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Spirituality: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Philip Sheldrake
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199588759
Pages: 133
Year: 2012-11-29
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With a decline in traditional religious belief, interest in spirituality has grown in Western cultures. The notion of spirituality expresses the fact that people are driven by goals that concern more than material satisfaction. Here, the author explores the historical foundations of spirituality and thinks about how it transforms lives.
Secularism
Author: Andrew Copson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198809131
Pages: 176
Year: 2017-09-28
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Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states -- a movement we now call secularism. In others, a de facto secularism emerged as political values and civil and criminal law altered their professed foundation from a shared religion to a non-religious basis. Today secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics -- from the US to India -- and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state imposed non-religious worldview. In this short introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: "blasphemy," "apostasy," religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and thought in a divided world.
Pilgrimage
Author: Ian Reader
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198718225
Pages: 144
Year: 2015-04-23
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"Presents pilgrimage in a global and historical context. Using a wide range of examples, Reader explores how people take part in and experience their pilgrimages, and what they take back from their journeys, He concludes by examining why pilgrimages appear to be so popular in our increasingly secular age."--Front flap
Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Stephen Mumford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199657122
Pages: 113
Year: 2012-08-30
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An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.
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.
Druids: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191613789
Pages: 160
Year: 2010-05-27
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Who were the Druids? What do we know about them? Do they still exist today? The Druids first came into focus in Western Europe - Gaul, Britain, and Ireland - in the second century BC. They are a popular subject; they have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years and few figures flit so elusively through history. They are enigmatic and puzzling, partly because of the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe takes the reader through the evidence relating to the Druids, trying to decide what can be said and what can't be said about them. He examines why the nature of the druid caste changed quite dramatically over time, and how successive generations have interpreted the phenomenon in very different ways. 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.
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.
Fundamentalism
Author: Malise Ruthven
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191647225
Pages: 260
Year: 2005-03-24
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Since the end of the Cold War fundamentalism has been seen as the major threat to world peace and prosperity, a concern that was exacerbated by the events of 9/11, and the 'War against Terrorism'. But what does 'fundamentalism' really mean? Since it was coined by American Protestant evangelicals in the 1920s, the word has expanded its meaning to include radical conservatives or ideological purists in many spheres of activity, not all of them religious. Modern applications of fundamentalism include Islamist radicals in the Muslim world, the militant Israeli settlers who oppose them as well as Sikh, Hindu and even Buddhist nationalists who seek to justify their political agendas by reference to divine edicts or religious tradition. This exciting new book tackles the polemic and stereotypes surrounding this fascinating subject.
Christianity
Author: Linda Woodhead
Publisher: Oxford University Press (UK)
ISBN: 0199687749
Pages: 130
Year: 2014
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At a time when Christianity is flourishing in the Southern hemisphere but declining in much of the West, this Very Short Introduction offers an important overview of the world's largest religion. Exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity, and tracing its course over two millennia, Linda Woodhead provides a fresh, lively, and candid portrait of Christianity's past and present. Addressing topics including the competition for power between different forms of Christianity, the churches' use of power, and its struggles with modernity, this new edition includes up to date information on the growth and geographical spread of Eastern Christianity, reflecting the global nature of Christianity in our ever-shifting contemporary 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 Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez
Author: Luis D. Leon
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520959485
Pages: 240
Year: 2014-11-24
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The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez: Crossing Religious Borders maps and challenges many of the mythologies that surround the late iconic labor leader. Focusing on Chavez's own writings, León argues that La Causa can be fruitfully understood as a quasi-religious movement based on Chavez’s charismatic leadership, which he modeled after Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Chavez recognized that spiritual prophecy, or political spirituality, was the key to disrupting centuries-old dehumanizing narratives that conflated religion with race. Chavez’s body became emblematic for Chicano identity and enfleshed a living revolution. While there is much debate and truth-seeking around how he is remembered, through investigating the leader’s construction of his own public memory, the author probes the meaning of the discrepancies. By refocusing Chavez's life and beliefs into three broad movements—mythology, prophecy, and religion—León brings us a moral and spiritual agent to match the political leader.
Islam: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Malise Ruthven
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0199642877
Pages: 200
Year: 2012-01-26
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Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant forms, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand its nature. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction, offers essential insights into the big issues, provides fresh perspectives on contemporary questions, and guides us through the complex debates.
Judaism: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Norman Solomon
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191511080
Pages: 168
Year: 2014-08-28
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Normon Solomon's succinct book is an ideal introduction to Judaism as a religion and way of life. Demonstrating the diverse nature and ethnic origin of those with the Jewish faith, Solomon explores how the Jewish religion has developed in the 2,000 years since the days of the Bible. This Very Short Introduction starts by outlining the basics of practical Judaism - its festivals, prayers, customs, and various sects - and goes on to consider how Judaism has responded to, and dealt with, a number of key issues and debates, including the impact of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. In this new edition, Solomon considers issues of contemporary Judaism 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.
Miracles: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Yujin Nagasawa
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191064335
Pages: 144
Year: 2017-11-16
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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.
Judaism
Author: Norman Solomon
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199687358
Pages: 151
Year: 2014
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Outlines the basics of practical Judaism and considers how Judaism has responded to, and dealt with, a number of key issues and debates, including the impact of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel.
Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Lyman Tower Sargent
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191614424
Pages: 160
Year: 2010-09-23
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There are many debates about utopia - What constitutes a utopia? Are utopias benign or dangerous? Is the idea of utopianism essential to Christianity or heretical? What is the relationship between utopia and ideology? This Very Short Introduction explores these issues and examines utopianism and its history. Lyman Sargent discusses the role of utopianism in literature, and in the development of colonies and in immigration. The idea of utopia has become commonplace in social and political thought, both negatively and positively. Some thinkers see a trajectory from utopia to totalitarianism with violence an inevitable part of the mix. Others see utopia directly connected to freedom and as a necessary element in the fight against totalitarianism. In Christianity utopia is labelled as both heretical and as a fundamental part of Christian belief, and such debates are also central to such fields as architecture, town and city planning, and sociology among many others Sargent introduces and summarizes the debates over the utopia in literature, communal studies, social and political theory, and theology. 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.