This page is intended to serve as a reference for anyone who would ask me for reference material (or the order in which I approached it; I will try to make some recommendations on alterations where they should be made) regarding those subjects most interesting to me. In trying to organize the books by some general categories, you will find there are some titles which are not neatly placed (e.g. The Buddhist Tradition under Indian Religion). This will be a work in progress, so I may move towards a more proper database as time goes on.
For now, I’ll loosely group and then order chronologically the works I have studied along with short reviews, perhaps:
Western Classics and Literature
Beowulf (ISBN-10: 0451530969)
Hesiod: Volume I, Theogony. Works and Days. Testimonia (ISBN-10: 0674996224)
Hesiod: Volume II, The Shield. Catalogue of Women. Other Fragments. (ISBN-10: 0674996232)
Leonardo’s Notebooks (ISBN-10: 1579129463)
The Greek Way (ISBN-10: 039335444X)
The Roman Way (ISBN-10: 0393354458)
Anthology of Classical Myth (ISBN-10: 1624664970)
Ovid: Metamorphoses (ISBN-10: 0199537372)
Reason and Argument (ISBN-10: 0136246028)
Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle (ISBN-10: 1624665322)
The Enneads: Abridged Edition (ISBN-10: 014044520X)
Moral Philosophy: A Reader (ISBN-10: 0872206610)
Basic Issues in Medieval Philosophy (ISBN-10: 1551110997)
Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources (ISBN-10: 0872209784)
Philosophy and Faith: A Philosophy of Religion Reader (ISBN-10: 0072376899)
Science and Relativism (ISBN-10: 0226469492)
The Rationality of Science (ISBN-10: 0415058775)
Personal Identity (ISBN-10: 0520029607)
Peirce’s Theory of Signs (ISBN-10: 0521108942)
Immanuel Kant’s Moral Theory (ISBN-10: 0521369088)
Critique of Pure Reason (Kant)
A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (ISBN-10: 0691019649)
This text is absolutely wonderful. Though I don’t agree with everything spoken by Mr. Chan, he is an eminently respectable scholar to whom one should pay the utmost attention. His selections and translations from throughout Chinese history were among the first writings to shock me into attention. Who knew Mengzi was so similar to Plato? Absolutely remarkable! Who would have expected to hear Kantian echoes from the peaks to which thought taking after Confucius would climb with the likes of Wang Yangming and Zhu Xi?
As far as I am aware, you could not choose a better starting point than this book when it comes to understanding Chinese religion. It launched all of my interests in Daoism and Chinese thought and, more than a decade later, astonished me with the converging, yet often more beautifully put, lines of thought it shares with Western philosophy. That observation has been instrumental in allowing me to convince myself of the objectivity which lies in mankind’s most difficult, perhaps even speculative, investigations into the nature of Mind, itself.
Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China (ISBN-10: 0812690885)
Outstanding introductory overview to the history of Chinese thought and secondary analysis by the incomparable A.C. Graham. While it covers some of the same territory as Mr. Chan’s book (above), it focuses extensively on the pre-Qin “Warring States” period, so it serves as a good companion text with Chan’s work.
Tao Te Ching (ISBN-10: 0872202321)
This mysterious text began my fascination with Chinese Religion and set me on my course for graduate studies. It is a quiet, ponderous meditation whose enchanting simplicity and tantalizing hints of esotericism drew me in immediately. It seemed to me a more pure, mystic approach to religion, free of not only the ubiquitous Abrahamic faith of the West and Middle East, but also the strange, unbelievable pantheons of so many other regions. It is a text I will likely always cherish.
Now that I am able to read it in the original Chinese, I can offer also that this particular book is an attractive, terse, and competent translation; still perhaps my favorite of them.
The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (ISBN-10: 0231031475)
The Book of Lieh-Tzu (ISBN-10: 0231072376)
The Sun My Heart (ISBN-10: 0712654224)
A pleasant and engaging introduction to Zen Buddhist thought by a competent, modern monk. I recommend it often to my interested friends who are seeking a legitimate, but not scholarly, source.
