Strange Rites

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Strange Rites

Strange Rites

  • Author : Tara Isabella Burton
  • ISBN :
  • Category : Social Science
  • Publisher : PublicAffairs
  • Pages : 320
  • Release Date : 2020-06-16

A sparklingly strange odyssey through the kaleidoscope of America's new spirituality: the cults, practices, high priests and prophets of our supposedly post-religion age. Fifty-five years have passed since the cover of Time magazine proclaimed the death of God and while participation in mainstream religion has indeed plummeted, Americans have never been more spiritually busy. While rejecting traditional worship in unprecedented numbers, today's Americans are embracing a kaleidoscopic panoply of spiritual traditions, rituals, and subcultures -- from astrology and witchcraft to SoulCycle and the alt-right.As the Internet makes it ever-easier to find new "tribes," and consumer capitalism forever threatens to turn spirituality into a lifestyle brand, remarkably modern American religious culture is undergoing a revival comparable with the Great Awakenings of centuries past. Faith is experiencing not a decline but a Renaissance. Disillusioned with organized religion and political establishments alike, more and more Americans are seeking out spiritual paths driven by intuition, not institutions. In Strange Rites, religious scholar and commentator Tara Isabella Burton visits with the techno-utopians of Silicon Valley; Satanists and polyamorous communities, witches from Bushwick, wellness junkies and social justice activists and devotees of Jordan Peterson, proving Americans are not abandoning religion but remixing it. In search of the deep and the real, they are finding meaning, purpose, ritual, and communities in ever-newer, ever-stranger ways.

One of the Best Books of the Year: Janet Maslin, The New York Times Vulture NPR "Social Creature is a wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn)." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City. They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste... Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon. Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

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Yoga classes and Zen meditation, New-Age retreats and nature mysticism—all are part of an ongoing religious experimentation that has surprisingly deep roots in American history. Tracing out the country’s Transcendentalist and cosmopolitan religious impulses over the last two centuries, Restless Souls explores America’s abiding romance with spirituality as religion’s better half. Now in its second edition, including a new preface, Leigh Eric Schmidt's fascinating book provides a rich account of how this open-road spirituality developed in American culture in the first place as well as a sweeping survey of the liberal religious movements that touted it and ensured its continued vitality.

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How does God become and remain real for modern evangelicals? How are rational, sensible people of faith able to experience the presence of a powerful yet invisible being and sustain that belief in an environment of overwhelming skepticism? T. M. Luhrmann, an anthropologist trained in psychology and the acclaimed author of Of Two Minds, explores the extraordinary process that leads some believers to a place where God is profoundly real and his voice can be heard amid the clutter of everyday thoughts. While attending services and various small group meetings at her local branch of the Vineyard, an evangelical church with hundreds of congregations across the country, Luhrmann sought to understand how some members were able to communicate with God, not just through one-sided prayers but with discernable feedback. Some saw visions, while others claimed to hear the voice of God himself. For these congregants and many other Christians, God was intensely alive. After holding a series of honest, personal interviews with Vineyard members who claimed to have had isolated or ongoing supernatural experiences with God, Luhrmann hypothesized that the practice of prayer could train a person to hear God’s voice—to use one’s mind differently and focus on God’s voice until it became clear. A subsequent experiment conducted between people who were and weren’t practiced in prayer further illuminated her conclusion. For those who have trained themselves to concentrate on their inner experiences, God is experienced in the brain as an actual social relationship: his voice was identified, and that identification was trusted and regarded as real and interactive. Astute, deeply intelligent, and sensitive, When God Talks Back is a remarkable approach to the intersection of religion, psychology, and science, and the effect it has on the daily practices of the faithful.

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The Girls meets Fight Club in this coming-of-age novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the devoted members of a cultic chapel choir in a prestigious Maine boarding school—and the obsessively ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them. When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir. Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go. The World Cannot Give is a shocking meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world.

