Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430) wrote:
In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15–19), down to the present episcopate.
And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should ... With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion... For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.
Each prayer is only one click or touch away!
A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.
We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
From the Hardcover edition.
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 different in the fourth century than it did in the first.
A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.
Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.
Since this translation and that of R. H. Charles were first published, several copies of the Book of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which further connects the book with the Jews of Palestine in the 1st century.
This translation of the Book of Enoch was once popular, so I have updated the language to make it more readable today by replacing archaic words we no longer use such as "execrate" with the modern equivalent, and changing the Roman Numerals with modern numbers.
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The Akhenaten Heresy and Its Impact on Religion and Mystical Thought
Creation Mythology of the Four Centres
The Soul and Its Journey in Egyptian Metaphysical Thought
Secrets of the Book of the Dead
The Nature of the Human Being
Ra's Journey through the Underworld and Its Initiatory Significance
Egyptian Mysteries as the Prototype of Ancient Mystery Schools
Shamans, Hierophants, and the Initiatory Process
Wisdom of the Egyptian Sages, from Ancient Egypt to the Hermetic Mystics of Alexandria
The Heart as the Spiritual Self and Monitor of Morality in Human Behaviour
A collection of insights into the esoteric meanings of ancient Egyptian religious and spiritual practices.
This extraordinary book, the product of extensive research by author and Rosicrucian lecturer de Motte (The Grail Quest, 2003), is ideal for readers who want to go beyond ancient Egypt's pyramids, artifacts and mummies. Here, in highly readable form, the author presents the broad outlines of the ancient Egyptian spiritual belief system-from the founding cosmology of a watery, amorphous pre-creation mass to the rise of Ra, Osiris, Isis, Horus and Seth, and on to the highly developed use of symbols as keys to mystic truths, comprehended only by a chosen few. Why do ancient Egyptian renderings of human figures have bird heads? The book gives the answer: They depict, among other things, the soul in flight, freed from an earthly cage and able to access other realms of reality. The book also explains how the scarab, an insect that stores balls of dung to feed its offspring, is intimately linked to the mighty sun god Ra, who must successfully pass through the underworld each night. One of the book's main themes is the notion that, in every age, there's a body of secret knowledge about life, death and the afterlife known only to initiates and never preached or recorded. That knowledge is passed on exclusively by word of mouth over the millennia, lest it fall into the hands of those who would abuse it. In the Egyptian model, the priestly class served this function in so-called "mystery schools" with elaborate pageantry. Although de Motte's prose is highly readable, some readers may find this a difficult book to absorb. The author presents a very large amount of information here, and readers not well-acquainted with his topic may find it necessary to re-read it to keep from getting lost. Only bona fide Egyptologists can render scholarly judgment on de Motte's dazzling pages, but neophytes will appreciate the author's liberal citation of experts, even when he doesn't agree with them.
An impressive work that brings light to a mysterious ancient culture.
With this modest and simple statement, one of the world's great classics of spirituality begins. An anonymous Russian peasant of the nineteenth century sets out to seek the truth, attempting to follow St. Paul's command to "pray without ceasing." By chanting the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me"), he attains a greater intimacy with God. Generations of readers, including Christians of all persuasions, have benefited by reading of the pilgrim's attempts to discipline his mind toward a constant awareness of God's presence as manifested through Christ's mercy.
In addition to its profound theological and philosophical observations, The Way of a Pilgrim offers an authentic portrait of Russia's social conditions during the final years of serfdom. Readers who appreciate the works of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy will delight in the author's encounters with a vast range of humanity, from monks, intellectuals, and hermits to peasants, convicts, and exiles.
Though once considered a tomb robber, recent re-evaluations of Belzoni have given him credit for his remarkably keen powers of observation and, for his time, careful excavation methods and recording.
A larger-than-life character, Belzoni was a true adventurer-explorer during a time of nationalist competition between the European powers for the best antiquities. This exciting and detailed account of his two journeys to Egypt and Nubia is a treasure of Egyptology.
For the first time, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones.
Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above or download a sample.
