Resources for sacred readings

An ever-growing list.

Top section is online resources (websites, blogs, ebook collections). Bottom section is books (many with free/cheap ebook versions available).

If you have recommendations for this list, please let me know: am @ annie mueller . com.


Online

The Internet Sacred Text Archive

This is probably the biggest and best resource for reading sacred texts from many different faiths and traditions.

Texts are indexed on the right sidebar of the website by the belief system, philosophy, region, or main topic with which they correspond: Astrology, Australia, Confucianism, Gnosticism, Judaism, Parapsychology, Symbolism, and Women’s Studies, for example, are all high-level categories.

For very well-known works (Bible, I Ching) there is a direct link on the right sidebar.

You can also search the entire catalog by title, author, or subject, and/or using keywords.

A Celebration of Women Writers

Such an amazing collection. Edited by Mary Mark Ockerbloom, this site offers an amazing collection of works by women. You can browse by author name, date (century), country, ethnicity, or search by category, copyright, or subject. Check out the Spiritual Life category.

OneSpirit Learning Alliance Inspirational Quotes Archive

This archive contains mostly shorter quotes, from a variety of sources. You can search or click a topic in the tag cloud.

Poetry Chaikhana

This site offers “Sacred Poetry from Around the World.”
You can explore the poems by Poet, by Tradition, or by Theme. There is also a section of commentary on the poetry.

Note: many of the poems on this site are public domain, but not all are. Be aware of any licensing restrictions before you share poems from this site.

The Gnostic Society Library: Nag Hammadi Library

The Nag Hammadi Library is “a collection of thirteen ancient books containing over fifty texts…discovered in upper Egypt in 1945.”

This site offers the entire collection of the Nag Hammadi codices for reading online. There are also some helpful introductory notes and resources to the various texts.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Daily Readings

A collection of liturgical readings from the Catholic tradition. Updated daily. (You can also subscribe and have the daily readings sent to your email every morning.)

Rumi Days

This blog is simply a reposting of daily readings from the book “A Year with Rumi” (the poetry of Rumi, selected and translated by Coleman Barks). It’s really nice to have these presented in a beautiful, blog post format.

Gita Daily Readings

Selected daily readings from the Bhagavad Gita. Click on the day’s number in the calendar image to go to the corresponding reading.

It’s not being regularly updated, but there is a full year of readings available (use the daily calendar from 2010).

Daily Buddhism

This site is a “Plain English Guide to Buddhism.” Along with podcast episodes and explanatory blog posts, there are selections from the Dhammapada, various Koans, and discussions about ethics and meditation.

It doesn’t seem to be regularly updated anymore, but there’s plenty here in the archives. If you’re interested in Buddhism but don’t know where to start, this is a really good place.

Early Christian Writings

This site brings together all the important writings from the early Christian church era. It includes the New Testament, the Apocrypha, Gnostic writings, and writings by church fathers.

You can browse the texts by date or by category, or use the search box.

Poet Seers

The site description says this: “From the ancient cultures of the East to the present time, the great Poet Seers inspire and illumine humanity to look beyond the mundane and to gain a glimpse of the Beyond.”

The site includes a selection of Poet Seers (from Homer to Hafiz). There is a brief biography of each Poet Seer as well as a selection of their poems.

Venkatesa

This site was built to spread and “celebrate the teachings of Swami Venkatesananda.” There is a large selection of texts, daily readings, and Satsangs.

Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts

This site contains a large selection of folklore and mythology, all edited and/or translated by D. L. Ashliman.

British Library Online Gallery of Sacred Texts

A great place to learn about the history of various sacred texts. Each text (78 in all) has a high-res image and an in-depth description. Really interesting stuff.

Hermetic Library

This site contains a “collection of historical writings and sacred texts from a number of traditions, primarily those relating to Hermeticism.”

Texts available here include The Chaldaen Oracles, The Corpus Hermeticum, the works of Plato, the Enneads of Plotinus, and a small variety of other works.

Religion Bookshelf at Project Gutenberg

Plenty of great texts here, in the public domain, which you can read online or download and send to your tablet or Kindle. You can also search Project Gutenberg for books on specific faiths or traditions, or browse other sections like Philosophy or Poetry.

Sufi Poetry

The site’s not being updated (last post was 2010), but there’s plenty of poetry to read here. Also many embedded videos of poetry being read/sung.

Wikisource

“The free library that anyone can improve.” So, Wikipedia but books. Over 360,000 texts in English. Start from the Subject index and dive into the rabbit hole…


Books

A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy

World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts by Andrew Wilson

Essential Sacred Writings from Around the World by Mircea Eliade

Sacred Texts of the World: A Universal Anthology by Ninian Smart and Richard D. Hecht

Wise Women: Over Two Thousand Years of Spiritual Writing by Women by Susan Cahill

Heaven’s Face, Thinly Veiled: A Book of Spiritual Writing by Women by Sarah Anderson

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry by Stephen Mitchell

The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy by Robert Bly

Buddhism and Hinduism Premium Collection by Edwin Arnold (Includes The Light of Asia, The Essence of Buddhism, The Song Celestial (Bhagavad-Gita), Hindu Literature, Indian Poetry, Studies, Spiritual Poems & Sacred Writings)

The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning

Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell

Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore

Hymns for Christian Devotion, Especially Adapted to the Universalist Denomination by John Greenleaf Adams (Kindle version is free)

Unspoken Sermons I, II, and III by George MacDonald (Kindle version is $0.99)

The Vedanta Sutras by Sankaracarya by George Thibaut (Kindle version is free)

Practical Mysticism: A  Little Book for Normal People by Evelyn Underhill (Kindle version is free)

Three Translations of The Koran Side by Side by Hafiz Ali (Kindle version is free)

Pagan and Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning by Edward Carpenter (Kindle version is free)

Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore (Kindle version is free) (If you’re going to read one book from this list, make it this one.)

The Jefferson Bible by Thomas Jefferson

The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross

A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman

The Gospel in Gerard Manley Hopkins by Margaret R. Ellsberg (Or get the free Kindle version of Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins by Robert Bridges and find the Gospel there yourself.)

Metaphysical Bible Dictionary by Charles Fillmore (There’s a free Kindle version, but it’s worth the $0.99 to get the linked TOC.)

Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective by Amina Wadud





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