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The Khalili Collection contains the largest and most comprehensive range of Qur'anic material in private hands. This, the first of four volumes devoted to the subject, covers the three major styles of Qur'anic calligraphy that came into existence before AD 1000. The catalogue contains 98 items which are described and illustrated in colour. Included among these are a significant number of complete manuscripts, some with their original bindings; two folios from the famous 9th-century Qur'an which was written in gold on blue parchment; and two quires from a 10th-century Qur'an, the only copy known to have been produced in Sicily. The introduction includes a survey of the codicology and illumination of early Qur'ans, and discusses problems of classification and dating. The author's system of classifying early Qur'anic scripts is set out in five tables, and the calligraphic styles themselves are discussed in three essays (Hijazi script; Early Abbasid scripts, and the New Style).
This classic handbook, written by Henrietta Mears, has been a staple resource for many years. It will prove invaluable for all those seeking to deepen their understanding of the Bible, as it presents a wealth of information in an approachable way. Here is a comprehensive journey through the Bible, clearly written, and accompanied by more than 500 full-colour photos, illustrations, maps and charts. This user-friendly volume will be useful for all those looking for a guide to the Bible, from those in need of an introduction through to church leaders and students.
As with many religious and philosophical traditions, Buddhist intellectual discourse owes its development to a dynamic interplay of primary source material and subsequent interpretation, yet until now Buddhist scholarship has neglected to privilege one crucial series of texts. Commentaries on Buddhist scripture, particularly the sutras, written by seminal thinkers across the history of Indian Buddhism, contain myriad insights into the relationship between textual analysis and ritual practice. Evaluating these commentaries in detail for the first time, Richard F. Nance revisits--and rewrites--the critical history of Buddhist thought, including its unique conception of doctrinal transmission.
Written by such luminaries as Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, and Santideva, scriptural commentaries have long played an important role in the monastic and philosophical life of Indian Buddhism. Nance reads these texts against the social and cultural conditions of their making, establishing a solid historical basis for the interpretation of key beliefs and doctrines. He also underscores areas of contention, in which scholars debate what it means to speak for, and as, a Buddha. Throughout these texts, Buddhist commentators struggle to deduce and characterize the speech of Buddhas and teach others how to convey and interpret its meaning. At the same time, they demonstrate the fundamental dilemma of trying to speak on behalf of Buddhas. Nance also investigates the notion of "right speech" as articulated by Buddhist texts and follows ideas about teaching as imagined through the common figure of a Buddhist preacher. He notes the use of epistemological concepts in scriptural interpretation and the protocols guiding the composition of scriptural commentary. He then translates three such commentarial guides to better clarify the normative assumptions organizing these scholars' work.
This book offers a complete translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, or
"Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha," one of the major
collections of texts in the Pali Canon, the authorized scriptures
of Theravada Buddhism. This collection--among the oldest records of
the historical Buddha's original teachings--consists of 152
"suttas" or discourses of middle length, distinguished as such from
the longer and shorter "suttas" of the other collections. The
Majjhima Nikaya might be concisely described as the Buddhist
scripture that combines the richest variety of contextual settings
with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings.
These teachings, which range from basic ethics to instructions in
meditation and liberating insight, unfold in a fascinating
procession of scenarios that show the Buddha in living dialogue
with people from many different strata of ancient Indian society:
with kings and princes, priests and ascetics, simple villagers and
erudite philosophers. Replete with drama, reasoned argument, and
illuminating parable and simile, these discourses exhibit the
Buddha in the full glory of his resplendent wisdom, majestic
sublimity, and compassionate humanity.
The Zohar is the fundamental work of Jewish mysticism. Isaiah Tishby's classic and definitive Wisdom of the Zohar makes the world of the Zohar available to the English-speaking reader in all its complexity and poetry. The extended extracts are arranged by topic, each section being prefaced by introductory explanations and accompanied by copious notes. There is also a General Introduction on the complex symbolism of the Zohar and on its historical and literary background. The scholarly value of David Goldstein's acclaimed translation is enhanced by an index expanded to include references to passages cited in the introduction and notes, and by the addition of a subject index and an index of biblical references. Isaiah Tishby was awarded the Bialik Prize 1972, the Israel Prize 1979, and the Rothschild Prize 1982, mainly for his work on The Wisdom of the Zohar. David Goldstein was awarded the Webber Prize 1987 for this translation.
