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Just as European Jews were being emancipated and ghettos in their original form-compulsory, enclosed spaces designed to segregate-were being dismantled, use of the word "ghetto" surged in Europe and spread around the globe. Tracing the curious path of this loaded word from its first use in sixteenth-century Venice to the present turns out to be more than an adventure in linguistics. Few words are as ideologically charged as "ghetto." Its early uses centered on two cities: Venice, where it referred to the segregation of the Jews in 1516, and Rome, where the ghetto survived until the fall of the Papal States in 1870, long after it had ceased to exist elsewhere. Ghetto: The History of a Word offers a fascinating account of the changing nuances of this slippery term, from its coinage to the present day. It details how the ghetto emerged as an ambivalent metaphor for "premodern" Judaism in the nineteenth century and how it was later revived to refer to everything from densely populated Jewish immigrant enclaves in modern cities to the hyper-segregated holding pens of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. We see how this ever-evolving word traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, settled into New York's Lower East Side and Chicago's Near West Side, then came to be more closely associated with African Americans than with Jews. Chronicling this sinuous transatlantic odyssey, Daniel B. Schwartz reveals how the history of ghettos is tied up with the struggle and argument over the meaning of a word. Paradoxically, the term "ghetto" came to loom larger in discourse about Jews when Jews were no longer required to live in legal ghettos. At a time when the Jewish associations have been largely eclipsed, Ghetto retrieves the history of a disturbingly resilient word.
The Bible is harshly opposed to participation by Israelites in the worship of other nations' gods. Was this strict command to the nation of Israel not to worship other deities extended to other nations? Or was it legitimate and acceptable for other nations to worship their own gods just as Israel worshipped the God of the Covenant?
In The Nations That Know Thee Not, Robert Goldenberg takes a historical look at attitudes towards foreign religions that are found in Israel's scriptures and in post-Biblical Judaism, and he traces an ambivalent attitude toward foreign religions as it developed through the history of Judaism. How did Jewish outlooks on gentile religions vary so much over time? As Jewish acceptance of paganism grew under rabbinic leadership, did Christianity become heir to other, harsher biblical attitudes toward other religions?
Systematically covering the entire range of Jewish literature of antiquity from the Bible through the rabbinic canons, Goldenberg sheds light on the ways in which ancient Jews understood the religious worlds in which they lived.
From the archetypical story of Abraham smashing his father's household idols to God's commandment at Mount Sinai that "You shall have no other gods before Me," the prohibition in Judaism against the worship of idols has been unyielding. Idolatry is conceived as the antithesis to the worship of the invisible, unnamed, and articulate God.
The proscription against using images in worship sets Judaism, together with Islam, apart from all other religious systems. In "Beyond the Graven Image, " Lionel Kochan sets out to explain the reasons for this prohibition and to demonstrate how influential this image-ban has been in determining key aspects of Jewish thinking. The Jewish conceptions of holiness and symbolism, our relationship with God, and the role of memory in religion, he argues, as well as the preference for non- material arts such as music over visual modes of artistic expression within Judaism, have all been profoundly shaped by the prohibition against physical representations of God.
An epic story of empire-building and bloody conflict, this ground-breaking biography of one of history's most venerated military and religious heroes opens a window on the Islamic and Christian worlds' complex relationship. When Saladin recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, returning the Holy City to Islamic rule for the first time in almost ninety years, he sent shockwaves throughout Christian Europe and the Muslim Near East that reverberate today. It was the culmination of a supremely exciting life, fraught with challenges but blessed occasionally with marvellous good fortune. Born into a significant Kurdish family in northern Iraq, Saladin shot to power far way in Egypt under the tutelage of his uncle. Over two decades, this warrior and diplomat worked tirelessly to build an immense empire that stretched from North Africa to Western Iraq. His even greater achievement was political: uniting this turbulent coalition of people from a bewildering variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds behind his assault on the Holy Lands. And yet the capturing of Jerusalem was by no means the end of Saladin's epic and confounding story. Drawing primarily on Arabic as well as European sources, this is the most comprehensive account yet written not just of the man but of the legend to which he gave birth, describing vividly the relentless action of his life and then tracing its aftermath through culture and politics all the way to the present. It reveals the personal qualities that explain his enduring reputation as a man of faith, generosity, mercy and justice, even while showing him to be capable of mistakes, self-interest and cruelty. After Saladin's death, it goes on to show how in the West this Sunni Muslim acquired the status of a chivalric hero, even while throughout the Islamic world he became - and continues to be - the greatest jihadist ever to have lived. The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin shows how this one man's life takes us beyond the crude stereotypes of the `Clash of Civilisations' even while his legacy explains them: an intimate portrait of a towering figure of world history that is thrillingly relevant today.
