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In this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary history of ideas, Andrew W. Hass explores the ascendency of the concept of nothing into late modernity. He argues that the rise of the reality of nothing in religion, philosophy, and literature has taken place only against the decline of the concept of One: a shift from a sovereign understanding of the One (unity, universality) toward the figure of the O a cipher figure that, as nonentity, is nevertheless determinant of other realities. The figuring of this O culminates in a proliferation of literary expressions of nothingness, void, and absence from 1940 to 1960, but by century s end, this movement has shifted from linear progression to mutation, whereby religion, theology, philosophy, literature, and other critical modes of thought, such as feminism, merge into a shared, circular activity. The writer W. H. Auden lends his name to this O, his long poetic work "The Sea and the Mirror" an exemplary manifestation of its implications. Hass examines this work, along with that of a host of writers, philosophers, and theologians, to trace the revolutionary hermeneutics and creative space of the O, and to provide the reasoning of why nothing is now such a powerful force in the imagination of the twenty-first century, and of how it might move us through and beyond our turbulent times."
In this unique collection of essays, some of today's smartest Jewish thinkers explore a broad range of fundamental questions in an effort to balance ancient tradition and modern sexuality.
In the last few decades a number of factors--post-modernism, feminism, queer liberation, and more--have brought discussion of sexuality to the fore, and with it a whole new set of questions that challenge time-honored traditions and ways of thinking. For Jews of all backgrounds, this has often led to an unhappy standoff between tradition and sexual empowerment.
Yet as The Passionate Torah illustrates, it is of critical importance to see beyond this apparent conflict if Jews are to embrace both their religious beliefs and their sexuality. With incisive essays from contemporary rabbis, scholars, thinkers, and writers, this collection not only surveys the challenges that sexuality poses to Jewish belief, but also offers fresh new perspectives and insights on the changing place of sexuality within Jewish theology--and Jewish lives. Covering topics such as monogamy, inter-faith relationships, reproductive technology, homosexuality, and a host of other hot-button issues, these writings consider how contemporary Jews can engage themselves, their loved ones, and their tradition in a way that's both sexy and sanctified.
Seeking to deepen the Jewish conversation about sexuality, The Passionate Torah brings together brilliant thinkers in an attempt to bridge the gap between the sacred and the sexual.
Contributors: Rebecca Alpert, Wendy Love Anderson, Judith R. Baskin, Aryeh Cohen, Elliot Dorff, Esther Fuchs, Bonna Haberman, Elliot Kukla, Gail Labovitz, Malka Landau, Sarra Lev, Laura Levitt, Sara Meirowitz, Jay Michaelson, Haviva Ner-David, Danya Ruttenberg, Naomi Seidman, and Arthur Waskow.
This is the first English translation of a key section of al-Ghazali's Revival of the Religious Sciences, (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din), widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality. Its theme is of universal interest: death, and the life to come. After expounding his Sufi philosophy of death, and showing the importance of the contemplation of human morality to the mystical way of self-purification, al-Ghazali's takes his readers through the stages of the future life: the vision of the Angels of the Grave, the Resurrection, the Intercession of the Prophets, and finally, the torments of Hell, the delights of Paradise, and-for the elect-the beatific vision of God's Countenance. In this new edition, the Islamic Texts Society has included a translation of Imam Ghazali's own Introduction to the Revival of the Religious Sciences which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the Revival and places each of the chapters in the context of the others.
The interpretation of Anselm of Canterbury's Proslogion has a long and rich tradition. However, its study is often narrowly focused on its so-called "ontological argument." As a result, engagement with the text of this work tends to be lopsided, and the prayerful purpose that undergirds the whole book is often completely ignored. Even the most rigorous engagements with the Proslogion often have little to say, for instance, about how the prayers of Proslogion 1, 14, and 18 contribute materially to Anselm's argument, or how his doctrine of God develops organically from the divine formula in the early chapters to the doctrines of eternity, simplicity, and Trinity in later chapters. There are very few works that offer a sustained analysis to Anselm's flow of thought throughout the entire Proslogion, and no one has explored how Anselm's doctrine of creaturely joy in heaven in Proslogion 24-26 is a fitting climax and resolution to the book. Anselm's Pursuit of Joy attempts a sustained, chapter-by-chapter textual analysis of the Proslogion, and offers the first effort to situate Anselm's doctrine of heaven in Proslogion 24-26 as the climax of the earlier themes of Anselm's work. Gavin Ortlund suggests that the basic purpose of Anselm's argument in the Proslogion is to seek the visio Dei that he articulates as his soul's deepest desire (Proslogion 1). While Anselm's argument for God's existence (Proslogion 2-4) is an important piece of this effort, it is only one step of a larger trajectory of thought that leads Anselm to meditate further on God's nature as the highest good of the human soul (Proslogion 5-23), and then to anticipate the joy of possessing God in heaven (Proslogion 24-26). In other words, the establishment of God's existence is only the penultimate consequence of Anselm's famous formula "that than which nothing greater can be thought"-his ultimate concern is with the infinite creaturely joy that is entailed by his existence. The Proslogion is, far more than an argument for God's existence, a meditation on God as the chief happiness of the human soul.
