The Vatican. The Inquisition. Contraception. Celibacy. Apparitions and miracles. Plots and scandals. The Catholic Church is seldom out of the news. But what do its one billion adherents really believe, and how do they put their beliefs into practice in worship, the family, and society? This down-to-earth account goes back to the early Christian creeds to uncover the roots of modern Catholic thinking. It avoids getting bogged down in theological technicalities, and throws light on aspects of the Church's institutional structure and liturgical practice that even Catholics can find baffling: why go to confession? How are people made saints? What is 'infallible' about the Pope? Topics addressed include: • scripture and tradition • sacraments and prayer • popular piety • personal and social morality • reform, mission, and inter-religious dialogue Lawrence Cunningham, a theologian, prize-winning writer and university teacher, provides an overview of Catholicism today which will be indispensable for undergraduates and lay study groups.
The Encyclopedia of World Religions ~
Nearly 500 entries cover topics from prehistoric and ancient religions, major contemporary world religions, concepts, symbols, and personages. The entries for major religions are the longest, covering two or three pages and subdivided into sections that discuss history, beliefs, practices, organizations, and significance. The form is a traditional alphabetical arrangement of entries. As such, it's not bad, but is it the best way to introduce young readers to the variety and complexity of religions of the world? The entries for Christianity and Hinduism, among others, are extremely succinct and packed with see references, forcing the reader to flip from one entry to another. There are longer, more comprehensive entries available in The World Book Encyclopedia, to name just one example. The alphabetical arrangement, though useful from a ready-reference standpoint, does not allow for a synthesis of the history, people, and ideas of religious traditions and may not be the best format for satisfying the curiosity of young readers. Facts On File's own Encyclopedia of World Faiths: An Illustrated Survey of the World's Living Religions (New York, 1987) is better in this regard.
Many entries begin with a dictionary-like definition that attempts to capture the content of the entry in a single headline. Prayer is defined as "communication with a religious being, such as a god, spirit, ancestor, or saint." That's pretty good. But the entry for Religion, Definition of begins with the redundant phrase "explaining what religion is." Judaism in America is defined as "the practice of Judaism in the Western Hemisphere." The use of language in this work often suggests an attempt at simplification gone wrong. Although designed for young adults, the authors could have written the text in a way that would challenge readers, all the while remaining accessible to them.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead ~
This book is the first English language translation of the famous Tibetan death text, "The Great Liberation upon Hearing in the Intermediate State." Also known as the "Bardo Thodol" which means "liberation by hearing on the after death plane", it was originally written in the Tibetan language and is meant to be a guide for those who have died as they transition from their former life to a new destination.
The "God" Part of the Brain ~
"A Cogent and Engaging Exploration into the Biological Foundations of Spirituality." -- David C. Noelle, Ph.D. -Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon
"Brilliant...Enormously important...Full of scientific and philosophical truths." -- Mark Waldman, Senior Editor of Transpersonal Review
"Brilliant...Provocative" -- Arnold Sadwin, M.D.; Chief of Neuropsychiatry at University of Pennsylvania's Grad. Hospital; Who's Who in Science, 1995; In Medicine, 1996
"Clear, Concise...Bold and Masterful" -- William Wright, Author of Born That Way
"Excellent Reading for every college student--The resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education." -- Edward O. Wilson; Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
Mysticism in the Worlds Religions ~
This wide-ranging book covers all the major religious traditions, while exploring monistic and theistic mysticism, and such key issues as altered states of consciousness, sex, and visionary experiences. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Concise Dictionary of Religion ~
Irving Hexham offers readers access to information on over 2,000 topics related to religion, including Christianity, Judaism, other major and minor religious traditions worldwide, cults, new religions, modern worldviews, and the contemporary study of religion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
PLUS! as a big_dad_e BONUS: The Egyptian Book of the Dead
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