'An absolute godsend ... Goodman has done both Jews and non-Jews a great service with this book, encapsulating most of Jewish thought over four millennia into one extraordinarily readable volume' Julia Neuberger, Literary ReviewA panoramic history of Judaism from its origins to the presentJudaism is by some distance the oldest of the three Abrahamic religions. Despite the extraordinarily diverse f..
In Band of Angels, Kate Cooper tells the surprising story of early Christianity from the woman's point of view. Though they are often forgotten, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity's growth to become a world religion.
Peasants, empresses, and independent businesswomen contributed what they could to an emotional revolution unlike anything the ancient world ha..
'Prayer is God's gift to us, a banquet of good things to feed our inner life, as we respond to the invitation to his feast of peace, forgiveness, challenge and love.' If our lives are an open book to God, prayer is the dialogue we share with him over its pages. The Book of a Thousand Prayers is a collection of wise and honest prayers to God about his concerns and ours: who he is to us and who we a..
From the renowned historian, biographer, and novelist A. N. Wilson comes a literary, historical, and deeply personal exploration of the Bible.
In The Book of the People, A. N. Wilson explores how readers and thinkers have approached the Bible, and how it may be read today. Charting his own relationship with the Bible over a lifetime of writing,
Wilson argues that it remains relevant, even ..
Selected as a book of the year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times
What is it about Adam and Eve’s story that fascinates us? What does it tell us about how our species lives, dies, works or has sex?
The mythic tale of Adam and Eve has shaped conceptions of human origins and destiny for centuries. Stemming from a few verses in an ancient book, it became not just the foundation of three major..
How did Christianity become the dominant religion in the West?In the early first century, a small group of peasants from the backwaters of the Roman Empire proclaimed that an executed enemy of the state was God’s messiah. Less than four hundred years later it had become the official religion of Rome with some thirty million followers.It could so easily have been a forgotten sect of Judaism.Through..
The New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell, using his inspired and inquisitive approach, focuses on the most widely read book of all time. He provides surprising insights and answers about how the Bible actually works as a source of faith and guidance, showing a brand-new way of reading this sacred text.Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, go..
Amid the world-shattering pain of loss, what helps?
After the death of his beloved partner from cancer, Newland finds himself asking how effective his long years of Buddhist practice have been in helping him come to terms with overwhelming grief. This finely written book offers a lucid meditation on what it means to practice the Dharma when everything falls apart. Stephen Batchelor, aut..
In April 1956, C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, married Joy Davidman, an American poet with two small children. After four intensely happy years, Davidman died of cancer and Lewis found himself alone again, and inconsolable.
In response, he wrote this journal, freely confessing his pain, rage, and struggle to sustain his faith. In it he finds the way back to life. Now a mo..
Christianity, one of the world's great religions, has had an incalculable impact on human history. This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organisation and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.
Diarmaid MacCulloch ranges from Palestine in t..
Cleanliness is next to enlightenment. In this Japanese bestseller a Buddhist monk explains the traditional meditative techniques that will help cleanse not only your house - but your soul.
Live clean. Feel calm. Be happy.
We remove dust to sweep away our worldly cares. We live simply and take time to contemplate the self, mindfully living each moment. It's not just monks that need to live ..
What did people really believe in the Middle Ages? Much of our sense of the medieval period has come down to us from the writings of the learned: the abbots, priors, magnates, scholastic theologians and others who between them, and across Christendom, controlled the machinery of church and state. For G R Evans too much emphasis has been placed on a governing elite and too little on those - the g..
As long as we have been human, we have been mythmakers. In A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong holds up the mirror of mythology to show us the history of ourselves, and embarks on a journey that begins at a Neanderthal graveside and ends buried in the heart of the modern novel.
Surprising, powerful and profound, A Short History of Myth examines the world's most ancient art form - the mak..
When, in October 1517, Martin Luther pinned his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg he shattered the foundations of western Christendom. The Reformation of doctrine and practice that followed Luther's seismic action, and protest against the sale of indulgences, fragmented the Church and overturned previously accepted certainties and priorities. But it did more, cha..
The Reformation which engulfed England and Europe in the sixteenth century was one of the most highly-charged, bloody and transformative periods in their history, and has remained one of the most contested. In this dazzling book, Diarmaid MacCulloch explores a turbulent and endlessly fascinating era.
'A masterly take on the Reformation ... absorbing and compelling, full of insights' Linda Hog..
