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Do you find the violence in the Old Testament a problem? Does it get in the way of reading the Bible - and of faith itself? While acknowledging that there are no easy answers, in God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today?, Helen Paynter faces the questions head-on and offers a fresh, accessible approach to a significant issue. For all those seeking to engage with the Bible and gain confidence in the God it portrays, she provides tools for reading and interpreting biblical texts, and points to ways of dealing with the overall trajectories of violence. 'In lucid prose Helen Paynter argues that violence featured in the biblical canon should not be ignored or denied but acknowledged and faced honestly. While history is played out in a broken and often violent world the author shows how the movement of scripture is toward God's creative intention for healing and wholeness. Without providing final answers Paynter offers ways of interpreting even the most violent passages so that we may hear God's word for today.' John Meredith, Editor of Word & Worship 'A rigorous yet accessible exploration of Old Testament violence ideal for individuals or groups wishing to engage with these troubling texts and the issues they raise. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in the questions it explores. If you are new to the subject, it offers a comprehensive introduction and the reassurance that you are being guided by a capable and safe pair of hands as you begin to engage with challenging and important issues.' Peter King, Diocese of Chichester
Protectors of Pluralism argues that local religious minorities are more likely to save persecuted groups from purification campaigns. Robert Braun utilizes a geo-referenced dataset of Jewish evasion in the Netherlands and Belgium during the Holocaust to assess the minority hypothesis. Spatial statistics and archival work reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions of the Low Countries, while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant areas. Post-war testimonies and secondary literature demonstrate the importance of minority groups for rescue in other countries during the Holocaust as well as other episodes of mass violence, underlining how the local position of church communities produces networks of assistance, rather than something inherent to any religion itself. This book makes an important contribution to the literature on political violence, social movements, altruism and religion, applying a range of social science methodologies and theories that shed new light on the Holocaust.
Fr. Anthony Alexander states that "Apologetics is the study in which we prove by reason that the Roman Catholic] Church is the agency set up by God to carry on His work of teaching the doctrines of supernatural religion" (page 5). The author calls this book College Apologetics because it is written for the college-level student, i.e., the adult mind, which is able to grasp on an academic level the facts he arrays here before the reader. His readership, therefore, would also include upper-level high school students. "College Apologetics is not just another nice book of apologetics. It is rather the classic treatment of the subject-undated and undatable, precisely reasoned, and carrying the reader through a series of logic gates that begin with the proof of the existence of God and follow logically through the proof of the existence of the human soul, the necessity of religion, the reliability of the Gospels, the claims of Christ and the proofs thereof, the reason for His coming, the nature of His Church, its four classic identifying marks, the 'moral miracle' of the Catholic Church and, finally, its infallibility as the religious Teacher of mankind." (Publisher's Preface, page x.). Not only is the book's logic ironclad, it also unveils the great historical evidence for the veracity of the Church from extant writings of some of the greatest historical figures of the first centuries after Christ. This book is a work of genius. That it was even written is a great grace, for it is destined to do tremendous good in our confused times. "Because we need the Church of Christ for salvation, we need to know which is the true Church of Christ; and because in the Western world since the Protestant Reformation we have a multiplicity of Christian 'churches', the identity of the True Church of Jesus Christ becomes for some people a mystery. It will not be a mystery after a reading of Fr. Alexander's College Apologetics." (Publisher's Preface, pages x-xi).
Neal Donald Walsch was experiencing a low period in his life when he decided to write a letter to God, venting his frustrations. What he did not expect was a response. As he finished his letter, he was moved to continue writing - and out came extraordinary answers to his questions. This work presents the answers that Walsch received, helping him to change himself, his life and the way he viewed other beings.
An important part of philosophy is concerned with religious questions. What is the meaning of life, and how might religious faith or doubt impact such meaning? What is the evidence for the existence of God? Is evidence essential for religious faith? What is the relationship between science and religion? What is the relationship between religions? How can or should one assess virtues and vices, right and wrong, from a religious versus a secular point of view? In this beginner's guide, Charles Taliaferro addresses these and other important questions involved in philosophy of religion. He challenges the negative, often complacent attitudes towards religion as being dangerous or merely superstitious, arguing instead for a healthy pluralism and respect between persons of faith and secular inquirers. What is Philosophy of Religion? takes a practical, question-based approach to the subject, inviting the reader to engage with this exciting area of philosophy in a down-to-earth way.
