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Too many discipleship books are written for clean, perfect people who know all the right Sunday school answers. The Imperfect Disciple is for the rest of us--people who screw up, people who are weary, people who are wondering if it's safe to say what they're really thinking. For the believer who is tired of quasi-spiritual lifehacks being passed off as true, down-and-dirty discipleship, here is a discipleship book that isn't afraid to be honest about the mess we call real life. With incisive wit, warm humor, and moving stories, Jared Wilson shows readers how the gospel works in them and in their lives when - they can't get their act together - they think God is giving them the silent treatment - they think church would be better without all the people - they're not happy with the person in the mirror - and much more Wilson frees readers from the self-doubt and even the misplaced self-confidence they may feel as they walk with Jesus down the often difficult road of life. The result is a faith that weathers storms, lifts burdens, and goes forth to make more imperfect disciples.
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "American Fascists" and the NBCC finalist for "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects.
Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the new atheists who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle.
The new atheists, led by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, do not make moral arguments about religion. Rather, they have created a new form of fundamentalism that attempts to permeate society with ideas about our own moral superiority and the omnipotence of human reason.
"I Don't Believe in Atheists" critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice.
Hedges claims that those who have placed blind faith in the morally neutral disciplines of reason and science create idols in their own image -- a sin for either side of the spectrum. He makes an impassioned, intelligent case against religious andsecular fundamentalism, which seeks to divide the world into those worthy of moral and intellectual consideration and those who should be condemned, silenced and eradicated. Hedges shatters the new atheists' assault against religion in America, and in doing so, makes way for new, moderate voices to join the debate. This is a book that must be read to understand the state of the battle about faith.
An Insurrectionist Manifesto contains four insurrectionary gospels based on Martin Heidegger's philosophical model of the fourfold: earth and sky, gods and mortals. Challenging religious dogma and dominant philosophical theories, they offer a cooperative, world-affirming political theology that promotes new life through not resurrection but insurrection. The insurrection in these gospels unfolds as a series of miraculous yet worldly practices of vital affirmation. Since these routines do not rely on fantasies of escape, they engender intimate transformations of the self along the very coordinates from which they emerge. Enacting a comparative and contagious postsecular sensibility, these gospels draw on the work of Slavoj Zizek, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, Francois Laruelle, Peter Sloterdijk, and Gilles Deleuze yet rejuvenate scholarship in continental philosophy, critical race theory, the new materialisms, speculative realism, and nonphilosophy. They think beyond the sovereign force of the one to initiate a radical politics "after" God.
This exhaustive volume catalogs nearly three thousand demons in the mythologies and lore of virtually every ancient society and most religions. From Aamon, the demon of life and reproduction with the head of a serpent and the body of a wolf in Christian demonology, to Zu, the half-man, half-bird personification of the southern wind and thunder clouds in Sumero-Akkadian mythology, entries offer descriptions each demon's origins, appearance, and cultural significance. Also included are descriptions of the demonic and diabolical members making up the hierarchy of Hell and the numerous species of demons that, according to various folklores, mythologies, and religions, populate the earth and plague mankind.
In the history of philosophy, few topics are so relevant to today's cultural and political landscape as philosophy in the Islamic world. Yet, this remains one of the lesser-known philosophical traditions. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Adamson explores the history of philosophy among Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in Islamic lands, from its historical background to thinkers in the twentieth century. Introducing the main philosophical themes of the Islamic world, Adamson integrates ideas from the Islamic and Abrahamic faiths to consider the broad philosophical questions that continue to invite debate: What is the relationship between reason and religious belief? What is the possibility of proving God's existence? What is the nature of knowledge? Drawing on the most recent research in the field, this book challenges the assumption of the cultural decline of philosophy and science in the Islamic world by demonstrating its rich heritage and overlap with other faiths and philosophies.
