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'Because "God" is infinite, nobody can have the last word' What is this thing, religion, supposedly the cause of bloodshed and warring for centuries? What is 'God' and do we need 'Him' in our modern world? Karen Armstrong looks again at these questions in a refreshing and startling way. God is not to be 'believed in' as a child believes in Santa Claus; religion is not a story to be proven true or false, but a discipline akin to music or art that answers a deeply human need, and can teach us to discover new capacities of mind and heart. Selected from A Case for God, Fields of Blood and The Lost Art of Scripture VINTAGE MINIS- GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world's greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis 'Great Ideas' series- Art by Simon Schama Science by Ian McEwan
A window into the Jewish idea of responsibility to care for the
The concept of repairing the world ("tikkun olam") is an integral part of Jewish life. It helps shape Jewish social and family relationships, and even mandates how Jews should speak to others. But why is it important for Christians to understand this Jewish approach to life? And what kind of impact can understanding this fundamental aspect of Judaism have on Christians seeking to develop a deeper understanding of their own faith? With insight and wisdom, award-winning author Rabbi Elliot Dorff provides an accessible, honest and thorough exploration of this important Jewish concept. With easy-to-understand explanations of Jewish terms, practices and history, each chapter explores a different facet touched by the tradition of "tikkun loam." Rabbi Dorff also addresses parallel themes and practices in the Christian tradition, helping you better understand the roots of Christianity and how the fundamentals of Judaism relate and reflect your own aspirations to repair the world. Caring for the Poor The Power of Words The Ministry of Presence Duties of Spouses to Each Other Children s Duties to Their Parents Parent s Duties to Their Children The Traditional Jewish Vision of the Ideal World
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.
This book traces the Quaker experience in New England and New York from the Arrival of the first English Quaker missionaries in 1646 to 1790. The first Friends faced considerable hostility, so much so that it took almost eighty years for Quakers and their antagonists to solve their differences. By then, Quakers had settled into a comfortable period of numerical increase, and, to the extent that colonies permitted, participated as individuals in colonial political life. During the early eighteenth century Quaker organizational and disciplinary structures derived from the late seventeenth century underwent gradual evolution, but not to the extent of altering the basically comfortable arrangement that served to promote the growth of Friends. After 1750, however, Quakers throughout the colonies entered a period of reform, a reform that led to a numerical decline in older centers and to a drastic reduction in numerical growth. Reform ultimately caused Friends to sharpen their positions on antislavery and pacifism and led to a withdrawal from political participation. Ultimately, it pointed the way to the disastrous nineteenth-century Quaker schisms.
Children from around the world show us God in ways that we may have forgotten
"When I looked out my window at the changing seasons, I didn't really see anything at all. My eyes were focused on my work and all the tasks I had to do each day.... Then one morning...racing to get to work, I caught a glimpse of the fiery red leaves of a Japanese maple tree in late autumn. For a moment I stopped in my tracks. It was a wake-up call. 'There is a world out there, ' I thought, 'and a world beyond that world. And you, ' I said to myself, 'are missing both. If this is what it means to be an adult, you need to find a way to see the world more like a child.'"from the introduction
What does God do? How do we let God in? If you met God, what would you say?
Here are the "theological" answers of young spiritual thinkers from around the world, representing more than twenty different religious traditions. In sharing how they see God, they'll help you to see God in new ways.
In a poetic language of images all their own, these children re-awaken us to the mysteries and wonders of the universe, and lead us to our own understanding of the spiritual.
The 1400-year-old schism between Sunnis and Shi'is is currently reflected in the destructive struggle for hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran - with no apparent end in sight. But how did this conflict begin, and why is it now the focus of so much attention? In this definitive account, John McHugo charts the history of Islam from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day. He describes the conflicts that raged over the succession to the Prophet, how Sunnism and Shi'ism evolved as different sects during the Abbasid caliphate, and how the rivalry between the empires of the Sunni Ottomans and Shi'i Safavids ensured that the split would continue into the modern age. In recent decades, this centuries-old divide has acquired a new toxicity resulting in violence across the Arab and Muslim world.
