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`Abd al-Rahman b. `Amr al-Awza`i (c.707-774) was Umayyad Syria's most significant jurist. He was part of a generation of scholars who began the process of creating legal and other structures for the preservation and dissemination of religious knowledge. Despite being intimately associated with the Umayyad regime, he not only survived the `Abbasid revolution, but continued to exert an influence on legal and theological matters in the new era. In this he was unique. Examining al-Awza`i's pre-revolutionary success and post-revolutionary legacy, Steven C. Judd sheds light on this often overlooked figure and, in so doing, challenges the prevailing narrative that focuses on the `Abbasids and Iraq to the detriment of Umayyad Syria. The immediate impact of al-Awza`i may have been short-lived, but his influence on aspects of Islamic law, particularly the laws of war, endures to this day.
An essential biography of one of the Bible (TM)s most powerful and inspiring books Exodus is the second book of the Hebrew Bible, but it may rank first in lasting cultural importance. It is here that the classic biblical themes of oppression and redemption, of human enslavement and divine salvation, are most dramatically expressed. Joel Baden tells the story of this influential and enduring book, tracing how its famous account of the Israelites (TM) journey to the promised land has been adopted and adapted for millennia, often in unexpected ways. Baden draws a distinction between the Exodus story and the book itself, which is one of the most multifaceted in the Bible, containing poems, law codes, rituals, and architectural plans. He shows how Exodus brings together an array of oral and written traditions from the ancient Middle East, and how it came to be ritualized in the Passover Seder and the Eucharist. Highlighting the remarkable resilience and flexibility of Exodus, Baden sheds light on how the bestowing of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai divided Jewish and Christian thinkers, on the importance of Exodus during the Reformation and the American Revolution, and on its uses in debates for and against slavery. He also traces how the defining narrative of ancient Israel helped to define Mormon social identity, the American civil rights movement, and liberation theology. Though three thousand years old, the Exodus "as history, as narrative, as metaphor, as model "continues to be vitally important for us today. Here is the essential biography of this incomparable spiritual masterpiece.
In the Second-Temple period non-Jews were attracted to Judaism's communal life, religious observance and theological imagination. On the Jewish side, this was matched by the development of several discrete "patterns of universalism"-ways in which Jews were able to conceive of a positive place for Gentiles within their symbolic world. In this book Terence Donaldson collects and comments on all of the texts (to the end of the second Jewish rebellion in 135 CE) that deal with Gentile sympathizers, proselytes, ethical monotheists and participants in end-time redemption. In impressive detail, Donaldson identifies, defines, and describes these "patterns of universalism."
An award-winning biblical translator reflects on the art of capturing the literary power of the Bible in English In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator and acclaimed literary critic Robert Alter offers a personal and passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation over the two decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Alter (TM)s literary training gave him the advantage of seeing that a translation of the Bible can convey the text (TM)s meaning only by trying to capture the powerful and subtle literary style of the biblical Hebrew, something the modern English versions don (TM)t do justice to. The Bible (TM)s style, Alter writes, oeis not some sort of aesthetic embellishment of the ~message (TM) of Scripture but the vital medium through which the biblical vision of God, human nature, history, politics, society, and moral value is conveyed. And, as the translators of the King James Version knew, the authority of the Bible is inseparable from its literary authority. For these reasons, the Bible can be brought to life in English only by re-creating its literary virtuosity, and Alter discusses the principal aspects of style in the Hebrew Bible that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.
"Islamic art" can be a challenging term in an ever-changing art world. Through the exploration of a wide array of media-from painting, sculpture, and photography to video and multimedia-an internationally renowned group of scholars, collectors, artists, and curators tackles questions such as whether the art has to come from the Middle East, whether it must have a religious component, and, indeed, whether the work of art must be made by a Muslim. Based on a series of papers presented at the 7th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art in 2017, the essays in this volume grapple with these questions from a range of viewpoints. Taken together, these texts, including beautiful illustrations of major works by contemporary artists from the Muslim world, invoke a lively discussion of how the arts of the Islamic lands link the past with the present and the future.
