The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts
A Firsthand Account of The Expedition That Shook the Foundations of Christianity
Jean Doresse was a member of the party of archaeologists who first investigated the important collection of Gnostic texts found during the 1940s at a remote site in Upper Egypt. In this volume (first published in French in 1958) he describes that expedition, presents information about each of the manuscripts and explains what the 44 texts reveal about early Christian beliefs. The book ends with a translation and analysis of the Gospel according to Thomas.
The Church Visible
The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church
What is life like in the Vatican? What does the Roman Curia do? The result of seven years' intense research and interviews throughout the world, this benchmark reference provides a comprehensive, authoritative guide to the workings of the Roman Catholic Church. Illustrated with more than 90 colour plates, the book outlines the Church's history, including the Second Vatican Council, provides a chronology of the Popes, and explains Church hierarchy, protocol, vesture and insignia, and the cycle of the liturgical year.
Strong as Death is Love
The Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel
As distant in time from the Pentateuch of Moses as Updike is from Shakespeare, these later books of the Old Testament are innovative and entertaining works of literature, in which women are often centre stage. The Song of Songs is a sensuous celebration of young love, Queen Esther’s shrewd triumph is a sly sexual comedy, while the story of Ruth celebrates loyalty, charity and love. Robert Alter’s award-winning translation from the Hebrew captures all their freshness and immediacy.
'To understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him.' O'Reilly and Dugard turn from their previous non-fiction 'thrillers' on the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy to the events leading up to Jesus' execution. They examine Greek, Roman and Jewish sources to tell the story of this volatile epoch, its cast of characters – from Cleopatra to John the Baptist – and the historical events which made Jesus' death inevitable.
A Brief History of Christianity
Bamber Gascoigne tells the story of the Christian faith, from its origins in the Roman Empire, through the glories of Byzantium and the machinations of Renaissance popes, to the Soviet Union’s hostility to religion. His entertaining narrative sets Christianity in the context of other world religions and explains the forces behind its development over time. Revised edition of The Christians, originally written to accompany Gascoigne’s 1977 television series.
God, Darwin, and the Meaning of Life
Philip Appleman, poet and Darwin scholar, reflects on the struggles of our complex, highly evolved brains as we try to make sense of our human predicament. In particular, he argues, it is through our hypocrisies about religious belief that ‘toadstools of neurosis spring up in the dank labyrinths of our psyches’. He therefore proposes ways of valuing more highly our ephemeral existence and creating a more equitable society free from religious animosities and ‘pious bigotry’.
The Battle for Christendom
The Council of Constance, the East-West Conflict, and the Dawn of Modern Europe
As Turkish armies menaced a much divided Europe, all eyes looked to Germany's patient, charming but ruthless Emperor Sigismund to co-ordinate the resistance. At Christmas 1414 he convened the conference at Constance where Europe's greatest thinkers and most eminent nobles discussed the future of Christendom. This book offers a new view of Constance as a turning-point in history which planted the seeds that were to flourish in later ages: of the Renaissance, Humanism and the Reformation.
Cultural Memories of a Young Jesus
Using insights from the sociological study of human memory, and particularly the concept of physical and practical 'sites of memory', Davis explores how ancient Christians recollected Jesus' childhood and how early Christian history was created. Central to the study is the collection of stories known as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, or the Paidika ('Childhood Deeds'), which begins with Jesus at the age of five and includes tales of miracles, cursing and his classroom encounters with the teacher Zacchaeus.
Dedicated to God
An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns
The life of cloistered nuns may seem to be one of renunciation, sacrifice and claustrophobia. Yet for many, it is a source of peace, tranquillity and even joy. Through interviews conducted over six years, this remarkable book tells the stories of the nuns of the Poor Clare Colletine Order in Illinois, and celebrates the counter-cultural values of lives removed from the clamour of consumer society and dedicated to Christ.
The Diary of Thomas Larkham
During his varied career, Thomas Larkham (1602–1669) was a Church of England cleric, a New England colonist, chaplain in Cromwell’s New Model Army, a preacher and, in the 1660s, a fugitive non-conformist. His idiosyncratic ‘diary’, in which finances prompt spiritual reflections and poetry, sheds light on both parish life during Cromwell’s Commonwealth and the early experience of non-conformists after the Restoration of Charles II. No jacket.
