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The Rise Of Christianity

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060677015
Size: 40.48 MB
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This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. "Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).

The View From Mars Hill

Author: Charles B. Jones
Publisher: Cowley Publications
ISBN: 1461698723
Size: 10.13 MB
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The author traces the rich history of Christianity's many encounters with other religions, from the Roman Empire and Paul's speech to the Athenians on Mars Hill to the discovery of non-European peoples, through various currents of philosophy and science

Called To Be Sent

Author: Anthony J. Gittins
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 153264079X
Size: 34.77 MB
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The gospel tells us to look into other people’s eyes as we search for an image of God to help us work for healing justice amid the rubble and the memories that litter our lives, to rebuild a human world on the debris of broken dreams, and to commit ourselves—as God does—to restoring communities, so that there will be no more estrangement, no more strangers, and no more aliens. It is only a little less than impossible, and the only way we can do it is to learn to love the world as God already does. It’s simply not possible to love in theory; we must go further than that. We must love in practice. We must practice in love. That is the disciple’s call. Called to Be Sent develops and completes the theology of discipleship introduced in the author’s previous books. This new volume focuses on “sending forth,” the phase that follows our radical encounter with humanity. Here we find the hope and strength to move from an understanding of mission to actually being commissioned by Jesus. In short, as Christians we are “gathered for scattering” and “called to be sent,” and this book provides much direction.

Healing In The History Of Christianity

Author: Amanda Porterfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195157184
Size: 27.82 MB
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Healing is one of the most constant themes in the long and sprawling history of Christianity. Jesus himself performed many miracles of healing. In the second century, St. Ignatius was the first to describe the eucharist as the medicine of immortality. Prudentius, a 4th-century poet and Christian apologist, celebrated the healing power of St. Cyprian's tongue. Bokenham, in his 15th-century Legendary, reported the healing power of milk from St. Agatha's breasts. Zulu prophets in 19th-century Natal petitioned Jesus to cure diseases caused by restless spirits. And Mary Baker Eddy invoked the Science of Divine Mind as a weapon against malicious animal magnetism. In this book Amanda Porterfield demonstrates that healing has played a major role in the historical development of Christianity as a world religion. Porterfield traces the origin of Christian healing and maps its transformations in the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds. She shows that Christian healing had its genesis in Judean beliefs that sickness and suffering were linked to sin and evil, and that health and healing stemmed from repentance and divine forgiveness. Examining Jesus' activities as a healer and exorcist, she shows how his followers carried his combat against sin and evil and his compassion for suffering into new and very different cultural environments, from the ancient Mediterranean to modern America and beyond. She explores the interplay between Christian healing and medical practice from ancient times up to the present, looks at recent discoveries about religion's biological effects, and considers what these findings mean in light of ages-old traditions about belief and healing. Changing Christian ideas of healing, Porterfield shows, are a window into broader changes in religious authority, church structure, and ideas about sanctity, history, resurrection, and the kingdom of God. Her study allows us to see more clearly than ever before that healing has always been and remains central to the Christian vision of sin and redemption, suffering and bodily resurrection.

Reappraising Durkheim For The Study And Teaching Of Religion Today Edited By Thomas A Idinopulos And Brian C Wilson

Author: Thomas A. Idinopulos
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004123397
Size: 21.20 MB
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"Reappraising Durkheim for the Study and Teaching of Religion Today" brings together ten new essays in which noted sociologists, psychologists, phenomenologists, philosophers, and historians of religion grapple with the questions Durkheim raised and the solutions he proposed for the academic study of religion.

The Wrong Jesus

Author: Gregory Monette
Publisher: Tyndale House
ISBN: 1612917356
Size: 66.13 MB
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In a world where atheism is a growing movement, especially in the university setting, it’s typical for students today to face doubts about the Christian faith. In fact, many have wondered at one time or another if the Bible stories about Jesus could possibly be true. Is there any way to back up what we’ve heard with real evidence? Can false information be discredited with historical proof? Now students can join Greg Monette as he explores the fascinating basis for belief in the biblical Jesus. Readers can trek through the ancient historical sources, biblical archaeology, and recent discoveries to uncover the facts about what Jesus really said and did—His birth, His miracles, His claims, and His resurrection. Written for believers, skeptics, and the non-expert, this book will help readers discover where history and faith collide— and it just might change everything.

