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Two Harvard professors explain the stages in which governments collapse - and how we can prevent this.
Democracies can die with a coup d'état - or they can die slowly. This happens most deceptively when in piecemeal fashion, with the election of an authoritarian leader, the abuse of governmental power and the complete repression of opposition. All three steps are being taken around the world - not least with the election of Donald Trump - and we must all understand how we can stop them.
From the reign of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from across history to shine a light on governmental breakdown across the 20th and 21st centuries - including the dangers of an authoritarian leader faced with a major crisis.
Based on years of research, they present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals.
History doesn't repeat itself. But we can protect our democracy by learning its lessons, before it's too late.
Dit is die verhaal van ’n vrou wat haar familie in ’n terreuraanval verloor. Dit vertel van ’n gelowige wat in gehoorsaamheid leef, net sodat die mat onder haar uitgeruk kan word. Die boek sal die leser aanmoedig om die werklike koste van ons geloof te bereken, na te dink oor die karakter van God en ons identiteit as Sy kinders. Hannelie se verhaal is ’n merkwaardige getuienis van ’n lewe in geloof en die krag van vergifnis.
This book tells the story of the Prophet Muhammad as an inspirational role model for anyone who wants to be extraordinary.
You will learn how Muhammad shaped his personality as a child, dealt with the universal challenges of adolescence while a teenager, and then emerged as a leader in his community as a young adult. The book deliberately avoids the language of historical narration used in typical biographies of the Prophet in favor of a more informal, down-to-earth approach.
In this book, the reader will get a completely different view of Muhammad and hopefully will see how Muhammad addressed our own daily challenges, inspiring us to excel in confronting these challenges.
To know what the future holds, know what the past is hiding.
This book will open your eyes to groundbreaking mysteries that will impact not only how you understand the past, but also how you can be ready for the future. Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times best sellers The Harbinger, The Mystery of the Shemitah, The Book of Mysteries, and The Paradigm, now unveils The Oracle, in which he opens up the Jubilean mysteries and a revelation so big that it lies behind everything from the rise and fall of nations and empires (even America), to the current events of our day, to the future, to end-time prophecy, and much more.
Jonathan Cahn takes the reader on a journey to find the man called the Oracle. One by one each of the Jubilean mysteries will be revealed through the giving of a vision. The Oracle will uncover the mysteries of The Stranger, The Lost City, The Man With the Measuring Line, The Land of Seven Wells, The Birds, The Number of the End, The Man in the Black Robe, The Prophet's Song, The Matrix of Years, The Day of the Lions, The Awakening of the Dragon, and much more.
The reader will discover the ancient scrolls that contain the appointed words that have determined the course of world history from the onset of modern times up to our day. The revelation is so big that it will involve and open up the mysteries of everything and everyone from Mark Twain to Moses, from King Nebuchadnezzar to Donald Trump, from the fall of empires to the rise of America, from a mystery hidden in a desert cave to another in an ancient scroll, from the palace of the Persian Empire to the US Senate, from the Summer of Love to the Code of Babylon, and much, much more. Ultimately the Oracle will reveal the secret that lies behind end-time prophecy and the mystery of the end of the age.
As with The Harbinger and The Book of Mysteries, Cahn reveals the mysteries through a narrative. A traveler is given seven keys; each will open up one of seven doors. Behind each door lies a stream of mysteries. The reader will be taken on a journey of angels and prophetic revelations waiting to be discovered behind each of the seven doors-the ancient secrets that lie behind the world-changing events of modern times-and revelations of what is yet to come.
Hailed as a mind-blowing masterpiece, The Oracle will reveal mysteries that are absolutely real, amazing, stunning, mind-blowing, and life-changing.
Prepare to be blown away.
