Showing 1–12 of 58 results

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War Magic: Religion, Sorcery, and Performance

This compelling volume explores how war magic and warrior religion unleash the power of the gods, demons, ghosts, and the dead. Documenting war magic and warrior religion as they are performed in diverse cultures and across historical time periods, this volume foregrounds embodiment, practice, and performance in anthropological approaches to magic, sorcery, shamanism, and religion. The authors go beyond what magic ‘represents’ to consider what magic does. From Chinese exorcists, Javanese spirit siblings, and black magic in Sumatra to Tamil Tiger suicide bombers, Chamorro spiritual re-enchantment, tantric Buddhist war magic, and Yanomami dark shamans, religion and magic are re-evaluated not just from the practitioner’s perspective but through the victim’s lived experience. These original investigations reveal a nuanced approach to understanding social action, innovation, and the revitalization of tradition in colonial and post-colonial societies undergoing rapid social transformation.

About the Author

Douglas Farrer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guam. He is the author of Shadows of the Prophet: Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism (Springer), and co-author of Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World (SUNY).

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Social Media for Government Learning

Social media, at least the discussion of it, has exploded across the government sector over the last few years. Everyone seems to be talking about it, but how do we meet the challenge of incorporating social media into the learning function for the public sector? Social Learning for the Government Workforce serves as a practical guide between theory and the real world application of social media learning. This publication will be an ideal tool for anyone involved in the L&D function who desires to use social tools to support workplace learning.

About the Author

Jane Bozarth, EdD, holds an M.Ed. in training and development/technology in training and a doctorate in training and development, both from North Carolina State University. Her master s thesis was revised and published as eLearning Solutions on a Shoestring (Pfeiffer, 2005); her doctorate focused on social learning within a community of practice. Bozarth has published several other books, including From Analysis to Evaluation and Social Media for Trainers, and was the principal writer/designer for the Challenge Continues leadership training workshop package. She is also the author of Learning Solutions magazine s popular monthly Nuts & Bolts column. In addition, Bozarth is a working practitioner and in her 20-year career has evolved from classroom trainer to instructional designer to e-learning coordinator for the North Carolina state government. Her newest book, Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-Tos of Working Out Loud, will be co-published by John Wiley & Sons and ASTD Press in May 2014. There is a Show Your Work Pinterest Board available now.”

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The Spirit Moves West: Korean Missionaries in America

With the extraordinary growth of Christianity in the global south has come the rise of “reverse missions,” in which countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America send missionaries to re-evangelize the West. In The Spirit Moves West, Rebecca Kim focuses on South Korea as a case study of how non-Western missionaries evangelize Americans, particularly white Americans. Known as the “Asian Protestant Superpower,” South Korea now sends more missionaries abroad than any country except the United States; there are approximately 22,000 Korean missionaries in over 160 countries. Drawing on four years of in-depth interviews, participant observation, and surveys of South Korea’s largest non-denominational missionary-sending agency, University Bible Fellowship, Rebecca Kim gives us an inside look at reverse missions. Conducting her research both in the US and South Korea, she studies the motivations and methods of Korean evangelicals who have sought to “bring the gospel back” to America since the 1970s. She also explores how a mission movement from the global South could evolve over time in the West. The Spirit Moves West is the first empirically-grounded examination of a much-discussed phenomenon, which concludes by considering what the future of non-Western, especially Korean, missions will bring.

About the Author

Rebecca Y. Kim is the Frank R. Seaver Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University.

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The Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to Marx

It is widely assumed that science is the enemy of religious faith. The idea is so pervasive that entire industries of religious apologetics converge around the challenge of Darwin, evolution, and the “secular worldview.” This book challenges such assumptions by proposing a different cause of unbelief in the West: the Christian conscience. Tracing a history of doubt and unbelief from the Reformation to the age of Darwin and Karl Marx, Dominic Erdozain argues that the most powerful solvents of religious orthodoxy have been concepts of moral equity and personal freedom generated by Christianity itself. Revealing links between the radical Reformation and early modern philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle, Erdozain demonstrates that the dynamism of the Enlightenment, including the very concept of “natural reason” espoused by philosophers such as Voltaire, was rooted in Christian ethics and spirituality. The final chapters explore similar themes in the era of Darwin and Marx, showing how moral revolt preceded and transcended the challenges of evolution and “scientific materialism” in the unseating of religious belief. The picture that emerges is not of a secular challenge to religious faith, but a series of theological insurrections against divisive accounts of Christian orthodoxy.

About the Author

Dominic Erdozain is a visiting scholar at Emory University. His first book The Problem of Pleasure: Sport, Recreation and the Crisis of Victorian Religion was published in 2010.

