Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?
Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?
In this scholarly work, Maurice Casey addresses the recent arguments put forward by (mostly non-academic) American and internet writers seeking to prove that Jesus did not exist, but was a myth. In his introduction Casey surveys the ‘appalling state of the pseudo-scholarship which has dominated the whole notion that Jesus of Nazareth was not a historical figure’; he then draws on his own great expertise in historical Jesus studies to expose quite ferociously the false arguments of the mythicists.
Dante, the Bible, and Eternal Torment
The idea of Hell as a place of eternal torment is firmly fixed in the Christian imagination, but there is scant reference to it in the Bible. Combining gripping narrative and solid scholarship, this study charts the concept's evolution from the Old Testament Sheol and the underworld of pagan antiquity, and its transformation through the creative genius of Dante, to arrive at a new, constructive understanding of the afterlife.
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.
In Search of Authority
Throughout its history, the Anglican Church has attempted to pursue a middle course – the ‘Religio Medici’ advocated by Sir Thomas Browne in the 17th century – between doctrinal purity and compassionate pragmatism, an approach that still generates fierce controversy today. This important, thought-provoking book charts its intellectual development in response to secular society and modern science, and addresses the fundamental question: from where does the Church derive its authority – scripture, tradition, reason or conscience?
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.
The God of Jesus Christ
When it was first published in 1982, this important work by the German Catholic cardinal and theologian Walter Kasper argued for a ‘theological theology’ that makes the explanation of the confession of the triune God its first priority. In this new edition, Kasper’s introduction addresses recent changes as theology reassesses itself in relation to science, culture and the Church; and he emphasizes the importance of the existential and pastoral meaning of the doctrine of God in this new situation.
New Short History of the Catholic Church
For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has continued the mission of Christ and spread his gospel throughout the world. This concise one-volume history draws on the massive research of the past half-century to present a lucid account of its development from the Pentecost to the present. Each chapter strikes a balance between the institutional and the religious dimensions of the Church: bishops and popes, canon law, charity, crusades, devotions, heresies, the laity, the liturgy, prayer and sacrament.
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.
Newman's Unquiet Grave
The Reluctant Saint
Written in the wake of publicity about the beatification of John Henry Newman (1801-1890), Cornwell's highly acclaimed biography focuses not on arguments for and against sainthood, but on Newman's character and importance as a writer. The study includes chapters devoted to each of his major works - Idea of a University, the Apologia, The Dream of Gerontius and The Grammar of Assent - and aims to reveal Newman's 'genius for creating new ways of imagining and writing about religion'.
Following a synopsis of every book in the Bible, the A-Z sections of this guide identify the context of well-known biblical quotations, introduce key people and events in both Old and New Testaments, and examine the history and theology of the Church and the influence of the scriptures on art, literature and music. The book also features 14 quizzes to test your knowledge of such subjects as the life and ministry of Jesus.
A New Framework
What is the place of prayer in the modern world? In this thoughtful and enriching discussion of contemplative prayer, the Benedictine monk and scholar Dom David Foster defends the mystical tradition's understanding of religious experience as an awareness of God. He explores a number of metaphysical questions, including the place of silence in a philosophy of language, arguing that even the sense of God's absence can be a threshold to prayer.
Flourishing mainly in Languedoc and Italy, the Cathars taught that the world is evil and must be transcended through prayer, poverty and simplicity. They completely rejected the Catholic Church and all its trappings as the 'Church of Satan'. The Church's response was the founding of the Inquisition and the launch, in 1209, of the Albigensian Crusade against the heretics. Sean Martin offers a lively account of the Cathars, their suppression and the myths associated with them.
A Brief Guide to Secret Religions
Why are millions of people abandoning both the established religions of their parents and scientific rationalism in favour of magic and esoteric teachings? This comprehensive, unbiased introduction charts the growth of New Age movements from Theosophy and Anthroposophy, and examines the beliefs and practices of a wide range of alternative religions such as Druidism, Neo-Paganism and Shamanism, to explain their growing appeal in our secular age.
