The Islamic Jesus reveals startling new truths about Islam in the context of the first Muslims and the early origins of Christianity. Muslims and the first Christians - the Jewish followers of Jesus - saw Jesus as not divine but rather as a prophet and human Messiah and that salvation comes from faith and good works, not merely as faith, as Christians would later emphasize. What Akyol seeks to reveal are how these core beliefs of Jewish Christianity, which got lost in history as a heresy, emerged in a new religion born in 7th Arabia: Islam. Akyol exposes this extraordinary historical connection between Judaism, Jewish Christianity and Islam - a major mystery unexplored by academia. From Jesus' Jewish followers to the Nazarenes and Ebionites to the Qu'ran's stories of Mary and Jesus, The Islamic Jesus will reveal links between religions that seem so contrary today. It will also call on Muslims to discover their own Jesus, at a time when they are troubled by their own Pharisees and Zealots.
The essential introduction to Islam by a leading expert. Hardly a day goes by without mention of Islam. And yet, for most people, and in much of the world, Islam remains a little-known religion. Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women's rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is - or is not. But little opportunity exists, either in the media or in society as a whole, to describe Islam: precisely the question this short and extremely accessible book sets out to answer. In simple, direct language it will introduce readers to Islam, to its spirituality, its principles, its rituals, its diversity and its evolution.
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What do I believe? What am I unsure about? Is religious belief reasonable? In this exploratory examination of his Catholic faith, Gerard Windsor is entertaining, stimulating and full of anecdote, history, forays into art and literature, and even a bit of gossip.
Beginning with how you get 'religion' in the first place, Windsor goes on to the Gospels and the personality of Jesus Christ and the possibility of any relationship with him. He then moves on to the existence and nature of God, winding down with the grubby present realities - the factions within Catholicism, scandal, sexual abuse, argument and bigotry.
Interlaced with twelve inspirational, edifying, moving cameos of true-life moments of grace, this is Windsor's take on religion and specifically Catholicism.
The Name of God is Mercy, Pope Francis' exploration on the universal theme of mercy, is a spiritual inspiration to both followers of Christianity and non-Christians around the world. Drawing on his own experience as a priest and shepherd, Pope Francis discusses mercy, a subject of central importance in his religious teaching and testimony, and in addition sums up other ideas - reconciliation, the closeness of God - that comprise the heart of his papacy. Written in conversation with Vatican expert and La Stampa journalist Andrea Tornielli, The Name of God is Mercy is directed at everyone, inside or outside of the Catholic Church, seeking meaning in life, a road to peace and reconciliation, or the healing of physical or spiritual wounds.
A renowned Buddhist teacher's magnum opus, based on his fresh reading of the tradition's earliest texts
Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha started teaching, his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. What does it mean to adapt religious practices to secular contexts?
Stephen Batchelor, an internationally known author and teacher, is committed to a secularized version of the Buddha's teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his attempt to set the record straight about who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach. Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative accounts of five members of the Buddha's inner circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening whose long survival is due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with each society it encounters.
This original and provocative book presents a new framework for understanding the remarkable spread of Buddhism in today's globalized world. It also reminds us of what was so startling about the Buddha's vision of human flourishing.
Tao Te Ching translates very roughly as "the way of integrity". In its 81 verses it delivers a treatise on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity: an important kind of wisdom in a world where many people believe such a thing to be impossible.
Taosim affirms that each human being is a reflection of the whole universe, a microcosm within the macrocosm, and that all of us live under the same cosmic laws of the Tao. The Taoist follows the path of non-action (Wu Wei), flowing with the constantly changing stream of life, and trying to live in universal harmony and balance.
The easily assimiliated aphorisms in this great book are a continuous source of spiritual guidance and nourishment, and its insights on statesmanship are practical guides for our own time.
Ralph Alan Dale's brilliant translation uniquely captures, as never before, the essential meaning of this profound text, and makes it entirely relevant to today's readers.
Olivier Roy, world-renowned authority on Islam and politics, finds in the modern disconnection between faith communities and socio-cultural identities a fertile space for fundamentalism to grow.