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Naked Seeing: The Great Perfection, the Wheel of Time, and Visionary Buddhism in Renaissance Tibet

Naked Seeing investigates visionary yogas in the Tibetan Bon and Buddhist traditions: practices in which a meditator spends long periods of time in a dark room or gazing at the open sky, with the goal of experiencing luminous visions. The book examines these practices in two major esoteric traditions, known as the Wheel of Time (Kalacakra) and the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). As both of these traditions began experimenting with sensory deprivation, they found that immersion in darkness or light resulted in unusual experiences of seeing, and those experiences could then be used as gateways to pursuing some of the classic Buddhist questions about appearances, emptiness, and the nature of reality. This book presents the intellectual and literary histories of these practices, and also explores the meditative techniques and physiology that underlie their distinctive visionary experiences.
The book contains complete English translations of three major Tibetan texts on visionary practice. These are: a Kalacakra treatise by Yumo Mikyo Dorje, The Lamp Illuminating Emptiness; a Nyingma Great Perfection work called The Tantra of the Blazing Lamps; and a Bon Great Perfection work called Advice on the Six Lamps, along with a detailed commentary on this by Drugom Gyalwa Yungdrung.

About the Author

Chris Hatchell teaches in the field of Asian religions, with particular interests in Tibetan religion. His research focuses on Tibet, particularly the Bon religion and a system of philosophy and practice called the Great Perfection (rdzogs chen). He is especially interested in pursuing visual studies related to religious traditions, and his main research has been on Buddhist visionary practices.

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The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics) 1st Edition

“The Bhagavad Gita” is an early epic poem that recounts the conversation between Arjuna the warrior and his charioteer Krishna, the manifestation of God. In the moments before a great battle, the dialogue sets out the important lessons Arjuna must learn to change the outcome of the war he is to fight, and culminates in Krishna revealing to the warrior his true cosmic form, counselling him to search for the universal perfection of life. Ranging from instructions on yoga postures to dense moral discussion, the Gita is one of the most important Hindu texts, as well as serving as a practical guide to living well.

About the Author

Laurie L. Patton, is Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Chairperson (1996). She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. For several years during the last two decades she has made her Indian home in Pune, Maharashtra. Her scholarly interests are in the interpretation of early Indian ritual and narrative, comparative mythology, literary theory in the study of religion, and women and Hinduism in contemporary India. Laurie L. Patton, Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Chairperson (1996). She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. For several years during the last two decades she has made her Indian home in Pune, Maharashtra. Her scholarly interests are in the interpretation of early Indian ritual and narrative, comparative mythology, literary theory in the study of religion, and women and Hinduism in contemporary India.

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Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance

A leading voice of progressive Christianity makes a powerful case for faith as a radical way of being in the world During his thirty-year career as a parish minister and professor, Robin Meyers has focused on renewing the church as an instrument of social change and personal transformation. In this provocative and passionate book, he explores the decline of the church as a community of believers and calls readers back to the church’s roots as a community of resistance. Shifting the conversation about church renewal away from theological purity and marketing strategies that embrace cultural norms, and toward “embodied noncompliance” with the dominant culture, Meyers urges a return to the revolutionary spirit that marked Jesus’s ministry. Framing his discussion around three poems by twentieth-century Polish poet Anna Kamienska, Meyers casts the nature of faith as a force that stands against anything and everything that engenders death and indignity. He calls for active-sometimes even subversive-defiance of the ego’s temptations, of what he terms “the heresy of orthodoxy itself,” and of an uncritical acceptance of militarism and capitalism. Each chapter is a poignant and urgent invitation to recover the Jesus Movement as a Beloved Community of Resistance.

About the Author

Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers is senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC church, Oklahoma City, and Distinguished Professor of Social Justice in the philosophy department, Oklahoma City University. He lives in Oklahoma City, OK.

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Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion 1st Edition

For the first time a noted historian of Christianity explores the full story of the emergence and development of the Marian cult in the early Christian centuries. The means by which Mary, mother of Jesus, came to prominence have long remained strangely overlooked despite, or perhaps because of, her centrality in Christian devotion. Gathering together fresh information from often neglected sources, including early liturgical texts and Dormition and Assumption apocrypha, Stephen Shoemaker reveals that Marian devotion played a far more vital role in the development of early Christian belief and practice than has been previously recognized, finding evidence that dates back to the latter half of the second century. Through extensive research, the author is able to provide a fascinating background to the hitherto inexplicable “explosion” of Marian devotion that historians and theologians have pondered for decades, offering a wide-ranging study that challenges many conventional beliefs surrounding the subject of Mary, Mother of God.

About the Author

Stephen J. Shoemaker is professor of religious studies at the University of Oregon, specializing in the history of Christianity and the beginnings of Islam. He lives in Eugene, OR.