Authors from the ancient world rarely used great detail to describe the physical features of characters in their works. When they did mention bodies, they did so with very specific goals in mind. In particular, the bodies of "heroic" figures, such as warriors, kings, and other leaders became loaded sites of meaning for encoding cultural, religious, and political values on a number of fronts. Brian Doak analyzes the way biblical authors described the bodies of some of their most iconic male figures, such as Jacob, the Judges, Saul, and David. These bodies represent not mere individuals-they communicate as national bodies, signaling the ambiguity of Israel's murky pre-history, the division during the period of settlement in the land, and the contest of leading bodies fought between Saul and David. Heroic Bodies in Ancient Israel examines the heroic world of ancient Israel within the Hebrew Bible, and shows that ancient Israelite literature operated within and against a world of heroic ideals in its ancient context. The heroic body tells a story of Israel's remembered history in the eventual making of the monarchy, marking a new kind of individual power. Not merely a textual study of the Hebrew Bible in isolation, this book also considers iconography and compares Israelite literature with other ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern materials, illustrating Israel's place among a wider construction of heroic bodies.
Every work on Jewish thought and law since the twelfth century bears the imprint of Maimonides. A. N. Whitehead's famous dictum that the entire European philosophical tradition 'consists of a series of footnotes to Plato' could equally characterize Maimonides' place in the Jewish tradition. The critical studies in this volume explore how Orthodox rabbis of different orientations-Shlomo Aviner, Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin (Netziv), Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, Joseph Kafih, Abraham Isaac Kook, Aaron Kotler, Joseph Soloveitchik, and Elhanan Wasserman-have read and provided footnotes to Maimonides in the long twentieth century. How well did they really understand Maimonides? And where do their arguments fit in the mainstream debates about him and his works? Each of the seven core chapters examines a particular approach. Some rabbis have tried to liberate themselves from the influence of his ideas. Others have sought to build on those ideas or expand them in ways which Maimonides himself did not pursue, and which he may well not have agreed with. Still others advance patently non-Maimonidean positions, while attributing them to none other than Maimonides. Above all, the essays published here demonstrate that his legacy remains vibrantly alive today.
In this book, Lynn Kaye examines how rabbis of late antiquity thought about time through their legal reasoning and storytelling, and what these insights mean for thinking about time today. Providing close readings of legal and narrative texts in the Babylonian Talmud, she compares temporal ideas with related concepts in ancient and modern philosophical texts and in religious traditions from late antique Mesopotamia. Kaye demonstrates that temporal flexibility in the Babylonian Talmud is a means of exploring and resolving legal uncertainties, as well as a tool to tell stories that convey ideas effectively and dramatically. Her book, the first on time in the Talmud, makes accessible complex legal texts and philosophical ideas. It also connects the literature of late antique Judaism with broader theological and philosophical debates about time.
At the birth of the United States, African Americans were excluded from the newly-formed Republic and its churches, which saw them as savage rather than citizen and as heathen rather than Christian. Denied civil access to the basic rights granted to others, African Americans have developed their own sacred traditions and their own civil discourses. As part of this effort, African American intellectuals offered interpretations of the Bible which were radically different and often fundamentally oppositional to those of many of their white counterparts. By imagining a freedom unconstrained, their work charted a broader and, perhaps, a more genuinely American identity. In Pillars of Cloud and Fire, Herbert Robinson Marbury offers a comprehensive survey of African American biblical interpretation. Each chapter in this compelling volume moves chronologically, from the antebellum period and the Civil War through to the Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights movement, the black power movement, and the Obama era, to offer a historical context for the interpretative activity of that time and to analyze its effect in transforming black social reality. For African American thinkers such as Absalom Jones, David Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Frances E. W. Harper, Adam Clayton Powell, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the exodus story became the language-world through which freedom both in its sacred resonance and its civil formation found expression. This tradition, Marbury argues, has much to teach us in a world where fundamentalisms have become synonymous with "authentic" religious expression and American identity. For African American biblical interpreters, to be American and to be Christian was always to be open and oriented toward freedom.
