The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion


Thorkild Jacobsen - 1976
    It will undoubtedly remain for a long time a classic in its field.”—Religious Studies Review“The Treasures of Darkness is the culmination of a lifetime’s work, an attempt to summarize and recreate the spiritual life of Ancient Mesopotamia. Jacobsen has succeeded brilliantly. . . . His vast experience shows through every page of this unique book, through the vivid, new translations resulting from years of careful research. Everyone interested in early Mesopotamia, whether specialist, student, or complete layman, should read this book. . . . It is, quite simply, authoritative, based on a vast experience of the ancient Mesopotamian mind, and very well written in the bargain.”—Brian M. Fagan, History“Professor Jacobsen is an authority on Sumerian life and society, but he is above all a philologist of rare sensibility. The Treasures of Darkness is almost entirely devoted to textual evidence, the more gritty sources of archaeological knowledge being seldom mentioned. He introduces many new translations which are much finer than previous versions. . . . Simply to read this poetry and the author’s sympathetic commentary is a pleasure and a revelation. Professor Jacobsen accepts the premise that all religion springs from man’s experience of a power not of this world, a mysterious ‘Wholly Other.’ This numinous power cannot be described in terms of worldly experience but only in allusive ‘metaphors’ that serve as a means of communication in religious teaching and thought. . . . As a literary work combining sensibility, imagination and scholarship, this book is near perfection.”—Jacquetta Hawkes, The London Sunday Times“A fascinating book. The general reader cannot fail to admire the translated passages of Sumerian poetry with which it abounds, especially those illustrating the Dumuzi-Inanna cycle of courtship, wedding and lament for the god’s untimely death. Many of these (though not all) are new even to the specialist and will repay close study.”—B.O.R. Gurney, Times Literary Supplement

Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn ʻArabī


Claude Addas - 1989
    Until the publication of this book, anyone who wanted to learn about the life of Ibn Arabi has had little choice of material to work from. This major study by Claude Addas is based on a detailed analysis of a whole range of Ibn Arabi's own writings as well as a vast amount of secondary literature in both Arabic and Persian. The result is the first-ever attempt to reconstruct what proves to have been a double itinerary: on the one hand, the journey that took Ibn Arabi from his native Andalusia to Damascus - and on the other hand, the 'Night Journey' which carried him along the paths of asceticism and prayer to the ultimate stage of revelation of his mystic quest.

The Faith to Doubt: Glimpses of Buddhist Uncertainty


Stephen Batchelor - 1990
    But “faith is not equivalent to mere belief. Faith is the condition of ultimate confidence that we have the capacity to follow the path of doubt to its end. And courage.”In this engaging spiritual memoir, Stephen Batchelor describes his own training, first as a Tibetan Buddhist and then as a Zen practitioner, and his own direct struggles along his path. “It is most uncanny that we are able to ask questions, for to question means to acknowledge that we do not know something. But it is more than an acknowledgement: it includes a yearning to confront an unknown and illuminate it through understanding. Questioning is a quest.”Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. He considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.

Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition


Paul Williams - 2000
    Abstract and complex ideas are made understandable by the authors' lucid style. Of particular interest is the up-to-date survey of Buddhist Tantra in India, a branch of Buddhism where strictly controlled sexual activity can play a part in the religious path. Williams' discussion of this controversial practice as well as of many other subjects makes Buddhist Thought crucial reading for all interested in Buddhism.

The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives


Carole Hillenbrand - 1999
    With breathtaking command of medieval Muslim sources as well as the vast literature on medieval European and Muslim culture, Carole Hillenbrand has produced a book that shows not only how the Crusades were perceived by the Muslims, but how the Crusades affected the Muslim world - militarily, culturally, and psychologically.

Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century


Richard C. Foltz - 1999
    Religions of the Silk Road looks behind the romantic notions of the colonial era and tells the story of how cultural traditions, especially in the form of religious ideas, accompanied merchants and their goods along the overland Asian trade routes in pre-modern times. As early as three thousand years ago Hebraic and Iranian religious ideas and practices traveled eastwards in this way, to be followed centuries later by the great missionary traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and Islam. But the Silk Road was more than just a conduit along which these religions hitched rides East; it was a formative and transformative rite of passage, and no religion emerged unchanged at the end of the journey.

