The Islamic Enlightenment: a contradiction in terms? The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise, reform and adapt. But, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has in fact been transformed by modern ideals and practices, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.
Who were the scholars and scientists, writers and politicians that brought about these remarkable changes? And why is their legacy now under threat?
Beginning with the dramatic collision of East and West following Napoleon's arrival in Egypt, and taking us through 200 tumultuous years of Middle Eastern history, Christopher de Bellaigue, introduces us to key figures and reformers; from Egypt's visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals like Iran's first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn and the writer Ibrahim Sinasi, who transformed Ottoman Turkey's language and literature.
This book tells the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment. It shows us how to look beyond sensationalist headlines to foster a genuine understanding of modern Islam and Muslim culture, and is essential reading for anyone engaged with the state of the world today.
A global and pioneering leader of progressive Christianity and the bestselling author of Why Christianity Must Change or Die and Eternal Life explains why a literal reading of the Gospels is actually heretical, and how this mistaken notion only entered the church once Gentiles had pushed out all the Jewish followers of Jesus.
A man who has consciously and deliberately walked the path of Christ, John Shelby Spong has lived his entire life inside the Christian Church. In this profound and considered work, he offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today as he shows just how deeply Jewish the Christian Gospels are and how much they reflect the Jewish scriptures, history, and patterns of worship. Pulling back the layers of a long-standing Gentile ignorance, he reveals how the church's literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from these original Jewish authors' intent that it is an act of heresy.
Using the Gospel of Matthew as a guide, Spong explores the Bible's literary and liturgical roots-its grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons, and storytelling tradition-to explain how the events of Jesus' life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension, would have been understood by both the Jewish authors of the various gospels and by the Jewish audiences for which they were originally written. Spong makes clear that it was only after the church became fully Gentile that readers of the Gospels took these stories to be factual, distorting their original meaning.
In Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy, Spong illuminates the gospels as never before and provides a better blueprint for the future than where the church's leaden and heretical reading of the story of Jesus has led us-one that allows the faithful to live inside the Christian story in the modern world.
Written by the Buddhist meditation master and popular international speaker Sogyal Rinpoche, this highly acclaimed book clarifies the majestic vision of life and death that underlies the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It includes not only a lucid, inspiring and complete introduction to the practice of meditation, but also advice on how to care for the dying with love and compassion, and how to bring them help of a spiritual kind. But there is much more besides in this classic work, which was written to inspire all who read it to begin the journey to enlightenment and so become 'servants of peace'.
Based on several new translations of the I Ching, this groundbreaking interpretation explores the meaning of the ancient text and places it within the context of contemporary experience. Once used for consultation and guidance, this spiritual classic has come to emphasize inner development, relationship connections, the management of daily life changes, and the balance and harmony available in philosophies and actions. This edition's condensed commentary on coins and hexagrams allows for quick and easy consultation.
The question of God is simply too important--and too interesting--to leave to angry polemicists. That is the premise of this friendly, straightforward, and rigorous dialogue between Christian theologian Randal Rauser and atheist Justin Schieber. Setting aside the formality of the traditional debate, the authors invite the reader to join them in an extended, informal conversation. This has the advantage of easing readers into thorny topics that in a debate setting can easily become confusing or difficult to follow.
Like any good conversation, this one involves provocative arguments, amusing anecdotes, and some lively banter. Rauser and Schieber begin with the question of why debates about God still matter. They then delve into a number of important topics: the place of reason and faith, the radically different concepts of God in various cultures, morality and its traditional connection with religious beliefs, the problem of a universe that is overwhelmingly hostile to life as we know it, mathematical truths and what they may or may not say about the existence of God, the challenge of suffering and evil to belief in God, and more.
Refreshingly upbeat and amicable throughout, this stimulating conversation between two friends from opposing points of view is an ideal introduction to a perennial topic of debate.
For billions of people, having a religious belief system provides purpose in life. For some, religion serves as a guide for moral behavior. Today's world is one in which our understanding of world religions is both understatedly important, as well as increasingly complex. After many years exploring the foundations of various world religions, Jason Boyett has written this comprehensive, easy-to-understand exploration of the twelve major world religions through a meticulous, yet unbiased lens. 12 Major World Religions offers an impartial look at where each of these belief systems intersects, how they differ, and why some have been or are currently misunderstood.
