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The conversion of the emperor Constantine to Christianity in 368 AD brought a transformation to Christianity and to western civilization, the effects of which we still feel today. Previously, the Roman empire had absorbed and sustained the Greek intellectual tradition which, in the astronomy of Ptolemy, the medicine of Galen and the philosophy of Plotinus, reached new heights. Constantine turned Rome from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilisation of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority. The century after Constantine's conversion saw the development of an alliance between church and state which stifled freedom of thought and the tradition of Greek rationalism which was intrinsic to it. The churches enjoyed enormous patronage and exemptions from tax, and in return allowed the emperors to take on the definition and enforcement of an increasingly narrow religious orthodoxy.
This book explores how the European mind was closed by the revolution of the fourth century. It looks at the rise of the 'divine' monarch, the struggle as Christianity painfully separated itself from Judaism, the conflict between faith and reason, and the problems in finding any kind of rational basis for Christian theology. In these centuries, a turning-point for Western civilisation, we see the development of Christian anti-Semitism, the origins of the opposition of religion and science and the roots of Christianity's discomfort with sex, issues which haunt the Christian churches to this day.
The Closing of the Western Mind is a major work of history. Wide-ranging and ambitious, its central theme is the relationship between the two wellsprings of our civilisation, the Judaeo-Christian and the Greco-Roman, and how the tensions between them have created the culture in which we continue to live, think and believe.
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The Reformation was the seismic event in European history over the past 1000 years, and one which tore the medieval world apart. Not just European religion, but thought, culture, society, state systems, personal relations - everything - was turned upside down. Just about everything which followed in European history can be traced back in some way to the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation which it provoked. The Reformation is where the modern world painfully and dramatically began, and MacCulloch's great history of it is recognised as the best modern account.
If you don't know what the Bible says or what it says about you, you'll fall prey to deception.
This inspiring book describes how to effectively interpret the Bible.
It's not meant to be controversial; however, it will be contrary to many religious teachings you have ever heard. Yet it is my responsibility to teach.
It is not my intention to do a comprehensive study of the Bible. Religious ideas about Scriptures have held the body of Christ in bondage because the enemy has perverted their minds to the great truths in the word of God. The enemy steals what you do not understand. God designed His word to give you everything for life and godliness. His word works and knows no time or distance. This book will shed light on the real meaning of many misunderstood scriptures in the Bible by rightly dividing the word of God.
'This is a sacred treasury, a spiritual notebook which is very special to me, and which has touched and inspired me at different times over the years.'
In To Live from the Heart: Mindful Paths to the Sacred, Sister Stan reveals how prayer can play an important part in all our lives, lifting our spirits and offering us hope and support in good times and bad.
This comforting treasury of mindful meditations, prayers, proverbs and essays has helped to sustain Sister Stan through the years. In sharing them with us, she hopes they will nourish our souls, bring us peace on our journey through life, and inspire us to live from the heart.
Witchcraft haunts the Western imagination to this day, from Central Europe to Britain to North America. This book explores the development of witchcraft and of the belief in it (stressing the difference between the two), the sixteenthand seventeenth-century obsession that spawned witch-hunting, the eventual decline of witchcraft, and the phenomenon's fascinating 'afterlife' that has involved the Nazis' fixation and modern treatments including Arthur Miller's acclaimed The Crucible. Fully illustrated with historical documents and colour photographs, and expertly written by Professor David Nash, this book isÂthe perfect introduction to a subject that is compelling, disturbing and aÂlittle-understood cultural touchstone.
With more than four decades of firsthand experience reporting from Vatican City, David Willey explores the religious and personal background of Pope Francis and his ability to fulfill the promises of reform made during the first two years of his papacy.Sex crimes and cover-ups, financial scandal, declining membership, and the unprecedented resignation of its chief executive, Pope Benedict XVI. These were the ingredients of a twenty-first century crisis in the Vatican--a crisis that might have anticipated the election of a steadily conservative pope, a career bureaucrat, and an insider. An operator. Instead they chose Francis. Using his unparalleled access and knowledge of the inner workings of the Vatican, BBC correspondent David Willey chronicles Francis's first two years as pope and analyzes what could happen in the years to come. He tells the inside story of how this most unlikely man came from "the end of the world" to lead the world's largest corporation into the future, stirring millions to interest and faith again through his frank speeches and benevolent beliefs. In putting this all into context, Willey seeks to further unravel the mysteries and conspiracies that continue to surround the worldwide headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The world has never seen the Church in a greater state of flux, as Francis's words and deeds have enchanted, entertained, and sometimes enraged the public. In this comprehensive biography complete with full-color photography, David Willey explores the religious and personal background of the inspirational Pope Francis, his stunning impact on the Catholic Church, the hopes he has raised, and the legacy he will leave behind.
The Book of Enoch (also 1 Enoch) is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel. It is regarded as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, but no other Christian group.
At a time when the whole of Western Europe was in the grip of the Black Death and the Hundred Years War, there was a great flourishing of spiritual works. The Cloud of Unknowing is part of this tradition, and although the exact identity of its author remains obscure, he was probably an English country patron of the late fourteenth century. The main theme of this book is that God cannot be reached by human intellect but only by a love that can pierce the 'cloud of unknowing.
The Book of Enoch is the most notable extant apocalyptic work outside the canonical Scriptures. It describes the fall of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim (cf. the bene Elohim, Genesis 6: 1-2). The fallen angels went to Enoch to intercede on their behalf with God after he declared to them their doom. The remainder of the book describes Enoch's visit to Heaven in the form of a vision, and his revelations.