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God does not suggest, he commands that we do justice. Social justice is not optional for the Christian. All injustice affects others, so talking about justice that isn't social is like talking about water that isn't wet or a square with no right angles. But the Bible's call to seek justice is not a call to superficial, kneejerk activism. We are not merely commanded to execute justice, but to "truly execute justice." The God who commands us to seek justice is the same God who commands us to "test everything" and "hold fast to what is good." Drawing from a diverse range of theologians, sociologists, artists, and activists, Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, by Thaddeus Williams, makes the case that we must be discerning if we are to "truly execute justice" as Scripture commands. Not everything called "social justice" today is compatible with a biblical vision of a better world. The Bible offers hopeful and distinctive answers to deep questions of worship, community, salvation, and knowledge that ought to mark a uniquely Christian pursuit of justice. Topics addressed include: Racism Sexuality Socialism Culture War Abortion Tribalism Critical Theory Identity Politics Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth also brings in unique voices to talk about their experiences with these various social justice issues, including: Michelle-Lee Barnwall Suresh Budhaprithi Eddie Byun Freddie Cardoza Becket Cook Bella Danusiar Monique Duson Ojo Okeye Edwin Ramirez Samuel Sey Neil Shenvi Walt Sobchak In Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, Thaddeus Williams transcends our religious and political tribalism and challenges readers to discover what the Bible and the example of Jesus have to teach us about justice. He presents a compelling vision of justice for all God's image-bearers that offers hopeful answers to life's biggest questions.

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The Handbook of Religion and Health has become the seminal research text on religion, spirituality, and health, outlining a rational argument for the connection between religion and health. The Second Edition completely revises and updates the first edition. Its authors are physicians: a psychiatrist and geriatrician, a primary care physician, and a professor of nursing and specialist in mental health nursing. The Second Edition surveys the historical connections between religion and health and grapples with the distinction between the terms ''religion'' and ''spirituality'' in research and clinical practice. It reviews research on religion and mental health, as well as extensive research literature on the mind-body relationship, and develops a model to explain how religious involvement may impact physical health through the mind-body mechanisms. It also explores the direct relationships between religion and physical health, covering such topics as immune and endocrine function, heart disease, hypertension and stroke, neurological disorders, cancer, and infectious diseases; and examines the consequences of illness including chronic pain, disability, and quality of life. Finally, the Handbook reviews research methods and addresses applications to clinical practice. Theological perspectives are interwoven throughout the chapters. The Handbook is the most insightful and authoritative resource available to anyone who wants to understand the relationship between religion and health.

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In The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going, Ryan P. Burge details a comprehensive picture of an increasingly significant group--Americans who say they have no religious affiliation. The growth of the nones in American society has been dramatic. In 1972, just 5 percent of Americans claimed "no religion" on the General Social Survey. In 2018, that number rose to 23.7 percent, making the nones as numerous as both evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics. Every indication is that the nones will be the largest religious group in the United States in the next decade. Burge illustrates his precise but accessible descriptions with charts and graphs drawn from over a dozen carefully curated datasets, some tracking changes in American religion over a long period of time, others large enough to allow a statistical deep dive on subgroups such as atheists and agnostics. Burge also draws on data that tracks how individuals move in and out of religion over time, helping readers understand what type of people become nones and what factors lead an individual to return to religion. The Nones gives readers a nuanced, accurate, and meaningful picture of the growing number of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation. Burge explains how this rise happened, who the nones are, and what they mean for the future of American religion.

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From the bestselling author of A History of God and The Great Transformation comes a balanced, nuanced understanding of the role religion plays in human life and the trajectory of faith in modern times. Why has God become incredible? Why is it that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God in a way that veers so profoundly from the thinking of our ancestors? Moving from the Paleolithic Age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the lengths to which humankind has gone to experience a sacred reality that it called God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. She examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith. With her trademark depth of knowledge and profound insight, Armstrong elucidates how the changing world has necessarily altered the importance of religion at both societal and individual levels. And she makes a powerful, convincing argument for structuring a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.

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Well known for his important scholarly contributions to dogmatic theology and biblical commentary, Joseph Ratzinger has also written penetrating observations of our times. This book includes some of his keen insights about the social and political challenges confronting modern Western societies. Writing most of these chapters just before his election as pope, Ratzinger sought to remind Europeans, who at the time were crafting a new constitution, that the civilizational project we call “the West” is a cultural achievement with a history. Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome were the three foundation stones upon which Western civilization was built, he wrote. Their invaluable contributions form the basis for the Western understanding of human dignity and human rights, which spread from Europe to the United States and beyond. This book also includes, as an epilogue, a new essay by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on clerical sex abuse, which traces the moral disorder that preys upon the young to the collapse of faith both inside and outside the Church. “The witness of Christian lives nobly lived is the beginning of reconversion (or, in many cases, conversion) of the West—and that return to the truths taught by the God of the Bible is essential if the great Western civilizational project is not to crumble because of its current, postmodern incoherence. Joseph Ratzinger understood that danger long before many others. It would be well to attend to his prescription.” —George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, from the Foreword