An examination of the conflicts within and among nations, this
treatise proposes a remedy based on true Christian doctrine:
recognition of love as the supreme law of life. Written just before
World War I, it articulates Tolstoy's famous dictum that it is
morally superior to suffer violence than to do violence--a
philosophy that has inspired Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and
Justice for All demonstrates that the Jewish Bible, by radically changing the course of ethical thought, came to exercise enormous influence on Jewish thought and law and also laid the basis for Christian ethics and the broader development of modern Western civilization. Jeremiah Unterman shows us persuasively that the ethics of the Jewish Bible represent a significant moral advance over Ancient Near East cultures. Moreover, he elucidates how the Bible's unique conception of ethical monotheism, innovative understanding of covenantal law, and revolutionary messages from the prophets form the foundation of many Western civilization ideals. Justice for All connects these timeless biblical texts to the persistent themes of our times: immigration policy, forgiveness and reconciliation, care for the less privileged, and attaining hope for the future despite destruction and exile in this world.
Gavin D'Costa breaks new ground in this authoritative study of the Second Vatican Council's doctrines on other religions, with particular attention to Judaism and Islam. The focus is exclusively on the doctrinal foundations found in Lumen Gentium 16 that will serve Catholicism in the twenty first century. D'Costa provides a map outlining different hermeneutical approaches to the Council, whilst synthesising their strengths and providing a critique of their weaknesses. Moreover, he classifies the different authority attributed to doctrines thereby clarifying debates regarding continuity, discontinuity, and reform in doctrinal teaching. Vatican II: Catholic Doctrines on Jews and Muslims expertly examines the Council's revolutionary teaching on Judaism which has been subject to conflicting readings, including the claim that the Council reversed doctrinal teachings in this area. Through a rigorous examination of the debates, the drafts, the official commentary, and with consideration of the previous Council and papal doctrinal teachings on the Jews, D'Costa lays bare the doctrinal achievements of the Council, and concludes with a similar detailed examination of Catholic doctrines on Islam. This innovative text makes essential interventions in the debate about Council hermeneutics and doctrinal teachings on the religions.
For centuries, theologians and philosophers, among others, have examined the nature of religious experience. Students and scholars unfamiliar with the vast literature face a daunting task in grasping the main issues surrounding the topic of religious experience. The Cambridge Companion to Religious Experience offers an original introduction to its topic. Going beyond an introduction, it is a state-of-the-art overview of the topic, with critical analyses of and creative insights into its subject. Religious experience is discussed from various interdisciplinary perspectives, from religious perspectives inside and outside traditional monotheistic religions, and from various topical perspectives. Written by leading scholars in clear and accessible prose, this book is an ideal resource for undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and scholars across many disciplines.
Gai Eaton's "Remembering God" is a profound analysis of the most urgent concerns and questions facing humanity at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Contrasting modern, secular society with religion and tradition in general and with Islam in particular, Gai Eaton clarifies the essential need for spirituality, religion and values based on eternal principles.---In "Remembering God", Gai Eaton emphasises that religion is not an isolated part of human life which can be disregarded at will and without consequences; that a total rejection of the past cannot be the basis for the future, and that a true link with Heaven modifies all the decisions and actions of society. Touching on religion in principle-metaphysics, knowledge of the divine and of oneself, prayer, the necessity for purifying the ego-and on the application of religion to society-as well as to politics, architecture, the environment and gender relations-Gai Eaton illustrates the subtle harmony of a religious perspective and its ability to transform both the individual and society.
