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This Companion explores the history, doctrines, divisions, and contemporary condition of Judaism. Surveys those issues most relevant to Judaic life today: ethics, feminism, politics, and constructive theology Explores the definition of Judaism and its formative history Makes sense of the diverse data of an ancient and enduring faith

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A Brief History of Saints follows the rise of the cult of saints in Christianity from its origin in the age of the martyrs down to the present day. Refers to both well-known saints, such as Joan of Arc, and lesser-known figures like the ‘holy fools’ in the Orthodox tradition Ranges over subjects as diverse as the history of canonization processes, the Reformation critique of the cult of saints, and the role of saints in other religious traditions Discusses the relevance of sainthood in the postmodern era Two appendices describe patron saints and the iconography of saints in art.

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The act of death itself and the rituals surrounding it vary enormously and shed a fascinating light on the cultures of which they are a part. In this brief and lively history, Douglas Davies – internationally acknowledged as one of the leading experts in this field – tackles some of the most significant aspects of death and weaves them into a compelling story about our changing attitudes to dying. Offers a fascinating examination of this subject which is of enduring interest in every culture in the world Considers the profound influence death has had on subjects ranging from philosophy to anthropology, through to art, literature, and music – inspiring some of our most enduring artistic highpoints Broaches some of the most significant aspects of death, such as the act of dying, grieving, burial, artistic interpretations of death, places of memory, the fear of death, and disasters/tragedies Weaves these numerous approaches to death into a compelling story about our changing attitudes to dying Contains several illustrations, and is written in an accessible and lively style.

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This short and accessible book introduces readers to the problems of heresy, schism and dissidence over the last two millennia. The heresies under discussion range from Gnosticism, influential in the early Christian period, right through to modern sects. The idea of a heretic conjures up many images, from the martyrs prepared to die for their beliefs, through to sects with bizarre practices. This book provides a remarkable insight into the fraught history of heresy, showing how the Church came to insist on orthodoxy when threatened by alternative ideals, exploring the social and political conditions under which heretics were created, and how those involved were 'tested' and punished, often by imprisonment and burning. Engaging written, A Brief History of Heresy is enlivened throughout with fascinating examples of individuals and movements. A short, accessible history of heresy. Spans the last two millennia, from the Gnostics through to modern sects. Considers heresy in relation to ecclesial separatism, doctrinal disagreement, church order, and basic metaphysics. Enlivened with intriguing examples of individuals and movements. Written by a leading academic in the field of Religious History.

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An ideal resource for courses on Hinduism or world religions, this accessible volume spans the entire field of Hindu studies. It provides a forum for the best scholars in the world to make their views and research available to a wider audience. Comprehensively covers the textual traditions of Hinduism Features four coherent sections covering theoretical issues, textual traditions, science and philosophy, and Hindu society and politics Reflects the trend away from essentialist understandings of Hinduism towards tradition and regional-specific studies Includes material on Hindu folk religions and stresses the importance of region in analyzing Hinduism Ideal for use on university courses.

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Misuse of the Bible has made hatred holy. In this provocative book, Adrian Thatcher argues that debates on sexuality currently raging through the churches are the latest outbreak in a long line of savage interpretations of the Bible. Fascinating reading for anyone concerned about the future of Christianity. A provocative book claiming that debates on sexuality currently raging through the churches are the latest outbreak in a long line of savage interpretations of the Bible Argues that the Bible has been abused to convert the “good news” which it brings to the world, into one which has been used to discriminate against many groups, including children, women, Jews, people of color, slaves, heretics, and homosexuals Asks how Christians have been able to conduct, in public and on a global scale, an argument that has exposed so much prejudice, fear and hatred Offers an alternative, faithful and peaceable reading of the Bible, drawing on numerous examples throughout Breaks new ground in debates about sexual ethics and biblical interpretation

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This engaging book by one of today's best-known Christian writers explores the history of heaven, from its origins in biblical writings to its most recent representations. A short, accessible book on the history of heaven. Draws together representations of heaven by a wide range of writers, theologians, politicians and artists. Covers literary works such as Dante's Divine Comedy, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and the poems of George Herbert. Considers discussions by Marx and Freud of heaven's role in society. Based on serious scholarship but is ideal for the non-specialist who wants to learn more about the idea of heaven. Alister E. McGrath is one of today's best-known Christian writers.

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Just as our life is in our blood, the life for Christ’s body is in His blood. Changing a church is more than a new goal or direction. Our churches need more than an organizational transition; we need a full transfusion of Jesus' blood, His life, within every disciple. Anything less than that will only perpetuate more of the dysfunction and unhealthy church practices that have already plagued us for too long. We are in desperate need of the internally transforming power of the gospel of grace and the presence of Christ so that our salvation is then worked out in a way the rest of the world will notice. It isn’t enough that we believe in the facts contained in the gospel, we must allow the gospel itself to infect our souls and transform us from within. The DNA of Jesus' lifeblood is needed in our churches and nothing shy of a full transfusion that touches every cell will be sufficient. In this book Neil Cole (author of Organic Church, Church Transfusion and Journeys to Significance) and Phil Helfer, co-founders of Church Multiplication Associates, will first point out that change is possible with God, but only with God. In the second half of the book they will lay out some of the actual practical considerations to weigh if you want to release real organic health in your church. Using multiple examples of very different kinds of churches that have been through the process, the authors present ways that leadership and practices need to change in order to release organic church movements from their midst. Chapters cover: Leadershifts necessary Detoxification from dependence issues. How to ignite change virally. How to grandparent movements. How to measure success in movements. This book (another in the Leadership Network series) applies organic life principles to established churches with practical help that is holistic and natural. The content in this book will be helpful whether you are pastor of an established church or wanting to revitalize a small organic church. Jesus didn’t die and rise from the dead so that we can be like everyone else in the world. Our faith is more than just a better doctrine or a bigger goal with a capital giving campaign; it is a better life. Jesus is the difference, and what a difference he makes…don't be satisfied with less.

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Alister E. McGrath is one of the world’s leading theologians, with a doctorate in the sciences. Richard Dawkins is one of the bestselling popular science writers, with outspoken and controversial views on religion. This fascinating and provoking work is the first book-length response to Dawkins’ ideas, and offers an ideal introduction to the topical issues of science and religion. Addresses fundamental questions about Dawkins’ approach to science and religion: Is the gene actually selfish? Is the blind watchmaker a suitable analogy? Are there other ways of looking at things? Tackles Dawkins’ hostile and controversial views on religion, and examines the religious implications of his scientific ideas, making for a fascinating and provoking debate Written in a very engaging and accessible style, ideal to those approaching scientific and religious issues for the first time Alister McGrath is uniquely qualified to write this book. He is one of the world’s best known and most respected theologians, with a strong research background in molecular biophysics A superb book by one of the world’s leading theologians, which will attract wide interest in the growing popular science market, similar to Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine (1999).

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This book is a major contribution to the sociology of religion and to religious and biblical studies. Beginning from the classic work of Max Weber, the author analyses the origins of Judaism in the light of more recent scholarship. The result is a work that will become a standard point of reference in its field, and will be of great interest to the general reader as well as the specialist.