By Marcus J. Borg
Harper One, $14.99, 248 pages
Christianity has changed over the last millennia, and so has its vocabulary. Speaking Christian looks at how and why that vocabulary has changed. The history of each word is fully explored, from its original meaning and context to its modern meaning and context. As so much of religion is based on translation, this makes for an interesting look at the history of religion through the lens of its language and its etymology.
Although it does get into some areas of personal belief, in general Marcus J. Borg sticks to an objective path of exploration. This is a very conversational book, engaging the reader in a discussion of the origins of some of the most important words in Christendom. This makes for an interesting look at history, as the language is usually the most changeable feature despite beliefs that language is immutable. For those looking to explore their religion, or to explore history through language, this makes for some interesting reading.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim