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Miracles: a Very Short Introduction
Author: Yujin Nagasawa
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198747217
Pages: 144
Year: 2017-11-23
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Jesus turned water into wine, Mohammad split the moon into two, and Buddha walked and spoke immediately upon birth. According to recent statistics, even in the present age of advanced science and technology, most people believe in miracles. In fact, newspapers and television regularly report alleged miracles, such as recoveries from incurable diseases, extremely unlikely coincidences, and religious signs and messages on unexpected objects. In this book the award-winning author and philosopher Yujin Nagasawa addresses some of our most fundamental questions concerning miracles. What exactly is a miracle? What types of miracles are believed in the world's great religions? What do recent scientific findings tell us about miracles? Can we rationally believe that miracles have really taken place? Can there be acts that are more religiously significant than miracles? Drawing on a vast variety of fascinating examples from across the major religions, Nagasawa discusses the lively debate on miracles that ranges from reported miracles in ancient scriptures in the East and West to cutting-edge scientific research on belief formation. Throughout, he drives us to ask ourselves if and how we can still believe in in miracles in the twenty-first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Thomas Dixon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199295514
Pages: 150
Year: 2008-07-24
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The debate between science and religion is never out of the news: emotions run high, fuelled by polemical bestsellers like iThe God Delusion/i and, at the other end of the spectrum, high-profile campaigns to teach 'Intelligent Design' in schools. Yet there is much more to the debate than the clash of these extremes. As Thomas Dixon shows in this balanced and thought-provoking introduction, a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be taken on this complex and centuries-old subject. He explores not only the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlights the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made 'science and religion' such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. Along the way, he examines landmark historical episodes such as the Galileo affair, Charles Darwin's own religious and scientific odyssey, the Scopes 'Monkey Trial' in Tennessee in 1925, and the Dover Area School Board case of 2005, and includes perspectives from non-Christian religions and examples from across the physical, biological, and social sciences.
Kafka: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Ritchie Robertson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804553
Pages: 136
Year: 2004-10-28
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In this Very Short Introduction, Ritchie Robertson provides the newcomer with an up-to-date and accessible examination of this fascinating author. Beginning with an examination of Kafka's life, he then goes on to discuss some of the major themes that emerge in Kafka's work, using his short story Metamorphosis as a recurring example.
Jesus: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Richard Bauckham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199575274
Pages: 125
Year: 2011-07-28
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Bauckham shows that Jesus was devoted to the God of Israel, with a special focus on God's fatherly love and compassion, and like every Jewish teacher he expounded the Torah, but did so in his own distinctive way.
George Fox's 'Book of Miracles'
Author: George Fox, Henry Joel Cadbury
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108045030
Pages: 198
Year: 2012-03-08
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A fascinating insight into a period of religious revolution in Britain and into the development of a new faith.
The Existence of God
Author: Yujin Nagasawa
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136737456
Pages: 208
Year: 2011-04-19
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Does God exist? What are the various arguments that seek to prove the existence of God? Can atheists refute these arguments? The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction assesses classical and contemporary arguments concerning the existence of God: the ontological argument, introducing the nature of existence, possible worlds, parody objections, and the evolutionary origin of the concept of God the cosmological argument, discussing metaphysical paradoxes of infinity, scientific models of the universe, and philosophers’ discussions about ultimate reality and the meaning of life the design argument, addressing Aquinas’s Fifth Way, Darwin’s theory of evolution, the concept of irreducible complexity, and the current controversy over intelligent design and school education. Bringing the subject fully up to date, Yujin Nagasawa explains these arguments in relation to recent research in cognitive science, the mathematics of infinity, big bang cosmology, and debates about ethics and morality in light of contemporary political and social events. The book also includes fascinating insights into the passions, beliefs and struggles of the philosophers and scientists who have tackled the challenge of proving the existence of God, including Thomas Aquinas, and Kurt Gödel - who at the end of his career as a famous mathematician worked on a secret project to prove the existence of God. The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal gateway to the philosophy of religion and an excellent starting point for anyone interested in arguments about the existence of God.
Pentecostalism: A Very Short Introduction
Author: William K. Kay
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019161453X
Pages: 160
Year: 2011-01-27
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In religious terms Pentecostalism was probably the most vibrant and rapidly-growing religious movement of the 20th century. Starting as a revivalistic and renewal movement within Christianity, it encircled the globe in less than 25 years and grew in North America and then in those parts of the world with the highest birth-rates. Characterised by speaking in tongues, miracles, television evangelism and megachurches, it is also noted for its small-group meetings, empowerment of individuals, liberation of women and humanitarian concerns. Without the financial and military support of the state (as was the case with communism), it flourished in almost every conceivable socio-political environment. Even in Europe, where religion most frequently appeared tired and out of date, Pentecostalism might draw large crowds or, within mainline Christian congregations, flourish in a more muted charismatic form. When these two forms are added together, Pentecostalism and neo-Pentecostalism are thought to account for around 450 million people. William K Kay outlines the origins and growth of Pentecostalism, looking at not only the theological aspects of the movement, but also the sociological influences of its political and humanitarian viewpoints. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Magic: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Owen Davies
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623881
Pages: 152
Year: 2012-01-26
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Defining 'magic' is a maddening task. Over the last century numerous philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and theologians have attempted to pin down its essential meaning, sometimes analysing it in such complex and abstruse depth that it all but loses its sense altogether. For this reason, many people often shy away from providing a detailed definition, assuming it is generally understood as the human control of supernatural forces. 'Magic' continues to pervade the popular imagination and idiom. People feel comfortable with its contemporary multiple meanings, unaware of the controversy, conflict, and debate its definition has caused over two and a half millennia. In common usage today 'magic' is uttered in reference to the supernatural, superstition, illusion, trickery, religious miracles, fantasies, and as a simple superlative. The literary confection known as 'magical realism' has considerable appeal and many modern scientists have ironically incorporated the word into their vocabulary, with their 'magic acid', 'magic bullets' and 'magic angles'. Since the so-called European Enlightenment magic has often been seen as a marker of primitivism, of a benighted earlier stage of human development. Yet across the modern globalized world hundreds of millions continue to resort to magic - and also to fear it. Magic provides explanations and remedies for those living in extreme poverty and without access to alternatives. In the industrial West, with its state welfare systems, religious fundamentalists decry the continued moral threat posed by magic. Under the guise of neo-Paganism, its practice has become a religion in itself. Magic continues to be a truly global issue. This Very Short Introduction does not attempt to provide a concluding definition of magic: it is beyond simple definition. Instead it explores the many ways in which magic, as an idea and a practice, has been understood and employed over the millennia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Edward Craig
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192854216
Pages: 132
Year: 2002-02-21
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Examines how philosophers including Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Darwin, and de Beauvoir responded to real life situations, and how their responses continue to influence people today.
Logic of Miracles
Author: Laszlo Mero
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300238487
Pages: 288
Year: 2018-04-17
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We live in a much more turbulent world than we like to think, but the science we use to analyze economic, financial, and statistical events mostly disregards the world’s essentially chaotic nature. We need to get used to the idea that wildly improbable events are actually part of the natural order. The renowned Hungarian mathematician and psychologist László MérŠ‘ explains how the wild and mild worlds (which he names Wildovia and Mildovia) coexist, and that different laws apply to each. Even if we live in an ultimately wild universe, he argues, we’re better off pretending that it obeys Mildovian laws. Doing so may amount to a self†‘fulfilling prophecy and create an island of predictability in a very rough sea. Perched on the ragged border between economics and complexity theory, MérŠ‘ proposes to extend the reach of science to subjects previously considered outside its grasp: the unpredictable, unrepeatable, highly improbable events we commonly call “miracles.”