This beautiful and handy book provides 250 quotes of inspiration from one of the most popular popes of all time. A pope of the people, Pope Francis is cherished around the world and continues to be well loved by the faithful and non-religious alike. During his short papacy so far, his commitment to compassion and humility have already cemented his position as one of the most popular popes of all time and his words are a comfort and inspiration to millions. Pope Francis' Little Book of Compassion offers quotes of faith and hope from this incredible man, concentrating on the teachings of his Holy Year of Mercy, including prayer, charity, forgiveness, and solidarity. Arranged thematically, in a handy, portable format, Pope Francis' Little Book of Compassion covers: * Compassion through Mercy * Compassion through Prayer * Compassion through Forgiveness * Compassion through Solidarity * Compassion through Charity and Service * Compassion through Hospitality * Compassion through Jesus
The only official sequel, penned by Lewis himself, to the ever-popular 'Screwtape Letters' - published alongside other short essays. One of the most popular books ever to come from the pen of C.S. Lewis was written in the name of Screwtape, a senior devil, experienced in the art of luring his 'patients' on earth to their own damnation in service of 'our father below' - and training others to do the same. Screwtape's correspondence with his nephew, an apprentice devil, came into Lewis's hands, he said, by a route he would not disclose, and many a reader has finished the collection longing for more of the insights they gained from its wisdom. Much to Lewis's resistance, this after-dinner speech, given by Screwtape to a graduating class of demons at a college in hell, came to light a few years after the publication of the original letters. Now 75 years later, the speech is reproduced in full once more, along with a short collection of Lewis's other lesser-known, but perennial works. Many people will have forgotten about the only official 'sequel' that exists to Screwtape; the 75th anniversary of Screwtape's publication is the perfect opportunity to bring this back.
Together in one special volume, selections from the best of beloved bestselling author C. S. Lewis's classic works for readers contemplating the grand miracle of Jesus's resurrection. Preparing for Easter is a concise, handy companion for the faithful of all Christian traditions and the curious to help them deepen their knowledge and consideration of this holy season-a time of reflection as we consider Jesus's sacrifice and his joyous rise from the dead. Carefully curated, each selection in Preparing for Easter draws on a major theme in Lewis's writings on the Christian life, as well as others that consider why we can have confident faith in what happened on the cross.
From the author of the 20-million copy bestselling novel The Shack and the New York Times bestsellers Cross Roads and Eve comes a compelling exploration of the wrong-headed ideas we sometimes have and share about God. Wm. Paul Young has previously faced charges of heresy for the ways he vividly portray's God through his novels. Here he shares 33 commonly uttered things we say about God, revealing how they keep us from having a full, loving relationship with God. Using personal anecdotes and drawing on the touching comments from his readers of The Shack, Wm. Paul Young encourages readers to think anew about important issues, including sin, religion, hell, politics, identity, creation and human rights. In the process, he helps us discover God's deep and abiding love.
From skeletons to strips of cloth to little pieces of dust, reliquaries can be found in many forms, and while sometimes they may seem grotesque on their surface, they are nonetheless invested with great spiritual and memorial value. In this book, Cynthia Hahn offers the first full survey in English of the societal value of reliquaries, showing how they commemorate religious and historical events and, more important, inspire awe, faith, and, for many, the miraculous. Hahn looks deeply into the Christian tradition, examining relics and reliquaries throughout history and around the world, going from the earliest years of the cult of saints through to the post-Reformation response. She looks at relic footprints, incorrupt bodies, the Crown of Thorns, the Shroud of Turin, and many other renowned relics, and she shows how the architectural creation of sacred space and the evocation of the biblical tradition of the temple is central to the reliquary s numinous power. She also discusses relics from other traditions especially from Buddhism and Islam and she even looks at how reliquaries figure in contemporary art.Fascinatingly illustrated throughout, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the enduring power of sacred objects.
If you have ever seen the Atlantic Ocean, if you love the wonders of stargazing, if you’ve dreamed of being in the Olympics, or made reference to Pandora’s Box – then you have been influenced by Greek mythology.
The Greeks were not a boring bunch, and their mythology was no different! Lust, Chaos, War, and Fate – Greek Mythology is a smart, fun, compulsively readable overview of the Greek's favourite characters and tales. These myths are filled with sex, violence, drama, lies, monsters, hubris, journeys, and just about anything else you can think of! Part reference and all rousing read, Lust, Chaos, War, and Fate – Greek Mythology brings ancient Greek mythology to life and leaves the scholarly footnotes behind.
