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By Timothy Beal. 2011
A professor of religion offers an &“engrossing and excellent&” look at how the Good Book has changed—and changed the world—through…the ages (Publishers Weekly, starred review). In a lively journey from early Christianity to the present, this book explores how a box of handwritten scrolls became the Bible, and how the multibillion-dollar business that has brought us Biblezines and Manga Bibles is selling down the Book&’s sacred capital. Showing us how a single official text was created from the proliferation of different scripts, Timothy Beal traces its path as it became embraced as the word of God and the Book of books. Christianity thrived for centuries without any Bible—there was no official canon of scriptures, much less a book big enough to hold them all. Congregations used various collections of scrolls and codices. As the author reveals, there is no &“original&” Bible, no single source text behind the thousands of different editions on the market today. The farther we go back in the holy text&’s history, the more versions we find. In calling for a fresh understanding of the ways scriptures were used in the past, the author of Biblical Literacy offers the chance to rediscover a Bible, and a faith, that is truer to its own history—not a book of answers, but a library of questions.
By Harvey Cox. 2001
A theologian explores the holidays and rituals of his wife’s Jewish faith in an “accessible and engaging” memoir told “with…humor and a scholar’s insight” (Los Angeles Times).As a member of an interfaith household, eminent Christian theologian, and religion scholar, National Book Award finalist Harvey Cox has had ample opportunity to reflect upon the essence of Judaism and its complex relationship to Christianity. Organized around the Jewish calendar from Rosh Hashanah to Yom ha-Atzmaíut, Common Prayers illuminates the meanings of Jewish holidays as well as traditions surrounding milestone events such as death and marriage. Describing in elegant, accessible language the holidays’ personal, historical, and spiritual significance and the lessons they offer us, Cox “is instructive and enlightening, revealing the depth and passion of his religious thought and practice” (Boston Herald). As seen through his eyes, the Jewish holidays offer a wellspring of discovery and reflection for every reader, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.“Cox not only provides a clear guide to Judaism for ‘perplexed gentiles’ but convincingly argues that ‘appreciating Judaism, both its history and its present manifestation, is essential to a full understanding of Christianity’ . . . An important new book by a major theologian; highly recommended.” —Library Journal “Cox’s insights into Judaism and Christianity, as both an insider and an outsider, are dazzling.” —Orlando Sentinel
By Thomas Merton. 1979
From the author of The Seven Storey Mountain, this book looks at an order of Catholic monks dating back to…eleventh-century France.&“The word &‘Trappist&’ has become synonymous with &‘ascetic&’ and definitely indicates a monk who leads a very hard life. But . . . Penance and asceticism are not ends in themselves. If monks never succeeded in being more than pious athletes, they do not fulfill their purpose in the Church. If you want to understand why the monks lead the life they do, you will have to ask, first of all, What is their aim?&” In his bestselling memoir, The Seven Storey Mountain, Catholic poet, theologian, and mystic Thomas Merton chronicled his journey to becoming a Cistercian monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky. In The Waters of Siloe, he provides an enlightening account of the Cistercian Order, better known as the Trappists. With clarity and wisdom, Merton explores the history of the Cistercian Order from its founding in 1098, its development and waning, and the seventeenth-century reforms by the Abbé de Rancé, which began the second flowering that continues today. Throughout, Merton illuminates the purposes of monasticism and its surprising resurgence in America and elsewhere. &“Only Thomas Merton could have written single-handed this history of Trappist monks, for it is a work of diverse gifts and skill, an ardent collaboration of scholar and story-teller, priest and poet.&” —The New York Times
A contextual portrait of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, along with Pope Pius XII’s encyclical letter on the Doctor of the…Church.Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a dominant figure in the history of the Catholic Church and the last of the Church Fathers, died in his monastery in Burgundy on August 20, 1153. In commemoration of the eighth centenary of his death, Pope Pius XII issued one of his most significant encyclical letters—Doctor Mellifluus—which Thomas Merton presents here, together with an introduction to the life and teachings of the great mystic.The essence of Saint Bernard’s doctrine, Father Merton writes, is nothing else but the spiritual peace distilled in monasticism, and it is one of the purest and most authentic sources of Catholic tradition. Pius’s encyclical letter draws on that doctrine to bring the highest spiritual perfection within reach of all Christians.Praise for The Last of the Fathers“A study that will have to be on the shelves of all libraries and in the personal collections of all who are interested in spirituality . . . . Merton has provided an exquisite spiritual and intellectual setting for the jewel of the Encyclical [by Pope Pius XII].” —Catholic World
