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In Breaking the Spell Daniel C. Dennett explores how the great ideas of religion have enthralled us for thousands of years - and whether we could (or should) break free. What is religion and how did it evolve? Is it the product of blind evolutionary instinct or of rational choice? Is the only way to live a good life through religion? Few forces in the world are as potent as religion: it comforts people in their suffering and inspires them to both magnificent and terrible deeds. In this provocative and timely book, Daniel C. Dennett seeks to uncover the origins of religion and discusses how and why different faiths have shaped so many lives, whether religion is an addiction or a genuine human need, and even whether it is good for our health. Arguing passionately for the need to understand this multifaceted phenomenon, Breaking the Spell offers a truly original - and comprehensive - explanation for faith. 'Packed with a mass of intriguing detail and anecdote ... witty and clear prose' Observer 'He's the "good cop" among religion's critics (Richard Dawkins is the "bad cop"), but he still makes people angry' New Statesman 'Dennett writes with brio and humour' Telegraph 'Elegant, sharp-minded ... clear-eyed but courteous' Economist Daniel Dennett is one of the most original and provocative thinkers in the world. A brilliant polemicist and philosopher, he is famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies, and an outspoken supporter of the Brights movement. His books include Brainstorms, Brainchildren, Elbow Room, Consciousness Explained, Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Freedom Evolves.
We were created to reflect something or Someone. What we behold, we reflect. The more we behold the Lord, the more we look like him--and the more we see his glory released into our lives and the lives of those around us. The glory of God is irresistible. Yet seeking to sense his presence or experience his glory for its own sake misses the point. His glory is the natural outpouring of a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit. In these pages, author and speaker Jennifer Eivaz shows how you can enter into more intimate fellowship with the Spirit of God, experience miraculous encounters, and begin to see more miracles, more deliverances, and more lives dramatically changed. Here is the inspiration you need to step into the supernatural and follow God's leading--and carry his glory to the darkest places and see his kingdom come.
The secret of success in Edexcel Ethics and Philosophy of Religion lies in clear analysis of the subject, past questions, examiners' reports and mark schemes. This detailed study unpicks all the clues to what the examiner is looking for, and makes getting an A grade more attainable, as well as saving students hours of time.
Theism and Atheism: Opposing Arguments in Philosophy is a peer-reviewed, academic volume that has two separate editors in chief, with their respective editorial boards. The atheism side is led by Graham Oppy (Australian philosopher, Monash University). The theism side is led by Joseph Koterski, S.J. (American philosopher, Fordham University) and includes Christian, Jewish, and Muslim philosophers. The two editorial boards worked together to identify twenty key topics in philosophical debates regarding arguments for and against the existence of God (e.g., Religious Experience, Miracles, Our Universe, Human Beings, Science, Religious Diversity, etc.). The single volume is composed of forty total chapters. The format is such that an author taking the side of theism composes a chapter on a topic, followed by an atheism author covering the same topic (e.g., "Miracles: Theism" followed by "Miracles: Atheism"). The title presents complex philosophical counter perspectives in a lucid manner. It grapples with issues that have occupied philosophers for more than two millennia. These include the sufficiency/insufficiency of an empirical explanation for the existence of the universe; the capacity/incapacity of the empirical sciences to draw conclusions about a possible infinite being; the validity/invalidity of philosophical arguments regarding the existence of an infinite being; various notions of infinity; the "problem of evil," and so on.
Jay Rosenberg's penetrating and persuasively argued analysis of the central metaphysical and moral questions pertaining to death has been updated and revised to expand and deepen several of its key arguments and to address conceptual developments of the past fifteen years. Among the topics discussed are: Life After Death; The Limits of Theorizing; The Limits of Imagination; Death and Personhood Values and Rights; 'Mercy Killing'; Prolonging Life; 'Rational Suicide' and One's Own Death. Rosenberg's prose is lucid, lively, thoroughly absorbing, and accessible to introductory-level readers. Essential reading for anyone interested in reflecting on this engaging topic. Jay F. Rosenberg is Taylor Grandy Professor of Philosophy, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Biblical in origin, the expression "eclipse of God" refers to the Jewish concept of hester panim, the act of God concealing his face as a way of punishing his disobedient subjects. Though this idea is deeply troubling for many people, in this book Martin Buber uses the expression hopefully--for a hiding God is also a God who can be found. First published in 1952, Eclipse of God is a collection of nine essays concerning the relationship between religion and philosophy. The book features Buber's critique of the thematically interconnected--yet diverse--perspectives of Soren Kierkegaard, Hermann Cohen, C.G. Jung, Martin Heidegger, and other prominent modern thinkers. Buber deconstructs their philosophical conceptions of God and explains why religion needs philosophy to interpret what is authentic in spiritual encounters. He elucidates the religious implications of the I-Thou, or dialogical relationship, and explains how the exclusive focus on scientific knowledge in the modern world blocks the possibility of a personal relationship with God. Featuring a new introduction by Leora Batnitzky, Eclipse of God offers a glimpse into the mind of one of the modern world's greatest Jewish thinkers.
