Against the common supposition that religion is on the retreat in late modernity except in fundamentalist forms, the author argues that religion in our time is a stimulus to religiously oriented scholarship, a civilizing force among world societies, a foundation for obligation in politics, a source for healthy social experimentation, and the most important mover of soul.
While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Simon Wiesenthal was taken one day from his work detail to the bedside of a dying member of the SS. Haunted by the crimes in which he had participated, the soldier wanted to confess to--and obtain absolution from--a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. But even years after the way had ended, he wondered: Had he done the right thing? What would you have done in his place?
In this important book, fifty-three distinguished men and women respond to Wiesenthal's questions. They are theologians, political leaders, writers, jurists, psychiatrists, human rights activists, Holocaust survivors, and victims of attempted genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, China and Tibet. Their responses, as varied as their experiences of the world, remind us that Wiesenthal's questions are not limited to events of the past.
With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.
For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.
While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred.
In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name.
Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time.
At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who would wish others only well. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though he himself a practicing Buddhist, the Dalai Lama's teachings and the moral compass that guides him can lead each and every one of us—Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist—to a happier, more fulfilling life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
McCarthy and Lysaught have crafted a distinctively unified collection. Gathered for the Journeyrepresents a common project among Catholic scholars who are struggling with similar questions about living faithfully.
Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt
William T. Cavanaugh
David M. Cloutier
James M. Donohue
Jeanne Heffernan Schindler
Kelly S. Johnson
M. Therese Lysaught
William C. Mattison III
David M. McCarthy
Michael R. Miller
Julie Hanlon Rubio
The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.
Each essay reveals deep insights into the impulses of the human heart and mind. The Chicago Post said of The Prophet: “Cadenced and vibrant with feeling, the words of Kahlil Gibran bring to one’s ears the majestic rhythm of Ecclesiastes . . . If there is a man or woman who can read this book without a quiet acceptance of a great man’s philosophy and a singing in the heart as of music born within, that man or woman is indeed dead to life and truth.”
With twelve full-page drawings by Gibran, this beautiful work makes an incredible gift for anyone seeking enlightenment and inspiration.
While agreeing with the claim that to remember a wrongdoing is to struggle against it, Volf notes that there are too many ways to remember wrongly, perpetuating the evil committed rather than guarding against it. In this way, the just sword of memory often severs the very good it seeks to defend. He argues that remembering rightly has implications not only for the individual but also for the wrongdoer and for the larger community.
Volfs personal stories of persecution offer a compelling backdrop for his search for theological resources to make memories a wellspring of healing rather than a source of deepening pain and animosity. Controversial, thoughtful, and incisively reasoned, "The End of Memory" begins a conversation hard to ignore.
“David Batstone is a heroic character.” —Bono
In the revised and updated version of this harrowing yet deeply inspirational exposé, award-winning journalist David Batstone gives the most up-to-date information available on the $31 billion human trafficking epidemic. With profiles of twenty-first century abolitionists like Thailand’s Kru Nam and Peru’s Lucy Borja, Batstone tells readers what they can do to stop the modern slave trade. Like Kevin Bales’ Disposable People and Ending Slavery, or E. Benjamin Skinner’s A Crime So Monstrous, Batstone’s Not for Sale is an informative and necessary manifesto for universal freedom.
The first trait to seek in a spouse (Day 17)
When, if ever, lying is permitted (Days 71-73)
Why acting cheerfully is a requirement, not a choice (Day 39)
What children don't owe their parents (Day 128)
Whether Jews should donate their organs (Day 290)
An effective but expensive technique for curbing your anger (Day 156)
How to raise truthful children (Day 298)
What purchases are always forbidden (Day 3)
In addition, Telushkin raises issues with ethical implications that may surprise you, such as the need to tip those whom you don't see (Day 109), the right thing to do when you hear an ambulance siren (Day 1), and why wasting time is a sin (Day 15). Whether he is telling us what Jewish tradition has to say about insider trading or about the relationship between employers and employees, he provides fresh inspiration and clear guidance for every day of our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages--with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first-ever gathering of the influential voices--past and present--that have shaped his side of the current (and raging) God/no-god debate. With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide, you'll be led through a wealth of philosophy, literature, and scientific inquiry, including generous portions of the words of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and many others well-known and lesser known. And they're all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens--"political and literary journalist extraordinaire" (Los Angeles Times)--can. Atheist? Believer? Uncertain? No matter: The Portable Atheist will speak to you and engage you every step of the way.
