The King and the Catholics
By Antonia Fraser
'Utterly gripping and consistently witty' Damian Thompson, Literary Review'An absolutely splendid book' A. N. Wilson, The Spectator The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the sixteenth century. Some fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'. Had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the prime movers? While the English Catholic aristocracy and the Irish peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they manifestly shared the same objective. Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the 'born Tory' Peel vying for leadership; 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, The King and Catholics is also a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.
Bringing in the Sheaves
By Richard Coles
After a life of sex, drugs and the Communards, recounted in his acclaimed memoir Fathomless Riches, the Reverend Richard Coles devoted himself to God and Christianity. So what is life like for the parson in Britain today? From his ordination, through Advent and Christmas to Lent and Easter, Reverend Coles gives us a unique insight into his daily experience in the ministry, with all the joy, hope, drama and difficulty that entails. Written with extraordinary charm and compassion, Bringing in the Sheaves will inspire and inform all who read it.'All the humour, quirky characters and incidents that life - and death- serve up' Mail on Sunday
Headscarves and Hymens
By Mona Eltahawy
"A ground-shaping book that defines the edge of so many vital contemporary debates. Hers is a voice simultaneously behind and beyond the veil" Colum McCannHeadscarves and Hymens explodes the myth that we should stand back and watch while women are disempowered and abused in the name of religion. In this laceratingly honest account, Eltahawy takes aim both at attitudes in the Middle East and at the western liberals who mistake misogyny for cultural difference. Her argument is clear: unless political revolution in the Arab world is accompanied by social and sexual revolution, no progress will be made.Headscarves and Hymens is the book the world has been crying out for: a powerful, fearless account of what it really means to be a woman in the Muslim world. 'A fascinating, can't-look-away, whistle-stop tour of the Middle East' Daily Telegraph'Brave and impassioned . . . A shocking book, and one that will make anyone who has seen veiling as a cultural issue think very hard about what is really going on' Mail on Sunday
The Age of Nothing
By Peter Watson
The stirring story of one of the modern world's most important intellectual achievements: atheism.Since Friedrich Nietzsche roundly declared that 'God is dead' in 1882, a raft of reflective and courageous individuals have devoted their creative energies to devising ways to live without Him, turning instead to invention, enthusiasm, hope, wit and above all various forms of self-reliance. Their brave, innovative story has gone untold - until now. In THE AGE OF NOTHING, acclaimed historian Peter Watson offers a weeping narrative of the secular philosophers and poets, psychologists and other scientists, painters and playwrights, novelists and even choreographers who have forged a thrilling, bold path in the absence of religious belief.From Paul Valéry and George Santayana to Richard Rorty and Ronald Dworkin, from Georges Seurat and Constantin Brancusi to Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg, from Henrik Ibsen to Samuel Beckett, from Wallace Stevens and Rainer Maria Rilke to Elizabeth Bishop and Czeslaw Milosz, from Sigmund Freud and Benjamin Spock to E.O. Wilson and Sam Harris, THE AGE OF NOTHING brilliantly explores how atheism has evolved, and gained unprecedented popularity as it has sought to replace an unknowable God in the Afterlife.Atheism has had its share of ideologues, tyrants and charlatans but it is primarily a history of brave accomplishment and one that is far from finished. Watson's stimulating intellectual narrative explores the revolutionary ideas and big questions provoked by great minds and movements.A sparkling and ultimately triumphant history, THE AGE OF NOTHING is the first full story of our efforts to live without God.
By A Cohen
"While there is now no lack of books which regale the English reader with selections from the Talmud, tales from the Talmud and wise sayings of the Rabbis, there is no work which attempts a comprehensive survey of the doctrine of this important branch of Jewish literature. To supply that want is the task undertaken in the present volume. Its aim is to provide a summary of the teachings of the Talmud on Religion, Ethics, Folk-lore, and Jurisprudence."The Rev. Dr. A. Cohen, 1931
The Quest For God
By Paul Johnson
A leading historian examines his faith in God, in the light of the historical evidence and his own personal experiences.
