Browse Princeton's Series (by Title) in Lives of Great Religious Books

Lives of Great Religious Books

Lives of Great Religious Books is a new series of short volumes that recount the complex and fascinating histories of important religious texts from around the world. Written for general readers by leading authors and experts, these books examine the historical origins of texts from the great religious traditions, and trace how their reception, interpretation, and influence have changed--often radically--over time. As these stories of translation, adaptation, appropriation, and inspiration dramatically remind us, all great religious books are living things whose careers in the world can take the most unexpected turns.

Published Books | Forthcoming | Original Texts | Reviews

Forthcoming Books:

  • The Book of Revelation: A Biography
    -- Timothy Beal
  • The Analects of Confucius: A Biography
    --Annping Chin & Jonathan D. Spence
  • Josephus's The Jewish War: A Biography
    -- Martin Goodman
  • Dante's Divine Comedy: A Biography
    -- Joseph Luzzi
  • The Greatest Translations of All Time: A Biography of the Septuagint and the Vulgate
    -- Jack Miles
  • The Passover Haggadah: A Biography
    -- Vanessa Ochs
  • The Song of Songs: A Biography
    -- Ilana Pardes
  • The Daode Jing: A Biography
    -- James Robson
  • Rumi’s Masnavi: A Biography
    -- Omid Safi
  • The Talmud: A Biography
    -- Barry Scott Wimpfheimer

Original Texts

Project Gutenberg free online editions:

Israel Museum:


"[A]n excellent Princeton series."--Wendy Doniger, New York Review of Books

"[A] superb series from Princeton University Press."--Brian Bethune, Macleans

"Princeton University Press has launched a series called Lives of Great Religious Books. Each volume is a 'biography' of a significant religious text. That is, each volume looks at the origins and the effects of significant works of theology....These initial books are very well done: brief, fascinating in what they reveal, contentious (especially those by Wills and Lopez) and vivid introductions to works one may not be familiar with. (I knew Bonhoeffer’s work only by reputation. So, for me, Marty’s book has been a real spur to read the Prison Letters.)"--André Alexis, The Globe and Mail

"If it’s true that a book takes on a life of its own, then each has a life story waiting to be told. So let the telling begin--starting with books that have sought the divine and rocked history, one soul a