Philosophy of Science
Author: Samir Okasha
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198745583
Pages: 140
Year: 2016
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How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully "objective?" What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Modern Japan: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Christopher Goto-Jones
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191578940
Pages: 176
Year: 2009-04-23
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Japan is arguably today's most successful industrial economy, combining almost unprecedented affluence with social stability and apparent harmony. Japanese goods and cultural products are consumed all over the world, ranging from animated movies and computer games all the way through to cars, semiconductors, and management techniques. In many ways, Japan is an icon of the modern world, and yet it remains something of an enigma to many, who see it as a confusing montage of the alien and the familiar, the ancient and modern. The aim of this Very Short Introduction is to explode the myths and explore the reality of modern Japan - by taking a concise look at its history, economy, politics, and culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The History of Cinema: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191005231
Pages: 144
Year: 2017-11-16
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Cinema was the first, and is arguably still the greatest, of the industrialized art forms that came to dominate the cultural life of the twentieth century. Today, it continues to adapt and grow as new technologies and viewing platforms become available, and remains an integral cultural and aesthetic entertainment experience for people the world over. Cinema developed against the backdrop of the two world wars, and over the years has seen smaller wars, revolutions, and profound social changes. Its history reflects this changing landscape, and, more than any other art form, developments in technology. In this Very Short Introduction, Nowell-Smith looks at the defining moments of the industry, from silent to sound, black and white to colour, and considers its genres from intellectual art house to mass market entertainment. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introduction series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Medical Miracles
Author: Jacalyn Duffin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019533650X
Pages: 285
Year: 2009
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It is now recognized that spirituality plays an active role in the experience of illness and healing, even when the sufferer turns to medicine for help. The relationship of medicine to the miracles at healing shrines, especially Lourdes, is well known. Less studied are the miracles associated with the canonization of saints. The Vatican Archives house the transcripts of the ecclesiastical investigations of all of the miracles credited to the intercession of candidates for sainthood. Thesedocuments contain verbatim accounts of patients, their families, and physicians. The testimony is filtered and shaped by the formal questions of clergy, who are concerned not to be duped by wishful thinking or naive enthusiasm. Jacalyn Duffin has examined either the full testimony or the Vatican summaries of more than 670 miracles reported in 35 countries on six continents from the late 17th century to the 21st. She discovered that more than 96% of these miracles are healings from physical illness. Essentially, they are medical case histories, involving the active participation of doctors. Over the course of centuries, she found, these records display remarkable stability. The stories of illness and healing follow a prescribed dramatic structure, like the arc of a novel, play, or opera, shaped by universal reactions to sickness and recovery. However, Duffin finds, some elements in the miracle files change over time: the number of doctors increases, the nature of evidence embracesnew technologies, and the diagnoses considered amenable to transcendent healing shift to incorporate new ideas about medical capability.
The Meaning in the Miracles
Author: Jeffrey John
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802827942
Pages: 248
Year: 2004
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Explanations of Jesusb miracles often get stuck in their supernatural elements, speculating whether such things could possibly have occurred. Jeffrey John argues that this is to mistake the shell for the kernel. The Gospel writers recorded the many miraculous works of Jesus not to provoke open-mouthed amazement but, rather, to prompt readers to seek the deeper meaning inside each of these spectacular events. A best-seller in England and now available for the first time in the United States, "The Meaning in the Miracles" is praised as a must-have guide to Jesusb miracles. Walking readers through all the miracle stories found in the Gospels, John offers insightful commentary that makes clear their meaning for today. Each chapter ends with several choice quotes for prayer and meditation -- relevant Scripture passages and literary excerpts from throughout church history -- helping to make the book ideal for both personal and group study. As John shows, the stories of Jesusb miracles are loaded with prophetic and theological significance meant primarily to foster personal faith. By reflecting on the depths and dimensions of meaning that the Gospel writers intended to convey, readers encounter afresh the One whose works of power always announced -- and still announce -- the good news of his transforming love.