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In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting with communal living, alternative leadership roles, unusual economic dispositions, and new political and ethical values. As a result the general public views new religions with a mixture of curiosity, amusement, and anxiety, sustained by lavish media emphasis on oddness and tragedy rather than familiarity and lived experience. This updated and revised second edition of Controversial New Religions offers a scholarly, dispassionate look at those groups that have generated the most attention, including some very well-known classical groups like The Family, Unification Church, Scientology, and Jim Jones's People's Temple; some relative newcomers such as the Kabbalah Centre, the Order of the Solar Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, and the Falun Gong; and some interesting cases like contemporary Satanism, the Raelians, Black nationalism, and various Pagan groups. Each essay combines an overview of the history and beliefs of each organization or movement with original and insightful analysis. By presenting decades of scholarly work on new religious movements written in an accessible form by established scholars as well as younger experts in the field, this book will be an invaluable resource for all those who seek a view of new religions that is deeper than what can be found in sensationalistic media stories.

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From a leading constitutional scholar, an important study of a powerful mode of government control: the offer of money and other privileges to secure submission to unconstitutional power. The federal government increasingly regulates by using money and other benefits to induce private parties and states to submit to its conditions. It thereby enjoys a formidable power, which sidesteps a wide range of constitutional and political limits. Conditions are conventionally understood as a somewhat technical problem of “unconstitutional conditions”—those that threaten constitutional rights—but at stake is something much broader and more interesting. With a growing ability to offer vast sums of money and invaluable privileges such as licenses and reduced sentences, the federal government increasingly regulates by placing conditions on its generosity. In this way, it departs not only from the Constitution’s rights but also from its avenues of binding power, thereby securing submission to conditions that regulate, that defeat state laws, that commandeer and reconfigure state governments, that extort, and even that turn private and state institutions into regulatory agents. The problem is expansive, including almost the full range of governance. Conditions need to be recognized as a new mode of power—an irregular pathway—by which government induces Americans to submit to a wide range of unconstitutional arrangements. Purchasing Submission is the first book to recognize this problem. It explores the danger in depth and suggests how it can be redressed with familiar and practicable legal tools.

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How our ability to learn from each other has been the essential ingredient to our remarkable success as a species Human beings are a very different kind of animal. We have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth. We have a larger geographical range and process more energy than any other creature alive. This astonishing transformation is usually explained in terms of cognitive ability—people are just smarter than all the rest. But in this compelling book, Robert Boyd argues that culture—our ability to learn from each other—has been the essential ingredient of our remarkable success. A Different Kind of Animal demonstrates that while people are smart, we are not nearly smart enough to have solved the vast array of problems that confronted our species as it spread across the globe. Over the past two million years, culture has evolved to enable human populations to accumulate superb local adaptations that no individual could ever have invented on their own. It has also made possible the evolution of social norms that allow humans to make common cause with large groups of unrelated individuals, a kind of society not seen anywhere else in nature. This unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation has transformed our species and assured our survival—making us the different kind of animal we are today. Based on the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, A Different Kind of Animal features challenging responses by biologist H. Allen Orr, philosopher Kim Sterelny, economist Paul Seabright, and evolutionary anthropologist Ruth Mace, as well as an introduction by Stephen Macedo.

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America has always been committed to the idea that citizens can work together to build a common world. Today, three afflictions keep us from pursuing that noble ideal. The first and most obvious affliction is identity politics, which seeks to transform America by turning politics into a religious venue of sacrificial offering. For now, the sacrificial scapegoat is the white, heterosexual, man. After he is humiliated and purged, who will be the object of cathartic rage? White women? Black men? Identity politics is the anti-egalitarian spiritual eugenics of our age. It demands that pure and innocent groups ascend, and the stained transgressor groups be purged. The second affliction is that citizens oscillate back and forth, in bipolar fashion, at one moment feeling invincible on their social media platforms and, the next, feeling impotent to face the everyday problems of life without the guidance of experts and global managers. Third, Americans are afflicted by a disease that cannot quite be named, characterized by an addictive hope that they can find cheap shortcuts that bypass the difficult labors of everyday life. Instead of real friendship, we seek social media “friends.” Instead of meals at home, we order “fast food.” Instead of real shopping, we “shop” online. Instead of counting on our families and neighbors to address our problems, we look to the state to take care of us. In its many forms, this disease promises release from our labors, yet impoverishes us all. American Awakening chronicles all of these problems, yet gives us hope for the future.

