The Challenge runs from Jan 1st 2010 to Dec 31st 2010. There are four categories or Paths (Tao means “way” or “path”) to Reading Challenge Enlightenment:
1. The Bare Bones Path (Also Know As: The *Technically* There’s Only Three Path): Read something about what are *technically* the only world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. (These are considered, by some scholars, to be the only World Religions because while Judaism and Hinduism have the numbers, they don’t proselytize or really invite other people to join, making it more of an ethnicity).
2. The Penthouse Path (Also Known As: The Five Biggies Path): Read something about the five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
3. The Universalist Path (Also Known As: The Above and Beyond Path): Read something by all five of the major world religions PLUS more books about any or all of the following: Shintoism, Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wicca, Mythology, Atheism, Occult, Tribal Religions, Voodoo, Unitarianism, Baha’i, Cults, Scientology, Mysticism, Rastafarianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Satanism, Manichaeism, Deism, Comparative Religion, Religious Philosophy, Jungiansim, Symbolism, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., etc. etc. (you may also read about another aspect of one of the 5 Biggies)
4. The Unshepherded Path (Also Known As: The Don’t Tell Me What to Do Path): Read as many books as you would like about whatever religions you want.
What to read?
and if your eyeballs are ready to fall out of your skull:
watch a movie
see a play
listen to some music
attend a service
celebrate a holiday
perform a ritual
open the door when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to call
Need some inspiration? Do the following:
Go to this post on Bibliofreak's blog, and see where it is tagged “religion?” Click on the tag and it will take you to all of the myriad books I’ve tagged as “religion”. In the next month and a half, I’m going to try to review a lot of other books I’ve previously read so as to add to the list.
Go to the bookstore, and browse around
Look up religions on Wikipedia
Ask me for advice
Steal from other participants’ lists
Audio books and cross-overs from other challenges are encouraged.
Do you have to have a blog to join? Of course not! I’d be happy to post on here for you…or you can just leave a comment with the book you read.
Soo…Go make your lists!
And this list is totally subject to change as I come across more and more books that fit the theme (and remember, I tend to find themes of religion in most things I read).
Here are some suggestions by religions:
The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World by the Dalai Lama
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by by DT Suzuki
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
The Life of Milarepa: A New Translation from the Tibetan translated by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa
Buddha’s Wife by Gabriel Constans
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen
James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Robert H Eisenman
Pope Joan: A Novel by Donna Cross
The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong
The Monastic Journey of Thomas Merton by Thomas Merton
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Baudolino by Umberto Eco
Saffron Dreams by Shailah Abdullah
Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor
The Koran translated by A. J. Arberry
The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid
God Dies by the Nile by Nawal El Saadawi
God Has Ninety-Nine Names by Judith Miller
The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong
A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
What Is God? by Jacob Needleman
The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America by Don Lattin
Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools and Rascal Gurus by George Feuerstein
My level and books are yet to come.