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Israel Shahak was a remarkable man. Born in the Warsaw ghetto and a survivor of Belsen, Shahak arrived in Israel in 1945. Brought up under Jewish Orthodoxy and Hebrew culture, he consistently opposed the expansion of the borders of Israel from 1967. In this extraordinary and highly acclaimed book, Shahak embarks on a provocative study of the extent to which the secular state of Israel has been shaped by religious orthodoxies of an invidious and potentially lethal nature. Drawing on the Talmud and rabbinical laws, Shahak argues that the roots of Jewish chauvinism and religious fanaticism must be understood before it is too late. Written from a humanitarian viewpoint by a Jewish scholar, this is a rare and highly controversial criticism of Israel that will both excite and disturb readers worldwide.
An essential companion to a timeless spiritual classic The Lotus Su "tra is among the most venerated scriptures of Buddhism. Composed in India some two millennia ago, it affirms the potential for all beings to attain supreme enlightenment. Donald Lopez and Jacqueline Stone provide an essential reading companion to this inspiring yet enigmatic masterpiece, explaining how it was understood by its compilers in India and, centuries later in medieval Japan, by one of its most influential proponents. In this illuminating chapter-by-chapter guide, Lopez and Stone show how the sutra's anonymous authors skillfully reframed the mainstream Buddhist tradition in light of a new vision of the path and the person of the Buddha himself, and examine how the sutra's metaphors, parables, and other literary devices worked to legitimate that vision. They go on to explore how the Lotus was interpreted by the Japanese Buddhist master Nichiren (1222 "1282), whose inspired reading of the book helped to redefine modern Buddhism. In doing so, Lopez and Stone demonstrate how readers of sacred works continually reinterpret them in light of their own unique circumstances. An invaluable guide to an incomparable spiritual classic, this companion book unlocks the teachings of the Lotus for modern readers while providing insights into the central importance of commentary as the vehicle by which ancient writings are given contemporary meaning.
In the dawn of the new African Millennium, the Rastafari movement has achieved unheralded growth and visibility since its inception more than eighty years ago. Moving beyond a pure spiritual movement, its aesthetic component has influenced cultures of the Caribbean, the United States, and others across the globe. Locating the Rastafari movement at a literal and figurative crossroad, Barnett sets out to consider the possible paths the movement will chart. Rastafari in the New Millennium covers a wide range of perspectives, focusing not only on the movement's nuanced and complex religious ideology but also on its political philosophy, cosmology, and unique epistemology. Barry Chevannes's essay addresses the concerns of death and repatriation, highlighting the transformative challenges these issues pose to Rastafari. Essays by Ian Boxill, Edward Te Kohu Douglas, Erin MacLeod, and Janet L. DeCosmo, among others, offer rich accounts of the globalisation of Rastafari from New Zealand to Ethiopia, from Brazil to Zimbabwe. Drawing on new research and global developments, the contributors, many of whom are leading scholars in the field, reinvigorate the critical dialogue on the current state and future direction of the Rastafari movement.
This work on Islam and politics updates major country case studies and adds coverage of Tunisia, Algeria, the Taliban of Afghanistan and HAMAS. It also addresses the issues of democratization and the clash of civilization debate.
An innovative and compelling presentation of world-class Tibetan Buddhist art, elucidating its esoteric themes through visual storytelling Encouraging personal engagement with Tibetan Buddhism, this dynamic book presents spectacular Himalayan art and explores the philosophical tenets encoded in its imagery. Taking as its theme the universally accessible experience of Awakening, the book's main text leads readers along an immersive journey of self-discovery, aided by a virtual guide, or lama, and traditional art meant to support meditative practice. Complementary essays examine Tibetan Buddhism's ritual tools, paintings, symbolic imagery, and artistic traditions. Beautiful color images of all artworks, including three by contemporary Nepalese-American artist Tsherin Sherpa, and selected important details enhance our understanding of their complex iconography.
In the Zen tradition archery (or swordsmanship) is not just a sport or a form of self-defence but an art, a religious ritual and one of the many possible paths to Enlightenment.
