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In spite of a diving accident that has left her paralyzed for more than thirty years, Joni Eareckson Tada has been able to build a life of faith and purpose. The peace she has found as she confronts the painful realities of life as a quadriplegic has made her a hero to many people. In Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith, Joni lets us know who her heroes are. Inside she tells the stories of people who inspire her with their faith and courage. Although Joni has met many famous "heroes of the faith" through her ministry, the lives she shares here are not the Billy Grahams of the world. They are a mother, a housewife, a nursing home resident, a child. Some are missionaries or pastors; others are bank tellers or data entry clerks. All of these people have touched Joni's life and the lives of others as they found their faith rise to the occasion - to forgive an assailant, to find strength despite the debilitating effects of cerebral palsy, to choose love in the face of racial prejudice, and to discover in the midst of questioning that God Himself is the answer to all questions.
The common perception of Islam in the media is one of austerity and rigidity, and in extreme cases, severe cruelty. The situation is not helped by the strict and narrow-minded interpretation of the religion by a number its adherents. However, those who are willing to scratch below the surface and look further will see that nothing is further from the truth; that Islam does not teach anything except universal love, mercy, compassion, peace & benevolence. Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is an eminent and internationally renowned Islamic scholar, orator and author. In this book, he presents numerous quotations from the Qur'an and authentic hadith to help the reader discover the prime position of the qualities of mercy and compassion in the Islamic faith. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has meticulously referenced all quotations to ensure accuracy and clarity in order to dispel any doubts about the matter. Through his distinctive solid scholarship and methodology, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri demonstrates how Islam promotes spiritual endeavour, moderation, ease and tolerance, and is not merely concerned with ritualism and outward forms of piety. For Muslims, this book is essential reading to help reclaim Islam back from those who portray it as merely a socio-political enterprise devoid of compassion for humanity and the rest of creation. Non-Muslims, on the other hand, will be able to appreciate these lesser known aspects of Islam, which in fact form its core philosophy.
J. E. O'Day helps readers to discover their spiritual gifts by listening to God, following natural inclinations and seeking the counsel of others.
The third title in Parallax's "Mindfulness Essentials Series" of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, "How to Love" introduces beginners and reminds seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. This time Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion, and humor to the thorny question of how to love and distills one of our strongest emotions down to four essentials: you can only love another when you feel true love for yourself; love is understanding; understanding brings compassion; and deep listening and loving speech are key ways of showing our love. Featuring original illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, "How to Love" shows that when we feel closer to our loved ones, we are also more connected to the world as a whole. With sections on Love vs. Need, Being in Love, Reverence, Intimacy, Children and Family, Reconciling with Parents, and more, "How to Love" includes meditations readers can do alone or with a partner to expand their capacity to love. This comprehensive guide to understanding the many different kinds of love also includes meditative practices that expand the understanding of and capacity for love, appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition, whether seasoned practitioners or new to meditation.
2015 Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award presented by the Stonewall Books Awards of the American Library Association Muhsin is one of the organizers of Al-Fitra Foundation, a South African support group for lesbian, transgender, and gay Muslims. Islam and homosexuality are seen by many as deeply incompatible. This, according to Muhsin, is why he had to act. "I realized that I'm not alone-these people are going through the very same things that I'm going through. But I've managed, because of my in-depth relationship with God, to reconcile the two. I was completely comfortable saying to the world that I'm gay and I'm Muslim. I wanted to help other people to get there. So that's how I became an activist." Living Out Islam documents the rarely-heard voices of Muslims who live in secular democratic countries and who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It weaves original interviews with Muslim activists into a compelling composite picture which showcases the importance of the solidarity of support groups in the effort to change social relationships and achieve justice. This nascent movement is not about being "out" as opposed to being "in the closet." Rather, as the voices of these activists demonstrate, it is about finding ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith and reclaiming Islam as their own.
