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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.
Christianity, the faith of almost three-quarters of the diverse South African population, has long been pushed to the margins of historical writing on South Africa, yet for more than two centuries it has shaped South African society and its diverse subcultures. This tightly constructed and vigorously written book - a collaboration of thirty specialists working in seven countries - situates Christianity for the first time in the broad political, social, and economic context of South African history; it also traces a variety of religious movements and their histories both before and during apartheid.
Perhaps nowhere in the African continent is the study of Christianity as fascinating, complex, or contentious as in South Africa. In the twentieth century South Africans have used Christian doctrine both to justify and to oppose doctrines of racial segregation, and Christian leadership provided much of the impetus for the founding of the African National Congress in 1912. But the history of South African Christianity is found for the most part in local, or "micro" narratives, while the highly elaborated "macro" narratives of colonialism, capitalism, and liberation - the backbone of the conventional histories of South Africa - assign Christianity a marginal role, or no role at all.
This volume seeks to insert the Christian micro-narratives into the macro-narratives of South African history, providing for the first time an in-depth, cohesive look at Christianity in South Africa.
The ancient world, much like our own, thrived on cultural diversity and exchange. The riches of this social reality are evident in the writings of Jews in the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Jewish authors drew on the wide range of Greek literary conventions and gave fresh expressions to the proud traditions of their faith and ethnic identity. They did not hesitate to modify and adapt the forms they received from the surrounding culture, but their works stand as legitimate participants in Greco-Roman literary tradition. In Greek Genres and Jewish Authors , Sean Adams argues that a robust understanding of ancient genre facilitates proper textual interpretation. This perspective is vital for insight on the author, the work's original purpose, and how the original readers would have received it. Adopting a cognitive-prototype theory of genre, Adams provides a detailed discussion of Jewish authors writing in Greek from ca. 300 BCE to ca. 135 CEaincluding New Testament authorsaand their participation in Greek genres. The nine chapters focus on broad genre divisions (e.g., poetry, didactic, philosophy) to provide studies on each author's engagement with Greek genres, identifying both representative and atypical expressions and features. The book's most prominent contribution lies in its data synthesis to provide a macroperspective on the ways in which Jewish authors participated in and adapted Greek genresain other words, how members of a minority culture intentionally engaged with the dominant culture's literary practices alongside traditional Jewish features, resulting in unique text expressions. Greek Genres and Jewish Authors provides a rich resource for Jewish, New Testament, and classical scholars, particularly those who study cultural engagement, development of genres, and ancient education.
The imagery of Hell, the Christian account of the permanent destinations of the human soul after death, has fascinated people over the centuries since the emergence of the Christian faith. These landmark volumes provide the first large-scale investigation of this imagery found across the Byzantine and post-Byzantine world. Particular emphasis is placed on images from churches across Venetian Crete, which are comprehensively collected and published for the first time. Crete was at the centre of artistic production in the late Byzantine world and beyond and its imagery was highly influential on traditions in other regions. The Cretan examples accompany rich comparative material from the wider Mediterranean - Cappadocia, Macedonia, the Peloponnese and Cyprus. The large amount of data presented in this publication highlight Hell's emergence in monumental painting not as a concrete array of images, but as a diversified mirroring of social perceptions of sin.
Although evangelicals and environmentalists at large still find themselves on opposing sides of an increasingly contentious issue, there is a counternarrative that has received little attention. Since the late 1970s, evangelical creation care advocates have worked relentlessly both to find a common cause with environmentalists and to convince fellow evangelicals to engage in environmental debate and action. In God's Wounded World , Melanie Gish analyzes the evolution of evangelical environmental advocacy in the United States. Drawing on qualitative interviews, organizational documents, and other texts, her interdisciplinary approach focuses on the work of evangelical environmental organizations and the motivations of the individuals who created them. Gish positions creation care by placing mainstream environmentalism on one side and organized evangelical environmental skepticism on the other. The religiopolitical space evangelical environmental leaders have established "in-between but still within" is carefully explored, with close attention to larger historical context as well as to creation care's political opportunities and intraevangelical challenges. The nuanced portrait that emerges defies simple distinctions.Not only are creation care leaders wrestling with questions of environmental degradation and engagement, they also must grapple with what it means to be an evangelical living faithfully in both present-day America and the global community. As Gish reveals, evangelical advocates' answers to these questions place moral responsibility and mediation above ideology and dogmatic certainty. Such a posture risks political irrelevance in our hyperpartisan and combative political culture, but if it succeeds it could transform the creation care movement into a powerful advocate fora more accommodating and holistically oriented evangelicalism.
