Call Number: GCC Main & North - GENERAL - BL473 .A85 2017
Publication Date: 2017
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity's quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God. In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large. In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, "Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we're believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves." But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature--our compassion, our thirst for justice--but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments. More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives. Praise for God "Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary."--HuffPost "Tantalizing . . . Driven by [Reza] Aslan's grace and curiosity, God . . . helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life."--The Seattle Times "A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "[Aslan's] slim, yet ambitious book [is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it's thoroughly mind-blowing."--Los Angeles Review of Books "Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey."--San Francisco Chronicle
Call Number: GCC Main - GENERAL - BL51 .T6155 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Religions and mythologies from around the world teach that God or gods created humans. Atheist, humanist, and materialist critics, meanwhile, have attempted to turn theology on its head, claiming that religion is a human invention. In this book, E. Fuller Torrey draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to propose a startling answer to the ultimate question. Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods locates the origin of gods within the human brain, arguing that religious belief is a by-product of evolution. Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. However, it also led to comprehension of mortality, spurring belief in an alternative to death. Torrey details the neurobiological sequence that explains why the gods appeared when they did, connecting archaeological findings including clothing, art, farming, and urbanization to cognitive developments. This book does not dismiss belief but rather presents religious belief as an inevitable outcome of brain evolution. Providing clear and accessible explanations of evolutionary neuroscience, Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods will shed new light on the mechanics of our deepest mysteries.
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - BL80.3 .P76 2010
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, dizzying scientific and technological advancements, interconnected globalized economies, and even the so-called New Atheists have done nothing to change one thing: our world remains furiously religious. For good and for evil, religion is the single greatest influence in the world. We accept as self-evident that competing economic systems (capitalist or communist) or clashing political parties (Republican or Democratic) propose very different solutions to our planet's problems. So why do we pretend that the world's religious traditions are different paths to the same God? We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, argues religion scholar Stephen Prothero, and it is time to replace naïve hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences. In Religious Literacy, Prothero demonstrated how little Americans know about their own religious traditions and why the world's religions should be taught in public schools. Now, in God Is Not One, Prothero provides readers with this much-needed content about each of the eight great religions. To claim that all religions are the same is to misunderstand that each attempts to solve a different human problem. For example: –Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission –Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation –Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order –Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening –Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand the big questions human beings have asked for millennia—and the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today. A bold polemical response to a generation of misguided scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions most of us make about the way the world's religions work.
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BT103 .A47 2011
The God Dialogues is an intriguing and extensive philosophical debate about the existence of God. Engaging and accessible, it covers all the main arguments for and against God's existence, from traditional philosophical "proofs" to arguments that involve the latest developments in biology andphysics. Three main characters represent the principal views: Theodore Logan, the theist; Eva Lucien, the atheist; and Gene Sesquois, the agnostic. Their debate takes place during a post-college cross-country road trip during which Gene expresses dismay over his future. He wants to do somethingmeaningful with his life but is at a loss as to how to proceed, despite having just earned a degree in engineering. Gene's quandary precipitates a discussion of the meaning of life and its connection to God's existence. This in turn leads to vigorous debates about morality and theism, evidence forand against God's existence, probability and the rationality of belief, and the relationship between faith and reason. The strongest arguments from all three perspectives are fairly represented. An annotated list of suggested readings directs readers to relevant and helpful primary sources. Assuming no background knowledge, The God Dialogues is ideal for courses in the philosophy of religion, an excellent supplement for introduction to philosophy courses, and a compelling introduction for anyone with an interest in the subject.
Call Number: GCC North - GENERAL - BR517 .H38 2017
Publication Date: 2017
There is an "American Way" to religion and race unlike anyplace else in the world, and the rise of religious pluralism in contemporary American (together with the continuing legacy of the racism of the past and misapprehensions in the present) render its understanding crucial. Paul Harvey's Bounds of Their Habitation, the latest installment in the acclaimed American Ways Series, concisely surveys the evolution and interconnection of race and religion throughout American history. Harvey pierces through the often overly academic treatments afforded these essential topics to accessibly delineate a narrative between our nation's revolutionary racial and religious beginnings, and our increasingly contested and pluralistic future. Anyone interested in the paths America's racial and religious histories have traveled, where they've most profoundly intersected, and where they will go from here, will thoroughly enjoy this book and find its perspectives and purpose essential for any deeper understanding of the soul of the American nation.
