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In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy-the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power. In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression "forced" Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream of an Islamic state. Meanwhile, democratic openings in the 1980s-and again during the Arab Spring-pushed Islamists back toward their original conservatism. With the uprisings of 2011, Islamists found themselves in an enviable position, but one for which they were unprepared. Groups like the Brotherhood combine the features of both political parties and religious movements, leading to an inherent tension they have struggled to resolve. However pragmatic they may be, their ultimate goal remains the Islamization of society. When the electorate they represent is conservative as well, they can push their own form of illiberal democracy while insisting they are carrying out the popular will. This can lead to overreach and significant backlash. Yet, while the Egyptian coup and the subsequent crackdown were a devastating blow for the Islamist "project," obituaries of political Islam are premature. As long as the battle over the role of religion in public life continues, Islamist parties in countries as diverse as Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan will remain an important force whether in the ranks of opposition or the halls of power. But what are the key factors driving their evolution? A timely and provocative reassessment, Hamid's account serves as an essential compass for those trying to understand where the region's varied Islamist groups have come from and where they might be headed.
An illustrated foray into the hidden truth about the use of psychoactive mushrooms to connect with the divine.
- Draws parallels between Vedic beliefs and Judeo-Christian sects, showing the existence of a mushroom cult that crossed cultural boundaries.
- Contends that the famed philosophers' stone of the alchemist was a metaphor for the mushroom.
- Confirms and extends Robert Gordon Wasson's hypothesis of the role of the fly agaric mushroom in generating religious visions.
Rejecting arguments that the elusive philosophers' stone of alchemy and the Hindu elixir of life were mere legend, Clark Heinrich provides a strong case that "Amanita muscaria," the fly agaric mushroom, played this role in world religious history. Working under the assumption that this "magic mushroom" was the mysterious food and drink of the gods, Heinrich traces its use in Vedic and Puranic religion, illustrating how ancient cultures used the powerful psychedelic in esoteric rituals meant to bring them into direct contact with the divine. He then shows how the same mushroom symbols found in Hindu scriptures correspond perfectly to the symbols of ancient Judaism, Christianity, the Grail myths, and alchemy, arguing that miraculous stories as disparate as the burning bush of Moses and the raising of Lazarus from the dead can be easily explained by the use of this strange and powerful mushroom. While acknowledging the speculative nature of his work, Heinrich concludes that in many religious cultures and traditions the fly agaric mushroom--and in some cases ergot or psilocybin mushrooms--had a fundamental influence in teaching humans about the nature of God. His insightful book truly brings new light to thereligious history of humanity.
Please note: this book is for students taking the pre-2016 OCR GCE Religious Studies AS and A2 specification. The new book is called Religion and Ethics for OCR: The Complete Resource for the New Specification. Ethics for OCR Religious Studies: The Complete Resource for AS and A2 is an ideal guide for students taking AS and A2 courses in the pre-2016 OCR GCE Religious Studies specification (H172 and H572). Ethics for OCR provides a rigorous and accessible introduction to both historical and contemporary ethical debates. Drawing on insights from recent examiners' reports and mark schemes, and following the OCR course outline closely, Mark Coffey and Dennis Brown's landmark book includes: * Up-to-date discussions of key debates in religious ethics * Ethical theories set in their historical context * Attention given to contemporary developments in law, science, technology, and society * A thorough guide to writing the perfect exam answer * A detailed exposition of OCR's assessment criteria and how best to meet them * Profiles of leading ethical, philosophical and religious thinkers, a chapter by chapter glossary, and helpful chapter summaries * Discussion points, activity boxes and past paper questions The most comprehensive book on the market, Ethics for OCR Religious Studies provides a rigorous and accessible introduction to both historical and contemporary ethical debates, including chapters on sexual and environmental and business ethics. Written with verve and clarity, the book's user-friendly style and attention to detail will help students of all abilities to achieve their best.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages were divided in many ways. But one thing they shared in common was the fear that God was offended by wrong belief. Medieval Heresies: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is the first comparative survey of heresy and its response throughout the medieval world. Spanning England to Persia, it examines heresy, error, and religious dissent - and efforts to end them through correction, persuasion, or punishment - among Latin Christians, Greek Christians, Jews, and Muslims. With a lively narrative that begins in the late fourth century and ends in the early sixteenth century, Medieval Heresies is an unprecedented history of how the three great monotheistic religions of the Middle Ages resembled, differed from, and even interrelated with each other in defining heresy and orthodoxy.