Few Westerners have tried as hard as Eugen Herrigel, a German professor who lived for many years in Japan, to learn Zen from a Master. In this classic text he gives an unsparingly honest account of how he was initiated, step by step, into the 'Great Doctrine' of archery. At first he was baffled by what he was taught - that art must become artless, that the archer must aim at himself - yet gradually he began to glimpse the depth of wisdom concealed in such paradoxes. While many Western writers on Zen serve up second-hand slogans, Herrigel's hard-won insights were his own discoveries. His fine book offers a beautifully lucid introduction to one of the most haunting and subtle spiritual traditions in the world.
After centuries of near silence, Latin poetry underwent a renaissance in the late fourth and fifth centuries CE in the works of such key figures as Ausonius, Claudian, Prudentius, and Paulinus of Nola. This period of resurgence was a milestone in the reception of the classics of late Republican and early imperial poetry. In Classicism and Christianity in Late Antique Latin Poetry, Philip Hardie explores the ways in which poets writing on non-Christian and Christian subjects used the classical traditions of Latin poetry to figure their relationship with Rome's imperial past and present, and with the by now not-so-new belief system of the state religion, Christianity. The book pays particular attention to the themes of concord and discord, the "cosmic sense" of late antiquity, novelty and renouatio, paradox and miracle, and allegory. It is also a contribution to the ongoing discussion of whether there is an identifiably late antique poetics and a late antique practice of intertextuality. Not since Michael Robert's classic The Jeweled Style has a single book had so much to teach about the enduring power of Latin poetry in late antiquity.
"Royal power, oil, and puritanical Islam are primary elements in Saudi Arabia's rise to global influence. Oil is the reason for Western interest in the kingdom and the foundation for commercial, diplomatic, and strategic relations. Were it not for oil, the government of Saudi Arabia would lack the resources to construct a modern economy and infrastructure, and to thrust the kingdom into regional prominence. Were it not for oil, Saudi Arabia would not be able to fund institutions that spread its religious doctrine to Muslim and non-Muslim countries. That doctrine, commonly known as Wahhabism, is a puritanical form of Islam that is distinctive in a number of ways, most visibly for how it makes public observance of religious norms a matter of government enforcement rather than individual disposition and social conformity, as it is in other Muslim countries."--from the IntroductionSaudi Arabia is often portrayed as a country where religious rules dictate every detail of daily life: where women may not drive; where unrelated men and women may not interact; where women veil their faces; and where banks, restaurants, and caf s have dual facilities: one for families, another for men. Yet everyday life in the kingdom does not entirely conform to dogma. David Commins challenges the stereotype of Saudi Arabia as a country immune to change by highlighting the ways that urbanization, education, consumerism, global communications, and technological innovation have exerted pressure against rules issued by the religious establishment.Commins places the Wahhabi movement in the wider context of Islamic history, showing how state-appointed clerics built on dynastic backing to fashion a model society of Sharia observance and moral virtue. Beneath a surface appearance of obedience to Islamic authority, however, he detects reflections of Arabia's heritage of diversity (where Shi'ite and Sufi tendencies predating the Saudi era survive in the face of discrimination) and the effects of its exposure to Western mores.
This carefully edited selection of correspondence includes letters both to - and from - Martin Buber from world-renowned scholars, thinkers, and philosophers. This edition contains the Preface to the German edition, as well as a Biographical Sketch by Grete Schaeder.
B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of India's constitution, and M.K. Gandhi, the Indian nationalist, two figures whose thought and legacies have most strongly shaped the contours of Indian democracy, are typically considered antagonists who held irreconcilable views on empire, politics, and society. As such, they are rarely studied together. This book reassesses their complex relationship, focusing on their shared commitment to equality and justice, which for them was inseparable from anticolonial struggles for sovereignty. Both men inherited the concept of equality from Western humanism, but their ideas mark a radical turn in humanist conceptions of politics. This study recovers the philosophical foundations of their thought in Indian and Western traditions, religious and secular alike. Attending to moments of difficulty in their conceptions of justice and their languages of nonviolence, it probes the nature of risk that radical democracy's desire for inclusion opens within modern political thought. In excavating Ambedkar and Gandhi's intellectual kinship, Radical Equality allows them to shed light on each other, even as it places them within a global constellation of moral and political visions. The story of their struggle against inequality, violence, and empire thus transcends national boundaries and unfolds within a universal history of citizenship and dissent.
