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Does Islam make people violent? Does Islam make people peaceful? In this book, A. Kevin Reinhart demonstrates that such questions are misleading, because they assume that Islam is a monolithic essence and that Muslims are made the way they are by this monolith. He argues that Islam, like all religions, is complex and thus best understood through analogy with language: Islam has dialects, a set of features shared with other versions of Islam. It also has cosmopolitan elites who prescribe how Islam ought to be, even though these experts, depending on where they practice the religion, unconsciously reflect their own local dialects. Reinhart defines the distinctive features of Islam and investigates how modernity has created new conditions for the religion. Analyzing the similarities and differences between modern and pre-modern Islam, he clarifies the new and old in the religion as it is lived in the contemporary world.
Religious and ethnic diversity have become crucial and pressing concerns in Europe: in particular, the presence of Muslims, their integration, citizenship, and how to deal with the influx of refugees. Can we draw on the resources of religions and their leaders for models of peaceful coexistence or do religious identities constitute obstacles to cooperation and unity? This volume treats "Islam, Religions, and Pluralism in Europe" based on a 2014 conference in Montenegro. Experts analyze Islam and Muslim issues as well as Christian perspectives and state social policies. Case studies drawn from Western and Eastern Europe including the Balkans, constructively review and interrogate diverse theological, philosophical, pedagogical, legal, and political models and strategies that deal with pluralism.
"Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Knowledge: from Key to the Blissful Abode (Miftah Dar al-Sa`ada)" is an abridgement of the first volume of "Key to the Blissful Abode", a popular title by the renowned theologian and jurist Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. In it, Ibn al-Qayyim focuses on the importance of knowledge and willpower, as means through which a person may attain Paradise. Willpower is the door and knowledge-in particular, knowledge which pertains to God and His Attributes, the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet-is the key. Ibn al-Qayyim discusses the virtues and benefits of knowledge over wealth and worldly matters; the path to knowledge; the importance of pursuing knowledge and applying it to gain guidance from God and protect oneself from doubts; the superiority of the scholar over the worshipper; the necessity of using knowledge and willpower as the bases for all actions if one is to achieve spiritual bliss. Ibn al-Qayyim then concludes "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Knowledge: from Key to the Blissful Abode", by discussing the importance of contemplation and reflection in order to attain further knowledge and guidance.
This collection of 700 letters traces Martin Buber's transition from mystically inclined man of letters to teacher of his people who preached a renewed sense of community, a binational Palestinian homeland and a humanistic socialism derived from the Gospel's and the Old Testament prophets.
Engaging with contemporary debates about the sources that shape our understanding of the early Muslim world, Najam Haider proposes a new model for Muslim historical writing that draws on Late Antique historiography to challenge the imposition of modern notions of history on a pre-modern society. Haider discusses three key case studies - the revolt of Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd (d. 67/687), the life of the Twelver Shi'i Imam Musa al-Kazim (d. 183/799) and the rebellion and subsequent death of the Zaydi Shi'i Imam Yahya b. 'Abd Allah (d. 187/803) - in calling for a new line of inquiry which focuses on larger historiographical questions. What were the rules that governed historical writing in the early Muslim world? What were the intended audiences for these works? In the process, he rejects artificial divisions between Sunni and Shi'i historical writing.
One of the most influential books in the history of literature,
recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, the
Qur'an is the supreme authority and living source of all Islamic
teaching, the sacred text that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics,
and laws of Islam. First published in 2004, M. A. S. Abdel Haleem's
superb English translation has been acclaimed for both its
faithfulness to the original and its supreme clarity. Now Haleem's
translation is published side-by-side with the original Arabic
text, to give readers a greater appreciation and understanding of
the holy book.