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One reporter takes an immersive dive into white supremacy's explosive online presence, exploring the undercurrents of propaganda, racism, misogyny, and history that led us to where we are now. Talia Lavin is every skinhead's worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic Jewish woman, acerbic, smart, and profoundly antiracist, with the investigative chops to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers. Culture Warlords is the story of how Lavin, a frequent target of extremist trolls (including those at Fox News), dove into a byzantine online culture of hate and learned the intricacies of how white supremacy proliferates online. Within these pages, she reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight online: Incels. White nationalists. White supremacists. National Socialists. Proud Boys. Christian extremists. In order to showcase them in their natural habitat, Talia assumes a range of identities, going undercover as a blonde Nazi babe, a forlorn incel, and a violent Aryan femme fatale. Along the way, she discovers a whites-only dating site geared toward racists looking for love, a disturbing extremist YouTube channel run by a fourteen-year-old girl with over 800,000 followers, the everyday heroes of the antifascist movement, and much more. By combining compelling stories chock-full of catfishing and gate-crashing with her own in-depth, gut-wrenching research, she also turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle and decimate the online hate movement from within. Shocking, humorous, and merciless in equal measure, Culture Warlords explores some of the vilest subcultures on the Web-and shows us how we can fight back.

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The problem with too much Christianity today is that we replace the person of Jesus with a doctrine of grace. Living in denial of Jesus’ teaching on judgment and holiness, too many Christians take refuge from the sayings of Jesus in doctrines of forgiveness that they hope will bolster up their sense of self-worth before God. Andy Angel tackles this dysfunctional spirituality head-on, opening up the journey of learning and love into which the living Lord Jesus invites us all. Unpacking the Gospel of Matthew, he encourages us to rediscover the teaching ministry of Jesus in our own lives, and in doing so, to recover the riches and freshness of the gospel message and to rediscover the depths of love Jesus has for each one of us.

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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time "The Varieties of Religious Experience is certainly the most notable of all books in the field of the psychology of religion and probably destined to be the most influential [one] written on religion in the twentieth century," said Walter Houston Clark in Psychology Today. The book was an immediate bestseller upon its publication in June 1902. Reflecting the pluralistic views of psychologist-turned-philosopher William James, it posits that individual religious experiences, rather than the tenets of organized religions, form the backbone of religious life. James's discussion of conversion, repentance, mysticism, and hope of reward and fears of punishment in the hereafter--as well as his observations on the religious experiences of such diverse thinkers as Voltaire, Whitman, Emerson, Luther, Tolstoy, and others--all support his thesis. "James's characteristic humor, his ability to put down the pretentious and to be unpretentious, and his willingness to take some risks in his choices of ancedotal data or provocative theories are all apparent in the book," noted Professor Martin E. Marty. "A reader will come away with more reasons to raise new questions than to feel that old ones have been resolved."

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The decline in power, popularity and prestige of religion across the modern world is not a short-term or localized trend nor is it an accident. It is a consequence of subtle but powerful features of modernization. Renowned sociologist, Steve Bruce, elaborates the secularization paradigm and defends it against a wide variety of recent attempts at rebuttal and refutation. Using the best available statistical and qualitative evidence Bruce considers the implications for the

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Contemporary seekers on the hunt for an overview of the Western mystery traditions often face a small selection of dense, out-of-date tomes. Alternatively, Hidden Wisdom is a fresh, coherent, and accessible work that expounds many of the teachings of Western esotericism, examining its key figures and movements.

