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Religion
The Gods of Olympus: A History

The Gods of Olympus: A History

Barbara Graziosi

$22.99

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Elegant and entertaining, this is the history of the most vibrant characters in classical civilisation.

With their vast appetites, great beauty and warlike tendencies, it's hard to resist their pull on the imagination, even though, in antiquity, the gods of Olympus were just as often seen as cruel, over-sexed, mad or just plain silly. And yet they were survivors, whose story only began with classical civilisation.

Masters of re-invention (though never too hard to identify), they began to resemble pharaohs in Egypt and lead respectable Roman citizens in orgiastic rituals of drink and sex. Under Christianity and Islam they went undercover as demons, allegories, and planets, waiting for a triumphant re-emergence in a Renaissance vision of ancient beauty. They travelled east along the Silk Route to the walls of cave-temples in China, and west, colonising the Americas. They featured on Wedgwood teapots, attacked the poet Holderlin, haunted Nietzsche, and visited Borges in restless dreams.

Barbara Graziosi deftly traces the travels and transformations of these pagan deities from the distant past to the present, showing that the gods of Olympus remain potent symbols that help us to feel part of a broad and fascinating humanity.
Christian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins

Christian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins

Philippe Walter ,  Claude Lecouteux ,  Claude Lecouteux

$25.99

In this extensive study of the Christian mythology that animated Europe in the Middle Ages, author Philippe Walter reveals how these stories and the holiday traditions connected with them are based on long-standing pagan rituals and myths and have very little connection to the Bible. The author explains how the church fathers knowingly incorporated pagan elements into the Christian faith to ease the transition to the new religion. Rather than tear down the pagan temples in Britain, Pope Gregory the Great advised Saint Augustine of Canterbury to add the pagan rituals into the mix of Christian practices and transform the pagan temples into churches. Instead of religious conversion, it was simply a matter of convincing the populace to include Jesus in their current religious practices. Providing extensive documentation, Walter shows which major calendar days of the Christian year are founded on pagan rituals and myths, including the high holidays of Easter and Christmas. Examining hagiographic accounts of the saints, he reveals the origin of these symbolic figures in the deities worshipped in pagan Europe for centuries. He also explores how the identities of saints and pagan figures became so intermingled that some saints were transformed into pagan incarnations, such as Mary Magdalene's conversion into one of the Celtic Ladies of the Lake. In revealing the pagan roots of many Christian figures, stories, and rituals, Walter provides a new understanding of the evolution of religious belief.
Gothic Cathedrals: A Guide to the History, Places, Art, and Symbolism

Gothic Cathedrals: A Guide to the History, Places, Art, and Symbolism

Karen Ralls

$37.99

Cross the threshold into the world of the High Middle Ages and explore the illuminating wisdom, beauty and art of the Gothic cathedrals, stunning wonders of the mediaeval era for all to see today. From bejewelled stained glass windows to a pilgrimage on the road to Compostela, the wonders of Gothic architecture continue to inspire many worldwide. From the 12th century, the Gothic architectural style continued to spread throughout Europe. Highly-regarded mediaevalist, Dr. Karen Ralls, explores the legacy of this exquisite architectural period, whose artistic beauty and expert craftsmanship have served for centuries to inspire feelings of spiritual reverence and aesthetic wonder. She details the relationship between architecture, geometry and music; explores the concept of the labyrinth; pilgrimage; Black Madonnas; astronomical calculations in the design and location of cathedrals; stone and wood carvings; gargoyles; the teachings of Pythagoras and the later Neo-Platonists and more. For the general reader and specialist alike, Dr. Ralls guides the reader through the history, places, art and symbolism of these unique books in stone , providing a lively portal and solid resource for all. Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs, a recommended reading section, lists of the major European cathedral sites and a full Bibliography, GOTHIC CATHEDRALS is a fascinating showcase of the mystic and spiritual symbolism found in these great structures of Europe, information that will help modern readers visit these sites and share in the energy of the sacred they continue to radiate.
Pope Francis: His Essential Wisdom

Pope Francis: His Essential Wisdom

Carol Kelly-Gangi

$14.99

Pope Francis: His Essential Wisdom invites readers to experience the words of the beloved pontiff. The excerpts are drawn from his homilies, books, interviews, speeches and other writings from his papacy and from his tenure as Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal. In the chosen excerpts, Pope Francis speaks joyfully about the eternal love of God; he invites us to open ourselves to God through prayer; he challenges us to reach out to those in need; and he reminds us of the mercy and compassion of Jesus. Also included is a selection of more personal quotations, where Pope Francis recalls his early years and his calling to the priesthood. Finally, there is a selection of quotations from others about Pope Francis - from those well acquainted with the Pope, to leaders, writers, well-known people and everyday people who have been touched by Pope Francis in some way. Whether you are seeking his words for inspiration or guidance, comfort or strength, Pope Francis: His Essential Wisdom is a moving collection that you will turn to again and again.
           
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