Eminent biblical scholar Michael D. Coogan offers here a wide-ranging and stimulating exploration of the Old Testament, illuminating its importance as history, literature, and sacred text. Coogan explains the differences between the Bible of Jewish tradition (the "Hebrew Bible") and the Old Testament of Christianity, and also examines the different contents of the Bibles used by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Protestants. He looks at the rise of modern biblical scholarship as well as the recovery of ancient Near Eastern literatures and their significance for biblical interpretation. One particularly interesting section examines three principal characters of the Old Testament-Abraham, Deborah, and David-illuminating important themes connected with them, such as Abraham and covenant and David as poet and warrior. Coogan explores the use of invented dialogue and historical fiction in the Old Testament, the presence of mythic elements in apparently historical accounts, and the relationship of ancient Israelite myths to those of their neighbors. The book considers the Old Testament's idea of divine justice, especially in Ecclesiastes and Job, and looks at notions of the afterlife in the ancient Near East and in ancient Israel. Coogan highlights the significance of the history and literature of the Old Testament and describes how non-biblical evidence, such as archaeological data and texts, has placed the Old Testament in a larger and more illuminating context. The book also discusses law and ritual in the Bible as well as the biblical understandings of prophecy. Here then is a marvelous overview of one of the great pillars of Western religion and culture, a book whose significance has endured for thousands of years and which remains vitally important today for Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In this thought-provoking book, Mona Siddiqui reflects upon key themes in Islamic law and theology. These themes, which range through discussions about friendship, divorce, drunkenness, love, slavery and ritual slaughter, offer fascinating insights into Islamic ethics and the way in which arguments developed in medieval juristic discourse. Pre-modern religious works contained a richness of thought, hesitation and speculation on a wide range of topics, which were socially relevant but also presented intellectual challenges to the scholars for whom God's revelation could be understood in diverse ways. These subjects remain relevant today, for practising Muslims and scholars of Islamic law and religious studies. Mona Siddiqui is an astute and articulate interpreter who relays complex ideas about the Islamic tradition with great clarity. Her book charts her own journey through the classical texts and reflects upon how the principles expounded there have guided her own thinking, teaching and research.
Finalist: 2014 National Jewish Book Award, Modern Jewish Thought and Experience This study seeks to examine the relationship between the two major categories of commandments (mitzvot): ritual commands (between man and his Maker) and social interpersonal commands (between man and his neighbor). It is argued here that when there is a clash between these two categories, and one cannot carry out both, the interpersonal mitzvot almost always override those of a ritual nature. Different scenarios from a broad spectrum of Jewish law are cited to prove this contention, and the conclusion is underscored through the examination of the behavior and rulings of several leading Jewish legal authorities. Finally, the implications of this conclusion and their impact on religious educational direction and rationale are also discussed.
Within the field of Islamic Studies, scientific research of Muslim theology is a comparatively young discipline. Much progress has been achieved over the past decades with respect both to discoveries of new materials and to scholarly approaches to the field. The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology provides a comprehensive and authoritative survey of the current state of the field. It provides a variegated picture of the state of the art and at the same time suggests new directions for future research. Part One covers the various strands of Islamic theology during the formative and early middle periods, rational as well as scripturalist. To demonstrate the continuous interaction among the various theological strands and its repercussions (during the formative and early middle period and beyond), Part Two offers a number of case studies. These focus on specific theological issues that have developed through the dilemmatic and often polemical interactions between the different theological schools and thinkers. Part Three covers Islamic theology during the later middle and early modern periods. One of the characteristics of this period is the growing amalgamation of theology with philosophy (Peripatetic and Illuminationist) and mysticism. Part Four addresses the impact of political and social developments on theology through a number of case studies: the famous mi?na instituted by al-Ma'mun (r. 189/813-218/833) as well as the mihna to which Ibn 'Aqil (d. 769/1367) was subjected; the religious policy of the Almohads; as well as the shifting interpretations throughout history (particularly during Mamluk and Ottoman times) of the relation between Ash'arism and Maturidism that were often motivated by political motives. Part Five considers Islamic theological thought from the end of the early modern and during the modern period.
Engaging with contemporary debates about the sources that shape our understanding of the early Muslim world, Najam Haider proposes a new model for Muslim historical writing that draws on Late Antique historiography to challenge the imposition of modern notions of history on a pre-modern society. Haider discusses three key case studies - the revolt of Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd (d. 67/687), the life of the Twelver Shi'i Imam Musa al-Kazim (d. 183/799) and the rebellion and subsequent death of the Zaydi Shi'i Imam Yahya b. 'Abd Allah (d. 187/803) - in calling for a new line of inquiry which focuses on larger historiographical questions. What were the rules that governed historical writing in the early Muslim world? What were the intended audiences for these works? In the process, he rejects artificial divisions between Sunni and Shi'i historical writing.
The book of Numbers in Hebrew, Bemidbar, In the Wilderness is a key text for our time. It is among the most searching, self-critical books in all of literature about what Nelson Mandela called the long walk to freedom. Its message is that there is no shortcut to liberty. Numbers is not an easy book to read, nor is it an optimistic one. It is a sober warning set in the midst of a text the Hebrew Bible that remains the West s master narrative of hope.