John Locke's treatises on government make frequent reference to the Hebrew Bible, while references to the New Testament are almost completely absent. To date, scholarship has not addressed this surprising characteristic of the treatises. In this book, Yechiel Leiter offers a Hebraic reading of Locke's fundamental political text. In doing so, he formulates a new school of thought in Lockean political interpretation and challenges existing ones. He shows how a grasp of the Hebraic underpinnings of Locke's political theory resolves many of the problems, as well as scholarly debates, that are inherent in reading Locke. More than a book about the political theory of John Locke, this volume is about the foundational ideas of western civilization. While focused on Locke's Hebraism, it demonstrates the persistent relevance of the biblical political narrative to modernity. It will generate interest among students of Locke and political theory; philosophy and early modern history; and within Bible study communities.
A work first published in English in 1951, Waiting on God forms the best possible introduction to the work of Simone Weil, for it brings us into direct contact with this amazing personality, at once so pure, so ardent, so utterly sincere, yet normally so reserved that only her closest friends guessed the secrets of her inner life. The first part of the book concerns her letters written to the Reverend Father Perrin, O.P., who befriended her at Marseilles and, the only priest she knew, became her intimate friend. The second part of the book concerns essays and reflections on such subjects as education, human affliction and the love of God, prayer, and forms of the implicit love of God.
Compared to the Puritans, Mormons have rarely gotten their due, treated as fringe cultists at best or marginalized as polygamists unworthy of serious examination at worst. In Kingdom of Nauvoo, the historian Benjamin E. Park excavates the brief life of a lost Mormon city, and in the process demonstrates that the Mormons are, in fact, essential to understanding American history writ large. Drawing on newly available sources from the LDS Church-sources that had been kept unseen in Church archives for 150 years-Park recreates one of the most dramatic episodes of the 19th century frontier. Founded in Western Illinois in 1839 by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and his followers, Nauvoo initially served as a haven from mob attacks the Mormons had endured in neighboring Missouri, where, in one incident, seventeen men, women, and children were massacred, and where the governor declared that all Mormons should be exterminated. In the relative safety of Nauvoo, situated on a hill and protected on three sides by the Mississippi River, the industrious Mormons quickly built a religious empire; at its peak, the city surpassed Chicago in population, with more than 12,000 inhabitants. The Mormons founded their own army, with Smith as its general; established their own courts; and went so far as to write their own constitution, in which they declared that there could be no separation of church and state, and that the world was to be ruled by Mormon priests. This experiment in religious utopia, however, began to unravel when gentiles in the countryside around Nauvoo heard rumors of a new Mormon marital practice. More than any previous work, Kingdom of Nauvoo pieces together the haphazard and surprising emergence of Mormon polygamy, and reveals that most Mormons were not participants themselves, though they too heard the rumors, which said that Joseph Smith and other married Church officials had been "sealed" to multiple women. Evidence of polygamy soon became undeniable, and non-Mormons reacted with horror, as did many Mormons-including Joseph Smith's first wife, Emma Smith, a strong-willed woman who resisted the strictures of her deeply patriarchal community and attempted to save her Church, and family, even when it meant opposing her husband and prophet. A raucous, violent, character-driven story, Kingdom of Nauvoo raises many of the central questions of American history, and even serves as a parable for the American present. How far does religious freedom extend? Can religious and other minority groups survive in a democracy where the majority dictates the law of the land? The Mormons of Nauvoo, who initially believed in the promise of American democracy, would become its strongest critics. Throughout his absorbing chronicle, Park shows the many ways in which the Mormons were representative of their era, and in doing so elevates nineteenth century Mormon history into the American mainstream.
El Salvador has experienced a dramatic religious transformation over the past half-century.In what was once an almost exclusively Catholic nation, more than 35 percent of the people are now evangelical Protestants, mostly identified as charismatic or Pentecostal. While having some roots in Protestant missions from North America and Europe, the religious renaissance overtaking El Salvador is both homegrown and closely related to the nation's social, cultural, and economic upheavals. Since the end of the Salvadoran Civil War, the traditional social orderawhich was established in colonial times, ruled by elites, enforced by the military, and supported by the Churchahas been overturned. Once a world of haciendas, plantations, and old merchant firms, El Salvador is now home to new factories, shopping malls, fast food restaurants, and call centers. Modernization has brought new ideas tooaabout asserting individual rights and making choices, forming communities, voting in elections, consuming material goods, employing technology, and engaging with global culture. The Rise of Pentecostalism in Modern El Salvador explores how this vast social transformation has opened the gates to runaway religious creativity and competition. In weaving together the lively and complex story, author Timothy Wadkins employs the scholarly tools of historical reconstruction, theological analysis, and ethnographic interviews, as well as the results of a pioneering national religious survey. The outcome is a comprehensive and detailed picture of El Salvador's religious renaissance against the backdrop of El Salvador's fitful path toward modernization and democratization.