The Lotus Sutra (ISBN-10: 0231081618)
I am not much of a fan of this one. It’s very pietistic, which isn’t necessarily something to which I am overly opposed, but given the nature of the faith from which it stems (no pun intended), it is particularly hard for me to stomach. An interesting example of the odd places in which one will find this apparently ubiquitous human intellectual tendency, however.
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (ISBN-10: 0231083610)
Zen in the Art of Archery (ISBN-10: 0375705090)
Short, somewhat interesting, and somewhat amusing, but mostly inferior to other sources of insight regarding Chan and Zen thought.
The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind (ISBN-10: 0802150926)
The Analects of Confucius (ISBN-10: 0231141653)
Much like the Hebrew Proverbs, a wonderful compendium of insight. It is important for anyone to see and recognize with his or her own eyes the method by which Confucius raises the revolutionary idea that nobility is found in the morally good, and not hereditary fortune. It is clear to see why Confucius is so thoroughly revered.
Lao Tzu and Taoism (ISBN-10: 0804706891)
Taoism: Growth of a Religion (ISBN-10: 0804728399)
Dimensions of Tang Taoism – The State of the Field at the End of the Millenium (Kirkland)
The Tao of the Tao Te Ching (ISBN-10: 0791409864)
Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-Shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-Tzu (ISBN-10: 0791404560)
Religious and Philosohical Aspects of the Laozi (ISBN-10: 0791441121)
Taoist Teachings From The Book of Lieh Tzu (Lionel Giles)
Taoism Under the T’ang: Religion and Empire During the Golden Age of Chinese History (ISBN-10: 1891640259)
Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body (ISBN-10: 1570625670)
Ho-shang-kung’s Commentary on Lao-tse (Erkes)
The Ho-Shang Kung Commentary on Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching (Reid)
Wen-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries (ISBN-10: 0877738629)
Perhaps my all-time favorite distillation of Daoist thought. I cannot recommend this work enough. If you only read one Daoist work, I suppose I must suggest that it be the DaoDeJing, but I may wink and hand you this work instead. The clarity with which it makes its points and interpretations is absolutely invaluable, as Classical Chinese can be a very vague language (a feature often exploited endlessly by Daoists). It felt to me that, upon discovering this work, my years of arguing my interpretations of Daoist texts with my teachers were validated, as it appears I have in my hands with this text inarguable proof that at least some significant segment of historical Daoists believed as I do.
In the post-modern disaster that consumes so much of current academic religious studies, it is a travesty that I will likely see repeated wherein others would be told to read modern authors putting together obscure linguistic puzzles in nonsensical tertiary sources to no end other than the furthering of their careers rather than this outstanding primary source. In fact, when I remarked upon my exhileration at finding this text, a former professor (very much a voluntary part of the post-modern disaster) sighed and lamented to me “I knew you would love it.”
Yes, clear counter-examples to asinine, free-association-like “scholarship” are among my favorite things. I admit it.
The Mozi: A Complete Translation (ISBN-10: 023115240X)
Though Mr. Chan (see the first book in this section) speaks somewhat disparagingly of Mozi (one point at which I might argue against him), I have a particular fondness for the man and his moral theory. Perhaps it is our mutual love for perfecting the art of defense, or for other living beings. Maybe it’s my admiration for his steadfast and courageous dedication to a powerfully simple (and quite solid) doctrine in the face of quite a bit of danger. Whatever the cause of my affection, and even if you do not share it, this book is an outstanding addition to any Sinologist’s collection, as it is among the most voluminous diglot texts I own. Mozi’s plain and straightforward literary style adds to the use a budding Chinese linguist will get out of the text.
Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi (ISBN-10: 0804832404)
This is my absolute favorite among all Chan Buddhist texts. Were it not for my prior endeavors resulting in the aggregation of most of the points made within this beautifully written work, it alone would have changed my life permanently. It is a remarkable, stellar work of art which I cannot recommend more highly. It sits among the works of the Wenzi, Wang Yangming, and Mengzi as the most profound which I have encountered in the canon of Chinese thought.