How to Love is part of a charming series of books from Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, exploring the essential foundations of mindful meditation and practise. How to Love shows that when we feel closer to our loved ones, we are also more connected to the world as a whole. Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion and humour to the thorny question of how to love and distils one of our strongest emotions down to four essentials: you can only love another when you feel true love for yourself; love is understanding; understanding brings compassion; and deep listening and loving speech are key ways of showing our love.
The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life "and even invented real automated machines The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life "and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, oelife through craft. In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story of how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths envisioned artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements "and how these visions relate to and reflect the ancient invention of real animated machines. As early as Homer, Greeks were imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and even ancient versions of Artificial Intelligence, while in Indian legend, Buddha (TM)s precious relics were defended by robot warriors copied from Greco-Roman designs for real automata. Mythic automata appear in tales about Jason and the Argonauts, Medea, Daedalus, Prometheus, and Pandora, and many of these machines are described as being built with the same materials and methods that human artisans used to make tools and statues. And, indeed, many sophisticated animated devices were actually built in antiquity, reaching a climax with the creation of a host of automata in the ancient city of learning, Alexandria, the original Silicon Valley. A groundbreaking account of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life, Gods and Robots reveals how some of today (TM)s most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were foreshadowed in ancient myth "and how science has always been driven by imagination. This is mythology for the age of AI.
Since 2012, hundreds of men and women have left Western countries to join jihadist groups fighting in Syria. Many are still there, many have been killed, but some have chosen to return to their countries of origin. French Journalist David Thomson met some of those who came back. Bilel, Yassin, Zoubeir, Lena, each has a different profile and story. Some have returned disgusted by the violence of the Syrian battlefields, or the terrorist attacks that have struck across Europe; they try to become forgotten, living under extreme surveillance. Others return seriously wounded or psychologically destroyed. Others still are in jail, a breeding ground for broader radicalization. And some have come back to continue to carry out jihad in Europe. In utmost secrecy, David Thomson gathered their testimonies and recounts them in this remarkable and revealing book. With ISIS losing ground on all fronts, the steady flow of jihadists returning to Europe represents one of the greatest challenges facing countries across the continent. This nuanced analysis of the social, religious, political, familial and psychological factors that push people to violent extremism is more necessary now than ever. It will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand how we might address this threat.
Translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an (also known as The Koran) is the sacred book of Islam. It is the word of God whose truth was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years. As it was revealed, so it was committed to memory by his companions, though written copies were also made by literate believers during the lifetime of the Prophet. The first full compilation was by Abu Bakar, the first Caliph, and it was then recompiled in the original dialect by the third Caliph Uthman, after the best reciters had fallen in battle. Muslims believe that the truths of The Holy Qur'an are fully and authentically revealed only in the original classical Arabic. However, as the influence of Islam grows and spreads to the modern world, it is recognised that translation is an important element in introducing and explaining Islam to a wider audience. This translation, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, is considered to be the most faithful rendering available in English.
Drawing from the British Library's extensive Southeast Asia collections, this wall calendar features 12 stunning and intricate details from illuminated Buddhist manuscript art. Featuring lavish, intricate illustrations and bright pigments, these images are as fascinating as they are beautiful. Whether you're interested in Southeast Asian history or simply an appreciator of fine artistry, this stunning calendar provides a visual treat. Informative text accompanies each work and the datepad features previous and next month's views. Created by Flame Tree Studio - The Art of Fine Gifts.
The life of a congregational rabbi is often seen as an ivory-tower existence - full of prayers and piety - but Jonathan Romain's has radically departed from that image. Virtually no one has ever asked him about their spiritual life and instead he has dealt with a rollercoaster of crises, emotional traumas, moral dilemmas, attempts at seduction, multiple murders, Machiavellian families, funerals that go wrong, weddings that are hijacked, and fighting his way through a maze of other people's sexual fantasies. Nothing in rabbinic training ever hinted that this catalogue of human misery would become part of his calling, nor gave any clues as to how to handle it. Luckily, his previous careers - as a radio agony aunt, prison chaplain, postman and nightclub bouncer - gave him insights that proved very useful in navigating through the human jungle, and hopefully helping some of those he has met on the way. Candid, poignant and often hilarious, this highly original and very readable book offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into an extraordinary job dealing with timeless human scenarios.