The discussion landscape between Christians and Muslims is constantly changing and developing. Increasingly subtle and sophisticated Muslim positions on Jesus emerge regularly. The latest Muslim thinker to rise to prominence in the wider public arena is Mustafa Akyol. His ideas about Jesus, while largely derivative, are crafted into novel and appealing arguments. To date, there has been no satisfactory Christian engagement with his ideas. Written by a specialist in Muslim thought, Jesus through Muslim Eyes offers a unique apologetic that combines history, theology and critical thinking in a way that cuts across both traditional and contemporary debates. "With Christians, we (Muslims) agree that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he was the Messiah, and that he is the Word of God. Surely, we do not worship Jesus, like Christians do. Yet still, we can follow him. In fact, given our grim malaise and his shining wisdom, we need to follow him." - Mustafa Akyol (The Islamic Jesus, St Martin's Press) Can Muslims, like Akyol, meaningfully claim Jesus as the Messiah and the Word of God? And how can Christians respond to such claims? Richard Schumach considers what Muslims believe about Jesus; what history can tell us about Jesus; where Muslims (and Christians) get their beliefs from; and why Jesus makes sense in Christianity, but not in Islam.
This book examines the heretofore unsuspected complexity of Lorenzo Ghiberti's sculpted representations of Old Testament narratives in his Gates of Paradise (1425-52), the second set of doors he made for the Florence Baptistery and a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance sculpture. One of the most intellectually engaged and well-read artists of his age, Ghiberti found inspiration in ancient and medieval texts, many of which he and his contacts in Florence's humanist community shared, read, and discussed. He was fascinated by the science of vision, by the functioning of nature, and, above all, by the origins and history of art. These unusually well-defined intellectual interests, reflected in his famous Commentaries, shaped his approach in the Gates. Through the selection, imaginative interpretation, and arrangement of biblical episodes, Ghiberti fashioned multi-textured narratives that explore the human condition and express his ideas on a range of social, political, artistic, and philosophical issues.
Voted one of Christianity Today's 1996 Books of the Year What is the fate of those who die never hearing the gospel? Do Hindus, Jews, agnostics and others who do not profess faith in Christ really suffer damnation after death? These and similar questions have long been contemplated by people from every religious persuasion and every walk of life. But in a culture of increasing diversity and growing doubt in the existence of "objective truth," it seems ever more pressing. In this book three scholars present the span of evangelical conviction on the destiny of the unevangelized. Ronald Nash argues the restrictivist position, that receptive knowledge of Jesus Christ in this life is necessary to salvation. Gabriel Fackre advocates divine perseverance, with the expectation that those who die unevangelized receive an opportunity for salvation after death. And John Sanders sets forth the inclusivist case--asserting that though God saves people only through the work of Jesus Christ, some may be saved even if they do not know about Christ. As each scholar presents his own case and responds to strengths and weaknesses of differing positions, readers are treated to a lively and informative debate.What About Those Who Have Never Heard? is a truly helpful book on one of today's--and every day's--most crucial questions.
As news reports of the horrific December 2004 tsunami in Asia reached the rest of the world, commentators were quick to seize upon the disaster as proof of either God's power or God's nonexistence, asking over and over, How could a good and loving God -- if such exists -- allow such suffering? In The Doors of the Sea David Bentley Hart speaks at once to those skeptical of Christian faith and to those who use their Christian faith to rationalize senseless human suffering. He calls both to recognize in the worst catastrophes not the providential will of God but rather the ongoing struggle between the rebellious powers that enslave the world and the God who loves it wholly.