The story of Saint Josaphat, a prince who gave up his wealth and kingdom to follow Jesus, was one of the most popular Christian tales of the Middle Ages, translated into a dozen languages, and cited by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. Yet Josaphat is only remembered today because of the similarities of his life to that of the Buddha. In Search of the Christian Buddha is set against the backdrop of the trade along the Silk Road, the Christian settlement of Palestine, the spread of Islam, and the Crusades. It traces the path of the Buddha's tale from India and shows how it evolved, adopting details from each culture during its sojourn. These early instances of globalization allowed not only goods but also knowledge to flow between different cultures and around much of the world. Eminent scholars Donald S. Lopez Jr. and Peggy McCracken reveal how religions born thousands of miles apart shared ideas throughout the centuries. They uncover surprising convergences and divergences between these faiths on subjects including the meaning of death, the problem of desire, and their view of women. Demonstrating the incredible power of this tale, they ask not how stories circulate among religions but how religions circulate among stories.
Prophecy and millennial speculation are often seen as having played a key role in early European engagements with the new world, from Columbus's use of the predictions of Joachim of Fiore, to the puritan `Errand into the Wilderness'. Yet examinations of such ideas have sometimes presumed an overly simplistic application of these beliefs in the lives of those who held to them. This book explores the way in which prophecy and eschatological ideas influenced poets, politicians, theologians, and ordinary people in the Atlantic world from the sixteenth to the late eighteenth century. Chapters cover topics ranging from messianic claimants to the Portuguese crown to popular prophetic almanacs in eighteenth-century New England; from eschatological ideas in the poetry of George Herbert and Anne Bradstreet, to the prophetic speculation surrounding the Evangelical revivals. It highlights the ways in which prophecy and eschatology played a key role in the early modern Atlantic world.
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.
Religious Ways of Experiencing Life: A Global and Narrative Approach surveys world religions, using the narratives and discourses of each tradition to describe it in its own terms. Carl Olson examines each tradition's practices, teachings, material culture, roles of women, and path to salvation, as well as the experiences of its followers. The exploration of lived experience draws out and emphasizes the plural nature of religious traditions. The volume includes chapters on all current major world religions, as well as material on ancient religions of the Mediterranean, indigenous North American and African spiritual traditions, and New Age and new religious movements. Featuring timelines and suggestions for further reading, this text will be of interest to undergraduate students seeking a broad introduction to World Religion or Lived Religion.
"Flawless . . . [Makdisi] reminds us of the critical declarations of secularism which existed in the history of the Middle East."-Robert Fisk, The Independent Today's headlines paint the Middle East as a collection of war-torn countries and extremist groups consumed by sectarian rage. Ussama Makdisi's Age of Coexistence reveals a hidden and hopeful story that counters this cliched portrayal. It shows how a region rich with ethnic and religious diversity created a modern culture of coexistence amid Ottoman reformation, European colonialism, and the emergence of nationalism. Moving from the nineteenth century to the present, this groundbreaking book explores, without denial or equivocation, the politics of pluralism during the Ottoman Empire and in the post-Ottoman Arab world. Rather than judging the Arab world as a place of age-old sectarian animosities, Age of Coexistence describes the forging of a complex system of coexistence, what Makdisi calls the "ecumenical frame." He argues that new forms of antisectarian politics, and some of the most important examples of Muslim-Christian political collaboration, crystallized to make and define the modern Arab world. Despite massive challenges and setbacks, and despite the persistence of colonialism and authoritarianism, this framework for coexistence has endured for nearly a century. It is a reminder that religious diversity does not automatically lead to sectarianism. Instead, as Makdisi demonstrates, people of different faiths, but not necessarily of different political outlooks, have consistently tried to build modern societies that transcend religious and sectarian differences.
