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
Anglican Theological Method from the Reformation to the Enlightenment
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?
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 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.
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'.
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 Complete Cloud of Unknowing
With the Letter of Privy Counsel
Written around 1380–1400, The Cloud of Unknowing is addressed to a young protégé 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.
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 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.
Great Christian Thinkers
A Beginner's Guide to Over Seventy Leading Theologians Through the Ages
In a concise, informative and light-hearted book, Blakely offers 'a beginner's guide' to over 70 leading theologians, ranging chronologically from Ignatius of Antioch (35–107 CE) to Leonardo Boff (b.1938), but arranged alphabetically.
Imagination, Magic and Myth
The unique art inspired by Tibet's cultural amalgam of Shamanism and Buddhism is meant to be of specific use and spiritual benefit to everyone. Rawson discusses a wealth of photographs which depict not only the artistic productions of the past but also the activities of the present-day monks who continue ancient traditions, with their mandalas, mantras and meditation offering 'powerful, untarnished and coherent alternatives to Western egotistical lifestyles'.
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.
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.
A Short Course in Christian Doctrine
Written for 'those concerned with the practice of Christian communicative action rather than its theoretical analysis', this introduction to the process of teaching draws on Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, together with the work of philosophers such as Habermas and Heidegger, to illuminate discussions of homiletics, spirituality and the place of religion in our cultural, ethical and political lives.
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.
Reform and Conflict
From the Medieval World to the Wars of Religion, AD 1350–1648
The fourth volume covers an era of major change that had a lasting impact on art, science, economics, political thought and education. Examining the various positions taken by late medieval church reformers and the work of Martin Luther, Heinze emphasizes how the reformations brought about moral and doctrinal changes to Christianity. Among the topics discussed are Zwingli, Calvin, the English Reformation and the Catholic Reformation.
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.
Butler's Saint for the Day
With one saint for each day of the year, this volume is a selection from the 2,500 entries in the full edition of Butler's work. It gives simple factual presentations of the saints' lives, showing how they worked for the good of their fellow men and women, and illustrating the words of Alban Butler himself: in saints' lives 'we see the most perfect maxims of the gospel reduced to practice'. This is a revised and updated version of Butler's Lives of the Saints: New Concise Edition (2003).
Letters of Direction
'Never follow any narrow way; but on the contrary choose the broadest, the most generous way.' This book comprises extracts from a spiritual classic, the Letters of Direction written by the Parisian priest Henri de Tourville (1842-1903) in the last 20 years of his life when, although an invalid, he never lost his noble optimism and common sense.
Tracing the Way
Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions
'Even in the new millennium the diversity of religions can lead to mutual enrichment.' Theologian Hans Kung surveys the major religions of the world, tracing the history which lies behind them; analysing major paradigms and highlighting common elements and differences; and showing how their potential for peace could become a shared ethic for humankind.