This book is a comprehensive account of how the Jews became a diaspora people. The term 'diaspora' was first applied exclusively to the early history of the Jews as they began settling in scattered colonies outside of Israel-Judea during the time of the Babylonian exile; it has come to express the characteristic uniqueness of the Jewish historical experience. Zeitlin retraces the history of the Jewish diaspora from the ancient world to the present, beginning with expulsion from their ancestral homeland and concluding with the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In mapping this process, Zeitlin argues that the Jews' religious self-understanding was crucial in enabling them to cope with the serious and recurring challenges they have had to face throughout their history. He analyses the varied reactions the Jews encountered from their so-called 'host peoples', paying special attention to the attitudes of famous thinkers such as Luther, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wagner, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, the Left Hegelians, Marx and others, who didn't shy away from making explicit their opinions of the Jews.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Jewish studies, diaspora studies, history and religion, as well as to general readers keen to learn more about the history of the Jewish experience.
Happiness lies within you
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has captured the attention and admiration of the world through his wisdom. This jewel of a book offers some of his most helpful insights on daily living, compassion and inner peace.
A timeless collection of advice and teachings from the world’s most revered spiritual leader, it will guide you through good and troubled times.
Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, the Dalai Lama’s words have the power to calm and inspire.
Never before published in Kerouac's lifetime, Jack Kerouac's Wake Up is a clear and powerful study of the life and works of Siddartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, from the author of On the Road. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Robert Thurman. Wake Up recounts the story of Prince Siddhartha's royal upbringing and his father's wish to protect him from all human suffering, despite a prediction that he would become a great holy man in later life. Departing from his father's palace, Siddhartha adopts a homeless life, struggles with his meditations, and eventually finds Enlightenment. Written at the end of Kerouac's career, when he became increasingly interested in Buddhist teachings, and collected for the first time in one book, this fresh and accessible biography is both an important addition to Kerouac's work and a valuable introduction to the world of Buddhism itself. Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven. If you enjoyed Wake Up, you might like Kerouac's The Dharma Bums, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. '[Kerouac] defines the attitudes of an entire generation' Guardian
"The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to
take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast
territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres:
aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance."
"No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as
attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality,
the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and
Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an
initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian
language accessible to a modern international audience."
"The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable
publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and
feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little
"Published in the geek-chic format."
"Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are
housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years
after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit
Library may remedy this state of affairs."
aNow an ambitious new publishing project, the Clay Sanskrit
Library brings together leading Sanskrit translators and scholars
of Indology from around the world to celebrate in translating the
beauty and range of classical Sanskrit literature. . . . Published
as smart green hardbacks that are small enough to fit into a jeans
pocket, the volumes are meant to satisfy both the scholar and the
lay reader. Each volume has a transliteration of the original
Sanskrit texton the left-hand page and an English translation on
the right, as also a helpful introduction and notes. Alongside
definitive translations of the great Indian epics -- 30 or so
volumes will be devoted to the Maha-bharat itself -- Clay Sanskrit
Library makes available to the English-speaking reader many other
delights: The earthy verse of Bhartri-hari, the pungent satire of
Jayanta Bhatta and the roving narratives of Dandin, among others.
All these writers belong properly not just to Indian literature,
but to world literature.a
aThe Clay Sanskrit Library has recently set out to change the
scene by making available well-translated dual-language (English
and Sanskrit) editions of popular Sanskritic texts for the
The second volume of aPreparations for Wara seals the fate of the PAndavas and Kurus. This book is the turning point of the entire MahaA-bhArata. The failure of diplomacy ensures war is now inevitable, and with this realization come dramatic arguments, miracles and temptations. The MahaA-bhArata explores timeless problems of humanity, and in this volume of aPreparations for War, a it explores the realities of human nature in times of conflict. The lust for power and bloodshed overwhelms all attempts at negotiation.Interwoven with these serious issues come beautiful accountsof divinities, magical realms and legendary marvels.
