Suggested summer reading from the faculty 2019

Hoping to spend time reading in the sunshine this summer?
Here are some recent book recommendations from our faculty:

Robert M. Ellis: The Buddha’s Middle Way: Experiential Judgement in His Life and Teaching. Sheffield: Equinox, 2019.

A provocative and original presentation of the Buddha’s core idea of the Middle Way. In Ellis’s words, the middle way is “a principle of judgement, focusing on how we respond to our experience rather than claims about how things finally are.” In recognizing how this principle informs different religious and secular traditions worldwide, Ellis no longer regards it as an exclusively Buddhist concept. Robert Ellis will be teaching a workshop at Bodhi College on 27 June, 2020. /Stephen Batchelor


Roberto Mangabeira Unger: The Religion of the Future. London: Verso, 2016.

A professor of philosophy at Harvard and former minister in the Brazilian government, Unger believes that all the world religions are incapable of meeting the existential needs of people today. This leads him to envision what kind of religion would be required in the future to meet these needs. Founded on an unflinching acceptance of our mortality, groundlessness and insatiability, Unger’s “religion of the future” bears striking parallels with a secular iteration of early Buddhism. /Stephen Batchelor



Ahmet Altan: I will Never See this World Again. London: Granta, 2019.

Imprisoned for life without parole in 2016 for political crimes, Turkish author Ahmet Altan describes his arrest, trial and incarceration in short, deeply moving and courageous essays smuggled out of prison. An excellent account of how a writer manages to transform a hellish situation through the power of his artistic imagination. /Stephen Batchelor



David Treleaven: Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing, W.W. Norton, 2018

A valuable resource for those who have suffered trauma and those who teach mindfulness.   I feel it should almost be required reading for meditationteachers. /Christina Feldman 




Clare Carlisle: Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard. London: Allen Lane, 2019.

A wonderful biography that brings the Danish philosopher vividly and fully alive as an uncompromising practitioner of his radical understanding of Christianity, who sought to imitate Jesus in 19th century Copenhagen. A teacher of philosophy and theology at King’s College, London, Clare Carlisle also has a background in Buddhist thought and practice, which, to my mind, contributes to her ability to engage so effectively with Kierkegaard’s passionate inwardness. /Stephen Batchelor


Martine and Stephen Batchelor: What is this? Ancient questions for modern minds, Twuhiri Projects, 2019.

Leading us through the practice of radical questioning at the heart of the Sŏn (Chan/Zen)  Buddhist tradition, the authors show how anyone at all can benefit from this form of radical inquiry today.

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