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This book tells the story of the Prophet Muhammad as an inspirational role model for anyone who wants to be extraordinary.
You will learn how Muhammad shaped his personality as a child, dealt with the universal challenges of adolescence while a teenager, and then emerged as a leader in his community as a young adult. The book deliberately avoids the language of historical narration used in typical biographies of the Prophet in favor of a more informal, down-to-earth approach.
In this book, the reader will get a completely different view of Muhammad and hopefully will see how Muhammad addressed our own daily challenges, inspiring us to excel in confronting these challenges.
Why have Western societies that were once overwhelmingly Christian become so secular? Looking to the feelings and faith of ordinary people, the award-winning author of Protestants Alec Ryrie offers a bold new history of atheism. We think we know the history of faith: how the ratio of Christian believers has declined and a secular age dawned. In this startlingly original history, Alex Ryrie puts faith in the dock to explore how religious belief didn't just fade away. Rather, atheism bloomed as a belief system in its own right. Unbelievers looks back to the middle ages when it seemed impossible not to subscribe to Christianity, through the crisis of the Reformation and to the powerful, challenging cultural currents of the centuries since. As this history shows, the religious journey of the Western world was lived and steered not just by published philosophy and the celebrated thinkers of the day - the Machiavellis and Michel de Montaignes - but by men and women at every level of society. Their voices and feelings permeate this book in the form of diaries, letters and court records. Tracing the roots of atheism, Ryrie shows that our emotional responses to the times can lead faith to wax and wane: anger at a corrupt priest or anxiety in a turbulent moment spark religious doubt as powerfully as any intellectual revolution. With Christianity under contest and ethical redefinitions becoming more and more significant, Unbelievers shows that to understand how something as intuitive as belief is shaped over time, we must look to an emotional history - one with potent lessons for our still angry and anxious age.
Days after the assassination of his prime minister in the middle of Rome in November 1848, Pope Pius IX found himself a virtual prisoner in his own palace. The wave of revolution that had swept through Europe now seemed poised to put an end to the popes' thousand-year reign over the Papal States, if not indeed to the papacy itself. Disguising himself as a simple parish priest, Pius escaped through a back door. Climbing inside the Bavarian ambassador's carriage, he embarked on a journey into a fateful exile. Only two years earlier Pius's election had triggered a wave of optimism across Italy. After the repressive reign of the dour Pope Gregory XVI, Italians saw the youthful, benevolent new pope as the man who would at last bring the Papal States into modern times and help create a new, unified Italian nation. But Pius found himself caught between a desire to please his subjects and a fear-stoked by the cardinals-that heeding the people's pleas would destroy the church. The resulting drama-with a colorful cast of characters, from Louis Napoleon and his rabble-rousing cousin Charles Bonaparte to Garibaldi, Tocqueville, and Metternich-was rife with treachery, tragedy, and international power politics. David Kertzer is one of the world's foremost experts on the history of Italy and the Vatican, and has a rare ability to bring history vividly to life. With a combination of gripping, cinematic storytelling, and keen historical analysis rooted in an unprecedented richness of archival sources, The Pope Who Would Be King sheds fascinating new light on the end of rule by divine right in the west and the emergence of modern Europe.
Carole Hillenbrand's book offers a profound understanding of the history of Muslims and their faith, from the life of Muhammad to the religion practised by 1.6 billion people around the world today. Each of the eleven chapters explains a core aspect of the faith in historical perspective, allowing readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past. It is an ideal introductory text for courses in Middle Eastern studies, in religious studies, or on Islam and its history.
The history of a bewilderingly exotic city, rarely written about: five hundred years of clashing cultures and peoples, from the glories of Suleiman the Magnificent to its nadir under Nazi occupation. Salonica is the point where the wonders and horrors of the Orient and Europe have met over the centuries. Written with a Pepysian sense of the texture of daily life in the city through the ages, and with breathtakingly detailed historical research, Salonica evokes the sights, smells, habits, songs and responses of a unique city and its inhabitants. The history of Salonica is one of forgotten alternatives and wrong choices, of identities assumed and discarded. For centuries Jews, Christians and Muslims have succeeded each other in ascendancy, each people intent on erasing the presence of their predecessors, and the result is a city of extraordinarily rich cultural traditions and memories of extreme violence and genocide, one that sits on the overlapping hinterlands of both Europe and the East. Mark Mazower has written a work of astonishing depth and originality about this remarkable city. Magnificently researched and beautifully written, it is more than a book about a place; it studies in detail the way in which three great faiths and peoples have inhabited the same territory, and how smooth transitions and adaptations have been interwoven with violent endings and new beginnings.