The untold story of how the Arabic Qur'an became the English Koran For millions of Muslims, the Qur'an is sacred only in Arabic, the original Arabic in which it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century; to many Arab and non-Arab believers alike, the book literally defies translation. Yet English translations exist and are growing, in both number and importance. Bruce Lawrence tells the remarkable story of the ongoing struggle to render the Qur'an's lyrical verses into English--and to make English itself an Islamic language. The "Koran" in English revisits the life of Muhammad and the origins of the Qur'an before recounting the first translation of the book into Latin by a non-Muslim: Robert of Ketton's twelfth-century version paved the way for later ones in German and French, but it was not until the eighteenth century that George Sale's influential English version appeared. Lawrence explains how many of these early translations, while part of a Christian agenda to "know the enemy," often revealed grudging respect for their Abrahamic rival. British expansion in the modern era produced an anomaly: fresh English translations--from the original Arabic--not by Arabs or non-Muslims but by South Asian Muslim scholars. The first book to explore the complexities of this translation saga, The "Koran" in English also looks at cyber Korans, versions by feminist translators, and now a graphic Koran, the American Qur'an created by the acclaimed visual artist Sandow Birk.
A book that challenges our most basic assumptions about Judeo-Christian monotheism Contrary to popular belief, Judaism was not always strictly monotheistic. Two Gods in Heaven reveals the long and little-known history of a second, junior god in Judaism, showing how this idea was embraced by rabbis and Jewish mystics in the early centuries of the common era and casting Judaism's relationship with Christianity in an entirely different light. Drawing on an in-depth analysis of ancient sources that have received little attention until now, Peter Schafer demonstrates how the Jews of the pre-Christian Second Temple period had various names for a second heavenly power-such as Son of Man, Son of the Most High, and Firstborn before All Creation. He traces the development of the concept from the Son of Man vision in the biblical book of Daniel to the Qumran literature, the Ethiopic book of Enoch, and the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the picture changes drastically. While the early Christians of the New Testament took up the idea and developed it further, their Jewish contemporaries were divided. Most rejected the second god, but some-particularly the Jews of Babylonia and the writers of early Jewish mysticism-revived the ancient Jewish notion of two gods in heaven. Describing how early Christianity and certain strands of rabbinic Judaism competed for ownership of a second god to the creator, this boldly argued and elegantly written book radically transforms our understanding of Judeo-Christian monotheism.
The series seeks to introduce new readers -- and reintroduce old -- to works that integrate literary greatness with a serious consideration of theological issues or religious themes. Each work features an introduction by a major writer or scholar, an interview with the author, and a bibliography, making each book perfectly suited for classroom use.
Resurrection of the dead represents one of the more enigmatic beliefs of Western religions to many modern readers. In this volume, C. D. Elledge offers an interpretation of some of the earliest literature within Judaism that exhibits a confident hope in resurrection. He not only aids the study of early Jewish literature itself, but expands contemporary knowledge of some of the earliest expressions of a hope that would become increasingly meaningful in later Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Elledge focuses on resurrection in the latest writings of the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as the writings of other Hellenistic Jewish authors. He also incorporates later rabbinic writings, early Christian sources, and inscriptions, as they shed additional light upon select features of the evidence in question. This allows for a deeper look into how particular literary works utilized the discourse of resurrection, while also retaining larger comparative insights into what these materials may teach us about the gradual flourishing of resurrection within its early Jewish environment. Individual chapters balance a more categorical/comparative approach to the problems raised by resurrection (definitions, diverse conceptions, historical origins, strategies of legitimation) with a more specific focus on particular pieces of the early Jewish evidence (1 Enoch, Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus). Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism, 200 BCE-CE 200 provides a treatment of resurrection that informs the study of early Jewish theologies, as well as their later reinterpretations within Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.
Psalms Night & Day,"Psaumes Nuit et Jour," is one of Paul Beauchamp's most popular books, one that has been translated into several languages; it is here being offered for the first time in English. The Psalms have experienced new interest and have presented scholars with new demands. Peter Rogers, rector of the Jesuit community in New Orleans, with his great esteem for Beauchamp's approach, has devoted much time and attention to the translation. The result of his dedication is this beautiful presentation and appreciation of selected Psalms in ways accessible to everyone.