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The Day Boy and Night Girl - also referred to as The Romance of Photogen and Nycteris - first appeared in Harper's Young People as a series between December of 1879 and January of 1880. Regarded as George MacDonald's best work, it features a witch who, in her pursuit of total knowledge, performs an experiment to mould two people from birth by strictly controlling their environments. Many of the finest stories of magic and fantasy, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

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We live in a secular age, a world dominated by science and technology. Increasing numbers of us don't believe in God anymore. We don't expect miracles. We've grown up and left those fairytales behind, culturally and personally. Yet five hundred years ago the world was very much enchanted. It was a world where God existed and the devil was real. It was a world full of angels and demons. It was a world of holy wells and magical eels. But since the Protestant Reformation and the beginning of the Enlightenment, the world, in the West at least, has become increasingly disenchanted. While this might be taken as evidence of a crisis of belief, Richard Beck argues it's actually a crisis of attention. God hasn't gone anywhere, but we've lost our capacity to see God. The rising tide of disenchantment has profoundly changed our religious imaginations and led to a loss of the holy expectation that we can be interrupted by the sacred and divine. But it doesn't have to be this way. With attention and an intentional and cultivated capacity to experience God as a living, vital presence in our lives, Hunting Magic Eels, shows us, we can cultivate an enchanted faith in a skeptical age.

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A leading doctor unveils the groundbreaking potential of virtual medicine. Brennan Spiegel has spent years studying the medical power of the mind, and in VRx he reveals a revolutionary new kind of care: virtual medicine. It offers the possibility of treating illnesses without solely relying on intrusive surgeries or addictive opioids. Virtual medicine works by convincing your body that it's somewhere, or something, it isn't. It's affordable, widely available, and has already proved effective against everything from burn injuries to stroke to PTSD. Spiegel shows how a simple VR headset lets a patient with schizophrenia confront the demon in his head, how dementia patients regain function in a life-size virtual town, and how vivid simulations of patients' experiences are making doctors more empathic. VRx is a revelatory account of the connection between our bodies and ourselves. In an age of overmedication and depersonalized care, it offers no less than a new way to heal.

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The results of a project in the UK that invited Catholics who no longer regularly practice their faith to share their story. Why they left and what could be done to change this are two of the questions explored.

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A definitive account of the psychology of zealotry, from a National Book Award winner and a leading authority on the nature of cults, political absolutism, and mind control In this unique and timely volume Robert Jay Lifton, the National Book Award–winning psychiatrist, historian, and public intellectual proposes a radical idea: that the psychological relationship between extremist political movements and fanatical religious cults may be much closer than anyone thought. Exploring the most extreme manifestations of human zealotry, Lifton highlights an array of leaders—from Mao to Hitler to the Japanese apocalyptic cult leader Shōkō Asahara to Donald Trump—who have sought the control of human minds and the ownership of reality. Lifton has spent decades exploring psychological extremism. His pioneering concept of the “Eight Deadly Sins” of ideological totalism—originally devised to identify “brainwashing” (or “thought reform”) in political movements—has been widely quoted in writings about cults, and embraced by members and former members of religious cults seeking to understand their experiences. In Losing Reality Lifton makes clear that the apocalyptic impulse—that of destroying the world in order to remake it in purified form—is not limited to religious groups but is prominent in extremist political movements such as Nazism and Chinese Communism, and also in groups surrounding Donald Trump. Lifton applies his concept of “malignant normality” to Trump’s efforts to render his destructive falsehoods a routine part of American life. But Lifton sees the human species as capable of “regaining reality” by means of our “protean” psychological capacities and our ethical and political commitments as “witnessing professionals.” Lifton weaves together some of his finest work with extensive new commentary to provide vital understanding of our struggle with mental predators. Losing Reality is a book not only of stunning scholarship, but also of huge relevance for these troubled times.

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Kent Dobson climbed Mount Sinai in search of the God who had eluded him. Instead he got bitten by a camel. Dobson was climbing the ladder of Christianity, too: a worship leader, teacher, and ultimately senior pastor of one of the largest and most prominent churches in America. But he was growing disillusioned with the faith, at least inside the shell of organized religion. One Sunday morning, he preached to his congregation, “I don’t know what the word God even means anymore.” He soon left the church, but his quest for God became more intense than ever. In Bitten by a Camel, Dobson deconstructs much of what passes as Christianity, but on the foundation of Jesus and the Bible, he reconstructs a faith that is fulfilling, life-giving, and true—true to himself and true to God. Dobson’s message is funny, poignant, and winsome. And it is ultimately, like the message of Jesus himself, hopeful.

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The place of religion in society has changed profoundly in the last few centuries, particularly in the West. In what will be a defining book for our time, Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean, and what, precisely, happens when a society becomes one in which faith is only one human possibility among others.