By Sarah Mackenzie. 2018
Discover practical strategies to make reading aloud a meaningful family ritual.The stories we read--and the conversations we have about them--help…shape family traditions, create lifelong memories, and become part of our legacy. Reading aloud not only has the power to change a family--it has the power to change the world. But we all know that connecting deeply with our families can be difficult in our busy, technology-driven society. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to be fully present with our children, even after they can read themselves, but it isn't always easy to do. Discover how to:Prepare your kids for academic success through reading to themDevelop empathy and compassion in your kids through booksFind time to read aloud in the midst of school, sports, and dinner dishesChoose books across a variety of sibling interests and agesMake reading aloud the best part of your family's dayThe Read-Aloud Family also offers age-appropriate book lists from infancy through adolescence. From a toddler's wonder to a teenager's resistance, you will find the inspiration you need to start a read-aloud movement in your own home.
By Paul Tripp. 2011
Is this all you're living for?For years, pastor Paul Tripp understood we were "hardwired for forever." But he didn't understand…that it was more than a valuable insight. It is a practical tool to help us face the disappointment of everyday life. Now he knows, and he can help you discover how to survive and thrive in the middle of your story, with the final chapter of heaven in view.Instead of embracing the world's motto--"you only live once"--follow Tripp as he unpacks the biblical truth of the world as a broken place, longing for a second chance. And come alive as you discover the meaning and redemption all this brokenness can bring to your life today.With practical insights on how eternity impacts your relationships, your job, your kids, and your deepest struggles, you'll be encouraged to relax into the eternal story God is writing for you. You really are hardwired for eternity, and this book reveals how you can begin to view all that happens in your life as preparation for Forever.
How can a loving God send people to hell? Isn’t it arrogant to believe Jesus is the only way to…God? What is up with holy war in the Old Testament?Many of us fear God has some skeletons in the closet. Hell, judgment, and holy war are hot topics for the Christian faith that have a way of igniting fierce debate far and wide. These hard questions leave many wondering whether God is really good and can truly be trusted.The Skeletons in God's Closet confronts our popular caricatures of these difficult topics with the beauty and power of the real thing. Josh Butler reveals that these subjects are consistent with, rather than contradictory to, the goodness of God. He explores Scripture to reveal the plotlines that make sense of these tough topics in light of God’s goodness. From fresh angles, Josh deals powerfully with such difficult passages as:The Lake of FireLazarus and the Rich ManThe Slaughter of Canaanites in the Old TestamentUltimately, The Skeletons in God's Close uses our toughest questions to provoke paradigm shifts in how we understand our faith as a whole. It pulls the “skeletons out of God’s closet” to reveal they were never really skeletons at all.
By André Gagné. 2024
This book introduces the American Evangelical movement and the role it played in the support of Donald Trump. Specifically, it…focuses on the Neocharismatic-Pentecostal (NCP) leaders, their beliefs, and their political strategies. The author examines why 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016, and why he still received between 76% and 81% of their vote in 2020 despite losing the presidency. Additionally, the book discusses how NCP leaders are part of the Christian Right, a religious coalition with a political agenda centered on controversial issues such as anti-abortion activism, opposition to LGBTQ+ rights, and the protection of religious freedom. Structured around the three main ideas inspiring NCP leaders who supported Trump in 2016 and 2020—Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and Eschatology (the End Times)—the book examines how these ideas have sustained the evangelicals close to U.S. political power in the Trump era. In light of the potential for Trump's return to power in 2024, the book serves as a warning of what a renewed alliance between Trump and his former NCP supporters could bring. It is an essential read for all students and researchers of Evangelicalism, Religion in America, Political Theology, or Religion and Politics.
