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Bhakti, a term ubiquitous in the religious life of South Asia, has meanings that shift dramatically according to context and sentiment. Sometimes translated as "personal devotion," bhakti nonetheless implies and fosters public interaction. It is often associated with the marginalized voices of women and lower castes, yet it has also played a role in perpetuating injustice. Barriers have been torn down in the name of bhakti, while others have been built simultaneously. Bhakti and Power provides an accessible entry into key debates around issues such as these, presenting voices and vignettes from the sixth century to the present and from many parts of India's cultural landscape. Written by a wide range of engaged scholars, this volume showcases one of the most influential concepts in Indian history-still a major force in the present day.
Bring more love, peace, healing, and personal empowerment into your life by working with the Hindu, Greek, and Egyptian goddesses. Invoke the Goddess explores the symbolism of fifteen female manifestations of the Divine and offers guided visualizations that will show you how to connect with the Goddess's power. You'll also discover a thorough guide to cleansing your chakras, preparing ritual colored baths of solarised water, and the basics of a healthful and magickal diet and exercise plan. This remarkable book makes it easy to find the perfect deity you need for enhancing your life and relationship with the Goddess.
We all have a host of guides in spirit, supporting, loving and holding our hand through this journey, whichever path we may choose. You can see and feel your animal guides in a host of ways. They may come to you in dreams when you are in your most open, receptive state. You might find you run into this animal all the time or out of the blue, in the physical world or seeing pictures of it in magazines and books. These are signs that they want attention. This oracle deck is a tool to connect with your animal guides, to acknowledge them and listen to their messages. It's also a way to bring in new guides, to call their energy to you if you feel you need it.
For some, the idea of an Islamic state serves to fulfill aspirations for cultural sovereignty and new forms of ethical political practice. For others, it violates the proper domains of both religion and politics. Yet, while there has been much discussion of the idea and ideals of the Islamic state, its possibilities and impossibilities, surprisingly little has been written about how this political formation is lived. For Love of the Prophet looks at the Republic of Sudan's twenty-five-year experiment with Islamic statehood. Focusing not on state institutions, but rather on the daily life that goes on in their shadows, Noah Salomon's careful ethnography examines the lasting effects of state Islamization on Sudanese society through a study of the individuals and organizations working in its midst. Salomon investigates Sudan at a crucial moment in its history--balanced between unity and partition, secular and religious politics, peace and war--when those who desired an Islamic state were rethinking the political form under which they had lived for nearly a generation. Countering the dominant discourse, Salomon depicts contemporary Islamic politics not as a response to secularism and Westernization but as a node in a much longer conversation within Islamic thought, augmented and reappropriated as state projects of Islamic reform became objects of debate and controversy. Among the first books to delve into the making of the modern Islamic state, For Love of the Prophet reveals both novel political ideals and new articulations of Islam as it is rethought through the lens of the nation.
Is the human mind uniquely nonphysical or even spiritual, such that divine intentions can meet physical realities? As scholars in science and religion have spent decades attempting to identify a 'causal joint' between God and the natural world, human consciousness has been often privileged as just such a locus of divine-human interaction. However, this intuitively dualistic move is both out of step with contemporary science and theologically insufficient. By discarding the God-nature model implied by contemporary noninterventionist divine action theories, one is freed up to explore theological and metaphysical alternatives for understanding divine action in the mind. Sarah Lane Ritchie suggests that a theologically robust theistic naturalism offers a more compelling vision of divine action in the mind. By affirming that to be fully natural is to be involved with God's active presence, one may affirm divine action not only in the human mind, but throughout the natural world.
In this unique collection of essays, some of today's smartest Jewish thinkers explore a broad range of fundamental questions in an effort to balance ancient tradition and modern sexuality.
In the last few decades a number of factors--post-modernism, feminism, queer liberation, and more--have brought discussion of sexuality to the fore, and with it a whole new set of questions that challenge time-honored traditions and ways of thinking. For Jews of all backgrounds, this has often led to an unhappy standoff between tradition and sexual empowerment.
Yet as The Passionate Torah illustrates, it is of critical importance to see beyond this apparent conflict if Jews are to embrace both their religious beliefs and their sexuality. With incisive essays from contemporary rabbis, scholars, thinkers, and writers, this collection not only surveys the challenges that sexuality poses to Jewish belief, but also offers fresh new perspectives and insights on the changing place of sexuality within Jewish theology--and Jewish lives. Covering topics such as monogamy, inter-faith relationships, reproductive technology, homosexuality, and a host of other hot-button issues, these writings consider how contemporary Jews can engage themselves, their loved ones, and their tradition in a way that's both sexy and sanctified.
