About David Charles

David Charles joined Patheos in September 2008. Since then, he has helped shape the structure and content of the site and has led partnership development with a wide range of academic and religious organizations.

David was educated in Switzerland, England, and the United States. He holds advanced degrees in religious studies from Oxford and Harvard Universities. His academic training spans a number of disciplines and fields of study, including anthropology, literature, and history. He is the recipient of a teaching award from Harvard.

Understanding Santeria through Stories

{Ocha’ni Lele. Teachings of the Santeria Gods. Destiny Books 2010. 269 pages. $16.95} Reviewed by Star Foster I love a good story. A good story has a mystery, a moral, a familiarity or a sense of the fantastic. A good story satisfies you down to your bones. Ocha’ni Lele’s book Teachings of the Santeria Gods is chock-full [Read More…]

Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams: Saying Alleluia, Despite Life’s Challenges

{Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams. Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is. Liturgical Press 2010. 192 pages. $16.95} Reviewed by Elizabeth Nordquist Here are two leaders of the Christian Church — prominent and outspoken, thoughtful and spiritual — engaged in reflection on a practice that is common to almost every faith tradition, that of gratitude, [Read More…]

“Definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century” from Eric Metaxas

Author and Editor Jana Riess recently interviewed Eric Metaxas about his major new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Some highlights: Your subtitle suggests you’ll be looking at four different aspects of Bonhoeffer the man: pastor, martyr, prophet, and spy. Christians are probably used to the first three, but what do most people know about Bonhoeffer as [Read More…]

Star Foster Reviews Galina Krasskova, “Exploring the Northern Tradition”

{Galina Krasskova. Exploring the Northern Tradition. New Page Books 2005. 220 pages. $14.95} Reviewed by Star Foster A good, solid, human and engaging introductory text to a religion, particularly a minority religion, is worth its weight in gold. Crafting an introduction to a religious practice, mythos, cosmology and values is a bit like walking a [Read More…]

Craig Detweiler Reviews Paul Verhoeven’s “Jesus of Nazareth”

{Paul Verhoeven. Jesus of Nazareth. Seven Stories Press 2010. 304 pages. $23.95} Reviewed by Craig Detweiler Imagine this movie trailer:  from the director of ”Showgirls” and “Basic Instinct” comes his most revealing project yet—“RoboJesus.”   One might expect such a seemingly absurd tagline from provocative Danish filmmaker, Paul Verhoeven.    Instead, Verhoeven has written a smart, rigorous [Read More…]

Elizabeth Scalia Reviews James Martin’s “Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything”

{James Martin. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. HarperOne 2010. 432 pages.  $26.99} Reviewed by Elizabeth Scalia As Bill Creed, a Jesuit spiritual director, once told me, “In the bright sunshine of God’s love, your shadows begin to emerge.” — James Martin, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything; A Spirituality for [Read More…]

Martha Baker Reviews “Connecting Like Jesus”

{Tony Campolo and Mary Albert Darling. Connecting Like Jesus: Practices for Healing, Teaching, and Preaching. Jossey-Bass. 232 pages. $21.95} Reviewed by Martha K. Baker Tony Campolo and Mary Albert Darling set out to write Connecting Like Jesus to prove that “relationships can be radically transformed through integrating communication practices with spiritual practices.” They succeed. In Connecting Like Jesus, [Read More…]