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An examination of the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ and what this might mean in today's plural world. These days there are tremendous pressures on Christians to conform to a libertarian vision of a multifaith society where no one makes truth-claims about their faith. In such a situation, Christians need to think afresh about the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ and what this might mean in today's plural world. In this book, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali shows how Jesus' understanding of himself and his work bears on contemporary cultures and their values: what does the gospel affirm, what does it fulfil and what does it challenge? How does our understanding of the crucified and risen Lord affect our view of the human condition? How can we evaluate the different religious traditions of the world in the light of Christ? How can we be welcoming and hospitable but also committed to that conversion and transformation of individuals and of human societies which has been revealed as God's purpose in Christ? Christian claims of uniqueness have a direct bearing on what informs the social order. This book tackles the challenge of relativism in the contemporary social and political arena head-on.
British Buddhism presents a useful insight into contemporary
British Buddhist practice. It provides a survey of the seven
largest Buddhist traditions in the United Kingdom, including the
Forest Sangha (Theravada) and the Samatha Trust (Theravada), the
Serene Reflection Meditation tradition (Soto Zen) and Soka Gakkai
(both originally Japanese), the Tibetan Karma Kagyu and New Kadampa
traditions and Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. Based on
extensive fieldwork, this fascinating book determines how and to
what extent British Buddhist groups are changing from their Asian
roots, and whether any forms of British Buddhism are beginning to
Despite the popularity of Buddhism in Britain, there has so far been no study documenting the full range of teachings and practice. This is an original study that fills this gap and serves as an important reference point for further studies in this increasingly popular field.
The Aetherius Society has, since its inception, been instrumental in making known the great teachings of the cosmic masters to the present Aquarian Age. Now the society is still further privileged by being chosen as the organisation through which Jesus Himself gave the sacred truths known as the twelve blessings. In The Twelve Blessings, Jesus, operating from His own shining planet, Venus, has again given to Earth great teachings on the eve of the new cosmic cycle -- the Aquarian Age. These teachings, given as actual blessings, are an extension of those He gave 2000 years ago. Here are mighty cosmic truths given with a simplicity which is the hallmark of the true understanding found only in the consciousness of a great Avatar. Humanity needs this power, this teaching, this cosmic love, in order to survive the ordeal of coming painful experiences.
When organizations are committed to gender equality, what gets in the way of their achieving it? How and why do well-intentioned people end up reinforcing sexism? Katie Lauve-Moon examines these questions by focusing on religious congregations that separated from their mainline denomination in order to support women's equal leadership. In Preacher Woman, Lauve-Moon concentrates on congregations affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Women are enrolling in Baptist seminaries at almost equal rates as men and CBF identifies the equal leadership of women as a core component of its collective identity, yet only five percent of CBF congregations employ women as solo senior pastors. Preacher Woman explores how congregations can be committed to ideas of gender parity while still falling short in practice. Lauve-Moon investigates how institutional sexism is upheld through both unconscious and conscious biases. In doing so, she demonstrates that addressing issues of sexism and gender inequality within organizations must extend beyond good intentions and inclusive policies.
A practical and inspiring approach to tackling our environmental crisis, from a master spiritual teacher. We can heal our earth by choosing a simpler, more fulfilling lifestyle, as trustees of a compassionate universe. Eknath Easwaran presents a penetrating analysis of the spiritual roots of our current predicament and offers a realistic and hopeful way forward. Each of us has a role to play in making wise choices, and each of us can genuinely make a difference. Drawing inspiration and insight from Mahatma Gandhi, Saint Francis, and his own experience of living in the East and the West, Easwaran shows the connections between individual thoughts and actions that move beyond consumerism to the unity of life. Mahatma Gandhi formulated a series of diagnoses of our seemingly perpetual state of crisis, which he called "the seven social sins": knowledge without character, science without humanity, wealth without work, commerce without morality, politics without principles, pleasure without conscience, and worship without self-sacrifice. Easwaran explores each of these diagnoses in turn and presents an alternative hypothesis of who we are and how we fit into the universe. This is ecology as a great adventure, filled with the challenges and rewards of inner growth. Easwaran tells us that "once we open our eyes to cooperation, artistry, thrift, and compassion, we begin to see thousands of little things we can do to help restore the environment - and restore dignity and deeper fulfillment to our own lives." Eknath Easwaran is renowned as a teacher of meditation and for his translations of the Indian scriptures. His writings express timeless spiritual insights and are illustrated by stories from East and West. His books reflect two cultures: India, where he grew up in a self-supporting agrarian village, and the United States, where he taught and lectured for over thirty years. His early experiences of living in harmony with nature, his firsthand acquaintance with Gandhi's India, and his long familiarity with an American audience have resulted in this book: a deeply thoughtful examination of our present situation, and a blueprint for living as trustees of a compassionate universe, in a world that we would want our children and grandchildren to inherit.