Seeking to deepen the Jewish conversation about sexuality, The Passionate Torah brings together brilliant thinkers in an attempt to bridge the gap between the sacred and the sexual.
Contributors: Rebecca Alpert, Wendy Love Anderson, Judith R. Baskin, Aryeh Cohen, Elliot Dorff, Esther Fuchs, Bonna Haberman, Elliot Kukla, Gail Labovitz, Malka Landau, Sarra Lev, Laura Levitt, Sara Meirowitz, Jay Michaelson, Haviva Ner-David, Danya Ruttenberg, Naomi Seidman, and Arthur Waskow.
Do you constantly feel like you’re running on empty? Do you wake up overwhelmed? Do you struggle with finding time for God?
Let God’s Word change your perspective. In The One Year Devotions for Women with Jill Briscoe, you’ll discover a deeper understanding of how God’s Word can transform your life―written by a woman, for women. Designed to help you read the Scriptures regularly, this devotional by respected ministry leader and popular speaker Jill Briscoe helps make the truth of the Bible clear, its message understandable, and its points applicable. As you walk daily with God, you’ll find the peace and encouragement you’ve been yearning for.
This year, may your life be filled with God’s peace as you graze on the wisdom in God’s Word, grasp its meaning, and embrace it’s truth.
Previously released as The One Year Devotions for Women.
Is laughter essential to Jewish identity? Do Jews possess special radar for recognizing members of the tribe? Since Jews live longer and make love more often, why don't more people join the tribe? "More deli than deity" writer Nancy Kalikow Maxwell poses many such questions in eight chapters-"Worrying," "Kvelling," "Dying," "Noshing," "Laughing," "Detecting," "Dwelling," and "Joining"-exploring what it means to be "typically Jewish." While unearthing answers from rabbis, researchers, and her assembled Jury on Jewishness (Jewish friends she roped into conversation), she-and we-make a variety of discoveries. For example: Jews worry about continuity, even though Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitz prohibited even that: "All worrying is forbidden, except to worry that one is worried." Kvell-worthy fact: About 75 percent of American Jews give to charity versus 63 percent of Americans as a whole. Since reciting Kaddish brought secular Jews to synagogue, the rabbis, aware of their captive audience, moved the prayer to the end of the service. Who's Jewish? About a quarter of Nobel Prize winners, an estimated 80 percent of comedians at one point, and the winner of Nazi Germany's Most Perfect Aryan Child Contest. Readers will enjoy learning about how Jews feel, think, act, love, and live. They'll also schmooze as they use the book's "Typically Jewish, Atypically Fun" discussion guide.
The confessions of Isobel Gowdie are widely recognised as the most extraordinary on record in Britain. Their descriptive power and vivid imagery have attracted considerable interest on both academic and popular levels. Among historians, the confessions are celebrated for providing a unique insight into the way fairy beliefs and witch beliefs interacted in the early modern mind; more controversially, they are also cited as evidence for the existence of Shamanistic visionary traditions, of pre-Christian origin, in Scotland in this period. On a popular level the confessions of Isobel Gowdie have, above any other British witch-trial records, influenced the formation of the ritual traditions of Wicca. The author's discovery of the original trial records (currently being authenticated by the National Archives of Scotland), deemed lost for nearly 200 years, provides a starting point for an interdisciplinary look at the confessions and the woman behind them. Using historical, psychological, comparative religious and anthropological perspectives this book sets out to separate the voice of Isobel Gowdie from that of her interrogators, and to determine the experiences and beliefs which may have generated her confessions. The book explores: How far did those accused of witchcraft self-consciously practice harmful magic? Did they really believe themselves to have made a Pact with an envisioned Devil? Did they ever participate in ecstatic cult rituals? The author argues that close analysis of Isobel's testimony supports the view that in seventeenth-century Britain popular spirituality was shaped by a deep interaction between Christian teachings and shamanistic visionary traditions, of pre-Christian origin. These findings confirm the value of witchcraft confessions as unique windows into the complexities of the early modern religious imagination.
Black Elk of the Sioux has been recognized as one of the truly remarkable men of his time in the matter of religious belief and practice. Shortly before his death in August, 1950, when he was the "keeper of the sacred pipe," he said, "It is my prayer that, through our sacred pipe, and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those peoples who can understand, and understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One true God, and that we pray to Him continually."
Black Elk was the only qualified priest of the older Oglala Sioux still living when "The Sacred Pipe "was written. This is his book: he gave it orally to Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's eight month's residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where Black Elk lived. Beginning with the story of White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pip, Black Elk describes and discusses the details and meanings of the seven rites, which were disclosed, one by one, to the Sioux through visions. He takes the reader through the sun dance, the purification rite, the "keeping of the soul," and other rites, showing how the Sioux have come to terms with God and nature and their fellow men through a rare spirit of sacrifice and determination.