In This Hour offers the first English translations of selected German writings by Abraham Joshua Heschel from his tumultuous years in Nazi-ruled Germany and months in London exile, before he found refuge in the United States. Moreover, several of the works have never been published in any language. Composed during a time of intense crisis for European Jewry, these writings both argue for and exemplify a powerful vision of spiritually rich Jewish learning and its redemptive role in the past and the future of the Jewish people. The collection opens with the text of a speech in which Heschel laid out with passion his vision for Jewish education. Then it goes on to present his teachings: a set of essays about the rabbis of the Mishnaic period, whose struggles paralleled those of his own time; the biography of the medieval Jewish scholar and leader Don Yitzhak Abravanel; reflections on the power and meaning of repentance, written for the High Holidays in 1936; and a short story on Jewish exile, written for Hanukkah 1937. The collection closes with a set of four recently discovered meditations-on suffering, prayer, spirituality, and God-in which Heschel grapples with the horrors unfolding around him. Taken together, these essays and story fill a significant void in Heschel's bibliography: his Nazi Germany and London exile years. These translations convey the spare elegance of Heschel's prose, and the introduction and detailed notes make the volume accessible to readers of all knowledge levels. As Heschel teaches history, his voice is more than that of a historian: the old becomes new, and the struggles of one era shed light on another. Even as Heschel quotes ancient sources, his words address the issues of his own time and speak urgently to ours.
In the Old Testament, God wrestles with a man (and loses). In the Talmud, God wriggles his toes to make thunder and takes human form to shave the king of Assyria. In the New Testament, God is made flesh and dwells among humans. For religious thinkers trained in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for matter, sacred scripture can be distressing. A philosophically respectable God should be untainted by sensuality, yet the God of sacred texts is often embarrassingly sensual. Setting experts' minds at ease was neither easy nor simple, and often faith and logic were stretched to their limits. Focusing on examples from both Christian and Jewish sources, from the Bible to sources from the Late Middle Ages, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians attempted to reconcile God's supposed ineffability with numerous biblical and postbiblical accounts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring religious thinkers, and the strange, ingenious solutions they used to extricate themselves, tell us something profound about human needs and divine attributes, about faith, hope, and cognitive dissonance.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church" was a document of outstanding importance which sold millions of copies worldwide. Many critics at the time of publication said the Catechism lacked sufficient coverage of the social teaching of the Catholic Church, teaching on justice, peace and human rights. To remedy this, the Vatican commissioned this remarkable new publication from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Burns & Oates are now its proud publishers. Throughout the course of her history, and particularly in the last hundred years, the Church has never failed, in the words of Pope Leo XIII, to speak the words that are hers with regard to questions concerning life in society. To maintain this tradition, Pope John Paul II has for his part published three great encyclicals that represent fundamental stages of Catholic thought in this area. Moreover, numerous Bishops in every part of the world have contributed to a deeper understanding of the Church's social doctrine as have numerous scholars. This book also shows the value of Catholic social teaching as an instrument of evangelisation because it places the human person and society in relationship with the light of the Gospel. The principles of the Church's social doctrine, which are based on the natural law, are then seen to be confirmed and strengthened in the faith of the Church by the Gospel of Christ. The Pope hopes that the present publication will help humanity in its quest for the common good.
This collection of writings presents contemporary views on the integration of Buddhism in the West. Over the past few decades Buddhism has deepened its presence in the West and as a result teachings and practices are becoming integrated with those of Western psychology in a more productive way. The decline of mechanism and positivism offers new opportunities to bring together Western Buddhist views of the mind and its relationship to its surroundings. Written by psychologists and scholars, the essays discuss many of the difficult questions raised by Buddhism's increased presence. In particular the issue of the balance between authenticity and accessibility is examined. Buddhist traditions are often perceived as inaccessible and too firmly fixed to a cultural framework with some people, especially women, left feeling alienated and undervalued. However, by responding to this by attempting to synthesise Buddhism with the values of contemporary culture can lead to doubts about authenticity and dilution. Examining these issues and many more, the contributors seek to bring Buddhism into a realistic and informed relationship with contemporary Western thought.
For centuries, Jews have been known as the "people of the book." It is commonly thought that Judaism in the first several centuries CE found meaning exclusively in textual sources. But there is another approach to meaning to be found in ancient Judaism, one that sees it in the natural world and derives it from visual clues rather than textual ones. According to this conception, God embedded hidden signs in the world that could be read by human beings and interpreted according to complex systems. In exploring the diverse functions of signs outside of the realm of the written word, Swartz introduces unfamiliar sources and motifs from the formative age of Judaism, including magical and divination texts and new interpretations of legends and midrashim from classical rabbinic literature. He shows us how ancient Jews perceived these signs and read them, elaborating on their use of divination, symbolic interpretation of physical features and dress, and interpretations of historical events. As we learn how these ancient people read the world, we begin to see how ancient people found meaning in unexpected ways.