The History of the Church through 100 Masterpieces
From Paul’s ‘transformation of the Gospel message into a worldwide church’, represented by Il Bassano’s Sermon of Saint Paul, to Repin’s Procession in the Province of Kursk, depicting the persecution of Christians during the communist revolutions, this book traces the story of the Christian church through art. For each of 100 paintings, the authors discuss the historical events shown, their religious meaning and cultural background, providing a thoughtful and visually engaging history of the Church.
Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia
Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation
Hasan Lutfi Shushud, renowned Sufi saint and master, introduces the teachers known as the Khwajagan (‘Masters of Wisdom’), who lived during the golden age of Islamic Sufism among the Turks and who advocated maintaining an active connection with the world. He examines their writings and teachings, revealing how they followed the path of Absolute Liberation, allotted to ‘one out of a thousand perfect men’. Revised second edition.
In God's Hands
The Spiritual Diaries: 1962–2003
Karol Wojty?a – St John Paul II – kept a spiritual diary from his early days as a priest in his native Poland until two years before his death in 2005. Now translated into English for the first time, alongside facsimiles of original pages, it charts his religious development over the course of 40 years, including his leadership of the Catholic Church through turbulent times. Intimate, searching and deeply honest, this book reveals his relationship with God, with others, and with himself.
A History of Anglican Exorcism
Deliverance and Demonology in Church Ritual
Exorcism, the casting out of demons, or ‘deliverance ministry’ (the modern Church of England’s preferred term) is widespread today, with every diocese having a designated member of clergy to advise on the casting out of demons. Francis Young provides a full history of exorcism and its rituals in the Church of England, discusses the Church’s approach to demonology, and reveals how present-day exorcism in Anglicanism is an unlikely anomaly.
Setting the World on Fire
The Brief, Astonishing Life of St Catherine of Siena
St Catherine of Siena was Italy’s answer to Joan of Arc. Amid the war, plague and social unrest of the 14th century, she struggled with feckless clergy, rival popes and conniving cardinals to bring peace to warring factions. Blending meticulous research and vivid storytelling, this first modern, secular biography offers an intimate portrait of the fascinating and revolutionary woman who offered moral guidance to kings, queens and popes, and remains an inspiration to Catholics and feminists alike.
Prayer for the Day Volume II
More Reflections for Daily Inspiration
All religions agree on one thing: to be human is to pray. This new collection of 365 meditations from BBC Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day offers insights from across the faiths into happiness, integrity and spiritual wellbeing. With one prayer for every day of the year, the book provides new perspectives on the challenges of our times, and a vision of gratitude, joy and hope.
The Story of the Holy Father
Pope Francis is a pontiff like no other, loved the world over for his humility, charisma and reforming agenda. This Vatican-endorsed illustrated biography recounts his parents’ emigration from Italy, his childhood love of soccer, his calling to the priesthood and his formative encounter with poverty as a missionary in Chile. Illustrated with more than 250 photographs, the book includes 50 removable documents including facsimiles of his baptismal certificate and handwritten notes as pope.
Relics of the Christ
Relics associated with Jesus – such as the Shroud of Turin, Holy Grail and Lance of Longinus – are revered by many of the faithful but are a perennial target for sceptics. Nickell presents the evidence on all sides, reporting the historical traditions associated with these objects and describing the range of techniques used by investigators to track down their origins. The final chapter follows the controversy surrounding the supposed ossuary of Jesus’ brother James, pronounced a fake in 2003.
A Brief Guide to Judaism
Theology, History and Practice
What are the key elements of Jewish theology? How do Jews put belief into practice? Rabbi Brawer outlines the development of the Jewish people and faith, from Abrahamic origins to the eras of diaspora and persecution. He particularly highlights how the ritual and practice that punctuate Jewish existence form a bridge between heaven and earth as they paradoxically call on adherents to transcend the material world while celebrating physical pleasures.
The Gospel of Buddha
According to Old Records
Paul Carus (1852–1919) was a leading figure in Modern Buddhism, the movement that paved the way for the religion’s Western flowering during the 1960s. By assembling an anthology of ancient texts in authentic yet readable English prose he hoped to put the Buddhist canon on an equal footing with the Bible. This facsimile of the 1915 edition is preceded by a 101-page introduction in which monk Martin Verhoeven sets the work in its historical context.
