestinian Political Identities in the Post-Oslo Era (Princeton University Press, 2006)

Eric Mazur, The Americanization of Religious Minorities: Confronting the Constitutional Order

Nancy McCagney, Nagarjuna and the Philosophy of Openness and Religion and Ecology

Sarah K. Pinnock, The Theology of Dorothee Soelle

Sarah Pinnock, Beyond Theodicy: Jewish and Christian Continental Thinkers Respond to the Holocaust (Suny Series in Theology and Continental Thought); The Theology of Dorothy Soelle.

George Williams, Shinto; Handbook of Hindu Mythology; Liberal Religious Reformation in Japan Jiyu Shukyo: Including Call for International Association for Religious Freedom from Rev. Shininchiro Imaoka; The Quest for Meaning of Svami Vivekananda, a Study of Religious Change

Julie Hilton Danan, The Jewish Parents' AlmanacJulie Hilton Danan,The Jewish Parents' Almanac (Jason Aronson, 1997)
The Jewish Parents' Almanac is a comprehensive how-to guide for Jewish family living. I wrote this book to provide Jewish parents (or anyone who wants to learn more about Judaism) with the knowledge, information and practical tools with which to create a rich and vibrant Jewish home life. The book goes beyond simple "how-tos" and  also provides philosophical and psychological perspectives on Judaism and parenting.

Julie Hilton Danan, Click here to read reviews, order the Jewish Parents' Almanac, and peruse related volumes.

Back to Top

Charles E Winquist, Archaeology of the Imagination; Critical Concepts: Postmodernism; The Transcendental Imagination: An Essay in Philosophical Theology; The Surface of the Deep (Contemporary Religious Thought); Homecoming Interpretation Transformation and Individuation; Epiphanies of Darkness: Deconstruction in Theology; The Communion of Possibility; Practical Hermeneutics; Desiring Theology (Religion and Postmodernism); and Encyclopedia of Postmodernism

Back to Top