Brings together an international team of experts to offer the first book of its kind on the subject of Eastern Christianity
Contributes to our understanding of recent political events in the Middle East and Eastern Europe by providing much needed background information
May be used alongside The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (1999) for a complete student resource
Examines the main approaches to the study of religion: anthropology, the comparative method, economics, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology.
Also covers a diverse range of topical issues, such as the body, fundamentalism, magic, and new religious movements
Consists of 24 essays written by an outstanding team of international scholars
Reviews, within each chapter, an outline of a particular subfield and traces its development up to the present day
Debates how the discipline may look in the future
Represents all the major issues, methods and positions in the field
Demonstrates that Christian theology is inherently political and shows how theology impacts on present-day political issues.
Considers the interface of theology with political ideologies, including the contribution of theology to feminist, ecological, black and pacifist movements.
Assesses the contribution of the major political theologians and theological movements.
Explores the political aspects of Christian sources such as scripture and liturgy.
Lao Tsu’s philosophy is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides everything without requiring payment or thanks. It does so without discrimination. So let us present the same face to everyone and treat them all as equals, however they may behave. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop “trying,” if we stop putting in so much extra effort, if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. Te—which may be translated as “virtue” or “strength”—lies always in Tao meaning “the way” or “natural law.” In other words: Simply be.
Offers a complete overview of the life, writings and legacy of one of the key figures of Christianity The essays compass the major themes of Paul's life and work, as well as his impact through the centuries on theology, Church teaching, social beliefs, art, literature, and contemporary intellectual thought Edited by one of the leading figures in the field of Pauline Studies The contributors include a range of world-renowned academics
The first comprehensive reference work to provide a survey, description and analysis of practical theology as an area of study A range of leading scholars in the field provide original contributions on the major areas, issues, and figures in practical theology Reviews an extensive range of methods for studying theology in practice, along with sub-disciplines in theological education such as pastoral care and preaching Covers developments in the discipline in a range of global contexts and distinct Christian traditions Shows how practical theology is relevant to everyday life
Engages its readers in an informed and informative conversation about Roman Catholic life and thought
Embraces the local and the global, the past and the present, life and the afterlife, and a broad range of institutions and activities
Considers both what is distinctive about Catholic life and thought, and how Catholicism overlaps with and transforms other ways of thinking and living
Topics covered include: peacemaking, violence and wars; money, the vow of poverty and socio-economic life; art by and about Catholics; and men, women and sex
The so-called “Tibetan Book of the Dead” has been renowned for centuries as a cornerstone of Buddhist wisdom and religious thought. More recently, it has become highly influential in the Western world for its psychological insights into the processes of death and dying—and what they can teach us about the ways we live our lives. It has also been found to be helpful in the grieving process by people who have recently lost their loved ones.
Composed in the eighth century C.E., it is intended to prepare the soul for the trials and transformations of the afterworld. Its profound message is that the art of dying is as important as the art of living. Drawing on Tibetan spiritual traditions, it shows us the workings of the mind in its various manifestations—terrifying and comforting, wrathful and beautiful—which appear more clearly after death in the consciousness of the deceased. By recognizing these manifestations, we can attain a state of enlightenment, both in this existence and in the existence to come.
This authoritative translation preserves the form and spirit of the original and was prepared especially for Western readers by Robert A. F. Thurman, one of the most prominent Tibetan scholars in America and a close associate of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s.
The first publication to offer a comparative study of social justice for each of the major world religions, exploring viewpoints within Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism Offers a unique and enlightening volume for those studying religion and social justice - a crucially important subject within the history of religion, and a significant area of academic study in the field Brings together the beliefs of individual traditions in a comprehensive, explanatory, and informative style All essays are newly-commissioned and written by eminent scholars in the field Benefits from a distinctive four-part organization, with sections on major religions; religious movements and themes; indigenous people; and issues of social justice, from colonialism to civil rights, and AIDS through to environmental concerns
With essays on “cosmic consciousness” (including Alan Watts’ account of his own ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and consciousness; and the false opposition of spirit and matter, This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience is a truly mind-opening collection.
