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By Claudia M ller-Ebeling, Christian R tsch. 2003
An examination of the sacred botany and the pagan origins and rituals of Christmas • Analyzes the symbolism of the… many plants associated with Christmas • Reveals the shamanic rituals that are at the heart of the Christmas celebration The day on which many commemorate the birth of Christ has its origins in pagan rituals that center on tree worship, agriculture, magic, and social exchange. But Christmas is no ordinary folk observance. It is an evolving feast that over the centuries has absorbed elements from cultures all over the world--practices that give plants and plant spirits pride of place. In fact, the symbolic use of plants at Christmas effectively transforms the modern-day living room into a place of shamanic ritual. Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling show how the ancient meaning of the botanical elements of Christmas provides a unique view of the religion that existed in Europe before the introduction of Christianity. The fir tree was originally revered as the sacred World Tree in northern Europe. When the church was unable to drive the tree cult out of people’s consciousness, it incorporated the fir tree by dedicating it to the Christ child. Father Christmas in his red-and-white suit, who flies through the sky in a sleigh drawn by reindeer, has his mythological roots in the shamanic reindeer-herding tribes of arctic Europe and Siberia. These northern shamans used the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom, which is red and white, to make their soul flights to the other world. Apples, which figure heavily in Christmas baking, are symbols of the sun god Apollo, so they find a natural place at winter solstice celebrations of the return of the sun. In fact, the authors contend that the emphasis of Christmas on green plants and the promise of the return of life in the dead of winter is just an adaptation of the pagan winter solstice celebration.
By Heather Kopp, David Kopp. 1997
From Spelling Tests to Future Mates-Learn to Pray for Every Aspect of Your Kids' Lives.AS A PARENT, you want your… prayers to have an impact on the lives of your children. But how can you ensure that will happen? What are some of the vital things you should pray for? How can you claim God's glorious promises for your kids? In Powerful Prayers for Your Children, you'll find the answers to these questions, along with rich, Scripture-based prayers that will show you how to communicate more confidently, more fervently, and more effectively with the Lord. Most important, your prayer life will be forever changed as you learn to pray more intimately and wisely to the One who loves your children most of all.From the Trade Paperback edition.
By Khushwant Singh, Ashok Chopra. 2012
Instead of entering into a pointless debate on whether or not God exists it is more important to bear… in mind that belief in the existence of God has little bearing on making a person a good or a bad citizen One can be a saintly person without believing in God and a detestable villain believing in Him In my personalized religion there is NO GOD Khushwant Singh over the decades has built up a reputation for coming up with something new and controversial in each book and he does not disappoint his readers this time too He begins with a chapter on the need for a new religion without God in which he questions the relevance of God He then moves on to describe how religion has proved to be more harmful than beneficial and in the process debunks astrologers and the breed of so-called godmen However he is not dismissive of religion Through his lucid writing he brings out the beauty and significance of holy books such as the Bhagvad Gita the Quran and the Granth Sahib He provides relevant extracts to highlight the poetry and the music in such books The author next tries to dispel the prejudices held by many non-Muslims against their Muslim compatriots by giving down-to-earth examples He also emphasizes the importance of the Ramzaan fast Khushwant Singh s description of the life and times of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and his in-depth analysis of the Granth Sahib throw new light on a particularly troubled period in India s history The chapter devoted to the interaction of the author a confirmed agnostic with the Dalai Lama probably the world s most renowned spiritual leader makes for fascinating reading Here s one book containing a wealth of knowledge and information that you would want to read or consult again and again
By David B. Edwards. 2002
If you want to read one book to understand the background to the political conflicts in Afghanistan and the Taliban's… rise to power, this is the book. Edwards tells the stories of three men--a Marxist politician, a tribal leader, and an Islamic militant--to explain the complex political culture of Afghanistan.