Religious procession is a significant dimension of religion in South Asia. Processions are central not only in Hinduism, but also Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Sikhism, which have large procession rituals. The last years have seen an increase in processions and ritualizations of space both in South Asia and in the South Asian Diaspora. Processions are religious display events and the increase in processions are functions of religious pluralism and competition about public space as well as economic prosperity and a revival of religious identities. Processions often bring together religion and politics since they are about public space, domination and contestation. Written by leading specialists on religious processions and ritualization of public space in South Asia and in the Diaspora, this volume presents current research on the interpretations of the role of processions, the recent increase in processions and changes in the procession traditions. South Asian Religions on Display will appeal to students and scholars of Asian studies, anthropology, religion and political science.
The Dancing God: Staging Hindu Dance in Australia charts the sensational and historic journey of de-provincialising and popularising Hindu dance in Australia. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, colonialism, orientalism and nationalism came together in various combinations to make traditional Hindu temple dance into a global art form. The intricately symbolic Hindu dance in its vital form was virtually unseen and unknown in Australia until an Australian impresario, Louise Lightfoot, brought it onto the stage. Her experimental changes, which modernised Kathakali dance through her pioneering collaboration with Indian dancer Ananda Shivaram, moved the Hindu dance from the sphere of ritualistic practice to formalised stage art. Amit Sarwal argues that this movement enabled both the authentic Hindu dance and dancer to gain recognition worldwide and created in his persona a cultural guru and ambassador on the global stage. Ideal for anyone with an interest in global dance, The Dancing God is an in-depth study of how a unique dance form evolved in the meeting of travellers and cultures.
After 9/11, madrasas have been linked to international terrorism. They are suspected to foster anti-western, traditionalist or even fundamentalist views and to train al-Qaeda fighters. This has led to misconceptions on madrasa-education in general and its role in South Asia in particular. Government policies to modernize and 'pacify' madrasas have been precipitous and mostly inadequate.
This book discusses the educational system of madrasas in South Asia. It gives a contextual account of different facets of madrasa education from historical, anthropological, theological, political and religious studies perspectives. Some contributions offer recommendations on possible - and necessary - reforms of religious educational institutions. It also explores the roots of militancy and sectarianism in Pakistan, as well as its global context.
Overall, the book tries to correct misperceptions on the role of madrasas, by providing a more balanced discussion, which denies neither the shortcomings of religious educational institutions in South Asia nor their important contributions to mass education.
When it comes to anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses, America is the frontrunner. Thankfully, there's a practical prescription for dealing with these issues. Anxious for Nothing, the most recent book from New York Times bestselling author, Max Lucado, provides a roadmap for battling with and healing from anxiety. Does the uncertainty and chaos of life keep you up at night? Is irrational worry your constant companion? Could you use some calm? If the answer is yes, you are not alone.
According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number one mental health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. And use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last 15 years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s. Chances are, you or someone you know seriously struggles with anxiety.
Max writes, "The news about our anxiety is enough to make us anxious." He knows what it feels like to be overcome by the worries and fear of life, which is why he is dedicated to helping millions of readers take back control of their minds and, as a result, their lives. Anxious for Nothing invites readers to delve into Philippians 4:6-7. After all, it is the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet, according to Amazon: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In the characteristic tone of his previous books like You'll Get Through This and Fearless, Max guides readers through this Scripture passage and explains the key concepts of celebration, asking for help, leaving our concerns, and meditating. Stop letting anxiety rule the day. Join Max on the journey to true freedom and experience more joy, clarity, physical renewal, and contentment by the power of the Holy Spirit. Anxiety comes with life. But it doesn't have to dominate your life.
Who will mourn with me? Who will break bread with me? Who is my neighbor? In the wake of the religious reformations of the sixteenth century, such questions called for a new approach to the communal religious rituals and verses that shaped and commemorated many of the brightest and darkest moments of English life. In England, new forms of religious writing emerged out of a deeply fractured spiritual community. Conflicts of Devotion reshapes our understanding of the role that poetry played in the re-formation of English community, and shows us that understanding both the poetics of liturgy and the liturgical character of poetry is essential to comprehending the deep shifts in English spiritual attitudes and practices that occurred during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The liturgical, communitarian perspective of Conflicts of Devotion sheds new light on neglected texts and deepens our understanding of how major writers such as Edmund Spenser, Robert Southwell, and John Donne struggled to write their way out of the spiritual and social crises of the age of the Reformation. It also sheds new light on the roles that poetry may play in negotiating-and even overcoming-religious conflict. Attention to liturgical poetics allows us to see the broad spectrum of ways in which English poets forged new forms of spiritual community out of the very language of theological division. This book will be of great interest to teachers and students of early modern poetry and of the various fields related to Reformation studies: history, politics, and theology.