Strap on your winged sandals and get ready for a journey through the ancients.
Few classical stories are as romantic as that of Jason and the Golden Fleece. The stirring tale of an adventurer who was also a disenfranchised king's son and daring sea-captain has resonated through the ages, rumbling and echoing like the clashing rocks which almost pulverised the doughty Argo to splinters. The themes of the legend are perennial, and endlessly engaging. For even while it tells of a quest to the ends of the earth, of the villainous usurper King Pelias, of dragons' teeth, of the doom of Hylas (beloved friend to Heracles), ravished to his end by nymphs who greatly desired him for his beauty, and of Jason's lust for the witch Medea (betrayed so that he might wed another), it speaks to us of more: of sex and gender; of identity and race; and, of colonisation and conquest. From Pindar to J W Waterhouse, from Max Beckmann to Ray Harryhausen and from Mary Renault to Ian Seraillier, the epic poem of Apollonius of Rhodes has inspired later interpretations as rich, salty and diverse as the source text itself. Helen Lovatt here unravels, like untangled sea-kelp, the diverse strands of the narrative and its numerous and fascinating afterlives. Her book will prove endlessly entertaining to those who love classical literature and myth.
This fascinating new book reveals the origins of the Vikings-from Thor and Leif Erikson to Loki and the Valkyries-and the tales that have influenced our own lives. For thousands of years, Vikings have held a storied place in our culture-their distinct appearance, their mighty longships, their reputation for causing death and destruction. But who were these strange and mysterious folk? The Book of Viking Myths retells the stories of the Viking people, with myths of their gods and goddesses, monsters, and great heroes. From tales of the beautiful and powerful Freyja, to the gold-toothed Heimdallr, to the wolf Fenrir, Peter Archer explores all the figures and tales that make up Norse mythology. Along with these legends of seafaring, dwarves, giants, and the exploits of Thor, you will also discover the influences that Viking culture has had on our own lives. It's a true exploration of Nordic culture-and a glimpse into the history and lore of these fabled Nordic warriors.
Adapted from the American Museum of Natural History exhibition Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, this book explores an array of mythological creatures?and the real animals that inspired them. Lush photos showcase rare objects from around the world as well as models of mythical beasts like krakens and Rocs, along with fossils of actual extinct animals such as the six-foot-tall primate called Gigantopithecus and dinosaurs such as Protoceratops, which may have inspired the griffin. Also included are engravings, paintings, maps, and ephemera from the Middle Ages to modern times, all capturing the origins of legendary animals that continue to thrill, terrify, and enchant us.
Who were the Norse gods - the mighty Aesyr, led by Odinn, and the mysterious Vanir? In The Norse Myths we meet this passionate and squabbling pantheon, and learn of the mythological cosmos they inhabit. Passages translated from the Old Norse bring this legendary world to life, from the myths of creation to ragnarok, the prophesied end of the world at the hands of Loki's army of monsters and giants, and everything that comes in between: the problematic relationship between the gods and the giants, in which enmity and trickery are punctuated by marriages and seductions; the (mis) adventures of human heroes and heroines, with their family feuds, revenges, marriages and murders; and the interaction between the gods and mortals, as Odinn, the Allfather, betrays his human proteges in order to recruit (dead) heroes for his army. Carolyne Larrington describes the myths' origins in pre-Christian Scandinavia and Iceland, and their survival in artefacts and written sources, from Old Norse sagas and poems to the less approving accounts of medieval Christian writers. She traces their influences into the work of Wagner, William Morris and J.R.R. Tolkien, and even the recent Game of Thrones in the resurrection of the Fimbulvetr, or 'Mighty Winter'.
This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the extensive and complex story of witchcraft and magic. Telling the story from the dawn of writing in the ancient world to the globally successful Harry Potter films, the authors explore a wide range of magical beliefs and practices, the rise of the witch trials, and the depiction of the Devil-worshipping witch. The book also focuses on the more recent history of witchcraft and magic, from the Enlightenment to the present, exploring the rise of modern magic, the anthropology of magic around the globe, and finally the cinematic portrayal of witches and magicians, from The Wizard of Oz to Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.