The Bible: A History
The Making and Impact of the Bible
This colourful and richly informative survey of how the Old and New Testaments were written examines the Bible’s pervasive influence in Western cultures, through early Christendom; the invention of printing and the profound changes of the Reformation; and in the modern world. In short, illustrated chapters the authors look at the contribution of figures including St Paul, Josephus and Luther, and explore topics from early writing systems and papyrus to biblical movies and the apocalypse.
Secularization and the World Religions
In a collection of 13 essays, this volume addresses the connections between religions and the social world, and the extent, limits and future of secularization. After an introductory essay, ‘Society, State and Religion’ by Hans Joas, contributors discuss the major religions in turn; state-church models; religion and the natural sciences; and the religious situations in Europe, America, East Asia, Latin America and Africa, and the Middle East.
How to Believe
In an effort to rescue the debate from sterile polemics, one of Britain's leading philosophers defends religious belief by drawing on insights from poetry, music, scripture and a range of philosophical texts. This ‘account of the dynamics of belief’ argues that belief is less about advancing a set of explanatory hypotheses than responding ‘to certain deep psychological and moral features of our human predicament' with all our faculties, intellectual, emotional and imaginative.
Buddhism is a faith embraced by hundreds of millions of people, yet all that is known about its founder comes from a collection of ancient writings that fuse history, biography and myth. This concise but comprehensive introduction from the bestselling author of Fields of Blood (Postscript 25329) distils the chief events of Buddha's life and quest for enlightenment, illuminating the key tenets of the religion and the ideas of this most influential of spiritual thinkers.
Life In the Psalms
Contemporary Meaning in Ancient Texts
The psalms are still recited and sung in churches, but the full depth of their meaning can be hard to appreciate in our secular 21st-century world. Designed for daily use during Lent, this book offers reflections on 30 psalms, in which a former Canon of Wells Cathedral contemplates the ancient texts' power to illuminate such pressing modern issues as climate change, consumerism and our response to asylum-seekers.
The Complete Cloud of Unknowing
With the Letter of Privy Counsel
Written around 1380-1400, The Cloud of Unknowing is addressed to a young protege of the priestly, anonymous author who teaches that God is ultimately beyond human experience and unknowable, and describes the practices of Christian life, particularly for those wanting to attain the highest level of ascetical and mystical development. The work, along with its companion The Letter of Privy Counsel, is translated here, with insightful introductions, annotations and commentary by Father John-Julian.
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.
A Complete Introduction
This updated overview of the largest branch of Christianity by the author of Judas (224535) is structured around discussions of the history of the faith, its modern manifestations and Church teachings and traditions. The book also highlights the impact of the election of Pope Francis in 2013 and the changing position of women. Each chapter ends with a multiple-choice quiz to test your understanding. Teach Yourself series.
The Wife of Jesus
Ancient Texts and Modern Scandals
Was Jesus married? The question has inspired fierce debate, conspiracy theories, sensationalist news stories and The Da Vinci Code. In this clear account of the evidence Anthony le Donne examines a range of ancient texts and modern scholarship to offer arguments for and against a married Jesus; he also considers how the changing nature of our quest for Jesus' wife illuminates the ebb and flow of modern social and cultural preoccupations.
In 2013, after the unprecedented resignation of Benedict XVI, the Catholic world was stunned by the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the radical Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as Pope Francis. Illustrated with more than 250 previously unpublished images by one of the Pope's official photographers, this handsome book follows the pontiff through a year in his life, from daily prayers to international pastoral visits, as he offers his support to the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed throughout the world.
Cambodia, the Buddha and the Naga
Buddhism is more than a religion in Cambodia; it is a comprehensive system for living. This absorbing study, illustrated with colour photographs throughout, describes the Buddha's path to enlightenment, and the role of the naga, or serpent king, in protecting him. Through individual stories, it traces the cycle of death and rebirth, and shows how spirituality informs every aspect of the life of the nation.