By Michael S. Evans. 2016
Why do religion and science often appear in conflict in America's public sphere? In Seeking Good Debate, Michael S. Evans… examines the results from the first-ever study to combine large-scale empirical analysis of some of our foremost religion and science debates with in-depth research into what Americans actually want in the public sphere. The surprising finding is that apparent conflicts involving religion and science reflect a more fundamental conflict between media elites and ordinary Americans over what is good debate. For elite representatives, good debate advances an agenda, but, as Evans shows, for many Americans it is defined by engagement and deliberation. This hidden conflict over what constitutes debate's proper role diminishes the possibility for science and religion to be discussed meaningfully in public life. Challenging our understanding of science, religion, and conflict, Seeking Good Debate raises profound questions about the future of the public sphere and American democracy.
By Evyatar Marienberg. 2015
Catholics are not Christians. They worship Mary. They do whatever the pope says. They cannot divorce. They eat fish on… Fridays. These flawed but common statements reflect a combined ignorance of and fascination with Catholicism and the Catholic Church. Catholicism Today: An Introduction to the Contemporary Catholic Church aims to familiarize its readers with contemporary Catholicism. The book is designed to address common misconceptions and frequently-asked questions regarding the Church, its teachings, and the lived experience of Catholics in modern societies worldwide. Opening with a concise historical overview of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, the text explores the core beliefs and rituals that define Catholicism in practice, the organization of the Church and the Catholic calendar, as well as the broad question of what it means to be Catholic in a variety of cultural contexts. The book ends with a discussion of the challenges facing the Church both now and in the coming decades. Also included are two short appendices on Eastern Catholicism and Catholicism in the United States.
By Jo Piazza. 2014
Veteran reporter Jo Piazza profiles ten extraordinary nuns and the causes to which they have dedicated their lives--from an eighty-three-year-old… Ironman champion to a brave sister who rescues victims of human traffickingMeet Sister Simone Campbell, who traversed the United States challenging a Republican budget that threatened to severely undermine the well-being of poor Americans; Sister Megan Rice, who is willing to spend the rest of her life in prison if it helps eliminate nuclear weapons; and the inimitable Sister Jeannine Gramick, who is fighting for acceptance of gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church. During a time when American nuns are under attack from the very institution to which they pledge, these sisters offer inspiring, provocative counterstories that are sure to spark debate.Overthrowing our popular perception of nuns as killjoy schoolmarms content to live in the annals of nostalgia, Piazza defines them instead as the most vigorous catalysts of change in an otherwise constricting patriarchy.
By Max Lucado. 1992
For such a small book, the devotional Grace for the Moment has had a major impact on more than 2.5… million lives. The newly revised-and newly sized-Grace for the Moment® Journal, which includes many Scriptures and quotes from the devotional, now includes more writing space for personal reflection on God's grace.
By J. Gordon Melton. 2000
Melton (Institute for the Study of American Religion, Santa Barbara, California) begins with over 400 native religions being practiced at… the time of European contact. He then discusses the initial colonization and religious pioneers, how religious groups dealt with their new dependence on voluntary member support and the forces leading to the Civil War, the emergence of fundamentalism and its development up to current controversies, and the leap in religious pluralism at the end of the 20th century.
