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Books

Deconstructing the Bible: textual criticism

What is the bible? Who wrote it and when was it written?

Formation of the Bible: Canonization

How did the various books of the bible get into the bible? What about all of those books that were left out?

Deconstructing the Bible: Archaeology

What can the science of archaeology tell us about history? How does history as told by science differ from history as told by the bible?

Formation of Judaism and Christianity

How did the Jewish religion and the Christian religion come to be? This list of books traces the history of Judeo-Christianity from the first writings of the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. Old Testiment, through the Protestant movement. The books are listed in chronological order; from the oldest historical events to the most recent.

Philosophy

Tackle difficult issues without using religion as a crutch. If you have not studied philosophy before, then I recommend reading in the following order to get an easy, quick, and fairly complete overview:
  1. The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking - this book uses easy, fun, everyday examples to illustrate philosophical concepts that might otherwise be quite difficult to grasp
  2. Teach Yourself Ethics - ethics is a branch of philosopy that focuses on how we should act and treat each other. Like the Philosopy Gym, this book uses easy everyday examples to demonstrate its concepts.
  3. Fifty Major Philosophers - Now that you have a good grasp of ethics and of philosophy in general, Fify Major Philosophers tells you who came up with the ideas, and who influenced whom in the process. The book has a lot of area to cover so it only spends 4 pages or so on each philosopher. You'll want to keep this book around as a desktop reference after you read it.

Science

The real reason that things are the way they are.

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