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One day a Georgia-born son of an Orthodox rabbi discovers that his enthusiasm for Judaism is flagging. He observes the Sabbath, he goes to synagogue, and he even flies to New York on weekends for a series of "speed dates" with nice, eligible Jewish girls. But, something is missing. Looking out of his window and across the street at one of the hundreds of churches in Atlanta, he asks, "What would it be like to be a Christian?"
So begins Benyamin Cohen's hilarious journey that is "My Jesus Year"--part memoir, part spiritual quest, and part anthropologist's mission. Among Cohen's many adventures (and misadventures), he finds himself in some rather unlikely places: jumping into the mosh-pit at a Christian rock concert, seeing his face projected on the giant JumboTron of an African-American megachurch, visiting a potential convert with two young Mormon missionaries, attending a Christian "professional wrestling" match, and waking up early for a sunrise Easter service on top of Stone Mountain--a Confederate memorial and former base of operations for the KKK.
During his year-long exploration, Cohen sees the best and the worst of Christianity-- #8212;from megachurches to storefront churches; from crass commercialization of religion to the simple, moving faith of the humble believer; from the profound to the profane to the just plain laughable. Throughout, he keeps an open heart and mind, a good sense of humor, and takes what he learns from Christianity to reflect on his own faith and relationship to God. By year's end, to Cohen's surprise, his search for universal answers and truths in the Bible Belt actually make him a better Jew.
Daniel Wilson (1778-1858) was a prominent personality in the British administration of the Indian subcontinent during the mid-nineteenth century, as Anglican bishop of Calcutta from 1832 and the first metropolitan of India and Ceylon. His episcopate coincided with the final decades of the British East India Company, and his vast diocese stretched from the Khyber Pass to Singapore. Under his leadership, the position of the Church of England in India was consolidated at a formational period for the nascent Anglican Communion, with the creation of new dioceses, the wide deployment of chaplains and missionaries, and an aggressive programme of church building in a colonial landscape dominated by temples and mosques. Wilson's private journal covers the second half of his episcopate, beginning with a day-to-day account of his furlough in England in 1845-46, and including his frequent, lengthy journeys on visitation to far-flung mission stations. It reveals the development of his missionary strategies, his relationships with political and ecclesiastical power-brokers, his attitudes to Hinduism and Islam, and his confidence in the blessings of European civilization. The journal also sheds light upon Wilson's evangelical piety and abhorrence of Tractarianism, as well as his attempts to discipline immoral and criminous chaplains who brought public scandal upon the church. ANDREW ATHERSTONE is Tutor in History and Doctrine at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and a member of Oxford University's Faculty of Theology and Religion.
The murder in 2005 of an American nun, Sister Dorothy Stang, focused the world's attention on the plight of poor farmers in the Brazilian Amazon and their struggles against rapacious developers. Sister Dorothy had worked in Brazil for forty years. From a conventional nun in the pre-Vatican II era, she had developed a keen social conscience and, increasingly, a deep, mystical commitment to the integrity of Creation. These ideals combined in her advocacy for the rights of the poor and her defense of the imperiled rain forest. They also earned her the enmity of land-grabbing ranchers who repeatedly threatened her. "All I ask," she wrote, "is God's grace to help me keep on this journey, fighting for the people to have a more egalitarian life and that we learn to respect God's creation."
These are the stories you haven't heard on the news. These are the people you will never forget. In the midst of never-ending debates, protests, riots, suicide bombings, and broken peace initiatives, one man came to make a difference. Previously known for his determination to deliver Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, Brother Andrew has spent the last thirty years on a very different quest. Traveling to Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel, Brother Andrew has sought out church leaders and urged them not to flee the violence but to stay and strengthen their congregations to become a force for change. His mission: to bring hope to the believers caught in the crossfire of the most volatile region on earth. "This is a book that invites applause and criticism. It will edify and offend, fostering healthy and much-needed discussion and debate in the Western Church."-Randy Alcorn, author, Safely Home "This man's courage is not just a case of bravado on steroids."-Charisma magazine Brother Andrew began taking Bibles to Christians behind closed borders in 1955. That work has since developed into Open Doors International. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books, including God's Smuggler and The Narrow Road. Al Janssen has cowritten or authored more than twenty-five books. He is chairman of the board for Open Doors (USA) and is director of communications for Open Doors International.