By Jill Oliphant. 2013
Unlock your full potential with this revision guide which provides both the key content you need to know and guidance… on how to apply it for better gradesMy Revision Notes: OCR A2 Religious Studies: Religious Ethics helps you to stay motivated and focused during your revision - and gives you the opportunity to practise and refine your skills to achieve the best grade in your exam. Breaks down all topics into short sections - easy to read and revise from Exam-style practice questions help confidence with the exam Concise notes, clear layout and colourful features keep you engaged You can check your learning with the 'test yourself' questions and tick-box design
By Kamala Tiyavanich. 2018
A fascinating collection of stories of the Thai forest monks that illuminates the Thai Forest tradition as a vibrant … compassionate and highly appealing way of life This work ingeniously intermingles real-life stories about nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Buddhist monks in old Siam today s Thailand with experiences recorded by their Western contemporaries Stories of giant snakes bandits boatmen midwives and guardian spirits collectively portray a Buddhist culture in all its imaginative and geographical brilliance By juxtaposing these eyewitness accounts Kamala Tiyavanich presents a new and vivid picture of Buddhism as it was lived and of the natural environments in which the Buddha s teachings were practiced This book was previously published under the title The Buddha in the Jungle
By Zecharia Sitchin. 1998
Many thousands of years ago, a race of extraordinary beings guided the evolution of life on Earth -- determining the… existence and nature of mankind as we know it today. All powerful, all knowing, the proof of their genius is apparent in the mysterious monoliths at Stonehenge, and in a strange but highly significant structure of concentric stone circles in Israel's Golan Heights -- both requiring sophisticated astronomical knowledge. Teaching man to look to the heavens, they bequeathed to us the Cosmic Code. The newest entry in a carefully researched multi-volume series tracing the creation and motivation of mankind, this book identifies the turning point in our species' delicate balance between the demands of destiny and the vagaries of fate. From deep inside ancient Sumerian texts that predate even the Bible, Zecharia Sitchin dares to reveal the nature of prophecy and historical truths that have long been obscured by disbelief and misunderstanding: the code used to construct our kind by master builder from the stars.
By Julia Kindt. 2016
Revisiting Delphi speaks to all admirers of Delphi and its famous prophecies, be they experts on ancient Greek religion, students… of the ancient world, or just lovers of a good story. It invites readers to revisit the famous Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, along with Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Pausanias and Athenaeus, offering the first comparative and extended enquiry into the way these and other authors force us to move the link between religion and narrative centre stage. Their accounts of Delphi and its prophecies reflect a world in which the gods frequently remain baffling and elusive despite every human effort to make sense of the signs they give.
By Jason J. Stellman. 2017
Provides a vision for a broader more hospitable Christianity Publishers Weekly The co-host of… the popular podcast Drunk Ex-Pastors offers an earnest and irreverent look at what it means to be a Christian in an upside down world Perhaps failing at faith is an ironic success since disaster is where grace happens Jason StellmanJason Stellman has always felt like a misfit A Protestant pastor with a sharp wit a restlessly inquisitive mind and a love of pop culture and rock and roll he has long sensed that something was missing when it came to his relationship with God In time he felt drawn to the Catholic Church so he stepped down from his ministry and embraced Catholicism only to still feel misplaced and homeless His feelings thoughts and troubles echo the disillusionment and confusion of many people who struggle relating to ancient faiths in a postmodern world In a book that mixes memoir with theological insights and taut storytelling Stellman gives an edgy honest heart-on-his-sleeve account of what it means to be a mixed-up Christian outsider in the twenty-first century and why this is a can be good thing Misfit Faith is an invitation to all the religious vagabonds and exiles with nowhere to really call home those wanderers who increasingly feel like mere fans of spirituality rather than committed members of the team If you ve ever questioned your faith felt like a spiritual malcontent or sought solace for your existential angst at the bottom of a bottle of bourbon then Stellman just may be the best drinking buddy you ve never met
By June Cotner. 2016
In this book of poems and prayers for the planet, you find not only beautiful prose written by modern writers… and from ancient cultures but illuminating passages and reflections on the condition of the planet, and humans' place here. In Earth Blessings, Cotner and her contributors, many of whom are award-winning writers, contemplate every aspect of the environment, from grasslands to ocean, desert, and mountains, with gorgeous meditations on the world around us, how we are nurtured by nature, and the vital role as stewards of the earth. Earth Blessings fosters environmental awareness and insight, and it inspires individuals to view the Earth as sacred and cherish it as they explore writings about the relationship of humankind and the environment. The selections in the book remind readers of the necessity for sharing and conservation. The overriding intention of Earth Blessings is to create an ecological celebration of inspiring poems, interfaith prayers, and spiritual prose. By nature of the spiritual focus of Earth Blessings, the selections energize readers to recognize and embrace environmental stewardship.