The latest edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Buddhism updates one of Alpha Books's most successful books in the religion/spirituality category, providing extensive information on both understanding the teachings and schools of Buddhism and incorporating the tenets of Buddhism into everyday life. It also includes additional information on Buddhism's effect on popular arts and sciences, the continuing relevance of the Dalai Lama, and an annotated bibliography.
- With Buddhism as one of America's fastest growing religions, the audience continues to renew itself
- Covers all four schools of Buddhism: Zen,Tibetan, Pure Land, and Insight Meditation, which are not in competitors' books
- For thousands of years, Buddhism has been a source of inner peace and security for millions
Download a sample chapter.
Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic. In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.
Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it while many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, their most difficult emotions. Both, Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life and can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change. When we regard trauma with this perspective, understanding that suffering is universal and without logic, our pain connects us to the world on a more fundamental level. The way out of pain is through it.
Epstein’s discovery begins in his analysis of the life of Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother informed his path and teachings. The Buddha’s spiritual journey can be read as an expression of primitive agony grounded in childhood trauma. Yet the Buddha’s story is only one of many in The Trauma of Everyday Life. Here, Epstein looks to his own experience, that of his patients, and of the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist. They are alike only in that they share in trauma, large and small, as all of us do. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, if it doesn’t destroy us, wakes us up to both our minds’ own capacity and to the suffering of others. It makes us more human, caring, and wise. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself, and it is available to all of us.
Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from Tibetan caves to Tokyo temples to redwood retreats. To an outside viewer, it might be hard to see what they all have in common. In Buddhism, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and American Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron map out with clarity the convergences and the divergences between the two major strains of Buddhism--the Sanskrit traditions of Tibet and East Asia and the Pali traditions of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Especially deep consideration is given to the foundational Indian traditions and their respective treatment of such central tenets as the four noble truths the practice of meditation the meaning of nirvana enlightenment. The authors seek harmony and greater understanding among Buddhist traditions worldwide, illuminating the rich benefits of respectful dialogue and the many ways that Buddhists of all stripes share a common heritage and common goals.
the Bhagavad Gītā that promotes religious inclusion.
Bhagavad Gītā is an acknowledged treasure of world spiritual literature, few
people know a parallel text, the Īśvara Gītā. This lesser-known work is also
dedicated to a god, but in this case it is Śiva, rather than Kṛṣṇa, who is
depicted as the omniscient creator of the world. Andrew J. Nicholson’s Lord
Śiva’s Song makes this text available in English in an accessible new
translation. A work of both poetry and philosophy, the Īśvara Gītā builds on the
insights of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra and foreshadows later developments in tantric
yoga. It deals with the pluralistic religious environment of early medieval
India through an exploration of the relationship between the gods Śiva and
Viṣṇu. The work condemns sectarianism and violence and provides a strategy for
accommodating conflicting religious claims in its own day and in our
“This is an excellent introduction to, and a sound scholarly
translation of, a foundational text. Andrew J. Nicholson is a first-rate
scholar.” — Andrew O. Fort, author of Jīvanmukti in Transformation: Embodied
Liberation in Advaita and Neo-Vedanta
Challenges Western misconceptions about the modern Muslim world in general and the Arab world in particular.
Consists of 36 important essays written by contemporary Muslim thinkers and scholars.
Covers issues such as Islamic tradition, modernity, globalization, feminism, the West, the USA, reform, and secularism.
Helps readers to situate Islamic intellectual history in the context of Western intellectual trends.
White Fire is 800 gleaming sparks of wisdom from world-renowned Advaita Zen master Mooji’s essential spiritual teachings. Mooji’s approach is direct and immediate, combining deep spiritual wisdom with revealing self-inquiry. Each one of the quotes and sayings in this brilliant collection has the power to ignite a burning flame within your heart, clear away confusion and doubt, and reveal your true nature as perfect and timeless Being. Divided into five sections, and replete with color photos and Mooji’s mystical ink drawings, White Fire is an unsparing light for complete Self-realization.