The Essence of Vedanta
‘Vedanta’, writes Brian Hodgkinson, ‘hinges upon this truly remarkable idea, that everything, without any exception whatsoever, is the one spirit’. In this book he first discusses the ancient historical and literary origins of Vedanta, then turns to the central tenets of Vedic philosophy and their social dimension.
The Essence of Sufism
John Baldock begins this introduction with chapters on the life of the Prophet Mohammad, the Qur’an, the principal tenets of Islam and the emergence of Sufism, before discussing the Sufis themselves, their literature, and the path of transformation and fulfilment that frees the individual from the dictates of ego.
The Essence of Kabbalah
Brian L Lancaster approaches Kabbalah as ‘Judaism’s inner teaching’ which primarily addresses the nature of God and the secret meanings of the Torah. He explores key extracts from the sacred works, the role of the Hebrew language within Kabbalah, and how it relates to the modern world.
The Essence Of Jesus
Having first examined the evidence for the historical Jesus and the reliability of the New Testament documents to establish who Jesus was, what he did and what he taught, Rowe goes on to look at how Jesus has been interpreted and experienced through history up to the present day.
The Essence of the Gnostics
Bernard Simon looks at elements of Gnosticism that are common to ancient pagan and occult religions; he compares its teachings with the Judeo-Christian faiths, and in particular with the writings of Paul; and considers the spiritual and cosmic principles and iconography that have endured to the present day.
The Lost Book of Moses
The Hunt for the World's Oldest Bible
When the flamboyant treasure-hunter Moses Wilhelm Shapira arrived in London in 1883, he claimed to have discovered the world’s most ancient copy of Deuteronomy – and was quickly denounced as a fraudster. Over 70 years later the emergence of the eerily similar Dead Sea Scrolls prompted reassessment of Shapira’s claims, but by then his scrolls had vanished. Tigay describes his own worldwide quest to locate these mysterious documents and establish whether they truly were a forgery. Felt-tip mark on lower edge.
The English Martyr
From Reformation to Revolution
This study of early modern martyrology takes an innovative approach, starting from the premise that ‘martyrdom is not a death but a story that gets written about a death’. Through close analysis of English texts ranging from medieval drama, through Foxe’s famous Acts and Monuments, to John Milton’s Eikonoklastes, the author traces how narrative forms and rhetoric shaped the meanings of human lives during the theological and political upheavals of the Reformation.
Jesus the Wicked Priest
How Christianity Was Born of an Essene Schism
This book’s provocative thesis is that the Dead Sea Scrolls refer directly to Jesus, as the ‘wicked priest’ who opposed the rigid, militant views of the Essene movement. Revealing how Jesus’ message is presented in the Scrolls’ coded language, Vining explores the possibility that Christianity arose out of a schism resulting from the refusal of this ‘ultimate Reform Jew’ to follow Essene orthodoxy; his research also reopens doctrinal questions about reincarnation and the virgin birth.
The Bible for Grown-Ups
A New Look at the Good Book
Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? In a discussion which ‘neither requires, nor rejects, belief’, Loveday brings a literary critic’s eye to the Biblical authors. Presenting insights from modern scholarship, he shows how to read their texts ‘with our brains in gear’, by viewing the Bible as a structure of the imagination rather than through modern concepts of ‘history’ and ‘truth’.
The New Calendar and the Collects
The Book of Common Prayer for use in the Church in Wales
The Book of Common Prayer was first translated into Welsh in the 16th century, soon after the English version; following its revision in 1984, this new calendar was published in 2003. Listing holy days through the year, it provides collects and post-communion prayers for each Sunday and the collects for other feasts. All texts are presented in Welsh and English, with many collects appearing in both traditional and contemporary forms.
All That Matters
Embracing ideas about God from all the main world religions, Mark Vernon tackles some of the difficult questions encountered in traditional theological discussion – suffering, morality, peak experiences and God’s goodness – but he also considers modern concerns about ecology, the end of time and the death of God.
The Puzzle of Christianity
How has the Christian faith challenged people down the centuries, and what difficulties have Christians faced? In this accessible history of the world’s largest religion Vardy discusses how disagreements about Jesus’ message shaped different traditions; he also shows how Christianity has responded to such longstanding questions as the nature of God and the problem of evil, as well as to feminism and the ‘new atheism’ in today’s postmodern, relativistic age.
