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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.;The Father of Existentialism, Kierkegaard transformed philosophy with his conviction that we must all create our own nature; in this great work of religious anxiety, he argues that a true understanding of God can only be attained by making a personal leap of faith'.
Peter Vardy's much acclaimed introduction to the study of ideas about God -- now revised and updated. A clear, well-written guide to philosophical thinking about God. Starting with the question of what it means to say we believe in God, and looking at the nature of truth, Peter Vardy goes on to examine ideas about God and their influence on Christian thinking. Peter Vardy takes the reader through the arguments, using amusing illustrations and analogies. He writes for the lay person or student, not assuming any specialist knowledge, and not imposing any particular view. 'This is about the best elementary textbook in the philosophy of God I have come across... an extremely useful book.' Hugh Meynell, The Tablet 'This is a masterpiece of coherence. Step by step the reader is led clearly and humorously through the philosophical maze which confuses our thinking about God.' Linda Smith, Head of Religious Education, King's College, London
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.
In this volume, Peter Furlong delves into the question of divine determinism - the view that God has determined everything that has ever happened or will ever happen. This view, which has a long history among multiple religious and philosophical traditions, faces a host of counterarguments. It seems to rob humans of their free will, absolving them of all the wrongs they commit. It seems to make God the author of sin and thus blameworthy for all human wrongdoing. Additionally, it seems to undermine the popular "Free Will Defense" of the problem of evil, to make a mockery of the claim that God loves us, and to make it inappropriate for God to blame and punish us. This work carefully formulates these and other objections to divine determinism and investigates possible responses to each of them, providing systematic and balanced discussion of this major philosophical and theological debate.
This exposition is rooted first in a thorough analysis of the Hebrew text, employing helpful insights from archaeology and linguistics, and second in the major theological and literary themes discovered in each section. Finally the author brings the fragments together in an expository treatment 'that is not ashamed to stoop to the level of application.'
In Fear and Trembling, Soren Kierkegaard's infamous and controversial work made a lasting impression on both modern Protestant theology and existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Danish with an introduction by Alistair Hannay. Writing under the pseudonym of 'Johannes de silentio', Kierkegaard expounds his personal view of religion through a discussion of the scene in Genesis in which Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command. Believing Abraham's unreserved obedience to be the essential leap of faith needed to make a full commitment to his religion, Kierkegaard himself made great sacrifices in order to dedicate his life entirely to his philosophy and to God. The conviction shown in this religious polemic - that a man can have an exceptional mission in life - informed all Kierkegaard's later writings. His 'teleological suspension of the ethical' challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and was also hugely influential for both protestant theology and the existentialist movement. Alastair Hannay's introduction evaluates Kierkegaard's philosophy and the ways in which it conflicted with more accepted contemporary views. This edition also includes detailed notes to complement this groundbreaking analysis of religion, and a new chronology. Danish-born Scren Kierkegaard (1813-55) wrote on a wide variety of themes, including religion, psychology, and literature. He is remembered for his philosophy, which pioneered the idea of the Absurd, and was influential and in the development of 20th century existentialism. His other works include The Sickness unto Death, Either/Or, and Papers and Journals, all of which are available in Penguin Classics. If you enjoyed Fear and Trembling, you might like Kierkegaard's The Sickness unto Death, also available in Penguin Classics.
The first major biography in English in over thirty years of the seminal modern Jewish thinker Martin Buber
An authority on the twentieth-century philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965), Paul Mendes-Flohr offers the first major biography in English in thirty years of this seminal modern Jewish thinker. The book is organized around several key moments, such as his sudden abandonment by his mother when he was a child of three, a foundational trauma that, Mendes-Flohr shows, left an enduring mark on Buber’s inner life, attuning him to the fragility of human relations and the need to nurture them with what he would call a “dialogical attentiveness.”
Buber’s philosophical and theological writings, most famously I and Thou, made significant contributions to religious and Jewish thought, philosophical anthropology, biblical studies, political theory, and Zionism. In this accessible new biography, Mendes-Flohr situates Buber’s life and legacy in the intellectual and cultural life of German Jewry as well as in the broader European intellectual life of the first half of the twentieth century.
"A strange and joyous marvel" Richard Flanagan Robbie Arnott's mad, wild debut novel is rough-hewn from the Tasmanian landscape and imbued with the folkloric magic of the oldest fireside storytellers. A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte-who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire. The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle. Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, spellbinding in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction. SHORTLISTED FOR THE READINGS PRIZE FOR NEW AUSTRALIAN FICTION
In a book of great originality and scholarship, a noted historian of religion traces manifestations of the sacred from primitive to modern times, in terms of space, time, nature and the cosmos, and life itself. The Sacred and the Profane serves as an excellent introduction to the history of religion, but its perspective also encompasses philosophical anthropology, phenomenology, and psychology. It will be of concern to anyone seeking to discover the potential dimensions of human existence.
