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In this rich and resonant work, Soren Kierkegaard reflects poetically and philosophically on the biblical story of God's command to Abraham, that he sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of faith. Was Abraham's proposed action morally and religiously justified or murder? Is there an absolute duty to God? Was Abraham justified in remaining silent? In pondering these questions, Kierkegaard presents faith as a paradox that cannot be understood by reason and conventional morality, and he challenges the universalist ethics and immanental philosophy of modern German idealism, especially as represented by Kant and Hegel. This volume, first published in 2006, presents the first new English translation for twenty years, by Sylvia Walsh, together with an introduction by C. Stephen Evans which examines the ethical and religious issues raised by the text.
The modern notion of tolerance--the welcoming of diversity as a force for the common good--emerged in the Enlightenment in the wake of centuries of religious wars. First elaborated by philosophers such as John Locke and Voltaire, religious tolerance gradually gained ground in Europe and North America. But with the resurgence of fanaticism and terrorism, religious tolerance is increasingly being challenged by frightened publics. In this book, Denis Lacorne traces the emergence of the modern notion of religious tolerance in order to rethink how we should respond to its contemporary tensions. In a wide-ranging argument that spans the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian republic, and recent controversies such as France's burqa ban and the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, The Limits of Tolerance probes crucial questions: Should we impose limits on freedom of expression in the name of human dignity or decency? Should we accept religious symbols in the public square? Can we tolerate the intolerant? While acknowledging that tolerance can never be entirely without limits, Lacorne defends the Enlightenment concept against recent attempts to circumscribe it, arguing that without it a pluralistic society cannot survive. Awarded the Prix Montyon by the Acad mie Fran aise, The Limits of Tolerance is a powerful reflection on twenty-first-century democracy's most fundamental challenges.
In this short book Peter Sloterdijk clarifies his views on religion and its role in pre-modern and modern societies. He begins by returning to the Mount Sinai episode in the Book of Exodus, where he identifies the emergence of what he calls the `Sinai Schema'. At the core of monotheism is the logic of belonging to a community of confession, of being a true believer - this is what Sloterdijk calls the Sinai Schema. To be a member of a people means that you submit to the beliefs of the community just as you submit to its language. Monotheism is predicated on the logic of one God who demands your utmost loyalty. Hence at the core of monotheism is also the fear of apotheosis, of heresy, of heterodoxy. So monotheism is associated first and foremost with a certain kind of internal violence D namely, a violence against those who violate their membership through a break in loyalty and trust. On the basis of this analysis of the inner logic of monotheism, Sloterdijk retraces its historical legacy and shows how this account enables us to understand why we react so nervously today to all forms of fundamentalism - whether that of radical Islamists, the Catholic Pius Brotherhood or evangelical sects in the USA
A fascinating examination of ethics, religion and psychology, this selection of Schopenhauer's works contains scathing attack on the nature and logic of religion, and an essay on ethics that ranges from the American slavery debate to the vices of Buddhism. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Challenging the central place that "practices" have recently held in Christian theology, Lauren Winner explores the damages these practices have inflicted over the centuries Sometimes, beloved and treasured Christian practices go horrifyingly wrong, extending violence rather than promoting its healing. In this bracing book, Lauren Winner provocatively challenges the assumption that the church possesses a set of immaculate practices that will definitionally train Christians in virtue and that can't be answerable to their histories. Is there, for instance, an account of prayer that has anything useful to say about a slave-owning woman's praying for her slaves' obedience? Is there a robustly theological account of the Eucharist that connects the Eucharist's goods to the sacrament's central role in medieval Christian murder of Jews? Arguing that practices are deformed in ways that are characteristic of and intrinsic to the practices themselves, Winner proposes that the register in which Christians might best think about the Eucharist, prayer, and baptism is that of "damaged gift." Christians go on with these practices because, though blighted by sin, they remain gifts from God.