This wide ranging and challenging book explores the relationship between subjectivity and mortality as it is understood by a number of twentieth-century French philosophers including Sartre, Lacan, Levinas and Derrida. Making intricate and sometimes unexpected connections, Christina Howells draws together the work of prominent thinkers from the fields of phenomenology and existentialism, religious thought, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction, focussing in particular on the relations between body and soul, love and death, desire and passion. From Aristotle through to contemporary analytic philosophy and neuroscience the relationship between mind and body (psyche and soma, consciousness and brain) has been persistently recalcitrant to analysis, and emotion (or passion) is the locus where the explanatory gap is most keenly identified. This problematic forms the broad backdrop to the work's primary focus on contemporary French philosophy and its attempts to understand the intimate relationship between subjectivity and mortality, in the light not only of the 'death' of the classical subject but also of the very real frailty of the subject as it lives on, finite, desiring, embodied, open to alterity and always incomplete. Ultimately Howells identifies this vulnerability and finitude as the paradoxical strength of the mortal subject and as what permits its transcendence. Subtle, beautifully written, and cogently argued, this book will be invaluable for students and scholars interested in contemporary theories of subjectivity, as well as for readers intrigued by the perennial connections between love and death.
Why do human beings believe in divinities? Why do some seek eternal life, while others seek escape from recurring lives? Why do the beliefs and behaviors we typically call "religious" so deeply affect the human personality and so subtly weave their way through human society? Revised and updated in this third edition, Nine Theories of Religion considers how these fundamental questions have engaged the most important thinkers of the modern era. Accessible, systematic, and succinct, it considers the Victorian anthropology of E. B. Tylor and J. G. Frazer, the "reductionist" social science of Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx, the non-reductionist approaches of Max Weber, William James, and Mircea Eliade, and the alternative paradigms that have arisen from the work of E. E. Evans-Pritchard and Clifford Geertz. The third edition features a new chapter on William James. Each chapter offers biographical background, theoretical exposition, conceptual analysis, and critical assessment. Ideal as a supplementary text in introductory religion courses or as the main text in theory and method in religious studies or in sociology of religion courses, Nine Theories of Religion, Third Edition, offers an illuminating treatment of this controversial and fascinating subject. It can be used as a stand-alone text or with the author's companion reader, Introducing Religion: Readings from the Classic Theorists.
The Kierkegaardian account of becoming a Christian has come to be perceived in radically egocentric terms. Torrance challenges this perception by demonstrating that Kierkegaard was devoted to the idea of Christian conversion as a transformative process of becoming. This process is grounded in an active relationship initiated by the eternal God who has established kinship with us in time. Torrance focuses on 'becoming a Christian' as a particular theological theme that deserves further attention - how 'becoming a Christian' or Christian transformation should be construed in relation to God's initiating and active relationship to the person. Torrance's account of Kierkegaard on human transformation demonstrates in striking ways Kierkegaard's relevance to current issues in systematic theology and philosophical theology around the nature of Christian conversion, particularly how conversion might be re-conceptualized in strong divinely-relational and transformative rather than in progressive self-developmental terms. This study also considers how Kierkegaard was able to negotiate his emphasis on the God-relationship with his emphasis on the importance of individual reflection, decision and action in the Christian life.
Ernest Hemingway famously wrote 'all thinking men are atheists'. But is this true? Here are quips, quotes and questions from a distinguished assortment of geniuses and jokers, giving readers a chance to decide for themselves... The Atheist's Bible includes comments from: Woody Allen, Samuel Beckett, Albert Camus, Fidel Castro, Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, Albert Einstein, Aldous Huxley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Salman Rushdie, Bertrand Russell, Kurt Vonnegut and so many more.