The Mosaic books, especially Exodus and Numbers, are about the journey from slavery to freedom and from oppression to law-governed liberty. On the map, the distance from Egypt to the Promised Land is not far. But the message of Numbers is that it always takes longer than you think. For the journey is not just physical, a walk across the desert. It is psychological, moral, and spiritual. It takes as long as the time needed for human beings to change....
You cannot arrive at freedom merely by escaping from slavery. It is won only when a nation takes upon itself the responsibilities of self-restraint, courage, and patience. Without that, a journey of a few hundred miles can take forty years. Even then, it has only just begun.
The changing of the seasons, phases of the moon, even our personal experiences-all are reflections of the Divine Feminine. Create a stronger connection to the sacred world and your own divinity by welcoming these thirteen powerful Celtic and Nordic goddesses into your life. As you make your way through a transformative year, know that each goddess has a different energy and a unique lesson to teach you. Starting with the Winter Solstice, the eight seasonal Sabbats and five faces of the moon provide the guideposts along your path. Through ritual, invocation, guided meditations, and magical activities, you'll explore each goddess's unique mythology and discover her message for your life. Cerridwyn Welsh Goddess of Rebirth and Renewal Brigid Irish Goddess of Healing, the Forge, and Creative Inspiration Eostre Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring Freyja Norse Goddess of Love and War Aine Irish Goddess of Faeries and Fertility Danu Irish Mother Goddess of Wisdom Modron Welsh Mother Goddess of Mystery Hella Norse Goddess of the Underworld Branwen Welsh Goddess of Sovereignty Maeve Irish Goddess of Personal Power The Valkyries Norse Goddesses of Battle Magic and Soul Journey Morrighan Irish Goddess of Magic and Death Rhiannon Welsh Great Queen and Horse Goddess
The medieval theory of the caliphate, epitomized by the Abbasids (750-1258), was the construct of jurists who conceived it as a contractual leadership of the Muslim community in succession to the Prophet Muhammed's political authority. In this book, Huseyin Yilmaz traces how a new conception of the caliphate emerged under the Ottomans, who redefined the caliph as at once a ruler, a spiritual guide, and a lawmaker corresponding to the prophet's three natures. Challenging conventional narratives that portray the Ottoman caliphate as a fading relic of medieval Islamic law, Yilmaz offers a novel interpretation of authority, sovereignty, and imperial ideology by examining how Ottoman political discourse led to the mystification of Muslim political ideals and redefined the caliphate. He illuminates how Ottoman Sufis reimagined the caliphate as a manifestation and extension of cosmic divine governance. The Ottoman Empire arose in Western Anatolia and the Balkans, where charismatic Sufi leaders were perceived to be God's deputies on earth. Yilmaz traces how Ottoman rulers, in alliance with an increasingly powerful Sufi establishment, continuously refashioned and legitimated their rule through mystical imageries of authority, and how the caliphate itself reemerged as a moral paradigm that shaped early modern Muslim empires. A masterful work of scholarship, Caliphate Redefined is the first comprehensive study of premodern Ottoman political thought to offer an extensive analysis of a wealth of previously unstudied texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish.
Have you ever prayed for a sick friend? Does God heal today? If so, why are so many people in pain around us? We have all heard stories of miraculous healings. But can we believe them? Why are some people healed and some not? Does God give ordinary Christians the authority to heal? As Ken Blue explores these questions he found plenty of answers, but none that satisified him. He wanted answers that were true to Scripture and true to a loving and just God. His search into the Bible and into the ministry of healing has produced a rich and very human book. Here is a book for everyone who has ever prayed for a sick friend.
At the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and at selected museum theaters around this country, a movies entitled 'Blue Planet' is currently being shown. Spliced together from film footage taken by astronauts in orbit around planet Earth, this movie entrances viewers with the loveliness of our planet, a small blue and white marble revolving through the black void of space.