This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of Palestine, contrary to accepted belief, is not a modern invention or one constructed in opposition to Israel, but rooted firmly in ancient past. Palestine represents the authoritative account of the country's history.
"A history of philosophy in twelve thinkers...The whole performance combines polyglot philological rigor with supple intellectual sympathy, and it is all presented...in a spirit of fun...This bracing and approachable book [shows] that there is life in philosophy yet." -Times Literary Supplement "Exceptionally engaging...Geuss has a remarkable knack for putting even familiar thinkers in a new light." -Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "Geuss is something like the consummate teacher, his analyses navigable and crystal, his guidance on point." -Doug Phillips, Key Reporter Raymond Geuss explores the ideas of twelve philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates and Plato in the ancient world to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Adorno. The result is a striking account of some of the most innovative thinkers in Western history and an indirect manifesto for how to pursue philosophy today. Geuss cautions that philosophers' attempts to break from convention do not necessarily make the world a better place. Montaigne's ideas may have been benign, but the fate of those of Hobbes, Hegel, and Nietzsche has been more varied. Yet in the act of provoking people to think differently, philosophers remind us that we are not fated to live within the systems of thought we inherit.
Christian monasticism emerged in the Egyptian deserts in the fourth century AD. This introduction explores its origins and subsequent development and what it aimed to achieve, including the obstacles that it encountered; for the most part making use of the monks' own words as they are preserved (in Greek) primarily in the so-called Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Mainly focussing on monastic settlements in the Nitrian Desert (especially at Scete), it asks how the monks prayed, ate, drank and slept, as well as how they discharged their obligations both to earn their own living by handiwork and to exercise hospitality. It also discusses the monks' degree of literacy, as well as women in the desert and Pachomius and his monasteries in Upper Egypt. Written in straightforward language, the book is accessible to all students and scholars, and anyone with a general interest in this important and fascinating phenomenon.
The tragic events in America on September 11th 2001 and the continuing saga of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East have served to focus world attention on Islam and the nature and origin of Islamic belief. While some Islamic leaders condemn such attacks as contradicting the teaching of Islam, some Muslim politicians praise them as an obligation on every Muslim to kill the unbelievers. This difference in view shows that two forms of Islam exist now in the Middle East: a religious one, and a political one. Political Islam calls for Jihad to fight the enemy, who they identify as their local rulers as well as Israel and the United States. With the spread of Political Islam, the original Islamic teaching, established by the Kuran, seems to have been forgotten. Muhammad confirmed Islam was not a new religion, but an old one, from the time of Abraham. It relies on the monotheistic teaching of Moses and the Christian belief of the resurrection. This concise, erudite account of the background to today's present conflicts is required reading.
Endorsed by WJEC/Eduqas, the Student Book offers high quality support you can trust. / Written by experienced teachers and authors with an in-depth understanding of teaching, learning and assessment at A Level and AS. / A skills-based approach to learning, covering content of the specification with examination preparation from the start. / Developing skills feature focuses on what to do with the content and the issues that are raised with a progressive range of AO1 examples and AO2 exam-focused activities. / Questions and Answers section provides practice questions with student answers and examiner commentaries. / It provides a range of specific activities that target each of the Assessment Objectives to build skills of knowledge, understanding and evaluation. / Includes a range of features to encourage you to consolidate and reinforce your learning.
The interdisciplinary field of economics and religion has come a long way since 2003 when Edward Elgar published the pioneering volume Economics and Religion. The influence of religious ideas on the birth of economics as a discipline and its rise to cultural dominance is now widely recognized. The largely Protestant discussion has been enriched by Roman Catholic contributions stimulated by recent Papal Encyclicals. The economics of religion has now matured into a respectable subfield of economics and articles on religion regularly appear in top economics journals. Together with an original and insightful introduction to place them in context, this volume makes available the most important recent contributions to the field and will be an invaluable research resource for scholars and academics alike.
This volume explores the legal issues and legal consequences underlying relations between secular and religious authorities in the context of the Christian Church, from its earliest emergence within Roman Palestine as a persecuted minority sect through the period when it became legally recognized within the Roman empire, its many institutional manifestations in the East and West throughout the Middle Ages, the reconfigurations associated with the Reformation and Catholic/Counter-Reformations, the legal and constitutional complications, and the variable consequences of so-called secularization thereafter. The engagement of secular and religious authorities with the law and the question of what the law actually comprised (Roman law, canon law, national laws, state and royal edicts) are addressed. Bringing together the work of a wide range of scholars, this volume deepens our understanding of interactions between the churches and the legal systems in which they existed in the past and continue to exist now.