Can you be a committed Christian without having to condemn or convert people of other faiths? Is it possible to affirm other religious traditions without watering down your own?
In his most important book yet, widely acclaimed author and speaker Brian McLaren proposes a new faith alternative, one built on "benevolence and solidarity rather than rivalry and hostility." This way of being Christian is strong but doesn't strong-arm anyone, going beyond mere tolerance to vigorous hospitality toward, interest in, and collaboration with the other.
Blending history, narrative, and brilliant insight, McLaren shows readers step-by-step how to reclaim this strong-benevolent faith, challenging us to stop creating barriers in the name of God and learn how affirming other religions can strengthen our commitment to our own. And in doing so, he invites Christians to become more Christ-like than ever before.
More than a century ago, during the formative years of the American nation, Protestant churches carried powerful moral authority, giving voice to values such as mercy and compassion, while boldly standing against injustice and immorality. Gustav Niebuhr travels back to this defining period, to explore Abraham Lincoln's decision to spare the lives of 265 Sioux men sentenced to die by a military tribunal in Minnesota for warfare against white settlers—while allowing the hanging of 38 others, the largest single execution on American soil. Popular opinion favored death or expulsion. Only one state leader championed the cause of the Native Americans, Episcopal bishop, Henry Benjamin Whipple.
Though he'd never met an Indian until he was 37 years old, Whipple befriended them before the massacre and understood their plight at the hands of corrupt government officials and businessmen. After their trial, he pleaded with Lincoln to extend mercy and implement true justice. Bringing to life this little known event and this extraordinary man, Niebuhr pays tribute to the once amazing moral force of mainline Protestant churches and the practitioners who guarded America's conscience.
Lincoln's Bishop is illustrated with 16 pages of black-and-white photos.
He contends that the fundamental basis for this body of teaching comes from an anthropological perspective that recognizes both the inherent dignity and the social nature of the human person—thus do the church's teachings on political and economic matters chart a middle course between the two extremes of individualism and collectivism. The documents themselves tend to downplay any discontinuities with previous documents, but Curran's systematic analysis reveals the significant historical developments that have occurred over the course of more than a century. Although greatly appreciative of the many strengths of this teaching, Curran also points out the weaknesses and continuing tensions in Catholic social teaching today.
Intended for scholars and students of Catholic social ethics, as well as those involved in Catholic social ministry, this volume will also appeal to non-Catholic readers interested in an understanding and evaluation of Catholic social teaching.
*100% of the author royalties goes toward Christian ministries focused on spreading the Gospel and providing for those in need*
“John and Greg realize what everyone should know—that middle-class Americans are among the richest people in world history. It's time for Christ-followers to understand that God has bigger purposes than increasing our standard of living—He wants us to increase our standard of giving." —Randy Alcorn, from the Foreword of God and Money
John Cortines and Gregory Baumer met as Harvard MBA candidates in a men's Bible study and stopped asking "How much should I give?" and started asking "How much do I need to keep?" With their top-notch education and rising careers, Cortines and Baumer were guaranteed comfort and security for the rest of their lives. However, when their plans for saving and spending collided with God's purposes for extravagant generosity, they were each compelled to make a life-changing decision that challenges the values held by mainstream America and many Christian commentators. Cortines and Baumer show not only how to radically give, but explain how to do so responsibly.
Dive into the story and get equipped with the practical tools to—• Easily set budgets for spending • Wisely steward your money • Prepare and save for your future—home ownership, retirement, higher education, etc... • Know what the Bible says about money, tithing, and faith • Discern when to give and when not to give
Featuring lessons from the Bible, modern day case studies, and practical ways to apply biblical principles no matter what situation you're in, God and Money provides an incredible look into what the Bible says about—• Tithing and Christian giving • Wealth and stewardship • Faith and generosity • Love of money • And so much more!
From the parables of the Rich Young Ruler to the Widow's Mite, the Bible shows us that how we manage our money is critical to our relationship with God. God and Money uses these parables and more to teach you to save, spend, and steward your money in a biblical way by planting God's purposes at the heart of your practices.
Discover the 7 Core Principles of Wealth and Giving
Authors Cortines and Baumer pack 2,350 verses on money into 7 practical principles that can be applied to your life and finances on a daily basis. From shopping for groceries to your first down payment on a home, apply these reliable guidelines with ease and clarity—• Everything we "own" actually belongs to God • Giving should be voluntary, generous, cheerful, and needs-based • Giving generously breaks down the power of money over us • And more!