Consisting of fewer than two hundred verses written in an obscure if not impenetrable language and style, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is today extolled by the yoga establishment as a perennial classic and guide to yoga practice. As David Gordon White demonstrates in this groundbreaking study, both of these assumptions are incorrect. Virtually forgotten in India for hundreds of years and maligned when it was first discovered in the West, the Yoga Sutra has been elevated to its present iconic status--and translated into more than forty languages--only in the course of the past forty years. White retraces the strange and circuitous journey of this confounding work from its ancient origins down through its heyday in the seventh through eleventh centuries, its gradual fall into obscurity, and its modern resurgence since the nineteenth century. First introduced to the West by the British Orientalist Henry Thomas Colebrooke, the Yoga Sutra was revived largely in Europe and America, and predominantly in English. White brings to life the improbable cast of characters whose interpretations--and misappropriations--of the Yoga Sutra led to its revered place in popular culture today. Tracing the remarkable trajectory of this enigmatic work, White's exhaustively researched book also demonstrates why the yoga of India's past bears little resemblance to the yoga practiced today.
Translated with Notes by Arthur Waley. With an Introduction by Robert Wilkinson. Dating from around 300BC, Tao Te Ching is the first great classic of the Chinese school of philosophy called Taoism. Within its pages is summed up a complete view of the cosmos and how human beings should respond to it. A profound mystical insight into the nature of things forms the basis for a humane morality and vision of political utopia. The ideas in this work constitute one of the main shaping forces behind Chinese spirituality, art and science, so much so that no understanding of Chinese civilisation is possible without a grasp of Taoism. This edition presents the authoritative translation by Arthur Waley, with a new Introduction reflecting recent developments in the interpretation of the work.
In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Sensitive to do a more than merely thematic reading of the Bible which strips texts out of their original context, Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning. The result is a Biblical theology that allows Jews and Christian's to dialogue about and appreciate the sacred scriptures in both testaments. The capstone work of an internationally known theologian, Biblical Theology also offers new insights on key theological issues, including the character of God, grace, covenants, salvation, election, and eschatology as they relate to the doctrine of God.
An unparalleled exploration of magic in the Greco-Roman world What did magic mean to the people of ancient Greece and Rome? How did Greeks and Romans not only imagine what magic could do, but also use it to try to influence the world around them? In Drawing Down the Moon, Radcliffe Edmonds, one of the foremost experts on magic, religion, and the occult in the ancient world, provides the most comprehensive account of the varieties of phenomena labeled as magic in classical antiquity. Exploring why certain practices, images, and ideas were labeled as oemagic and set apart from oenormal kinds of practices, Edmonds gives insight into the shifting ideas of religion and the divine in the ancient past and in the later Western tradition. Using fresh approaches to the history of religions and the social contexts in which magic was exercised, Edmonds delves into the archaeological record and classical literary traditions to examine images of witches, ghosts, and demons as well as the fantastic powers of metamorphosis, erotic attraction, and reversals of nature, such as the famous trick of drawing down the moon. From prayer and divination to astrology and alchemy, Edmonds journeys through all manner of ancient magical rituals and paraphernalia "ancient tablets, spell books, bindings and curses, love charms and healing potions, and amulets and talismans. He considers the ways in which the Greco-Roman discourse of magic was formed amid the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, including Egypt and the Near East. An investigation of the mystical and marvelous, Drawing Down the Moon offers an unparalleled record of the origins, nature, and functions of ancient magic.
