As these engaging papal biographies of 100 most interesting popes show power comes with great temptations, particularly in the time up to World War II.
There have been 264 popes since St Peter, and the papacy is the most enduring of all human institutions with an unbroken line from its inception. While a spiritual institution, it comes also with vast political power. As these engaging papal biographies show - written by Gerard Noel with an eye for telling anecdote - power comes with great temptations, particularly in the time up to World War II. There has been almost any imaginable type of pope. They have been married, wicked, sex-obsessed, wanton, possessed by genius and madness, brainwashed, deposed and murdered. Here you will find, for example, the the Borgia popes, Pope Julius II, the Renaissance pornographer pope who wrote saucy novels and whacked people he didn't like with his papal staff, or the more recent Pius XII whose embalming in 1958 failed miserably causing 'appalling eructations' from his coffin and a stench that made people faint.
This magisterial Norton Anthology, edited by world-renowned scholars under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jack Miles, offers a portable library of more than 1,000 primary texts from the world's major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism (Volume 1); and Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Volume 2).
The anthology brings together foundational works such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Daodejing, the Bible and the Qur'an with the writings of scholars, seekers, believers and skeptics whose voices over centuries have kept these religions vital. To help readers encounter strikingly unfamiliar texts with pleasure, this Norton Anthology provides accessible introductions, headnotes, annotations, pronouncing glossaries, maps, illustrations and chronologies. It also includes a general introduction by Jack Miles that questions whether religion can be defined and illuminates how world religions came to be acknowledged and studied, absorbed and altered, understood and misunderstood.
For readers of any religion or none, The Norton Anthology of World Religions opens new worlds that invite us all to see others with a measure of openness, empathy and goodwill.
This clear and engaging guide introduces students to key areas of the field and shows how to apply an anthropological approach to the study of religion in the contemporary world. Written by an experienced teacher, it covers major traditional topics including definitions, theories and beliefs as well as symbols, myth and ritual. The book also explores important but often overlooked issues such as morality, violence, fundamentalism, secularization, and new religious movements. The chapters all contain lively case studies of religions practiced around the world. The second edition of Introducing Anthropology of Religion contains updated theoretical discussion plus fresh ethnographic examples throughout. In addition to a brand new chapter on vernacular religion, Eller provides a significantly revised chapter on the emerging anthropologies of Christianity and Islam. The book features more material on contemporary societies as well as new coverage of topics such as pilgrimage and paganism. Images, a glossary and questions for discussion are now included and additional resources are provided via a companion website.
This sourcebook gathers into a single collection the writings that illuminate one of the most fundamental periods in the history of Christian Europe. Beginning from the Great Persecution of Diocletian and the conversion of Constantine the first Christian Roman emperor, the volume explores Christianity's rise as the dominant religion of the Later Roman empire and how the Church survived the decline and fall of Roman power in the west and converted the Germanic tribes who swept into the western empire. These years of crisis and transformation inspired generations of great writers, among them Eusebius of Caesarea, Ammianus Marcellinus, Julian 'the Apostate', Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom, Jerome and Augustine of Hippo. They were also years which saw Christianity face huge challenges on many crucial questions, from the evolution of Christian doctrine and the rise of asceticism to the place of women in the early Church and the emerging relationship between Church and state. All these themes will be made accessible to specialists and general readers alike, and the sourcebook will be invaluable for students and teachers of courses in history and church history, the world of late antiquity, and religious studies.
Is it possible that everything we think we know about God and what God wants, is wrong? Could humanity's ideas about all this be the greatest inaccuracies ...ever? Would it matter if they were? The author of the multi-million-selling Conversations with God series places the question squarely before our world in another blockbuster book that could move our species closer to true spiritual revolution on the Earth, changing humanity's future for the better, forever. In direct and spiritually challenging language, Walsch here exposes the many ways in which he believes that humanity completely misunderstands God. He then describes in clear terms how the world could change overnight if humans accurately comprehended what God is, what God wants, who they are in relation to that and to each other. Walsch calls this the Missing Data which, if ever embraced and acted on by our species, would create a spiritual revolution across the globe, bringing humanity both inner and outer peace at last. Does anybody care why our species has been such a failure? Does anybody imagine it has not been? Does anybody want to know how this whole situation can be turned around in the virtual blink of an eye? If you do care about those questions, then you will read this book.
Trees hold great power. They are our green kin, with much to teach us, if we will but listen. Explore the powerful magic of the twenty-five trees in the ogham tradition. Enrich your spiritual practice with authentic Celtic wisdom and practical techniques. Written by a Druid witch and Celtic shaman, Celtic Tree Magic shows you how to practice Celtic divination, charms, and spells; make salves, tinctures, ointments, and green crafts; work with each tree's magical correspondences and healing attributes; find tree-spirit allies in nature and the otherworld; grow and tend trees with spirit guardians; and fashion wands and other magical tools with relevant woods. With practical exercises, hands-on tips, and an accessible exploration of folklore and myth, this lovely and lyrical handbook provides practical skills and deeper understandings for beginners and intermediate practitioners.
