An examination of how the teachings of Jesus reveal the essential role of sexuality in spiritual growth and transformation- Shows that Jesus did not come to redeem humanity from the life of the flesh, but to honor it as a spiritual path - Uses Hebrew, gnostic, and early Christian source texts to reveal the true context of the words attributed to Jesus - Explores the spiritual and physical relationship shared by Jesus and Mary Magdalene Of all the major religions, Christianity is the only one that has utterly rejected sexuality as one of the many paths that can lead to enlightenment and salvation. But if Jesus was indeed "the Word made flesh" and serious consideration is given to the mystery of his Incarnation, is it reasonable that physical love would have been prohibited to him? Drawing from the canonical and apocryphal gospels, the Hebrew esoteric tradition, and gnosticism, Jean-Yves Leloup shows that Jesus did not come to save humanity from the life of the flesh but to save the life of the flesh so that it would truly transfigure all people. Leloup explains that when Saint Paul said it was good to be without women, he did not cite any words of Jesus in support of this contention. In fact, Paul's statement utterly contradicts the words of God in Genesis: "It is not good that man should be alone." Leloup argues that the elimination of the divine feminine and sacred sexuality set in motion by Paul's words does not reflect the true teachings of Christ, and that the transformation of Jesus into a celibate is the true heresy. His research restores Christ's true human sexuality and shows it to be a vital part of humanity's spirituality. Leloup contends that by understanding the sacred nature of the embrace shared by man and woman as a true reflection of humanity made in God's image, Christianity can again become the powerful path of transfiguration Christ intended.
In this powerful and timely book, one of the most admired and authoritative religious leaders of our time tackles the phenomenon of religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God. If religion is perceived as being part of the problem, Rabbi Sacks argues, then it must also form part of the solution. When religion becomes a zero-sum conceit--i.e., my religion is the only right path to God, therefore your religion is by definition wrong--and when individuals are motivated by what Rabbi Sacks calls "altruistic evil," violence between peoples of different beliefs appears to be the inevitable outcome. But through an exploration of the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, and employing groundbreaking biblical analysis and interpretation, Rabbi Sacks shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of biblical texts at the heart of all three Abrahamic faiths. By looking anew at the book of Genesis, with its foundational stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Rabbi Sacks offers a radical rereading of many of the Bible's seminal stories of sibling rivalry: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Rachel and Leah.Here is an eloquent call for people of goodwill from all faiths and none to stand together, confront the religious extremism that threatens to destroy us all, and declare: Not in God's Name.
Present at the Council of Nicea, which produced the famous creed declaring Christ truly divine, Athanasius (297-373) proved to be an enormous influence on the teaching that the Word was made flesh. Now, this study presents a complete look at one of the most important of the early church fathers, focusing on his thought and influence.
Awry and thought-provoking jaunt through the spiritual terrain of our everyday language -- a lexion of uncommon insight to jar the mind and nourish the soul. I think of faith as a kind of whistling in the dark, because in much the same way, writes Buechner, it helps to give us courage and to hold the shadows at bay.--Chicago Tribun
An in-depth investigation of the facts and mythology surrounding the historical Mary Magdalene- Reveals new details about the life of the beloved of Jesus - Illustrated with rare and unusual imagery depicting Mary's central role in Christianity - Includes 60-minute CD of author discussing The Greatest Story Never Told - By the author of the bestselling The Woman with the Alabaster Jar The controversy surrounding Mary Magdalene and her relationship to Jesus has gained widespread international interest since the publication of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, which specifically cites Margaret Starbird's earlier works as a significant source. In Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile Starbird examines the many faces of Mary Magdalene, from the historical woman who walked with Jesus in the villages of Judea to the mythic and symbolic Magdalene who is the archetype of the Sacred Feminine. Starbird reveals exciting new information about the woman who was the most intimate companion of Jesus and offers historical evidence that Mary was Jesus' forgotten bride. Expanding on the discussion of medieval art and lore introduced in her bestselling book The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Starbird sifts through the layers of misidentification under which the story of the Lost Bride of Christ has been buried to reveal the slandered woman and the "exiled" feminine principle. She establishes the identity of the historical female disciple who was the favored first witness of the Resurrection and provides an interpretation of Mary's true role based on prophecy from the Hebrew scriptures and the testimony of the canonical gospels of Christianity. Balancing scholarly research with theological reflection, she takes readers deeper into the story and mythology of how Magdalene as the Bride embodies the soul's own journey in its eternal quest for reunion with the Divine.
An extensive examination of the religious anomalies and lost treasure of the Mary Magdalene Church in Rennes-le-Ch teau- Looks at the connection between the Templars, Cathars, and other enigmatic groups in the history of this church and the surrounding area - Maintains that Mary Magdalene was the high priestess who anointed Jesus into his priesthood, in accordance with ancient religious tradition - Explores the role of the Sacred Feminine in early Christian Church history The small church of Rennes-le-Ch teau, in a remote village in southern France, may well hold the key to the proof of Mary Magdalene's marriage to Jesus and the bloodline they founded. In 1885 the village of Rennes-le-Ch teau welcomed a new priest, Abbe Sauni re, for its church dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Abbe Sauni re ordered very strange restoration work for the church, and it is thought that he discovered something during this renovation that brought him to the attention of the power brokers of that time and made him a very rich man. Possible identifications of his discovery range from the gold pillaged from Delphi in Roman times; the treasure brought out of Jerusalem by the Templars, who had a strong presence in this area; and the missing Cathar treasure, spirited out of Monts gur mere days before the fall of that fortress. Yet even more curious and compelling is this church's ambiguous portrayal of Mary Magdalene. Markale explains that the unusual depictions of Mary in the church hint at an even more archaic role performed by Mary that could shake the very foundations of the Church if it were fully understood: that of the high priestess who anoints the priest king into his spiritual duties.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was only thirty-nine years old in 1945 when he was executed in a Nazi concentration camp. However, his courage, vision, and brilliance have greatly influenced twentieth century theology. Bonhoeffer's work has profoundly shaped the thinking of many who work for spiritual, political and civil rights, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Liberation Theology proponent Leonardo Boff.A Testament to Freedom spans Bonhoeffer's all too brief pastoral and theological career and includes excerpts from his major books, sermons, and selected letters. This magnificent volume takes readers on a historical and biographical journey that follows Bonhoeffer through the various stages of his life - teacher, pastor, seminary director, and ultimately, martyr in pursuit of peace and justice. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a renowned and beloved Christian minister, seminary professor, and theologian who was imprisoned and later executed by the Nazis for his resistance to Hitler. He was the author of the bestselling classic The Cost of Discipleship, Life Together, and Letters and Papers from Prison. Geffrey B. Kelly is professor of systematic theology at La Salle University in Philadelphia, and author of Liberating Faith: Bonhoeffer's Message for Today. F. Burton Nelson (1920 - 2004) served as professor of Christian ethics at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago for thirty-six years, and is the author of The Story of the People of God.