With the help of in-depth essays from some of the world's leading philosophers, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology explores the nature and existence of God through human reason and evidence from the natural world. * Provides in-depth and cutting-edge treatment of natural theology's main arguments * Includes contributions from first-rate philosophers well known for their work on the relevant topics * Updates relevant arguments in light of the most current, state-of-the-art philosophical and scientific discussions * Stands in useful contrast and opposition to the arguments of the 'new atheists'
The Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (fourth-fifth century C.E.) is known for his critical contribution to Buddhist Abhidharma thought, his turn to the Mahayana tradition, and his concise, influential Yogacara-Vijnanavada texts. Paving the Great Way reveals another dimension of his legacy: his integration of several seemingly incompatible intellectual and scriptural traditions, with far-ranging consequences for the development of Buddhist epistemology and the theorization of tantra. Most scholars read Vasubandhu's texts in isolation and separate his intellectual development into distinct phases. Featuring close studies of Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosabhasya, Vyakhyayukti, Vimsatika, and Trisvabhavanirdesa, among other works, this book identifies recurrent treatments of causality and scriptural interpretation that unify distinct strands of thought under a single, coherent Buddhist philosophy. In Vasubandhu's hands, the Buddha's rejection of the self as a false construction provides a framework through which to clarify problematic philosophical issues, such as the nature of moral agency and subjectivity under a broadly causal worldview. Recognizing this continuity of purpose across Vasubandhu's diverse corpus recasts the interests of the philosopher and his truly innovative vision, which influenced Buddhist thought for a millennium and continues to resonate with today's philosophical issues. An appendix includes extensive English-language translations of the major texts discussed.
Whether people praise, worship, criticize, or reject God, they all presuppose at least a rough notion of what it means to talk about God. Turning the certainty of this assumption on its head, a respected educator and humanist shows that when we talk about God, we are in fact talking about nothing at all-there is literally no such idea-and so all of the arguments we hear from atheists, true believers, and agnostics are and will always be empty and self-defeating. Peter J. Steinberger's commonsense account is by no means disheartening or upsetting, leaving readers without anything meaningful to hold on to. To the contrary, he demonstrates how impossible it is for the common world of ordinary experience to be all there is. With patience, clarity, and good humor, Steinberger helps readers think critically and constructively about various presuppositions and modes of being in the world. By coming to grips with our own deep-seated beliefs, we can understand how traditional ways asserting, denying, or even just wondering about God's existence prevent us from seeing the truth-which, it turns out, is far more interesting and encouraging than anyone would have thought.
Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality provides readers with a critical overview of what psychology tells us about religion and spirituality. It is concise without being simplistic, and the first such broad overview to be published for some years. Fraser Watts recognizes that 'religion' is complex and multi-faceted, taking different forms in different people and contexts. The book presents a broad view of psychology; whatever kind of psychology you are interested in, you will find it covered here, from biological to social, and from experimental to psychoanalytic. It focuses particularly on the varied concepts that psychologists have employed to make sense of religion and subjects them to critical examination. The book is also concerned with practical applications, helping those engaged in religious ministry. It will be of interest to undergraduates and general readers, as well as specialists in religious studies, psychology, and philosophy of religion.
Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the security and prosperity of a state but actually essential to them, and that such freedom flourishes best in a democratic and republican state in which individuals are left free while religious organizations are subordinated to the secular power. His Treatise has profoundly influenced the subsequent history of political thought, Enlightenment 'clandestine' or radical philosophy, Bible hermeneutics, and textual criticism more generally. It is presented here in a new translation of great clarity and accuracy by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel, with a substantial historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Israel.
Exam board: AQA Level: A-level Subject: Religious Studies First teaching: September 2016 First exams: Summer 2017 Target success in AQA A-level Religious Studies with this proven formula for effective, structured revision; key content coverage is combined with exam-style tasks and practical tips to create a revision guide you can rely on to review, strengthen and test their knowledge. With My Revision Notes you can: - Plan and manage a successful revision programme using the topic-by-topic planner - Consolidate subject knowledge by working through clear and focused content coverage - Test understanding and identify areas for improvement with regular 'Now Test Yourself' tasks and answers - Improve exam technique through practice questions, expert tips and examples of typical mistakes to avoid
The book of Numbers in Hebrew, Bemidbar, In the Wilderness is a key text for our time. It is among the most searching, self-critical books in all of literature about what Nelson Mandela called the long walk to freedom. Its message is that there is no shortcut to liberty. Numbers is not an easy book to read, nor is it an optimistic one. It is a sober warning set in the midst of a text the Hebrew Bible that remains the West s master narrative of hope.
