Just Look It Up
Mark Vernon has done a very nice job of editing the new Chambers Dictionary of Belief and Religions. This is a really good thing to have around when you run into an unfamiliar word from the realm of religion or ethics. The definitions are long enough to be clear, but not so long as to be encyclopedic. Plus, there are many essays on "hot topics" and matters of perennial concern. Oh yeah, and I'm a contributor. I will not soon forget the long, long discussion that ensued back at Talking Philosophy when I solicited input about the word "atheist." If you want to know how it turned out, you'll just have to get the book.