In 1969,at the height of the Cold War, a group of British Christian researchers and activists, moved by the persecution of believers in the Soviet Union, established an organization dedicated to the study of religion under communism. They had two major goals: to educate the public about religious persecution and to promote academic analysis of religion in communist societies. The organization they founded, eventually named Keston College, amassed an extraordinary collection of primary source and research materials, used by its personnel to document the experiences of persecuted believers in the Soviet bloc and beyond and to publicize human rights violations against believers of all faiths. This formed the basis of a unique collection, called the Keston Archive, now at Baylor University. Voices of the Voiceless , edited by Julie deGraffenried and Zoe Knox, presents readers with twenty-five essays on acurated selection of images and artifacts fromtheKestonArchive. Some of the world's leading authorities onreligionand communism as well asexperts personally involved with the operation of Keston College carefullyselectedand provided commentary for these images. The archival material presented in the book offers vivid testimony of this critically important era in the history of religion and of the Cold War. A guided look into the past, Voices of the Voiceless reveals the power of what atheist and antireligious regimes sought to silence. This collection documents how believers fought for religious freedom, coped with oppression, and practiced their faith, individually and collectively, in states hostile to religion. It also presents atheist propaganda produced by communist regimes that aimed to marginalize and ultimately eradicate religion. This book offers insights into how faith survivedaandeven flourishedaduringone of the most intense antireligious campaigns of the modern era.
Gods Standard-Bearer is a clarion call to leaders today, to return to the moral and ethical standard that God has set for leaders. It is a cry in the wilderness to a society that finds itself in corporate and ecclesiastical corruption, at nearly every turn. Chapter by chapter this book discusses Gods standards for leaders in away that is interesting and easily understood. This book takes a look at the qualities that disqualified men from leadership, when God set forth His standard for the priesthood. The author takes the allegories of the past and translates them into our modern leadership society.
A compelling history of the ancient schism that continues to divide the Islamic world When Muhammad died in 632 without a male heir, Sunnis contended that the choice of a successor should fall to his closest companions, but Shi'a believed that God had inspired the Prophet to appoint his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as leader. So began a schism that is nearly as old as Islam itself. Laurence Louer tells the story of this ancient rivalry, taking readers from the last days of Muhammad to the political and doctrinal clashes of Sunnis and Shi'a today. In a sweeping historical narrative spanning the Islamic world, Louer shows how the Sunni-Shi'a divide was never just a dispute over succession-at issue are questions about the very nature of Islamic political authority. She challenges the widespread perception of Sunnis and Shi'a as bitter enemies who are perpetually at war with each other, demonstrating how they have coexisted peacefully at various periods throughout the history of Islam. Louer traces how sectarian tensions have been inflamed or calmed depending on the political contingencies of the moment, whether to consolidate the rule of elites, assert clerical control over the state, or defy the powers that be. Timely and provocative, Sunnis and Shi'a provides needed perspective on the historical roots of today's conflicts and reveals how both branches of Islam have influenced and emulated each other in unexpected ways. This compelling and accessible book also examines the diverse regional contexts of the Sunni-Shi'a divide, examining how it has shaped societies and politics in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, and Lebanon.
Exam board: OCR Level: A-level Subject: Religious Studies First teaching: September 2016 First exams: Summer 2018 Strengthen and refine the understanding and skills that your students require to excel in OCR A Level Religious Studies. Written by subject specialists with examining experience, this time-saving Workbook can be used flexibly for classwork or homework, throughout the course or for revision and exam practice. - Review knowledge with content summaries that will provide a concise overview of what students need to know for the exam - Develop exam skills with practice questions that check understanding and highlight common pitfalls - Build exam confidence as students work through the exam-style questions provided, giving them the chance to practise and perfect their technique - Save marking time and help students understand how to improve their responses by consulting the online answers supplied for all questions
The World's Religions offers a fascinating insight into a wide range of faiths, their history and their followers. In the richly illustrated new edition of this popular book, religions are described through their symbols, rituals, followers, architecture and art. References, statistics, maps and pictures have been updated and added. The text has been thoroughly revised to highlight recent developments, such as the spread of Islam, African-American and Hispanic-American religious experience, and women priests.
Animism' is now an important term for describing ways in which some people understand and engage respectfully with the larger-than-human world. Its central theme is our relationship with our other-than-human neighbours, such as animals, plants, rocks, and kettles, rooted in the understanding that the term 'person' includes more than humans. Graham Harvey explores the animist cultures of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians and eco-Pagans, introducing their diversity and considering the linguistic, performative, ecological and activist implications of these different animisms.
Manchuria entered the twentieth century as a neglected backwater of the dying Qing dynasty, and within a few short years became the focus of intense international rivalry to control its resources and shape its people. This book examines the place of religion in the development of Manchuria from the late nineteenth century to the collapse of the Japanese Empire in 1945. Religion was at the forefront in this period of intense competition, not just between armies but also among different models of legal, commercial, social and spiritual development, each of which imagining a very specific role for religion in the new society. Debates over religion in Manchuria extended far beyond the region, and shaped the personality of religion that we see today. This book is an ambitious contribution to the field of Asian history and to the understanding of the global meaning and practice of the role of religion.
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