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Western Religion

A DIVINE AND SUPERNATURAL LIGHT

A DIVINE AND SUPERNATURAL LIGHT

By: Edwards a M, Johnathan
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One the the many sermons of colonial American Theologian and clergyman Jonathan Edwards. This is a representative Sermon of the depth and breadth of Jonathan Edwards as he preached in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1733. The text of this edition is based upon the first edition, printed in Boston in 1734 by Kneeland and Green.
A SORROWFUL JOY

A SORROWFUL JOY

By: Raboteau, Albert J
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Description: Albert Raboteau was born into a Catholic family in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, three months after his father was shot and killed by a white man. It was during the 1940s, when blacks couldn't swim at the same beach as whites, when the priest gave communion to white Catholics first and made others wait. In a moving account of his life, Raboteau tells how the boy grew into a man, married, became a success as a college administrator, then learned sorrow, lost his way and had to start over again. His is an American spiritual journey that is redolent of sacramental Christianity marking the sacredness of time, place, and community. The journey brought him to a conversation that reconciled him to his own past, including his religious heritage, his African roots, and his family members. In the end his spiritual quest became a journey home, to a human circle that opened to him and brought him to God. Endorsements: ""If you want to see why Albert Raboteau is among the most elegant writers now contemplating the most important things, begin with his brief spiritual autobiography, A Sorrowful Joy. Next read the epilogue A Fire in the Bones. Then return to Slave Religion, the book for which he is famous, and you will understand why it first moved you as deeply as it did."" --Jeffrey Stout, author of Blessed Are the Organized About the Contributor(s): Albert J. Raboteau is the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion at Princeton University. The text of this book was originally delivered as a Harold M. Wit Lecture at Harvard University Divinity School.
ABRAHAM

ABRAHAM

By: Feiler, Bruce
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Noting Abraham as a shared patriarchal figure common to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the author recounts his visits to war zones, ancient shrines, and other locations to trace Abraham's life from an interfaith perspective.
ABRAHAM MIGUEL CARDOZO SELECTED

ABRAHAM MIGUEL CARDOZO SELECTED

By: Cardozo, Abraham Miguel
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Here is a fascinating and unusual addition to the acclaimed Classics of Western Spirituality(TM)series. Abraham Miguel Cardozo (1627-1706) was born to a Marrano family in Spain and raised as a Catholic. After fleeing Spain at age 22, he returned to Judaism and educated himself in rabbinics and Kabbalah. A physician by trade, Cardozo became a believer in the self-proclaimed Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. In later years he thought himself a truer Messiah, one who would redeem the Jewish people and the entire world. A subtle and lucid theologian, Cardozo combined rabbinic learning, his Catholic training and a budding awareness of Eastern religions into a remarkable theory of comparative religion that he set forth in his treatise, This Is My God and I Will Praise Him, which appears in its entirety here. Included as well are slightly abridged texts of his apology for Sabbatai Zevi's apostasy (Epistle to the Judges of Izmir), and his lengthy autobiographical letter written near the end of his life, and the magical and messianic portions of his treatise Israel, Holiness to the Lord. An introduction provides rich background information on Cardozo's life and travels, and the meaning and context of his writings. Never before translated into English, or any language, Cardozo will hold great appeal for persons interested in Judaism, mysticism and early modern history, as well as for spiritual seekers, particularly those looking for some unorthodox variant of their current tradition. +
AGAINST THE ACADEMICIANS & THE TEACHER

AGAINST THE ACADEMICIANS & THE TEACHER

By: Augustine
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These new translations of two treatises dealing with the possibility and nature of knowledge in the face of skeptical challenges are the first to be rendered from the Latin critical edition, the first to be made specifically with a philosophical audience in mind, and the first to be translated by a scholar with expertise in both modern epistemology and philosophy of language.