By Jennifer Ayres. 2019
Like other creatures, human beings are inhabitants of their ecosystems. But are humans good inhabitants? According to Jennifer Ayres, the…way of inhabitance is stubbornly elusive. The work of understanding, loving, and tending God?s world is constrained by patterns of alienation, exploitation, and systemic neglect and injustice. Faced daily by evidence of ecological death and decay, Ayres determines that this important work of inhabitance is constantly threatened by ecological despair. Ecological despair stems from alienation from the natural world, acute and generational grief resulting from loss of home places, and, for many, an overwhelming guilt at having been complicit in the planet?s suffering. In Inhabitance: Ecological Religious Education, Ayres proposes a solution to this increasing alienation: the way of inhabitance. Just as other animals live and thrive within their ecosystems, so do humans live in a habitat created, sustained, and loved by God. This God perpetually invites us to become better inhabitants. Many religious communities already cultivate inhabitance as a way of life, work that they consider to be central to their deepest theological commitments. Inhabitance examines a diverse array of such practices that foster more intentional engagement with the particular places in which people live. Ecological religious education, Ayres demonstrates, nurtures a disposition of loving commitment toward God?s creation. Inhabitance demands a willingness to love other beings and a willingness to courageously encounter the human and ecological suffering of the world and be fully present to that suffering. And even as humans live more lovingly, courageously, and attentively within their particular places, their lives are opened up to the deepest sources of human well-being?for when God?s world around us flourishes, so do we.
By Craig Evans. 2008
This Encyclopedia brings together the vast array of historical research into the reality of the man, the teachings, the acts,…and the events ascribed to him that have served as the foundational story of one of the world's central religions. This kind of historiography is not biography. The historical study of the Jesus stories and the transmission of these stories through time have been of seminal importance to historians of religion. Critical historical examination has provided a way for scholars of Christianity for centuries to analyze the roots of legend and religion in a way that allows scholars an escape from the confines of dogma, belief, and theological interpretation. In recent years, historical Jesus studies have opened up important discussions concerning anti-Semitism and early Christianity and the political and ideological filtering of the Jesus story of early Christianity through the Roman empire and beyond. Entries will cover the classical studies that initiated the new historiography, the theoretical discussions about authenticating the historical record, the examination of sources that have led to the western understanding of Jesus' teachings and disseminated myth of the events concerning Jesus' birth and death. Subject areas include: the history of the historical study of the New Testament: major contributors and their works theoretical issues and concepts methodologies and criteria historical genres and rhetorical styles in the story of Jesus historical and rhetorical context of martyrdom and messianism historical teachings of Jesus teachings within historical context of ethics titles of Jesus historical events in the life of Jesus historical figures in the life of Jesus historical use of Biblical figures referenced in the Gospels places and regions institutions the history of the New Testament within the culture, politics, and law of the Roman Empire.
By Olli-Pekka Vainio. 2024
This book considers how certainty and faith are related in the Christian faith. It asks: How certain can Christian believers…be about their beliefs about God? Should Christians doubt the assurance of their salvation? The chapters provide a historical analysis of both certainty of faith and assurance from the early Church to modern times while also paying attention to confessional differences. The author explores contemporary debates in analytic epistemology on the certainty and fallibility of our beliefs and argues for a fallibilist understanding of Christian faith. The book also addresses some less-discussed arguments that threaten the certainty of faith and offers an account of faith as cognitive practice. It will be of interest to scholars of both theology and philosophy.