From Plato to Wittgenstein and religions from Judaism to the Hindu tradition, interspersed with divine influences from Classical Greece, Romantic poetry, and the occasional scene from 'Alien', 'God: A Guide for the Perplexed' charts the path of humanity's great spiritual odyssey: the search for God. Leading the way through this minefield is acclaimed philosopher-theologian Keith Ward, blending the sublime and the eclectic in a narrative which offers wit, erudition and moments of genuine pathos. As a survey of the different manifestations of God through the centuries, and an examination of humanity's search for the divine, this is an engaging and informative book. As a deeply moving testament to our endless capacity for spiritual hope, it is compulsive reading for anyone interested in, or embarking on, the great quest for meaning. 'A lively and very clearly written discussion summarizing and criticizing the thoughts of many significant thinkers.' Times Literary Supplement 'Wry but delightfully non-ironic, intelligent and clear, this book is a blessing. ' Publishers Weekly 'Highly informed, witty and immensely accessible. One of the most congenial, lively and informative introductions to this field.' Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University
Why have Western societies that were once overwhelmingly Christian become so secular? Looking to the feelings and faith of ordinary people, the award-winning author of Protestants Alec Ryrie offers a bold new history of atheism. We think we know the history of faith: how the ratio of Christian believers has declined and a secular age dawned. In this startlingly original history, Alex Ryrie puts faith in the dock to explore how religious belief didn't just fade away. Rather, atheism bloomed as a belief system in its own right. Unbelievers looks back to the middle ages when it seemed impossible not to subscribe to Christianity, through the crisis of the Reformation and to the powerful, challenging cultural currents of the centuries since. As this history shows, the religious journey of the Western world was lived and steered not just by published philosophy and the celebrated thinkers of the day - the Machiavellis and Michel de Montaignes - but by men and women at every level of society. Their voices and feelings permeate this book in the form of diaries, letters and court records. Tracing the roots of atheism, Ryrie shows that our emotional responses to the times can lead faith to wax and wane: anger at a corrupt priest or anxiety in a turbulent moment spark religious doubt as powerfully as any intellectual revolution. With Christianity under contest and ethical redefinitions becoming more and more significant, Unbelievers shows that to understand how something as intuitive as belief is shaped over time, we must look to an emotional history - one with potent lessons for our still angry and anxious age.
Is there an inevitable global violent clash unfolding between the world's largest religions: Islam and Christianity? Do religions cause violent conflicts, or are there other factors at play? How can we make sense of increasing reports of violence between Christian and Muslim ethnic communities across the world? By seeking to answer such questions about the relationship between religion and violence in today's world, Ziya Meral challenges popular theories and offers an alternative explanation, grounded on insights inferred from real cases of ethno-religious violence in Africa and the Middle East.
The relationship between religion and violence runs deep and both are intrinsic to the human story. Violence leads to and shapes religion, while religion acts to enable violence as well as providing responses that contain and prevent it. However, with religious violence being one of the most serious challenges facing the modern world, Meral shows that we need to de-globalise our analysis and focus on individual conflicts, instead of attempting to provide single answers to complex questions.
In hierdie boek kyk Jean Oosthuizen krities na die NG Kerk se geskiedenis sedert Jan van Riebeeck se aankoms in die Kaap, tot waar die kerk vandag is. In sy bestaan van meer as 350 jaar het die NG Kerk en die Nasionale Party so verstrengel geraak dat die kerk as “die Nasionale Party in gebed” bekend gestaan het. Die teoloog Ferdinand Deist se voorspelling in die laat tagtigerjare dat die kerk sal ondergaan wanneer apartheid tot ’n einde kom, blyk vandag in die kol te wees.
As instelling wat apartheid uit die Bybel geregverdig en verdedig het, het die kerk se vernietigende invloed nie alleen gemeenskappe in Suid-Afrika van mekaar vervreem nie – ook lidmate wat kritiese vrae gestel het, is na die periferie geskuif. Talle individue se menswaardigheid is geskend en verskeie loopbane is onder die dekmantel van Christenskap vernietig, soos die skrywer self kan getuig.
Oosthuizen se blik strek egter wyer as sy ervaring toe hy in 2013 as nuusredakteur van Kerkbode geskors is ná die opspraakwekkende Woordfees-debakel. Sy reis vanuit die kerk se binnekring sluit die verhale in van gelowiges sowel as ongelowiges wie se paaie met die NG Kerk gekruis het. Die opkoms en ondergang van die NG Kerk bied ’n kontemporêre blik op die tragiese geskiedenis van ’n instelling wat deur die aandadigheid aan verontregting stelselmatig irrelevant geraak het.
Days after the assassination of his prime minister in the middle of Rome in November 1848, Pope Pius IX found himself a virtual prisoner in his own palace. The wave of revolution that had swept through Europe now seemed poised to put an end to the popes' thousand-year reign over the Papal States, if not indeed to the papacy itself. Disguising himself as a simple parish priest, Pius escaped through a back door. Climbing inside the Bavarian ambassador's carriage, he embarked on a journey into a fateful exile. Only two years earlier Pius's election had triggered a wave of optimism across Italy. After the repressive reign of the dour Pope Gregory XVI, Italians saw the youthful, benevolent new pope as the man who would at last bring the Papal States into modern times and help create a new, unified Italian nation. But Pius found himself caught between a desire to please his subjects and a fear-stoked by the cardinals-that heeding the people's pleas would destroy the church. The resulting drama-with a colorful cast of characters, from Louis Napoleon and his rabble-rousing cousin Charles Bonaparte to Garibaldi, Tocqueville, and Metternich-was rife with treachery, tragedy, and international power politics. David Kertzer is one of the world's foremost experts on the history of Italy and the Vatican, and has a rare ability to bring history vividly to life. With a combination of gripping, cinematic storytelling, and keen historical analysis rooted in an unprecedented richness of archival sources, The Pope Who Would Be King sheds fascinating new light on the end of rule by divine right in the west and the emergence of modern Europe.