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AGAINST THE ACADEMICS: ST. AUGUSTINE'S CASSICIACUM DIALOGUES, VOLUME 1

By: Augustine, Saint
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The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are the influential "Cassiciacum dialogues." In this first dialogue, expertly translated by Michael Foley, Augustine and his interlocutors explore the history and teachings of Academic skepticism.
AGGADIC MIDRASH LITERATURE

AGGADIC MIDRASH LITERATURE

By: Mack, Hananel
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AL-GHAZALI'S PATH TO SUFISM: HIS DELIVERANCE FROM ERROR AND FIVE KEY TEXTS

AL-GHAZALI'S PATH TO SUFISM: HIS DELIVERANCE FROM ERROR AND FIVE KEY TEXTS

By: Al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid Muhammad
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This text has long been recognized as not only an Islamic classic, but also as a great spiritual autobiography of one of the world's greatest religious thinkers. It is the narrative of how one dedicated seeker of true knowledge and salvation, having probed various systems of thought and differing paths of learning and enlightenment, discovered the peace of the inner life and discipline of mystical spirituality.
ALBERT & THOMAS/SELECTED WRITINGS

ALBERT & THOMAS/SELECTED WRITINGS

By: Albertus
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...a milestone in American religious publishing. New Catholic World In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders. ALBERT AND THOMAS-SELECTED WRITINGS translated, edited, and introduced by Simon Tugwell, O.P. preface by Leonard E. Boyle, OP He who is the preeminent cause of all that the mind understands is not any of the objects of our understanding. Albert the Great (1200-1280) This volume contains writings by two thirteenth-century Dominicans, both canonized saints, both doctors of the Church: Saint Albert the Great, patron saint of natural scientist, and the common doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas. Both are famous for their contributions to philosophy and theology, but they are also, in different ways, both important in the history of spirituality. In particular, Saint Thomas' huge common sense gives his message an abiding value which can be appreciated by ordinary Christians, trying to practice their faith, as well as by people who are concerned with more sophisticated attempts to articulate and understand their religion. The editor of the volume, Simon Tugwell, OP, has supplied a full biographical introduction to each of the two saints, and an introduction to relevant aspects of their thought, so that this book serves as a real invitation to those who are unfamiliar with them, as well as making a contribution to the scholarly study of their lives and works. +
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ALCHEMY OF HAPPINESS TR. FIELD

By: Al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid
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God has sent on earth prophets to teach men the prescription of happiness. This alchemy may be briefly described as turning away from the world to God, and its constituents are the knowledge of self., the knowledge of God, the knowledge of this world as it really is, and the knowledge of the next world as it really is.

"This man, if ever any have deserved the name, was truly a 'divine, ' and he may be justly placed on a level with Origen, so remarkable was he for learning and ingenuity, and gifted with such a rare faculty for the skilful and worthy exposition of doctrine. All that is good, noble, and sublime that his great soul had compassed he bestowed upon Muhammadanism, and he adorned the doctrines of the Koran with so much piety and learning that, in the form given them by him, they seem, in my opinion, worthy the assent of Christians. Whatsoever was most excellent in the philosophy of Aristotle or in the Sufi mysticism he discreetly adapted to the Muhammadan theology; from every school he sought the means of shedding light and honour upon religion; while his sincere piety and lofty conscientiousness imparted to all his writings a sacred majesty. He was the first of Muhammadan divines." -- Dr. August Tholuck

AMONG THE GENTILES: Greco Roman Religion and Christianity

AMONG THE GENTILES: Greco Roman Religion and Christianity

By: Johnson, Luke Timothy
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An acclaimed scholar presents a bold new interpretation of the relationship between Greco-Roman religion and Christianity.

The question of Christianity's relation to the other religions of the world is more pertinent and difficult today than ever before. While Christianity's historical failure to appreciate or actively engage Judaism is notorious, Christianity's even more shoddy record with respect to "pagan" religions is less understood. Christians have inherited a virtually unanimous theological tradition that thinks of paganism in terms of demonic possession, and of Christian missions as a rescue operation that saves pagans from inherently evil practices.

In undertaking this fresh inquiry into early Christianity and Greco-Roman paganism, Luke Timothy Johnson begins with a broad definition of religion as a way of life organized around convictions and experiences concerning ultimate power. In the tradition of William James's Variety of Religious Experience, he identifies four distinct ways of being religious: religion as participation in benefits, as moral transformation, as transcending the world, and as stabilizing the world. Using these criteria as the basis for his exploration of Christianity and paganism, Johnson finds multiple points of similarity in religious sensibility.

Christianity's failure to adequately come to grips with its first pagan neighbors, Johnson asserts, inhibits any effort to engage positively with adherents of various world religions. This thoughtful and passionate study should help break down the walls between Christianity and other religious traditions.

AN EDUCATED MAN: A Dual Biography of Moses and Jesus

AN EDUCATED MAN: A Dual Biography of Moses and Jesus

By: Rosenberg, David
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From this prize-winning and best-selling author comes a magisterial new project: a dual biography, weaving together the preeminent figures of Judeo-Christian civilization and overturning the conventional view of Moses and Jesus as humble men of faith.