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Celebrated religious and social historian Rodney Starktraces the extraordinary rise of Christianity through its most pivotal andcontroversial moments to offer fresh perspective on the history of the world’slargest religion. In The Triumph of Christianity, the author of God’sBattalions and The Rise of Christianity gathers and refines decadesof powerful research and discovery into one concentrated, concise, and highlyreadable volume that explores Christianity’s most crucial episodes. The uniqueformat of Triumph of Christianity allows Stark to avoid densechronologies and difficult back stories, bringing readers right to the heart ofChristian history’s most vital controversies and enduring lessons.

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Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God's creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication--and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel, one of the most widely respected religious leaders of the twentieth century, introduced the influential idea of an 'architecture of holiness" that appears not in space but in time. Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the materials things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that 'the Sabbaths are our greatcatherdrals.'

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At the heart of our current moment lies a universal yearning, writes David Zahl, not to be happy or respected so much as enough--what religions call "righteous." To fill the void left by religion, we look to all sorts of everyday activities--from eating and parenting to dating and voting--for the identity, purpose, and meaning once provided on Sunday morning. In our striving, we are chasing a sense of enoughness. But it remains ever out of reach, and the effort and anxiety are burning us out. Seculosity takes a thoughtful yet entertaining tour of American "performancism" and its cousins, highlighting both their ingenuity and mercilessness, all while challenging the conventional narrative of religious decline. Zahl unmasks the competing pieties around which so much of our lives revolve, and he does so in a way that's at points playful, personal, and incisive. Ultimately he brings us to a fresh appreciation for the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder.

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Editorial Rev. Gavan Jennings In Passing: The Touch of Evil Michael Kirke Mapping identity politics Margaret Hickey Getting rid of the least of our brethren Tim O’Sullivan Another classic from Fr Chevrot Pat Hanratty The king who needed no crown James Bradshaw A guide to France’s present and future James Bradshaw A Guide to the French Presidential election Grégoire de Fombelle The religious instinct remains vibrantly alive Bishop Robert Barron How we are being diversified into uniformity David Gibney The destruction of the Temple and its aftermath David Abulafia Films: The Batman John Mulderig

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In Teaching for Spiritual Formation, church historian and experienced Christian educator Kyle R. Hughes advances a fresh vision of Christian teaching and learning by drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, synthesizing the wisdom of the early church fathers with contemporary efforts to cultivate a distinctively Christian approach to education. Of interest to a wide range of Christian educators, this book examines how the writings of five significant church fathers can illuminate our understanding of the vocation of teachers, the nature of students, the purpose of curriculum, decisions about pedagogy, and how spiritual formation works. Besides reimagining these aspects of Christian education, Hughes also offers habits and practices that can help bring this vision of Christian teaching and learning to life, challenging Christian educators to sharpen their approach to the integration of faith and learning in practical and accessible ways.

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A short book about the challenges to liberalism from the right and the left by the bestselling author of The Origins of Political Order. Classical liberalism is in a state of crisis. Developed in the wake of Europe’s wars over religion and nationalism, liberalism is a system for governing diverse societies, which is grounded in fundamental principles of equality and the rule of law. It emphasizes the rights of individuals to pursue their own forms of happiness free from encroachment by government. It's no secret that liberalism didn't always live up to its own ideals. In America, many people were denied equality before the law. Who counted as full human beings worthy of universal rights was contested for centuries, and only recently has this circle expanded to include women, African Americans, LGBTQ+ people, and others. Conservatives complain that liberalism empties the common life of meaning. As the renowned political philosopher Francis Fukuyama shows in Liberalism and Its Discontents, the principles of liberalism have also, in recent decades, been pushed to new extremes by both the right and the left: neoliberals made a cult of economic freedom, and progressives focused on identity over human universality as central to their political vision. The result, Fukuyama argues, has been a fracturing of our civil society and an increasing peril to our democracy. In this short, clear account of our current political discontents, Fukuyama offers an essential defense of a revitalized liberalism for the twenty-first century.