Instead of freeing the world from religion, secularisation has encouraged a kind of holy ignorance to take root, an anti-intellectualism that promises immediate, emotional access to the sacred and positions itself in direct opposition to contemporary pagan culture. The secularisation of society was supposed to free people from religion, yet individuals are converting en masse to fundamentalist faiths, such as Protestant evangelicalism, Islamic Salafism, and Haredi Judaism. These religions either reconnect adherents to their culture through casual referents, like halal fast food, or maintain their momentum through 'purification' rituals, such as speaking in tongues, a practice that allows believers to utter a language that is entirely their own.
Instead of a return to traditional religious worship, we are now witnessing the individualization of faith and the disassociation of faith communities from ethnic and national identities.Roy explores the options now available to powers that hope to integrate or control these groups; and whether marginalisation or homogenisation will further divide believers from their culture.
Why would anybody believe that God could sanction terrorism? Why has the rediscovery of religion's power in recent years manifested in such a bloody way? What, if anything, can be done about it?
Terror in the Mind of God, now in its fourth edition, answers these questions and more. Thoroughly revised and expanded, the book analyzes in detail terrorism related to almost all the world's major religious traditions: European Christians who oppose Muslim immigrants; American Christians who support abortion clinic bombings and militia actions; Muslims in the Middle East associated with the rise of ISIS, al Qaeda, and Hamas; Israeli Jews who support the persecution of Palestinians; India's Hindus linked to assaults on Muslims in the state of Gujarat and Sikhs identified with the assassination of Indira Gandhi; and Buddhist militants in Myanmar affiliated with anti-Muslim violence and in Japan with the nerve gas attack in Tokyo's subway. Drawing from extensive personal interviews, Mark Juergensmeyer takes readers into the mindset of those who perpetrate and support violence in the name of religion.
Identifying patterns within these cultures of violence, he explains why and how religion and violence are linked and how acts of religious terrorism are undertaken not only for strategic reasons but to accomplish a symbolic purpose. Terror in the Mind of God continues to be an indispensible resource for students of religion and modern society.
Most believers and critics associate religion with the existence of a deity. But is religion dependent on belief in the supernatural, or can it be freed from reliance on divinity? In Religion Within Reason, Steven M. Cahn argues that while supernaturalism is not reasonable, religious commitment may well be. Writing not as a theist but as one who finds much to admire in a religious life, he examines faith and reason, morality, miracles, heaven and hell, mystical experiences, religious diversity, and the problem of evil, using a variety of examples taken from philosophy, literature, and popular culture. Lucidly written in a nonpolemical spirit, Religion Within Reason offers an exciting new approach to the reconciliation of science and religion.
A celebrated theologian explores how the greatest dangers to humanity, as well as the greatest promises for human flourishing, are at the intersection of religion and globalization.
More than almost anything else, globalization and the great world religions are shaping our lives, affecting everything from the public policies of political leaders and the economic decisions of industry bosses and employees, to university curricula, all the way to the inner longings of our hearts. Integral to both globalization and religions are compelling, overlapping, and sometimes competing visions of what it means to live well.
In this perceptive, deeply personal, and beautifully written book, a leading theologian sheds light on how religions and globalization have historically interacted and argues for what their relationship ought to be. Recounting how these twinned forces have intersected in his own life, he shows how world religions, despite their malfunctions, remain one of our most potent sources of moral motivation and contain within them profoundly evocative accounts of human flourishing.
Globalization should be judged by how well it serves us for living out our authentic humanity as envisioned within these traditions. Through renewal and reform, religions might, in turn, shape globalization so that can be about more than bread alone.
Little is known about Arabia in the sixth century CE. Yet from this distant time and place emerged a faith and an empire that stretched from the Iberian peninsula to India.
Today, Muslims account for nearly a quarter of the global population. G. W. Bowersock seeks to illuminate this most obscure and yet most dynamic period in the history of Islam from the mid-sixth to mid-seventh century exploring why arid Arabia proved to be such fertile ground for Muhammad's prophetic message, and why that message spread so quickly to the wider world.