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An Introduction to the New Testament: The Abridged Edition (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

A long-awaited abridgement of Raymond Brown’s classic and best-selling introduction to the New Testament Since its publication in 1997, Raymond Brown’s Introduction to the New Testament has been widely embraced by modern readers seeking to understand the Christian Bible. Acknowledged as a paragon of New Testament studies in his lifetime, Brown was a gifted communicator who wrote with ease and clarity. Abridged by Marion Soards, who worked with Brown on the original text, this new, concise version maintains the essence and centrist interpretation of the original without tampering with Brown’s perspective, insights, or conclusions. The biblical writings themselves remain the focus, but there are also chapters dealing with the nature, origin, and interpretation of the New Testament texts, as well as chapters concerning the political, social, religious, and philosophical world of antiquity. Furthermore, augmenting Brown’s commentary on the New Testament itself are topics such as the Gospels’ relationship to one another; the form and function of ancient letters; Paul’s thought and life, along with his motivation, legacy, and theology; a reflection on the historical Jesus; and a survey of relevant Jewish and Christian writings. This comprehensive, reliable, and authoritative guidebook is now more accessible for novices, general readers, Bible study groups, ministers, scholars, and students alike.

About the Author

Raymond E. Brown (1928-1998) was a distinguished professor of biblical studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Marion L. Soards is professor of New Testament studies at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

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Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud

Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud offers a new perspective on perhaps the most important religious text of the Jewish tradition. It is widely recognized that the creators of the Talmud innovatively interpreted and changed the older traditions on which they drew. Nevertheless, it has been assumed that the ancient rabbis were committed to maintaining continuity with the past. Moulie Vidas argues on the contrary that structural features of the Talmud were designed to produce a discontinuity with tradition, and that this discontinuity was part and parcel of the rabbis’ self-conception. Both this self-conception and these structural features were part of a debate within and beyond the Jewish community about the transmission of tradition. Focusing on the Babylonian Talmud, produced in the rabbinic academies of late ancient Mesopotamia, Vidas analyzes key passages to show how the Talmud’s creators contrasted their own voice with that of their predecessors. He also examines Zoroastrian, Christian, and mystical Jewish sources to reconstruct the debates and wide-ranging conversations that shaped the Talmud’s literary and intellectual character.

About the Author

Moulie Vidas is an assistant professor in the Department of Religion and the Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University.

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Faith in Schools?: Autonomy, Citizenship, and Religious Education in the Liberal State

Should a liberal democratic state permit religious schools? Should it fund them? What principles should govern these decisions in a society marked by religious and cultural pluralism? In Faith in Schools?, Ian MacMullen tackles these important questions through both political and educational theory, and he reaches some surprising and provocative conclusions. MacMullen argues that parents’ desires to educate their children “in the faith” must not be allowed to deny children the opportunity for ongoing rational reflection about their values. Government should safeguard children’s interests in developing as autonomous persons as well as society’s interest in the education of an emerging generation of citizens. But, he writes, liberal theory does not support a strict separation of church and state in education policy. MacMullen proposes criteria to distinguish religious schools that satisfy legitimate public interests from those that do not. And he argues forcefully that governments should fund every type of school that they permit, rather than favoring upper-income parents by allowing them to buy their way out of the requirements deemed suitable for children educated at public expense. Drawing on psychological research, he proposes public funding of a broad range of religious primary schools, because they can help lay the foundations for young children’s future autonomy. In secondary education, by contrast, even private religious schools ought to be obliged to provide robust exposure to the ideas of other religions, to atheism, and to nonreligious approaches to ethics.

About the Author

Ian MacMullen is assistant professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis.

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The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion

This book brings together some of the world’s most exciting scholars from across a variety of disciplines to provide a concise and accessible guide to the Hebrew Bible. It covers every major genre of book in the Old Testament together with in-depth discussions of major themes such as human nature, covenant, creation, ethics, ritual and purity, sacred space, and monotheism. This authoritative overview sets each book within its historical and cultural context in the ancient Near East, paying special attention to its sociological setting. It provides new insights into the reception of the books and the different ways they have been studied, from historical-critical enquiry to modern advocacy approaches such as feminism and liberation theology. It also includes a guide to biblical translations and textual criticism and helpful suggestions for further reading. Featuring contributions from experts with backgrounds in the Jewish and Christian faith traditions as well as secular scholars in the humanities and social sciences, The Hebrew Bible is the perfect starting place for anyone seeking a user-friendly introduction to the Old Testament, and an invaluable reference book for students and teachers.

About the Author

John Barton is the Oriel and Laing Professor Emeritus of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford. His many books include Reading the Old Testament; Oracles of God: Perceptions of Ancient Prophecy in Israel after the Exile; and The Nature of Biblical Criticism.

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