In Mooji’s own words, “Only when the ego is slain by the white fire of pure seeing will the light be set free—the light that illumines the whole world.”
Düdjom Lingpa (1835–1904) was one of the foremost tantric masters of nineteenth-century Tibet, and his powerful voice resonates strongly among Buddhist practitioners today. The Vajra Essence is Düdjom Lingpa’s most extended meditation on the path of Great Perfection, in many senses a commentary on all his other Dzogchen works. Dzogchen, the pinnacle of practice in the Nyingma school, is a radical revelation of the pure nature of consciousness that is delivered from master to disciple and perfected in a meditation that permeates every moment of our experience.
Revealed to Düdjom Lingpa as a visionary “treasure” text in 1862, the Vajra Essence takes the reader through seven stages of progressively deeper practice, from “taking the impure mind as the path” up to the practice of “direct crossing over” (tögal). The longest of Düdjom Lingpa’s five visionary works on Dzogchen, readers will find this a rich and masterful evocation of the enlightened experience. This is the first translation of this seminal work in any Western language, and B. Alan Wallace, with his forty-five-plus years of extensive learning and deep meditative experience, is one of the most accomplished translators of Tibetan texts into English.
Pose a question, then toss three coins (or cast your yarrow stalks) to access the time-honored wisdom of the I Ching.
The I Ching, or Book of Change, has been consulted through the ages, in both China and the West, for answers to fundamental questions about the world and our place in it. The oldest extant book of divination, it dates back three thousand years to ancient shamanistic practices involving the ritual preparation of the shoulder bones of oxen. From this early form of communication with the other world, it has become the Chinese spiritual book par excellence. An influence on such cultural icons as Bob Dylan, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Philip K. Dick, and Philip Pullman, the I Ching is turned to by millions around the world for insights on spiritual growth, business, medicine, genetics, game theory, strategic thinking, and leadership, and of course for the window it opens on China.
This new translation, over a decade in the making, is informed by the latest archaeological discoveries and features a gorgeously rendered codex of divination signs—the I Ching’s sixty-four Tarot-like hexagrams. It captures the majesty and mystery of this legendary work and charts an illuminating path to self-knowledge.
RELIGION/ EASTERN STUDIES
This translation of the Chinese classic, which was first published twenty-five years ago, has sold more copies than any of the others. It offers the essence of each word makes Lao Tsu's teaching immediate and alive.
The philosophy of Lao Tsu is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides for all without discrimination—therefore let us present the same face to everyone and treat all men as equals, however they may be have. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. We will come to appreciate the original meaning of the word "understand," which means "to stand under." We serve whatever or whoever stands before us, without any thought for ourselves. Te—which may be translated as "virtue" or "strength"—lies always in Tao, or "natural law." In other words: Simply be.
In Paths to God, Ram Dass brings the heart of that system to light for a Western audience and translates the Gita’s principles into the manual for living the yoga of contemporary life.
While being a guide to the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, Paths to God is also a template for expanding our definition of ourselves and allowing us to appreciate a new level of meaning in our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
Shinto is an ancient spiritual tradition, primarily practiced in Japan, which is now spreading its traditions to the western world. Its primordial rituals and traditions touch a deep chord within one's spiritual self. Shinto's focus on divinity of all beings and of all creation, on living with gratitude and humility, and on purification and lustration of one's self and environment will bring light and joy to any reader.
The purpose of prayer and ritual as practiced in the Shinto tradition, is to reinsert ourselves into a divine state of being, not as a new position, but as an acknowledgement and reinforcement of what already exists. Ritual restores sensitive awareness to our relationship to the universe. Through purification and removal of impurities and blockages, we return to our innate internal brightness and cultivate a demeanor of gratitude and joy.
