Testimonials for Books

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings - by Richard Hooper

“Is it possible that the great teachers of major world religions present slightly different paths to the same destination? Does the wisdom of these teachings resonate at such a deep, personal level of recognition because they reveal the truth that has always been inside each individual’s consciousness? “Too often, religions have been used to separate humanity, Richard Hooper trives to find the common ground of connection in his comparative study of the teachings of four of the world’s great religions. Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu: The Parallel Saying explores thirteen subject areas that range from “The Great Way” to “Death and Immortality.” Each chapter has a thought-provoking introduction by the author, who asks the reader to probe the topics with an open mind and heart to embrace the wisdom that transcends the limits of dogma and examines the building blocks of world spirituality. The Parallel Sayings are presented in four columns across two facing pages. These gems capture the perspective of each spiritual tradition and reveal the universality of wisdom. The beauty of Hooper’s work is that his comparisons do not attempt to make any tradition right or wrong. He simply finds the common ground. In doing so, he moves his reader to higher ground, a little closer to enlightenment. The book is illustrated with black and white photographs that utilize the magnificence of nature, religious sculptures, symbols, and art to capture the beauty and elegance of man’s attempts to express a love of the divine. A delight to give or receive, this book might be a great addition to one’s coffee table collection, with the potential to spark thoughtful discussion and compassionate insight.” - Claudia Abbott--Science of Mind Magazine—The United Church of Religious Science


“The Parallel Sayings is a priceless treasury of interfaith understanding that touches my heart. I add my prayers that this book will find its way too manyopen-hearted readers.” - Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S. B., author (with Robert Aitken Roshi) of The Ground We Share



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“A much needed journey into the minds and hearts of the great prophets of our world; academic, yet heart-filled, stimulating and illuminating. At a time when too many use religion to separate, Parallel Sayings finds a way to join. This rare text answers many questions that others leave hanging, and touches the spirit as well as the mind. A book you will be proud and fulfilled to own and share - Alan Cohen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and A Deep Breath of Life


“I was very much taken by the idea of this book when I first learned it was in the making, but the execution of it—the reality of it—is just wonderful. Its publication is a truly timely event, bound to nourish those who are soul-weary of combativeness in the name of religion.” - Carol Lee Flinders, Ph.D,, author of Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action


“Richard Hooper sends a powerful message that will be welcomed by all who seek the truth within, and within their own tradition. The Divine expresses itself wherever there is a transformed heart and open mind—no matter the culture, no matter the time. By venturing outside the circle of Christianity, as the author was prompted to do, we too find more that can feed us, more that illumines what we first learned so we can truly embrace the Divine as present in all, and everywhere.” - Jeffrey M. Cox, Snow Lion Publications


“I wanted to commend you on your wonderful book. It is a glorious achievement and I am absolutely delighted to have it in my reference library. I learned of your book in an ad in Shambala Sun. I will highly recommend to others. It is so very insightful. Congratulations.” - Jan Dermo Lundy, Interfaith Spiritual Director and author of women’s spirituality books.


“Great Souls are born among humankind to uplift them to higher consciousness, transformation and being. In this book, former minister Richard Hooper, M. Div. presents basic building blocks of world spirituality through the parallel sayings of Jesus , Buddha, Krishna and Lao Tzu. Here one finds our common thread in the universality of spirituality. World Peace might be achieved if we understood life and the divine as presented here.” - Adrian Ravarour, Ph.D., Bishop, American Catholic Church


“Richard Hooper takes you beyond what the holy men said, and into the heart and mind that drove the likes of Gandhi, as he fell dead, blessing and forgiving the man who shot him, or Francis of Assisi tossing his clothes out the window and strolling out the back door naked to begin his quest for God. A man whose own spiritual intensity has taken him from renegade Lutheran pastor to the no-brand seek of truth he is today, Hooper can certainly irritate your comfort zones. One sometimes imagines that if James Dean, minus the cigarette, had been thoroughly educated in the great religions and a whole lot smarter, he might have been Richard Hooper.” - Larry Moffitt, Editor, ReligionAndSpirituality.com, United Press International; Vice President, the Washington Times Foundation


“Richard’s comparative study beautifully shows us unity in diversity. In the spirit of the Gayatri Mantra – may this work illuminate our understanding and guide us to our goal.” - Mark Johnson, Vice-President Australian Association of Yoga in Daily Life.


“We’ve come to a point in history where the boundaries among the world’s religions have become more transparent. In this great wake of change is a new understanding of a collective golden thread of consciousness running through all spiritual paths. In Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and Lao Tze: The Parallel Sayings, author Richard Hooper shatters any preconceived notions that there is only “one way” to enlightenment. Instead, he blazes a path of collective understanding beyond dogma toward finding the divinity within ourselves.” - Judy Martin, National Radio Journalist and founder of WorkLifeMonitor.com



The teachings of four spiritual masters brought together in a single book.
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“I have often thought that an A-B-C Column comparison format of the teachings of these religious icons seemed ideal for presenting a quick understanding. Well, some things can’t be simplified, like “what’s the meaning of life?” Have you ever listened to a reading or a Gospel in church, and went, “Huh?” Just like Jesus, who taught in parables and metaphors, so do the others (with good reason as Hooper explains.) Fortunately, Hooper saves the day by clarifying the overarching issues for each chapter. It then becomes easier to stretch your imagination to see the common threads between the four teachings.

