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In this international bestseller Pope Francis explores the idea of happiness and shows how we can bring more meaning and purpose to our lives.
For Pope Francis, the appreciation of our everyday lives is a spiritual undertaking. Joy is a divine attribute and creating joy around us an essential part of faith. Happiness in This Life delivers, in warm, engaging language accessible to believers and nonbelievers alike, key lessons instructing readers on how to find love and happiness in a chaotic world.
Along the way, Pope Francis discusses the sanctity of women’s rights, the challenges that face today's young people, and why fighting discrimination is the essence of loving thy neighbour. He shares personal stories and anecdotes from his life and provides comforting messages of hope. The core ideas of his Holiness’ papacy – mercy, support for marginalized people, and diplomacy – shine through.
Full of inspiration and guidance for personal growth, this life-affirming book will help readers find the path towards spiritual well-being and living a happy life.
More than 25 percent of our marriages end in the tragedy of divorce, and over 72 percent of all teen-age marriages terminate in the courtroom. An undetermined number of young people are so disillusioned with marriage that it is no longer even a desirable option for them, and for many, marriage is really nothing more than an "armed truce." What are the reasons? Is there an answer? William McRae feels that most couples enter into marriage unprepared. Their expectations are unrealistic, their roles are undeveloped, their responsibilities are unknown, and their goals are undetermined. Because of this every couple married by Pastor McRae must be willing to participate in a premarriage study program. The material that has been developed and used over these years is essentially the content of this book.
How the book of Samuel offers a timeless meditation on the dilemmas of statecraft The book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought. Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the author of Samuel deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs-to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how these beautifully crafted narratives cut to the core of politics, offering a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft.
In the online world, people argue about anything and everything - religion is no exception. Stephen Pihlaja investigates how several prominent social media figures present views about religion in an environment where their positions are challenged. The analysis shows how conflict creates a space for users to share, explain, and develop their opinions and beliefs, by making appeals to both a core audience of like-minded viewers and a broader audience of viewers who are potentially interested in the claims, ambivalent, or openly hostile. The book argues that in the back-and-forth of these arguments, the positions that users take in response to the arguments of others have consequences for how religious talk develops, and potentially for how people understand and practice their beliefs in the twenty-first century. Based on original empirical research, it addresses long-debated questions in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis regarding the role of language in building solidarity, defining identity and establishing genres and registers of interaction.
A compelling history of radical transformation in the fourth-century--when Christianity decimated the practices of traditional pagan religion in the Roman Empire. The Final Pagan Generation recounts the fascinating story of the lives and fortunes of the last Romans born before the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Edward J. Watts traces their experiences of living through the fourth century's dramatic religious and political changes, when heated confrontations saw the Christian establishment legislate against pagan practices as mobs attacked pagan holy sites and temples. The emperors who issued these laws, the imperial officials charged with implementing them, and the Christian perpetrators of religious violence were almost exclusively young men whose attitudes and actions contrasted markedly with those of the earlier generation, who shared neither their juniors' interest in creating sharply defined religious identities nor their propensity for violent conflict. Watts examines why the "final pagan generation"-born to the old ways and the old world in which it seemed to everyone that religious practices would continue as they had for the past two thousand years-proved both unable to anticipate the changes that imperially sponsored Christianity produced and unwilling to resist them. A compelling and provocative read, suitable for the general reader as well as students and scholars of the ancient world.
This book examines the part played by monks of Mount Athos in the diffusion of Orthodox monasticism throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. It focuses on the lives of outstanding holy men in the history of Orthodoxy who have been drawn to the Mountain, have absorbed the spirit of its wisdom and its prayer, and have returned to the outside world, inspired to spread the results of their labours and learning. In a remarkable demonstration of what may be termed 'soft power' in action, these men have carried the image of Athos to all corners of the Balkan peninsula, to Ukraine, to the very far north of Russia, across Siberia and the Bering Strait into North America, and most recently (when traditional routes were closed to them by the curtain of communism) to the West. Their dynamic witness is the greatest gift of Athos to a world thirsting for spiritual guidance.
This book explores how the Virgin Mary's life is told in hymns, sermons, icons, art, and other media in the Byzantine Empire before AD 1204. A group of international specialists examines material and textual evidence from both Byzantine and Muslim-ruled territories that was intended for a variety of settings and audiences and seeks to explain why Byzantine artisans and writers chose to tell stories about Mary, the Mother of God, in such different ways. Sometimes the variation reflected the theological or narrative purposes of story-tellers; sometimes it expressed their personal spiritual preoccupations. Above all, the variety of aspects that this holy figure assumed in Byzantium reveals her paradoxical theological position as meeting-place and mediator between the divine and created realms. Narrative, whether 'historical', theological, or purely literary, thus played a fundamental role in the development of the Marian cult from Late Antiquity onward.
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.
The doctrine of the atonement is the distinctive doctrine of Christianity. Over the course of many centuries of reflection, highly diverse interpretations of the doctrine have been proposed. In the context of this history of interpretation, Eleonore Stump considers the doctrine afresh with philosophical care. Whatever exactly the atonement is, it is supposed to include a solution to the problems of the human condition, especially its guilt and shame. Stump canvasses the major interpretations of the doctrine that attempt to explain this solution and argues that all of them have serious shortcomings. In their place, she argues for an interpretation that is both novel and yet traditional and that has significant advantages over other interpretations, including Anselms well-known account of the doctrine. In the process, she also discusses love, union, guilt, shame, forgiveness, retribution, punishment, shared attention, mind-reading, empathy, and various other issues in moral psychology and ethics.