Magnus Zetterholm uses theoretical insights from the social sciences to deal with the complex issues raised by the parting of…Judaism and Christianity, and the accompanying rise of Christian anti-Semitism in ancient Antioch. Unlike previous attempts to solve this problem have focused mainly on ideology, Zetterholm's excellent study emphasizes the interplay between sociological and ideological elements. For students of religious studies, classical studies, history and social science, this will give leverage and knowledge in the pursuit of their course studies.
By John Fitzgerald. 2004
This book contains a collection of 13 essays from leading scholars on the relationship between passionate emotions and moral advancement in Greek and Roman…thought. Recognising that emotions played a key role in whether individuals lived happily, ancient philosophers extensively discussed the nature of "the passions", showing how those who managed their emotions properly would lead better, more moral lives. The contributions are preceded by an introdution to the subject by John Fitzgerald. Writers discussed include the Cynics, the Neopythagorians, Aristotle and Ovid; the discussion encompasses philosophy, literature and religion.
Roman Stoicism, first published in 1911, offers an authoritative introduction to this fascinating chapter in the history of Western philosophy,…which throughout the 20th century has been rediscovered and rehabilitated among philosophers, theologians and intellectual historians. Stoicism played a significant part in Roman history via the public figures who were its adherents (Seneca is perhaps the most famous); and, as it became more widely accepted, it assumed the features of a religion. The Stoic approach to physics, the universe, divine providence, ethics, law and humanity are all investigated, as is its diffuse impact upon literature. The origins of Christianity are also examined. Arnold offers a sympathetic reading of St. Paul in light of Stoicism, and regards the latter as the crucial bridge between Antiquity and Christendom: it allowed a swathe of Pagan intellectuals to join the Church and influenced the development of Christian doctrine, thus making an immense contribution to the bedrock of modern European civilisation.
By Andy Stanley. 2007
There are lots of books about discovering or developing a vision for your organization, but this one is about making…that vision endure the corrosion of time and complexity--how to make your vision stick.Influential author and pastor Andy Stanley reveals the reasons why leaders' visions often falter, and he delivers 5 in-depth strategies so that you can dodge the pitfalls:How to state your vision simply.How to cast your vision convincingly.How to repeat your vision regularly.How to celebrate your vision systematically.How to embrace your vision personally.Many of us have good ideas, even great ones. The difficult part is putting them into practice and keeping that vision clear and visible to your organization--whether that's a business or a church--when there are so many things in the day-to-day living of that vision that can distract from it.Making Vision Stick offers valuable, practical tips and case studies. This is a book you'll want to highlight and dog-ear and pass around as you learn how to propel your organization toward the vision God has granted you.Vision is about what could be and should be, but life is about right this minute. The test of a true leader is in keeping that vision on track, day in and day out.
By Tom James, David True. 2023
The “secular age” is not a smooth, untroubled process of accumulation and advance but an uneven and unpredictable series of…clashes of interest. Charles Taylor’s “immanent frame” cannot be construed merely as a phenomenon within religion and culture but urgently needs to be understood in political and economic terms–i.e., as a class project. The failure of the secular, vividly displayed in the crumbling legitimacy of global institutions and in the spectacle of police violence, both calls for and makes possible a renewal of political agency. Tom James and David True argue that a theology of the cross has a distinctive potential today: it can pierce the sacred aura of normalcy around the consensual anti-politics of the neoliberal order so that a vision of a world beyond today’s racialized capitalism can emerge. But they contend that we don’t need to forsake the emancipatory aims of modernity nor retreat to local communities. As an alternative to these weak strategies, they offer a constructive and cruciform account of political agency that includes both prophetic resistance and practical wisdom, each embedded in contemporary struggles for freedom that, they argue, embody divine desire for a common world.
