Spirituality A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Philip Sheldrake
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441157166
Size: 44.96 MB
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'Spirituality' is a word that is used increasingly these days yet it is often ill-defined. What exactly is spirituality? Is it distinct from religion and can we separate it from beliefs and traditions? Does spirituality mainly focus on spiritual experiences and practices or is it something more? This book suggests that, while there may be common features in the use of the word, 'spirituality' is not a single reality. Different 'spiritualities' reflect particular religious or philosophical viewpoints, as well as the cultural contexts in which they arise and develop. Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed provides students and general readers with a reliable and comprehensive guide to 'spirituality' as an area of study, religiously, historically, philosophically and in the social sciences. It explores the tools that are used to study the subject and to interpret spiritual classics (whether these are written texts or other forms such as art) from different times and cultures. Attention is paid to spirituality in a variety of religious and non-religious forms in their own terms and comparatively. However, for the sake of simplicity greatest attention is given to the study of spirituality within a religious perspective with illustrations drawn from texts, personalities and themes associated with five major world religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The book concludes with an exploration of spirituality in contemporary perspective - in particular how spirituality is currently employed in areas such as health-care, education and business among other examples.

Guide For The Perplexed

Author: E. F. Schumacher
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060906111
Size: 65.95 MB
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The author of the world wide best-seller, Small Is Beautiful, now tackles the subject of Man, the World, and the Meaning of Living. Schumacher writes about man's relation to the world. man has obligations -- to other men, to the earth, to progress and technology, but most importantly himself. If man can fulfill these obligations, then and only then can he enjoy a real relationship with the world, then and only then can he know the meaning of living. Schumacher says we need maps: a "map of knowledge" and a "map of living." The concern of the mapmaker--in this instance, Schumacher--is to find for everything it's proper place. Things out of place tend to get lost; they become invisible and there proper places end to be filled by other things that ought not be there at all and therefore serve to mislead. A Guide for the Perplexed teaches us to be our own map makers. This constantly surprising, always stimulating book will be welcomed by a large audience, including the many new fans who believe strongly in what Schumacher has to say.

Pentecostalism A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Wolfgang Vondey
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0567627314
Size: 45.85 MB
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Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religious movement of our time. The unexpected birth of the modern-day Pentecostal movement at the doorsteps of the twentieth century is as perplexing as its continuing existence and unprecedented expansion worldwide. Once marginalized from public discourse, Pentecostals have entered into mainstream culture, religion, politics, academia, and social action. However, the unprecedented growth of Pentecostalism in all its diversity has led to characterizations ripe with platitudes, stereotypes, and misrepresentations. This Guide for the Perplexed sheds light on the most persistent contrasts characterizing the Pentecostal movement: the tension between local manifestations and global Pentecostalism, the inconsistency between spiritual discernment and charismatic excess, the gap between rampant denominationalism and the pursuit of Christian unity, the disparity between poverty among many Pentecostals and the popularity of the prosperity gospel, the division between Oneness Pentecostals and their trinitarian counterparts, and the worldview of Pentecostals beyond the confines of a religious movement. Those tensions form the essence of global Pentecostalism and represent the emergence of a global Christian world.

Mysticism A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Paul Oliver
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 144116667X
Size: 12.66 MB
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Mysticism is one of the most enduring and fascinating aspects of religious life, and one of the most difficult to unpick. It has, over the centuries, inspired many of the leading figures in different faiths to seek a sense of union with God or with the spiritual forces in the universe, and is increasingly part of the spiritual mainstream. Designed for students grappling with this complicated area, this book enables readers to understand the nature of mysticism, and to examine in detail the traditional methods used by mystics in seeking an intimate understanding of the spiritual world. Including a detailed survey of mystical trends within all the main world religions, and case studies of the lives of important mystics, Mysticism: A Guide for the Perplexed also examines the nature of the mystical lifestyle, and the extent to which ordinary people can develop a sense of personal mysticism.