We are eating ourselves to death in many ways, both bodily and societally. Few activities are as essential to human flourishing as eating, and fewer still are as ethically intricate. Eating well is particularly confusing. Conflicting recommendations, contradictory scientific studies, and the confounding environmental and economic factors that surround us make choices difficult. Eating "just right" is complex for the contemporary American, living amid excess and faced with moral, medical, and environmental consequences that influence our eating choices. A different eating strategy is needed, one grounded in our biology but also philosophically sound, theologically cogent, and personally achievable. Eating Ethically provides evidence and arguments for more adaptive eating practices. Drawing on religion, medicine, philosophy, cognitive science, art, ethics, and more, Jonathan K. Crane distinguishes among the eater, the eaten, and eating to promote a radical reorientation away from external cues and toward internal ones. From classic philosophy on appetite to contemporary studies of satiation, from the science of metabolism to metaphysics and theology, Crane intertwines ancient wisdom and cutting-edge scholarship to show that eating well is not only a biological necessity but also an integral facet of spiritual and social health. He draws on insights from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that promote personal health and social cohesion. Eating Ethically, grounded in science, tradition, and our internal necessities, points us toward eating well.
Almost a decade ago, Alvin Plantinga articulated his bold and controversial "evolutionary argument against naturalism." This intriguing line of argument raises issues of importance to epistemologists and to philosophers of mind, of religion, and of science. In this, the first book to address the ongoing debate, Plantinga presents his influential thesis and responds to critiques by distinguished philosophers from a variety of subfields.
Plantinga's argument is aimed at metaphysical naturalism, or roughly, the view that no supernatural beings exist. Naturalism is typically conjoined with evolution as an explanation of the existence and diversity of life. Plantinga's claim is that one who holds to the truth of both naturalism and evolution is irrational in doing so. More specifically, because the probability that unguided evolution would have produced reliable cognitive faculties is either low or inscrutable, one who holds both naturalism and evolution acquires a "defeater" for every belief he/she holds, including the beliefs associated with naturalism and evolution.
Following Plantinga's brief summary of his thesis are eleven original pieces by his critics. The book concludes with a new essay by Plantinga in which he defends and extends his view that metaphysical naturalism is self-defeating.
Rob Bell's bestseller `Love Wins' tackled subjects church leaders have been afraid to touch. Now he asks the biggest question faced by any Christian: how do we know God? Although 2000 years of Christendom has seen huge changes in our broader understanding of our place in the world, belief remains rooted in archaism and tradition. Rob Bell believes we need to drop our primitive, tribal views of God and instead embrace the God who wants us to reach the potential within us; people who understand their universe of quarks and quantum string dynamics, but who recognise our fundamental need for stories of heroes and sacrifice and profound longing for a guiding force larger than ourselves. `What We Talk About When We Talk About God' will reveal that God is not in need of repair to catch him up with today's world, so much as we need to discover the God who goes before us and beckons us forward. A book full of mystery, controversy, and reverence, `What We Talk About When We Talk About God' promises not to disappoint.
The newest edition of BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND FOR KIDS, based on Joyce Meyer's most popular book of all time, offers children peace of mind and the spiritual encouragement that's just right for them.
Kids will learn:
- How to identify and be guided by their own thoughts, instead of following the crowd,
- How to better understand the Bible, becoming secure in God's best for them,
- And how to take control of their thought life, a foundation for happy, successful school years.
From one of the most revered scholars of religion, an incisive explanation of how the word "God" functions in the world's great faiths Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion-God-frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word "God" functions in the world's great theistic faiths. Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity's knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical "moments"-being, consciousness, and bliss-the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points. Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity's experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.