Is Islam fundamentally violent? For influential New Atheists such as Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Richard Dawkins, the answer is an emphatic yes, largely because of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. According to this view, when al-Qaeda plotted 9/11 or ISIS planned any one of its recent terrorist attacks, they were acting in accord with Islamic scripture. Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism scrutinizes this claim by comparing the conflicting interpretations of jihad offered by mainstream Muslim scholars, violent Muslim radicals, and New Atheists. Mohammad Hassan Khalil considers contemporary Muslim terrorism to be a grave problem that we must now confront. He shows, however, that the explanations offered for this phenomenon by the New Atheists are highly problematic, and that their own interpretations of the role of violence in Islam exceed those of even radicals such as Osama bin Laden. In showing all of this, Khalil offers critical insights on a most pressing issue.
The Apostolic Penitentiary was and remains the highest office in the Catholic Church concerned with sin and matters of conscience. The papacy reserved to itself absolution from certain grave sins, and successive popes empowered the cardinal penitentiary in charge of the office to absolve sinners in these reserved cases, which included violence against or by the clergy and abandonment of the religious life. The cardinal was also authorised to grant other favours that were a papal monopoly, including dispensations, notably for marriages between close relatives normally forbidden by church law, and special licences, for example allowing confession to a personal chaplain rather than one's parish priest. Petitioners from across Western Europe requested such favours in their thousands and their supplications shed important new light on religious, social and even political history, covering themes as varied as marriage, sexual deviance, violence, the religious life, popular piety, illegitimacy, and pilgrimage. This valuable evidence, recorded in the registers of the Apostolic Penitentiary held in the Vatican Archives, has only been available to researchers since 1983. This edition makes accessible for the first time over 4,000 supplications concerning England and Wales in the office's fifty earliest surviving registers; they are presented with notes and introduction and other apparatus. Peter D. Clarke is Reader in Medieval History at the University of Southampton; Patrick N.R. Zutshi is Keeper of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cambridge University Library, and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
In 1144, the mutilated body of William of Norwich, a young apprentice leatherworker, was found abandoned outside the city's walls. The boy bore disturbing signs of torture, and a story spread that it was a ritual murder, performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion as a mockery of Christianity. The outline of William's tale eventually gained currency far beyond Norwich, and the idea that Jews engaged in ritual murder became firmly rooted in the European imagination. E.M. Rose's engaging book delves into the story of William's murder and the notorious trial that followed to uncover the origin of the ritual murder accusation - known as the "blood libel" - in western Europe in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the specific historical context - 12th-century ecclesiastical politics, the position of Jews in England, the Second Crusade, and the cult of saints - and suspensefully unraveling the facts of the case, Rose makes a powerful argument for why the Norwich Jews (and particularly one Jewish banker) were accused of killing the youth, and how the malevolent blood libel accusation managed to take hold. She also considers four "copycat" cases, in which Jews were similarly blamed for the death of young Christians, and traces the adaptations of the story over time. In the centuries after its appearance, the ritual murder accusation provoked instances of torture, death and expulsion of thousands of Jews and the extermination of hundreds of communities. Although no charge of ritual murder has withstood historical scrutiny, the concept of the blood libel is so emotionally charged and deeply rooted in cultural memory that it endures even today. Rose's groundbreaking work, driven by fascinating characters, a gripping narrative, and impressive scholarship, provides clear answers as to why the blood libel emerged when it did and how it was able to gain such widespread acceptance, laying the foundations for enduring antisemitic myths that continue to present.
The parish churches of Lincolnshire are justly celebrated. The spires of Grantham and Louth, and the famous Boston Stump, provide a focal point from the surrounding landscape of fen, wold and marsh. The charms of remote country churches along the byways of the county have been extolled in prose and verse by writers such as Henry Thorold and Sir John Betjeman. Their architecture, their stained glass and sculpture, furniture and fabric, have all been carefully recorded. Yet little is known of the people who served these churches, the rectors and vicars who, in word and sacrament, taught the Christian faith to successive generations of parishioners. This volume forms the second part of a much-needed survey of Lincolnshire parish clergy. It covers the deaneries of Beltisloe, comprising twenty-one parishes clustered around Colsterworth and Corby, and of Bolingbroke, with twenty-five parishes centred on Spilsby. Starting from 1214, when Bishop Hugh of Wells introduced the earliest system of episcopal registration in Western Europe, the parish lists set out the succession of rectors or vicars for each church. Brief biographical sketches demonstrate the rich variety of the county's parsons - pastors, scholars, athletes, travellers and writers, soldiers and schoolmasters. This register gives to each of them his place in the history of Lincolnshire. Dr Nicholas Bennett is Visiting Senior Fellow of the University of Lincoln.
