An adaptation of the biblical life of Jesus Christ, as re-imagined in a contemporary South African setting. While battles are being fought between a small fictional African nation and the much larger neighboring country that has invaded it, a couple has a child who will become an emissary of peace.
New Books on Philosophy & Religion - November List
Examining the diverse religious texts and practices of the late Hellenistic and Roman periods, this collection of essays investigates the many meanings and functions of ritual sacrifice in the ancient world. The essays survey sacrificial acts, ancient theories, and literary as well as artistic depictions of sacrifice, showing that any attempt to identify a single underlying significance of sacrifice is futile. Sacrifice cannot be defined merely as a primal expression of violence, despite the frequent equation of sacrifice to religion and sacrifice to violence in many modern scholarly works; nor is it sufficient to argue that all sacrifice can be explained by guilt, by the need to prepare and distribute animal flesh, or by the communal function of both the sacrificial ritual and the meal. As the authors of these essays demonstrate, sacrifice may be invested with all of these meanings, or none of them.
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While a rational consciousness grasps many truths, Gananath Obeyesekere believes an even richer knowledge is possible through a bold confrontation with the stuff of visions and dreams. Spanning both Buddhist and European forms of visionary experience, he fearlessly pursues the symbolic, nonrational depths of such phenomena, reawakening the intuitive, creative impulses that power greater understanding. Throughout his career, Obeyesekere has combined psychoanalysis and anthropology to illuminate the relationship between personal symbolism and religious experience. In this book, he begins with Buddha's visionary trances wherein, over the course of four hours, he witnesses hundreds of thousands of his past births and eons of world evolution, renewal, and disappearance.
"Friendship was recognized as a central moral value in the classical period, but it was dismissed from medieval, modern, and twentieth century moral theories. This book argues that this dismissal is unjustifiable. The validity of this claim is established in four steps.
What is happiness? How is it related to morality and virtue? Does living with illusion promote or diminish happiness? Is it better to pursue happiness with a partner than alone? Philosopher Mike W. Martin addresses these and other questions as he connects the meaning of happiness with the philosophical notion of "the good life." Defining happiness as loving one's life and valuing it in ways manifested by ample enjoyment and a deep sense of meaning, Martin explores the ways in which happiness interacts with all other dimensions of good lives--in particular with moral decency and goodness, authenticity, mental health, self-fulfillment, and meaningfulness. He interweaves a variety of examples from memoirs, novels, and films along the way, connecting his discussion of the philosophical issues to related topics that interest all of us: virtue, love, philanthropy, suffering, simplicity, balancing work and leisure, and much more.
In recent years, philosophers have grown increasingly aware that epistemic excellence has a personal dimension that it involves not merely the possession of will functioning cognitive faculties like vision and memory, but also various intellectual character virtues like curiosity reflectiveness, open-mindedness, fair-mindedness and intellectual courage, honesty, carefulness, and rigor. This insight has spawned the field of æresponsibilistÆ or character based virtue epistemology.
Does empathy help us to be moral? The author argues that empathy is often instrumental to meeting the demands of morality as defined by various ethical theories. This multi-faceted work links psychological research on empathy with ethical theory and contemporary trends in moral education.
In The Power of Parable, top Bible scholar John Dominic Crossan carefully dissects the stories we read in the gospels to get back to what Jesus actually intended to teach. Parables became so important for Jesus's teaching that his followers also used this form to explain Jesus's own life, ministry, and accomplishments. Each gospel, then, is really a book-length "megaparable" about Jesus of Nazareth. Crossan also shows how these four gospel writers ended up undermining Jesus's true message of God's kingdom-that of bringing peace and justice for all. Book jacket.
We explain what people think and do by citing their reasons, but how do such explanations work, and what do they tell us about the nature of reality? Contemporary efforts to address these questions are often motivated by the worry that our ordinary conception of rationality contains a kernel of supernaturalism-a ghostly presence that meditates on sensory messages and orchestrates behavior on the basis of its ethereal calculations. In shunning this otherworldly conception, contemporary philosophers have focused on the project of “naturalizing” the mind, viewing it as a kind of machine that converts sensory input and bodily impulse into thought and action. Eric Marcus rejects this choice between physicalism and supernaturalism as false and defends a third way.
In July 1999, a mere seven years after the founding of the religious movement known as the Falun Gong, the Chinese government banned it. Falun Gong is still active in other countries, and its suppression has become a primary concern of human rights activists and is regularly discussed in dealings between the Chinese government and its Western counterparts. But while much has been written on Falun Gong’s relation to political issues, no one has analyzed in depth what its practitioners actually believe and do. The Religion of Falun Gongremedies that omission, providing the first serious examination of Falun Gong teachings. Benjamin Penny argues that in order to understand Falun Gong, one must grasp the beliefs, practices, and texts of the movement and its founder, Li Hongzhi. Contextualizing Li’s ideas in terms of the centuries-long Chinese tradition of self-cultivation and the cultural world of 1980s and ’90s China-particularly the upwelling of biospiritual activity and the influx of translated works from the Western New Age movement-Penny shows how both have influenced Li’s writings and his broader view of the cosmos.
Ancient philosophers had always been fascinated by religion. From the first century BC onwards, the traditionally more hostile attitude of Greek and Roman philosophy was abandoned in favour of the view that religion was a source of philosophical knowledge. This book studies that change, not from the perspective of the history of religion, as is usual, but understands it as part of the wider tendency of Post-Hellenistic philosophy to open up to external, non-philosophical sources of knowledge and authority. It situates two key themes, ancient wisdom and cosmic hierarchy, in the context of Post-Hellenistic philosophy and traces their reconfigurations in contemporary literature and in the polemic between Jews, Christians and pagans.
Losing weight and changing your sexual orientation are both notoriously difficult to do successfully. Yet many faithful evangelical Christians believe that thinness and heterosexuality are godly ideals—and that God will provide reliable paths toward them for those who fall short.Seeking the Straight and Narrowis a fascinating account of the world of evangelical efforts to alter our strongest bodily desires. Drawing on fieldwork at First Place, a popular Christian weight-loss program, and Exodus International, a network of ex-gay ministries, Lynne Gerber explores why some Christians feel that being fat or gay offends God, what exactly they do to lose weight or go straight, and how they make sense of the program’s results—or, frequently, their lack.
Wittgenstein presents a concise, comprehensive, and systematic treatment of Ludwig Wittgenstein′s thought from his early work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, to the posthumous publication of On Certainty , notes written just prior to his death. A substantial scholarly addition to our understanding of one of the most original and influential thinkers of the twentieth century, by renowned Wittgenstein scholar, Hans Sluga Proposes an original new interpretation of Wittgenstein′s work Written to also be accessible to readers unfamiliar with Wittgenstein′s thought Includes discussion of the social and political background and contemporary relevance of Wittgenstein′s thoughts