This text, "A Scientific Treatise on Sex, its Nature and Function, and its Influence on Art, Science, Architecture and Religion," contains a wealth of fascinating information on the cultural aspects of sex. Topics explored include primitive ideas about sex, religious and mythical interpretations of sex, the status of women, cosmology and sex, sex in the Greek Bible, artistic representations of sexuality, phallic worship and virgin worship. The book provides insights not only into sexual life throughout the ages but also into the particular ideas and preoccupations about sex which were current when the book was first published in 1919.
The changing of the seasons, phases of the moon, even our personal experiences-all are reflections of the Divine Feminine. Create a stronger connection to the sacred world and your own divinity by welcoming these thirteen powerful Celtic and Nordic goddesses into your life. As you make your way through a transformative year, know that each goddess has a different energy and a unique lesson to teach you. Starting with the Winter Solstice, the eight seasonal Sabbats and five faces of the moon provide the guideposts along your path. Through ritual, invocation, guided meditations, and magical activities, you'll explore each goddess's unique mythology and discover her message for your life. Cerridwyn Welsh Goddess of Rebirth and Renewal Brigid Irish Goddess of Healing, the Forge, and Creative Inspiration Eostre Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring Freyja Norse Goddess of Love and War Aine Irish Goddess of Faeries and Fertility Danu Irish Mother Goddess of Wisdom Modron Welsh Mother Goddess of Mystery Hella Norse Goddess of the Underworld Branwen Welsh Goddess of Sovereignty Maeve Irish Goddess of Personal Power The Valkyries Norse Goddesses of Battle Magic and Soul Journey Morrighan Irish Goddess of Magic and Death Rhiannon Welsh Great Queen and Horse Goddess
Jung's correspondence with one of the twentieth century's leading theologians and ecumenicists On Theology and Psychology brings together C. G. Jung's correspondence with Adolf Keller, a celebrated Protestant theologian who was one of the pioneers of the modern ecumenical movement and one of the first religious leaders to become interested in analytical psychology. Their relationship spanned half a century, and for many years Keller was the only major religious leader to align himself with Jung and his ideas. Both men shared a lifelong engagement with questions of faith, and each grappled with God in his own distinctive way. Presented here in English for the first time are letters that provide a rare look at Jung in dialogue with a theologian. Spanning some fifty years, these letters reveal an extended intellectual and spiritual discourse between two very different men as they exchange views on the nature of the divine, the compatibility of Jungian psychology and Christianity, the interpretation of the Bible and figures such as Jesus and Job, and the phenomenon of National Socialism. Although Keller was powerfully attracted to Jung's ideas, his correspondence with the famed psychiatrist demonstrates that he avoided discipleship. Both men struggled with essential questions about human existence, spirituality, and well-being, and both sought common ground where the concerns of psychologists and theologians converge. Featuring an illuminating introduction by Marianne Jehle-Wildberger, On Theology and Psychology offers incomparable insights into the development of Jung's views on theology and religion, and a unique window into a spiritual and intellectual friendship unlike any other.
Since its inception over two hundred years ago, Swaminarayan Hinduism has flourished into a transnational movement described as one of the fastest growing Hindu groups in the world. Despite being one of the largest and most visible Hindu traditions both in India and the West, surprisingly little is known about what the Swaminarayan fellowship believes. An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hindu Theology provides a comprehensive doctrinal account of the Swaminarayan tradition's belief system, drawing on its rich corpus of theological literature, including the teachings of Swaminarayan himself and classical commentaries on canonical Vedantic texts. Part I delineates the sources and tools of Swaminarayan Hindu theology, while Part II systematically expounds upon its distinctive five eternal entities - Parabrahman, Aksarabrahman, maya, isvara and jiva - and mukti (spiritual liberation). In presenting these key themes theologically and lucidly, Swami Paramtattvadas makes the Swaminarayan Hindu belief system intelligible to scholars, students and serious readers.
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.