For decades readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the thrilling, enchanting and fascinating world of Western mythology. From Odysseus's adventure-filled journey to the Norse god Odin's effort to postpone the final day of doom, Edith Hamilton's classic collection not only retells these stories with brilliant clarity but shows us how the ancients saw their own place in the world and how their themes echo in our consciousness today. An essential part of every home library, MYTHOLOGY is the definitive volume for anyone who wants to know the key dramas, the primary characters, the triumphs, failures, fears and hopes first narrated thousands of years ago - and still spellbinding to this day.
This study takes a fresh look at the influential French philosopher, arguing that Jaques Derrida cannot be fully understood without considering the Jewish dimension of his thought, and offering a re-appraisal of his work.
"What's this you're writing?" asked Pooh, climbing onto the writing table. "The Tao of Pooh," I replied. "The how of Pooh?" asked Pooh, smudging one of the words I had just written. "The Tao of Pooh," I replied, poking his paw away with my pencil. "It seems more like ow! of Pooh," said Pooh, rubbing his paw. "Well, it's not," I replied huffily. "What's it about?" asked Pooh, leaning forward and smearing another word. "It's about how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!" I yelled. "Have you read it?" asked Pooh... Winnie-the-Pooh has a certain way about him, a way of doing things that has made him the world's most beloved bear, and Pooh's Way, as Benjamin Hoff brilliantly demonstrates, seems strangely close to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism. Follow the Pooh Way in this humorous and enlightening introduction to Taoism, with classic decorations by E.H. Shepard throughout.
'A must-read for anyone who cares about women's equality' Sheryl Sandberg 'A flame-thrower for the rights of women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice' Tina Brown BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK This memoir is the extraordinary story of how one woman, Masih Alinejad, an awe-inspiring journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab. It all started with a single photo, a bold statement on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, her face bare, her beautiful, curly hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: simply removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the photo that sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. Across Iran, women started posting pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country (and often, their families) while sharing their personal stories about this powerful mode of expression. With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. But behind the scenes of this movement, Masih has been fighting a painful personal battle. She is a divorcee -- a sin equivalent to prostitution in Iranian culture. As a reporter, Masih has been actively speaking out against the government's corrupt policies for more than a decade, and has faced abuse and slander at every turn. In 2009 she went abroad during the Iranian presidential election with hopes of interviewing Barack Obama. Before the interview could take place, the elections were stolen, Masih's newspaper was shut down, and thousands of Iranians were arrested. She was expelled from her own country, and separated from her only son. Although she eventually was able to take her son abroad, she has not returned to Iran or seen her family in years. To this day, Masih has faith that one day she will be reunited with her homeland. A defiant, inspiring voice for women's rights, Masih Alinejad speaks for women everywhere. 'Intriguing and inspiring . . . her voice is so important to the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
This groundbreaking collection presents for the first time in English a substantial body of poetry that emerges directly from the sublime and often startling world of Jewish mysticism. Taking up Gershom Scholem's call to plumb the "tremendous poetic potential" concealed in the Kabbalistic tradition, Peter Cole provides dazzling renderings of work composed on three continents over a period of some fifteen hundred years. In addition to the translations and the texts in their original languages, Cole supplies a lively and insightful introduction, along with accessible commentaries to the poems. Aminadav Dykman adds an elegant afterword that places the work in the context of world literature. As a whole, the collection brings readers into the fascinating force field of Kabbalistic verse, where the building blocks of both language and existence itself are unveiled. Excerpts from The Poetry of Kabbalah have been featured in the Paris Review, Poetry, and Conjunctions. "Studded with insight, and written with great verve, this book will become a classic."-Lawrence Fine, author of Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos
As a college student Martin Buber was a leader in the early Zionist movement. During the period between 1898 and 1902 he published a series of Zionist writings that were clearly meant to be confrontational and challenge those who embraced traditional Judaism. These essays, poems and speeches have been translated and collected here in this text. For Buber Zionism was not primarily a political issue. it implied a reorientation of the entire being, on overcoming of a Diaspora mentality, a catharsis and a readiness to build in the land of Israel a new, just, free and creative community.
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