Rooting the biographies of Moses and Jesus in their historical contexts, Rosenberg reads their narratives as cultural--rather than religious--endeavors. He charges that both Moses and Jesus were "educated" men, steeped in the literature and scholarship of their day. There were no old or new testaments for them, but rather a long history of writing and writers.

When professors quote Moses in university courses, or pastors quote Jesus in sermons, they routinely neglect to inform us that Jesus himself is quoting the Hebrew Bible, often in the manner that Moses once quoted Egyptian medical texts. The remarkable ability of both men to recall and transform a wide range of sources is overlooked. Where did they get these profound educations?

Part biography, part critical analysis, An Educated Man further challenges us to envision what defines "an educated man or woman" today--and how an understanding of our religious history is crucial to it.

ANCIENT JEWISH MYSTICISM

ANCIENT JEWISH MYSTICISM

By: Dan, Joseph
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This book describes the history of Jewish mysticism, introducing the wide-ranging and varied mystic writings known collectively as the "Heikhalot" and the "Merkavah" literature, with its description of mystic spiritual elevations, and meetings between the mystics and superior beings-and even with God. Explains Jewish mysticism's relationships to parallel streams of thought, both within and outside Judaism.
ANGELA OF FOLIGNO/COMPLETE WORKS

ANGELA OF FOLIGNO/COMPLETE WORKS

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The Classics of Western Spirituality(TM)series, which has inspired many less-successful imitations over the years, has fulfilled its promise and given us an invaluable resource of the soul. The Catholic Historical Review In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish and Islamic traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders. ANGELA OF FOLIGNO-COMPLETE WORKS translated, with an introduction by Paul Lachance, O.F.M. preface by Romana Guarnieri Suddenly, a divine word sounded in my soul: My love for you has not been a hoax. These words struck me a mortal blow. For immediately the eyes of my soul were opened and I saw that what he had said was true. I saw his acts of love, everything that the Son of God had done, all that he had endured in life and in death-this suffering God-man-because of his inexpressible and visceral love. Seeing in him all the deeds of true love, I understood the perfect truth of what he had said, that his love for me had not been a hoax, but that he had loved me with a most perfect and visceral love. I saw, on the other hand, the exact opposite in myself, because my love for him had never been anything but playing games, never true. Angela of Foligno (c. 1248-1309) The superabundant one, the saint of the double abyss, the queen of the explorers of the beyond, the one who lies, the bedded, swooning saint, the teacher of theologians--thus have various commentators characterized the Blessed Angela of Foligno, one of the most outstanding, yet still too little known, representatives of the Franciscan and Christian mystical tradition. The dramatic story of Angela's passionate love affair with the suffering God-man, how she is transformed and led into the deep abysses of the Trinitarian life, is recorded in the Memorial, the first part of her Book, which she dictated to her Franciscan scribe and confessor, Brother Arnaldo. The searing intensity of her account is unmatched in mystical literature. After her immersion in the fathomless depths of the Trinity, Angela emerged as a spiritual mother, gathering around her a network of disciples. The second part of her Book, the Instructions, contains her teachings in the form of letters and exhortations to her spiritual progeny, along with accounts of further visions and locutions, a testament, and an epilogue. This is the first translation into English of Angela's Book in its entirety. The translation is based on the new critical edition of the Latin text. A comprehensive introduction sets it in the context of the times, and summarizes Angela's inner journey, spirituality, and influence. +
ANGELIC MISTAKES

ANGELIC MISTAKES

By: Lipsey, Roger
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In the last decade of his life, while living as a hermit-monk in dialogue with the world, Thomas Merton created a body of visual art that has remained largely unknown and little studied in the nearly forty years since his death. With this book, Merton's art at last moves out of the shadows to be appreciated for what it is: a revealing expression of his state of mind and heart in the 1960s, and a visual correlative to his mature works of spiritual writing such as New Seeds of Contemplation and Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Roger Lipsey provides a fascinating analysis of the simple and striking images and their significance in Merton's journey. He find in them resonances with Asian calligraphy and American abstract expressionism, and relates them to the influence of Merton's wide circle of friends, which included such diverse figures as the Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, the poet Czeslaw Milosz, the Zen scholar D. T. Suzuki, and the artist Ad Reinhardt--among many others.

