The best read religion stories of the year include interviews with television personality Kathie Lee Gifford and pastor Tim Keller, a look at the Christian publishing industry through the eyes of literary agents, and more.

10. IVP Launches Children’s Imprint

IVP Kids is focusing on “books that help children begin to live their lives with Christ,” Cindy Bunch, IVP’s associate publisher and editorial director, told PW in February. The inaugural title under the new imprint, St. Nicholas the Giftgiver by Ned Bustard, was released on October 12.

9. Don’t Fence Me In: Religion & Spirituality Books for 2021

Titles released over the past year reflect the growing number of people who identify as spiritual but not religious, with topics such as the intersection of spirituality and technology, magic, mindfulness, and more.

8. Fear and Hope: When Timothy Keller’s Book Met His Life

Tim Keller, bestselling author and pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, discussed struggling with his stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis while writing his new book, Hope in Times of Fear.

7. Books on Witchcraft Cluster Around Halloween

Timed ahead of October 31 this year, new books on witchcraft focused on self-care techniques, advice for finding true love, embracing one’s origins, caring for the Earth, and more.

6. Historian Beth Allison Barr: ‘Jesus Sets Women Free’

Beth Allison Barr, associate professor of history and associate dean of the Graduate School at Baylor University, describes Christian patriarchy, Jesus, and her latest book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth.

5. Broadleaf Gets ‘Braver’ with Shannon Bonne

Shannon Bonne, a singer and songwriter and the ex-wife of former evangelical pastor Joshua Harris, signed a book deal with Broadleaf for a title slated for publication in spring 2023. The book, tentatively titled Braver Things, is expected to explore Bonne’s 19-year marriage to Harris, their divorce in 2019 following his renunciation of Christianity, her experiences with the church, and how she rediscovered her musical career, according to the publisher.

4. Asking the Questions: PW Talks to Kathie Lee Gifford

Former Today show host and more recently a songwriter and playwright Kathie Lee Gifford discussed The Jesus I Know, which collects her conversations about faith with others including Kris Jenner, Kristin Chenoweth, and more.

3. Kids’ Books Fuse Faith and Fun

Faith-based books for kids focus on engaging and entertaining young readers while teaching them about Christian values, anti-racism, inequality, gender issues, and more.

2. Christian Literary Agents Eye Diversity, Expansion

PW asked Christian publishing professionals turned literary agents about the religion books industry today, and they see a ripe opportunity based on a new generation of authors and readers.

1. Beth Moore Shakes Up Evangelical Publishing

Following her departure from the Southern Baptist Convention, popular, prolific Christian author and speaker Beth Moore chose Tyndale for trade titles and moved lucrative Bible studies away from LifeWay to her own ministry.

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