'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 forms it has taken, the Jewish people have believed themselves bound to God by the same covenant for ..
For curious readers young and old, a rich and colorful history of religion from humanity's earliest days to our own contentious times In an era of hardening religious attitudes and explosive religious violence, this book offers a welcome antidote. Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion-from the dawn of religious belief to the twenty-first century-with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy. Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young reade..
'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 are to him, and how we experience life, death, relationships, the church and the world. Ideal for pri..
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 in a largely secular society, as a philosophical treatise, a work of literature, and a cultural touchs..
A groundbreaking new portrait of the apostle Paul, from one of today's leading historians of antiquity Often seen as the author of timeless Christian theology, Paul himself heatedly maintained that he lived and worked in history's closing hours. His letters propel his readers into two ancient worlds, one Jewish, one pagan. The first was incandescent with apocalyptic hopes, expecting God through his messiah to fulfill his ancient promises of redemption to Israel. The second teemed with ancient ac..
Winner of the 2017 American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the European & World History category. Winner of the 2017 American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Excellence in Humanities category. Winner of the 2017 R.R. Hawkins Award given by the American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE). A lively, expansive history of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the momen..
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 world faiths, but has evolved through art, philosophy and science to serve as the mirror in which we ..
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 meticulous research, Bart Ehrman, an expert on Christian history, texts and traditions, explores th..
A compelling account of Christianity's Jewish beginnings, from one of the world's leading scholars of ancient religion How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God's promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus's prophecy-"The Kingdom of God is at hand!"-they were, in their own eyes, history's last generation. But in history's eyes, they became..
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, author of "Buddhism without Beliefs "and "After Buddhism"
In the tradition of C. S. Lewis s "A G..
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 modern classic, A Grief Observed has offered solace and insight to countless readers worldwide..
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 the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century and from San Fra..
The idea of a single devine being - God, Yahweh, Allah - has existed for over 4,000 years. But the history of God is also the history of human struggle. While Judaism, Islam and Christianity proclaim the goodness of God, organised religion has too often been the catalyst for violence and ineradicable prejudice.
In this fascinating, extensive and original account of the evolution of belief, Karen Armstrong examines Western society's unerring fidelity to this idea of One God and the many ..
WINNER OF THE 2019 DUFF COOPER PRIZE
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture. In the process, he has produced a masterpiece.' Sunday Times
The Bible is the central book of Western culture. For the two faiths which hold it sacred, it is the bedrock of their religion, a singular authority on what to believe and how to live. For non-believers too, it has a commanding status: it is one of the great works of world litera..
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 this way. Everyone in today's busy world needs it.
In Japan, cleanliness is next to enlightenment. ..
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 great mass of the semi-literate and illiterate, and the emergent middle classes - who stood outside the..
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 making and telling of stories - and why we still need it.
"Elegantly argued and consistently thought..
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, challenging the relationship between spiritual and secular authority, perceptions of the supernatural, th..
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 Hogan, Irish Times
'One of our very best public historians ... as this collection triumphantly confirm..
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 text, and explores its enduring influence on Western culture, from Renaissance art to Mel Gibson’s The ..
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.
Karen Armstrong begins her analysis with the origins of the very earliest books of the Hebrew Bible, in which God wa..
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 fundamental to the human project, examines the interaction of terrorism, declining world resources, en..
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 left posterity a model of the reflective life - the solitary, uncompromising individual, the enemy of..
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, despite preaching peace, was violent, ruthless and intolerant. And once it became the religion of em..
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 and polytheists alike. In both cases, the author shows, people turned first to supernatural powers. Acco..
In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts the question, "Did Jesus exist at all?" Ehrman vigorously defends the historical Jesus, identifies the most historically reliable sources for best understanding Jesus' mission and message, and offers a compelling portrait of the person at the heart of the Christian tradition.
Known as a master explainer with deep knowledge of the field, Bart Ehrman methodically demolishes both the scholarly and popular "mythicist" arguments ag..
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 and outline a form of early Christianity still drawing on the theology and traditions of its parent rel..
It is often said, even by critical scholars who should know better, that writing in the name of another was widely accepted in antiquity. But New York Times bestselling author Bart D. Ehrman dares to call it what it was: literary forgery, a practice that was as scandalous then as it is today. In Forged, Ehrman s fresh and original research takes readers back to the ancient world, where forgeries were used as weapons by unknown authors to fend off attacks to their faith and establish their church..
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 Sermon on the Mount...
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 in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the worl..
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 Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth is flat, nor did Columbus ‘prove’ that it is..
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 personalized, endowed with human traits and emotions, and eventually transformed into a single Divine Persona..
Beginning with metaphysical debates in the sixteenth century over the nature of Christ’s presence in the host, the distinguished historian and scholar of religion Robert Orsi imagines an alternative to the future of religion that early moderns proclaimed was inevitable.
The question of “real presence”—the Catholic doctrine of the literal, physical, embodied presence of Christ in the host—coincided with early modern global conquest and commerce and shaped how Europeans encountered the religions ..
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 Bakar, the first Caliph, and it was then recompiled in the original dialect by the third Caliph Uthman,..
New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.
The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very differe..
In this groundbreaking book, Selina O’Grady examines how and why the post-Christian and the Islamic worlds came to be as tolerant or intolerant as they are. She asks whether tolerance can be expected to heal today’s festering wound between these two worlds, or whether something deeper than tolerance is needed.
Told through contemporary chronicles, stories and poems, Selina O’Grady takes the reader through the intertwined histories of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish persecutors and persecuted. ..
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 media or in society as a whole, to describe Islam: precisely the question this short and extremely ac..
The bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus, one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world today examines oral tradition and its role in shaping the stories about Jesus we encounter in the New Testament—and ultimately in our understanding of Christianity.
Throughout much of human history, our most important stories were passed down orally—including the stories about Jesus before they became written down in the Gospels. In this fascinating and deeply researched work, le..
'An amazingly wide-ranging book, showing that the world's religious texts can be a force for good today' John Barton, author of A History of the Bible
In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. The Quran, the Torah and the Bible are often employed selectively to underwrite arbitrary and subjective views. They are believed to be divinely ordained; they are claimed to contain eternal truths.
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 wildfire. His attempts to reform Christianity by returning it to its biblical roots split the Western..
For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand––and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions. Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes.
In this compelling and fascinating book, Ehrman shows where and why ..
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, the closeness of God - that comprise the heart of his papacy. Written in conversation with Vatican ex..
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 Catholic and Protestant Churches can be reunited.
In this revised and updated edition he explains the O..
THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU to appreciate the depth and beauty of the dominant form of Christianity in Greece, Russia and much of Eastern Europe to understand the tenets, nature and holy days of Orthodox belief to recognize the physical features of an Orthodox church, and the spiritual significance of icons to know what to expect and how to conduct yourself during Orthodox services and ceremonies Orthodoxy is the dominant form of Christianity in Greece, Russia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Balkan..
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 did Christianity compare and compete with the pagan gods in the Roman Empire?
This scholarly work, fr..
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 of philosophy is concerned with arguments for and against religion, and what form an immortal god (..
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 birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was e..
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. Protestants is the story of the men and women who made and remade this quarrelsome faith by demanding ..
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 histories, key texts, prophets and essential teachings of the ancient and modern religions and their offs..