But the centerpiece of the book is the art itself, presented in a portfolio of thirty-four representative pieces that reflect the changing themes and methods of Merton's work. Each is accompanied by selections from his writings from the 1960s that reflect the inward and outward territories Merton was exploring in the period when these remarkable images were created.

ANGELIC SPIRITUALITY

ANGELIC SPIRITUALITY

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What is it about angels that so fascinates us, inspires us and makes us want to know more about them? Now, in this thoroughly intriguing Classic of Western Spirituality(TM) that is sure to have wide appeal, translator and editor Steven Chase introduces readers to the rich and varied tradition of angels in the lives of men and women. Drawing on works from a variety of medieval writers from roughly the 4th to the 13th centuries, he explores the extensive landscape of angels in medieval Christian devotion and, for the benefit of modern readers, retrieves a very rich vein in the Christian spiritual tradition. Section One explores issues in angelic spirituality ranging from metaphysical speculation to practical, formative, devotional and contemplative themes as developed in the works of, among others, Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux and Gregory the Great. Section Two offers selections from medieval commentaries that explore angelic spirituality in the light of symbolic theology, the moral life, contemplation, aesthetics and mystical consciousness. Angelic Spirituality: --contributes to establishing solid evidence of Christian angelic spirituality that goes beyond popular interest --reintroduces a forgotten Christian spiritual tradition --will interest everyday readers as well as scholars +
ANIMAL FABLES OF THE COURTLY MEDITERRANEAN

ANIMAL FABLES OF THE COURTLY MEDITERRANEAN

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Animal Fables of the Courtly Mediterranean is a treasure trove of stories and lessons on how to conduct oneself and succeed in life, sometimes through cleverness rather than virtue. They feature human and many animal protagonists, including the two jackals Stephanites and Ichnelates, after whom the book is named, as well as several lion kings. At the heart of this work are tales from the Sanskrit Panchatantra and Mahabharata, to which more were added, both in the original Middle Persian collection and its eighth-century Arabic translation, the widely known Kalīla wa-Dimna.

In the eleventh century, readers in Constantinople were introduced to these stories through an abbreviated Greek version, translated by Symeon Seth from the Arabic. The new Byzantine Greek text and English translation presented here is a more complete version, originating in twelfth-century Sicily and connected with Admiral Eugenius of Palermo. It contains unique prefaces and reinstates the prologues and stories omitted by Seth.

APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

By: Foster, Paul
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This Very Short Introduction offers a clear, accessible, and concise account of the apocryphal gospels--exploring their origins, their discovery, and discussing how the various texts have been interpreted both within and outside the Church. Looking at texts ranging from the Gospels from Nag
Hammadi to the Dialogues with the Risen Savior, Paul Foster shows how the apocryphal gospels reflect the diversity that existed within early Christianity, and considers the extent to which they can be used to reconstruct an accurate portrait of the historical Jesus. Foster demonstrates how close
analysis of text, contents, and context are vital in assessing the value and authenticity of such ancient documents. Including discussions of controversies and case-studies such as the alleged hoax surrounding the discovery of Secret Mark, Foster concludes that the non-canonical texts, considered in
the correct context, can help us reach a more complete understanding of the multi-faceted nature of early Christianity.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds
of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

APPROACHING THE QU'RAN W/CD

APPROACHING THE QU'RAN W/CD

By: Sells, Michael
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Approaching the Qur'án is a major event in religious publishing. Professor Michael Sells has captured the complexity, power, and poetry of the early suras of the Qur'án, the sacred scripture of Islam. In this second edition, Sells introduces important new translations of suras and a new preface that addresses the ongoing controversy over teaching about Islam and the Qur'an in American universities. Approaching the Qur'án presents brilliant translations of the short, hymnic suras associated with the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. Most of these early revelations appear at the end of text and are commonly reached only by the most resolute reader of existing English translations. These suras contain some of the most powerful, prophetic and revelatory passages in religious history. They offer the vision of a meaningful and just life that anchors the religion of one-fifth of the world's inhabitants. Approaching the Qur'án is enriched by inclusion of free downloadable audio recordings of Quranic reciters, allowing readers an opportunity to hear the Qur'án in its original form. The book includes Sells' Introduction to the Qur'án, commentaries of the suras, a glossary of technical terms, and chapters discussing the sound nature and gender aspects of the Arabic text.
ARCHAIC ROMAN RELIGION 2