By Eamon Duffy. 2015
The latest edition of &“the most comprehensive single-volume history of the popes,&” updated to cover the election of Pope Francis…(Sunday Telegraph). This engrossing book, from a professor of the history of Christianity at Cambridge, encompasses the extraordinary story of the papacy, from its beginnings to the present day, as empires rose and fell around it. This new edition covers the unprecedented resignation of Benedict XVI, and the historic election of the first Argentinian pope. Praise for the earlier editions: &“Duffy enlivens the long march through church history with anecdotes that bring the different pontiffs to life…Saints and Sinners is a remarkable achievement.&”—The Times (London) &“A distinguished text…offering plenty of historical facts and sobering, valuable judgments.&”—TheNew York Times Book Review &“Will fascinate anyone wishing to better understand the history of the Catholic Church and the forces that have shaped the role of the papacy.&”—Christian Century
By Michael Winship. 2019
&“The rise and fall of transatlantic puritanism is told through political, theological, and personal conflict in this exceptional history.&” (Publishers…Weekly, starred review) Begun in the mid-sixteenth century by Protestant nonconformists keen to reform England&’s church and society while saving their own souls, the puritan movement was a major catalyst in the great cultural changes that transformed the early modern world. Providing a uniquely broad transatlantic perspective, this groundbreaking volume traces puritanism&’s tumultuous history from its initial attempts to reshape the Church of England to its establishment of godly republics in both England and America and its demise at the end of the seventeenth century. Shedding new light on puritans whose impact was far-reaching as well as on those who left only limited traces behind them, Michael Winship delineates puritanism&’s triumphs and tribulations and shows how the puritan project of creating reformed churches working closely with intolerant godly governments evolved and broke down over time in response to changing geographical, political, and religious exigencies. &“Among the fairest and most readable accounts of the glorious failure that was trans-Atlantic Puritanism.&” --The Wall Street Journal &“Exhilarating popular history . . . convincingly captures in one bold retelling decades of scholarship on Puritanism&’s origins, developments and characteristics&” —Times Literary Supplement &“Winship has established himself as a leading authority on the history of the Puritans. While many works have focused on a specific aspect of Puritan history, . . . there are fewer works that show Puritanism as a multinational movement in Europe and the Americas. This book fills those gaps.&” —Library Journal A Choice Outstanding Academic Titles
Why did ancient philosophers consult oracles, write about them, and consider them to be an important part of philosophical thought…and practice? This book explores the extensive links between oracles and philosophy in Late Antiquity, particularly focusing on the roles of oracles and other forms of divination in third and fourth century CE Neoplatonism. Examining some of the most significant debates between pagan philosophers and Christian intellectuals on the nature of oracles as a central yet contested element of religious tradition, Addey focuses particularly on Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles and Iamblichus' De Mysteriis - two works which deal extensively with oracles and other forms of divination. This book argues for the significance of divination within Neoplatonism and offers a substantial reassessment of oracles and philosophical works and their relationship to one another. With a broad interdisciplinary approach, encompassing Classics, Ancient Philosophy, Theology, Religious Studies and Ancient History, Addey draws on recent anthropological and religious studies research which has challenged and re-evaluated the relationship between rationality and ritual.
In Late Antiquity the emergence of Christian asceticism challenged the traditional Greco-Roman views and practices of family life. The resulting…discussions on the right way to live a good Christian life provide us with a variety of information on both ideological statements and living experiences of late Roman childhood. This is the first book to scrutinise the interplay between family, children and asceticism in the rise of Christianity. Drawing on texts of Christian authors of the late fourth and early fifth centuries the volume approaches the study of family dynamics and childhood from both ideological and social historical perspectives. It examines the place of children in the family in Christian ideology and explores how families in the late Roman world adapted these ideals in practice. Offering fresh viewpoints to current scholarship Ville Vuolanto demonstrates that there were many continuities in Roman ways of thinking about children and, despite the rise of Christianity, the old traditions remained deeply embedded in the culture. Moreover, the discussions about family and children are shown to have been intimately linked to worries about the continuity of family lineage and of the self, and to the changing understanding of what constituted a meaningful life.