For most of its history, contemporary Paganism has been a religion of converts. Yet as it enters its fifth decade, it is incorporating growing numbers of second-generation Pagans for whom Paganism is a family tradition, not a religious worldview arrived at via a spiritual quest. In Pagan Family Values, S. Zohreh Kermani explores the ways in which North American Pagan families pass on their beliefs to their children, and how the effort to socialize children influences this new religious movement. The first ethnographic study of the everyday lives of contemporary Pagan families, this volume brings their experiences into conversation with contemporary issues in American religion. Through formal interviews with Pagan families, participant observation at various pagan events, and data collected via online surveys, Kermani traces the ways in which Pagan parents transmit their religious values to their children. Rather than seeking to pass along specific religious beliefs, Pagan parents tend to seek to instill values, such as religious tolerance and spiritual independence, that will remain with their children throughout their lives, regardless of these children's ultimate religious identifications. Pagan parents tend to construct an idealized, magical childhood for their children that mirrors their ideal childhoods. The socialization of children thus becomes a means by which adults construct and make meaningful their own identities as Pagans. Kermani's meticulous fieldwork and clear, engaging writing provide an illuminating look at parenting and religious expression in Pagan households and at how new religions pass on their beliefs to a new generation.
Engaging with contemporary debates about the sources that shape our understanding of the early Muslim world, Najam Haider proposes a new model for Muslim historical writing that draws on Late Antique historiography to challenge the imposition of modern notions of history on a pre-modern society. Haider discusses three key case studies - the revolt of Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd (d. 67/687), the life of the Twelver Shi'i Imam Musa al-Kazim (d. 183/799) and the rebellion and subsequent death of the Zaydi Shi'i Imam Yahya b. 'Abd Allah (d. 187/803) - in calling for a new line of inquiry which focuses on larger historiographical questions. What were the rules that governed historical writing in the early Muslim world? What were the intended audiences for these works? In the process, he rejects artificial divisions between Sunni and Shi'i historical writing.
The revised second edition of the accessible guide to contemporary ethical issues that are at the intersection of religion and morality The updated second edition of Do Morals Matter? offers an authoritative yet approachable guide to the current ethical issues that bridge the gap between religion and morality. This informed text examines today's key ethical issues that range from making moral decisions in business and medicine, to the uncertainty of war and terrorism and the tenuous condition of our environment. This popular textbook embraces the dramatic changes that have occurred since the first edition was published such as changes in attitude towards the LGBT community as well as emerging ethical areas such as cyber ethics. In consultation with professors, the new edition includes sections at the beginning and end of each chapter that provide clear and succinct summaries of key issues, as well as reflective and discussion questions. This revised text: Sets out all the major ethical options in a balanced way inviting students to make their own mind up Deals with both moral philosophy and applied ethics Starts every chapter with a thought-exercise to provoke discussion Places Brexit and President Trump in an appropriate ethical framework Develops the concept of a Morally Serious Person. Written for students studying ethics in departments of theology and religion, Do Morals Matter? is the thoroughly revised and updated edition of the text that explores contemporary ethical issues.
The most crucial attribute of a believer and of those seeking the highest levels of spirituality, is that of having the best etiquette's and manners which have the effect of being kind, generous, compassionate, fair, truthful, honest, trustworthy, reliable, caring, considerate of others and ultimately practically benefiting, helping and serving humanity at large.The aim of model Islamic etiquette and manners is to benefit other human beings; by not subjecting them to any kind of stress, trouble, mischief or harm. Good morals and etiquette automatically benefit others even without positively striving to do so. This book is based upon highlighting this true teaching of Islam that is often forgotten and one which makes Islam a truly social welfare orientated, compassionate and caring faith. Moreover it highlights the many cases by which although a specific practice may not seem to be benefiting or serving others, but in reality it benefits others through many dimensions that may not be apparent, such as excelling in virtuous deeds which on the surface may only benefit the performer.The main focus of the book is upon consciously and proactively serving those in need, be they of any colour, creed or religion. In fact Islam admonishes those who fail to see and address the needs of the poor, weak, elderly, oppressed, orphans, widows, refugees, travelers and prisoners. Islam does not differentiate between Muslims or non-Muslims in this regard but treats it as it should be; a humanitarian issue which should be dealt with humanely without any prejudices or hatred surfacing or dictating the course of assistance, help or aid.All possible means of serving humanity have been highlighted by citing the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that of pious members of the Muslim community; thereby directing the attention of modern-day Muslims to this crucial and forgotten asset of Islam.