Respected historian Robert Tignor, who has lived in Egypt at different times over the course of five decades, covers all the major eras of the country's ancient, modern, and recent history. A cradle of civilization, ancient Egypt developed a unique and influential culture that featured a centralized monarchy, sophisticated art and technology, and monumental architecture in the form of pyramids and temples. But the great age of the pharaohs is just the beginning of the story and Egypt: A Short History also gives a rich account of the tumultuous history that followed--from Greek and Roman conquests, the rise of Christianity, Arab-Muslim triumph, and Egypt's incorporation into powerful Islamic empires to Napoleon's 1798 invasion, the country's absorption into the British Empire, and modern, postcolonial Egypt under Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak.
This book provides an indispensable key to Egypt in all its layers--ancient and modern, Greek and Roman, and Christian and Islamic. In a new afterword the author analyzes the recent unrest in Egypt and weighs in on what the country might look like after Mubarak.
"It is constantly assumed, especially in our Tolstoian tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like... That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is - can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? That is the problem the Church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved." - from Orthodoxy.
In the new Russia, the former KGB who run the country--Vladimir Putin among them--proclaim the cross, not the hammer and sickle. Meanwhile, a majority of Russians now embrace the Orthodox faith with unprecedented fervor. The Garrards trace how Aleksy orchestrated this transformation, positioning his church to inherit power once held by the Communist Party and to become the dominant ethos of the military and government. They show how the revived church under Aleksy prevented mass violence during the post-Soviet turmoil, and how Aleksy astutely linked the church with the army and melded Russian patriotism and faith.
Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent argues that the West must come to grips with this complex and contradictory resurgence of the Orthodox faith, because it is the hidden force behind Russia's domestic and foreign policies today.
In Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh applies his lifetime of legal experience to a unique new undertaking: making a case for the gospels as hard evidence of the life and work of Jesus Christ. Limbaugh, a practicing attorney and former professor of law, approaches the canonical gospels with the same level of scrutiny he would apply to any legal document and asks all the necessary questions about the story of Jesus told through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. His analysis of the texts becomes profoundly personal as he reflects on his own spiritual and intellectual odyssey from determined skeptic to devout Christian. Ultimately, Limbaugh concludes that the words Christians have treasured for centuries stand up to his exhaustive inquiry—including his examination of historical and religious evidence beyond the gospels—and thereby affirms Christian faith, spirituality, and tradition.
In Inner River, Kyriacos Markides—scholar, researcher, author, and pilgrim—takes us on a thrilling quest into the heart of Christian spirituality and mankind’s desire for a transcendent experience of God. From Maine’s rugged shores to a Cypriot monastery to Greece’s remote Mt. Athos and, ultimately, to an Egyptian desert, Markides encounters a diverse cast of characters that allows him to explore the worlds of the natural and the supernatural, of religion and spirit, and of the seen and the unseen.
Inner River will appeal to a wide range of readers, from Christians seeking insights into their religion and its various expressions to scholars interested in learning more about the mystical way of life and wisdom that have been preserved in the heart of Orthodox spirituality. Perhaps most important, however, is the bridge it offers contemporary readers to a Christian life that is balanced between the worldly and the spiritual.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Written with personal warmth and great erudition, Encountering the Mystery illuminates the rich culture and soul of Orthodox Christianity. Bartholomew traces the roots of Orthodox Christianity to its founding two thousand years ago, explores its spirituality and doctrine, and explains its liturgy and art. More especially, in a unique and unprecedented way, he relates Orthodox Christianity to contemporary issues, such as freedom and human rights, social justice and globalization, as well as nationalism and war.
With a recent rebirth of Orthodox Christian churches (particularly in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe), there has been great interest in understanding this important branch of Christianity with its close ties to the traditions of the early Church. As USA Today recently reported, Orthodox Christian churches throughout the country are drawing converts attracted by the beauty of its liturgy and inspired by its enduring theology. But for the general seeker, whatever their background, Encountering the Mystery is a rich spiritual source that draws upon the wisdom of millennia.
She felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy.
After nine years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices such as sacristan and assistant to the novice mistress, and having spent the last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.