ARCHAIC ROMAN RELIGION 2

By: Duma(c)Zil, Georges
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The second of two volumes discussing archaic Roman religion. From the study of texts, inscriptions, and archaeology of Roman sacred places, this volume traces the formation of archaic Roman religion from Indo-European sources through the development of the rites and beliefs of the Roman republic. The author describes a religion that was not only influenced by other religions, but influenced them as well, in mutual efforts to distinguish one nation from another. Even so, certain continuities were sustained in order to achieve a religion that crossed generations and ways of life. The worship of certain gods became the special concerns of certain parts of society, all of which needed attention to assure Rome's success in war, civil administration, and the production of food and gooods.
ARK BEFORE NOAH: DECODING THE STORY OF THE FLOOD

ARK BEFORE NOAH: DECODING THE STORY OF THE FLOOD

By: Finkel, Irving
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When a small, peculiar, palm-sized clay tablet made its way to the desk of Irving Finkel, Assyriologist and Assistant Keeper at the British Museum, Finkel could hardly believe his luck. What he discovered was a missing piece in the story of Noah and the Ark. In this captivating, absorbing work of scholarship, Finkel, a world authority on ancient Mesopotamia, leads the reader on a detective hunt for the prototype of Noah's Ark--from cuneiform wedges to bundles of reeds, from ancient Babylon to modern Iraq, Finkel reveals new information on the origin of the Babylonian Flood story which pre-dates the biblical deluge, including the surprising size and shape of the boat itself, and even where it came to rest. New to this edition, Finkel puts the "Ark Tablet" to the test in building a modern version of the ship. Throughout, The Ark Before Noah takes us on an adventurous voyage of discovery, opening the door to an enthralling world of ancient voices and historical lore.

ART OF BIBLE TRANSLATION

ART OF BIBLE TRANSLATION

By: Alter, Robert
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From the recipient of the National Jewish Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, a hugely entertaining and irreverent (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker) account of the art of translating the Hebrew Bible into English

In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator Robert Alter offers a personal and passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation during the two decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Showing why the Bible and its meaning can be brought to life in English only by re-creating the subtle and powerful literary style of the original text, Alter discusses the principal aspects of biblical Hebrew that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.

ART OF PRAYER

ART OF PRAYER

By: Chariton, Igumen
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A spiritual anthology drawn from the Greek and Russian traditions, concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers--the Jesus Prayer. Texts are taken chiefly from the letters of Bishop Theopan the Recluse, along with many other writers.

ART OF WORLDLY WISDOM

ART OF WORLDLY WISDOM

By: Gracian, Baltasar
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This perennially popular book of advice on how to achieve personal and professional success is valued for its timeless insights on how to make one's way in the world. Written in the seventeenth century by a Spanish Jesuit scholar, these teachings are strikingly modern in tone and address universal concerns such as friendship, morality, managing emotions, and effective leadership. The Art of Worldly Wisdom is for anyone seeking to combine ethical behavior with worldly success.

This edition of The Art of Worldly Wisdom includes an informative introduction by Willis Barnstone, Distinguished Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Indiana University. Barnstone, a noted translator, critic, and poet, explores Gracián's background and places him within his historical and literary context.

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ATHEIST DELUSIONS: the Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies

By: Hart, David Bentley
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Among all the great transitions that have marked Western history, only one--the triumph of Christianity--can be called in the fullest sense a "revolution"

In this provocative book one of the most brilliant scholars of religion today dismantles distorted religious "histories" offered up by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other contemporary critics of religion and advocates of atheism. David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheists's misrepresentations of the Christian past, countering their polemics with a brilliant account of Christianity and its message of human charity as the most revolutionary movement in all of Western history.

Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruelest aspects of pagan society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what we term the "Age of Reason" was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of reason's authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present, delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values.

BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT: A CHRISTIAN TALE OF THE BUDDHA

BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT: A CHRISTIAN TALE OF THE BUDDHA

By: Gui de Cambrai
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A new translation of the most popular Christian tale of the Middle Ages, which springs from the story of the Buddha.

When his astrologers foretell that his son Josaphat will convert to Christianity, the pagan King Avenir confines him to a palace, allowing him to know only the pleasures of the world, and to see no illness, death, or poverty. Despite the king's precautions, the hermit Barlaam comes to Josaphat and begins to teach the prince Christian beliefs through parables. Josaphat converts to Christianity, angering his father, who tries to win his son back to his religion before he, too, converts. After his father's death, Josaphat renounces the world and lives as a hermit in the wilderness with his teacher Barlaam.

