The Dalai Lama is one of the best-known and respected public figures of modern times. A Nobel Peace Prize Winner, advocate for peace and campaigner for compassion, he regularly speaks at sell-out arena tours across the globe. In this new biography, the first in 25 years, Alexander Norman reveals the complex and compelling character of the Dalai Lama in more detail than ever before. Drawing on his long friendship with His Holiness and with his full support, Norman gives unparalled insights into the Dalai Lama's life, from being chosen as a young boy, his exile from Tibet and his involvement in political negotiations, to the present day. Uniquely, however, this book also reveals the private life of a very public man, including his personal spiritual experiences, daily Buddhist practice and the issues that are closest to his heart. Norman also explains how the turbulent history of Tibet has shaped the Dalai Lama's thinking and personality and corrects the myths that have built up around him. Illuminating, surprising and fascinating, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the Dalai Lama.
Martin Luther's posting of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517 is one of the most famous events of Western history. It inaugurated the Protestant Reformation, and has for centuries been a powerful and enduring symbol of religious freedom of conscience, and of righteous protest against the abuse of power.
But did it actually really happen?
In this engagingly-written, wide-ranging and insightful work of cultural history, leading Reformation historian Peter Marshall reviews the available evidence, and concludes that, very probably, it did not. The theses-posting is a myth. And yet, Marshall argues, this fact makes the incident all the more historically significant. In tracing how - and why - a "non-event" ended up becoming a defining episode of the modern historical imagination. Marshall compellingly explores the multiple ways in which the figure of Martin Luther, and the nature of the Reformation itself, have been remembered and used for their own purposes by subsequent generations of Protestants and others - in Germany, Britain, the United States and elsewhere.
As people in Europe, and across the world, prepare to remember, and celebrate, the 500th anniversary of Luther's posting of the theses, this book offers a timely contribution and corrective. The intention is not to "debunk", or to belittle Luther's achievement, but rather to invite renewed reflection on how the past speaks to the present - and on how, all too often, the present creates the past in its own image and likeness.
Religion remains an important influence in the world today, yet the social sciences are still not adequately equipped to understand and explain it. This book builds on recent developments in science, theory, and philosophy to advance an innovative theory of religion that goes beyond the problematic theoretical paradigms of the past.
Drawing on the philosophy of critical realism and personalist social theory, Christian Smith answers key questions about the nature, powers, workings, appeal, and future of religion. He defines religion in a way that resolves myriad problems and ambiguities in past accounts, explains the kinds of causal influences religion exerts in the world, and examines the key cognitive process that makes religion possible. Smith explores why humans are religious in the first place-uniquely so as a species-and offers an account of secularization and religious innovation and persistence that breaks the logjam in which so many religion scholars have been stuck for so long.
Certain to stimulate debate and inspire promising new avenues of scholarship, Religion features a wealth of illustrations and examples that help to make its concepts accessible to readers. This superbly written book brings sound theoretical thinking to a perennially thorny subject, and a new vitality and focus to its study.
A pathbreaking history of Sufism, from the earliest centuries of Islam to the present
After centuries as the most important ascetic-mystical strand of Islam, Sufism saw a sharp decline in the twentieth century, only to experience a stunning revival in recent decades. In this comprehensive new history of Sufism from the earliest centuries of Islam to today, Alexander Knysh, a leading expert on the subject, reveals the tradition in all its richness.
Knysh explores how Sufism has been viewed by both insiders and outsiders since its inception. He examines the key aspects of Sufism, from definitions and discourses to leadership, institutions, and practices. He devotes special attention to Sufi approaches to the Qur’an, drawing parallels with similar uses of scripture in Judaism and Christianity. He traces how Sufism grew from a set of simple moral-ethical precepts into a sophisticated tradition with professional Sufi masters (shaykhs) who became powerful players in Muslim public life but whose authority was challenged by those advocating the equality of all Muslims before God. Knysh also examines the roots of the ongoing conflict between the Sufis and their fundamentalist critics, the Salafis - a major fact of Muslim life today.
Based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Sufism is an indispensable account of a vital aspect of Islam.
In this book, economist Jean-Philippe Platteau addresses the question: does Islam, the religion of Muslims, bear some responsibility for a lack of economic development in the countries in which it dominates? In his nuanced approach, Platteau challenges the widespread view that the doctrine of Islam is reactionary in the sense that it defends tradition against modernity and individual freedom. He also questions the view that fusion between religion and politics is characteristic of Islam and predisposes it to theocracy. He disagrees with the substantivist view that Islam is a major obstacle to modern development because of a merging of religion and the state, or a fusion between the spiritual and political domains. But he also identifies how Islam's decentralized organization, in the context of autocratic regimes, may cause political instability and make reforms costly.
A major new account of the most intensely creative years of Luther's career.
The Making of Martin Luther takes a provocative look at the intellectual emergence of one of the most original and influential minds of the sixteenth century. Richard Rex traces how, in a concentrated burst of creative energy in the few years surrounding his excommunication by Pope Leo X in 1521, this lecturer at an obscure German university developed a startling new interpretation of the Christian faith that brought to an end the dominance of the Catholic Church in Europe. Luther’s personal psychology and cultural context played their parts in the whirlwind of change he unleashed. But for the man himself, it was always about the ideas, the truth, and the Gospel.
Focusing on the most intensely important years of Luther’s career, Rex teases out the threads of his often paradoxical and counterintuitive ideas from the tangled thickets of his writings, explaining their significance, their interconnections, and the astonishing appeal they so rapidly developed. Yet Rex also sets these ideas firmly in the context of Luther’s personal life, the cultural landscape that shaped him, and the traditions of medieval Catholic thought from which his ideas burst forth.