This is a chilling, truly authoritative anthology of real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America. From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft.
Since 1993 Robert Bauval has been embroiled in the many controversies involving the search for the lost treasures of the pyramid builders and the quest for the legendary Hall of Records of Atlantis. The strange but true story that he unfolds implicates American business moguls, the prestigious National Geographic Society, several Ivy League universities, the Edgar Cayce Foundation, the Freemasons, Christian fundamentalists, Zionists, and the Egyptian government. In this fully updated edition of Secret Chamber, including new color photographs, Robert Bauval pursues his in-depth investigation of clandestine events at Giza and the role played by the controversial ex-Minister of Antiquities Dr. Zahi Hawass. What lies behind the mysterious doors at the end of the star shafts in the Great Pyramid? What do the mysterious inscriptions found behind the Gantenbrink door mean? What is the real purpose of the Relief Chambers and the red ochre graffiti in them? Who is behind the secretly tunnelling and excavating in these chambers, and why? Is there really a hidden Hall of Records from Atlantis beneath the Great Sphinx? Is the Great Pyramid just a tomb or does it serve a higher purpose involving a lost science of immortality? Why do the ancient texts ascribe the Pyramid's design to the supreme god of wisdom Thoth, the writer of the fabled Books of Hermes? Will the Great Pyramid prove to be the missing link to our true origins or a metaphysical machine to access the world beyond? Providing a firsthand account of the strange events that have taken place at the Giza plateau in the last three decades, Bauval reveals the hidden agendas behind these events and raises important questions about the meaning of Egypt's ancient structures and the very origins of civilization.
Offering a modern translation of The Legends of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas, a 12th-century Tibetan text, translator Keith Dowman shares stories of the spiritual adventurers, rebellious saints, and enlightened tantric masters of ancient India known as siddhas. He shows how the mahasiddhas arose from the grassroots of society and represented an entire spectrum of human experience. Counted among the greatest of the siddhas are a washerman, a cowboy, a thief, a conman, a gambler, and a whore, all extraordinary men and women who attained the goal of their meditations, as well as enlightenment and magical powers, by disregarding convention and penetrating to the core of life. Recounting the magical and crazy deeds of the mahasiddhas, such as walking through walls, flying, talking with birds, and turning people to stone, Dowman reveals the human qualities of the tantric masters and the vital elements of the siddhas' philosophy of nonduality and emptiness. Richly illustrated with paintings of the tantric saints by artist Robert Beer, these stories of the mahasiddhas show us a way through human suffering into a spontaneous and free state of oneness with the divine.
What has God done for you lately? Faith is in crisis. Are God and faith still useful in the modern world? If God is to have a future, Deepak Chopra argues, we must find a new approach to spirituality. For this we don't need better belief systems or scriptures - we need to rethink our place in the universe itself. Chopra reveals how God is about much more than religion. If God stands for absolute goodness, love and truth, and we are part of God, we have a connection to those things. Chopra explains the logic of faith, while providing an incisive critique of militant atheism. If God has a future, Chopra reasons, the results will be for the betterment of us all.
Do You Need God? explores the similarities of religious and secular moral systems and the great deal which they have in common and asks whether aggressive secularists seek to divert our attention from that. With no bias, no axe to grind, no mercy, the book tells you what you need to know about world religions and atheism, including what their followers might prefer not to talk about. The author burrows underneath conventional approaches to religion, to find the real thing, to get to see how believers see their spirituality.
An engaging introduction to one of the most visible, controversial and least understood emblems of Islam The Islamic veil in all its forms - from the headscarf to the full body garment - is one of the most visible signs of Islam as a religion. It is also one of its most controversial and misunderstood traditions among both Muslims and non-Muslims. In an environment of increasing conservatism in Euro-American Muslim-majority societies, in a world where a woman's right to wear the headscarf has become a flashpoint for issues of all sorts, and at a time when racial and religious profiling has become commonplace, it is our political and social responsibility to gain a deeper understanding of veiling. This concise, easy-to-read and even-handed introduction is organised around three main topics: the historical, religious and cultural background; contemporary debates about the veil; and the varied, shifting meanings the veil has had for Muslim women over the past century.
Rescuing John's Gospel from Its Creedal CaptivityJohn Shelby Spong, bestselling author and popular proponent of a modern, scholarly, and authentic Christianity, argues that this last gospel to be written was misinterpreted by the framers of the fourth-century creeds to be a literal account of the life of Jesus when in fact it is a literacy, interpretive retelling of the events in Jesus' life through the medium of fictional characters, from Nicodemus and Lazarus to the Beloved Disciple. The result of this intriguing study not only recaptures the original message of this gospel, but also provides us today with a radical new dimension to the claim that in the humanity of Jesus the reality of God has been met and engaged.
