This Land’s newest anthology, the Faith Reader, is full of surprises, from Woody Guthrie’s religion to a lethal injection. My own contribution is a memoir called “A Stiller Ground,” which appeared in the magazine a few years back and was listed as a Notable Essay of the Year in Best American Essays 2014. What I love about This Land, aside from its devastating stories, is its commitment to keeping them alive. Through its multimedia website and anthologies like this one, the press stands behind its authors and their work. I should make clear that Faith Reader doesn’t advocate for any particular religious view. It explores, with open mind and a respect for diversity, many aspects of its topic.
Another fascinating foray into religion is the new Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom by Natan Slifkin, a rabbi of extraordinary learning in both religion and the science of wildlife. His website, Biblical Natural History, always teaches me something about animals and the ways people try to understand them. Rabbi Slifkin isn’t merely a dusty scholar, however. His museum offers a hands-on wildlife experience.
|Illustration from The Torah Encyclopedia of Natural History, Vol. 1|