This companion volume to the Jewish New Testament enhances Bible study. Passages and expressions are explained in their original cultural context, the way 1st century Jewish writers meant for them to be understood! Over fifteen years of research and study went into the JNTC to make the New Testament more meaningful!
What does it mean to be a Jewish woman today? To an Orthodox woman, it means living a religious way of life in which serving God totally defines her self-perception and her role as wife and mother. For the secular woman, it means having a sense of belonging, although not necessarily to a specific Jewish community. Most contemporary Jewish women fall somewhere in between, but at the core of all of their identities is a complex interweaving of religious and ethnic elements, a shared history, and a collective memory of periods of prejudice, persecution, wandering, and resettlement.
Focusing on Jewish women in the United States and Britain, Adrienne Baker examines such issues as women's role in religious law, the spectrum of synagogue observance, the mother's role as conveyor of tradition, conversion and inter- faith marriages, and sexuality. In particular, the book examines the impact of feminism on Jewish women and their culture, uncovering the counterinfluences of tradition and new freedoms on women's lives.
From one of America's most brilliant writers, a New York Times bestselling journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness. At the heart of Buddhism is a simple claim: The reason we suffer-and the reason we make other people suffer-is that we don't see the world clearly. At the heart of Buddhist meditative practice is a radical promise: We can learn to see the world, including ourselves, more clearly and so gain a deep and morally valid happiness. In this "sublime" (The New Yorker), pathbreaking book, Robert Wright shows how taking this promise seriously can change your life-how it can loosen the grip of anxiety, regret, and hatred, and how it can deepen your appreciation of beauty and of other people. He also shows why this transformation works, drawing on the latest in neuroscience and psychology, and armed with an acute understanding of human evolution. This book is the culmination of a personal journey that began with Wright's landmark book on evolutionary psychology, The Moral Animal, and deepened as he immersed himself in meditative practice and conversed with some of the world's most skilled meditators. The result is a story that is "provocative, informative and...deeply rewarding" (The New York Times Book Review), and as entertaining as it is illuminating. Written with the wit, clarity, and grace for which Wright is famous, Why Buddhism Is True lays the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age and shows how, in a time of technological distraction and social division, we can save ourselves from ourselves, both as individuals and as a species.
Kung joins with three esteemed colleagues to address the question: "Can we break through the barriers of noncommunication, fear, and mistrust that separate the followers of the world's great religions?" The authors analyze the main lines of approach taken by Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and give Christian responses to the values and challenges each tradition presents.
Noted authority discusses mystic rites and doctrines, methods of psychic training among lamas, magicians, yogis, etc. Covered are various kinds of initiations and their aims, role of the spiritual guide and choice of a master, oral instruction, spiritual exercises, "gymnastics" of respiration, many other aspects of Tibetan religious practice. David-Neel was practicing Buddhist, linguist, resident of Tibet for 14 years. 27 black-and-white illustrations.
This book is designed to cover one year's work in Hebrew leading up to a full understanding of the language. It has been used by the author with his students for many years and the published text is the result of testing and refining over these years. Every attempt has been made to make the grammar clear and simple. For example, all Hebrew words are transliterated, as well as being given in the original for the first three-quarters of the book. The grammatical discussion is made as unsophisticated as possible for it is the author's intention that this book should also be of use to those who study Hebrew without a teacher.