The complex and changing relationship between religion and migration is central to many urgent questions about diversity, inequality and pluralism. This wide-ranging collection of articles explores these questions in different periods of history, regions of the world and traditions of faith. There is a particular emphasis on how religions inspire, manage and benefit from migration as well as how the experience of migration affects religious beliefs, identities and practices. These volumes examine the interface between religion and migration at levels of analysis ranging from the local to the global, and from the individual to the faith community. With an original introduction by the editor, this collection of papers will serve as an excellent reference source for scholars, practitioners and academics working in the field of migration and religion.
Available for the first time in English language translation, this is the long-awaited second volume of the three part set on Totalitarianism and Political Religions, edited by the eminent Professor Hans Maier. This represents a major study, with contributions from leading scholars of political extremism, sociology and modern history, the book shows how new models for understanding political history arose from the experience of modern despotic regimes. We are used to distinguishing the despotic regimes of the twentieth century - Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Maoism - very precisely according to place and time, origins and influences. But what should we call that which they have in common? On this question, there has been, and still is, a passionate debate. Indeed, the question seemed for a long time not even to be admissible. Clearly this state of affairs is unsatisfactory. The debate has been renewed in the past few years. After the collapse of the communist systems in Central, East and Southern Europe, a (scarcely surveyable) mass of archival material has become available. Following the lead of Fascism and National Socialism, communist and socialist regimes throughout the world now belong to the historical past as well. This leads to the resumption of old questions: what place do modern despotisms assume in the history of the twentieth century? What is their relation to one another? Should they be captured using traditional concepts - autocracy, tyranny, despotism, dictatorship - or are new concepts required? Here, the most important concepts - totalitarianism and political religions - are discussed and tested in terms of their usefulness. This set of volumes is as topical and relevant to current world events in the twenty first century.
Available for the first time in English language translation, the third volume of Totalitarianism and Political Religions completes the set. It provides a comprehensive overview of key theories and theorists of totalitarianism and of political religions, from Hannah Arendt and Raymond Aron to Leo Strauss and Simone Weill. Edited by the eminent Professor Hans Maier, it represents a major study, examining how new models for understanding political history arose from the experience of modern despotic regimes. Where volumes one and two were concerned with questioning the common elements between twentieth century despotic regimes - Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Maoism - this volume draws a general balance. It brings together the findings of research undertaken during the decade 1992-2002 with the cooperation of leading philosophers, historians and social scientists for the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Munich. Following the demise of Italian Fascism (1943-45), German National Socialism (1945) and Soviet Communism (1989-91), a comparative approach to the three regimes is possible. A broad field of interpretation of the entire phenomenon of totalitarian and political religions opens up. This comprehensive study examines a vast topic which affects the political and historical landscape over the whole of the last century. Moreover, dictatorships and their motivations are still present in current affairs, today in the twenty-first century. The three volumes of Totalitarianism and Political Religions are a vital resource for scholars of fascism, Nazism, communism, totalitarianism, comparative politics and political theory.
"From the Sabbath to circumcision, from Hanukkah to the Holocaust, from bar mitzvah to bagel, how do Jewish religion, history, holidays, lifestyles, and culture make Jews different, and why is that difference so distinctive that we carry it from birth to the grave?" This accessible introduction to Judaism and Jewish life is especially for Christian readers interested in the deep connections and distinct differences between their faith and Judaism, but it is also for Jews looking for ways to understand their religion--and explain it to others. First released in 2002 and now in an updated edition.
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).
Rob Bell's bestseller 'Love Wins' tackled subjects church leaders have been afraid to touch. Now he asks the biggest question faced by any Christian: how do we know God? Although 2000 years of Christendom has seen huge changes in our broader understanding of our place in the world, belief remains rooted in archaism and tradition. Rob Bell believes we need to drop our primitive, tribal views of God and instead embrace the God who wants us to reach the potential within us; people who understand their universe of quarks and quantum string dynamics, but who recognise our fundamental need for stories of heroes and sacrifice and profound longing for a guiding force larger than ourselves. 'What We Talk About When We Talk About God' will reveal that God is not in need of repair to catch him up with today's world, so much as we need to discover the God who goes before us and beckons us forward. A book full of mystery, controversy, and reverence, 'What We Talk About When We Talk About God' promises not to disappoint.
If there was one person who could be said to light the touch-paper for the epochal transformation of European religion and culture that we now call the Reformation, it was Martin Luther. And Luther and his followers were to play a central role in the Protestant world that was to emerge from the Reformation process, both in Germany and the wider world. In all senses of the term, this religious pioneer was a huge figure in European history. Yet there is also the very uncomfortable but at the same time undeniable fact that he was an anti-semite. Written by one of the world's leading authorities on the Reformation, this is the vexed and sometimes shocking story of Martin Luther's increasingly vitriolic attitude towards the Jews over the course of his lifetime, set against the backdrop of a world in religious turmoil. A final chapter then reflects on the extent to which the legacy of Luther's anti-semitism was to taint the Lutheran church over the following centuries. Scheduled for publication on the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation's birth, in light of the subsequent course of German history it is a tale both sobering and ominous in equal measure.
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