Lucidly argued and elegantly written, The Making of Martin Luther is a splendid work of intellectual history that renders Luther’s earthshaking yet sometimes challenging ideas accessible to a new generation of readers.
The world's greatest poetry resides in the Bible, yet these major poets are traditionally rendered into prose. In this pioneering volume, Willis Barnstone's translations restore the lyricism and power of the poets' voices in both the New and the Old Testaments. In the Hebrew Bible, we hear Solomon rhapsodise in Song of Songs; David chant in Psalms; God and Job debate in grand rhetoric; and prophet-poet Isaiah plead for peace. Jesus speaks in wisdom verse in the Gospel, Paul is a philosopher of love and John of Patmos roars majestically in Revelation, the Bible's epic poem. This ground-breaking volume includes every major biblical poem from Genesis and Adam and Eve in the Garden to the last pages of Alpha and Omega in Paradise.
As Pope Francis continues to make his mark on the church, there is increased interest in his Jesuit background—what is the Society of Jesus, how is it different from other religious orders, and how has it shaped the world? In The Jesuits, acclaimed historian John W. O’Malley, SJ, provides essential historical background from the founder Ignatius of Loyola through the present.
The book tells the story of the Jesuits’ great successes as missionaries, educators, scientists, cartographers, polemicists, theologians, poets, patrons of the arts, and confessors to kings. It tells the story of their failures and of the calamity that struck them in 1773 when Pope Clement XIV suppressed them worldwide. It tells how a subsequent pope restored them to life and how they have fared to this day in virtually every country in the world. Along the way it introduces readers to key figures in Jesuit history, such as Matteo Ricci and Pedro Arrupe, and important Jesuit writings, such as the Spiritual Exercises.
Concise and compelling, The Jesuits is an accessible introduction for anyone interested in world or church history. In addition to the narrative, the book provides a timeline, a list of significant figures, photos of important figures and locations, recommendations for additional reading, and more.
The paperback features a new Preface that examines the significant global work of the Jesuits today, including the impact of the first Jesuit pope, the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service, and more.
Introducing Christian Ethics 2e, now thoroughly revised and updated, offers an unparalleled introduction to the study of Christian Ethics, mapping and exploring all the major ethical approaches, and offering thoughtful insights into the complex moral challenges facing people today. This highly successful text has been thoughtfully updated, based on considerable feedback, to include increased material on Catholic perspectives, further case studies and the augmented use of introductions and summaries Uniquely redefines the field of Christian ethics along three strands: universal (ethics for anyone), subversive (ethics for the excluded), and ecclesial (ethics for the church) Encompasses Christian ethics in its entirety, offering students a substantial overview by re-mapping the field and exploring the differences in various ethical approaches Provides a successful balance between description, analysis, and critique Structured so that it can be used alongside a companion volume, Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader, which further illustrates and amplifies the diversity of material and arguments explored here
The 30-Second series takes a revolutionary approach to learning about those subjects that you feel you should really understand. Each idea, no matter how complex, is explained using a mere two pages, 300 words, and one picture: all easily digested in only half a minute.30-Second Mythology offers the shortest path to a world of gods and monsters. So much modern culture traces its origins back to Greek and Roman mythology (witness 2010's Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson and the Olympians). The stories provide wonderful references to make your conversation more heroic and lift your imagination closer to the gods. Sail through these fifty 30-second legends to discover what Hercules did to deserve his twelve labours, why Odysseus took ten years to travel 500 miles, and how Narcissus found the love of his life. The perfect reference book for creative writers, it covers gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters, story locations and the great storytellers. There are also condensed versions of the tragic tales alongside explanations of their modern legacies: from the Oedipus Complex to the Narcissus Syndrome.
A Haunting Place is a book that explores both the mysterious and ghostly encounters in locations in Australia & around the world.
"We talk to the people who swear they have been visited by the dead; We visit the places of these confrontations with the supernatural to uncover the story of the 'ghosts' and the people and places they haunt. We talk to teams of ghost busters using technology to solve the mystery of ghosts.
We talk to film makers who can't leave the theme of ghosts alone."
From houses to hotels, schools, castles, hospitals, cellars, sheds, stables and all manner of buildings - ghostly contiguity runs rampant in the seemingly normal everyday.
Breathtaking locations - such as old mills, windswept Quarantine Stations, run-down and abandoned mental hospitals, derelict pubs, lonely roads and silent houses - disguise their eerie history.
Why is it that people are so fascinated with the unknown?
The mysterious? The supernatural? Our captivation with the paranormal and the unexplained is neverending.
The thought of ghosts floating about within our existence arouses fear, a sense of wonder and the longing for logical explanations that never quite make sense.
A 2005 Gallup survey revealed three out of four Americans profess at least one paranormal belief. The most popular belief is extrasensory perception (ESP) mentioned by 41%, followed closely by belief in haunted houses (37%) and that ghosts/spirits of dead people can come back in certain places/situations (32%).
Supernatural ideology exist in many different cultures and a belief in ghosts is one of the most common; this, in part, relates to a belief, or hope in the afterlife, a tenet of most major religions. Believing in the supernatural has its roots in our desire to have control over our lives and our world.
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Align with the astral vibe to maximise your prospects and minimise the downside.
Cancer 2017 works as a timing guide, motivational rant and overall personal Zeitgeist précis. Mystic Medusa is a unique astrologer and writer with a global following of people who want to self-actualise — not stagnate — through these interesting times that we live in. Her horoscopes are pragmatic and informed by her amusing take on the natural genius of each Sun Sign.