The Mosaic books, especially Exodus and Numbers, are about the journey from slavery to freedom and from oppression to law-governed liberty. On the map, the distance from Egypt to the Promised Land is not far. But the message of Numbers is that it always takes longer than you think. For the journey is not just physical, a walk across the desert. It is psychological, moral, and spiritual. It takes as long as the time needed for human beings to change....
You cannot arrive at freedom merely by escaping from slavery. It is won only when a nation takes upon itself the responsibilities of self-restraint, courage, and patience. Without that, a journey of a few hundred miles can take forty years. Even then, it has only just begun.
Challenge our common images of God by blowing the lid off conventional God-descriptors.
We do not have to let go of one sense of God to take up another. Neither do we need to go about challenging old metaphors. What is crucial is to find a metaphor or two, or six that creatively point toward what we believe. from Chapter 1
Let Carolyn Jane Bohler inspire you to consider a wide range of images of God in order to refine how you imagine God to have and use power, and how God wills and makes divine will happen or not. By tapping into your God-given ability to re-imagine God, you will have a better understanding of your own beliefs and how you, God, and the world relate to each other.
Wonderfully fresh and down to earth, Bohler uses playful images, moving stories, and solid scholarship to empower you to break free of old habits and assumptions, whatever your faith tradition. She encourages you to explore new names for God that are not only more consistent with what you believe, but will also deepen and expand your experience of God. Think about God the Choreographer of Chaos God the Nursing Mother God the Jazz Band Leader God the Divine Blacksmith God the Divine Physical Therapist God the Team Transformer and more
The thirty-three essays in "Relativism: A Contemporary Anthology" grapple with one of the most intriguing, enduring, and far-reaching philosophical problems of our age. Relativism comes in many varieties. It is often defined as the belief that truth, goodness, or beauty is relative to some context or reference frame, and that no absolute standards can adjudicate between competing reference frames.
Michael Krausz's anthology captures the significance and range of relativistic doctrines, rehearsing their virtues and vices and reflecting on a spectrum of attitudes. Invoking diverse philosophical orientations, these doctrines concern conceptions of relativism in relation to facts and conceptual schemes, realism and objectivity, universalism and foundationalism, solidarity and rationality, pluralism and moral relativism, and feminism and poststructuralism. Featuring nine original essays, the volume also includes many classic articles, making it a standard resource for students, scholars, and researchers.
How the rabbis of the Talmud transformed everything into a legal question "and Jewish law into a way of thinking and talking about everything Though typically translated as oeJewish law, the term halakhah is not an easy match for what is usually thought of as law. This is because the rabbinic legal system has rarely wielded the political power to enforce its many detailed rules, nor has it ever been the law of any state. Even more idiosyncratically, the talmudic rabbis claim that the study of halakhah is a holy endeavor that brings a person closer to God "a claim no country makes of its law. In this panoramic book, Chaim Saiman traces how generations of rabbis have used concepts forged in talmudic disputation to do the work that other societies assign not only to philosophy, political theory, theology, and ethics but also to art, drama, and literature. In the multifaceted world of halakhah where everything is law, law is also everything, and even laws that serve no practical purpose can, when properly studied, provide surprising insights into timeless questions about the very nature of human existence. What does it mean for legal analysis to connect humans to God? Can spiritual teachings remain meaningful and at the same time rigidly codified? Can a modern state be governed by such law? Guiding readers across two millennia of richly illuminating perspectives, this book shows how halakhah is not just oelaw but an entire way of thinking, being, and knowing.