Britain's greatest religious historian chronicles the rise and rise of fundamentalism. One of the most potent forces bedevilling the modern world is religious extremism, and the need to understand it has never been greater. Focusing in detail on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism from sixteenth century Spain onwards and Muslim fundamentalism over the last four ..
From the language of Shakespeare to the US presidential campaign trail, the Bible’s influence is all around us. It is the most-printed book of all time, yet, upon reading it, we are met not by one work but by many: a complex mix of history and parable, law and prophecy.
In this authoritative and impartial introduction, Paula Gooder ably guides the reader in how to approach this multifaceted t..
The Bible is the most widely distributed book in the world. Translated into over two thousand languages, it is estimated that more than six billion copies have been sold in the last two hundred years alone. In this seminal account, Karen Armstrong traces the gestation of the Bible to reveal a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years.
A prophetic warning against the foolishness of crusades, John Gray's Black Mass challenges our belief in human progress.
Our conventional view of history is wrong. It is founded on a pernicious myth of an achievable utopia that in the last century alone caused the murder of tens of millions.
In Black Mass John Gray tears down the religious, political and secular beliefs that we insist are ..
This translation first appeared in a privately printed edition in 1904 (the translator remains anonymous). With an Introduction by Derek Matravers.
When it was first published in 1781, The Confessions scandalised Europe with its emotional honesty and frank treatment of the author's sexual and intellectual development. Since then, it has had a more profound impact on European thought. Rousseau..
In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey tells the little-known - and deeply shocking - story of how a militant religion deliberately tried to extinguish the teachings of the Classical world, ushering in unquestioning adherence to the 'one true faith'.
The Roman Empire had been generous in embracing and absorbing new creeds. But with the coming of Christianity, everything changed. This new faith..
Exploring the origins of Christianity, this book looks at why it was that people first in Judea and then in the Roman and Greek Mediterranean world became susceptible to the new religion. Robert Knapp looks for answers in a wide-ranging exploration of religion and everyday life from 200 BC to the end of the first century.
Survival, honour and wellbeing were the chief preoccupations of Jews an..
The writings in this volume cast a glimmer of light upon the emerging traditions and organization of the infant church, during an otherwise little-known period of its development. A selection of letters and small-scale theological treatises from a group known as the Apostolic Fathers, several of whom were probably disciples of the Apostles, they provide a first-hand account of the early Church a..
This book is the first to present the Christian Gnosis of the Kabbalah in a practical and deeply esoteric way. It takes the readers from the basic ideas of the Kabbalah to in-depth explorations of the Tree of Life. Gnostic legends and myths of Lazarus, Mary Magdalene and Jesus are woven into the study of the Holy Sefirot as well as commentaries on the Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes of the Ser..
There has been a bad-tempered quarrel between defenders and critics of religion in recent years. Both sides have expressed themselves acerbically because there is a very great deal at stake in the debate. This book thoroughly and calmly examines all the arguments and associated considerations offered in support of religious belief, and does so in full consciousness of the reasons people have for..
The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types.
His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether ..
This is a powerful and a thrilling narrative history revealing the roots of modern science in the medieval world. The adjective ‘medieval’ has become a synonym for brutality and uncivilized behavior. Yet without the work of medieval scholars there could have been no Galileo, no Newton and no Scientific Revolution. In “God’s Philosophers”, James Hannam debunks many of the myths about the Middle A..
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In God, Reza Aslan sheds new light on mankind’s relationship with the divine and challenges our perspective on the history of faith and the birth of religion.
From the origins of spiritual thought to the concept of an active, engaged, divine presence that underlies all creation, Aslan examines how the idea of god arose in human evolution, was gradually persona..
A biography of the historical figure of Jesus. The book studies the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, distinguishing the certain from the improbable, and assessing the historical and religious context of Christ's time. The spread of Christianity is also discussed.
The Holy Qur'an (also known as The Koran) is the sacred book of Islam. It is the word of God whose truth was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years. As it was revealed, so it was committed to memory by his companions, though written copies were also made by literate believers during the lifetime of the Prophet. The first full compilation was by Abu B..
The essential introduction to Islam by a leading expert
Hardly a day goes by without mention of Islam. And yet, for most people, and in much of the world, Islam remains a little-known religion. Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women's rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is - or is not. But little opportunity exists, either in the..