The "wakan "Mysteries of the Siouan peoples have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North America, but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed on this religion and cosmography. "The Sacred Pipe, "published as volume thirty-six in the Civilization of the American Indian Series, will be greeted enthusiastically by students of comparative religion, ethnologists, historians, philosophers, and everyone interested in American Indian life.
The debate between egalitarian and complementarian views on women in the church and in marriage continues to cause division among evangelical Christians. Many books on the subject are written from a firmly partisan point of view, whether complementarian or egalitarian. This one is different. Andrew Bartlett makes use of his experience as a judge and arbitrator in assessing the debate, with impartiality rather than advocacy (like a barrister). In a very thorough but accessible analysis, he engages with exemplars of each view and with all the key biblical texts. He partly agrees and partly disagrees with both sides, and offers fresh insights into interpretation of the texts. He seeks progress towards healing of a sharp division.
This book invites busy women and men to connect with deeper longings for self-fulfillment as they navigate the stressful demands of daily life. Thought-provoking reflections by the author are followed by practical exercises for a weekly study over a year of many aspects of life experience. Most of us feel scattered a lot of the time. Like the dismembered Egyptian god Osiris, we are spread out all over our personal world. Finding Time for Your Self offers help to bring ourselves back together again and learn how to re-member ourselves, not by withdrawing from the world but by being engaged right in the middle of our daily life. Fifty-two reflections on familiar life situations help the reader stay inwardly alive and present to meet lifes many challenges -- to pause and reflect at any moment of the day. They are followed by practical exercises that offer day-by-day experiments to assist in finding a more balanced sense of ourselves in the midst of outer activity. The old Shaker song "Its a gift to be simple" tells us that the solution is in the turning, until "by turning, turning, turning we come 'round right." When we turn away for a short time from activities, goals and commitments -- and toward the inner self -- we discover a world that is just as active and full of surprises as the outer one. Turning our attention to the world within allows us to reconnect with that person who we essentially are, in the depths of our being.
As the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has captured the attention and admiration of the world through his wisdom. This jewel of a book offers some of his most helpful insights on daily living, inner peace, compassion and justice - for all of us in these troubled times.
In "God's Eye View," Tommy Tenney explores how worship lifts us up to see the trouble we face from God's perspective instead of being trapped in an earthly, time-bound viewpoint. The higher we go, the smaller our problems seem. Tenney also teaches the Principle of Magnification: The closer you get to something, the bigger it appears. In other words, worship not only "shrinks" our problems; it also magnifies God in our lives and to others.
Worship doesn't really change our problems; it just minimizes their influence over us as we focus on God. He doesn't promise to remove all of our circumstances, but God does assure us that in His presence and from His perspective--we can see things as they really are and not how they appear to be.
In the book of Revelation John was instructed to "behold the Lion," but from an earthly perspective John saw only the Lamb. The heavenly perspective reveals that the Lamb is the Lion, the babe of Bethlehem is the "ancient of days," and the dragon is really a weakened lizard. God's eye view is higher than man's.
Higher than a bird's eye view, higher than a man's eye view is God's eye view.
Enhanced by the author's storytelling approach, this book features Jephthah, an obscure character of history. Although Shakespeare, Josephus, and Handel wrote about him and his daughter, Jephthah's tale, a tantalizing drama for the stage, is largely avoided by those who should know it best. Some personalities are obscure because little is known about them. Others slip into obscurity because of controversy about the facts that are known. While Samson, despite his less-than-stellar conduct, remains a household name even among those who have sketchy Bible knowledge, Jephthah's story is familiar only among those who debate its elusive questions. Cheerleaders on Jephthah's team are few. Disputes arise at the mere mention of Jephthah's name and his vow. Because his daughter's decision is misunderstood at best, one might reasonably ask why more than an entire Bible chapter is devoted to the story. Is it wise to make a vow?
2013 Reprint of 1948 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. "Contemplation" is a word that Thomas Merton used again and again in his writings. It is a theme that he spent much of his life exploring. About contemplation, he wrote "Contemplation is the highest expression of man's intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent, and infinitely abundant source. Contemplation is above all, awareness of the reality of that source. It knows the Source, obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes beyond reason and beyond simple faith...It is a more profound depth of faith, a knowledge too deep to be grasped in images, in words, or even in clear concepts..." This short pamphlet is a good introduction to this important topic in the overall work of Thomas Merton.
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