Even before the publication of his masterwork, John Henry Newman had been regarded as one of the most important religious thinkers on the 19th Century. His decision in 1845 to leave his Anglicanism behind and convert to the Roman Catholic faith was one that rocked the Victorian establishment at a time when virulent anti-Catholic feeling ran high. It was in response to one particularly vicious attack - by the Reverend Charles Kingsley - that Newman wrote his Apologia Pro Vita Sua. A humane and vivid account of the development of his ideas and his faith and a passionate defence of both, the book remains a landmark work of Victorian literature and autobiography and one that continues to resonate to this day.
New York Times Bestseller! In Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh applies his lifetime of legal experience to a unique new undertaking: making a case for the gospels as hard evidence of the life and work of Jesus Christ. Limbaugh, a practicing attorney and former professor of law, approaches the canonical gospels with the same level of scrutiny he would apply to any legal document and asks all the necessary questions about the story of Jesus told through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. His analysis of the texts becomes profoundly personal as he reflects on his own spiritual and intellectual odyssey from determined skeptic to devout Christian. Ultimately, Limbaugh concludes that the words Christians have treasured for centuries stand up to his exhaustive inquiry--including his examination of historical and religious evidence beyond the gospels--and thereby affirms Christian faith, spirituality, and tradition.
When neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander published Proof of Heaven, his account of his near-death experience, he was contacted by a large number of readers: some argued that his account was impossible to believe; but others wrote to share their own profound journey to the afterlife or their stories of contact with loved ones who had died. Drawing on these stories and on research into and conversations with prominent scientists, philosophers and religious figures, Dr Alexander takes a wide-ranging look at the meaning of life, the nature of consciousness and the possibility of life after death. Dr Alexander explores the many possibilities and explanations for near-death and after-death experiences - both scientific and spiritual - and he comes to this conclusion: 'Our spirit is not dependent on the brain or body. It is eternal, and no one has one sentence worth of hard evidence that it isn't.' Compassionate, accessible and compelling, this is a book provides comfort, offers hope and reinforces what we all know to be true, whether believers or not: the strength of love is eternal, and our connections live on past death.
Ghosts can transform an ordinary day into a mind-shattering nightmare. And when psychic Debra Robinson encounters paranormal entities, their painful lives and violent deaths often shock her to the very depths of her soul. In The Dead Are Watching, Debra Robinson shares true stories of appalling and bizarre manifestations that shed a horrible light on the darkest mysteries of the spirit realm. A girl convicted of witchcraft in seventeenth-century England stalks a young woman in her sleep. The Children of Death turn an Ohio nursing home into a ghastly playhouse. A dead woman's screams echo in the eerie silence of a decrepit graveyard. These true encounters with the dead will terrorize your dreams long after the last page is turned.
Worn as jewelry, in cosmetics, as gemstone water, placed under your pillow to work as you sleep, used as part of your meditation or in a massage, the gemstones promote strength and wellbeing. Crystal healing expert Michael Gienger explains how healing stones can exert their beneficial and healthy effects on the body, mind and soul. For example: rock crystal acts as antipyretic, malachite promotes detoxification, aquamarine helps to combat allergies, amber improves sleep and amethyst promotes clear thinking. Gemstone Healing is the first guide to list the full range of applications for 36 crystals and will provide all the information you need to treat yourself, your family and friends. The reader will come to understand the effects of the crystals and learn how to choose, use and look after them properly. With full color illustrations throughout and stunning photographs of each of the 36 crystals, this guide gives both the reader new to using crystals and those who have some experience of crystal healing a whole new view of the subject.
Every plant, every flower, every herb and every tree has energy, and that energy has magical properties. This book is go-to guide on how to work with these magical herbs and plants, how to use them and what to do with them.
This is a pagan tome of poetry and prose designed for rituals, festivals and celebrations. Working with deities, Romany has chronicled invocations and evocations for many Gods and Goddesses, and created clear and crafty quarter calls, circle castings, celebratory prose and meditations. Ritual is broken into its component parts allowing for easy reference and personal adaptation, and the additional correspondences information benefits the creation of unique rituals and celebrations. Created for use by both solitary practitioners and covens, sample rituals are also provided for seasonal celebrations and life events. Romany's personal experiences as a High Priestess give this book an enlightened view of the use of poetry in ritual, whilst her skills in classes, courses and workshops create a solid, practical foundation. Pagans, Priests and Priestesses, initiates new to the Craft, RE teachers and students, and anyone who loves Romany's poetry will thoroughly enjoy this latest work.
I'll get you. You're mine. This is not a Hollywood tale; it is a true account of one of the most malevolent homes that Brandon Callahan and his team have ever investigated. A former funeral parlour, the demon-infested property had a dungeon and a sinister past that included murder, suicide, and vile rituals. When Brandon Callahan answered the homeowner's plea for help, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. A monstrously tall entity in a dark hooded cloak moves through the embattled home it considers his domain. An expressionless phantom face follows one of the investigators home. Innocent bystanders and paranormal investigators alike are plagued by physical attacks and bleed-through phenomena: inhuman laughter, bloody scratches, disembodied shrieks and growls, horrific nightmares, and escalating threats. The House Where Evil Lurks is Brandon Callahan's terrifying true story.