Written by experienced examiners with an in-depth understanding of teaching, learning and assessment at Year 1 & AS, it provides teachers and students with a clear skills-based pathway of learning that firmly bridges the gap between specification content and the final examination itself. / This comprehensive yet accessible book has been carefully created to ensure that students develop the confidence and skills required to meet the demands of Year 1 & AS level. / Exam preparation is covered in the Developing Skills section, which include a range of progressive activities. / It provides distinctive AO1 and AO2 materials and specific activities that target each assessment objective. / Separate books for each religion, along with the Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics book, allow you to focus on the content you need for the exams. / Titles in this series are: Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Ethics, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.
*The definitive and comprehensive edition of Robert Graves's classic retelling of the Greek myths* 'Icarus disobeyed his father's instructions and began soaring towards the sun, rejoiced by the lift of his great sweeping wings. Presently, when Daedalus looked over his shoulder, he could no longer see Icarus; but scattered feathers floated on the waves below...' These are the greatest stories ever told - the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas and his golden touch, the Trojan War and Odysseus's journey home - brought together into one epic and unforgettable story. Ideal for the first time reader, it can be read as a single page-turning narrative, while full commentaries as well as a comprehensive index of names make it equally valuable for anyone seeking an authoritative and detailed account of the spectacular stories that make up the bedrock of Western literature. The Greek Myths is a classic among classics, a treasure trove of extraordinary tales and a masterful work of literature in its own right.
Mindfulness is considered the heart of Buddhist meditation but its essence is universal and of deep practical benefit to all.& nbsp; In essence, mindfulness is about wakefulness.& nbsp; Our minds are such that we are often more asleep than awake to the unique beauty and possibilities of each present moment as it unfolds.& nbsp; In WHEREVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE, Jon Kabat-Zinn maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one??'s own life.& nbsp; It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.& nbsp;
Being Jewish Today gives an account of both the journey of a particular
British Jew and the journey of millions of women and men through
today's perplexing and difficult world. With honesty and integrity
Rabbi Tony Bayfield breaks new ground in exploring the meaning of
Jewish identity and its relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. He
does so from the perspective of a person fully integrated into the
modern Western world. The rigorous questions he asks of his Jewishness,
Judaism and the Jewish God are therefore substantially the same as
those asked by individuals of all faiths and none.
During its 2,500-year life, the book of Genesis has been the keystone to almost every important claim about reality, humanity, and God in Judaism and Christianity. And it continues to play a central role in debates about science, politics, and human rights. With clarity and skill, acclaimed biblical scholar Ronald Hendel provides a panoramic history of this iconic book, exploring its impact on Western religion, philosophy, science, politics, literature, and more. Hendel traces how Genesis has shaped views of reality, and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis. Literal and figurative readings have long competed with each other. Hendel tells how Luther's criticisms of traditional figurative accounts of Genesis undermined the Catholic Church; how Galileo made the radical argument that the cosmology of Genesis wasn't scientific evidence; and how Spinoza made the equally radical argument that the scientific method should be applied to Genesis itself. Indeed, Hendel shows how many high points of Western thought and art have taken the form of encounters with Genesis--from Paul and Augustine to Darwin, Emily Dickinson, and Kafka. From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to the struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has shaped our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable story of the life of Genesis like no other book.
Plato dismissed Greek mythology as `old wives' chatter' but such chatter, from the Minotaur to the Trojan Horse, from Zeus to Prometheus, Heracles to the Argonauts, has been of immense influence for thousands of years. Those tales of deities and beasts, and of heroes and villains, must have possessed some quality to have lasted so long. Thousands of years on, we still refer in our every day lives to Achilles, Pandora and Narcissus. From Hades in the Underworld to Pegasus in flight, Greek Myths & Legends is an accessible introduction to the world of such characters as the Titans, Aphrodite and Poseidon. The book tells the story of Greek mythology from its creation myths and gods to its tales of mortals. Along the way we see the development of the pantheon of the major Greek deities, the dynastic struggles among the early gods, the creation of the Underworld and we learn how Ariadne, Medea and Perseus, among many others, fit into the mythic universe. The book also examines how Greek myths have survived in written texts, ceramics, art and architecture, and the legacy of Greek mythology in Roman culture and the Middle Ages, as well as its revival in the Renaissance and its enduring appeal today. Illustrated with 180 colour and black-&-white photographs, artworks and maps, Greek Myths & Legends is an engaging, highly informative exploration of a fascinating world and will appeal to anyone interested in legends and ancient cultures.