Al-Ghazali on Intention, Sincerity & Truthfulness is the thirty-seventh chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences. It falls in the section dealing with the virtues. Here Ghazali deals with the very important subject of intention which is of crucial importance in Islam. He asks: 'How can someone ignorant of the meaning of intention verify his own intention; or how can someone ignorant of the meaning of sincerity verify his own sincerity; or how can someone sincerely claim truthfulness if he has not verified its meaning?' In the Book of Intention, Sincerity & Truthfulness, Ghazali gives a response to each of these questions by expounding the reality and levels of intention, sincerity and truthfulness, those acts which affirm them and those acts which mar them. As in all his writings, Ghazali bases his arguments on the Qur'an, the example of the Prophet and the sayings of numerous scholars and Sufis.
A deeply personal look at death, mourning, and the afterlife in Jewish tradition After One-Hundred-and-Twenty provides a richly nuanced and deeply personal look at Jewish attitudes and practices regarding death, mourning, and the afterlife as they have existed and evolved from biblical times to today. Taking its title from the Hebrew and Yiddish blessing to live to a ripe old age-Moses is said to have been 120 years old when he died-the book explores how the Bible's original reticence about an afterlife gave way to views about personal judgment and reward after death, the resurrection of the body, and even reincarnation. It examines Talmudic perspectives on grief, burial, and the afterlife, shows how Jewish approaches to death changed in the Middle Ages with thinkers like Maimonides and in the mystical writings of the Zohar, and delves into such things as the origins of the custom of reciting Kaddish for the deceased and beliefs about encountering the dead in visions and dreams. After One-Hundred-and-Twenty is also Hillel Halkin's eloquent and disarmingly candid reflection on his own mortality, the deaths of those he has known and loved, and the comfort he has and has not derived from Jewish tradition.
Vibrates with encouragement for women who want to explore and enjoy the world of books Gladys Hunt, long-time advocate of reading and author of the cherished Honey for a Child s Heart, has written this new book for busy women who want a wider worldview and stimulus for intellectual and emotional growth. Honey for a Woman s Heart explores: * The wonder of words, language, and reading * What good books offer thoughtful readers * What makes a good book * The value of reading fiction * Best books in genres of fiction, nonfiction, spirituality, and poetry * How to enjoy the best of books: the Bible * The pleasure of sharing books with others * Something for everyone, no matter what age or reading experience * Recommendations for over 500 books to enjoy Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24"
From the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People comes an inspiring new bestseller that puts human feelings of guilt and inadequacy in perspective - and teaches us how we can learn to accept ourselves and others even when we and they are less than perfect. How Good Do We Have to Be? is for everyone who experiences that sense of guilt and disappointment. Harold Kushner, writing with his customary generosity and wisdom, shows us how human life is too complex for anyone to live it without making mistakes, and why we need not fear the loss of God's love when we are less than perfect. Harold Kushner begins by offering a radically new interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve, which he sees as a tale of Paradise Outgrown rather than Paradise Lost: eating from the Tree of Knowledge was not an act of disobedience, but a brave step forward toward becoming human, complete with the richness of work, sexuality and child-rearing, and a sense of our mortality. Drawing on modern literature, psychology, theology, and his own thirty years of experience as a congregational rabbi, Harold Kushner reveals how acceptance and forgiveness can change our relationships with the most important people in our lives and help us meet the bold and rewarding challenge of being human.
Providing an excellent overview of the latest thinking in Maimonides studies, this book uses a novel philosophical approach to examine whether Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed contains a naturalistic doctrine of salvation after death. The author examines the apparent tensions and contradictions in the Guide and explains them in terms of a modern philosophical interpretation rather than as evidence of some esoteric meaning hidden in the text.
In this book, Masooda Bano presents an in-depth analysis of a new movement that is transforming the way that young Muslims engage with their religion. Led by a network of Islamic scholars in the West, this movement seeks to revive the tradition of Islamic rationalism. Bano explains how, during the period of colonial rule, the exit of Muslim elites from madrasas, the Islamic scholarly establishments, resulted in a stagnation of Islamic scholarship. This trend is now being reversed. Exploring the threefold focus on logic, metaphysics, and deep mysticism, Bano shows how Islamic rationalism is consistent with Sunni orthodoxy and why it is so popular among young, elite, educated Muslims, who are now engaging with classical Islamic texts. One of the most tangible results of this revival is that Islamic rationalism - rather than jihadism - is emerging as one of the most influential movements in the contemporary Muslim world.