Exploiting the turbulence and strife of sixteenth-century France, the House of Guise arose from a provincial power base to establish themselves as dominant political players in France and indeed Europe, marrying within royal and princely circles and occupying the most important ecclesiastical and military positions. Propelled by ambitions derived from their position as cadets of a minor sovereign house, they represent a cadre of early modern elites who are difficult to categorise neatly: neither fully sovereign princes nor fully subject nobility. They might have spent most of their time in one state, France, but their interests were always 'trans-national'; contested spaces far from the major centres of monarchical power - from the Ardennes to the Italian peninsula - were frequent theatres of activity for semi-sovereign border families such as the Lorraine-Guise. This nexus of activity, and the interplay between princely status and representation, is the subject of this book. The essays in this collection approach Guise aims, ambitions and self-fashioning using this 'trans-national' dimension as context: their desire for increased royal (rather than merely princely) power and prestige, and the use of representation (visual and literary) in order to achieve it. Guise claims to thrones and territories from Jerusalem to Naples are explored, alongside the Guise 'dream of Italy', with in-depth studies of Henry of Lorraine, fifth Duke of Guise, and his attempts in the mid-seventeenth century to gain a throne in Naples. The combination of the violence and drama of their lives at the centres of European power and their adroit use of publicity ensured that versions of their strongly delineated images were appropriated by chroniclers, playwrights and artists, in which they sometimes featured as they would have wished, as heroes and heroines, frequently as villains, and ultimately as characters in the narratives of national heritage.
During the Scottish Enlightenment the relationship between aesthetics and ethics became deeply ingrained: beauty was the sensible manifestation of virtue; the fine arts represented the actions of a virtuous mind; to deeply understand artful and natural beauty was to identify with moral beauty; and the aesthetic experience was indispensable in making value judgments. This book reveals the history of how the Scots applied the vast landscape of moral philosophy to the specific territories of beauty - in nature, aesthetics and ethics - in the eighteenth century. The author explores a wide variety of sources, from academic lectures and institutional record, to more popular texts such as newspapers and pamphlets, to show how the idea that beauty and art made individuals and society more virtuous was elevated and understood in Scottish society.
Infinity is an intriguing topic, with connections to religion, philosophy, metaphysics, logic, and physics as well as mathematics. Its history goes back to ancient times, with especially important contributions from Euclid, Aristotle, Eudoxus, and Archimedes. The infinitely large (infinite) is intimately related to the infinitely small (infinitesimal). Cosmologists consider sweeping questions about whether space and time are infinite. Philosophers and mathematicians ranging from Zeno to Russell have posed numerous paradoxes about infinity and infinitesimals. Many vital areas of mathematics rest upon some version of infinity. The most obvious, and the first context in which major new techniques depended on formulating infinite processes, is calculus. But there are many others, for example Fourier analysis and fractals. In this Very Short Introduction, Ian Stewart discusses infinity in mathematics while also drawing in the various other aspects of infinity and explaining some of the major problems and insights arising from this concept. He argues that working with infinity is not just an abstract, intellectual exercise but that it is instead a concept with important practical everyday applications, and considers how mathematicians use infinity and infinitesimals to answer questions or supply techniques that do not appear to involve the infinite. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
John Henry Newman was one of the most eminent of Victorians and an intellectual pioneer for an age of doubt and unsettlement. His teaching transformed the Victorian Church of England, yet many still want to know more of Newman's personal life. Newman's printed correspondence runs to 32 volumes, and John Henry Newman: A Portrait in Letters offers a way through the maze. Roderick Strange has chosen letters that illustrate not only the well-known aspects of Newman's personality, but also those in which elements that may be less familiar are on display. There are letters to family and friends, and also terse letters laced with anger and sarcasm. The portrait has not been airbrushed. This selection of letters presents a rounded picture, one in which readers will meet Newman as he really was and enjoy the pleasure of his company. As Newman himself noted, 'the true life of a man is in his letters'. Please note, earlier versions of this edition misattributed a review quote from Etudes newmaniennes to the Newman Studies Journal. This has now been corrected.
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