Origins Beliefs Practices Holy Texts Sacred Places
This illustrated introduction to Christianity succinctly outlines the historical development of the faith and its main denominations; Christian concepts of the divine and of sacred persons, places and times; ethical and social principles; and beliefs about death and the afterlife. Each chapter ends with a section that explains the significance of an extract from a key text in the Christian tradition.
The God Confusion
Gary Cox, author of How to be an Existentialist, explores in a witty, yet balanced way the idea of God and the standard arguments for his existence, and he shows how all such arguments are logically incapable of moving beyond speculation to any kind of proof. Concluding that God may or may not exist and that the only credible philosophical position is agnosticism, Cox acknowledges that a commitment to live as though there is a moral God is both coherent and prudent.
In this secular age religion gets a bad press, and atheism has powerful advocates such as Richard Dawkins. This lively, thought-provoking book offers an outspoken counterblast. It seeks not to prove the truth of Christianity – something it admits is unprovable – but its continuing relevance and resonance as a serious, grown-up way of ordering our lives and our emotions, which grants us experiences that our shallow, consumerist society fails to provide.
Islamism and Islam
Despite the intense media focus since 9/11, many Western policymakers have little understanding of the distinction between Islam as a religion and the political movement known as Islamism. Drawing on three decades of research in 20 Muslim countries, this courageous study subjects Islamism's political ideology to trenchant analysis and warns of its dangers, while demonstrating how Islam as a religion and culture is open to tolerance and coexistence with other faiths.
Magdalene's Lost Legacy
Symbolic Numbers and the Sacred Union in Christianity
For two millennia the role of Mary Magdalene in the foundation of the Christian Church has been hotly disputed. This study uncovers the symbolic numbers or gematria in the New Testament, and explores the hidden meanings behind them. They reveal a long-suppressed fact: that Mary was the bride of Christ, in a sacred union between the masculine and feminine principles that formed the cornerstone of the early Church.
The Poems of Jesus Christ
'Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.' Jesus Christ is the great invisible poet of the world. Embedded in the Gospels are sayings and parables of lyric intensity: austere, vivid and poignant, and rich in garden, nature and animal imagery. Barnstone's translations, excerpted from his Restored New Testament (2009), strip away the trappings of prose to reveal the consummate poetic drama of the Gospel of Jesus in all its wonder and majesty. American-cut pages.
Restoring the "Lost Years" of a Social Activist and Religious Dissident
Who was Jesus? This biography draws on modern economic, forensic and psychological models, alongside ancient Roman and Jewish sources, to create a convincing portrait of an adolescent galvanized by tyranny and the displacement of the Galilean peasantry to embark on a mission of social and religious reform. It sets his teachings in their historical context, explains his healing abilities in terms of both ancient and modern medicine, and sheds new light on his betrayal and execution.
Anglican Church-Building in London 1946–2012
After the Blitz devastated many of London's historic churches, some 250 new ones were built throughout the capital, mostly in the Modernist style. They have received little attention, and some have fallen into neglect or been demolished, but as this unique survey makes clear many have considerable architectural merit. A general introduction is followed by a borough-by-borough gazetteer, with each entry illustrated by both an interior and exterior view. The book concludes with a list of architects and their work.
Living with a Wild God
A Non-Believer's Search for the Truth About Everything
In middle age, the acclaimed social commentator Barbara Ehrenreich rediscovered a journal she had kept as a teenager. It recorded an event so strange that she had never spoken or written about it: a mystical experience that rocked her steadfast rationalist convictions. In this profound reflection on science, religion and the human condition, she attempts to reconcile that cataclysmic moment with her secular understanding, challenging us to reassess our perceptions of life.
The Myth of Persecution
How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom
Central to the traditions of Christianity is the example of the early martyrs, crucified, burned and thrown to wild beasts because they refused to renounce their faith. Yet as this controversial study makes clear, the myth of persecution was greatly exaggerated. Drawing on both Christian and pagan sources, it shows that only during brief, widely separated intervals did believers suffer violence, and that for much of Roman history they prospered and even achieved high public office.
A Surprising History
This book seeks to show that throughout history royal prayers have had a place at the heart of a nation's life, and that monarchs continue to play a pivotal role in protecting the interests of their people today. Chapters discuss royal prayers at times of national tragedy or emergency, prayers to launch ships, prayers of remembrance, of patronage, and of support for endeavours of science or exploration. An appendix contains the Collects of each branch of the Armed Forces.
The First Christian Heretics
The religious schools embraced by the term 'Gnosticism' formed the official church's main rival during the early centuries of Christianity. Introducing key texts such as the Gospel of Thomas, this book outlines Gnostic beliefs - that the world was created by an evil God, that Christ came to teach liberating knowledge and that women are men's equal - and shows how these ideas survived underground to influence modern writers including Blake, Camus and Philip K Dick.
The Divine Drama
The Old Testament as Literature
With this book John Dancy has set out to restore the Old Testament to 'the reading list of the general educated public' by selecting sections of the text for their artistic merit and intrinsic interest. These dramatic narratives and the heightened speech of Hebrew poetry are accompanied by Dancy's commentary, which concentrates on literary matters and provides parallels with other ancient Near Eastern and Greek texts, as well as highlighting features of Hebrew language and story-telling techniques.