For more than a century Christian theologians have attempted to construct "theologies of religion" that would be recognized as authentically Christian and authentic in relation to the historical and social reality of many religions. This attempt usually ends in an impasse in which either only one religion is portrayed as holding the true path to salvation, or that many do. Neither the exclusivist nor the pluralist position is completely satisfactory in integrating the two goals of an authentically Christian and historically viable theology of religions. In calling this book Salvations author S. Mark Heim moves the theology of religions project beyond taking sides on exclusivist and pluralist views. The crux of his argument is this: that it makes more sense to speak of salvation in the plural, to maintain that the ends of various religions are indeed varied and significantly constituted by the paths taken to reach them. At the same time, all paths - Christianity included - can and must make or require exclusive commitments on the part of those that hold them. One of the most intriguing features of Salvations is its careful critique of the pluralist assumption of a single religious end to the many religions. Heim's careful analysis of the writings of John Hick, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, and Paul Knitter points out a central weakness in the pluralist argument: by insisting that different religions point to the same "ultimate, " pluralism fails its own test of plurality. Heim points out that exclusivists should note that in hypothesizing the many ends of different religions, Salvations contradicts neither the finality of Christ, nor the authentic, independent validity of other religions.
In this work of historical theology, Rachel Davies considers the relationship between aesthetics and anthropology in Bonaventure's thought, and shows how bodily diminishment can become a sign and source of the self's renewal. Drawing from texts like the Collations on the Six Days, and the Major Life of Francis, Davies reconfigures traditional accounts of the fallen body's rebellion against the soul and emphasizes instead the soul's original abandonment of the body. Her interpretation draws attention to the crucial but undervalued role that Bonaventure assigns to the body in the self's coming-to-be, and shows how contemplation involves the soul's tender recovery of the body it once rejected. Though contemplation makes body-soul integrity possible again, Davies argues that the body never fully recovers from its primordial alienation. Instead, Bonaventure suggests that individuals can experience brokenness and healing at the same time, and that suffering bodies can become paschal spaces, graced and open to beatific wholeness.
This book will help me understand what the Bible says about the end times and offers insight and encouragement to make the most of every opportunity in the last days.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
- Reveals what’s next for the nation, the planet, and the body of Christ
- Exposes what is taking place in the invisible spiritual world
- Points to a God who is in complete control
The signs are unmistakable.
We've always had earthquakes but this many? We've always faced natural disasters but this terrible? We've always had Middle East tensions but this intense? This widespread?
Jesus said there would be clear signs in our world before His return. Over the last few months and years, as we read headline after amazing headline, those signs seem to be escalating. Could Christ's return and our world's final days be very far away? Greg Laurie opens the Scriptures, offering insight, warning, and encouragement to "make the most of every opportunity" in these challenging days.
"Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment" is the thirty-sixth chapter of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's "Revival of the Religious Sciences" (Ihya Ulum al-Din), which is widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality. "Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment" is of fundamental importance in the history of Islamic thought and in the development of Sufism, being the first treatise to establish not merely the possibility but the necessity for the love of God.---In "Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment", Ghazali argues that all the virtues and spiritual stages that precede love, like repentance, patience and thankfulness, lead to love; and all the spiritual stages that follow on from love are a result of it. Using proof texts from the Qur'an, the Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad and Sufi precepts, Ghazali succeeds in marshalling forceful arguments to make his case. Out of Ghazali's pioneering treatment would emerge not only new trends in Sufi theory and practice, but an entire body of mystical poetry including that of the great Persian poets Rumi and Hafiz.---Professor Eric Ormsby's fully annotated translation brings out all the beauty and lyricism of the text. The translation is preceded by an extensive introduction which sets the work in its historical and spiritual context.---In this new edition, the Islamic Texts Society has included the translation of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's own Introduction to the "Revival of the Religious Sciences" which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the "Revival" and places each of the chapters in the context of the others.
This volume offers a comprehensive overview of one of the four New Testament gospels and brings a unique approach to the genre of Bible commentary. Featuring distinct Jewish and Christian voices in respectful conversation, Amy-Jill Levine and Ben Witherington, III methodologically break new ground in exploring why scholars disagree on questions of history (what actually happened, what is authorial invention, how do we address different versions of the same account), literature (what does this story tell us about Jesus and Peter, Mary Magdalene and Judas, among other characters), and theology (what can we say about resurrection and divine justice, or about Jesus as the Messiah). They show how Luke has been used to create both tragedy and hope, as well as to promote sexism, anti-semitism, and religious intolerance, thereby raising important questions regarding ethically responsible interpretation. This volume will be essential reading for theologians, clergy, and anyone interested in biblical studies and Jewish/Christian dialogue.
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