The impact of The Story of a Soul, a collection of her autobiographical manuscripts, printed and distributed a year after her death to an initially very limited audience, was great, and she rapidly became one of the most popular saints of the twentieth century.
The story behind this groundbreaking book--one of the most significant works of investigative journalism since Woodward and Bernstein's reporting on Watergate--has been brought brilliantly to life on the screen in the major new movie Spotlight, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Here are the devastating revelations that triggered a crisis within the Catholic Church. Here is the truth about the scores of abusive priests who preyed upon innocent children and the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes. Here is the trail of "hush money" that the Catholic Church secretly paid to buy victims' silence--deeds that left millions of the faithful in the U.S. and around the world shocked, angry, and confused. Here as well is a vivid account of the ongoing struggle, as Catholics confront their Church and call for sweeping change.
The primary focus of the book is to analyze, understand, and to share the unique history and culture of this hidden, yet dynamic city with the outside world. It is here that life and death reconcile under the amazingly interesting stories of the lives shared by its community members. From the Majestic Citadel to the wonderfully designed grave tombs of unknown mystic saints, this book expresses the historical and cultural voice of this indomitable city which never stops reinventing itself. This panoramic story of a city that oscillates between the sacred and the profane- ancient tombs coalesce with chaotic markets- blends the personal touch of first hand travel with the in depth provocation of history. It is a sweeping, lucid work.
into the Orthodox Church
Veiled in the smoke of incense, the Eastern Orthodox Church has long been an enigma to the Western world. Yet, as Frederica Mathewes-Green discovered, it is a vital, living faith, rich in ritual beauty and steadfast in integrity. Utilizing the framework of the Orthodox calendar, Mathewes-Green chronicles a year in the life of her small Orthodox mission church, eloquently illustrating the joys and blessings an ancient faith can bring to the worshipers of today.
With new information on the important contributions of women to church history as well as the latest information on Christianity in developing countries, Gonzalez's richly textured study discusses the changes and directions of the church up to the twenty-first century. The Story of Christianity covers such recent occurrences as the fall of the Soviet Union and the return of the Russian Orthodox Church; feminist, Africa-American, and Third-World theologies; the scandals and controversies facing the reign of Pope Benedict XVI; interfaith dialogue; and the movement toward unity of all Christian churches. This revised and updated edition of The Story of Christianity concludes with a thoughtful look at the major issues and debates facing Christianity today.
First published in 1908, this is the second of two volumes dealing with the kings of Egypt. Using a variety of material from the British Library’s extensive collections, Budge meticulously collated the names of the Pharaohs and royal personages from the 20th to the 30th Dynasties of Egypt. With a detailed discussion concerning Egyptian chronology, this classic work will be of great interest and value to scholars and students of Ancient Egyptian history and archaeology.
Readers will also find compelling art works reflecting events and people from the Bible, from the Nativity, to the wedding at Cana, Christ's exploits with the twelve disciples, and so much more. It also highlights several religious lessons about entering the Kingdom of Heaven and achieving spiritual purity. With its compelling narrative and presentation, this release promises to make it easy for readers, especially children, to understand and learn the Word of God deeply. A collection of the Holy Scriptures accompanied with vivid iconographic watercolor illustrations tell the story of Jesus and show that the Prophesy of the Old Testament is fulfilled.
Furthermore, this book emphasizes how relevant and essential the Messiah's teachings remain to this day. This release is a must-have for devout Christians and people seeking direction in their lives.
In Finding Jesus in the Old Testament, David Limbaugh unlocks the mysteries of the Old Testament and reveals hints of Jesus Christ's arrival through all thirty-nine Old Testament books.
The key to the secrets of the Old Testament, Limbaugh argues, is the crucial New Testament encounter between the risen Jesus and two travelers on the road to Emmaus. With that key, and with Limbaugh as a deft guide, readers of Finding Jesus in the Old Testament will come to a startling new understanding of the Old Testament as a clear and powerful heralding of Jesus Christ's arrival. Limbaugh takes readers on a revealing journey from Genesis through Malachi, demonstrating that a consistent message courses through every one of the Old Testament's thirty-nine books: the power, wonder, and everlasting love of Jesus Christ.
Previously published under the title The Emmaus Code.