This story of Santa Claus in his own words will delight children and grown-ups everywhere. Filled with magical star-dusted anecdotes and Santa's fond memories of the feast of light, this precious book is a reminder of the deeper meaning of Christmas and of the grandeur of those gifts that one can neither buy nor touch. Clement Clarke Moore's '"Twas the Night Before Christmas," the story of the Grinch, a loving introduction to Mrs. Claus, and a retelling of the first creche set up by St. Francis of Assisi are some of the delightful tales that radiate the spirit of wonder and kindness contained within these pages.
This unique synopsis of the Summa Theological is a complete, chapter-by-chapter restatement of St. Thomas' work, intended to expose readers to die totality of St. Thomas' thought and yet be brief enough to fit into one volume. Author of eleven other books on philosophy, Msgr. Glenn brings to this work-by far his greatest-a lifetime of teaching and writing experience. A masterpiece in its own right.
This is the first full-scale, verse-by-verse commentary on 4 Baruch. The pseudepigraphon, written in the second century, is in large measure an attempt to address the situation following the destruction of the temple in 70 CE by recounting legends about the first destruction of the temple, the Babylonian captivity, and the return from exile. 4 Bruch is notable for its tale about Jeremiah's companion, Abimelech, who sleeps through the entire exilic period. This tale lies behind the famous Christian legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and is part of the genealogy of Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." Allison's commentary draws upon an exceptionally broad range of ancient sources in an attempt to clarify 4 Baruch's original setting, compositional history, and meaning.
One cannot think of Judaism without taking some stance relating to Israel's special status, its election. The present collection highlights the challenges that Judaism faces, as it continues to uphold a sense of chosenness and as it seeks to engage the world beyond it-nations, as well as religions. The challenge is captured by the dual implication of election: divine love on the one hand and enmity with others on the other. Israel's election, mission and vocation are played out within this tension of love, grounded in God and extending to humanity, and the opposite of love, as this finds expression in Israel's relations with others. Israel must work out the purpose of its election and its realization in history in the tension between these two extremes. This challenge takes on great urgency in the context of advances in interfaith relations. These lead us to reflect on the meaning of Israel's election as part of developing a contemporary Jewish theology of world religions.
As the earliest narrative source for the origins of Christianity, Acts is of unrivalled importance for understanding early Christianity and the mission that originally brought it from Judea and Galilee to gentiles, and even the heart of the Roman Empire. This volume is an abridged version of Keener's monumental, four-volume commentary on Acts, the longest and one of the most thorough engagements with Acts in its ancient setting. Sensitive to the work's narrative unity, Keener's commentary is especially known for its direct engagement with the wide range of ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman sources. The original commentary cited some 45,000 references from ancient extrabiblical sources to shed light on the Book of Acts. This accessible edition, aimed at students, scholars, and pastors, makes more widely available the decades of research that Keener has devoted to one of the key texts of Early Christianity.
For Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Torah is at once the oldest and the most contemporary document directing human lives. In this highly acclaimed, five-volume parashat hashavua series, Rabbi Riskin helps each reader extract deeply personal, contemporary lessons from the traditional biblical biblical accounts. As Rabbi Riskin writes in the introduction to Torah Lights, the struggle with Torah reflects the struggle with life itself. The ability of the Torah to speak to every generation and every individual at the same time is the greatest testimony to its divinity.
In this sequel to Space, Time and Incarnation, Thomas F. Torrance sets out the biblical approach to the Resurrection in terms of the intrinsic significance of the resurrected one, Jesus; and demonstrates that the Resurrection is entirely consistent with who Jesus was and what he did. The Resurrection is thus taken realistically, and treated as of the same nature, in the integration of physical and spiritual existence, as the death of Christ. All this is elucidated in the context of modern scientific thought, in such a way as to show that far from being frightened by modern science into a compromise of the New Testament's message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in body, it actually allows us to take its full measure. This classic volume from one of the premier English speaking theologian of the 20th century remains an important contribution to the field of systematic theology. For this Cornerstones edition, the preface is written by Paul D. Molnar.
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