A great many theorists have argued that the defining feature of modernity is that people no longer believe in spirits, myths, or magic. Jason A. Josephson-Storm argues that as broad cultural history goes, this narrative is wrong, as attempts to suppress magic have failed more often than they have succeeded. Even the human sciences have been more enchanted than is commonly supposed. But that raises the question: How did a magical, spiritualist, mesmerized Europe ever convince itself that it was disenchanted? Josephson-Storm traces the history of the myth of disenchantment in the births of philosophy, anthropology, sociology, folklore, psychoanalysis, and religious studies. Ironically, the myth of mythless modernity formed at the very time that Britain, France, and Germany were in the midst of occult and spiritualist revivals. Indeed, Josephson-Storm argues, these disciplines' founding figures were not only aware of, but profoundly enmeshed in, the occult milieu; and it was specifically in response to this burgeoning culture of spirits and magic that they produced notions of a disenchanted world. By providing a novel history of the human sciences and their connection to esotericism, The Myth of Disenchantment dispatches with most widely held accounts of modernity and its break from the premodern past.
Jesus turned water into wine, Mohammad split the moon into two, and Buddha walked and spoke immediately upon birth. According to recent statistics, even in the present age of advanced science and technology, most people believe in miracles. In fact, newspapers and television regularly report alleged miracles, such as recoveries from incurable diseases, extremely unlikely coincidences, and religious signs and messages on unexpected objects. In this book the award-winning author and philosopher Yujin Nagasawa addresses some of our most fundamental questions concerning miracles. What exactly is a miracle? What types of miracles are believed in the world's great religions? What do recent scientific findings tell us about miracles? Can we rationally believe that miracles have really taken place? Can there be acts that are more religiously significant than miracles? Drawing on a vast variety of fascinating examples from across the major religions, Nagasawa discusses the lively debate on miracles that ranges from reported miracles in ancient scriptures in the East and West to cutting-edge scientific research on belief formation. Throughout, he drives us to ask ourselves if and how we can still believe in in miracles in the twenty-first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Made teen-friendly with contemporary language, BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND FOR TEENS equips a new audience desperately in need of guidance with a means of winning the war raging inside them.
The debate between science and religion is never out of the news: emotions run high, fuelled by polemical bestsellers like The God Delusion and, at the other end of the spectrum, high-profile campaigns to teach 'Intelligent Design' in schools. Yet there is much more to the debate than the clash of these extremes. As Thomas Dixon shows in this balanced and thought-provoking introduction, many have seen harmony rather than conflict between faith and science. He explores not only the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made 'science and religion' such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world, offering perspectives from non-Christian religions and examples from across the physical, biological, and social sciences.. Along the way, he examines landmark historical episodes such as the trial of Galileo by the Inquisition in 1633, and the famous debate between 'Darwin's bulldog' Thomas Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce in Oxford in 1860. The Scopes 'Monkey Trial' in Tennessee in 1925 and the Dover Area School Board case of 2005 are explained with reference to the interaction between religion, law, and education in modern America. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Market has deified itself, according to Harvey Cox's brilliant exegesis. And all of the world's problems--widening inequality, a rapidly warming planet, the injustices of global poverty--are consequently harder to solve. Only by tracing how the Market reached its "divine" status can we hope to restore it to its proper place as servant of humanity. The Market as God captures how our world has fallen in thrall to the business theology of supply and demand. According to its acolytes, the Market is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It knows the value of everything, and determines the outcome of every transaction; it can raise nations and ruin households, and nothing escapes its reductionist commodification. The Market comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal to convert the world to its way of life. Cox brings that theology out of the shadows, demonstrating that the way the world economy operates is neither natural nor inevitable but shaped by a global system of values and symbols that can be best understood as a religion. Drawing on biblical sources, economists and financial experts, prehistoric religions, Greek mythology, historical patterns, and the work of natural and social scientists, Cox points to many parallels between the development of Christianity and the Market economy. At various times in history, both have garnered enormous wealth and displayed pompous behavior. Both have experienced the corruption of power. However, what the religious have learned over the millennia, sometimes at great cost, still eludes the Market faithful: humility.
Leszek Kolakowski reflects on the centuries-long debate in Christianity: how to reconcile the existence of evil in the world with the goodness of an omnipotent God, and how God's omnipotence is compatible with people's responsibility for their own salvation or damnation. He approaches this paradox as both an exercise in theology and in revisionist Christian history based on philosophical analysis. This unorthodox interpretation of the history of modern Christianity will provoke renewed discussion about the historical, intellectual, and cultural importance of neo-Augustinianism. Written with Kolakowski's characteristic wit and irony, God Owes Us Nothing will be required reading for philosophers, religious scholars, theologians, and historians alike.
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