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This book investigates the impact of education on the formation of character, moral education and the communication of values in late modern pluralistic societies. Scholars from four continents and many different academic fields are involved. While the basic framework for the contributions is informed by Christian traditions, the disciplines cover a significant range, including theology, education, psychology, literature, anthropology, law, and business. This makes for a rich variety of thematic concentrations and perspectives. Readers will quickly sense that the educational foundations and trajectories of any given country are pervasive and have a significant reach into the fabric and shape of the society and its values, making education a barometer of the well-being of a people and their culture. The result is a volume that will inform, stimulate and challenge our understanding of the role of education in contemporary societies. [Der Einfluss der Bildung auf Charakterbildung, ethische Erziehung und Kommunikation von Werten in spätmodernen pluralistischen Gesellschaften] Dieses Buch untersucht den Einfluss der Bildung auf die Charakterentwicklung, die moralische Erziehung und die Vermittlung von Werten in spätmodernen pluralistischen Gesellschaften. Die Beiträge kommen von Wissenschaftlern und Wissenschaftlerinnen aus vier Kontinenten und vielen verschiedenen akademischen Bereichen. Während der Rahmen für die Beiträge von christlichen Traditionen geprägt ist, decken die Disziplinen eine große Bandbreite ab, darunter Theologie, Pädagogik, Psychologie, Literatur, Anthropologie, Recht und Wirtschaft. Daraus ergibt sich eine reiche Vielfalt an thematischen Schwerpunkten und Perspektiven. Die Leserinnen und Leser werden schnell erkennen, dass die Bildungsgrundlagen und -wege eines jeden Landes bedeutenden Einfluss auf das Gefüge und die Form der Gesellschaft und ihrer Werte ausüben. Dies macht Bildung zu einem Gradmesser für das Wohlergehen eines Volkes und seiner Kultur. Entstanden ist ein Band, der unser Verständnis von der Rolle der Bildung in heutigen Gesellschaften heben, anregen und herausfordern kann. Contributions by Chung-Hyun Baik, Ashley Rogers Berner, David S. Cunningham, Joachim Funke, Charles L. Glenn, Robert W. Hefner, Darcia Narvaez, Stephen Pickard, Irene Pieper, Jo-Anne Reid, Heike Springhart, Anne W. Stewart, Michael Welker, and John Witte, Jr.

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Christianity is in decline in North America and Europe. Polls indicate that in the US the fastest-growing segment of the American population is the religiously unaffiliated (the so-called Nones). Why is this happening? Mark Ellingsen calls our attention to a previously overlooked reason--the flawed theology and Christian education material used in most mainline churches. These approaches forfeit the transcendence of God. They logically fall prey to the claim of German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (and his student Karl Marx) that Christianity is nothing more than a bunch of teachings that human beings have made up. Insofar as this is a message the public has been hearing, little wonder Christianity in America and Europe is losing ground! Though his main concern is to get church and academy talking about this problem and to prod us to do something about it, Ellingsen proposes a way out of this mess. Drawing on insights from the neo-orthodox, postliberal, progressive evangelical, and black church traditions, he offers a proposal that succeeds in making clear that God is more than how we experience him. He invites readers to explore with him the exciting possibility that a theological use of the scientific method could be employed to make a case for the plausibility of Christian faith.

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What is the relationship between the soul, or inner life, and what we wear in the making of identity and belief? What bearing do religious and political belonging, respectability, and resistance have on the way in which we dress? Why have more traditional religious practices been so prescriptive about body adornment? Historically, fashionable dress and religion have been positioned as polar opposites. Silhouettes of the Soul brings them together, placing them in conversation with each other. By moving beyond traditional, social scientific, and historical analysis of religious attire and adornment the book presents a variety of disciplinary approaches from across regional, social, and religious locations. Contentious and challenging, as well as academically rigorous, the book's diverse range of contributors - from fashion and religious studies scholars, to designers, activists, monastics, and journalists - explore the relationship between religion and fashion, extending the meanings and possibilities of both dress and spirituality. Combining interviews and personal stories with more traditional theoretical analysis, Silhouettes of the Soul offers new ways of looking at the relationship between religion, personal convictions, and self-expression - our sense of self and our sense of fashion.

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In the wake of the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks we, as an increasingly secular nation, were reminded that religion is, for good and bad, still significant in the modern world. Alongside this new awareness, religion reporters adopted the tools of so-called New Journalists, reporters of the 1960s and '70s like Truman Capote and Joan Didion who inserted themselves into the stories they covered while borrowing the narrative tool kit of fiction to avail themselves of a deeper truth. At the turn of the millennium, this personal, subjective, voice-driven New Religion Journalism was employed by young writers, willing to scrutinize questions of faith and doubt while taking God-talk seriously. Articles emerged from such journalists as Kelly Baker, Ann Neumann, Patrick Blanchfield, Jeff Kripal, and Meghan O'Gieblyn, characterized by their brash, innovative, daring, and stylistically sophisticated writing and an unprecedented willingness to detail their own interaction with faith (or their lack thereof). The God Beat brings together some of the finest and most representative samples of this emerging genre. By curating and presenting them as part of a meaningful trend, this compellingly edited collection helps us understand how we talk about God in public spaces--and why it matters--in a whole new way.