Although we are materially better off than ever before, surveys show that we are depressed and listless. In his revolutionary book, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard shows that happiness is not just an emotion, but a skill that can be developed. Free of jargon, Happiness contains simple exercises that will train the mind to recognize and pursue happiness by concentrating on the fundamental things in life, and in doing so change the way we view the world.
Now a Netflix original series! Unorthodox is the bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman's escape from a religious sect, in the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel and Carolyn Jessop's Escape, featuring a new epilogue by the author. As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded young woman whose stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life among the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah's desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at nineteen and realized that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a path-for herself and her son-to happiness and freedom. Remarkable and fascinating, this "sensitive and memorable coming-of-age story" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) is one you won't be able to put down.
Educating Palestine, through the story of education and the teaching of history in Mandate Palestine, reframes our understanding of the Palestinian and Zionist national movements. It argues that Palestinian and Hebrew pedagogy could only be truly understood through an analysis of the conscious or unconscious dialogue between them. The conflict over Palestine, the study shows, shaped the way Arabs and Zionists thought, taught, and wrote about their past. British rule over Palestine promised the Jews a national home, but had no viable policy towards the Palestinians and established an education system that lacked a sustainable collective ethos. Nevertheless, Palestinian educators were able to produce a national pedagogy that knew how to work with the British and simultaneously promoted an ideology of progress and independence that challenged colonial rule.
Originally published in 1997 "A wonderful balance of detail and clarity with excellent introductory essays on the Indus Valley civilization, the Vedic Period, the Upanishads, and devotional Hinduism," Religious Studies Review; Choice Outstanding Academic Book selling over 10,000 copies, and now revised and expanded to two volumes (Volume I: Major Deities and Social Structures) Herewith an outstanding introduction to the development of the religion of Hinduism from earliest times. While historical tradition is explored from as far back as pre-Aryan times in the fascinating ancient civilization that existed in India a few thousand years BCE, later expressions of religion and philosophy that informed early Hindu tradition are gleaned from its sacred texts. The author examines how present beliefs and practices have been informed by past traditions, and the resulting accommodation in Hinduism today. The book serves as an introduction to the two strands of theism and philosophical thought that emerged from early scriptures as they are expressed independently in Hinduism as well as in those traditions where they are woven together to create new religious movements. No prior knowledge of Hinduism is required. Contents include: The Indus Valley Civilization; The Vedic Period; Vedanta; The Advaita Vedanta of Sankara; Influential Theories (Samkhya and Yoga); Devotional Hinduism; The Bhagavad Gita; Songs of the Poets; The theistic philosophy of Ramanuja; The devotional theism of Caitanya; Unity and diversity.
In Buddhist thought and practice, death has always been a central concept. This book provides a careful and thorough analysis of the rituals and social customs surrounding death in the Theravada tradition of Sri Lanka.
Rita Langer describes the rituals of death and rebirth and investigates their ancient origins, analyzing social issues of the relationship between monks and lay people in this context. This aspect is of particular interest as death rituals are the only life cycle ritual in which Theravada Buddhist monks are actively involved. Drawing on early Vedic sutras and Pali texts as well as archaeological and epigraphical material, Buddhist Rituals of Death and Rebirth establishes that Sri Lankan rituals are deeply rooted in their pre-Buddhist, Vedic precursors. Whilst beliefs and doctrines have undergone considerable changes over the centuries, it becomes evident that the underlying practices have largely remained stable.
The first comprehensive study of death rituals in Theravada Buddhist practice, this is an important contribution to the fields of Buddhist studies, indology, anthropology and religious studies.
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.
Steve Howard departed for the Sudan in the early 1980s as an American graduate student beginning a three-year journey in which he would join and live with the Republican Brotherhood, the Sufi Muslim group led by the visionary Mahmoud Mohamed Taha. Taha was a religious intellectual who participated in the early days of Sudan's anticolonial struggle, but quickly turned his movement into a religious reform effort based on his radical reading of the Qur'an. He was executed in 1985 for apostasy. Decades after returning to the life of an academic in the United States, Howard brings us this memoir of his time with the Republican Brotherhood, who advocated, among other things, equality for women. Modern Muslims describes Howard's path to learning not only about Islam and Sufism but also about Sudan's history and culture. When the Brotherhood was thrust into confrontation with Sudan's then-president Jaafar Nimeiry, Howard had a front-line perspective on the difficult choices communities make as they try to reform and practice their faith freely. As well as a story of personal transformation, the book offers an insider's perspective on a modernist nonviolent Islamic movement that thrived and was brutally suppressed. An important book for our times, Modern Muslims yields significant insights for our understanding of modern Islam, African history, and contemporary geopolitics.
