When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario? In this disarmingly witty book, Julian Barnes confronts our unending obsession with the end. He reflects on what it means to miss God, whether death can be good for our careers and why we eventually turn into our parents. Barnes is the perfect guide to the weirdness of the only thing that binds us all.
Selected from the book Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes
VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human
Also in the Vintage Minis series: Calm by Tim Parks Drinking by John Cheever Babies by Anne Enright Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley
A brilliant, emotionally wrenching new novel from the author of Atonement and Amsterdam.
Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.
She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.
'An imaginative tour de force ... She really is a genius' Guardian
'A delight' New Statesman
FROM THE MAN BOOKER-SHORTLISTED AUTHOR NICOLA BARKER
To the world he is Sri Ramakrishna - godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru. To temple owner, Rani Rashmoni, he is the Brahmin fated to defy tradition. But to Hriday, his nephew and long-time caretaker, he is just Uncle - maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to perform dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulphur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower.
'An amazing book, one that every man needs in his life.'Jason Fox, SAS: Who Dares Wins
Become a stronger version of the man you already are with the life-changing potential of journaling. Using a powerful writing programme made up of three core stages and thirty writing exercises, this book is like a work out for your mind. Once you get started you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Join a legion of men now journaling and be part of the MindJournal movement.
Letter to a Priest encapsulates the sharp wit and questioning nature of Simone Weil. Regarded by Susan Sontag as 'one of the most uncompromising and troubling witnesses to the modern travail of the spirit', Weil grips the moral imagination as few others before or since. She was only thirty four when she died in 1943, yet despite her short life she left behind an incredible body of literature. Letter to a Priest, addressed to Father Joseph-Marie Perrin, a Catholic priest who Weil met in Marseilles, is one of her most powerful pieces. Written at a time when those who knew her considered her to be 'like a soul in torment whose thinking had all the signs of a deep inner conflict', it contains thirty five powerful expressions of opinion on matters concerning Catholic faith, dogma and institutions. Vehement and controversial, yet eloquent and moving, it is essential reading for anyone who has questions about faith and belief.
‘Jack Kornfield is a wonderful storyteller and a great teacher’ Thich Nhat Hanh
Bestselling author of A Path With Heart, Jack Kornfield invites you into a new awareness: how you can free yourself, whoever you are and whatever your circumstances.
Renowned for his mindfulness practices and meditations, Jack provides the keys for opening gateways to immediate shifts in perspective and clarity of vision, allowing yourself to change course, take action or to simply relax.
Presenting different paths to different kinds of freedom – freedom from fear, freedom to start over again, to love, to be yourself and to be happy – he guides you into an active process that engages your mind, heart and spirit, and brings real joy, over and over again.
Drawing from his own life, he presents a stirring call to be here, in the power of the now, the present, to work through life’s biggest challenges.
Master the art of living from one of the world’s most revered spiritual leaders.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the world’s most renowned Zen master, turns his mindful attention to the most important subject of all – the art of living.
The bestselling author of The Miracle of Mindfulness presents, for the first time, seven transformative meditations that open up new perspectives on our lives, our relationships and our interconnectedness with the world around us. He reveals an art of living in mindfulness that helps us answer life's deepest questions, experience the happiness and freedom we desire and face ageing and dying with curiosity and joy instead of fear.
Stimulating and inspiring, this book teaches us the importance of looking inside ourselves and developing compassion, before we can turn to our relationships at home and in the wider world. Full of remarkable stories from Thich Nhat Hanh’s own experiences and mindful practices for engaging with life, this will be a book that will help us generate happiness, understanding and love so we can live deeply in each moment of our life, right where we are.
What does it mean to be young and Muslim today? There is a segment of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims that is more influential than any other, and will shape not just the future of Muslims, but also the world around them: meet 'Generation M'.
From fashion magazines to social networking, the 'Mipsterz' to the 'Haloodies', halal internet dating to Muslim boy bands, Generation M are making their mark. Shelina Janmohamed, award-winning author and leading voice on Muslim youth, investigates this growing cultural phenomenon at a time when understanding the mindset of young Muslims is critical. With their belief in an identity encompassing both faith and modernity, Generation M are not only adapting to Western consumerism, but reclaiming it as their own.
'I couldn't give this book a higher recommendation' BILLY CONNOLLY
Written by the Buddhist meditation master and popular international speaker Sogyal Rinpoche, this highly acclaimed book clarifies the majestic vision of life and death that underlies the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It includes not only a lucid, inspiring and complete introduction to the practice of meditation, but also advice on how to care for the dying with love and compassion, and how to bring them help of a spiritual kind. But there is much more besides in this classic work, which was written to inspire all who read it to begin the journey to enlightenment and so become 'servants of peace'.