The Prophetic Voice of Thomas Merton
The Trappist monk, social critic and ecumenist Thomas Merton (1915–68) produced an extensive body of writings, through which he continues to intrigue and challenge readers. In this study the Dean Emeritus of St Paul’s Cathedral asks what meaning we should give to Merton’s contradictions and discontents, as well as considering how he speaks with a prophetic voice in areas of contemporary concern, such as war and peace, abuses of power and the freedom of the individual. Foreword by Rowan Williams.
The Divine Library
A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the Sacred Texts and Spiritual Literature of the World
Covering a broad spectrum of spiritual literature, this guide offers succinct descriptions of 140 sacred texts, from the most ancient, such as the Chinese I Ching and Egyptian Pyramid Texts, to the Book of Mormon and the Baha’i Kitab-i-Iqan dating from the 19th century. It outlines the works’ cultural contexts, explains how they often grew from preliterate oral traditions and provides information on modern English translations and commentaries.
Archbishops Ralph d'Escures, William of Corbeil and Theobald of Bec
Heirs of Anselm and Ancestors of Becket
Between the ‘English Church as Anselm left it’ and the ‘world as Becket found it’, Truax examines the lives and work of three lesser archbishops, and highlights crucial developments in the English church during their pontificates
Petrarch's Guide to the Holy Land
Itinerary to the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ
This edition of Petrarch's Itinerarium ad Sepulchrum Domini Nostri Yehsu Christi (1358) comprises a complete facsimile and transcription of an authoritative 14th century manuscript, with an introduction, English translation and notes.
Pursuing Social Holiness
The Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought and Popular Methodist Practice
One of Methodism’s earliest traditions was the ‘band meeting’, at which a small group of people came together and confessed their sins, in order to grow in holiness and to foster community. Drawing extensively on personal accounts by those who attended them, Watson explains why Wesley considered regular band meetings so important, shows how they grew from a synthesis of Anglican and Moravian concepts of piety and suggests why they declined during the 19th century.
John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics
The Secret History of the Mandaeans
Amid the dangers of the modern Middle East, adherents of the obscure Mandaean religion still practise weekly river baptisms, following the example of their most important prophet, John the Baptist. Smith investigates the history of the Mandaeans, asking whether their mysterious sect could be the last survival of ancient Gnosticism, as they claim. He also considers their links to other ancient religions, their possible influence on the Knights Templar and their belief that Jesus himself was an apostate Mandaean.
A Brief History of the Druids
The Druids have been perceived, and misunderstood, in many different ways – from the barbaric priests making human sacrifices the Romans described, to ancient exponents of 'New Age' philosophy. Peter Beresford Ellis sifts through archaeological, etymological and Greek and Roman written evidence to provide a fully researched account of the Druids, revealing them as the intellectual caste – the doctors, lawyers, ambassadors and advisors – of ancient Celtic society
Churches, Chapels and the Parish Communities of Lincolnshire
Parish communities were at the centre of the considerable changes that took place in religious life between 1660 and 1900: the development of Protestant dissent, Evangelical Revival, the rise of Methodism, new patterns of worship in the Church of England and changes in the Catholic Church. This study looks at how the people of Lincolnshire responded to developments in religious life and how local communities shaped the course of these changes. Slightly off-mint.
Books of Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Published to accompany an exhibition held at the British Library in 2007, and richly illustrated with reproductions of pages from some of the world's most sublimely beautiful books, this catalogue emphasizes the critical value of examining the sacred works of Jews, Christians and Muslims for a fuller understanding of all three peoples. Three essays, by Karen Armstrong, Everett Fox and FE Peters, accompany the detailed commentaries on over 200 books and manuscripts. Off-mint.
The Founder of the Quakers
Mystic, visionary and evangelist, George Fox called on his followers to tremble before God, leading their enemies to dub them 'Quakers'. Within years, they had become one of England's largest radical sects, dedicated to establishing peace, justice and liberty on Earth. This gripping biography traces Fox's Leicestershire childhood, the growth of his religious and political ideas, his frequent imprisonment and savage persecution against the turbulent backdrop of the English Civil War and its aftermath. Slightly off-mint.