The Catholic Church
By Hans Küng
A landmark short history of the Catholic Church by the world's greatest living Christian theologian and historian.Hans Kung describes the history of the Roman Catholic Church from its origins in St Paul's Rome, through the disputes of the medieval era to the modern world. He examines the historic tension in the Church between pluralism and exclusivity; how the role of the Pope has changed; the motivations of the great reforming pontiffs; the evolving functions of the bishops and cardinals; the church's enthusiasm for missionary activity; the origins of the Marian cult; and how the shock waves of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation can still be felt today. The book concludes with a searching assessment of how the Catholic faith confronts the immense challenges - from science, from the empowerment of women, from those seeking reform of the Church's strictures against abortion and contraception - in the new millennium.'The sweep is vast and the tale told with pace and passion' Financial Times
How Jesus Became Christian
By Barrie Wilson
How the early Christians rewrote history, turning a Jewish teacher and messiah into a 'Christian' man-deity, bringing eternal life to all who believeWe often forget the undeniable fact that Jesus was Jewish. He lived and died a Jew, teaching the religion of his forbears and living by the Torah. After his death there was a 'Jesus movement' led by Jesus' brother James in Jerusalem and a 'Christ movement' led by Paul (who never met Jesus) in the Diaspora. The Christ movement deliberately sought to replace and destroy the Jesus movement.The battles of the Jewish community against the Romans, and the chaos after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, helped Paul and his party to seduce Jesus' followers away from the strictures of Judaism. Having killed off the historical Jesus, the new Christians turned the religion away from a traditional emphasis on behaviour into the most successful personality cult in recorded history.
Secrets of the Lost Symbol
By Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer, Sean Barrett, Sean Barrett
Delve into a whole new world of secret societies, ancient mysteries, hidden symbols, new-age philosophy and cutting-edge science... Discover: the role the Freemasons played in US history; the 'real' Katherine Solomon; the true background of the 'Ancient Mysteries'; the reality of Noetic science and much more...Presenting ideas from world renowned historians, code-breakers, symbologists, theologians, philosophers and scientists, Burstein and de Keijzer break through the web of conspiracies, mythologies, encrypted signs and alternate histories.SECRETS OF THE LOST SYMBOL is a must-read for anyone who wants to separate reality, speculation, fact and fiction in Dan Brown's global phenomenon.Read by Sean Barrett(p) 2010 Orion Publishing Group
Secrets of Mary Magdalene
By Dan Burstein
A dazzling look at the most elusive figure in Christ's lifeMary Magdalene was a key figure in Christ's life. She was present at his Crucifixion and she was also the first person to see him resurrected. According to Dan Brown's multi-million selling THE DA VINCI CODE, she was also his wife and the mother of his children. In the Gospels, she is described as an outcast and a harlot. This may be due to the disciples' jealousy of Jesus' love for Mary and the closeness of his relationship with her that was not replicated in his relationships with them. In SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, Dan Burstein explodes the myths and analyses who Mary Magdalene was, the true nature of her relationship with Christ and her role in the Christian faith. Did Mary write her own Gospel? If so, what did it say? Where did she come from? Was she Jewish? How did she live? So many questions exist about this lady, Google can find mention of her on 1,740,000 sites in 0.3 seconds. This book will find the answers.
The Greeks And Greek Love
By James Davidson
A radical reappraisal of homosexuality in Ancient Greece, by a young historian described as 'the best thing to happen to ancient history for decades' (Andrew Roberts, MAIL ON SUNDAY)Kenneth Dover's 1978 GREEK HOMOSEXUALITY remains the most recent single-volume treatment of the subject as a whole. Drawing on fifteen years of ensuing research, James Davidson rejects Dover's excessively theoretical approach, using a wide variety of sources unknown to him - court cases, romantic novels, satirical plays and poems - to present a view of the subject that, in contrast to Dover and to Foucault, stresses the humanity of the ancient Greeks, and how they lived their loves and pleasures, rather than their moral codes and the theorising of philosophers.Homosexuality in Ancient Greece remains a central area of debate in the classics, in ancient history and lesbian and gay studies. Greek civilisation centrally underpins our own, providing a basis of so much of the west's culture and philosophy, yet the Greeks were more tolerant of homosexuality than virtually any other culture, certainly than the western civilisations that followed. The extent to which Greek attitudes to sexuality and in particular their privileging of 'Greek Love' were comparable and different to our own underlies the continuing debate over the formation of sexuality and the much wider question of the roles of nature and nurture in the formation of human behaviour and personality.
God Is Not Great
By Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which the heavens are replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.Read by the author.(p) 2008 Orion Publishing Group
Why make the earth, the solar system, our galaxy and all the rest when the Garden of Eden was all that was wanted? And then there's lifespan. During long periods of human history, the life expectancy of men was a mere 22 years and children were lucky to toddle, let alone grow up. Why the waste? And shouldn't we sue God for sinus blockages, hernias, appendix flare-ups and piles, not to mention bad backs?Using all sorts of examples from the natural and scientific world Robyn Williams takes on the stalking monster of fundamentalist religion and creationism in a short, wicked and witty debunk of intelligent design. This is a book to infuriate the Christian fundamentalists and amuse the rest of us.