The Bible is the central book in Western culture, yet extraordinarily there is no proper history of it. This exceptional work, by one of the world's leading Biblical scholars, provides a full account of how the different parts of the Bible came to be written; how some writings which were regarded as holy became canonical and were included in the Bible, and others were not; what the relationship is of the different parts of the Bible to each other; and how, once it became a stable text, the Bible has been disseminated and interpreted around the world. It gives full weight to discussion of the importance of the Tanakh (Old Testament) in Judaism as in Christianity. It also demonstrates the degree to which, contrary to widespread belief, both Judaism and Christianity are not faiths drawn from the Bible texts but from other sources and traditions. It shows that if we are to regard the Bible as 'authoritative' it cannot be as believers have so often done in the past.
'When you explore older atheisms, you will find some of your firmest convictions - secular or religious - are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought.' For a generation now, public debate has been corroded by a shrill, narrow derision of religion in the name of an often very vaguely understood 'science'. John Gray's stimulating and extremely enjoyable new book describes the rich, complex world of the atheist tradition, a tradition which he sees as in many ways as rich as that of religion itself, as well as being deeply intertwined with what is so often crudely viewed as its 'opposite'.
The result is a book that sheds an extraordinary and varied light on what it is to be human and on the thinkers who have, at different times and places, battled to understand this issue.
'We've seen Milo the troll, the stand-up comedian, the political operative and the snappy dresser. This is Milo the scholar and Catholic. It's his best incarnation yet.' Roger Stone.
In Diabolical, Milo Yiannopoulos levels his critical eye and legendary caustic wit at the Catholic Church, an institution he reveres but which, under the leadership of a `Lavender Mafia' of left-wing gay bishops, has become shambolic and depraved. Yes, there really is a gay mafia. And yes, their outfits are fabulous.
Who is the real Pope Francis? And can the Church survive him? Milo Yiannopoulos traces the origins of the Church's descent into sin and shame, pointing the finger at left-wing reformers, trendy progressive bishops, gay clergy, and ultimately, Francis himself. The Catholic Church hasn't had a crisis like this since the Reformation. It won't survive unless it learns how to talk to men again, sets aside transitory political nostrums like environmentalism and identity politics, and gets back to worshipping Almighty God.
In the Closet of the Vatican exposes the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today. This brilliant piece of investigative writing is based on four years' authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power.
The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, the cover up of countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis - all these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy.
In the Closet of the Vatican is a book that reveals these secrets and penetrates this enigma. It derives from a system founded on a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself. It is based on the double lives of priests and on extreme homophobia. The resulting schizophrenia in the Church is hard to fathom. But the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay.
`Behind rigidity there is always something hidden, in many cases a double life'. These are the words of Pope Francis himself and with them the Pope has unlocked the Closet.
No one can claim to really understand the Catholic Church today until they have read this book. It reveals a truth that is extraordinary and disturbing.
On 28 February 2013, a 600-year-old tradition was shattered- Pope Benedict XVI made a startling announcement. He would resign.
This story begins with the death of John Paul, through Benedict's election and reign - taking in the controversies that blighted the world's largest church - to his subsequent and shocking resignation. We see white smoke from the Sistine Chapel and a reluctant successor who breaks with tradition at once, declaring, I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner. Francis returns inside, invites the cardinals to join him, and serves them ice-cream.
From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything and Darkest Hour, The Pope is a poignant and often funny tale of an odd couple, of two very different men whose destinies converge and profoundly influence each other. What issues occupy the two men as they walk and talk in the Vatican gardens together, or later, when they share a light dinner, accompanied by Benedict's favorite drink, Fanta? This is both a biography of two popes and a story of the grace and extra wisdom that comes if a sinner can put their sins behind them.
This book tells the story of the mystical Jewish system known as Kabbalah, from its earliest origins until the present day. We trace Kabbalah's development, from the second century visionaries who visited the divine realms and brought back tales of their glories and splendours, through the unexpected arrival of a book in Spain that appeared to have lain unconcealed for over a thousand years, and on to the mystical city of Safed where souls could be read and the history of heaven was an open book.
Kabbalah's Christian counterpart, Cabala, emerged during the Renaissance, becoming allied to magic, alchemy and the occult sciences. A Kabbalistic heresy tore apart seventeenth century Jewish communities, while closer to our time Aleister Crowley hijacked it to proclaim `Do What Thou Wilt'. Kabbalah became fashionable in the late 1960s in the wake of the hippy counter-culture and with the approach of the new age, and enjoyed its share of fame, scandal and disrepute as the twenty first century approached.
This concise, readable and thoughtful history of Kabbalah tells its story as it has never been told before. It demands no knowledge of Kabbalah, just an interest in asking the questions `why?' and `how?'
Sub-Saharan Africa is a land of colourful contrasts and diverse cultures. Despite the destructive influences of colonialism and the slave trade and the lack of early written records, Africa has persevered with its powerful tradition of storytelling, with tales of its history passed down in songs and stories through the generations. Because of the huge diversity of lifestyles and traditions, no real unified mythology exists in Africa, but broadly speaking, a number of beliefs, ideas and themes are shared by African peoples. So this collection offers a selection of descriptions and tales, often those recorded faithfully by some of the first to put them to paper - tales of the gods, creation stories, trickster adventures, animal fables and stories which amuse and teach - from Olukun's Revenge, from the Yoruba people of west Africa, to The Story of the Glutton, from the Bantu-speaking peoples of east Africa, all brought together with the aim of providing an insight into the boundless and vibrant world of African myth.
FLAME TREE 451: From mystery to crime, supernatural to horror and myth, fantasy and science fiction, Flame Tree 451 offers a healthy diet of werewolves and mechanical men, blood-lusty vampires, dastardly villains, mad scientists, secret worlds, lost civilizations and escapist fantasies. Discover a storehouse of tales gathered specifically for the reader of the fantastic.
This is the story of Francis, who speaks with the animals. In this charming retelling of the life and teachings of this well - known saint, Piet Grobler delivers a simple and powerful message that transcends different cultures and religions. The book encoura ges young children to make the world a better place.
Piet Grobler has always been drawn to the figure of St Francis. He also feels a special bond with birds. Piet noticed that often a bird would sit beside him just before a special event in his life. Th e illustrations, which are full of warmth and a dream - like quality, reflect this personal connection with the story. Piet captures a joyful world that celebrates birds, beasts and the wonders of nature.