Written for both Christians and Muslims, for specialists as well as general readers, this book offers a study of Qur'anic teachings about the birth, life, work, death and resurrection of Jesus. Parrinder explores all ninety-three verses in the Qur'an in which Jesus is mentioned, setting them in the context of the work as a whole and drawing parallels with the Christian gospels, wherever possible..
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2017. SHORTLISTED FOR THE ELIZABETH LONGFORD PRIZE 2017. A New Statesman, Spectator, History Today, Guardian and Sunday Times Book of the Year.
When Martin Luther nailed a sheet of paper to the church door of a small university town in 1517, he set off a process that changed the Western world for ever. Within a few years Luther's ideas had spread like..
One of the most popular and beloved introductions to the concept of faith ever written, 'Mere Christianity' has sold millions of copies worldwide. The book brings together C.S. Lewis's legendary radio broadcasts during the war years, in which he set out simply to 'explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times'. Rejecting the boundaries that divide Chris..
The Name of God is Mercy, Pope Francis' exploration on the universal theme of mercy, is a spiritual inspiration to both followers of Christianity and non-Christians around the world.
Drawing on his own experience as a priest and shepherd, Pope Francis discusses mercy, a subject of central importance in his religious teaching and testimony, and in addition sums up other ideas - reconciliation,..
Ten years on from 9/11, much of the Muslim faith remains largely unknown and misunderstood in the West. While there have been a number of successful books on the topic of Islamic history - from Karen Armstrong's Islam: A Brief History to Bernard Lewis's The Crises of Islam - there is surprisingly no book for a popular audience about Islam as a religion, let alone one by an author from an Islamic..
Orthodoxy claims to be universal...' 'Since its first publication fifty years ago, Timothy Ware's book has become established throughout the English-speaking world as the standard introduction to the Orthodox Church. Orthodoxy continues to be a subject of enormous interest among western Christians, and the author believes that an understanding of its standpoint is necessary before the Roman Cath..
From the second century AD to the conversion of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, Robin Lane Fox's Pagans and Christians in the Mediterranean World gives a fascinating new perspective on an extraordinary era. The transition from pagan to Christian in the ancient Mediterranean world was a process whose effects we still live with today. How did this monumental conversion come about? How di..
A much-needed introductory level book on this widely studied subject. Isaac Asimov said that "whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse." Such quandaries are the bread and butter of philosophy of religion. Questioning why evil exists, whether God could create a stone he couldn't lift, and if the wonder of life suggests a Creator, this fascinating branch..
John Julius Norwich expertly examines the history of the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter to the present
Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable immorality. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave ..
On the 500th anniversary of Luther’s rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world.
Five hundred years ago Protestant Christianity began with one stubborn monk today, it includes a billion people across the globe.
The upheaval Martin Luther triggered inspired one of the most creative and destructive movements in human history. ..
What are the differences between Sunni and Shi'a, Catholic and Protestant, Buddhism and Confucianism? Who were Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and what did they really preach? Why are the concepts of karma, jihad and nirvana so important? And what do the religions of the world say about life, death and how we should act?
Answering these and many other critical questions, this book explains the his..
St Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. But as Karen Armstrong demonstrates in St Paul: The Misunderstood Apostle, he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the world than any other figure in history.
It was Paul who established the first Christian church..
From the world's leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, Geza Vermes' The Story of the Scrolls: The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls is an ideal introduction to understanding these ancient documents.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran, between 1947 and 1956, was one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time. Written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek,..
The cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire has traditionally been presented to us through its monuments and high arts. Our understanding of its culture has thus come from a world created by and for sultans, viziers and the elite of the Empire. But what of the world of the craftsmen and tradesmen who produced the monuments and artefacts? Or the townspeople who prayed in the mosques, drank water ..
The Talmud is one of the most significant religious texts in the world, second only to the Bible in its importance to Judaism. As the Bible is the word of God, The Talmud applies that word to the lives of its followers. In a range of styles including commentary, parables, proverbs and anecdotes, it provides guidance on all aspects of everyday life from ownership to commerce to relationships. Thi..
Translated with Notes by Arthur Waley. With an Introduction by Robert Wilkinson.
Dating from around 300BC, Tao Te Ching is the first great classic of the Chinese school of philosophy called Taoism. Within its pages is summed up a complete view of the cosmos and how human beings should respond to it. A profound mystical insight into the nature of things forms the basis for a humane morality an..