This book is both a themed volume on translation and a Festschrift for Leonard J. Greenspoon, the Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Professor in Jewish Civilization and professor of classical and near Eastern studies and of theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Professor Greenspoon has made significant contributions to the study of Jewish biblical translations, particularly the ancient translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, known as the Septuagint. In this volume, an internationally renowned group of scholars presents a wide range of essays on Bible translation, the influence of culture on biblical translation, Bible translations' reciprocal influence on culture, and the translation of various Jewish texts and collections, especially the Septuagint.
How does temptation come to you? What can you do to fight it? What can you do to avoid it?
Graham Ward argues that the study of theology and religion, as a single academic discipline, plays a vital role in helping us to understand politics, world affairs, and the nature of humanity itself. Religion can be used to justify inhumane actions, but it also feeds dreams, inspires hopes, and shapes aspirations. By invoking a sense of wonder about the natural world, religion can promote scientific discoveries, and by focusing on shared experiences, religion helps to bind societies together. Some scientists now believe that religious feeling might be hard-wired into our DNA, a fundamental aspect of what makes us human. Because religion is rooted in the imagination itself, its study involves staring into the profundities of who we are. Religion will not go away, so it needs to be understood.
Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale defend the absolute claims of Christ against modern belief in the "secular gods" of atheism, scientism, relativism, and more.
The rise of these secular gods presents the most serious challenge to the absolute claims of Christ since the founding of Christianity itself. The Christian worldview has not only been devalued and dismissed by modern culture, but its believers are openly ridiculed as irrelevant. In JESUS AMONG SECULAR GODS, Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale challenge the popular "isms" of the day, skillfully pointing out the fallacies in their claims and presenting compelling evidence for revealed absolute truth as found in Jesus. This book is fresh, insightful, and important, and faces head on today's most urgent challenges to Christian faith. It will help seekers to explore the claims of Christ and will provide Christians with the knowledge to articulate why they believe that Jesus stands tall above all other gods.
Medieval theology had an important influence on later philosophy which is visible in the empiricisms of Russell, Carnap, and Quine. Other thinkers, including McDowell, Kripke, and Dennett, show how we can overcome the distorting effects of that theological ecosystem on our accounts of the nature of reality and our relationship to it. In a different philosophical tradition, Hegel uses a secularized version of Christianity to argue for a kind of human knowledge that overcomes the influences of late-medieval voluntarism, and some twentieth-century thinkers, including Benjamin and Derrida, instead defend a Jewish-influenced notion of the religious sublime. Frank B. Farrell analyzes and connects philosophers of different eras and traditions to show that modern philosophy has developed its practices on a terrain marked out by earlier theological and religious ideas, and considers how different philosophers have both embraced, and tried to escape from, those deep-seated patterns of thought.
We have fallen in thrall to the theology of supply and demand. According to its acolytes, the Market is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It can raise nations and ruin households, and comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal. Harvey Cox brings this theology out of the shadows, demonstrating that the way the world economy operates is shaped by a global system of values that can be best understood as a religion. Drawing on biblical sources and the work of social scientists, Cox points to many parallels between the development of Christianity and the Market economy. It is only by understanding how the Market reached its "divine" status that can we hope to restore it to its proper place as servant of humanity. "An essential and thoroughly engaging book...Harvey Cox's ingenious sense of how market theology has developed a scripture, a liturgy, and sophisticated apologetics allow us to see old challenges in a remarkably fresh light." -E. J. Dionne, Jr. "Cox argues that...we are now imprisoned by the dictates of a false god that we ourselves have created. We need to break free and reclaim our humanity." -Forbes "Cox clears the space for a new generation of Christians to begin to develop a more public and egalitarian politics." -The Nation
This book marks the centenary of the Church in Wales, following its disestablishment in 1920. Part I provides a historical overview: from the Age of the Saints to Victorian times; the disestablishment campaign; Christianity in Wales since 1920; and broad issues faced over the century. Part II explores the constitution, bishops and archbishops, clergy, and laity. Part III examines doctrine, liturgy, rites of passage, and relations with other faith communities. Part IV deals with the church and culture, education, the Welsh language, and social responsibility. Part V discusses the changing images of the Church and its future. Around themes of continuity and change, the book questions assumptions about the Church, including its distinctive theology and Welshness, ecumenical commitment, approach to innovation, and response to challenges posed by the State and wider world in an increasingly pluralist and secularised Welsh society over the century.
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