The Man Who Inspired the World's Fastest-Growing Religion
"Muhammad" presents a fascinating portrait of the founder of a religion that continues to change the course of world history. Muhammad's story is more relevant than ever because it offers crucial insight into the true origins of an increasingly radicalized Islam. Countering those who dismiss Islam as fanatical and violent, Armstrong offers a clear, accessible, and balanced portrait of the central figure of one of the world's great religions.
Swami Abhishiktananda (1910-1973), the name adopted by Fr. Henri le Saux after his move to India in 1948, pioneered an integration of Christian and Hindu spirituality that forged a unique spiritual path and made a strong impact on interreligious dialogue.
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world's patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door. Joshua Hammer writes about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world's greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.
Flamboyant mobster Arnold Rothstein was gambling and money. He was the inspiration for Meyer Wolfsheim in "The Great Gatsby" and Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls." It was rumored he masterminded the 1919 World Series fix. He was Mr. Broadway, a king of corruption holding court from his private booth at Lindy's Restaurant.
In this lively, sprawling biography, the inimitable Nick Tosches -- "one of the greatest living American writers" ("Dallas Observer") -- examines the myth and extraordinary legacy of Arnold Rothstein. It is an elegy to old New York that places an iconic, larger-than-life criminal kingpin firmly at the center of nothing less than the history of the entire Western world.
As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join more than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime. Mecca is Islam's most sacred city and strictly off limits to non-Muslims. On a journey perilous enough for any American reporter, Nomani is determined to take along her infant son, Shibli -- living proof that she, an unmarried Muslim woman, is guilty of zina, or "illegal sex." If she is found out, the puritanical Islamic law of the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia may mete out terrifying punishment. But Nomani discovers she is not alone. She is following in the four-thousand-year-old footsteps of another single mother, Hajar (known in the West as Hagar), the original pilgrim to Mecca and mother of the Islamic nation.
Each day of her hajj evokes for Nomani the history of a different Muslim matriarch: Eve, from whom she learns about sin and redemption; Hajar, the single mother abandoned in the desert who teaches her about courage; Khadijah, the first benefactor of Islam and trailblazer for a Muslim woman's right to self-determination; and Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's first female theologian. Inspired by these heroic Muslim women, Nomani returns to America to confront the sexism and intolerance in her local mosque and to fight for the rights of modern Muslim women who are tired of standing alone against the repressive rules and regulations imposed by reactionary fundamentalists.
Nomani shows how many of the freedoms enjoyed centuries ago have been erased by the conservative brand of Islam practiced today, giving the West a false image of Muslim women as veiled and isolated from the world. Standing Alone in Mecca is a personal narrative, relating the modern-day lives of the author and other Muslim women to the lives of those who came before, bringing the changing face of women in Islam into focus through the unique lens of the hajj. Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue, this is a modern woman's jihad, offering for Westerners a never-before-seen look inside the heart of Islam and the emerging role of Muslim women.
New Revelations about One of the Greatest Romances in History
Peter Abelard was arguably the greatest poet, philosopher, and religious teacher in all of twelfth-century Europe. In an age when women were rarely educated, Heloise was his most gifted young student. Their private tutoring sessions inevitably turned to passion, and their moments apart were spent writing love letters. Astoundingly, a few years ago a young scholar identified 113 new love letters between the pair which, combined with the latest scholarship, present us with the richest telling yet of the couple's clandestine passion -- a story that is erotic, poignant, and at times even funny.
Since her groundbreaking memoir In My Father's House, which recounts an agonizing break from fundamentalist polygamy, Dorothy Allred Solomon has continued to publish on the lives of Mormon women and the dissonance many experience in connection to fundamentalist pasts. The more Solomon delved into issues of agency, the more she felt her own dissonance and began to look for answers in her ancestral past-those early women she knew only through family stories. Finding Karen: An Ancestral Mystery springs from a decade of research into Solomon's paternal great-great grandmother Karen Sorensen Rasmussen, who converted to Mormonism in Denmark and emigrated to the United States in 1859. Held up to Solomon throughout childhood as an icon of feminine heroism, a stoic handcart immigrant who helped establish Zion in Utah, Karen became equally emblematic of Solomon's own strong-willed determination and of everything Solomon found lacking in herself. Finding Karen is a revelatory journey, twinned with Solomon's own in surprising ways. As valuable a study in recovering history as it is in the need to re-examine family stories, Solomon's retelling takes readers through the twists and turns of discovery/recovery as she encounters them. In doing so, she illuminates not only the risk inherent in trusting even what persists as historic record but also the insights to be gained from assiduous persistence.