A fully updated new edition of a critically acclaimed examination of the theories and writings of Richard Dawkins by a world-renowned expert on the relation of science and religion * Includes in-depth analysis of Dawkins landmark treatise The God Delusion (2006), as well as coverage of his later popular works The Magic of Reality (2011) and The Greatest Show on Earth (2011),and a new chapter on Dawkins as a popularizer of science * Tackles Dawkins hostile and controversial views on religion, and examine the religious implications of his scientific ideas including a comprehensive investigation of the selfish gene * Written in an accessible and engaging style that will appeal to anyone interested in better understanding the interplay between science and religion
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries represent a period of remarkable intellectual vitality in British philosophy, as figures such as Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Smith attempted to explain the origins and sustaining mechanisms of civil society. Their insights continue to inform how political and moral theorists think about the world in which we live. From Moral Theology to Moral Philosophy reconstructs a debate which preoccupied contemporaries but which seems arcane to us today. It concerned the relationship between reason and revelation as the two sources of mankind's knowledge, particularly in the ethical realm: to what extent, they asked, could reason alone discover the content and obligatory character of morality? This was held to be a historical, rather than a merely theoretical question: had the philosophers of pre-Christian antiquity, ignorant of Christ, been able satisfactorily to explain the moral universe? What role had natural theology played in their ethical theories - and was it consistent with the teachings delivered by revelation? Much recent scholarship has drawn attention to the early-modern interest in two late Hellenistic philosophical traditions - Stoicism and Epicureanism. Yet in the English context, three figures above all - John Locke, Conyers Middleton, and David Hume - quite deliberately and explicitly identified their approaches with Cicero as the representative of an alternative philosophical tradition, critical of both the Stoic and the Epicurean: academic scepticism. All argued that Cicero provided a means of addressing what they considered to be the most pressing question facing contemporary philosophy: the relationship between moral philosophy and moral theology.
In this book, Steven G. Smith focuses on the guidance function in language and scripture and evaluates the assumptions and ideals of scriptural religion in global perspective. He brings to language studies a new pragmatic emphasis on the shared modeling of life-in-the-world by communicators constantly depending on each other's guidance. Using concepts of axiality and axialization derived from Jaspers' description of the 'Axial Age', he shows the essential role of scripture in the historical progress of communicative action. This volume clarifies the formative power of scriptures in religions of the 'world religion' type and brings scripture into philosophy of religion as a major cross-cultural category of study, thereby helping philosophy of religion find a needed cross-cultural footing.
The concept of providence is embedded in the life and theology of the church. Its uses are frequent and varied in understandings of politics, nature, and individual life-stories. Parallels can be discerned in other faiths. In this volume, David Fergusson traces the development of providential ideas at successive periods in church history. These include the early appropriation of Stoic and Platonic ideas, the codification of providence in the Middle Ages, its foregrounding in Reformed theology, and its secular applications in the modern era. Responses to the Lisbon earthquake (1755) provide an instructive case study. Although confidence in divine providence was shaken after 1914, several models were advanced during the twentieth century. Drawing upon this diversity of approaches, Fergusson offers a chastened but constructive account for the contemporary church. Arguing for a polyphonic approach, he aims to distribute providence across all three articles of the faith.
Only the most naive or tendentious among us would deny the extent
and intensity of suffering in the world. Can one hold, consistently
with the common view of suffering in the world, that there is an
omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good God? This book argues that
One of the most iconoclastic philosophers of all time, Nietzsche dramatically rejected notions of good and evil, truth and God. Beyond Good and Evil demonstrates that the world is steeped in false piety and infected with a 'slave morality'. With wit and subversive energy, Nietzsche demands that the individual impose their own 'will to power' upon the world.
The underlying idea of the book is that most ordinary religious believers -- not philosophers or theologians -- do not realise how weak the case for Gods existence is. The Case Against examines the reasons why the belief has such a strong hold on so large a section of humanity, and attempts to show that the reasons are inadequate. The concepts involved in religious belief are examined in detail. It is shown that great difficulties -- of which believers are usually unaware -- are involved in forming concepts of entities from a higher -- perhaps spiritual -- realm. In particular, God and the idea of a life after death are examined and it is proposed that viable, coherent concepts are probably impossible in both cases. For many believers the God theory is seen as (a) explaining the origin of the universe, and (b) enabling the apparent injustices of this world to be righted in a life after death. The theory actually fails to do either. It is also shown, however, that the main alternative to theism, which is materialism, itself presents difficulties. No final answer is given, and it is accepted that (informed) puzzlement may ultimately be the only rational position. The God theory could perhaps be seen as an attempt to answer genuine problems. While it fails, it can nevertheless be understood and treated with sympathy. God: The Case Against is not intended for philosophers or theologians! Rather, the aim is to make the arguments accessible to intelligent, intellectually curious, open-minded people. The book attempts throughout to give clear, simple explanations of the issues, benefiting here from the authors own experience in teaching philosophy to young people.
