people, kid, girl-2603858.jpg

Wisdom Library

As outlined in our approach, Uplift integrates the best of modern science and ancient wisdom to help you nurture your children’s natural spirituality. Whether it’s leading research about child rearing or timeless insights from the world’s wisdom traditions (including Buddhism, Stoicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, Judaism, Sufism, and many others), we embrace it. As the religious scholar Philip Novak writes, “These great wisdom traditions remain our most resourceful guides to the Infinite.”

In other words, reading wisdom can help us connect to the deepest parts of ourselves. The kingdom of God within, the still small voice, the Atman, the Tao — different metaphors, each with their distinct flavor and perspective, for a mystery that can’t be fully captured in words.

These texts still matter —  or at least the most generous and compassionate passages do.  

Over the course of 2023, we’ll explore the best wisdom selections from traditions around the world, totaling 52 in all (one for each new week). For this collection, we’re expanding well beyond religious texts to include wisdom wherever it’s found (mythology, philosophy, history, etc.). 

Think of each section as an expansive approach to daily devotional reading. If you already have a practice of scripture study together, this wisdom library can be a way to explore new texts together. If you don’t have a daily devotional practice, this is a place to start.

In 52 weeks, you’ll give your kids a “spiritual passport” to the best of all traditions — a source of inspiration for life.

It’s all listed below, roughly in chronological order.

Note: These stories and passages are ideal for kids ages 7+, but we’ve included coloring pages for littles to keep their attention too. (For young kids, we recommend completing our lesson library before diving in here.)

  1. Wisdom Before Writing (bones, cave painting, buildings)
  2. Sumeria (Gilgamesh, Inanna, Nanshe)
  3. Egypt (Isis, Osiris, Horus)
  4. India (Vedas, Upanishads)
  5. Ur / Canaan (Eve, Abraham, Jacob)
  6. Egypt (Midwives, Mothers, Moses)
  7. Greece (Prometheus, Athena, Demeter)
  8. Greece (Odysseus, Penelope)
  9. India (Arjuna, Krishna)
  10. India (Parvati, Savitri, Lakshmi)
  11. Nepal (Buddha, Buddhist nuns)
  12. Nepal (Buddhism, cont.)
  13. China (Lao Tzu, Zhuangzi)
  14. China (Confucius, Mencius, Mothers, Mozi)
  15. Greece (Socrates, Plato)
  16. Greece (Aristotle, Epicurus)
  17. Greece/Rome (Stoicism)
  18. Israel (Ruth, David, Proverbs, Job)
  19. Jerusalem (Jesus’s stories)
  20. Jerusalem (Jesus)
  21. Jerusalem and Rome (Paul, Plotinus, Hypatia)
  22. Middle East (Muhammad, Hadith)
  23. Middle East (Abu Bakr, Rabia, Rumi)
  24. China (Chinese Buddhism, Tales)
  25. Japan (Shinto, Zen)
  26. Japan (Zen tales)
  27. Europe (Boethius, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart)
  28. Europe (Teresa of Avila, Christine de Pizan, Marie de France)
  29. Europe (Fairy Tales)
  30. Scandinavia (Odin, Thor, Freyja)
  31. India (Sikhism, Jainism)
  32. Britain (Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton)
  33. Britain (William Blake, Mary Shelley, Dickens, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf)
  34. Britain (Darwin, Huxley)
  35. Thailand (Theravada Buddhism)
  36. Tibet (Mahayana Buddhism)
  37. Africa (Folk stories)
  38. Russia / Slav (Baba Yaga, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky)
  39. Oceania / Polynesia (Folk stories)
  40. America (Native American, Inuit)
  41. America (Meso-America, Latin America)
  42. America (Fredrick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs)
  43. New England (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman)
  44. America (T.S. Eliot, Ursula K. Le Guin, Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver, Alan Watts, Fred Rogers, bell hooks, MLK)
  45. England (Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan)
  46. France (Montague, Proust)
  47. German (Kant, Hegel, Nietzche)
  48. German (Freud, Jung)
  49. World Wisdom (Baháʼu’lláh, Kahlil Gibran, Krishnamurti, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gandhi)
  50. World Wisdom (Jack Kornfield, Eckhart Tolle, Mirabai Starr, Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron)
  51. World Wisdom (Thomas Keating, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Audre Lorde)

Wisdom Listed By Tradition

We also have pulled selections from various traditions, listed roughly by number of adherents.

Get a sample lesson + weekly insights.