By James L. Garlow, David Barton. 2018
America is at a crisis point. We have a limited amount of time to get it right. The nation must… get “back on track” or be forever derailed. That is not melodrama. That is fact. Only Biblical truth can save our country. Some don’t seem to care that it is saved. But many of us do care. For our children, grandchildren, and future generations. There are six serious problems – racial strife, a massive immigration disaster, failure to understand Israel’s role in the world, millennial thinking, misunderstanding of the nature of government, and a church that has capitulated to culture – that are screaming for solutions. And the good news is: there are steps we can take. In this book, Pastor James Garlow and evangelical political activist David Barton present fellow Christians with six steps America needs to take to prevent chaos at this precarious moment in history.
By Rita Copeland, Jon Whitman, Cohen, Mordechai Z. and Bar-Asher, Meir M. and Copeland, Rita and Berlin, Adele Whitman, Jon, Mordechai Z. Cohen, Adele Berlin, Bar-Asher, Meir M.. 2016
This comparative study traces Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptural interpretation from antiquity to modernity, with special emphasis on the pivotal… medieval period. It focuses on three areas: responses in the different faith traditions to tensions created by the need to transplant scriptures into new cultural and linguistic contexts; changing conceptions of the literal sense and its importance vis-à-vis non-literal senses, such as the figurative, spiritual, and midrashic; and ways in which classical rhetoric and poetics informed - or were resisted in - interpretation. Concentrating on points of intersection, the authors bring to light previously hidden aspects of methods and approaches in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This volume opens new avenues for interdisciplinary analysis and will benefit scholars and students of biblical studies, religious studies, medieval studies, Islamic studies, Jewish studies, comparative religions, and theory of interpretation.
By Danya Ruttenberg. 2001
A diverse group of young women--from witches to rabbis--explore the new Judaism. Contributors ponder Jewish transgenderdom, Jewish body image, Jewish… punk, the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess, intermarriage, circumcision, faith, and intolerance.
By Don Petterson. 2003
Sudan, governed by an Islamist dictatorship, became a pariah nation among the global community not because of its religious orientation… but because of its record of human-rights abuses and its fostering of notorious international terrorists. As the last American ambassador to complete an assignment in Sudan, Don Petterson provides unduplicated insights into how Sudan became what it is. Petterson recounts the consequences of the execution of four Sudanese employees of the U. S. government by Sudanese security forces in the southern city of Juba. He relates the experiences of Americans in Khartoum after Washington put Sudan on the black list of state sponsors of terrorism. He offers his personal observations on war-devastated southern Sudan. In this newly revised edition of Inside Sudan, Petterson recounts the events in Sudan from 1998 to the present, considers Sudan’s connections to international terrorists, including Carlos the Jackal and Osama bin Laden, and assesses the changes in the relationship between Sudan and the United States after 9/11.
By Bonnie Louise Kuchler. 2003
The purpose of One Heart is to illuminate the common sacred ground at the heart of seven faiths: Buddhism, Christianity,… Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. Its method is to identify 65 essential principles, among them: Feel what other people feel; Don't harm others; Lead with virtue and concern for others; Be honest; Practice what you preach; Be content; Don't let anger take over; Choose your companions wisely; Accept the existence of spiritual beings; Seek and you will find. Illustrating each principle are one, two, or three quotations (adding up to more than 600) from a wide variety of texts sacred to each of the seven faithsincluding the Old and New Testaments, the Talmud, the Mahabarata, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects of Confucius, and many other sacred sources. In addition, each chapter also provides guidance on a spiritual theme or practiceprayer beads, a home altar, labyrinth walkingto enhance our understanding of these wise words and universal principles.