Beyond Gnosticism

Author: Ismo O. Dunderberg
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231512597
Size: 77.98 MB
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Valentinus was a popular, influential, and controversial early Christian teacher. His school flourished in the second and third centuries C.E. Yet because his followers ascribed the creation of the visible world not to a supreme God but to an inferior and ignorant Creator-God, they were from early on accused of heresy, and rumors were spread of their immorality and sorcery. Beyond Gnosticism suggests that scholars approach Valentinians as an early Christian group rather than as a representative of ancient "Gnosticism"-a term notoriously difficult to define. The study shows that Valentinian myths of origin are filled with references to lifestyle (such as the control of emotions), the Christian community, and society, providing students with ethical instruction and new insights into their position in the world. While scholars have mapped the religio-historical and philosophical backgrounds of Valentinian myth, they have yet to address the significance of these mythmaking practices or emphasize the practical consequences of Valentinians' theological views. In this groundbreaking study, Ismo Dunderberg provides a comprehensive portrait of a group hounded by other Christians after Christianity gained a privileged position in the Roman Empire. Valentinians displayed a keen interest in mythmaking and the interpretation of myths, spinning complex tales about the origin of humans and the world. As this book argues, however, Valentinian Christians did not teach "myth for myth's sake." Rather, myth and practice were closely intertwined. After a brief introduction to the members of the school of Valentinus and the texts they left behind, Dunderberg focuses on Valentinus's interpretation of the biblical creation myth, in which the theologian affirmed humankind's original immortality as a present, not lost quality and placed a special emphasis on the "frank speech" afforded to Adam by the supreme God. Much like ancient philosophers, Valentinus believed that the divine Spirit sustained the entire cosmic chain and saw evil as originating from conspicuous "matter." Dunderberg then turns to other instances of Valentinian mythmaking dominated by ethical concerns. For example, the analysis and therapy of emotions occupy a prominent place in different versions of the myth of Wisdom's fall, proving that Valentinians, like other educated early Christians, saw Christ as the healer of emotions. Dunderberg also discusses the Tripartite Tractate, the most extensive account to date of Valentinian theology, and shows how Valentinians used cosmic myth to symbolize the persecution of the church in the Roman Empire and to create a separate Christian identity in opposition to the Greeks and the Jews.

Why Religion Is Natural And Science Is Not

Author: Robert N. McCauley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199912300
Size: 51.38 MB
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The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion--and arriving at some surprising conclusions. Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines to illuminate the study of religion. In Why Religion is Natural and Science Is Not, Robert N. McCauley, one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion, argues that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. Drawing on the latest research and illustrating his argument with commonsense examples, McCauley argues that religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions. Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. McCauley then draws out the larger implications of these findings. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position. Rigorously argued and elegantly written, this provocative book will appeal to anyone interested in the ongoing debate between religion and science, and in the nature and workings of the human mind.

A D The Bible Continues The Book Of Acts

Author: David Jeremiah
Publisher: NavPress
ISBN: 1496407245
Size: 27.89 MB
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A.D. The Bible Continues: The Book of Acts is an inspirational keepsake book, featuring both the Book of Acts and stunning photos from the filming of the NBC A.D. television series in Morocco. In this impressive gift book, popular Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah is your guide through the book of Acts, which tells the true story of the first followers of Jesus. Dr. Jeremiah highlights the people, the places, and the plan of the book of Acts, showing how God intervened in miraculous ways in order to build a community that would stand the test of time. Discover what motivated and inspired this small group of believers and how the message of Jesus set the world on fire. It’s the beginning of a new era, and you can have a front row seat with A.D. The Bible Continues: The Book of Acts.