Zoroastrianism A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Jenny Rose
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441122362
Size: 27.67 MB
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The significance of the Zoroastrian religion in the development of the history of thought is often only mentioned in passing, or is completely overlooked. Zoroastrianism has developed over a span of at least three thousand years, with roots in a common Indo-Iranian culture and mythology, then becoming part of imperial Iranian ideology within an Ancient Near Eastern setting, and emerging in variant forms in western and central Asia in late antiquity. The religion continues as a living faith for an estimated 130 - 150,000 adherents in the world. Most Zoroastrians if asked, 'In a nutshell, what do Zoroastrians believe?' would begin their answer with the moral maxim: 'Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.' Zoroastrianism: A Guide for the Perplexed takes this foundational trifold ethic as the framework for its three main chapters. The book presents a comprehensive study of the religion through its focus on the questions that perplexed seekers might ask of a Zoroastrian concerning ideology and ethics; current discussions of 'text' and 'author'; and the putting-into-practice of the religion.

Kabbalah A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Pinchas Giller
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441176756
Size: 75.68 MB
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Kabbalah: A Guide for the Perplexed is a concise and accessible introduction to the major elements of the prevalent metaphysical system of Judaism, Kabbalah. The book covers the historical and theoretical essence of Kabbalah, offering a clear definition of the term and the limitations of what Kabbalah is and is not. Pinchas Giller provides an overview of the history of the movement, reflecting the sweep of Jewish history as a whole, and examines its metaphysical system, the advanced mythos of early and later Luria, doctrines of the soul, and the mysteries of Jewish religious practice and law. The book concludes with a summary of the contemporary kabbalistic phenomena, particularly in light of the notoriety of some modern purveyors of Kabbalah. As cogent and objective as possible, this is the ideal companion for those wishing to gain a sound understanding of this often perplexing mystical aspect of Judaism.

Sikhism A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441153667
Size: 59.91 MB
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Sikhism's short but relatively eventful history provides a fascinating insight into the working of misunderstood and seemingly contradictory themes such as politics and religion, violence and mysticism, culture and spirituality, orality and textuality, public sphere versus private sphere, tradition and modernity. This book presents students with a careful analysis of these complex themes as they have manifested themselves in the historical evolution of the Sikh traditions and the encounter of Sikhs with modernity and the West, in the philosophical teachings of its founders and their interpretation by Sikh exegetes, and in Sikh ethical and intellectual responses to contemporary issues in an increasingly secular and pluralistic world. Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed serves as an ideal guide to Sikhism, and also for students of Asian studies, Sociology of Religion and World Religions.

The Cambridge Companion To New Religious Movements

Author: Olav Hammer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107493552
Size: 45.36 MB
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New religions emerge as distinct entities in the religious landscape when innovations are introduced by a charismatic leader or a schismatic group leaves its parent organization. New religious movements (NRMs) often present novel doctrines and advocate unfamiliar modes of behavior, and have therefore often been perceived as controversial. NRMs have, however, in recent years come to be treated in the same way as established religions, that is, as complex cultural phenomena involving myths, rituals and canonical texts. This Companion discusses key features of NRMs from a systematic, comparative perspective, summarizing results of forty years of research. The volume addresses NRMs that have caught media attention, including movements such as Scientology, New Age, the Neopagans, the Sai Baba movement and Jihadist movements active in a post-9/11 context. An essential resource for students of religious studies, the history of religion, sociology, anthropology and the psychology of religion.

The Historical Jesus A Guide For The Perplexed

Author: Helen K. Bond
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0567125106
Size: 64.53 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The introduction to this new guide sets out the sources (Graeco-Roman, Jewish and Christian), noting the problems connected with them, paying particular attention to the nature of the gospels, and the Synoptic versus the Johannine tradition. A substantial section will discuss scholarship on Jesus from the nineteenth century to the explosion of works in the present day, introducing and explaining the three different 'quests' for the historical Jesus. Subsequent chapters will analyse key themes in historical Jesus research: Jesus' Galilean origins; the scope of his ministry and models of 'holy men', particularly that of prophet; Jesus' teaching and healing; his trial and crucifixion; the highly contentious question of his resurrection; and finally an exploration of the links between the Jesus movement and the early church. Throughout, the (often opposing) positions of a variety of key scholars will be explained and discussed (eg. Sanders, Crossan, Dunn, Wright, Brown).