God is unbounded. God became flesh. While these two assertions are equally viable parts of Western Christian religious heritage, they stand in tension with one another. Fearful of reducing God's majesty with shallow anthropomorphisms, philosophy and religion affirm that God, as an eternal being, stands wholly apart from creation. Yet the legacy of the incarnation complicates this view of the incorporeal divine, affirming a very different image of God in physical embodiment. While for many today the idea of an embodied God seems simplisticaeven pedestrianaChristoph Markschies reveals that in antiquity, the educated and uneducated alike subscribed to this very idea. More surprisingly, the idea that God had a body was held by both polytheists and monotheists. Platonic misgivings about divine corporeality entered the church early on, but it was only with the advent of medieval scholasticism that the idea that God has a body became scandalous, an idea still lingering today. In God's Body Markschies traces the shape of the divine form in late antiquity. This exploration follows the development of ideas of God's corporeality in Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions. In antiquity, gods were often like humans, which proved to be important for philosophical reflection and for worship. Markschies considers how a cultic environment nurtured, and transformed, Jewish and Christian descriptions of the divine, as well as how philosophical debates over the connection of body and soul in humanity provided a conceptual framework for imagining God. Markschies probes the connections between this lively culture of religious practice and philosophical speculation and the christological formulations of the church to discover how the dichotomy of an incarnate God and a fleshless God came to be. By studying the religious and cultural past, Markschies reveals a Jewish and Christian heritage alien to modern sensibilities, as well as a God who is less alien to the human experience than much of Western thought has imagined. Since the almighty God who made all creation has also lived in that creation, the biblical idea of humankind as image of God should be taken seriously and not restricted to the conceptual world but rather applied to the whole person.
Denis Hurley was a courageous opponent of South Africa's apartheid regime for 50 years, dubbed 'an ecclesiastical Che Guevara' by a South African official and 'guardian of the light' by Alan Paton. He was a champion of the reforms and 'spirit' of Vatican II, who was controversial for his views on birth control, married priests, and women's ordination. This new, abridged version of Guardian of the Light tells the story of how Hurley became the youngest Catholic bishop in the world in 1947 at 31 and archbishop of Durban in 1952. His career as an outspoken opponent of apartheid began in 1951 when, as chairman of the Southern African Bishops' Conference, he drafted the first of the groundbreaking pastoral letters in which the bishops denounced apartheid as 'blasphemy' and 'intrinsically evil'. Along with four other church leaders (including Desmond Tutu), he was regarded as one of the South African state's 'most wanted' political opponents. He was arrested in 1984 and accused of 'telling lies', but the prosecutor dropped the charges when it became clear that Hurley would be able to prove the truth of his statements. He continued to work as a parish priest well into his eighties.
How did a libertine who lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Christian faith win 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016? And why have white evangelicals become a presidential reprobate's staunchest supporters? These are among the questions acclaimed historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez asks in Jesus and John Wayne, which delves beyond facile headlines to explain how white evangelicals have brought us to our fractured political moment. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the "moral majority" backed Donald Trump for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Donald Trump in fact represents the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals' most deeply held values. Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping account of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, showing how American evangelicals have worked for decades to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism, or in the words of one modern chaplain, with "a spiritual badass." As Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the role of culture in modern American evangelicalism. Many of today's evangelicals may not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they've read John Eldredge's Wild at Heart, and they learned about purity before they learned about sex-and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical popular culture is teeming with muscular heroes-mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of "Christian America." Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done. Trump, in other words, is hardly the first flashy celebrity to capture evangelicals' hearts and minds, nor is he the first strongman to promise evangelicals protection and power. Indeed, the values and viewpoints at the heart of white evangelicalism today-patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community-are likely to persist long after Trump leaves office. A much-needed reexamination, Jesus and John Wayne explains why evangelicals have rallied behind the least-Christian president in American history and how they have transformed their faith in the process, with enduring consequences for all of us.
In this engaging book, Jeffrey Symynkywicz, a minister and dedicated Springsteen fan, shows us that Bruce Spingsteen's enduring importance stems largely from the rich spiritual themes that run throughout his albums. With a lively and engaging style, Symynkywicz probes each of Springsteen's albums and shows how his music helps make sense of the many threads of our lives, including experiences of sin and redemption, fear and courage, and--above all--faith, hope, and love.