Lifting the Veil
A Plain Language Guide to the Bible
The Bible's size and obscurities can be a stumbling block for those who want to know it better, so Peter Hermon has produced this clear overview of its content and the 'golden thread of Promise' that runs through it. The core of this volume is a book-by-book, section-by-section survey of the Old and New Testaments and the 'Deutero-Canonical' additions, supplemented with background information on key themes, the different genres represented and the interrelations between books.
The Lutterworth Dictionary of the Bible
With 1,450 articles written by scholars from the USA's National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, but including a broad range of opinion and approach, this dictionary aims to provide the student with accurate, relevant and interesting information about the history, traditions and literature of the Bible. The well-illustrated A–Z includes outlines of each canonical book and articles on key people, places and terms, non-canonical books and Biblical scholarship.
The Cistercians in the Early Middle Ages
Published to mark the nonacentenary of the foundation of the Cistercian order at Citeaux in 1098, this volume portrays the growth and the cultural, spiritual and economic life of the 'white monks'. Williams's study is concerned with the first 250 years of Cistercian history, the so-called 'Golden Age' that was brought to an end by the Black Death. The book includes numerous maps and plans, a chapter on the Cistercian-affiliated nunneries and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
An Encyclopedia of the World's Faiths
Drawing on a wealth of scholarly research and firsthand source material, this is a comprehensive survey of the modern religious world. Encompassing traditional faiths, indigenous religions and new religious movements, the book focuses on the historical development and teachings of each religion and examines how these traditions have evolved into contemporary beliefs and practices. This revised and updated edition also explores new approaches to spirituality, the spread of religious pluralism and the movement towards interfaith dialogue.
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.
The Son of God for the Secular Age
The image of Jesus as divine has endured for 2,000 years, but how, in the light of the Holocaust and other atrocities, can it be reconciled with the modern world? Drawing on acute searching as a believer and a wide range of scholarship from Bonhoeffer onwards, James Carroll brings into focus a view of Jesus that is both true to the classical tradition and relevant to the 21st century.
Science and Theology since Copernicus
The Search for Understanding
In this survey of scientific development and theological response over the past 450 years, Barrett covers three major shifts in Western science – the Scientific Revolution (16th and 17th centuries), Darwin's theory of evolution, and New Physics in the 20th century. He describes how the work of leading figures such as Copernicus, Boyle, Newton, Linnaeus and Darwin impacted on Christian belief and concludes with a discussion of the discourse between science and theology in recent decades.
The Seven Perennial Sins and Their Offspring
Drawing on astonishingly wide reading (Lucian, Augustine, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Dante, Heine, Flaubert, Ruskin, Orwell, Truffaut and Francis of Assisi are just some of the authors cited), Bazyn sets each of the seven 'deadly sins' - and seven 'subsins' - in the context of millennia of observations on the darker side of human nature. Never moralizing, but often amusing, the book provides a corrective to modern Christianity's neglect of this traditional resource for teaching responsibility in ethics. Slightly off-mint.
Introduction to the History of Christianity
From the Early Church to the Enlightenment
Focusing on the interaction between the sacred and the secular, this introduction to the history of Christianity examines three pivotal periods: from 300 CE, when Constantine initiated the process of Christianizing the Roman world, to 500 CE; 1050-1250, which saw a radical programme of renewal in Latin Christendom; and 1450-1650, the age of upheavals known as the Reformation. Within these periods Herring illuminates specific aspects of the historical experience of Christianity by looking at institutions, theological ideas or particular individuals.
Dictionary of Christian Biography
The scope of this Dictionary extends beyond 'professional' Christians such as churchmen, saints, theologians and mystics: in 6,500 or so brief biographies it covers many hundreds of people from diverse walks of life, selected because their commitment to Christianity played an important part in their public lives. Here are profiles of economists, artists, archaeologists and journalists alongside the major, and many minor, figures of Christian history. The Dictionary covers the period from the end of the New Testament era to the 20th century.
The Commerce of the Sacred
Mediation of the Divine among Jews in the Greco-Roman World
An influential work since its first publication in 1984, The Commerce of the Sacred now appears in a new, updated edition. It combines approaches from the history of religions and social anthropology to investigate the practices and influence of Jews who lived in the Greco-Roman world outside Palestine. Without rabbinic control, Lightstone argues, they developed their own beliefs, such as those involving prayers at dead martyrs' tombs, and thereby helped blur the boundaries between Jews and Christians.
The Private Prayers
Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) was best known for his work on the translation of the Authorized Version of the Bible. It was only after his death that his 'Private Prayers', written in Greek and Latin, began to be circulated. The powerful quality of his sermons and prayers has influenced the work of many others, most notably TS Eliot. Here, David Scott introduces and translates a new selection from the Preces Privatae. From The Golden Age of Spiritual Writing series.
In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible
and How it Changed the Nation, a Language and a Culture
A landmark in the history of the English language, the translation of the Bible known as the 'Authorized Version' or 'King James Bible' has had an incalculable influence on cultural life and literature ever since it appeared in 1611. Beginning with the labyrinthine politics of Tudor and Jacobean England and a world being transformed by the new technology of printing, Alister McGrath narrates the story of the translation, why it was ordered by James I, who translated it, the problems they faced and the reception of the new Bible.