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Egyptian Myth A Very Short Introduction

Author: Geraldine Pinch
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577790
Size: 80.92 MB
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The complex world of Egyptian myth is clearly illuminated in this fascinating new approach to ancient Egypt. Geraldine Pinch explores the cultural and historical background behind a wide variety of sources and objects, from Cleopatra's Needle and Tutankhamun's golden statue, to a story on papyrus of the gods misbehaving. What did they mean, and how have they been interpreted? The reader is taken on an exciting journey through the distant past, and shown how myths of deities such as Isis and Osiris influenced contemporary culture and have become part of our cultural heritage. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Ancient Egypt A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ian Shaw
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191578401
Size: 42.99 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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The ancient Egyptians are an enduring source of fascination - mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured the imagination of generations. We all have a mental picture of ancient Egypt, but is it the right one? How much do we really know about this great civilization? In this absorbing introduction, Ian Shaw describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses. He also explores the changing influences on our responses to these finds, through such media as literature, cinema and contemporary art. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of ancient Egypt, from despotic pharaohs to dismembered bodies, and from hieroglyphs to animal-headed gods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Classical Mythology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Morales
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804766
Size: 26.32 MB
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From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths in both high art and popular culture.

Relativity A Very Short Introduction

Author: Russell Stannard
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191574047
Size: 48.96 MB
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100 years ago, Einstein's theory of relativity shattered the world of physics. Our comforting Newtonian ideas of space and time were replaced by bizarre and counterintuitive conclusions: if you move at high speed, time slows down, space squashes up and you get heavier; travel fast enough and you could weigh as much as a jumbo jet, be squashed thinner than a CD without feeling a thing - and live for ever. And that was just the Special Theory. With the General Theory came even stranger ideas of curved space-time, and changed our understanding of gravity and the cosmos. This authoritative and entertaining Very Short Introduction makes the theory of relativity accessible and understandable. Using very little mathematics, Russell Stannard explains the important concepts of relativity, from E=mc2 to black holes, and explores the theory's impact on science and on our understanding of the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Catholicism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Gerald O'Collins
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579106
Size: 33.75 MB
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Despite a long history of external threats and internal strife, the Roman Catholic Church and the broader reality of Catholicism remain a vast and valuable presence into the third millennium of world history. What are the origins of the Catholic Church? How has Catholicism changed and adapted to such vast and diverse cultural influences over the centuries? What great challenges does the Catholic Church now face in the twenty-first century, both within its own life and in its relation to others around the world? In this Very Short Introduction, Gerald O'Collins draws on the best current scholarship available to answer these questions and to present, in clear and accessible language, a fresh introduction to the largest and oldest institution in the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Free Speech A Very Short Introduction

Author: Nigel Warburton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199232350
Size: 51.80 MB
Format: PDF
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Voltaire's comment - 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it' - is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech. Yet it is rare to find someone prepared to defend all freedom of speech, especially if the views expressed are obnoxious or obviously false. So where do the limits lie? How important really is our right to freedom of speech? Here, Nigel Warburton offers a concise guide to the important questions facing modern society about free speech: Should a civilized society set limits on the freedom of speech? How can we square free speech with the sensitivities of religious and minority groups? Does copyright law clash with our right to free speech? And how have new technologies such as the Internet changed the debate? This Very Short Introduction is a thought-provoking, accessible, and up-to-date examination of the liberal assumption that free speech is worth preserving at any cost.

Paganism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Owen Davies
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191620017
Size: 33.71 MB
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'Paganism' is an evocative word that, even today, conjures up deep-seated emotions and prejudices. Until recently, it was primarily a derogatory term used by Christians to describe the non-Christian cultures confronted and vanquished by their Churches. For some it evokes images of sacrifice and barbaric behaviour, while for others it symbolises a peace-loving, nature-worshipping spiritual relationship with the earth. This Very Short Introduction explores the meaning of paganism - through a chronological overview of the attitudes towards its practices and beliefs - from the ancient world through to the present day. Owen Davies largely looks at paganism through the eyes of the Christian world, and how, over the centuries, notions and representations of its nature were shaped by religious conflict, power struggles, colonialism, and scholarship. Despite the expansion of Christianity and Islam, Pagan cultures continue to exist around the world, whilst in the West new formations of paganism constitute one of the fastest-growing religions. Focussing on paganism in Europe, but exploring the nature of paganism globally, Davies looks at how Europeans discovered new cultures through colonial expansion, missionary work, and anthropological study. Contemporary social paganism can be a liberating and social force, and the idea of a global Pagan theology is now on the religious map. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Plato A Very Short Introduction

Author: Julia Annas
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019157922X
Size: 53.61 MB
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This lively and accessible introduction to Plato focuses on the philosophy and argument of his writings, drawing the reader into Plato's way of doing philosophy, and the general themes of his thinking. This is not a book to leave the reader standing in the outer court of introduction and background information, but leads directly into Plato's argument. It looks at Plato as a thinker grappling with philosophical problems in a variety of ways, rather than a philosopher with a fully worked-out system. It includes a brief account of Plato's life and the various interpretations that have been drawn from the sparse remains of information. It stresses the importance of the founding of the Academy and the conception of philosophy as a subject. Julia Annas discusses Plato's style of writing: his use of the dialogue form, his use of what we today call fiction, and his philosophical transformation of myths. She also looks at his discussions of love and philosophy, his attitude to women, and to homosexual love, explores Plato's claim that virtue is sufficient for happiness, and touches on his arguments for the immortality of the soul and his ideas about the nature of the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.