The Wayfarer's End follows the human person's journey to union with God in the theologies of Saint Bonaventure and Saint Thomas Aquinas. It argues that these seminal thinkers of the 13th Century emphasize scriptural notions of divine rewards as ordering principles for the graced movement of human viators to eternal life. Divine rewards emerge as a fundamental category through the study's emphasis on Thomas and Bonaventure as scriptural commentators and preachers whose work in sacra pagina structures the content of their sacra doctrina. Shawn Colberg places Bonaventure's and Aquinas's scriptural, dogmatic, and polemical works into conversation and illumines their mutually edifying depictions of the way to eternal life. Looking to the journey itself, The Wayfarer's End demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the roles played by God and human beings in the movement to full beatitude. To that end, it explores the relationships between grace and human nature, the effects of sin on the human person, the vital themes of predestination, conversion, perseverance, and the place of "reward-worthy" human action within the overall movement toward union with God. While St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas both stress the priority of grace and divine action for the journey, the study also illustrates their distinct frameworks for human action, unpacking Bonaventure's preference for the language of acceptatio versus Thomas's emphasis on ordinatio. This difference inflects their language of rewards, their exposition of scripture, and the scope of free human action in the movement to union with God. This study places the two most seminal theologians of the 13th Century into conversation on central and enduring topics of Christian life. Such a comparative study has been sorely lacking in the field of studies on Aquinas and Bonaventure. It offers insight to those interested in high scholastic thought, Franciscan and Dominican understandings of human salvation, and Thomist and Franciscan theology as it pertains to questions of the Reformation, including biblical exegesis on justification and sanctification. Above all, the study appreciates and foregrounds the richness of Bonaventure's and Aquinas's vocations: mendicant theologians concerned to share the fruits of contemplation with fellow friars and others seeking the goal of the wayfarer's end.
In sixteen concise chapters on key topics, this book provides a rich, authoritative, and up-to-date introduction to Islamic political thought from the birth of Islam to today, presenting essential background and context for understanding contemporary politics in the Islamic world and beyond. Selected from the acclaimed Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, and focusing on the origins, development, and contemporary importance of Islamic political ideas and related subjects, each chapter offers a sophisticated yet accessible introduction to its topic. Written by leading specialists and incorporating the latest scholarship, the alphabetically arranged chapters cover the topics of authority, the caliphate, fundamentalism, government, jihad, knowledge, minorities, modernity, Muhammad, pluralism and tolerance, the Qur'an, revival and reform, shari?a (sacred law), traditional political thought, 'ulama' (religious scholars), and women. Read separately or together, these chapters provide an indispensable resource for students, journalists, policymakers, and anyone else seeking an informed perspective on the complex intersection of Islam and politics. The contributors are Gerhard Bowering, Ayesha S. Chaudhry, Patricia Crone, Roxanne Euben, Yohanan Friedmann, Paul L. Heck, Roy Jackson, Wadad Kadi, John Kelsay, Gudrun Kramer, Ebrahim Moosa, Armando Salvatore, Aram A. Shahin, Emad El-Din Shahin, Devin J. Stewart, SherAli Tareen, and Muhammad Qasim Zaman. A new afterword discusses the essays in relation to contemporary political developments.
What is the essence of the gospel as Jesus Himself proclaimed it? How people answer that question is crucial to their understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Only Jesus explores what the Bible says about who Jesus is, what is saving grace, and what it means for Jesus to be both Savior and Lord of a person's life. Based on his classic bestseller, The Gospel According to Jesus, John MacArthur answers the age-old question: What did Jesus mean when He said, "Follow me"? In Only Jesus, author and teacher John MacArthur makes it clear that the gospel Jesus preached was a call to self-denial, radical changes, and serving Him. Difficult demands? Impossible in human terms? Yes, but attainable when we understand that the gospel is a call to faith, and genuine faith produces a heart that voluntarily responds to the ever-awakening reality of Christ's lordship. Only Jesus examines the gospel that Jesus himself preached-with an eye toward gaining a thorough and proper understanding of the true way of salvation. He is the only One to whom we must turn for words of eternal life. This book is compulsory reading for Christians who want a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and seekers who want to know who Jesus is and what he taught.
Since their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have become an icon in popular culture that transcends their status as ancient Jewish manuscripts. Everyone has heard of the Scrolls, but amidst the conspiracies, the politics, and the sensational claims, it can be difficult to separate the myths from the reality. In this Very Short introductions, Timothy Lim discusses the cultural significance of the finds, and the religious, political and legal controversies during the seventy years of study since the discovery. He also looks at the contribution the Scrolls have made to our understanding of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, and the origins of early Christianity. Exploring the most recent scholarly discussions on the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran, and the study of the biblical texts, the canon, and the history of the Second Temple Period, he considers what the scrolls reveal about sectarianism in early Judaism. Was the archaeological site of Qumran a centre of monastic life, a fortress, a villa, or a pottery factory? Why were some of their biblical texts so different from the ones that we read today? Did they have 'a Bible'? Who were the Essenes and why did they think that humanity is to be divided between 'the sons of light' and those in darkness? And, finally, do the Scrolls reflect the teachings of the earliest followers of Jesus? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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