Gain Tools to Manage Your Money Wisely
Packed with tables, charts, graphs, and a quiz, the applications in God and Money are backed with scripture, data, research, and clear illustrations to help you discover what it means to honor God with your wealth. God and Money will teach you—• How to set budgets for spending • How to wisely steward your money • How to save for your future—home ownership, retirement, higher education, etc... • What the Bible says about tithing • When to give and when not to give • If you are a Spender, Saver, or a Servant with The 3 S's Quiz
Download FREE Tools and Resources to Create Your Personalized Giving Plan! No matter what your budget or salary looks like, you have the opportunity to serve and honor God with your finances! Easily set up your own annual spending cap when you download the free spreadsheet included! Save hours of time doing dizzying calculations for your spending, saving, and giving budgets with downloadable and reproducible Finish Line spreadsheets and other additional resources available!
God and Money also includes Baumer and Cortines' "Generosity Covenants" to empower you to write your own, for you, your small group, or your family! Don't wait another day to live a life of generosity that honors God with your life and money!
What Others are Saying About God and Money
"This is one of the most thoughtful and well researched books on giving that I have had the pleasure of reading. The frameworks presented in the book can be used by people at all stages of experiencing the joy of generosity." —Waters Davis, President of National Christian Foundation Houston. "With uncommon transparency, John and Greg provide a Gospel-centered and practical perspective on wealth. Through a leveling critique of comfortable Christianity, they challenge us to wholeheartedly pursue the joy of generosity. Read this book and you will be inspired, convicted and thinking differently about using what God has given you for Kingdom impact." —Peter Greer, President & CEO of HOPE International and coauthor of Mission Drift
"In God and Money, Baumer and Cortines challenge Christian readers to consider afresh what generosity looks like in light of the Scripture's radical teaching and the day of affluence in which we live. Whether or not you agree with all their conclusions or personal practices, you will be challenged and inspired." —Robert L. Plummer, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"I greatly enjoyed reading God and Money! God used the framework Greg and John described to challenge my perspective and practice of generosity. I realized in reading their book that my personal bias is more saver and spender than servant. What I truly desire to be is a fully surrendered servant of Jesus. This book gave me practical frameworks to move in that direction." —Todd Harper, President, Generous Giving
"The mission of Harvard Business School is "to educate leaders who make a difference in the world," and in John and Greg that mission has been fulfilled abundantly. It has been my privilege to be their teacher, their colleague and now their friend; and I wish them Godspeed as they take the transformative message found in God and Money out to their community and to the world beyond. I have learned to expect great things from them, and they have yet to disappoint." —Derek van Bever, Senior Lecturer in Business Administration; Director, Forum for Growth and Innovation, Harvard Business School
Preview God and Money Table of Contents
Part I: FoundationsChapter 1: Wealth and Giving in the Bible Chapter 2: Seven Core Principles for Biblical Wealth and Giving Chapter 3: Motivations for Giving Chapter 4: Trends and Movements in Generosity
Part II: FrameworksChapter 5: The "Three S's Framework:" Spender, Saver, or Servant? Chapter 6: Spending: Investing in the Present Chapter 7: Saving: Investing in the Future Chapter 8: Serving: Investing in Eternity Through Giving
Part III: ForwardChapter 9: Stewardship in Community Chapter 10: Our Conclusions
In a clear and concise manner, Todd Salzman investigates what it is that fundamentally divides these two ethical theories and then what has created such animosity and division not only among theologians but also within the Church herself.
-- proposes a possible basis for common ground and future dialogue.
-- is ideal for use by undergraduate and graduate students, as well as lay readers.
-- sheds new light on the debate for moral theologians.
First published in 1993, this edition has been thoroughly updated throughout and contains expanded sections on theological foundations, the role of character, confidentiality, and the timely topic of clergy sexual abuse. Appendices describing various denominational ministerial codes of ethics are included.
With the stated purpose of restoring ethics to its central role in Judaism, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin offers hundreds of examples from the Torah, the Talmud, rabbinic commentaries, and contemporary stories to illustrate how ethical teachings can affect our daily behavior. The subjects dealt with are ones we all encounter. They include judging other people fairly; knowing when forgiveness is obligatory, optional, or forbidden; balancing humility and self-esteem; avoiding speech that shames others; restraining our impulses of envy, hatred, and revenge; valuing truth but knowing when lying is permitted; understanding why God is the ultimate basis of morality; and appreciating the great benefits of Torah study. Telushkin has arranged the book in the traditional style of Jewish codes, with topical chapters and numbered paragraphs. Statements of law are almost invariably followed by anecdotes illustrating how these principles have been, or can be, practiced in daily life. The book can be read straight through to provide a solid grounding in Jewish values, consulted as a reference when facing ethical dilemmas, or studied in a group.