In nineteenth-century Ghana, regional warfare rooted in profound social and economic transformations led thousands of displaced people to seek refuge in the small mountain kingdom of Akuapem. There they encountered missionaries from Germany whose message of sin and forgiveness struck many of these newcomers as irrelevant to their needs. However, together with Akuapem's natives, these newcomers began reformulating Christianity as a ritual tool for social and physical healing, as well as power, in a dangerous spiritual and human world. The result was Ghana's oldest African-initiated variant of Christianity: a homegrown expression of unbroken moral, political, and religious priorities. Focusing on the southeastern Gold Coast in the middle of the nineteenth century, Healing and Power in Ghana identifies patterns of indigenous reception, rejection, and reformulation of what had initially arrived, centuries earlier, as a European trade religion. Paul Grant draws on a mixture of European and indigenous sources in several languages, building on recent scholarship in world Christianity to address the question of conversion through the lens of the indigenous moral imagination. This approach considers, among other things, the conditions in which Akuapem locals and newly arrived displaced persons might find Christianity useful or applicable to their needs. This is no traditional history of the European-African religious encounter. Ghanian Christians identified the missionaries according to preexisting political and religious categoriesaas a new class of shrine priests. They resolved their own social crises in ways the missionaries were unable to understand. In effect, Christianity became an indigenous religion years before indigenous people converted in any appreciable numbers. By foregrounding the sacrificial idiom shared by locals, missionaries, and native thinkers, Healing and Power in Ghana presents a new model of scholarship for both West African history and world Christianity.
Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, Africa has generated unique expressions of Christianity that have, in their rapid development, overtaken older forms of Christianity represented by historic missionary efforts. Similarly, African Christianity has largely displayed its rootedness in its social and cultural context. The story of Pentecostal movements in urban Kenya captures both remarkable trends. Individual accounts of churches and their leaders shed light on rich and diverse commonalities among generations of Kenya's Christian communities. Exploring the movements' religious visions in urban Africa, A Spirit of Revitalization: Urban Pentecostalism in Kenya highlights antecedent movements set against their historical, social, economic, and political contexts. Kyama Mugambi examines how, in their translation of the Gospel, innovative leaders synthesized new expressions of faith from elements of their historical and contemporary contexts. The sum of their experiences historically charts the remarkable journey of innovation, curation, and revision that attends to the process of translation and conversion in Christian history. While outlining a century of successive renewal movements in Kenya between 1920 and 2020, the study also delves into features of recent urban Pentecostal churches. Readers will find a thorough historical treatment of themes such as church structures, corporate vision, Christian formation, and theological education. The longitudinal and comparative analysis shows how these Pentecostal approaches to orality, kinship, and integrated spirituality inform Kenyans' reimagination of Christianity.
In First Chaplain of the Confederacy Katherine Jeffrey tells the little-known story of Darius Hubert, a French-born Jesuit who made his home in Louisiana in the 1840s, where he served churches and schools in Grand Coteau, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. Later, Hubert pronounced a blessing at the Louisiana Secession Convention and became the first chaplain appointed to Confederate service in the Civil War. He served with the First Louisiana Infantry in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia for the entirety of the war and afterward came home to New Orleans, where he continued his ministry among veterans, to whom he had become a trusted pastor and friend. One of only three full-time Catholic chaplains who served in Lee's army, he was the only one to return permanently to the South after surrender. In postwar New Orleans, Hubert was unanimously elected chaplain of the veterans of the eastern campaign and became prominent for his memorable public prayers at memorial events, funerals of figures such as Jefferson Davis, and the dedication of Confederate monuments. This first-ever biography of Hubert traces his origins in revolutionary France, his entry into the Society of Jesus, and his decision to cross the ocean and throw in his lot with the southern Jesuits of the New Orleans Province. It describes his interactions with slaves and free people of color, the effects of anti-Catholic and anti-Jesuit propaganda, disputes and dysfunction with the trustees of his Baton Rouge church, and a deadly confrontation with political violence from members of the Know-Nothing party. It follows him on the march and in camp with the Army of Northern Virginia, through harrowing battles and their equally traumatic aftermath in surgeon's tents and hospitals. It explores his role as a spiritual director, friend, mentor, and ""intercessor in chief"" in the fractious and politically divided Crescent City in the 1870s and 80s, where he both honored Confederate memory and promoted reconciliation and social harmony. It examines in some detail his broadly ecumenical friendships, which distinguished him from many of his fellow priests, including Catholic chaplains with whom he served in the war. It pauses over his unusually supportive role of women, tracing his platonic relationships with a brilliant Catholic convert from Ohio forced to live in a religious ""no man's land"" in the South and an illiterate Irish entrepreneur and philanthropist whose local celebrity hid deep spiritual anguish. Jeffrey's biography of Hubert adds much to our understanding of Catholicism and religion during and after the nation's most tragic event. It is certain to be appreciated by Civil War historians, general readers, and those with an interest in the history of religion in America.