Secrets of oriental sexuology are recorded in the book and one can not fail to be intrigued by a number of headings throughout the volume with titles such as "The Lady and the Barber", "The Bath-Keeper Who Lent His Wife", "Passion Gone Mad", "Forth-Eight Erotic Postures"...The writing of this treatise is a credit to Jalal Addin Al-Siyuti and the book was translated from the Arabic at the beginning of the century by an English Bohemian. It was originally published in France as a limited edition of only 300 copies. An imaginative translation has been accomplished in a fascinating style which will attract many new readers. Some interesting poems are contained in the book and the introductory lines of just one entitled "The Squire" written by the Earl of Harrington are quoted. "Last night, when to your bed I came, You were a novice at the game, I've taught you now a little skill But I have more to teach you still,...(page 152)
Winner of the 2016 Goldstein-Goren Award for the best book in Jewish Thought At once a study of biblical theology and modern Jewish thought, this volume describes a "participatory theory of revelation" as it addresses the ways biblical authors and contemporary theologians alike understand the process of revelation and hence the authority of the law. Benjamin Sommer maintains that the Pentateuch's authors intend not only to convey God's will but to express Israel's interpretation of and response to that divine will. Thus Sommer's close readings of biblical texts bolster liberal theologies of modern Judaism, especially those of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Franz Rosenzweig. This bold view of revelation puts a premium on human agency and attests to the grandeur of a God who accomplishes a providential task through the free will of the human subjects under divine authority. Yet, even though the Pentateuch's authors hold diverse views of revelation, all of them regard the binding authority of the law as sacrosanct. Sommer's book demonstrates why a law-observant religious Jew can be open to discoveries about the Bible that seem nontraditional or even antireligious.
Brave, Generous, and Undefended is a profound teaching on how to become and how to live as a bodhisattva, dedicated to the liberation of all. To the classic pith instructions of "The 37 Bodhisattva Practices," by 14th-century Tibetan teacher Tokme Zangpo, contemporary Western teacher Barbara Du Bois brings her fresh, energetic, penetrating wisdom from the heart. Rich with insight and fearless love, these teachings embrace us as participants in intimate, dynamic discussions that vividly demonstrate the transformational power of the bodhisattva intention in relation to life purpose, suffering, relationships, and spiritual path. Arrows of love and truth pierce our illusions of self and separation, showing us that we already are what we aspire to become: embodiments of truth and love. This profound and practical book will encourage, guide, and invigorate beginning seekers and advanced practitioners in any tradition, as well as those with or without a formal spiritual path. "The 37 Bodhisattva Practices," considered the essence of the enlightenment path, require no erudite explanations or secret initiations, but they do upend our minds, so it is helpful to have a teacher unpack them for us. Du Bois delights in the task, as a longtime practitioner familiar with both the tricky conditioned mind and what it is hiding from. Addressing both our own longings for happiness and freedom and the root causes of our confusion and pain, the bodhisattva trainings turn our self-absorption inside out, revealing the good heart that seeks ultimate freedom - for all. Du Bois's teachings show clearly how love and compassion bring us onto the bodhisattva path, in the intentional, wholehearted process that transmutes mind of self-grasping to the "awakening mind," bodhicitta. Her invitation: take what speaks to you and test it for yourself; contemplate and practice on it until you attain confidence, and then continue, for the benefit of all.
Exploring the world of the Second Temple period (539 BCE-70 CE), in particular the vastly diverse stories, commentaries, and other documents written by Jews during the last three centuries of this period, Malka Z. Simkovich takes us to Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, to the Jewish sectarians and the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, to the Cairo genizah, and to the ancient caves that kept the secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As she recounts Jewish history during this vibrant, formative era, Simkovich analyzes some of the period's most important works for both familiar and possible meanings. This volume interweaves past and present in four parts. Part 1 tells modern stories of discovery of Second Temple literature. Part 2 describes the Jewish communities that flourished both in the land of Israel and in the Diaspora. Part 3 explores the lives, worldviews, and significant writings of Second Temple authors. Part 4 examines how authors of the time introduced novel, rewritten, and expanded versions of Bible stories in hopes of imparting messages to the people. Simkovich's popular style will engage readers in understanding the sometimes surprisingly creative ways Jews at this time chose to practice their religion and interpret its scriptures in light of a cultural setting so unlike that of their Israelite forefathers. Like many modern Jews today, they made an ancient religion meaningful in an ever-changing world.
A profound and courageous attempt to compare and contrast Islamic ideals of prophecy, as found in Muhammad, with the prophetic traditions of the Hebrew Bible. It challenges Muslims, Jews and Christians to understand their own traditions better and to be open to learn from one another. It rests on prolonged reflection about the character of the three Abrahamic religions.
"Migrating Tales" situates the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, in its
cultural context by reading several rich rabbinic stories against
the background of Greek, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, and Mesopotamian
literature of late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, much of it
Christian in origin. In this nuanced work, Richard Kalmin argues
that non-Jewish literature deriving from the eastern Roman
provinces is a crucially important key to interpreting Babylonian
rabbinic literature, to a degree unimagined by earlier scholars.
Kalmin demonstrates the extent to which rabbinic Babylonia was part
of the Mediterranean world of late antiquity and part of the
emerging but never fully realized cultural unity forming during
this period in Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and western Persia.