Old Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors


Douglas K. Stuart - 1980
    For more than two decades, Stuart has been providing a reliable step-by-step guide on how to write an exegetical paper on the Old Testament. Now a new generation of students has an indispensable tool for serious biblical study.

Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach


Kenneth D. Keathley - 2009
    In relation, Keathley looks at salvation and sovereignty through the lens of Molinism, a doctrine named after Luis Molina (1535-1600) that is based on a strong notion of God’s control and an equally firm affirmation of human freedom.

Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross


S. Mark Heim - 2006
    In Saved from Sacrifice theologian Mark Heim takes on this paradox, asserting that the cross must be understood against the whole history of human scapegoating violence. In order to highlight the dimensions of his argument, Heim carefully and critically draws on the groundbreaking work of French theorist and biblical scholar René Girard. Yet Heim goes beyond Girard to develop a comprehensive theology of the atonement and the cross through his fresh readings of well-known biblical passages and his exploration of the place of the victim.

The Blue Cliff Record


Yuanwu Keqin
    Compiled in the twelfth century, it is considered one of the great treasures of Zen literature and an essential study manual for students of Zen.

Confucius: The Great Digest, The Unwobbling Pivot, The Analects


Ezra Pound - 1951
    His great Canto XIII is about Kung (Confucius), Cantos LII-LXI deal with Chinese history, and in the later Cantos key motifs are often given in Chinese quotations with the characters set into the English text. His introduction to Chinese and Japanese literature was chiefly through Ernest Fenollosa whose translations and notes were given him by the scholar's widow in London about 1913. From these notebooks came, in time, the superb poems entitled Cathay and Pound's edition of Fenollosa's Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry. But it was Confucius’ ethical and political teachings which most influenced Pound. And now, for the first time, his versions, with commentary, of three basic texts that he translated have been assembled in one volume: The Great Digest (Ta Hsio), first published in 1928; The Unwobbling Pivot (Chung Yung), 1947; and The Analects (Lun-yü), 1950. For the first two, the Chinese characters from the ancient "Stone Classics” are printed en face in our edition, with a note by Achilles Fang. Pound never wanted to be a literal translator. What he could do, as no other could, is to identify the essence, pick out "what matters now," and phrase it so pungently, so beautifully, that it will stick in the head and "make it new."

An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices


Peter Harvey - 1990
    It is intended to be a textbook for students of Religious or Asian Studies, but will also be of interest to those who want a general survey of Buddhism and its beliefs.

Predestination & Free Will: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom


David Basinger - 1985
    David and Randall Basinger present four different answers to the question "If God is in control, are people really free?" Contributors include proponents of foreordination, foreknowledge, self-limited power, and self-limited knowledge.

Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views


James K. Beilby - 2001
    And the issue will not go away. More recently, the terms of the debate have shifted, and the issue has taken on new urgency with the theological proposal known as the openness of God. This view maintains that God's knowledge, while perfect, is limited regarding the future inasmuch as the future is "open" and not settled.Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views provides a venue for well-known proponents of four distinct views of divine foreknowledge to present their cases: Gregory A. Boyd of Bethel College presents the open-theism view, David Hunt of Whittier College weighs in on the simple-foreknowledge view, William Lane Craig of Talbot School of Theology takes the middle-knowledge view, and Paul Helm of Regent College, Vancouver, presents the Augustinian-Calvinist view. All four respond to each of the other essayists, noting points of agreement and disagreement. Editors James K. Beilby and Paul R. Eddy introduce the contemporary debate and also offer a conclusion that helps you evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each view. The result is a unique opportunity to grapple with the issues and arguments and frame your own understanding of this important debate.

Belief in God in an Age of Science


John C. Polkinghorne - 1998
    In this thought-provoking book, Polkinghorne focuses on the collegiality between science and theology, contending that the inquiries of these "intellectual cousins" are parallel."Polkinghorne [presents] a polished and logically coherent argument."—Freeman J. Dyson, New York Review of Books"Short, accessible, and authoritative."—Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer"This book should be widely read."—Colin Tudge, New Statesman and Society"If you read one book on science and religion, this should be it."—Kirkus Reviews