Don’t expect this to be a quick read—it is intended to be thought provoking and contemplative. I personally loved the twenty-seven page introduction which left me starving for more. I just need to take the book a chapter at a time and savor it. The book is a readable intellectual work covering a complex subject. Hooper has gone a long way toward de-mystifying some stuff that I’m sure still baffles religious scholars. Hooper also inserts a few provocative surprises – atta boy! Shake things up a bit.” - D. Sutton (Cape Cod, MA)


“I loved this book. I will read and re-read it often. It makes comparisons among the wisdom based traditions so easy and places it in perspective.” - Gayle S. Graziano (Ormond Beach, FL)


“What a wonderful book. I loved how it makes us realize that the different religions’ teachers are giving us the same message. The photos and illustrations are beautiful. This book would be a great gift for anyone with an interest in comparative religions.” - SSBD (AZ)


“This beautiful book is much-needed. The profound parallel sayings are judiciously selected and demonstrate the universal insights of the major religions. The author’s commentary is searingly honest and totally unphony. We can’t think of a better holiday present for so many people on our list.”
- E & W Rowe


“What a gorgeous, meditative work of art this book is! Every time I sit down with it to read a section or two, I feel like I’ve gone on a personal tranquility retreat. I’m in awe of not only the parallels of wisdom between the world’s religious teachings, but how it was possible to find them all and bring them together. The stunning photography and author’s comments makes this book much more than a book of quotes and ancient teachings, but rather a beautiful perspective on why we are here in the world.”
- JGF (USA/Panama)



Hymns to the Beloved - The Poetry, Prayers and Wisdom of the World’s Great Mystics - by Richard Hooper

"This is a wonderful book!!  A friend sent me this book knowing I could use one of the many quotes for a daily column I write.  The book is presented in “bite size” segments and it is easy to read.  I could flip to any page and get a wonderful quote.  Very inspiring and useful!” - Norma Byrne


“’Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.” Matsuo Basho—Zen Buddhist. This is but one thought of the hundreds contributed by the mystics of the ages to be found within this book. I can’t imagine how much research goes into creating such a work. I would think it would take lifetimes. From the nature of perception and the mystical experience to illuminations on love, compassion and loss of ego, Richard Hooper has scoured the centuries for the wise words contributed by mystics from many cultures. “In my spare moments I like to flip to any page for a quick meditation. . . I cast a hook into a single stream; but I catch joy as if I possessed a kingdom.’ Chi K’Ang—Taoist. Between quotes such as these and the stunning images and interpretations by the author, I’ve found I get much more inspiration and energy from this book than I do from reading the newspaper or checking my email. I’d say keep it on the kitchen table and behold the sages in your hand.” - J. G. Frank


“This book is even better than Hooper’s much acclaimed Parallel Sayings. Hymns focuses on the depth and range of the spiritual experience. Its numerous quotations from the world’s great mystics reveal the rich variety of paths through The Narrow Gate. Hooper’s Introduction offers helpful insights as well.” - E. and W. Rowe


A “world bible” for all those interested in the teachings of mystics of all ages and religions.
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The Crucifixion of Mary Magdalene: The Historical Tradition of the First Apostle and the Ancient Church’s campaign to Suppress It - by Richard Hooper

“Timely, insightful, accessible correction to the DaVinci Code.”

“Richard Hooper brilliantly writes a thorough overview of what is known about Mary Magdalene, complete with extensive references to the original extensive references to the original documents, a “glossary” of names, terms and sources, and an extensive subject index.

“With rigorous attention to detail and accuracy, Hooper presents the beauty, vision, and leadership of Mary as apostle, restoring her to her rightful place at Jesus’ side and, in the process, returning to us the divine feminine in Christianity prior to Mary’s erasure and corruption by patriarchy. 

“Hooper shows us with great depth and sensitivity Mary’s spiritual maturity and wisdom as a teacher in her own right, while providing a sense of the essence of Mary’s relationship with Jesus.  The style and presentation is quite accessible and a good read.  Still, his critical attention to detail and cultural/comparative contexts speaks, as well, to the scholar of Christianity, World Religions, and women’s studies.  For me, as a cultural anthropologist, his thorough attention to relevant contexts is one of the book’s strongest points.  For example, he addresses some of the commonalities between early Christianity and Hinduism, shared as the basis of all Mystery Religions and traditions of ancient wisdom. 

“While humorous, outspoken, even radical in his interpretation, Richard Hooper’s work is theoretically and substantively consistent with that of the most prominent scholars in the field.  It is a must-read by the lay person and scholar alike interested in the life of Mary Magdalene.  The book was a powerful one for me, personally, as well as academically, as Hooper returned to me the Jesus of my childhood, who did not discriminate on the basis of class or gender, but preached only love.” —Deborah L. Neff, Ph.D.