Were humans created by "God" as Slaves? Was Abraham the first human Spy? Was Jesus an accidental Messiah? The author takes readers on a remarkable odyssey of the true origins of humankind in which he: draws clear and startling analogies between new discoveries in genetic engineering and ancient archaeological finds...; highlights emerging scientific information overlooked in the past... ; unravels the Bible's often obscure stories by linking these to their original forms in Sumerian clay tablets and other pre-historic writings..; provides explicit answers to why our modern world has become so senseless and chaotic by revealing the very secrets of our prehistory... While shattering myths about evolution and God, Michael Tellinger's "Slave Species of God" enables evolutionists and creationists to finally co-exist in one pond. The arguments are compelling, simple and refreshing, retracing the path of human evolution from the murky distant past to the religious dogma that haunts humankind today.;The question of who we are and where we come from takes on a new meaning as we discover that our DNA may have been manipulated by our Creator some 200,000 years ago to produce a less intelligent 'primitive species'.
"Although the Devil still 'lives' in modern popular culture, for the past 250 years he has become marginal to the dominant concerns of Western intellectual thought. That life could not be thought or imagined without him, that he was a part of the everyday, continually present in nature and history, and active at the depths of our selves, has been all but forgotten. It is the aim of this work to bring modern readers to a deeper appreciation of how, from the early centuries of the Christian period through to the recent beginnings of the modern world, the human story could not be told and human life could not be lived apart from the life of the Devil. With that comes the deeper recognition that, for the better part of the last two thousand years, the battle between good and evil in the hearts and minds of men and women was but the reflection of a cosmic battle between God and Satan, the divine and the diabolic, that was at the heart of history itself." from The Devil
Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Beelzebub; Ha-Satan or the Adversary; Iblis or Shaitan: no matter what name he travels under, the Devil has throughout the ages and across civilizations been a compelling and charismatic presence. In Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, the supposed reign of God has long been challenged by the fiery malice of his opponent, as contending forces of good and evil have between them weighed human souls in the balance.
In The Devil, Philip C. Almond explores the figure of evil incarnate from the first centuries of the Christian era. Along the way, he describes the rise of demonology as an intellectual and theological pursuit, the persecution as witches of women believed to consort with the Devil and his minions, and the decline in the belief in Hell and in angels and demons as corporeal beings as a result of the Enlightenment. Almond shows that the Prince of Darkness remains an irresistible subject in history, religion, art, literature, and culture. Almond brilliantly locates the life of the Devil within the broader Christian story of which it is inextricably a part; the demonic paradox of the Devil as both God s enforcer and his enemy is at the heart of Christianity. Woven throughout the account of the Christian history of the Devil is another complex and complicated history: that of the idea of the Devil in Western thought. Sorcery, witchcraft, possession, even melancholy, have all been laid at the Devil s doorstep. Until the Enlightenment enforced a disenchantment with the old archetypes, even rational figures such as Thomas Aquinas were obsessed with the nature of the Devil and the specific characteristics of the orders of demons and angels. It was a significant moment both in the history of demonology and in theology when Benedict de Spinoza (1632 1677) denied the Devil s existence; almost four hundred years later, popular fascination with the idea of the Devil has not yet dimmed."
How did a libertine who lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Christian faith win 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016? And why have white evangelicals become a presidential reprobate's staunchest supporters? These are among the questions acclaimed historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez asks in Jesus and John Wayne, which delves beyond facile headlines to explain how white evangelicals have brought us to our fractured political moment. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the "moral majority" backed Donald Trump for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Donald Trump in fact represents the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals' most deeply held values. Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping account of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, showing how American evangelicals have worked for decades to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism, or in the words of one modern chaplain, with "a spiritual badass." As Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the role of culture in modern American evangelicalism. Many of today's evangelicals may not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they've read John Eldredge's Wild at Heart, and they learned about purity before they learned about sex-and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical popular culture is teeming with muscular heroes-mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of "Christian America." Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done. Trump, in other words, is hardly the first flashy celebrity to capture evangelicals' hearts and minds, nor is he the first strongman to promise evangelicals protection and power. Indeed, the values and viewpoints at the heart of white evangelicalism today-patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community-are likely to persist long after Trump leaves office. A much-needed reexamination, Jesus and John Wayne explains why evangelicals have rallied behind the least-Christian president in American history and how they have transformed their faith in the process, with enduring consequences for all of us.
Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus-Devotion harvests from Larry W. Hurtado's lifetime of study of the New Testament and the development of early Christianity. Hurtado's career of historical and literary research spans forty years and emphasizes both continuity and discontinuity in the origins of the Christian faith. This volume displays Hurtado's command of the nature, shape, and implications of Christ-devotion for understanding Christian origins. Hurtado begins with the scholarly framework for understanding Christ-devotionaengaging key figures from Bousset and Bultmann to Bauckham and Wright. The next section maps the first-century Jewish devotional, liturgical, and theological contexts in which the early church and its worshiping life first emerged. Phenomenological investigations follow that set Christian innovation in the context of ancient Jewish monotheism, focusing specifically on the experiential factors shaping early Christian faith and devotional practices. The focus turns finally to the surprising ways in which the innovative, Jesus-centered beliefs and worship formed early Christian self-expression and identity. The volume concludes with a survey of some significant concrete implications of the distinctive dyadic devotional pattern that erupted early and spread widely. Even as this collection traces the historical narrative of Christian origins through the lens of Christology and devotion, it also forms an inclusive testament to one scholar's outstanding contributions to the ongoing discussion of what made early Christianity powerfully unique in its historical setting. Quintessential Hurtado, this volume is a necessity for any attempt to understand the diversity of factors at play in the birth of Christianity.
In this groundbreaking book, Selina O'Grady examines how and why the post-Christian and the Islamic worlds came to be as tolerant or intolerant as they are. She asks whether tolerance can be expected to heal today's festering wound between these two worlds, or whether something deeper than tolerance is needed. Told through contemporary chronicles, stories and poems, Selina O'Grady takes the reader through the intertwined histories of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish persecutors and persecuted. From Umar, the seventh century Islamic caliph who laid down the rules for the treatment of religious minorities in what was becoming the greatest empire the world has ever known, to Magna Carta John who seriously considered converting to Islam; and from al-Wahhab, whose own brother thought he was illiterate and fanatical, but who created the religious-military alliance with the house of Saud that still survives today, to Europe's bloody Thirty Years war that wearied Europe of murderous inter-Christian violence but probably killed God in the process. This book is an essential guide to understanding Islam and the West today and the role of religion in the modern world.
The religious thinkers, political leaders, law-makers, writers and philosophers of the early Muslim world helped to shape the 1,400-year-long development of today's second- largest world religion. But who were these people? What do we know of their lives, and the ways in which they influenced their societies? Chase F. Robinson draws on the long tradition in Muslim scholarship of commemorating in writing the biographies of notable figures, but weaves these ambitious lives together to create a rich narrative of early Islamic civilization, from the Prophet Muhammad to fearsome Tamerlane. Beginning in Islam's heartland, Mecca, we move across Arabia to follow Islam's journey across North Africa, as far as Spain in the West, and eastwards through Central and East Asia; we see the rise and fall of Islamic states through the political and military leaders working to secure peace or expand their power, and, within this political climate, the development of Islamic law, scientific thought and literature through the words of the scholars who devoted themselves to these pursuits. Alongside the famous characters who coloured this landscape, including Muhammad's controversial cousin, 'Ali; the first Sultan of Egypt, Saladin; and the poet Rumi, the reader will also meet less well- known figures, such as Shajar al-Durr, slave-turned-Sultana of Egypt, and Ibn Fadlan, whose travels in Eurasia brought first-hand accounts of the Volka Vikings to the Abbasid Caliph.
Free-thinking Thomas Jefferson established the University of Virginia as a secular institution and stipulated that the university should not provide any instruction in religion. Yet over the course of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth, religion came to have a prominent place in the university, which today maintains the largest department of religious studies of any public university in America. Given his intentions, how did Jefferson's university undergo such remarkable transformations? In God on the Grounds, esteemed religious studies scholar Harry Gamble offers the first history of religion's remarkably large role-both in practice and in study-at UVA. Jefferson's own reputation as a religious skeptic and infidel was a heavy liability to the University, which was widely regarded as injurious to the faith and morals of its students. Consequently, the faculty and Board of Visitors were eager throughout the nineteenth century to make the University more religious. Gamble narrates the early, rapid, and ongoing introduction of religion into the University's life through the piety of professors, the creation of the chaplaincy, the growth of the YMCA, the multiplication of religious services and meetings, the building of a chapel, and the establishment of a Bible lectureship and a School of Biblical History and Literature. He then looks at how-only in the mid-twentieth century-the University began to retreat from its religious entanglements and reclaim its secular character as a public institution. A vital contribution to the institutional history of UVA, God on the Grounds sheds light on the history of higher education in the United States, American religious history, and the development of religious studies as an academic discipline.
The office of Archbishop of Canterbury is the oldest continuous institution in Britain - older than the English crown and much older than Parliament. For over fourteen hundred years, from Augustine in the 6th century to Justin Welby in the 21st, successive Archbishops have been caught up in the transformation of the country from a collection of feudal Saxon kingdoms ruled by warrior kings to a modern industrial state with a democratic parliament and an established Church - as well as the longest reigning sovereign. Some Archbishops have managed the tension between their responsibility to lead the Church and proclaim the gospel and their obligation to serve the interests of the state and its rulers. Others have lost their lives - three executed by the state, while two have met violent deaths at the hands of lawless mobs. This new Pitkin captures the story of their faith and power, wisdom and folly and explores how high principle is matched at times by craven self-interest.
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