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When personal life splinters from professional life, as it does for so many people today, we often hold forth a vision of human life, in which everything fits together: work, family, community, and the common good. Organizational leaders love this dream, because, frankly, when people bring their whole selves to work, they are more productive. What’s good for the company, in this case, looks to be good for the staff member, too. And that’s no small accomplishment in a time when pandemic and racial inequity have made organizational leadership so economically and socially challenging. But all too often, this dream of holistic living and work relies too heavily upon the inner resources of individuals. The result is burnout, as leaders grow fatigued and team members feel manipulated. This book’s research among social entrepreneurs—with close attention to the experience of entrepreneurs of color—suggests that workplace communities have the economic and social resources needed for commonwealth. But the goods remain latent. Instead of obsessing about what individual inwardness can do, we should catalyze those latent resources. This book shows leaders how to start new conversations and tell new stories in order to cultivate spiritual capital and activate those latent goods.

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While the steady increase of the religiously unaffiliated Nones in America has generated anxious responses about rising secularism and loss of national identity, this book suggests a wider meaning-making approach wherein the Nones are seen as valuable dialogue partners necessary in this pivotal moment for the revealing of still hidden truths about culture, spirituality, and religion. Christians who overhear this dialogue may find upon self-reflection an emerging truth about their relationships, embedded stories, level of faith development, and susceptibility to a culturally conditioned, transactional religion. Nones who choose to engage in dialogue may find that the “nothingness” they bring to the dialogue is more significant than they realize, revealing truths of an apophatic spiritual path necessary for generating a transformational faith of freedom and capable of rebalancing a divisive, consumer-driven society. The religious and the not-religious, who are often seen as being on opposite sides of an imagined religious threshold, may instead be seen as standing together in a liminal space that opens in wordless silence to yet unseen possibilities and from which emerge new stories aligned with the heart of Creation.

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The whole world just got punched in the mouth. When does that ever happen? All of our plans are out the door and we’d be lucky to guess what’s happening next year, let alone two to three years down the road. Covid-19 was a world changer – and every area of life was affected. Including the Church. The Church has had to make so many changes you can’t keep up with it. So what comes next? This book seeks to ask two life-changing questions: Has Church simply been Interrupted as we wait to return to life as usual? Or can this pandemic be an opportunity for the Church to Reset? We coin the term, the “Great Opportunity”. Is this what we’ve been given? Has a sovereign God decided it’s time for a shake-up and this is the time to do it? Find out what went on during this time around the world. Find out how churches fared in the aftermath of past pandemics. Find out what things you can keep doing to get people back to church and what new (old) practices God wants us to be doing. The World and the Church get shaken up every 100 years or so. In years to come, someone may ask, “Where were you when the pandemic hit?” “What did you do?” “How did your church handle it?” Let’s make it a great story.

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One reporter takes an immersive dive into white supremacy's explosive online presence, exploring the undercurrents of propaganda, racism, misogyny, and history that led us to where we are now. Talia Lavin is every skinhead's worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic Jewish woman, acerbic, smart, and profoundly antiracist, with the investigative chops to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers. Culture Warlords is the story of how Lavin, a frequent target of extremist trolls (including those at Fox News), dove into a byzantine online culture of hate and learned the intricacies of how white supremacy proliferates online. Within these pages, she reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight online: Incels. White nationalists. White supremacists. National Socialists. Proud Boys. Christian extremists. In order to showcase them in their natural habitat, Talia assumes a range of identities, going undercover as a blonde Nazi babe, a forlorn incel, and a violent Aryan femme fatale. Along the way, she discovers a whites-only dating site geared toward racists looking for love, a disturbing extremist YouTube channel run by a fourteen-year-old girl with over 800,000 followers, the everyday heroes of the antifascist movement, and much more. By combining compelling stories chock-full of catfishing and gate-crashing with her own in-depth, gut-wrenching research, she also turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle and decimate the online hate movement from within. Shocking, humorous, and merciless in equal measure, Culture Warlords explores some of the vilest subcultures on the Web-and shows us how we can fight back.

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