Men of Fearless Faith Meet men who have used their God-given talents to live out their faith to the fullest. They come from a variety of backgrounds, eras, and ethnicities, but each one has answered the Lord's call on their life in bold and innovative ways. Children of all ages will be inspired by the stories of C.S. Lewis-professor and author of the influential Chronicles of Narnia series Zhang Boli-Chinese dissident, journalist, and Christian pastor Richard Allen-former slave and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Tim Tebow-athlete, Heisman trophy winner, and outspoken follower of Christ Father Damien-priest who dedicated his life to helping lepers in Hawaii These and the 45 other defenders of the faith featured in this book have made a profound impact on the world around them, and in many cases changed the course of history. Strong, smart, and sometimes outspoken, these men are tremendous examples of God's love in action. These inspiring profiles will captivate kids' imaginations and encourage them to discover their own gifts and how they can use them to glorify God.
Years ago a priest recommended to us Bishop Bougaud's Life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque as the best biography of this famous saint. We read it and agree. While it includes many sidelights pertaining to the Church in 17th-century France (which, though they are very interesting, the reader may skip over), the treatment of the actual events of her life is undoubtedly still the best there is. In these pages St. Margaret Mary is shown to have been not just a quiet little woman in Religion, but also a redoubtable soul ready to give all for Jesus. It was to her that Our Lord revealed and entrusted the mystery and teaching about the love of his Sacred Heart for men. No private revelation in modern times has achieved the status and success of that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and likely none will ever exceed it. It is largely due to St. Margaret Mary that we know what we do about the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and it is largely to Bishop Bougaud that we should turn to gain an accurate idea of the life of St. Margaret Mary.
Matt Woodcock returns with this sequel to the bestselling 'Becoming Reverend'. Follow Matt's journey as he starts work at one of Hull's oldest, biggest and emptiest churches. It's a shadow of its former self, with a small congregation and huge bills to pay. Adding the entrepreneurial (and somewhat excitable) Matt to their clergy line-up is the last throw of the dice for this 700-year-old institution. But is Matt ready for such a tough first assignment? Are his new flock - or his new colleagues - ready for the whirlwind that's about to descend? And can Matt realize his vision of a thriving church without wrecking his home life in the process? As this real-life diary reveals, Matt's life being Reverend can be every bit as fraught, funny and fascinating as it was becoming one.
This is the story of Watson Mithlo, Chiricahua Apache, his family, and his life. Watson's story embodies the life of the Chiricahua Apache people, who in 1886 were forced into exile to Fort Marion, Florida, by the US government and considered prisoners of war until 1914. This story tells Watson's lived history as the Chiricahua were relocated from Arizona to Florida to Alabama and finally to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. But this is also a story of Harry Mithlo, Watson's son, and Conger Beasley, Harry's friend. It is a story of telling a story. The three voices that serve as our narrators--Watson, Harry, and Conger--all contribute information and emotions, caught up in a kind of ongoing, never-ending, simultaneous present. This story is a composite, a mosaic, a song. It is imbued with oral tradition, Apache medicine, and the dance of the Chiricahua Mountain Spirits. Through Watson, Harry, and Conger, one man's life becomes a circle, blending history with the sacred in the telling of a distinctly Native story.
"The world has a way of defining you if you don't know who you are before you get out there." -Candace Cameron Bure
As a woman in today's world, you know what it's like to feel pressure on all sides from clashing cultural expectations. How can you stay true to who God has uniquely created you to be in the face of the script you've been given? What's more, how can you stand your ground with grace? The classy confidence you know and love-whether it's on set at Full House or Fuller House, Dancing with the Stars, The View, or Candace's Hallmark films-is no act. But it hasn't come easy. In fact, learning to stay true to herself with grace has been one of the biggest fights of Candace's life. The secret, she has learned, is kindness: it's classy, unexpected, even counter-cultural, and ultimately wins the day.
In Kind Is the New Classy, Candace reveals the thought patterns and practices that have empowered her to stay centered in who she is while practicing radical graciousness toward others. Whether you're navigating major life choices, questions of calling and career, relationships, or personal goals, this book will show you how to: Keep your cool under pressure Respond to criticism with grace Stay grounded yet go places in life Stay true to who you are despite the expectations of others Stay centered in what ultimately matters the most Kind Is the New Classy is your permission to go off-script, to say goodbye to society's "should's", and to step into a new way to flourish as a woman today.
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