God, Ethics and the Secular Society: Does the Church Have a Future?

Australian eBook Publisher
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After 2000 years of ascendency the Christian churches are in decline.

This book is a brilliant analysis of the many questions for which thoughtful Christians and non-Christians are seeking answers in a secular scientific world.

What do we mean by “God”?  Is there a soul ?  What is consciousness ?  What is the relevance of evolutionary biology and cosmology for Christian faith or religion generally ?   And more.

Unlike the criricisms of Dawkins, Hitchins and others the author offers a positive way forward.  The book also provides excellent summaries and critiques of the most important scholarship in the field, including authors such as Spong, Borg, Crossan, the “Death of God” theologians, and the findings of the Jesus  Seminar.

For the churches then it is time for a re-think.  This book shows you how.

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About the author

 Former Minister of Religion & Director of Christian Education  in Congregational Churches. B.A from Uni. of Melb; B. Div. and Mast. Relig. Ed. Lancaster Sem. USA.   Later secular employment with Myer Melb. (Personnel) and Vicroads (Human Resource Development Manager). Member of South Gippsland Conservation Society for 25 years, and President for 6 years. 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Australian eBook Publisher
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Published on
Oct 30, 2014
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Pages
185
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ISBN
9781925177367
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Ethics
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence.

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.
America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin.

"It's time we right this unacceptable wrong," says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week.

In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians--particularly white Christians--urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.

Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.
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