An endorsed Philosophy of Religion resource for the AS and A2 OCR Religious Studies qualification. For use with the 2008 OCR A Level Religious Studies specification. Written by Libby Ahluwalia, using an approach that stretches the most able while also offering plenty of accessible support for those who need more help. The accompanying Teacher Support Book contains discussion ideas, worksheets, revision tests and games, as well as exam-style questions and mark schemes.
Comparative Religious Law provides for the first time a study of the regulatory instruments of Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious organisations in Britain in light of their historical religious laws. Norman Doe questions assumptions about the pervasiveness, character and scope of religious laws, from the view that they are not or should not be recognised by civil law, to the idea that there may be a fundamental incompatibility between religious and civil law. It proposes that religious laws pervade society, are recognised by civil law, have both a religious and temporal character, and regulate wide areas of believers' lives. Subjects include sources of law, faith leaders, governance, worship and education, rites of passage, divorce and children, and religion-State relations. A Charter of 'the principles of religious law' common to all three Abrahamic faiths is proposed, to stimulate greater mutual understanding between religion and society and between the three faiths themselves.
Bernard Bolzano (1781-1850) is increasingly recognized as one of the greatest nineteenth-century philosophers. A philosopher and mathematician of rare talent, he made ground-breaking contributions to logic, the foundations and philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. Many of the larger features of later analytic philosophy (but also many of the details) first appear in his work: for example, the separation of logic from psychology, his sophisticated understanding of mathematical proof, his definition of logical consequence, his work on the semantics of natural kind terms, or his anticipations of Cantor's set theory, to name but a few. To his contemporaries, however, he was best known as an intelligent and determined advocate for reform of Church and State. Based in large part on a carefully argued utilitarian practical philosophy, he developed a program for the non-violent reform of the authoritarian institutions of the Hapsburg Empire, a program which he himself helped to set in motion through his teaching and other activities. Rarely has a philosopher had such a great impact on the political culture of his homeland. Persecuted in his lifetime by secular and ecclesiastical authorities, long ignored or misunderstood by philosophers, Bolzano's reputation has nevertheless steadily increased over the past century and a half. Much discussed and respected in Central Europe for over a century, he is finally beginning to receive the recognition he deserves in the English-speaking world. This book provides a comprehensive and detailed critical introduction to Bolzano, covering both his life and works.
God is not only to be found in majestic cathedrals or supernatural visions, shows best-selling author Yancey, but also and often more powerfully in the unexpected places - the might of a polar bear, the oppression of a Peruvian prison cell or in the broken cry of Shakespeare's King Lear. As we discover God's footprints in increasingly unlikely places, so our understanding of his beauty, love and power continues to grow. Finding God in Unexpected Places will sharpen your spiritual vision and challenge you to look for God outside the four walls of the church. he may not be as far away as you think. In this updated edition of an already-popular title, Yancey has removed nine of the chapters that he felt had become dated, and added another fourteen brand new chapters.
One of Soren Kierkegaard's most important writings, Works of Love is a profound examination of the human heart, in which the great philosopher conducts the reader into the inmost secrets of Love. "Deep within every man," Kierkegaard writes, "there lies the dread of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the household of millions upon millions." Love, for Kierkegaard, is one of the central aspects of existence; it saves us from isolation and unites us with one another and with God. This new edition of Works of Love features an original foreword by Kierkegaard scholar George Pattison.
Provides the requisite knowledge and practical guidelines for some of the most common counseling situations.
Today's rabbis, in addition to being spiritual leaders of their congregations, are also expected to be competent counselors to members of their community. Yet rabbis often feel inadequately prepared for the difficult challenges of their counseling role.
To many, rabbinic counseling appears deceptively simple, requiring no more than good intuition, fair judgment and sincere empathy. Good counseling, in reality, is a complex process requiring a combination of knowledge, skill, self-awareness and an understanding of human dynamics.
This groundbreaking book written specifically for community rabbis and religious counselors reflects the wisdom of seasoned professionals, who provide clear guidelines and sensible strategies for effective rabbinic counseling."
The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.
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