In a bold and moving book that is sure to spark heated debate, the novelist and cultural critic James Carroll maps the profoundly troubling two-thousand-year course of the Church's battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has provoked in his own life as a Catholic. More than a chronicle of religion, this dark history is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture.
The Church's failure to protest the Holocaust -- the infamous "silence" of Pius XII -- is only part of the story: the death camps, Carroll shows, are the culmination of a long, entrenched tradition of anti-Judaism. From Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus on the cross, to Constantine's transformation of the cross into a sword, to the rise of blood libels, scapegoating, and modern anti-Semitism, Carroll reconstructs the dramatic story of the Church's conflict not only with Jews but with itself. Yet in tracing the arc of this narrative, he implicitly affirms that it did not necessarily have to be so. There were roads not taken, heroes forgotten; new roads can be taken yet. Demanding that the Church finally face this past in full, Carroll calls for a fundamental rethinking of the deepest questions of Christian faith. Only then can Christians, Jews, and all who carry the burden of this history begin to forge a new future.
Drawing on his well-known talents as a storyteller and memoirist, and weaving historical research through an intensely personal examination of conscience, Carroll has created a work of singular power and urgency. CONSTANTINE'S SWORD is a brave and affecting reckoning with difficult truths that will touch every reader.
With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy's kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power. The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant's family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state. Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara reads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.
The book of Exodus records the pivotal events in the formation of biblical Israel--the deliverance from slavery, the leadership of Moses, the wilderness wanderings, and the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. Bible scholar Nahum Sarna, whose widely praised Understanding Genesis has become a standard text, examines and illuminates the distinctiveness of the Exodus narrative in light of ancient Near Eastern history and contemporaneous cultures--Egyptian, Assyrian, Canaanite, and Babylonian. In a new foreword to this edition, Sarna takes up the debate over whether the exodus from Egypt really happened, clarifying the arguments on both sides and drawing us back to the uniqueness and enduring significance of biblical text.
An exhilarating guide to Judaism examines the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, how Judaism offers what people need, how love of Israel makes people better Americans, and how to feel the extension of God by taking the ordinary and making it holy. Reissue.
This eye-opening dialogue between a rabbi and a Christian scholar challenges Jews and Christians to examine their misconceptions and prejudices about each other's faith. Here, a Christian and a Jew stand on common ground. Rather than simply interpreting their own respective heritages, each seeks to present his own insights into the other's religious community. Topics discussed include Scripture, God, Jesus, the Holocaust, election, covenant, and mission. Jews and Christians is a living dialogue of faith designed to foster mutual understanding and respect between the two religions.
The author of the runaway bestseller "How the Irish Saved Civilization" has done it again. In "The Gifts of the Jews" Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.
"The Gifts of the Jews" reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, "The Gifts of the Jews" is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as "How the Irish Saved Civilization."
In On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, Gershom Scholem guides the reader through the central themes in the intricate history of the Kabbalah, clarifying the relations between mysticism and established religious authority, the mystics' interpretation of the Torah and their attempts to discover the hidden meaning underlying Scripture, the tension between the philosophical and the mystical concepts of God, and the symbolism employed in mystical religion.With a new foreword by Bernard McGinn
Long considered the best single introduction to the Qabalah for magicians, the third edition of Israel Regardie's A Garden of Pomegranates is now better than ever, thanks to the extensive annotations and new material by Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero. Their work has made A Garden of Pomegranateseasier to understand, more complete, and up to date. It now includes over 300 pages of never-before-published information from two Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
- Expands Regardie's definitive text into a practical manual for Qabalistic magic
- Includes pathworkings and guided visualizations for the 32 Paths of Wisdom
- Suggests a course of study for learning the Qabalah and incorporating its teachings into daily life
- Shows how to create your own personal Qabalistic mantra using gematria or Hebrew numerology
- Includes a technique for Rising on the Planes, so you can explore different Qabalistic worlds
- Features a Middle Pillar-style exercise for exploring and activating different parts of the soul
- Written by one of the most influential magical teachers of modern times and two of his personal students
The Qabalah is the ancient system of Hebrew mysticism that is the foundation of Western magical and esoteric studies. Its primary symbol is the Tree of Life, a diagram that can aid in the study of the nature of the Universe, the essence of God, and the human mind, spirit, and soul. A Garden of Pomegranates is the clearest introductory guide on this subject.
When Israel Regardie wrote A Garden of Pomegranates in 1932, he designed it to be a simple yet comprehensive guidebook outlining the complex system of the Qabalah and providing a key to its symbolism. Since then, it has achieved the status of a classic among texts on the Qabalah. The full annotations, critical commentary, and explanatory notes now make this book the ultimate single resource on the subject. The new material, including pathworkings, exercises, daily affirmations, rituals, meditations, and more, not only complement the original, full text included in this edition, but also make A Garden of Pomegranates indispensable for modern magicians.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
In 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty-three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza's progeny.
In "Betraying Spinoza, " Rebecca Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past. Goldstein argues that the trauma of the Inquisition' s persecution of its forced Jewish converts plays itself out in Spinoza's philosophy. The excommunicated Spinoza, no less than his excommunicators, was responding to Europe' s first experiment with racial anti-Semitism.
Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and hero--a surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age.