Vast in scope, this volume distills more than three thousand years of Jewish laws and suggestions on how to improve one’s character and become more honest, decent, and just. It is a landmark work of scholarship that is sure to influence the lives of Jews for generations to come, rich with questions to ponder and discuss, but primarily a book to live by.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this volume acclaimed scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi has collected and translated the Buddha’s teachings on conflict resolution, interpersonal and social problem-solving, and the forging of harmonious relationships. The selections, all drawn from the Pali Canon, the earliest record of the Buddha’s discourses, are organized into ten thematic chapters. The chapters deal with such topics as the quelling of anger, good friendship, intentional communities, the settlement of disputes, and the establishing of an equitable society. Each chapter begins with a concise and informative introduction by the translator that guides us toward a deeper understanding of the texts that follow.
In times of social conflict, intolerance, and war, the Buddha’s approach to creating and sustaining peace takes on a new and urgent significance. Even readers unacquainted with Buddhism will appreciate these ancient teachings, always clear, practical, undogmatic, and so contemporary in flavor. The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony will prove to be essential reading for anyone seeking to bring peace into their communities and into the wider world.
In an era of fraud, corruption, and the relentless celebration of image over substance, the message of this perennial best-seller is more timely than ever. Following Christ in a Consumer Society offers a penetrating critique of the culture of consumerism, contrasted with the personalism of the Gospel. Addressing a soul-destroying culture in which ""having more"" has become the only measure of value, Kavanaugh reminds us of the values that truly make us human. Through the counter-cultural message of the Gospel, his book presents a diagnosis of our social ills while at the same time providing a guide back to wholeness, sanity, and spiritual health.
–Professor Ari L. Goldman, Columbia University, and author of The Search for God at Harvard
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the best-known commandment in the Bible. Yet we rarely hear anyone talk about how to apply these words in daily life. In this landmark work, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, one of the premier scholars and thinkers of our time, gives both Jews and non-Jews an extraordinary summation of what Jewish tradition teaches about putting these words into practice.
Writing with great clarity and simplicity as well as with deep wisdom, Telushkin covers topics such as love and kindness, hospitality, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, charity, relations between Jews and non-Jews, compassion for animals, tolerance, self-defense, and end-of-life issues. This second volume of the first major code of Jewish ethics written in the English language is breathtaking in its scope and will undoubtedly influence readers for generations to come. It offers hundreds of practical examples from the Torah, the Talmud, the Midrash, and both ancient and modern rabbinic commentaries–as well as contemporary anecdotes–all teaching us how to care for one another each and every day.
A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 2: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself is a consummate work of scholarship. Like its acclaimed predecessor, which received the National Jewish Book Award, it is rich with ideas to contemplate and discuss, while being primarily a book to live by. Nothing could be more important in these strife-torn times than learning how to love our neighbors as ourselves. The message of this book is as vital and timely now as it has been since time immemorial.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Inner Art of Vegetarianism is an empowering book for all those who wish to have their soul nourished and follow the spiritual path of vegetarianism.
Ever since its original publication in 2003, Glen Stassen and David Gushee's Kingdom Ethics has offered students, pastors, and other readers an outstanding framework for Christian ethical thought, one that is solidly rooted in Scripture, especially Jesus's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
This substantially revised edition of Kingdom Ethics features enhanced and updated treatments of all major contemporary ethical issues. David Gushee's revisions include updated data and examples, a more global perspective, more gender-inclusive language, a clearer focus on methodology, discussion questions added
Dennis Hollinger argues that there is indeed a God-given meaning to sex. This meaning, found in the Christian worldview, provides a framework for a biblical sexual ethic that adequately addresses the many contemporary moral issues. The Meaning of Sex provides a good balance between accessible theology and engaging discussion of the practical issues Christians are facing, including premarital sex, sex within marriage, homosexuality, reproductive technologies, and faithful living in a sex-obsessed world.
Yet Patrick's strength, honesty and sense of humour never left him. The boy they couldn't break fought back and eventually found love and a family. But the shadow of his early years was always with him. With the encouragement of his wife - a constant witness to his traumatic nightmares - Patrick set about taking the Christian Brother to task.
The eagerly awaited sequel to bestseller Fear of the Collar that doesn't disappoint, Scars that Run Deep is a deeply moving and ultimately triumphant true story.