We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today? Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo - became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry. Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.
This vivid introduction to the heart of Islam offers a unique approach to understanding Allah, the central focus of Muslim religious expression. Drawing on history, culture, theology, politics, and the media, Bruce B. Lawrence identifies key religious practices by which Allah is revered and remembered, illuminating how the very name of Allah is interwoven into the everyday experience of millions of Muslims. For Muslims, as for adherents of other religions, intentions as well as practices are paramount in one's religious life. Lawrence elucidates how public utterances, together with private pursuits, reflect the emotive, sensory, and intellectual aspirations of the devout. Ranging from the practice of the tongue (speaking) to practices in cyberspace (online religious activities), Lawrence explores how Allah is invoked, defined, remembered, and also debated. While the practice of the heart demonstrates how Allah is remembered in Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, the practice of the mind examines how theologians and philosophers have defined Allah in numerous contexts, often with conflicting aims. The practice of the ear marks the contemporary period, in which Lawrence locates and then assesses competing calls for jihad, or religious struggle, within the cacophony of an immensely diverse umma, the worldwide Muslim community.
Cleanliness is next to enlightenment. In this Japanese bestseller a Buddhist monk explains the traditional meditative techniques that will help cleanse not only your house - but your soul. Live clean. Feel calm. Be happy. We remove dust to sweep away our worldly cares. We live simply and take time to contemplate the self, mindfully living each moment. It's not just monks that need to live this way. Everyone in today's busy world needs it. In Japan, cleanliness is next to enlightenment. This bestselling guide by a Zen Buddhist monk draws on ancient traditions to show you how a few simple changes to your daily habits - from your early morning routine to preparingfood, from respecting the objects around you to working together as a team -will not only make your home calmer and cleaner, but will leave you feeling refreshed, happier and more fulfilled.
'Nothing I have read is more affecting than Mihail Sebastian's magnificent, haunting 1934 novel, For Two Thousand Years' - Philippe Sands, Guardian Books of the Year A prescient interwar masterpiece, available in English for the first time 'Absolutely, definitively alone', a young Jewish student in Romania tries to make sense of a world that has decided he doesn't belong. Spending his days walking the streets and his nights drinking and gambling, meeting revolutionaries, zealots, lovers and libertines, he adjusts his eyes to the darkness that falls over Europe, and threatens to destroy him. Mihail Sebastian's 1934 novel was written amid the anti-Semitism which would, by the end of the decade, force him out of his career and turn his friends and colleagues against him. For Two Thousand Years is a lucid, heart-wrenching chronicle of resilience and despair, broken layers of memory and the terrible forces of history.
'A powerful corrective' Guardian
'This should be compulsory reading' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads
'For anyone interested in the future of Islam, both in Britain and the Islamic world, this is an important book' The Times
The gulf between Islam and the West is widening. A faith rich with strong values and traditions, observed by nearly two billion people is seen by the West as something to be feared rather than understood. Sensational headlines and hard-line policies spark enmity, while ignoring the feelings, narratives and perceptions that preoccupy Muslims today.
The House of Islam seeks to provide entry to the minds and hearts of Muslims the world over. It introduces us to the kindness of Mohammed; the beauty of Islamic art and the permeation of the divine in public spaces; and the tension between mysticism and literalism that still threatens the House of Islam.
Ed Husain expertly and compassionately guides us through the nuances of Islam and its people, contending that the Muslim world need not be a stranger to the West, nor its enemy, but a peaceable ally.
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