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.
Proofs of God in Early Modern Europe offers a fascinating window into early modern efforts to prove God's existence. Assembled here are twenty-two key texts, many translated into English for the first time, which illustrate the variety of arguments that philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries offered for God. These selections feature traditional proofsasuch as various ontological, cosmological, and design argumentsabut also introduce more exotic proofs, such as the argument from eternal truths, the argument from universal aseity, and the argument ex consensu gentium . Drawn from the work of eighteen philosophers, this book includes both canonical figures (such as Descartes, Spinoza, Newton, Leibniz, Locke, and Berkeley) and noncanonical thinkers (such as Norris, Fontenelle, Voltaire, Wolff, Du ChActelet, and Maupertuis). Lloyd Strickland provides fresh translations of all selections not originally written in English and updates the spelling and grammar of those that were. Each selection is prefaced by a lengthy headnote, giving a biographical account of its author, an analysis of the main argument(s), and important details about the historical context. Strickland's introductory essay provides further context, focusing on the various reasons that led so many thinkers of early modernity to develop proofs of God's existence. Proofs of God is perfect for both students and scholars of early modern philosophy and philosophy of religion.
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.
Now in paperback, revised and redesigned: This is Thomas Merton's last book, in which he draws on both Eastern and Western traditions to explore the hot topic of contemplation/meditation in depth and to show how we can practice true contemplation in everyday life.
Never before published except as a series of articles (one per chapter) in an academic journal, this book on contemplation was revised by Merton shortly before his untimely death. The material bridges Merton's early work on Catholic monasticism, mysticism, and contemplation with his later writing on Eastern, especially Buddhist, traditions of meditation and spirituality. This book thus provides a comprehensive understanding of contemplation that draws on the best of Western and Eastern traditions.
Merton was still tinkering with this book when he died; it was the book he struggled with most during his career as a writer. But now the Merton Legacy Trust and experts have determined that the book makes such a valuable contribution as his major comprehensive presentation of contemplation that they have allowed its publication.
How do middle-class Americans become aware of distant social problems and act against them? US colleges, congregations, and seminaries increasingly promote immersion travel as a way to bridge global distance, produce empathy, and increase global awareness. But does it? Drawing from a mixed methods study of a progressive, religious immersion travel organization at the US-Mexico border, Empathy Beyond US Borders provides a broad sociological context for the rise of immersion travel as a form of transnational civic engagement. Gary J. Adler, Jr follows alongside immersion travelers as they meet undocumented immigrants, walk desert trails, and witness deportations. His close observations combine with interviews and surveys to evaluate the potential of this civic action, while developing theory about culture, empathy, and progressive religion in transnational civic life. This timely book describes the moralization of travel, the organizational challenges of transnational engagement, and the difficulty of feeling transformed but not knowing how to help.
The first complete and annotated English translation of Maimon's influential and delightfully entertaining memoir Solomon Maimon's autobiography has delighted readers for more than two hundred years, from Goethe, Schiller, and George Eliot to Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. The American poet and critic Adam Kirsch has named it one of the most crucial Jewish books of modern times. Here is the first complete and annotated English edition of this enduring and lively work. Born into a down-on-its-luck provincial Jewish family in 1753, Maimon quickly distinguished himself as a prodigy in learning. Even as a young child, he chafed at the constraints of his Talmudic education and rabbinical training. He recounts how he sought stimulation in the Hasidic community and among students of the Kabbalah--and offers rare and often wickedly funny accounts of both. After a series of picaresque misadventures, Maimon reached Berlin, where he became part of the city's famed Jewish Enlightenment and achieved the philosophical education he so desperately wanted, winning acclaim for being the "sharpest" of Kant's critics, as Kant himself described him. This new edition restores text cut from the abridged 1888 translation by J. Clark Murray, which has long been the only available English edition. Paul Reitter's translation is brilliantly sensitive to the subtleties of Maimon's prose while providing a fluid rendering that contemporary readers will enjoy, and is accompanied by an introduction and notes by Yitzhak Melamed and Abraham Socher that give invaluable insights into Maimon and his extraordinary life. The book also features an afterword by Gideon Freudenthal that provides an authoritative overview of Maimon's contribution to modern philosophy.
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