Shinto rituals and prayers were created by ancient man over 2,000 years ago in a time when mankind was more intuitive about his relationship to this world. Because of this, the rites are archetypal and invoke deep emotion within the participants.
This book of prayers will introduce the western reader to the deep spirituality of Shinto, providing explanation of the spiritual tradition and practice and providing a collection of 22 prayers for use in personal meditation and devotions.
Order a perfect bound version of Shinto Norito
Features new essays on class, race, disability, gender, peace, and the virtues Includes a number of revised essays and a range of new authors The innovative and influential approach organizes ethical themes around the shape of Christian worship The original edition is the most successful to-date in the Companions to Religion series
Our unique edition of Dogen’s Genjo Koan (Actualization of Reality) contains three separate translations and several commentaries by a wide variety of Zen masters. Nishiari Bokusan, Shohaku Okamura, Shunryu Suzuki, Kosho Uchiyama. Sojun Mel Weitsman, Kazuaki Tanahashi, and Dairyu Michael Wenger all have contributed to our presentation of this remarkable work. There can be no doubt that understanding and integrating this text will have a profound effect on anyone’s life and practice.
In Bali, what you see—sekala—is a colorful world of ceremony, ritual, dance, and drama. What you don't see what is occult—niskala—is the doctrine underlying the pageants, the code underlying the rites, and the magic underlying the dance. In this book, author Fred Eiseman explores both tangibles and intangibles in the realm of Balinese religion, ritual, and performing arts.
The essays collected here topics ranging from Hindu mythology to modern gamelan music. Eiseman's approach is that of a dedicated reporter in love with his subject—he has the knowledge and patience to explain the near–infinite permutations of the Balinese calendar, and yet he is still moved by the majesty of the great Eka Dasa Rudra ceremony. The author's 28 years experience on the island shows and this book rewards close reading—even by the most seasoned students of Balinese culture.
No one is perfect – in fact, we all are perfectly imperfect. That is the paradoxical first lesson shared by Taro Gold in Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life. What is Wabi Sabi? A universal ideal of beauty, Wabi Sabi celebrates the basic, the unique, and the imperfect parts of our lives. Wabi Sabi is the comfortable joy you felt as a child, happily singing off key, creatively coloring outside the lines, and mispronouncing words with gusto. On a deeper level, Wabi Sabi is the profound awareness of our oneness with all life and the environment. It includes a deep awareness of the choices we make each day, the power we have to accept or reject each moment of our lives, and to find value in every experience.
Appreciate this and every moment, no matter how imperfect, for this moment is your life. When you reject this moment, you reject your life. You don't have to settle for this moment, you are free to steer a different course, but for now, this moment is yours, so be mindful to make the most of it."
Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life leads us to discover the true beauty of our lives, to know true joy here and now, to reveal the most powerfully positive sides of imperfection. Illustrated with stunning yet simple watercolor art, Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life is a beautiful keepsake that is sure to become a beloved resource for wisdom in the joy of living.
Open Your Mind, Open Your Life encourages and uplifts readers with more than 300 inspiring guideposts based on the timeless wisdom of Eastern thought. It's filled with sage advice on opening life to its inherent joy, including:
* Master your past in the present, or the past will master your future.
* Instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in theirs.
* True happiness in life is found always within.
* As water carves through stone, those who persevere will win.
* Turn your face to the sun and shadows will only fall behind you.
Open Your Mind, Open Your Life is richly illustrated with exquisite Far East-inspired patterns and original watercolor art. The book also includes profiles of great Buddhist and Eastern thinkers such as Nichiren, Lao-tzu, Confucius, and Mahatma Gandhi.
The book is divided into three sections: The origins and evolution of Kuan Yin in early China, Buddhism, Taoism, and shamanism. The myths and stories about Kuan Yin. Fresh translations of 100 Kuan Yin poems, which function as both literature and tools for divination and prophecy.The Kuan Yin Chronicles is for any Western reader who wants to connect with the ancient power of the Goddess in their lives.
