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Inconsistency in the Torah

Inconsistency in the Torah is a critical intellectual history of the theories of textual growth in biblical studies. The historical critical approach to the Pentateuch has long relied upon scholarly intuition concerning some of its narrative and legal discrepancies, which scholars have taken as signs of fragmentation and competing agendas. Those hypotheses are, Joshua A. Berman argues, based on anachronistic, nineteenth-century under...

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Religion in Secular Society: Fifty Years On

Fifty years after its publication, Bryan Wilson's Religion in Secular Society (1966) remains a seminal work. It is one of the clearest articulations of the secularization thesis: the claim that modernizations brings with it fundamental changes in the nature and status of religion. For Wilson, secularization refers to the fact that religion has lost influence at the societal, the institutional, and the individual level. Individual sec...

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Trance-portation: Learning to Navigate the Inner World

The ability to move from the ordinary into an altered state of consciousness is one of the most valuable skills in both magic and religion. From the ceremonial magician to the shaman, using trance work to explore inner realms is essential to the magical process of healing, transcendence, and wisdom desired throughout diverse occult and spiritual traditions. Trance-Portation offers a comprehensive and multi-spirited way to enter the i...

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The Banality of Heidegger

Heidegger and Nazism: ever since the philosopher's public involvement in state politics in 1933, his name has necessarily been a part of this unsavory couple. After the publication in 2014 of the private Black Notebooks, it is now unambiguously part of another: Heidegger and anti-Semitism. What do we learn from analyzing the anti-Semitism of these private writings, together with its sources and grounds, not only for Heidegger's thoug...

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Theory and Practice in Essene Law

This book offers a novel approach for the study of law in the Judean Desert Scrolls, using the prism of legal theory. Following a couple of decades of scholarly consensus withdrawing from the "Essene hypothesis," it proposes to revive the term, and suggests employing it for the sectarian movement as a whole, while considering the group that lived in Qumran as the Yahad. It further proposes a new suggestion for the emergence of the Ya...

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Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi

This work offers a detailed reconstruction of the campaigns for and trials resulting in the beatification (in 1626) and subsequent canonization in 1169 of the Florentine mystic nun, Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi (1566-1607). Clare Copeland places her findings in the wide context of the politics of saint-making at a time of particular significance for the history of Roman Catholic canonization. The Protestant Reformation had put the Roman...

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Cognitive Science and the New Testament

Over the last few decades, our knowledge of how the human mind and brain works increased dramatically. The field of cognitive science enables us to understand religious traditions, rituals, and visionary experiences in novel ways. This has implications for the study of the New Testament and early Christianity. How people in the ancient Mediterranean world remembered sayings and stories, what they experienced when participating in rit...

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The Qur'an in Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Offering an analysis of Christian-Muslim dialogue across four centuries, this book highlights those voices of ecumenical tone which have more often used the Qur’an for drawing the two faiths together rather than pushing them apart, and amplifies the voice of the Qur’an itself. Finding that there is tremendous ecumenical ground between Christianity and Islam in the voices of their own scholars, this book ranges from a period of declin...

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Making the Bible Belt

Making the Bible Belt upends notions of a longstanding, stable marriage between political religion and the American South. H.L. Mencken coined the term "the Bible Belt" in the 1920s to capture the peculiar alliance of religion and public life in the South, but the reality he described was only the closing chapter of a long historical process. Into the twentieth century, a robust anticlerical tradition still challenged religious foray...

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Humour and Religion: Challenges and Ambiguities

Humour and Religion highlights the importance and functioning of humour in different world religions. Exploring the major religious cultures, the book looks at more constructive aspects to the relation between humour and religion, with humour seen as a pathway to spiritual wisdom. Exploring how religions contain (implicit) references to the finitude and relativity of the human condition, and why humour and spirituality fit well toget...