A narrative and historical account of how Picasso and Duchamp shaped the two major approaches to modern art, the visual and the conceptual.

 “A convincing and highly readable study whose juxtapositions create its originality.” (Publishers Weekly)

 “This thoughtful overview of modern art as a whole, punctuated by the movement’s two most enigmatic figures, will appeal to fans of art history, particularly modernism.” (Library Journal)

 “An excellent and engrossing casual read for general enthusiasts. . . . Recommended.” (Choice)

 University Press of New England, 2013. Hardcover, 16 black and white plates, 257 pages.





An inside look at one year of life at a top-flight American art college, told as a nonfiction narrative and presented in the context of the wider art world today.

 “A sympathetic look at a group of supremely talented but often misunderstood young people training to be artists. . . . a holistic view of a year on the urban campus.” (Inside Higher Ed)

 “Bursting with history, rich characters, and anecdotes . . . a pleasurable, comprehensive read . . . The ideal reader would be someone considering pursuing an art degree or [his or her] family member.” (Baltimore City Paper)

 University Press of New England, 2012. Hardcover, 32  illustrations, 330 pages.





One way to understand religion is through economic models of choice, risk, and investment. This book offers the first general summary of this new field of study, arguing that religion is a rational pursuit based on human nature and the marketplace of life.

 “A rich exposure to a blossoming academic field.” (Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion)

 “An important part of the conversation.” (Publishers Weekly)

 Oxford University Press, 2010.





More than a millennium ago, Saint Anselm proposed a proof of God that became an enduring topic of debate down through Western thought, tangling with no less than Aquinas, Ockham, Descartes, and Russell, among others.

 “Witham … enlivens every page. He accomplishes this not only by showing the subtle dynamism of Anselm’s thought, but by embedding him, and his successors, firmly in their times.” (New York Sun)

 “[A] concise and elegant history . . . concentrates mainly on Anselm and the subsequent engagements with him by Aquinas, Ockham and Descartes, while delighting in the intricacies of monastic and university politics, and dabbing in charming touches of colour.” (The Guardian)

 Atlas Books, 2008.





A panoramic survey of the American sermon, from the landing of the first colonists to the religion-and-politics debates of today. As it has been said, the sermon is “America’s characteristic form of speech.”

 “Knows when to pick up the narrative pace and when to slow down for delicious detail.” (Publishers Weekly)“An important study worthy of a place in all libraries.” (Library Journal)

 “[A] highly readable history.” (Booklist)

 HarperOne, 2007.





The Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology have been a backbone of the science and religion discussion since the end of the 1800s. They have remained a showcase for today’s top thinkers, and here is their complete story in a lively narrative.

 “A cameo history of modern ideas about God. … an impressive range of material.” (Publishers Weekly starred review)

 “[A]n ideal framework on which to hang a portrait of the touchy relationship between science and religion in the modern age. A popular intellectual history commendable for its engaging style, thorough research, and neutral stance. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

 HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.





The first narrative and journalistic history of the modern-day burst of science-religion dialogue and of the Intelligent Design movement.

 “Witham surveys the ongoing dialogue between scientists and theologians about the relationship between science and religion. Drawing on interviews with key partners in the conversation, Witham provides a helpful guide to the major issues in this dialogue.” (Publishers Weekly)

 “[I]nvites nonspecialists to . . . reflect upon the social effects of a growing dialogue about this science sponsored by such institutions as the Vatican and the Templeton Foundation. A very helpful guide for readers trying to make sense of the science-religion debates breaking out anew on college campuses and in state legislatures.” (Booklist)

 Encounter Books, 2004.





 Witham terms his work a ‘descriptive look at ministerial variety,’ and it certainly lives up to that billing.” (Publishers Weekly)

 “A perceptive and informative book on a part of the culture that is enormously consequential for believers and nonbelievers alike.” (New York Sun)

 “A balanced and nuanced view of several key aspects of contemporary ministry.” (Library Journal)

 “Uses the experiences and voices of clergy as a lens through which to interpret the main themes, controversies, and challenges facing American religion.”  (Robert Wuthnow, author of America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity)

 Oxford University Press, 2005.





 “Witham’s impeccable reportage, his erudite analysis and his ability to synthesize complex and nuanced strains of thought all make this book an invaluable roadmap of the evolution-creation controversy in America.” (Publishers Weekly)

 “Engaging, challenging, and informative.” (Library Journal)

 “A virtual playbill that describes the principal actors in this modern passion play.” (Science)

 “The best one-stop account of who’s who (and what’s what) in the creation-evolution conflict.” (Charles Haynes)

 “The new standard introduction for those interested in familiarizing themselves with contemporary critiques of evolutionary theory, but wary of the propagandist tendencies of many recent popular texts.” (Religious Studies Review)

 Oxford University Press, 2001.

This book tells the story of a new theological movement generally known as free will theism or Open Theism. Our “changing image of God” has roots in a past time when Greek and Hebrew thought laid the foundations of Western monotheism. At the heart of this debate has been the question, If God is good, why is their evil? It is a question asked in the Book of Job and addressed by God biographers ever since. In a narrative for general readers, this book shows how Open Theism is answering Job amid the modern controversies regarding the biography of God.
  Lexington Books, 2010.
During the pontificate of John Paul II, the first academic freedom battle between a theologian and a Catholic university entered a secular courtroom in Washington D.C. This book is the authoritative account, mixing courtroom drama with a wider story of Catholicism, modern theological trends, and academic freedom.
 “Witham presents complex issues with the verve of a skilled reporter.” (Avery Dulles, S.J.) 
  “Meticulously fair and seemingly without any trace of partisanship . . . a landmark exposition.” (Malachi Martin
 “Virtually a short course in Catholic education and Catholic discipline.” (Robert L. Spaeth
  Edington-Rand, 1991.
From the Revolution of 1917 to the 1988 celebration of the millennium of Christianity in Russia, one family line has told nearly the entire story: the Rodziankos. In this biography of Bishop Basil Rodzianko, nearly a century of conflict between Christianity and Communism is given a human face.
  Through [this] life story we understand the ordeal of Russian Orthodoxy in the twentieth century.” (Kalistos Ware, author of The Orthodox Church
 “[Rodzianko’s] epoch and his tumultuous life shed much light on the change and development of the Orthodox Church.” (Suzanne Massie, author of Land of the Firebird
 “Intersects beautifully the fate of an individual with the drama of a church struggling for survival in the Soviet Union.” (Kent Hill, author of The Puzzle of the Soviet Church
 University Press of America (Rowman and Littlefield), 1991.


   NONFICTION BOOKS by Larry Witham



The story of the Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca and the legacy of his philosophical age for our modern world of art, science, and religion.

 Finalist, 2015 Pen Literary Award for Biography 

 Witham accessibly reviews the Quattrocento’s intellectual, political, and religious climate, summarizing Christian Platonism, Alberti’s On Painting, and describing Piero as an artist who synthesized these ideas in paintings.” (Publishers Weekly)

 "[An] illuminating treatment . . . A thorough account of an actual ‘Renaissance man’—in every way.” (Kirkus Reviews

     Pegasus Books, 2014. Hardcover, 18 color plates, 368 pages.

  FICTION by Larry Witham