Islam and its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity, and the Qur'an brings together scholars from various disciplines and fields to consider Islamic revelation, with particular focus on the Qur'an. The collection provides a wide-ranging survey of the development and current state of Qur'anic studies in the Western academy. It shows how interest in the field has recently grown, how the ways in which it is cultivated have changed, how it has ramified, and how difficult it now is for any one scholar to keep abreast of it. Chapters explore the milieu in which the Meccan component of the Qur'an made its appearance. The general question is what we can say about that milieu by combining a careful reading of the relevant parts of the Qur'an with what we know about the religious trends of Late Antiquity in Arabia and elsewhere. More specifically, the issue is what we can learn in this way about the manner in which the 'polytheists' of the Qur'an related to the Jewish and Christian traditions: were they Godfearers in the sense familiar from the study of ancient Judaism? It looks at the Qur'an as a text of Late Antiquity-not just considering those features of it that could be seen as normal in that context, but also identifying what is innovative about it against the Late Antique background. Here the focus is on the 'believers' rather than the 'polytheists'. The volume also engages in different ways with notions of monotheism in pre-Islamic Arabia. This collection provides a broad survey of what has been happening in the field and concrete illustrations of some of the more innovative lines of research that have recently been pursued.
The Vessantara Jataka is the tale of Buddha's last life, before he was reborn as the historical Buddha 2,500 years ago. In this earlier existence as Prince Vessantara he demonstrated evidence of the highest virtue that constitutes an enlightened man: generosity. Vessantara gave away everything dear to him - in the climactic scene of the story, even his wife and children. In North-East Thailand the Vessantara tale is celebrated annually as Bun Phra Wet. Pha Phra Wet - 'Vessantara cloths' - form the visual framework for this festival; they are hand-painted scrolls, which can reach lengths of up to one hundred metres. Devotion presents, for the very first time, a selection of six full-length Vessantara scrolls and explores a contemporary multimedia celebration of an ancient Buddhist text. This book accompanies an exhibition, to be held in the Ethnographic Museum at the Universtity of Zurich (CH), 20.6.2017 to 15.4.2018.
"This book is nothing less than the definitive study of a text long considered central to understanding the Renaissance and its place in Western culture." -James Hankins, Harvard University Pico della Mirandola died in 1494 at the age of thirty-one. During his brief and extraordinary life, he invented Christian Kabbalah in a book that was banned by the Catholic Church after he offered to debate his ideas on religion and philosophy with anyone who challenged him. Today he is best known for a short speech, the Oration on the Dignity of Man, written in 1486 but never delivered. Sometimes called a "Manifesto of the Renaissance," this text has been regarded as the foundation of humanism and a triumph of secular rationality over medieval mysticism. Brian Copenhaver upends our understanding of Pico's masterwork by re-examining this key document of modernity. An eminent historian of philosophy, Copenhaver shows that the Oration is not about human dignity. In fact, Pico never wrote an Oration on the Dignity of Man and never heard of that title. Instead he promoted ascetic mysticism, insisting that Christians need help from Jews to find the path to heaven-a journey whose final stages are magic and Kabbalah. Through a rigorous philological reading of this much-studied text, Copenhaver transforms the history of the idea of dignity and reveals how Pico came to be misunderstood over the course of five centuries. Magic and the Dignity of Man is a seismic shift in the study of one of the most remarkable thinkers of the Renaissance.
Despite its deceptively simple title, this book ponders the thorny
issue of the place of the Bible in Jewish religion and culture. By
thoroughly examining the complex link that the Jews have formed
with the Bible, Jewish scholar Jean-Christopher Attias raises the
uncomfortable question of whether it is still relevant for them.
Listen to My heart in the quiet of your heart . . . More. Life is full to overflowing, but we crave an illusive more. Via social networking, airwaves, and TV, our culture tells us to strive for more stuff, more activities, more adventure--you name it. Yet we are often left feeling unfulfilled and wanting. Empty, even. With so many demands for our attention, it is difficult to quiet our minds long enough to hear the still, small voice of our loving Father, and to listen to the One who desires to bring us so much more than the noise of everyday life. Judy Gordon Morrow discovered the more when her world was turned upside down and she knelt before God to seek Him and ask for His help. More than a decade ago, in tear-stained notebooks, she began to pen God's responses to her desperate prayers. Now, in The Listening Heart, Judy invites you to spend a year hearing from the God Who Speaks--the God who wants to speak to you. Each daily devotion echoes the Father's love and care for you, offering hope, comfort, encouragement, and more--a rich closeness with God that will satisfy the longings of your heart.
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