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At the beginning of this new millennium there is an increasing tension between the doctrines of both orthodox Christianity and Judaism, and the changing beliefs of modern society. This is particularly noticeable in such areas as the role of women, the human relationship with God, and life after death, as new ideas clash with religious dogmas that, based upon a literal acceptance of the Creation Story in Genesis, suggest the inferiority of women, the inherent sinfulness of humanity, an active Devil, and an everlasting Hell.

When this ancient Hebrew Paradisial tale is considered as a myth, however, rather than historical fact, and interpreted from the perspective of what the Jewish mystics (kabbalists) say was the original intent, then all the weak and demeaning ideas are removed. When Adam, Eve, the serpent, tree, etc., are read as archetypal figures an entirely different meaning is revealed that removes the confusion which is contributing to the existing tensions in society.

This understanding presents a new, constructive look at Scripture for a wide audience of both Christian and Jewish women and men as well as those who are outside those two faiths with the exception of the most orthodox Jews, and those fundamentalist Christians who insist on a literal reading of the Bible.

The Female, the Tree, and Creation,

1) explains the original meaning of the Adam and Eve tale as interpreted by Jewish kabbalists,

2) traces the themes of the Creation Story (e.g. the role of women, human relationship with God, sin, evil, etc.), through Judaism and early Christianity, and their evolvement in public consciousness, orthodox religion, and other spiritual teachings, up to the present time,

3) shows the practical value of Kabbalah in helping to resolve the controversies of today, irrespective of ones cultural or religious background, and

4) interprets historical trends to logically suggest the likely direction of mans consciousness and institutionalized religion in the 21st century.

5) This manuscript is enhanced by separate Introductions from Rabbi Gelberman (New York), and Dr. Carol Parrish-Harra, President, Sancta Sophia Seminary (Oklahoma).

6) The length of the manuscript is approximately 66,000 words, and consists of six chapters and an Appendix. A condensed outline follows.

Chapter One: The Significance of Myth:

Uses illustrative stories to explain the value of myth, and how the Creation Story fits a mythical pattern.

Chapter Two: Symbols in the Adam and Eve Story

An in-depth explanation and historical background of the various symbols (Tree, Serpent, etc.) that appear in this story.

Chapter Three: The Source:

The source of the Creation Story symbols, particularly the female and the serpent.

I.. Moses and Egypt

II. Mythic Formation.

How and why the Creation Story was constructed along the lines of kabbalstic mysticism to covertly deliver a message of the sacredness of the female, the divinity of humanity, and the nature of sin and evil.

Chapter Four: Jewish Mysticism and the Creation Story:

I. Jewish Mysticism.

Explains Jewish mysticism, traces the early evolvement of Kabbalah, and explains the kabbalists concept of the Sefirot.

II. The Sefirot and Creation:

An in-depth explanation of Kabbalah as it relates to the Creation Story to show the original, intended meaning of this tale.

Chapter Five: Sin, Guilt and Evil.

I. Jewish Thought.

II. Christian Thought.

The why and how the sense of sin, guilt and evil that pervades the theological presentation of the Creation Story became a part of Jewish and Christian thought. The viewpoint of Jewish and Christian mysticism.

Chapter Six: Past, Present and Future.

I. Cyclical Changes

.

Comparison of the radical disruption of traditional religious ways that to

Although research on contemporary pilgrimage has expanded considerably since the early 1990s, the conversation has largely been dominated by Anglophone researchers in anthropology, ethnology, sociology, and religious studies from the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Northern Europe. This volume challenges the hegemony of Anglophone scholarship by considering what can be learned from different national, linguistic, religious and disciplinary traditions, with the aim of fostering a global exchange of ideas. The chapters outline contributions made to the study of pilgrimage from a variety of international and methodological contexts and discuss what the ‘metropolis’ can learn from these diverse perspectives. While the Anglophone study of pilgrimage has largely been centred on and located within anthropological contexts, in many other linguistic and academic traditions, areas such as folk studies, ethnology and economics have been highly influential. Contributors show that in many traditions the study of ‘folk’ beliefs and practices (often marginalized within the Anglophone world) has been regarded as an important and central area which contributes widely to the understanding of religion in general, and pilgrimage, specifically. As several chapters in this book indicate, ‘folk’ based studies have played an important role in developing different methodological orientations in Poland, Germany, Japan, Hungary, Italy, Ireland and England. With a highly international focus, this interdisciplinary volume aims to introduce new approaches to the study of pilgrimage and to transcend the boundary between center and periphery in this emerging discipline.
Despite the forces of secularization in Europe, old pilgrimage routes are attracting huge numbers of people and given new meanings in the process. In pilgrimage, religious or spiritual meanings are interwoven with social, cultural and politico-strategic concerns. This book explores three such concerns under intense debate in Europe: gender and sexual emancipation, (trans)national identities in the context of migration, and European unification and religious identifications in a changing religious landscape. The interdisciplinary contributions to this book explore a range of such controversies and issues including: Africans renewing family ties at Lourdes, Swedish women at midlife or young English men testing their strength on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, New Age pilgrims and sexuality, Saints’ festivals in Spain and Brittany, conservative Catholics challenging Europe’s liberal policies on abortion, Polish migrants and French Algerians reconfiguring their transnational identity by transporting their familiar Madonna to their new home, new sacred spaces created such as the shrine of Our Lady of Santa Cruz, traditional Christian saints such as Mary Magdalene given new meanings as new age goddess, and foundation legends of shrines revived by new visionaries. Pilgrimage sites function as nodes in intersecting networks of religious discourses, geographical routes and political preoccupations, which become stages for playing out the boundaries between home and abroad, Muslims and Christians, pilgrimage and tourism, Europe and the world. This book shows how the old routes of Europe are offering inspirational opportunities for making new journeys.
Effective communication with the African society in the field of missions, church planting, and social development work has been and continues to be a great challenge, particularly to people from western cultural and language orientation. Africans are a "we" rather than "I" and a "depended on" rather than "independent of" society. The worldview of a traditional African in terms of society, relationships, and communication is communal. Certainly, the African perception of communalism affects how they communicate with the people of different cultural orientation.
Africa has several cultures and people differ in their communication depending on their cultural orientation. However, there are universal African cultures that act as a framework for understanding key aspects of communication with Africans for successful missions, church planting, and social development work. This book, therefore, provides a strategy of understanding communication with the African society.
The discussions in this book provide readers with different cultural orientations unique perception of the African society as s/he may be planning to communicate with the African society for missions, church planting, and social development work, even doing humanitarian ministry in African society.
Although literacy levels have improved tremendously in most African countries, most of Africa is not a reading society. It is imperative to understand that most Africans still communicate orally and are not time conscious. Hence, effective communication in African societies ought to be based on storytelling rather than literature distribution, although this is in transition. In fact, Africans are oratory and good listeners. Thus, this book provides an understanding to people of different cultural orientations when they plan to communicate with the people in Africa.
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