As Hasidic Psychology makes clear, Jewish ethics are unique in many ways, especially in that they are essentially other-centered. Man's ability to affect his own future and interpersonal relations are explained according to the theory of contraction, popularized in Hasidic thought: God, by contracting Himself to evacuate space for the human world, bestowed upon man the power and responsibility to determine his own future, and even affect God's disposition.
In the first part of the book, the sociological-structural concept of mono versus multiple ideal labeling is introduced. This concept refers to a social system in which diverse material and spiritual actualization patterns are structurally introduced as equal social ideals. In the second part, basic tenets of classic interaction and socialization are compared to the interpersonal perspective, and the contraction theory is explained as a process of "mutual emulation," whereby father and son affect each other. In the third part, a functional approach to deviance is developed through the Hasidic process known as "ascend via descend."
"The truth, we are told, will make us free. It is time to free Catholics, lay as well as clerical, from the structures of deceit that are our subtle modern form of papal sin. Paler, subtler, less dramatic than the sins castigated by Orcagna or Dante, these are the quiet sins of intellectual betrayal."
--from the Introduction
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills comes an assured, acutely insightful--and occasionally stinging--critique of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy from the nineteenth century to the present.
Papal Sin in the past was blatant, as Catholics themselves realized when they painted popes roasting in hell on their own church walls. Surely, the great abuses of the past--the nepotism, murders, and wars of conquest--no longer prevail; yet, the sin of the modern papacy, as revealed by Garry Wills in his penetrating new book, is every bit as real, though less obvious than the old sins.
Wills describes a papacy that seems steadfastly unwilling to face the truth about itself, its past, and its relations with others. The refusal of the authorities of the Church to be honest about its teachings has needlessly exacerbated original mistakes. Even when the Vatican has tried to tell the truth--e.g., about Catholics and the Holocaust--it has ended up resorting to historical distortions and evasions. The same is true when the papacy has attempted to deal with its record of discrimination against women, or with its unbelievable assertion that "natural law" dictates its sexual code.
Though the blithe disregard of some Catholics for papal directives has occasionally been attributed to mere hedonism or willfulness, it actually reflects a failure, after long trying on their part, to find a credible level of honesty in the official positions adopted by modern popes. On many issues outside the realm of revealed doctrine, the papacy has made itself unbelievable even to the well-disposed laity.
The resulting distrust is in fact a neglected reason for the shortage of priests. Entirely aside from the public uproar over celibacy, potential clergy have proven unwilling to put themselves in a position that supports dishonest teachings.
Wills traces the rise of the papacy's stubborn resistance to the truth, beginning with the challenges posed in the nineteenth century by science, democracy, scriptural scholarship, and rigorous history. The legacy of that resistance, despite the brief flare of John XXIII's papacy and some good initiatives in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council (later baffled), is still strong in the Vatican.
Finally Wills reminds the reader of the positive potential of the Church by turning to some great truth tellers of the Catholic tradition--St. Augustine, John Henry Newman, John Acton, and John XXIII. In them, Wills shows that the righteous path can still be taken, if only the Vatican will muster the courage to speak even embarrassing truths in the name of Truth itself.
Carson traces the subtle but enormous shift in the way we have come to understand tolerance over recent years -- from defending the rights of those who hold different beliefs to affirming all beliefs as equally valid and correct. He looks back at the history of this shift and discusses its implications for culture today, especially its bearing on democracy, discussions about good and evil, and Christian truth claims.
Using real-life examples that will sometimes arouse laughter and sometimes make the blood boil, Carson argues not only that the "new tolerance" is socially dangerous and intellectually debilitating but also that it actually leads to genuine intolerance of all who struggle to hold fast to their beliefs.
Hauerwas here crystallizes and extends profound criticisms of America, liberalism, capitalism, and postmodernism, but also identifies unlikely allies (such as Chicago Archbishop Francis Cardinal George) and locates surprising resources for Christian survival (such as mystery novels). Interlocutors along the way include Reinhold Niebuhr, John Courtney Murray, and, in a significant and previously unpublished essay, social gospeller Walter Rauschenbusch.
Never boring and often telling, A Better Hope demonstrates how a thinker so often accused of being "tribal" and "sectarian" is at the same time one of few contemporary theologians read not just by other theologians, but by political scientists, philosophers, medical ethicists, law professors, and literary theorists.
Here, the late Dudjom Rinpoche provides his authoritative commentary on the role of ethics and morality in Buddhist practice, outlining in detail the meaning and scope of the vows, and giving practical advice on maintaining the vows as supportive tools in the journey toward enlightenment.