There is no escaping the Jerusalem of the religious imagination. Not once but three times holy, its overwhelming spiritual significance looms large over the city's complex urban landscape and the diurnal rhythms and struggles that make up its earthbound existence. Nonetheless, writes Paola Caridi, in this intimate and hard-hitting portrayal of the city, it is possible to close one's eyes and, "like the blind listening to sounds," discern the conflict and plurality of belonging that mark out the city' secular character. Jerusalem without God leads the reader through the streets, malls, suburbs, traffic jams, and squares of Jerusalem's present moment, into the daily lives of the men and women who inhabit it. Caridi brings contemporary Jerusalem alive by describing it as a place of sights and senses, sounds and smells, but she also shows us a city riven by the harsh asymmetry of power and control embodied in its lines, limits, walls, and borders. She explores a cruel city, where Israeli and Palestinian civilians sometimes spend hours in the same supermarkets, only to return to the confines of their respective districts, invisible to each other; a city memorable for its ancient stones and shimmering sunsets but dotted with Israeli checkpoints, "postmodern drawbridges," that control the movement of people, ideas, and potential attackers. Describing Jerusalem through the lenses of urban planners and politicians, anthropologists and archaeologists, advertisers and scholars, Jerusalem without God reveals a city that is as diverse as it is complex, and ultimately, argues its author, one whose destiny cannot be tied to any single religious faith, tradition, or political ideology.
A history of the role that the occult has played in the formation of modern science and medicine, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment has had a tremendous impact on our understanding of the western esoteric tradition. Beautifully illustrated, it remains one of those rare works of scholarship which the general reader simply cannot afford to ignore.
Sufism is all too often associated just with 'mysticism' in the West. The author of this new textbook, a former pupil of Annemarie Schimmel, suggests that conflating Sufism and mysticism is only partially valid. He shows that the vast majority of Sufi practice, both historically and in the contemporary world, has little or nothing to do with a esoteric transcendence but is rather focused on contemplative activity. Such practice might involve art, music, devotional shrine visitation - even politics and psychology. Placing Sufism in a wider Islamic contemplative context enables Arthur F Buehler to examine Sufi history, as well as current application, against a backdrop that is richer and more inclusive than that portrayed in many competing introductory surveys. Discussing the origins of Sufism; the development of Sufi lineages (via three founder figures); Sufi lodges and the role of Sufism in colonial resistance; Sufi poetry; Sufi shrines, and Sufism in the West, the author rescues his topic from the idea that it means only union with the divine. In this original new treatment, Sufism emerges as complex and multi-layered.
Interest in political theology has surged in recent years, and this accessible volume provides a focused overview of the field. Many are asking serious questions about religious faith in secular societies, the origin and function of democratic polities, worldwide economic challenges, the shift of Christianity's center of gravity to the global south, and anxieties related to bold and even violent assertions of theologically determined political ideas. In fourteen original essays, authors examine Christian political theology in order to clarify the contemporary discourse and some of its most important themes and issues. These include up-to-date, critical engagements with historical figures like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Immanuel Kant; discussions of how the Bible functions theopolitically; and introductions to key movements such as liberation theology, Catholic social teaching, and radical orthodoxy. An invaluable resource for students and scholars in theology, the Companion will also be beneficial to those in history, philosophy, and politics.
This volume, the first dedicated and comprehensive companion to medieval logic, covers both the Latin and the Arabic traditions, and shows that they were in fact sister traditions, which both arose against the background of a Hellenistic heritage and which influenced one another over the centuries. A series of chapters by both established and younger scholars covers the whole period including early and late developments, and offers new insights into this extremely rich period in the history of logic. The volume is divided into two parts, 'Periods and Traditions' and 'Themes', allowing readers to engage with the subject from both historical and more systematic perspectives. It will be a must-read for students and scholars of medieval philosophy, the history of logic, and the history of ideas.
Learn more about the ideas and beliefs key to the teachings of the most widely printed religious book of all time, in this perfect introduction to The Bible.
The Bible Book features breakdowns of some of the most well-known passages ever written from The Bible. Looking at more than 100 of the most important Old and New Testament stories through beautiful and easy-to-follow spreads, The Bible Book profiles key figures, from Adam and Eve to Peter and Paul, locations, such as Jerusalem and Rome and essential theological theories, like the Trinity, to help create a clear insight into Christianity. Packed with biblical quotes, flowcharts and infographics explaining significant concepts clearly and simply, The Bible Book is perfect for anyone with an interest in religion.