Women and Resistance in the Early Rastafari Movement is a pioneering study of women's resistance in the emergent Rastafari movement in colonial Jamaica. As D. A. Dunkley demonstrates, Rastafari women had to contend not only with the various attempts made by the government and nonmembers to suppress the movement, but also with oppression and silencing from among their own ranks. Dunkley examines the lives and experiences of a group of Rastafari women between the movement's inception in the 1930s and Jamaica's independence from Britain in the 1960s, uncovering their sense of agency and resistance against both male domination and societal opposition to their Rastafari identity. Countering many years of scholarship that privilege the stories of Rastafari men, Women and Resistance in the Early Rastafari Movement reclaims the voices and narratives of early Rastafari women in the history of the Black liberation struggle.
The moral uncertainty and apathy in our society to the plight of unborn children springs from the failure to identify them as real people. As a Board Certified Family Practitioner, Dr. John Hey provides numerous captivating vignettes from his fifty year-long practice of medicine, experiences that brought him to understand that these Little People are precious to God, protected by God, and deserving of being treated with the dignity, care, and legal protections afforded to all those who have already been born. All our practices and obligations toward the unborn must be constrained by this fundamental understanding. Along the way, Dr. Hey answers the "hard questions" about abortion and infanticide and gives a clear Gospel call to all who have been broken by sin in their treatment of the Little People.
Within these charming pages, Raphael Brown - compiler of The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics - relates scores of beautiful, real stories about canonized Saints who saw and spoke with the Blessed Virgin Mary. He describes in detail their visions, giving the actual words spoken by Our Lady to St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Simon Stock, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine Laboure and many others -seventeen in total It is inspiring to see how the Blessed Mother has intervened in so many lives to grant favors, perform miracles, solve problems, heal bodies, convert souls, enlighten minds, encourage hearts, commission projects and impart secrets. Many of these stories involve Our Lord and Our Lady acting together, showing how the Mother of God works in close union with her Divine Son. Moreover, the many graphic pictures of Our Lady and the Saints included here make the stories come alive Few Catholics have ever heard the amazing stories recounted in Saints Who Saw Mary. Most will be amazed to see how great a role Our Lady has played in the lives of a number of famous Saints whose Marian devotion is not well known. Saints Who Saw Mary is a beautiful book that imparts a profound realization about the loving role Mary plays in the lives of the faithful on earth and her close cooperation in the work of her Son in saving souls. Page for page, this is one of the most enlightening, enjoyable and inspiring Catholic books a person will ever encounter
Humorous anecdotes and touching insights inspire readers to reach out with encouragement to people who are hurting and need help. Learn how to make others feel special, mend broken dreams and share the affirming message of the gospel through encouragement.
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 1400-year-old schism between Sunnis and Shi'is is currently reflected in the destructive struggle for hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran - with no apparent end in sight. But how did this conflict begin, and why is it now the focus of so much attention? In this definitive account, John McHugo charts the history of Islam from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day. He describes the conflicts that raged over the succession to the Prophet, how Sunnism and Shi'ism evolved as different sects during the Abbasid caliphate, and how the rivalry between the empires of the Sunni Ottomans and Shi'i Safavids ensured that the split would continue into the modern age. In recent decades, this centuries-old divide has acquired a new toxicity resulting in violence across the Arab and Muslim world.
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