In this elegant volume, Ames and Hall feature the original Chinese texts of the Dao de jing and translate them into crisp, chiseled English that reads like poetry. Each of the eighty-one brief chapters is followed by clear, thought-provoking commentary exploring the layers of meaning in the text. This new version of one of the world’s most influential documents will stand as both a compelling introduction to Daoist thought and as the classic modern English translation.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Rhodes uses these texts to develop a richly detailed portrait of Lakshmi, revealing unexpected dimensions of this enigmatic deity. Even as Lakshmi is best known as a goddess of wealth and well-being, she also maintains a strong esoteric presence, expressing herself as Siddhi, the magnificent Tantric goddess of spiritual power, and as Kundalini Shakti, the transformative cosmic force that exists within each individual. These identities express the “prosperity consciousness” that is the essential nature of the goddess and the divine source of all wealth. Invoking Lakshmi is not only a matter of calling upon the external form of the goddess but also of aligning one’s consciousness with the very essence of prosperity
Many of us seek inner peace and happiness, lasting self-realization and awakening, or a felt blissful oneness beyond the mere concept of unity. In our search for truth and enlightenment, we may find ourselves drawn deeply into sincere introspection or with a deep affinity for prayer as a means of self-discovery and communion with the Supreme.
Using language familiar to many spiritual traditions, including Christianity and Sufism, this book bridges the seeming divide between devotion and non-dual self-inquiry. This beautiful collection can be read start to finish or opened to any page for insight into the moment—perfect for both the spiritual seeker with an interest in non-duality or one who is drawn to devotion and the power of prayer.
Including over 100 powerful prayers and blessings, complemented by Mooji’s drawings and handwritten sayings throughout, The Mala of God provides wisdom and inspiration that sets your heart free.
In Chinese Symbolism & Art Motifs Fourth Edition, scholar C.A.S. Williams offers concise explanations of the essential symbols and motifs relevant to Chinese literature, arts & crafts, and architecture. This reference book has been a standard among students of Chinese culture and history since 1941 and, in its Fourth Edition, has been completely reset with Pinyin pronunciation of Chinese names and words.
Organized alphabetically, enhanced by over 400 illustrations, and clearly written for accessibility across a variety of fields, this book not only explains symbols and motifs essential to any designer, art collector, or historian, but delves into ancient customs in religion, food, agriculture, and medicine.
Some of the symbols and motifs explicated are: The Eight Immortals The Five Elements The Dragon The Phoenix Yin and YangWith Chinese Symbolism & Art Motifs, you can access hidden insights into the intentions behind works of Chinese craftsmanship, and the thorough explanations of each symbol accompanied by the historical origins from which they arose. It will complement your existing knowledge of any area of Chinese culture, or help you confidently explore new topics within the realm of Asian art and history.
Don't wait until your next life to experience Zen! 'The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Buddhism' reveals the essence of Buddhist thought from its inception in the Far East to its growing devotees in the West. In this 'Pocket Idiot's Guide', you get:
-The life of Siddhartha, better known as the Buddha; the founder of Buddhism.
-The basic Buddhist belief system, including the Three Marks of Existence, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path.
-Fully explained concepts such as Zen, karma, dharma, and sutras.
-The history of the various Buddhist sects and their important influence.
High has done several years of fieldwork in Mongolia, spending time with the "ninjas," as the miners are known locally, as well as the people who disapprove of their illegal activities and warn of the retribution that the land and its inhabitants may suffer as a result. This book is about radical change, or as many Mongolians put it, when life becomes "strange" and "chaotic." High has gained a deep understanding of the processes by which Mongolians square a morally questionable activity with the lure of profit. How do they involve themselves with tainted sources of money, and can it ever be cleansed and made usable? Addressing how our lives and those of others are intimately intertwined, Fear and Fortune offers an expansive and capacious approach to understanding the high stakes involved in human economic life.