 “This is a well written and thought provoking book . . . Hooper offers a well written and well documented discussion of early Christianity and the possible role of Mary Magdalene as an early leader of an alternate movement.  He dissects the canonical Gospels and the apocryphal literature from a structural and textual point of view, and offers some interesting interpretations for many of the unusual passages.

Hooper believes that there is some evidence to suggest that first century Christian sects were devoted to women’s issues and had women leaders.  He gleans his evidence from several sources, and attempts to put together a picture of this sect which, over time, disappeared not only in fact, but also in memory.  It’s a reasonable theory and Hooper has more than enough evidence to put forth the case.”  —Dr. James Gardner 


“This book is an excellent resource of information about the many faces of Mary Magdalene.  Written with expertise, Richard Hooper’s insightful analysis is a solid contribution to the dialogue on Mary that is rapidly attracting the attention of mainstream theologians.  History, religion, spirituality and mysticism are equally represented.” —Robert W. Graff, Ph.D.


“Richard Hooper has laid open the seminal roots of patriarchy through his scholarly restoration of Mary Magdalene’s rightful place in history.  The implication of Richard’s conclusions are huge and outrageously accurate—women have inspired the faith of men!

“But beyond the restoration of the original character of Mary Magdalene, Richard uncovers the essence of her teachings and exposes the essential realm of feminine divinity within spirituality.  I am so grateful for his contribution.” —Susan Rangitsch, Ed.D.



The Gospel of the Unknown Jesus - by Richard Hooper

“This book is of God!  It should be printed with a leather cover and the pages should have gilded edges.  This is Scripture of the most sublime! -
J. Hampton 

"To emerge from academic obscurity into the light of full public awareness, the Gnostic Gospels would need someone who was equal parts academic and advocate, with a journalist's eloquent simplicity and a novelist love of story.  You are it! Your book is most beautiful and should be made into a book like the Holy Bible."

Jack Baker


Bringing together the most poignant and poetic of Jesus words from apocryphal and Gnostic texts, many of which have been discovered in modern times.
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Beyond Religion the Personal Search for Truth - by Barbara Mayer

Finally a book that simply and eloquently describes what so many of us have been asking. What is spirituality? What does it mean to be spiritual? What does it mean to be religious? Can you be both or do you have to be one or the other? In these times of great uncertainty our world “yearns for peace”. Our souls scream out to us to live simply, with more compassion and grace. So many times we ignore the call in our frantic pace to get through each day. Barbara Mayer brilliantly take us through a process where we can connect with our true self without sacraficing what many of us hold most dear, our religious teachings. She encourages readers to take the next step beyond the “organized belief systems, rituals and manmade dogmas.. which identify every religion to a place of living in intention, compassion and service”, The Ultimate Truth, the Divine Mystery, “what real holiness is- wholeness”.
- Sylvia Strobel, Executive Director
Women’s Interfaith Institute of the Finger Lakes


As more people find themselves questioning or leaving organized religions, Beyond Religion -- The Personal Search For Truth, a new book by Barbara Mayer, provides answers for spiritual seekers of our time.

From her thirteen years as a Roman Catholic nun, and a lifetime of studying Eastern and Western religions and belief systems, Mayer offers a reader-friendly book to encourage and enlighten those who believe "there must be more" to the search for personal spirituality and truth. From her own journey, she offers personal insights into religious doubt and the dark night of the soul. She helps lead others toward spiritual maturity and personal transformation, offering hope and meaning to those ready to move beyond patriarchal religious dictates.

Beyond Religion looks at the Axial Age, the Quantum, and the growing awareness of the human species. Mayer asks us to accept the concept of Bifurcation Point -- the Point of No Return -- when we must choose to move beyond what no longer serves us and take to heart the Divine Voice in Scripture, "Behold, I make all things new." She asks us to allow ourselves the joy and the right to make ourselves new in this exciting time of growing consciousness and compassion.

Beyond Religion also includes chapters on understanding one's religious roots, an in-depth consideration of Jesus and the Christ Mind, feminine energy, modern mysticism, different religions of the world, quantum and non-linear thought, meditation, healing and personal spiritual growth.

Mayer is also a poet and her special gift at the end of each chapter is a poem which captures the essence, the message and the emotion of the journey to oneness with God, Truth and creation.

Beyond Religion helps us see ourselves as modern mystics of action and compassion, as agents of peace and not planters of seeds of war, destruction, selfishness and greed. It is an invitation to become a real blessing to ourselves and to the world around us. The message of Beyond Religion is that this is OUR time to, as the Zen saying advises, "Be still, and understand what you already know."

Beyond Religion? A must read for seekers of all levels, and a glorious source of empowering joy!

Barbara Litrell
Former Publisher McCalls,
Working Woman



The Wisdom of Mary Magdalene (Inspirational card deck and guidebook) - by Sharon Hooper

Coming Soon.