Carole Hillenbrand's book offers a profound understanding of the history of Muslims and their faith, from the life of Muhammad to the religion practised by 1.6 billion people around the world today. Each of the eleven chapters explains a core aspect of the faith in historical perspective, allowing readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past. It is an ideal introductory text for courses in Middle Eastern studies, in religious studies, or on Islam and its history.
In the aftermath of popular uprisings that unleashed the quest for freedom, Arab governments scrambled to limit sectarian divisions, though much of these efforts came to naught. Regrettably, weak governments fell into carefully laid traps, aimed to divide and rule. Protracted wars further destroyed Arab wealth and cohesiveness, and Sunni communities saw their power bases marginalised. On cue, and predicted by some commentators, extremist movements like the so-called Islamic State emerged, targeting Sunnis with extreme violence. In 2014 Nabil Khalife, an established Lebanese thinker, published a widely praised thesis that identified the root causes of renewed sectarian tensions at a time when confrontations polarised awakened Arab societies. Based on an extensive discussion of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the Shah, Khalife advanced the notion that the revolution was not Islamic but an Iranian-Shiah rebellion that ended the Pahlavi military monarchy, and that the post-2011 SunniShiah struggle was planned by leading Western powers, including Russia, to preserve Israel and impose the latters acceptance in the Middle East as a natural element. In this translation of Istihdaf Ahl al-Sunna [Targeting Sunnis], Joseph A Kechichian analyses the fundamental questions raised by the author to better place the current sectarian collision in a geo-strategic global perspective. Based on the books avowals of how the worlds three monotheistic religions perceive each other and Political Sunnism, Kechichian assesses Henry Kissingers famous appellation of the Middle World that houses significant and indispensable oil resources, and why that allegedly makes it -- Political Sunnism -- dangerous. In a comprehensive introduction to the translation, he describes various initiatives that led global powers to check the undeniable force of Political Sunnism.
After matric Lesley took a gap year to the United States. Before she left, her mother, in jest or premonition, said: “Don’t get married and don’t join a cult” – but Lesley ended up in what is considered one of the most dangerous existing cults in America.
In this book Lesley shares the story of her life-changing years with this group – living out of a backpack, an arranged marriage to a Brother, having home births, threats of losing her children and surviving in strange, glorious ways.
The history of a bewilderingly exotic city, rarely written about: five hundred years of clashing cultures and peoples, from the glories of Suleiman the Magnificent to its nadir under Nazi occupation. Salonica is the point where the wonders and horrors of the Orient and Europe have met over the centuries. Written with a Pepysian sense of the texture of daily life in the city through the ages, and with breathtakingly detailed historical research, Salonica evokes the sights, smells, habits, songs and responses of a unique city and its inhabitants. The history of Salonica is one of forgotten alternatives and wrong choices, of identities assumed and discarded. For centuries Jews, Christians and Muslims have succeeded each other in ascendancy, each people intent on erasing the presence of their predecessors, and the result is a city of extraordinarily rich cultural traditions and memories of extreme violence and genocide, one that sits on the overlapping hinterlands of both Europe and the East. Mark Mazower has written a work of astonishing depth and originality about this remarkable city. Magnificently researched and beautifully written, it is more than a book about a place; it studies in detail the way in which three great faiths and peoples have inhabited the same territory, and how smooth transitions and adaptations have been interwoven with violent endings and new beginnings.
The town of Bethlehem carries so many layers of meaning--some ancient, some mythical, some religious--that it feels like an unreal city, even to the people who call it home. Today, the city is hemmed in by a wall and surrounded by forty-one Israeli settlements and hostile settlers and soldiers. The population is undergoing such enormous strains it is close to falling apart. Any town with an eleven-thousand-year history has to be robust, but Bethlehem may soon go the way of Salonica or Constantinople: the physical site might survive, but the long thread winding back to the ancient past will have snapped, and the city risks losing everything that makes it unique. Still, for many, Bethlehem remains the "little town" of the Christmas song. Nicholas Blincoe will tell the history of the famous little town, through the visceral experience of living there, taking readers through its stone streets and desert wadis, its monasteries, aqueducts and orchards, showing the city from every angle and era. Inevitably, a portrait of Bethlehem will shed light on one of the world's most intractable political problems. Bethlehem is a much-loved Palestinian city, a source of pride and wealth but also a beacon of co-existence in a region where hopelessness, poverty and violence has become the norm. Bethlehem could light the way to a better future, but if the city is lost then the chances of an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict will be lost with it.
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