In Muhammad's time Arabia stood at the crossroads of great empires, a place where Christianity, Judaism, and local polytheistic traditions vied for adherents. Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace, belonged to the part of Arabia recently conquered by the Ethiopian Christian king Abraha. But Ethiopia lost western Arabia to Persia following Abraha s death, while the death of the Byzantine emperor in 602 further destabilized the region. Within this chaotic environment, where lands and populations were traded frequently among competing powers and belief systems, Muhammad began winning converts to his revelations. In a troubled age, his followers coalesced into a powerful force, conquering Palestine, Syria, and Egypt and laying the groundwork of the Umayyad Caliphate.
The crucible of Islam remains an elusive vessel. Although we may never grasp it firmly, Bowersock offers the most detailed description of its contours and the most compelling explanation of how one of the world's great religions took shape.
This collection seeks to advance our understanding of intra-Islamic identity conflict during a period of upheaval in the Middle East. Instead of treating distinctions between and within Sunni and Shia Islam as primordial and immutable, it examines how political economy, geopolitics, domestic governance, social media, non- and sub-state groups, and clerical elites have affected the transformation and diffusion of sectarian identities. Particular attention is paid to how conflicts over distribution of political and economic power have taken on a sectarian quality, and how a variety of actors have instrumentalised sectarianism. The volume, covering Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, Iran, and Egypt, includes contributors from a broad array of disciplines including political science, history, sociology, and Islamic studies. Beyond Sunni and Shia draws on extensive fieldwork and primary sources to offer insights that are empirically rich and theoretically grounded, but also accessible for policy audiences and the informed public.
Hassan Mahamdallie gets spiritual in a commune; Marco Lauri visits Ibn Tufayl's twelfth-century island utopia Hayy Ibn Yaqdan; Malise Ruthven interrogates modernity and Islamic utopias, Nazry Bahrawi is sceptical about secular utopias; and Sadek Hamid traces the rise and fall of the utopian vision of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Also in this issue: orientalist utopias in Andalusia, feminist futures, and was the Prophet's Medina a utopia? Not forgetting poems, short stories, the Last Word and the List.About Critical Muslim: A quarterly publication of ideas and issues showcasing groundbreaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world. Each edition centers on a discrete theme, and contributions include reportage, academic analysis, cultural commentary, photography, poetry, and book reviews.
The Koran, literally meaning ‘The Recitation’ it is the central religious text for Muslims. Muslims believe the Koran was verbally revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad in Arabic through the angel Gabriel over a period of approximately 23 years Muslims regard koranic revelations as the sacred word of God, intended to correct any errors in previous holy books such as the Old and New Testaments. The Koran is accepted as the foundation of Islamic law, religion, culture and politics.
Some Koranic fragments have been dated as far back as the eighth, and possibly even the seventh, century. The oldest existing copy of the full text is from the ninth century.
Although early variants of the Koran are known to have existed, Muslims believe that the text we have today was established shortly after the death of the Prophet by the Caliph Uthman.
This superb translation by E.H.Palmer brings an appealing clarity to this ancient and revered text.
The spiritual diaries of Pope St John Paul II - published for the first time ever in English. The most intimate insight into the longest-serving pontiff of our time. Ten years after his death, the popularity and devotion towards John Paul II, the pope who helped bring down communism in his native Poland, the great statesman, and the most-travelled pope in history, remains as strong as ever. Since his early years as a priest in the 1960s, up until 2003, two years before his death, the pope kept a spiritual diary, recording his reflections on God, life, spirituality, the problems facing the church - and his own struggles. Never intended for publication, these diaries were entrusted before his death to his personal secretary, who saw fit to have them published as they represent an unprecedented and important testament to the spirituality of this Christian leader, adored to this day by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
A preeminent scholar explores the evolution of the Christian worldview and argues that it no longer offers a satisfactory vision for our democratic, multicultural society This book is the culmination of a lifelong scholarly inquiry into Christian history, religion as a social institution, and the role of myth in the history of religions. Mack shows that religions are essentially mythological and that Christianity in particular has been an ever-changing mythological engine of social formation, from Roman times to its distinct American expression in our time. The author traces the cultural influence of the Christian myth that has persisted for sixteen hundred years but now should be much less consequential in our social and cultural life, since it runs counter to our democratic ideals. We stand at a critical impasse: badly splintered by conflicting groups pursuing their own social interests, a binding common myth needs to be established by renewing a truly cohesive national and international story rooted in our democratic and egalitarian origins, committed to freedom, equality, and vital human values.