\"It\'s almost upon us \" yelled a frantic voice as the ship neared the iceberg. \"God\'s Will be done, \" prayed Mother Marie. If God wanted her to drown in the icy Atlantic Ocean before ever reaching Canada, His Holy Will be done. Yet perhaps . . . This book tells what happened next, plus the many other adventures that met the Sisters who brought the Holy Catholic Faith to Canada. 152 Pp. PB. Impr. 18 Illus.
Dubbed the "Billy Sunday of China" for the staggering number of people he led to Christ, John Song has captured the imagination of generations of readers. His story, as it became popular in the West, possessed memorable, if not necessarily true, elements: Song was converted while he studied in New York at Union Theological Seminary in 1927, but his modernist professors placed him in an insane asylum because of his fundamentalism. Upon his release, he returned to China and drew enormous crowds as he introduced hundreds of thousands of people to the Old-Time Religion. In John Song: Modern Chinese Christianity and the Making of a New Man , Daryl Ireland upends conventional images of John Song and theologically conservative Chinese Christianity. Working with never before used sources, this groundbreaking book paints the picture of a man who struggled alongside his Chinese contemporaries to find a way to save their nation. Unlike reformers who attempted to update ancient traditions, and revolutionaries who tried to escape the past altogether, Song hammered out the contours of a modern Chinese life in the furnace of his revivals. With sharp storytelling and careful analysis, Ireland reveals how Song ingeniously reformulated the Christian faith so that it was transformative and transferrable throughout China and Southeast Asia. It created new men and women who thrived in the region's newly globalized cities. Song's style of Christianity continues to prove resilient and still animates the extraordinary growth of the Chinese church today.
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.
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.
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.
From a renowned historian who writes with "maximum vividness" ("The New Yorker") comes the most authoritative, readable single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the holy land
Nine hundred years ago, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the Pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed, Islam and Christianity fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars: the Crusades. Here for the first time is the story of that epic struggle told from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims. A vivid and fast-paced narrative history, it exposes the full horror, passion, and barbaric grandeur of the Crusading era, revealing how these holy wars reshaped the medieval world and why they continue to influence events today.
"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."
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'.
Following The People and the Books, which "covers more than 2,500 years of highly variegated Jewish cultural expression" (Robert Alter, New York Times Book Review), poet and literary critic Adam Kirsch now turns to the story of modern Jewish literature. From the vast emigration of Jews out of Eastern Europe to the Holocaust to the creation of Israel, the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. The same was true of Jewish writing: the novels, plays, poems, and memoirs of Jewish writers provided intimate access to new worlds of experience. Kirsch surveys four themes that shaped the twentieth century in Jewish literature and culture: Europe, America, Israel, and the endeavor to reimagine Judaism as a modern faith. With discussions of major books by over thirty writers-ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Tony Kushner, Hannah Arendt to Judith Plaskow-he argues that literature offers a new way to think about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world. With a wide scope and diverse, original observations, Kirsch draws fascinating parallels between familiar writers and their less familiar counterparts. While everyone knows the diary of Anne Frank, for example, few outside of Israel have read the diary of Hannah Senesh. Kirsch sheds new light on the literature of the Holocaust through the work of Primo Levi, explores the emergence of America as a Jewish home through the stories of Bernard Malamud, and shows how Yehuda Amichai captured the paradoxes of Israeli identity. An insightful and engaging work from "one of America's finest literary critics" (Wall Street Journal), The Blessing and the Curse brings the Jewish experience vividly to life.
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