The Thoughtful Guide to Religion
From the nature and function of myth to the mysticism of some modern physicists, this is a comprehensive and sympathetic approach to all religions of the world, including lesser-known sects, cults and ideologies. Morrish uses philosophy, psychology, anthropology and other disciplines to answer the questions: How does religion arise? How is it sustained? Why does it unite some people, and ostracize others?
The Divine Conspiracy Continued
Fulfilling God's Kingdom on Earth
Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy was one of the most important works of Christian philosophy of recent decades, and influenced a whole generation of disciples. This sequel takes its message out of the church and into the wider world of business and the professions, encouraging those disciples to become leaders in the civil community in order to build Christian principles and practices into the fabric of their society.
The Troubling History of the Renegade Apostle
Peter Stanford, author of The Devil and Heaven, sets out to discover the true story of Judas: 'Out-and-out traitor or cog-in-the-wheel of a divine plan?' Starting in Jerusalem at Hakeldama, the supposed site of Judas' suicide, the book explores the evidence for his life in both the New Testament accounts and the new-found Gospel of Judas; and it examines how his story - as agent of the Devil, or of God - has been told over two millennia.
The Dwelling of the Light
Praying with Icons of Christ
To look at an icon is to do far more than view a work of human art. As Orthodox Christians have understood for 1,500 years, it is a potentially life-changing encounter with God. In this attractive little book the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams shows us how to understand four classical icons: the Transfiguration; the Resurrection; Christ as one of the Trinity; and Christ the judge and ruler of all.
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.
The Bible: A Reader's Guide
Summaries, Commentaries, Color-Coding for Key Themes
Designed for use alongside the Bible, this book is a navigational tool for the modern reader. The introduction discusses the overarching ideas, then the two testaments are covered separately, each with a narrative summary, key quotations and helpful commentary. This comprehensive guide to all versions of the Bible makes the ancient texts accessible and enables the reader to locate specific themes, making it the perfect resource for private contemplation or writing a sermon.
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.
Fields of Blood
Religion and the History of Violence
'In the West the idea that religion is inherently violent is now taken for granted.' This well-researched title looks back to the origins of all the major religions in agrarian societies where competition for land was intense and violent; charts the co-option of the Christian Church as an instrument of state power by Constantine; and finds hope in the pacific, mystical traditions present in all great faiths. American-cut pages, felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and off-mint.
All is Change
The 2000-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West
The West's embrace of Buddhism, seemingly a relatively recent phenomenon, actually came about over the course of two millennia, despite the obstacles of language, cultural difference and colonial and post-colonial politics. From early exchanges between the ancient Greeks and Indian Buddhists to the current fascination with the Dalai Lama, Sutin describes how the West discovered that Buddhism offers teachings and practices which can be used within disciplines such as Western philosophy, psychology and politics.
The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011
Gordon Campbell describes the process by which the King James Version of the Bible, one of the most important works in the English language, was commissioned, translated and published. It is a story of politics as well as religion, of a talented group of translators and of thousands of printers' errors, accidental and deliberate, introduced in the first 150 years of its life; but it is also a story which continues today, through arguments over revisions and its legacy to our language and literature.
Font of Life
Ambrose, Augustine and the Mystery of Baptism
No two men were more influential in the early Church than Ambrose, the powerful Bishop of Milan, and Augustine of Hippo, the North African philosopher and author of the Confessions. The two men met in 387 when Augustine went to Milan to be baptised. Combining ground-breaking research with narrative verve, Wills's account describes the troubled relationship between the two churchmen, and the theological differences that would have a profound impact on the future of Christianity.
World Religions: Western Traditions
This wide-ranging survey provides a succinct guide to the beliefs, practices, history and distribution of the major Western faiths. Chapters by specialist contributors cover the religions of the ancient world, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs and new religious movements, with fact boxes highlighting key points and sacred places, extracts from essential texts and glossaries of terms. This fully revised and updated edition is illustrated with a rich array of colour photographs.