The Worst Book Cover in Religious Publishing Awards 2010

Religion Bulletin would like to open nominations for the The Worst Book Cover in Religious Publishing Awards 2010. This is the first year in which these awards have been run, and we sincerely hope it will become an annual fixture.

You have until December 31, 2010 to nominate the book you consider boasts the worst book cover in religious publishing in 2010. Nominations are open to all. You may either nominate a book for our supreme award, The Worst Book Cover in Religious Publishing, or for one of the specialist categories:

  • The Worst Book Cover in Academic Religious Publishing Award
  • The Intentionally Worst Book Cover in Religious Publishing Award
  • The “I Have No Idea What They Were Thinking” Award

As always, there is some stiff competition for hideous design when it come to religious books. Here are three of the nominations we have already received:

Brad Warner, Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between (New World Library, 2010).

This cover was, we understand, designed this badly on purpose. And although you wouldn’t know it by judging the book by its cover, the content is surprisingly quite good. But, man, what were you thinking with that cover? And “polyamory” – what is that? Some sort of weird parrot fetish?

However kitsch that was, bear in mind that the unsightly design of this next book was in fact due entirely to a complete lack of taste:

Arthur Goldberg, Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change (Red Heifer Press, 2010).

This book cover is in deparate need of, like, a total makeover – a queer eye for the straight jacket.

Incidentally, the author of Light in the Closet is the “Co-Director” of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality). Yes, really.

But my favorite worst book cover so far is this one:

Randolph Wright, Mikhail Gorbachev is Gog and Magog: The Biblical Antichrist (AuthorHouse, 2010).

Stunning. I have only awestruck questions. Gorbachev??!!! Are there really still crazed dispensationalists out there so stuck in the 1980s that they still think Gorby is a contender for the job of Antichrist? Or is it perhaps the case that the author has been working on this book ever since the 1980s? And you say Gorby is both Gog and Magog? What? … yet, on the other hand, that picture of the pink devil with his hand on Gorby’s shoulder certainly looks compelling.

Please make your own nominations in the comments section below!

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