Arguably the most influential work of systematic theology in the history of Christianity, Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae has shaped all subsequent theology since it was written in the late thirteenth century. This Companion features essays from both specialists in Aquinas' thought and from constructive contemporary theologians to demonstrate how to read the text effectively and how to relate it to past and current theological questions. The authors thoroughly examine individual topics addressed in the Summa, such as God, the Trinity, eternity, providence, virtue, grace, and the sacraments, making the text accessible to students of all levels. They further discuss the contextual, methodological, and structural issues surrounding the Summa, as well as its interaction with a variety of religious traditions. This volume will not only allow readers to develop a comprehensive multi-perspectival understanding of Aquinas' main mature theological work, but also promote dialogue about the vital role of the Summa in theology today.
Sufism, the mystical or aesthetic doctrine in Islam, has occupied a very specific place in the Islamic tradition, with its own history, literature and devotional practices. Its development began in the seventh century and spread throughout the Islamic world. The Cambridge Companion to Sufism traces its evolution from the formative period to the present, addressing specific themes along the way within the context of the times. In a section discussing the early period, the devotional practices of the earliest Sufis are considered. The section on the medieval period, when Sufism was at its height, examines Sufi doctrines, different forms of mysticism and the antinomian expressions of Sufism. The section on the modern period explains the controversies that surrounded Sufism, the changes that took place in the colonial period and how Sufism transformed into a transnational movement in the twentieth century. This inimitable volume sheds light on a multifaceted and alternative aspect of Islamic history and religion.
Each essay in this Companion examines one or more literary texts and a religious tradition to illustrate how we can understand both literature and religion better by looking at them in tandem. Unlike most literature and religion books, which tend to focus on Christianity and take a highly theoretical approach inappropriate for non-specialists, The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Religion offers an accessible treatment of both Dharmic and Abrahamic traditions. It provides close readings of texts rather than surveys of large topics, making it an ideal resource for undergraduate and graduate students of literature and religion.
The debate about Christianity and other religions has stalled. The book aims to overcome this by enabling both theologians and pastoral workers to work out where they stand with regard not just to other faith traditions but to a variety of issues that arise for religious faith of any kind in a secular pluralist world. Introduction; 1 The Mission of Dialogue; 2 The Moral Heart of Vatican II; 3 Unity of Word and Spirit; 4 Keeping Faith in a post-Shoah World; 5 'A Reminder of God' - a Summons to Speak; 6 Reading the Mystery; 7 Learning New Vocabularies
This collection provides a guide to the mystical element of Christianity as a theological phenomenon. Part I offers a historical overview. Part II considers sources and practices of mystical theology. Part III examines conceptualities of mystical thought. Part IV explores contributions of mystical teaching to theology and metaphysics. List of Contributors; Mark A. McIntosh and Edward Howells: Introduction; Part I: Understanding Mystical Theology; 1 Rowan Williams: Mystical Theology and Christian Self-Understanding; 2 Mark A. McIntosh: Mystical Theology at the Heart of Theology; 3 Edward Howells: Mystical Theology and Human Experience; 4 Bernard McGinn: The Genealogy of Mystical Traditions; 5 Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer: Mystical Theology in Contemporary Perspective; Part II: Sources, Contexts, and Practices; 6 Kevin L. Hughes: Living the Word; 7 Andrew Louth: The Liturgical Mystery; 8 Joanne Maguire: Mystics as Teachers; 9 Luke Dysinger, OSB: The Ascetic Life; 10 Peter Tyler: Prayer; 11 Patricia Zimmerman Beckman: Lives and Visions; 12 Rob Faesen, SJ: Mystical Texts; 13 Alexander J. B. Hampton: Mystical Poetics; Part III: Key Patterns of Mystical Thought; 14 John Arblaster: The Image and Likeness of God; 15 Boyd Taylor Coolman: Spiritual Itineraries; 16 Charlotte Radler: Depth, Ground, Abyss; 17 Louise Nelstrop: Erotic and Nuptial Imagery; 18 David Albertson: Cataphasis, Visualization, and Mystical Space; 19 Cyril O'Regan: Theological Epistemology and Apophasis; 20 Rik van Nieuwenhove: Trinitarian Indwelling; 21 Bernard McGinn: Mystical Union; Part IV: Mysticism and Theology; 22 David Tracy: Metaphysics, Theology, and the Mystical; 23 Jean-Luc Marion: The Mystical -- or What Theology Can Show; 24 Rik Van Nieuwenhove and William Crozier: The Trinity; 25 Amy Hollywood and Rachel Smith: Christology; 26 Brandon Gallaher: Pneumatology; 27 Douglas E. Christie: Creation and Revelation; 28 Philip Sheldrake: Anthropology; 29 Aristotle Papanikolaou: Theosis; 30 Gemma Simmonds: Ecclesiology; 31 Ann W. Astell: Social Life; 32 Michael Barnes, SJ: Interreligious Dialogue; 33 Hugh Feiss, OSB: Eschatology