A leading biblical scholar's landmark work challenges the historical realism that has dominated the discipline for more than two centuries How can a modern person, informed by science and history, continue to recite the traditional creeds and confessions of the Christian church? What does the Bible mean and how do we verify biblical truths? In this groundbreaking book, a leading biblical scholar urges readers to be more creative interpreters of biblical texts, mapping out an alternative way of reading that is not first and foremost about understanding what those texts would have meant for the original authors and readers. Limiting our study to the ancient meaning of the text, he argues, has produced either bad history, or bad theology, or both. One cannot derive robustly orthodox Christian doctrine or theology from a mere historical interpretation of the Bible. Martin offers instead theological readings of the New Testament that are faithful to Christian orthodoxy as generally understood, but without attempting a foundationalist understanding of the meaning of the text. His provocative and ambitious book demonstrates how theology and scripture can remain vital in the twenty-first century.
In the middle of the night on 2nd August 2016 Neale Donald Walsch found himself drawn into a new and totally unexpected dialogue with God in which he suddenly faced two questions. Is the human race being offered help by Highly Evolved Beings from Another Dimension? Is there a key role that humans are being invited to play in advancing their own evolution by joining in a mutual mission to assist the planet during the critical times ahead?
He was told the answers to both questions is yes. Then he was given 16 specific examples of how Highly Evolved Beings respond to life differently than humans and how adopting even a few of those behaviours could forever change the course of world history for the better. That information makes up the body of this work.
A striking invitation to every reader sets the stage for the extraordinary explorations that follow. This book will breathtakingly expand your view of both your personal and our collective future.
What is Mormonism? A Student's Introduction is an easy-to-read and informative overview of the religion founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. This short and lively book covers Mormonism's history, core beliefs, rituals, and devotional practices, as well as the impact on the daily lives of its followers. The book focuses on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Salt Lake City-based church that is the largest and best-known expression of Mormonism, whilst also exploring lesser known churches that claim descent from Smith's original revelations. Designed for undergraduate religious studies and history students, What is Mormonism? provides a reliable and easily digestible introduction to a steadily growing religion that continues to befuddle even learned observers of American religion and culture.
A comprehensive and definitive guide to the Catholic faith.
Whether you're a member of the faith or just interested in it, Catholicism For Dummies, 3rd Edition offers a casual, straightforward introduction to the ins and outs of the contemporary church. It explores the moral foundations of Catholicism and explains such sacraments as weddings, Baptisms, funerals, Confirmations, and First Communions. It also covers the basics of Catholic belief, including the story of creation, the origin of sin, and even the end of the world.
New to this edition, the book covers the succession of Pope Francis, the "People's Pope," whose message of reconciliation among religions and focus on social issues like poverty and inequality have made him immensely popular, even among non-Catholics.
*Explains where the church and the Pope stand on important moral and social issues
*Covers modern questions of moral importance to Catholics, like gay marriage, abortion, and the death penalty
*Reveals what modern life is like in the priesthood
*Written by the co-hosts of the popular weekly television program "Crash Course of Catholicism"
In this accessible guide, you'll take a full and rich look at this diverse and vibrant religion and understand what it is to be a Catholic today.
Animism' is now an important term for describing ways in which some people understand and engage respectfully with the larger-than-human world. Its central theme is our relationship with our other-than-human neighbours, such as animals, plants, rocks, and kettles, rooted in the understanding that the term 'person' includes more than humans. Graham Harvey explores the animist cultures of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians and eco-Pagans, introducing their diversity and considering the linguistic, performative, ecological and activist implications of these different animisms.
Australia has a dark side embedded in the landscape, deserts, convict-built gaols, museums, public houses, and civic buildings. It has a harsh history of brutality and cruelty based on a convict past, so there is little wonder it is haunted. Find here over 150 ghostly locations covering the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, and external territories. Meet a young girl, found dead under a cattle grid who is seen lying on her back, her pitiful eyes staring up at startled witnesses or a soldier who was locked in a closet, entombed there as everyone left for an extended break. From hotel spirit hostages, ghostly phone calls, haunted mansions and houses to ghosts with dripping head wounds, and more, Australia has a full range of hauntings across its wide, brown land.