The book of Job has often been called the greatest poem ever written. The book, in Edward Greenstein's characterization, is "a Wunderkind, a genius emerging out of the confluence of two literary streams" which "dazzles like Shakespeare with unrivaled vocabulary and a penchant for linguistic innovation." Despite the text's literary prestige and cultural prominence, no English translation has come close to conveying the proper sense of the original. The book has consequently been misunderstood in innumerable details and in its main themes. Edward Greenstein's new translation of Job is the culmination of decades of intensive research and painstaking philological and literary analysis offering a major reinterpretation of this canonical text. Through his beautifully rendered translation and insightful introduction and commentary, Greenstein presents a new perspective: Job, he shows, was defiant of God until the end. The book is more about speaking truth to power than the problem of unjust suffering.
Natan Sznaider offers a highly original account of Jewish memory and politics before and after the Holocaust. It seeks to recover an aspect of Jewish identity that has been almost completely lost today - namely, that throughout much of their history Jews were both a nation and cosmopolitan, they lived in a constant tension between particularism and universalism. And it is precisely this tension, which Sznaider seeks to capture in his innovative conception of rooted cosmopolitanism', that is increasingly the destiny of all peoples today. The book pays special attention to Jewish intellectuals who played an important role in advancing universal ideas out of their particular identities. The central figure in this respect is Hannah Arendt and her concern to build a better world out of the ashes of the Jewish catastrophe. The book demonstrates how particular Jewish affairs are connected to current concerns about cosmopolitan politics like human rights, genocide, international law and politics. Jewish identity and universalist human rights were born together, developed together and are still fundamentally connected. This book will appeal both to readers interested in Jewish history and memory and to anyone concerned with current debates about citizenship and cosmopolitanism in the modern world.
Celtic Wales is about the beginnings of Wales and how the period from the Iron Age to medieval times helped shape and define the modern nation of Wales. Early Wales has a spectacular archaeological, literary and mythical heritage. This book uses archaeology and early historical documents to discuss all aspects of early Welsh society, from war to farming and from drinking habits to Druids.
In the 1960s, Americans combined psychedelics with Buddhist meditation to achieve direct experience through altered states of consciousness. As some practitioners became more committed to Buddhism, they abandoned the use of psychedelics in favor of stricter mental discipline, but others carried on with the experiment, advancing a fascinating alchemy called psychedelic Buddhism. Many think exploration with psychedelics in Buddhism faded with the revolutionary spirit of the sixties, but the underground practice has evolved into a brand of religiosity as eclectic and challenging as the era that created it. Altered States combines interviews with well-known figures in American Buddhism and psychedelic spirituality-including Lama Surya Das, Erik Davis, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei, Rick Strassman, and Charles Tart-and personal stories of everyday practitioners to define a distinctly American religious phenomenon. The nuanced perspective that emerges, grounded in a detailed history of psychedelic religious experience, adds critical depth to debates over the controlled use of psychedelics and drug-induced mysticism. The book also opens new paths of inquiry into such issues as re-enchantment, the limits of rationality, the biochemical and psychosocial basis of altered states of consciousness, and the nature of subjectivity.
Available in a stunning leather-bound edition, an accessible and accurate translation of the Quran that offers a rigorous analysis of its theological, metaphysical, historical, and geographical teachings and backgrounds, and includes extensive study notes, special introductions by experts in the field, and is edited by a top modern Islamic scholar, respected in both the West and the Islamic world. Drawn from a wide range of traditional Islamic commentaries, including Sunni and Shia sources, and from legal, theological, and mystical texts, The Study Quran conveys the enduring spiritual power of the Quran and offers a thorough scholarly understanding of this holy text. Beautifully packaged with a rich, attractive two-color layout, this magnificent volume includes essays by 15 contributors, maps, useful notes and annotations in an easy-to-read two-column format, a timeline of historical events, and helpful indices. With The Study Quran, both scholars and lay readers can explore the deeper spiritual meaning of the Quran, examine the grammar of difficult sections, and explore legal and ritual teachings, ethics, theology, sacred history, and the importance of various passages in Muslim life. With an introduction by its general editor, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, here is a nearly 2,000-page, continuous discussion of the entire Quran that provides a comprehensive picture of how this sacred work has been read by Muslims for over 1,400 years.
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