The Chinese Classics in Seven Volumes (Legge)
Western and Middle Eastern Religion
A Journey through the Hebrew Scriptures (ISBN-10: 0155059645)
Introducing the New Testament (ISBN-10: 0800697502)
Islam: The Straight Path (ISBN-10: 0190632151)
The Early Church (ISBN-10: 0140205020)
The Rise of Christianity: (ISBN-10: 0060677015)
The Bible (New Revised Standard Version)
The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume (ISBN-10: 0061626007)
The Apostolic Fathers (ISBN-10: 080103468X)
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 1: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments (ISBN-10: 0385096305)
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 2: Expansions of the Old Testament and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic works (ISBN-10: 0385188137)
The Sage from Galilee (ISBN-10: 0802825877)
Judaism of the Second Temple Period: Qumran and Apocalypticism (ISBN-10: 0802824692)
Everyman’s Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages (ISBN-10: 0805210326)
The Koran Interpreted: A Translation (ISBN-10: 0684825074)
The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (ISBN-10: 0521785499)
The Ain I Akbari, Book the Fifth (Link)
I feel in the words of Akbar and Abul Fazl a very deep kinship. Though I have listed (in the About the Author section of this blog) the Din I Ilahi along with a number of other designations I have considered accurate for my religious beliefs, there is something about the quality of Abul Fazl’ and Akbar’s writing which seems uniquely familiar to me. From the former’s beautiful poetry to even something so passing as a casual quip from the latter, it seems to me I share more than commensurable thoughts with these two.
This work stands as the best record we have of the Din I Ilahi. In turn, the Din I Ilahi stands as one of the most liberating examples of courageously free religious inquiry I have yet had the good fortune to encounter. Not only are the results of that inquiry in possession of a superior quality, but the nature of the inquiry itself is a superior inspiration for all who seek after divinity.
Defenders of Reason in Islam (ISBN-10: 1851681477)
On the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy (Hourani)
Al-Farabi, Founder of Islamic Neoplatonism (ISBN-10: 185168302X)
Al-Ghazali’s Path to Sufism: His Deliverance from Error (ISBN-10: 1887752307)
Ibn-Al-Arabi: The Bezels of Wisdom (ISBN-10: 0809123312)
The Epic of Gilgamesh (ISBN-10: 0140449191)
The Buddhist Tradition: In India, China and Japan (ISBN-10: 0394716965)
The Perfection of Wisdom In Eight Thousand Lines and Its Verse Summary (ISBN-10: 8170304059)
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (ISBN-10: 0195093364)
Buddhism As Philosophy: An Introduction (ISBN-10: 0872208737)
Visual Basic 6 Black Book (ISBN-10: 1576102831)
C Programming Language, 2nd Edition (ISBN-10: 0131103628)
Just Java 2 (ISBN-10: 0131482114)
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-620): Configuring Windows Vista(TM) Client (ISBN-10: 0735623902)
MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-622): Supporting and Troubleshooting Applications on a Windows Vista Client for Enterprise Support Technicians (ISBN-10: 0735624089)
Obtained MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician on Windows Vista
Powershell in Practice (ISBN-10: 1935182005)
Windows PowerShell in Action (ISBN-10: 1935182137)
Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2010 (ISBN-10: 184968202X)
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit Exam- Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Training Kit 70-640 (ISBN-10: 8120335570)
Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-642) Configuring Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure (ISBN-10: 0735651604)
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-643): Configuring Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure (ISBN-10: 0735648786)
MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-647): Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Administrator (ISBN-10: 0735656657)
Obtained MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008
10135A Configuring Managing and Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
Obtained MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange Server 2010
Linux Bible (ISBN-10: 1118999878)
A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (ISBN-10: 0133477436)
Mastering Unix Shell Scripting: Bash, Bourne, and Korn Shell Scripting for Programmers, System Administrators, and UNIX Gurus (ISBN-10: 0470183012)
PostgreSQL Administration Essentials (ISBN-10: 1783988983)
CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional Study Guide, 6th Edition