Long attributed to the eighth-century monk and scholar, St. John of Damascus, Barlaam and Josaphat was translated into numerous languages around the world. Philologists eventually traced the name Josaphat as a derivation from the Sanskrit bodhisattva, the Buddhist term for the future Buddha, highlighting this text as essential source reading for connections between several of the world's most popular religions.

The first version to appear in modern English, Peggy McCracken's highly readable translation reintroduces a classic tale and makes it accessible once again.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

BATTLE FOR GOD

BATTLE FOR GOD

By: Armstrong, Karen
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In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows us how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish.

We see the West in the sixteenth century beginning to create an entirely new kind of civilization, which brought in its wake change in every aspect of life -- often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the things that changed most was religion. People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances.

Armstrong characterizes fundamentalism as one of these new ways of being religious that have emerged in every major faith tradition. Focusing on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Muslim fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, she examines the ways in which these movements, while not monolithic, have each sprung from a dread of modernity -- often in response to assault (sometimes unwitting, sometimes intentional) by the mainstream society.

Armstrong sees fundamentalist groups as complex, innovative, and modern -- rather than as throwbacks to the past -- but contends that they have failed in religious terms. Maintaining that fundamentalism often exists in symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each impelling the other on to greater excess, she suggests compassion as a way to defuse what is now an intensifying conflict.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

BEELZEBUB'S TALES TO HIS GRANDSON

BEELZEBUB'S TALES TO HIS GRANDSON

By: Gurdjieff, G I
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With Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, G. I. Gurdjieff intended to destroy, mercilessly . . . the beliefs and views about everything existing in the world. This novel beautifully brings to life the visions of humanity for which Gurdjieff has become esteemed. Beelzebub, a man of worldly (and other-worldly) wisdom, shares with his grandson the anecdotes, personal philosophies, and lessons learned from his own life.The reader is given a detailed discussion of all matters physical, natural, and spiritual, from the creation of the cosmos to man's teleological purpose in the universe. This edition of Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson--the first single-volume paperback to appear in English--restores the original, authoritative translation.
BEGINNING OF DESIRE: Reflections on Genesis

BEGINNING OF DESIRE: Reflections on Genesis

By: Zornberg, Avivah Gottlieb
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Winner of the National Jewish Book Award

Since its publication in 1995, The Beginning of Desire has opened new pathways in the reading of the Bible. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg's innovative use of midrash, literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis draws deeply upon the familiar biblical narratives to produce interpretations that are at once startlingly beautiful and completely authentic. Illuminating the tensions that grip human beings as they search for an encounter with God, Zornberg gives us a brilliant analysis of the stories of Adam and Eve; Noah; Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob, Rachel, and Leah; and Joseph and his brothers.

BEGINNING OF WISDOM: READING GENESIS

BEGINNING OF WISDOM: READING GENESIS

By: Kass, Leon R
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As ardent debates over creationism fill the front pages of newspapers, Genesis has never been more timely. And as Leon R. Kass shows in The Beginning of Wisdom, it's also timeless.

Examining Genesis in a philosophical light, Kass presents it not as a story of what happened long ago, but as the enduring story of humanity itself. He asserts that the first half of Genesis contains insights about human nature that "rival anything produced by the great philosophers." Kass here reads these first stories-from Adam and Eve to the tower of Babel-as a mirror for self-discovery that reveals truths about human reason, speech, freedom, sexual desire, pride, shame, anger, and death. Taking a step further in the second half of his book, Kass explores the struggles in Genesis to launch a new way of life that addresses mankind's morally ambiguous nature by promoting righteousness and holiness.

Even readers who don't agree with Kass's interpretations will find The Beginning of Wisdom acompelling book-a masterful philosophical take on one of the world's seminal religious texts.

"Extraordinary. . . . Its analyses and hypotheses will leave no reader's understanding of Genesis unchanged." -New York Times

"A learned and fluent, delightfully overstuffed stroll through the Gates of Eden. . . . Mix Harold Bloom with Stephen Jay Gould and you'll get something like Kass. A wonderfully intelligent reading of Genesis."-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Throughout his book, Kass uses fruitful, fascinating techniques for getting at the heart of Genesis. . . . Innumerable times [he] makes a reader sit back and rethink what has previously been tediously familiar or baffling."-Washington Post

"It is important to state that this is a book not merely rich, but prodigiously rich with insight. Kass is a marvelous reader, sensitive and careful. His interpretations surprise again and again with their cogency and poignancy."-Jerusalem Post