Traces the decline of Christianity in America since the 1950s, posing controversial arguments about the role of heresy in the nation's downfall while calling for a revival of traditional Christian practices.
Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from.
Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions. These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealing with unimaginable loss—the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how, for better and worse, religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face. Drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as her own research, Pagels opens unexpected ways of understanding persistent religious aspects of our culture. A provocative and deeply moving account from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.
We all know what religion is - or do we? Confronted with religious pluralism and cultural diversity, it manifests itself in many forms. What is Religion? serves not only as an introduction to the different belief systems flourishing throughout the modern world, but asks us to consider how the very boundaries of faith might be drawn now and in the future. How might religion interact with political ends, or permeate culture, society and everyday life? Is the post-secular world in thrall to 'religions' of its own kind - materialism, humanism, medicine, science? And what logic separates 'common-sense' or academic knowledge from the immutable but unstable boudaries of faith? Which is the more certain? What does it mean to believe? Combining clear accounts of contemporary global religious practice with an incisive philosophical interrogation of the dynamics and aims of belief, What is Religion? offers a fresh and wide-ranging introduction to the perennial human questions of ritual, faith, ethics and salvation.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Abandon dead, dry, rule-keeping and embrace the promise of being truly known and deeply loved. Jefferson Bethke burst into the cultural conversation in 2012 with a passionate, provocative poem titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” The 4-minute video literally became an overnight sensation, with 7 million YouTube views in its first 48 hours (and 23+ million in a year). The message blew up on social-media, triggering an avalanche of responses running the gamut from encouraged to enraged. In Jesus > Religion, Bethke unpacks similar contrasts that he drew in the poem—highlighting the difference between teeth gritting and grace, law and love, performance ...
Diana Butler Bass, one of contemporary Christianity’s leading trend-spotters, exposes how the failings of the church today are giving rise to a new “spiritual but not religious” movement. Using evidence from the latest national polls and from her own cutting-edge research, Bass, the visionary author of A People’s History of Christianity, continues the conversation began in books like Brian D. McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity and Harvey Cox’s The Future of Faith, examining the connections—and the divisions—between theology, practice, and community that Christians experience today. Bass’s clearly worded, powerful, and probing Christianity After Religion is required reading for anyone invested in the future of Christianity.
The Religions Book clearly and simply explains all of the important information about the world's major, and many minor, religions, in an easy-to-access format. Using easy-to-follow graphics and artworks, succinct quotations, and thoroughly accessible text, The Religions Book explores the beliefs that underpin religious traditions around the globe and how they developed. From primal beliefs to the world's great faiths and the continuing quest for spiritual meaning in our complex world, The Religions Book gets to the heart of what it means to believe in God and religion's place in society. The Religions Book includes: - A dedicated section for each of the world's five major faiths - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism - Primal beliefs, ancient and classical mythology, and new religions - Brief biographies and context boxes to give the full historical context of selected religions The clear and concise summaries, graphics, and quotations in The Religions Book will help even the complete novice understand the ideas behind faiths and the place of religion in the world.