Providing a wealth of empirical research on the everyday practise of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia, this book gives a detailed account of how Islam is understood and practised among ordinary Muslims in the region, focusing in particular on Uzbekistan. It shows how individuals negotiate understandings of Islam as an important marker for identity, grounding for morality and as a tool for everyday problem-solving in the economically harsh, socially insecure and politically tense atmosphere of present-day Uzbekistan. Presenting a detailed case-study of the city of Bukhara that focuses upon the local forms of Sufism and saint veneration, the book shows how Islam facilitates the pursuit of more modest goals of agency and belonging, as opposed to the utopian illusions of fundamentalist Muslim doctrines.
An inspirational memoir from the recently canonized Pope Saint John Paul II Following the success of the international bestseller Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II provides the world with a glimpse into his past in RISE, LET US BE ON OUR WAY. Chronicling the years he spent as a bishop and later archbishop in Krakow, Poland through his election as the first Polish Pope in 1978, he recounts everything from communist efforts to suppress the church in Poland to his efforts to adopt a new and more open style of pastoral ministry. With recollections on his life as well as his thoughts on the issues facing the world now, Pope John Paul II offers words of wisdom in this book that will appeal to people of any faith looking to strengthen their spirituality.
How do Muslims who grew up after September 11 balance their love for hip-hop with their devotion to Islam? How do they live the piety and modesty called for by their faith while celebrating an art form defined, in part, by overt sexuality, violence, and profanity? In Representing Islam, Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir explores the tension between Islam and the global popularity of hip-hop, including attempts by the hip-hop ummah, or community, to draw from the struggles of African Americans in order to articulate the human rights abuses Muslims face. Nasir explores state management of hip-hop culture and how Muslim hip-hoppers are attempting to "Islamize" the genre's performance and jargon to bring the music more in line with religious requirements, which are perhaps even more fraught for female artists who struggle with who has the right to speak for Muslim women. Nasir also investigates the vibrant underground hip-hop culture that exists online. For fans living in conservative countries, social media offers an opportunity to explore and discuss hip-hop when more traditional avenues have been closed. Representing Islam considers the complex and multifaceted rise of hip-hop on a global stage and, in doing so, asks broader questions about how Islam is represented in this global community. -- Indiana University Press
By combining the spirit of fiction with the fabulism of Indian mythology and in-depth academic research, Vanessa R. Sasson shares the evocative story of the Buddha from the perspective of a forgotten woman: Yasodhara, the Buddha's wife. Although often marginalized, Yasodhara's narrative here comes to life. Written with a strong feminist voice, we encounter Yasodhara as a fiercely independent, passionate and resilient individual. We witness her joys and sorrows, her expectations and frustrations, her fairy-tale wedding, and her overwhelming devastation at the departure of her beloved. It is through her eyes that we witness Siddhattha's slow transformation, from a sheltered prince to a deeply sensitive young man. On the way, we see how the gods watch over the future Buddha from the clouds, how the king and his ministers try to keep the suffering of the world from him and how he eventually renounces the throne, his wife and newly-born son to seek enlightenment. Along with a foreword from Wendy Doniger, the book includes a scholarly introduction to Yasodhara's narrative and offers extensive notes along with study questions, to help readers navigate the traditional literature in a new way, making this an essential book for anyone wanting to learn about Buddhist narratives.
The Oxford Handbook of the Minor Prophets provides a clear and engaging one-volume guide to the major interpretative questions currently engaging scholars of the twelve Minor Prophets by collecting 40 essays by both established and emerging scholars who explore a wide range of methodological perspectives. Divided into four sections, the first group of essays is devoted to historical studies which consider the manuscript evidence for these books and overview debates about how, when, and by whom they were composed. Essays dealing with literary explorations consider the genres and rhetorical style of the material, key themes, and intertextual connections with other sections of the Jewish and Christian canons. A large section on the history of interpretation traces the ways in which past and present confessional communities, scholars, and artists have understood the Minor Prophets. In the final section, essays on individual books of the twelve Minor Prophets explore the structure, themes, and contested issues of each book.
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