In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows us how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish.
We see the West in the sixteenth century beginning to create an entirely new kind of civilization, which brought in its wake change in every aspect of life -- often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the things that changed most was religion. People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances.
Armstrong characterizes fundamentalism as one of these new ways of being religious that have emerged in every major faith tradition. Focusing on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Muslim fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, she examines the ways in which these movements, while not monolithic, have each sprung from a dread of modernity -- often in response to assault (sometimes unwitting, sometimes intentional) by the mainstream society.
Armstrong sees fundamentalist groups as complex, innovative, and modern -- rather than as throwbacks to the past -- but contends that they have failed in religious terms. Maintaining that fundamentalism often exists in symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each impelling the other on to greater excess, she suggests compassion as a way to defuse what is now an intensifying conflict.
In a world with so many religions, why Jesus?
We are living in a time when you can believe anything, as long as you do not claim it to be true. In the name of "tolerance," our postmodern culture embraces everything from Eastern mysticism to New Age spirituality. But as Ravi Zacharias points out, such unquestioning acceptance of all things spiritual is absurd. All religions, plainly and simply, cannot be true.
Jesus Among Other Gods provides the answers to the most fundamental claims about Christianity, such as:
- Aren't all religions fundamentally the same?
- Was Jesus who He claimed to be?
- Can one study the life of Christ and demonstrate conclusively that He was and is the way, the truth, and the life?
In each chapter, Zacharias considers a unique claim that Jesus made and then contrasts the truth of Jesus with the founders of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism with compelling insight and passionate conviction. In addition to an impressive breadth of reading and study, he shares his personal journey from despair and meaninglessness to his discovery that Jesus is who He said He is.
"In Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias demonstrates that he is one of the most intellectually gifted as well as spiritually sensitive writers of today's leading apologists for the Christian faith. Zacharias brings alive the unique power of the claims of Jesus about himself and the utter relevance of his message today for the human condition."
-- David Aikman, author of Great Souls
This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems.
Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever.
The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.
To the popular objection Aren't all religions basically the same? pastor and author Jared Wilson answers with an enthusiastic No Christianity is not merely one among many similar options. It is categorically different--and it's these differences that make it so compelling.
In Unparalleled, Wilson holds up the teachings of the Bible to the clear light of day, revealing how Christianity rises above every other religion and philosophy of the world, and how its unmatched truth answers the deepest longings of every human heart. He provides an overview of Christianity's key claims showing how, from top to bottom, it is distinct from all other competing ideologies, religious and secular. Christians will come away with a fresh sense of the truth of their faith and nonbelievers will be compelled to consider the relevant claims of Christianity in a drastically new light.
A collection of Jewish and Arabian tales published together in one volume serves, says its author, as a "metaphor for the coexistence of Arabs and Jews." Dr. Blanche L. Serwer-Bernstein, a psychotherapist and former professor at Boston University, has selected forty Arabian and Jewish folktales that capture the imagination and represent the experiences and wisdom of the cultures out of which they have emerged.
The two sets of stories in this book are different in many ways. The customs, humor, and countless details differ from one people to the next. Yet Jews and Arabs, whose imagination and creativity gave birth to these tales, share not only biblical roots but also a remarkable coexistence in Spain during a golden period from 700 to 1000 C.E.
This collection is the result of extensive research at the Israel Folklore Archives and in libraries in Jerusalem and Haifa, as well as the New York Public Library and the library of Harvard University. Of the forty tales in this volume, twenty-two are Jewish tales and were taken from literary and oral sources. They include stories of witches and demons, tales of Chelm - legendary city of fools - and folktales told by post-World War II immigrants to Israel from Russia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere. The Arabian tales come from many corners of the Arab world and include tales about changes in men, tales of humor and entertainment, and stories that the author describes as reflecting a kaleidoscope of human characteristics.
A volume that is educational, entertaining, and inspirational, In the Tradition of Moses and Mohammed is also a prayer, urging us to hope that one day Arab and Jew will live together as peacefully as these tales do.
Green Witches are deeply connected to the Earth and the cosmic balance of light and dark. They welcome the wisdom of the light and the shadow sides of nature, the self, and the Divine to grow more whole in magic and spirit.
In Green Witchcraft II, hereditary Witch Ann Moura reveals how to develop a balanced practice by incorporating the powerful, dark aspects of the Goddess and the God. Guided meditations, spells, and rituals enable you to invoke the energy of the dark powers and achieve your goals through magical workings.
- Use dark power herbs and hear the goddess speak prophecy
- Create a connection to with the four Elementals with your own elemental bottle
- Open the doors to past-life memories with the black mirror meditation
- Learn a spell to pass easily among the three worlds
- Gather and release the chaos energy of darkness to regenerate the Earth
- Work with the dark aspects of familiars, the Celtic Ogham, and the Tarot
Honor the dark no less than the light...release your fear of the shadows and embrace the other half of yourself with the balancing practices in Green Witchcraft II.
With a new postscript
In these times of rising geopolitical chaos, the need for mutual understanding between cultures has never been more urgent. Religious differences are seen as fuel for violence and warfare. In these pages, one of our greatest writers on religion, Karen Armstrong, amasses a sweeping history of humankind to explore the perceived connection between war and the world's great creeds--and to issue a passionate defense of the peaceful nature of faith.
With unprecedented scope, Armstrong looks at the whole history of each tradition--not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism. Religions, in their earliest days, endowed every aspect of life with meaning, and warfare became bound up with observances of the sacred. Modernity has ushered in an epoch of spectacular violence, although, as Armstrong shows, little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions came to absorb modern belligerence--and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different faiths in our time.
The World's Religions, by beloved author and pioneering professor Huston Smith (Tales of Wonder), is the definitive classic for introducing the essential elements and teachings of the world's predominant faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as regional native traditions.
This revised and updated edition provides sympathetic descriptions of the various traditions, explaining how they work "from the inside," which is a big reason why this cherished classic has sold more than two million copies since it first appeared in 1958.
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.