History of Religion General
Protestant Reformation (Revised)
Protestant Reformation (Revised)
Paperback      ISBN: 0061148474

Originally published more than forty years ago, this important collection brings together the works and writings of the revolutionary minds behind the Protestant Reformation--and it remains a major resource for teachers, students, and history buffs alike. Over the decades, however, modern scholarship has shed new light on this tumultuous period, raising probing questions and providing new connections that have radically changed our understanding and outlook.

With this newly revised and updated edition of this essential work--now including texts written by women as well as entries dealing with popular religion--modern viewpoints are cogently addressed, while the scholarly integrity that has made this book a revered classic has been scrupulously maintained. Throughout, Hans J. Hillerbrand's basic assumption remains consistent: religion--no matter how dependent on societal forces--must be seen as the pivotal element in the story of the sixteenth century.

Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion
Strange Gods
A Secular History of Conversion
Paperback      ISBN: 1400096391

In a groundbreaking historical work that focuses on the long, tense convergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with an uncompromising secular perspective, Susan Jacoby illuminates the social and economic forces that have shaped individual faith and the voluntary conversion impulse that has changed the course of Western history--for better and for worse. Covering the triumph of Christianity over paganism in late antiquity, the Spanish Inquisition, John Calvin's dour theocracy, American plantations where African slaves had to accept their masters' religion--along with individual converts including Augustine of Hippo, John Donne, Edith Stein, Muhammad Ali, George W. Bush and Mike Pence--Strange Gods makes a powerful case that nothing has been more important in struggle for reason than the right to believe in the God of one's choice or to reject belief in God altogether.

God: A Human History
God
A Human History
Paperback      ISBN: 0553394746
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity's quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God.

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, "Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we're believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves."

But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature--our compassion, our thirst for justice--but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

Praise for God

"Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary."--HuffPost

"Tantalizing . . . Driven by Reza] Aslan's grace and curiosity, God . . . helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life."--The Seattle Times

"A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

" Aslan's] slim, yet ambitious book is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it's thoroughly mind-blowing."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey."--San Francisco Chronicle
Who's Who in the Age of Jesus
Who's Who in the Age of Jesus
Paperback      ISBN: 0141017031
An enlightening journey through the ancient world from "the greatest Jesus scholar of his generation" (The Sunday Telegraph)

Though the New Testament gospels are some of the most extraordinary documents ever written, the picture they provide of Jesus's world is a very partial one. This remarkable work paints a comprehensive and colorful picture of the world that Jesus knew. From detailed, convincing portraits of John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Jesus himself, and other key figures, to the Jewish and Hellenistic leaders often ignored in scripture, Who's Who in the Age of Jesus is a critical, in-depth look at one of the most tumultuous eras in human history.
* Fully illustrated
Genghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World's Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom
Genghis Khan and the Quest for God
How the World's Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom
Paperback      ISBN: 0735221170
A landmark biography by the New York Times bestselling author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World that reveals how Genghis harnessed the power of religion to rule the largest empire the world has ever known.

Throughout history the world's greatest conquerors have made their mark not just on the battlefield, but in the societies they have transformed. Genghis Khan conquered by arms and bravery, but he ruled by commerce and religion. He created the world's greatest trading network and drastically lowered taxes for merchants, but he knew that if his empire was going to last, he would need something stronger and more binding than trade. He needed religion. And so, unlike the Christian, Taoist and Muslim conquerors who came before him, he gave his subjects freedom of religion. Genghis lived in the 13th century, but he struggled with many of the same problems we face today: How should one balance religious freedom with the need to reign in fanatics? Can one compel rival religions - driven by deep seated hatred--to live together in peace?

A celebrated anthropologist whose bestselling Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World radically transformed our understanding of the Mongols and their legacy, Jack Weatherford has spent eighteen years exploring areas of Mongolia closed until the fall of the Soviet Union and researching The Secret History of the Mongols, an astonishing document written in code that was only recently discovered. He pored through archives and found groundbreaking evidence of Genghis's influence on the founding fathers and his essential impact on Thomas Jefferson. Genghis Khan and the Quest for God is a masterpiece of erudition and insight, his most personal and resonant work.
Killing Jesus: A History
Killing Jesus
A History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0805098542

Millions of readers have thrilled to bestselling authors Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, page-turning works of nonfiction that have changed the way we read history.

Now the iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus's life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable - and changed the world forever.
The God Delusion
The God Delusion
Hardcover      ISBN: 0618680004

In an impassioned rebuttal to religion, a noted scientist and author of The Blind Watchmaker speaks out on his the irrationality of belief in God; criticizes the dire impact of religion on society, from the Crusades to September 11; and argues that religion fuels war, bigotry, child abuse, violence, and other ills.

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
The Great Transformation
The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Paperback      ISBN: 0385721242

From Karen Armstrong, the bestselling author of A History of God and The Spiral Staircase, comes this extraordinary investigation of a critical moment in the evolution of religious thought.
In the ninth century BCE, events in four regions of the civilized world led to the rise of religious traditions that have endured to the present day--development of Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Armstrong, one of our most prominent religious scholars, examines how these traditions began in response to the violence of their time. Studying figures as diverse as the Buddha and Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah, Armstrong reveals how these still enduring philosophies can help address our contemporary problems.

God: A Human History
God
A Human History
Hardcover      ISBN: 055339472x
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity's quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God.

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, "Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we're believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves."

But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature--our compassion, our thirst for justice--but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

Praise for God

"Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary."--HuffPost

"Tantalizing . . . Driven by Reza] Aslan's grace and curiosity, God . . . helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life."--The Seattle Times

"A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

" Aslan's] slim, yet ambitious book is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it's thoroughly mind-blowing."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey."--San Francisco Chronicle
The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
The Great Transformation
The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Hardcover      ISBN: 0375413170

In the ninth century BCE, the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day: Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Later generations further developed these initial insights, but we have never grown beyond them. Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, for example, were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision. Now, in "The Great Transformation," Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal "Axial Age" can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times.
Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically, examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the mystics of the Upanishads, Mencius, and Euripides. All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time. Despite some differences of emphasis, there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion. With regard to dealing with fear, despair, hatred, rage, and violence, the Axial sages gave their people and give us, Armstrong says, two important pieces of advice: first there must be personal responsibility and self-criticism, and it must be followed by practical, effective action.
In her introduction and concluding chapter, Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today. In our various institutions, we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate. We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity, but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma. All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering. In each Axial Age case, a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change.