Jesus : Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, by Marcus Borg (recommended by Michael Pitts)
God and Empire. Jesus against Rome, Then and Now, by John Dominic Crossan, HarpurSanFrancisco, 2007 (recommended by Bill Converse)
A History of God. Karen Armstrong (1994), inarguably the best informed history of god told from the point of view of the three great monotheistic religions. Related with unbiased, academic authority and insight, Armstrong's range and understanding is astonishing. this is a book to hold onto and re-read. (Earl Love)
The Great Transformation (2006) Look for Armstrong's latest, on the development of the matrix for these religions during the axial age (approx. 800-200 BCE), due in paperback on April 1. (Earl Love)Going to Heaven: The Life and Election of Bishop Gene Robinson, by Elizabeth Adams, Soft Skull Press, June 2006.