Work in philosophy of religion is still strongly marked by an excessive focus on Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Judaism - almost to the exclusion of other religious traditions. Moreover, in many cases it has been confined to a narrow set of intellectual problems, without embedding thesein their larger social, historical, and practical contexts. Why Philosophy Matters for the Study of Religion- and Vice Versa addresses this situation through a series of interventions intended to work against the gap that exists between much scholarship in philosophy of religion and important recentdevelopments that speak to religious studies as a whole.This volume takes up what, in recent years, has often been seen as a fundamental reason for excluding religious ethics and philosophy of religion from religious studies: their explicit normativity. Against this presupposition, Thomas A. Lewis argues that normativity is pervasive - not unique toethics and philosophy of religion - and therefore not a reason to exclude them from religious studies. Lewis bridges more philosophical and historical subfields by arguing for the importance of history to the philosophy of religion. He considers the future of religious ethics, explaining that thefield as whole should learn from the methodological developments associated with recent work in comparative religious ethics and 'comparative religious ethics' should no longer be conceived as a distinct subfield. The concluding chapter engages broader, post-9/11 arguments about the importance ofstudying religion arguing, that prominent contemporary notions of 'religious literacy' actually hinder our ability to grasp religion's significance and impact in the world today.
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - N72.R4 R67 2015
The relationship between art and religion has been long, complex, and often conflicted, and it has given rise to many of the greatest works in the history of art. Artists today continue to reflect seriously upon religious traditions, themes, and institutions, suggesting a new approach to spirituality that is more considered than confrontational. Art & Religion in the 21st Century is the first in-depth study to survey an international roster of artists who use their work to explore religion's cultural, social, political, and psychological impact on today's world. An introduction outlines the debates and controversies that the art/religion connection has precipitated throughout history. Each of the book's ten chapters introduces a theme--ideas of the Creation, the figure of Jesus, the sublime, wonder, diaspora and exile, religious and political conflict, ritual practice, mourning and monumentalizing, and spiritual "dwelling" in the body and in space--followed by a selection of works of art that illustrates that theme. Artists discussed include Vanessa Beecroft, Maurizio Cattelan, Makoto Fujimura, David LaChapelle, Annette Messager, Jason Rhoades, Andres Serrano, and Zeng Fanzhi.
Call Number: GCC North -- GENERAL - BL80.3 .H65 2016
For curious readers young and old, a rich and colorful history of religion from humanity's earliest days to our own contentious times In an era of hardening religious attitudes and explosive religious violence, this book offers a welcome antidote. Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion--from the dawn of religious belief to the twenty-first century--with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy. Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young readers, he encourages curiosity and tolerance, accentuates nuance and mystery, and calmly restores a sense of the value of faith. Ranging far beyond the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, Holloway also examines where religious belief comes from, the search for meaning throughout history, today's fascinations with Scientology and creationism, religiously motivated violence, hostilities between religious people and secularists, and more. Holloway proves an empathic yet discerning guide to the enduring significance of faith and its power from ancient times to our own.
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BL2525 .W866 2015
Today, a billion-dollar-a-year polling industry floods the media with information. Pollsters tell us not only which political candidates will win, but how we are practicing our faith. How many Americans went to church last week? Have they been born again? Is Jesus as popular as Harry Potter?Polls tell us that 40 percent of Americans attend religious services each week. They show that African Americans are no more religious than white Americans, and that Jews are abandoning their religion in record numbers. According to leading sociologist Robert Wuthnow, none of that is correct.Pollsters say that attendance at religious services has been constant for decades. But during that time response rates in polls have plummeted, robotic "push poll" calls have proliferated, and sampling has become more difficult. The accuracy of political polling can be known because electionsactually happen. But there are no election results to show if the proportion of people who say they pray every day or attend services every week is correct. A large majority of the public doubts that polls can be trusted, and yet night after night on TV, polls experts sum up the nation's habits toan eager audience of millions.Inventing American Religion offers a provocative new argument about the influence of polls in contemporary American society. Wuthnow contends that polls and surveys have shaped - and distorted - how religion is understood and portrayed in the media and also by religious leaders, practitioners, andscholars. He calls for a robust public discussion about American religion that extends well beyond the information provided by polls and surveys, and suggests practical steps to facilitate such a discussion, including changes in how the results of polls and surveys are presented.
Call Number: GCC Main -- GENERAL - BL80.3 .R442 2013
Surveying the world's religions, from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism, and providing succinct yet thought-provoking insight into the philosophy and practices of each, The Religions Book is ideal for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the world's religions. With intriguing artwork, flow charts, and diagrams, complex world religions are made accessible in this comprehensive guide. The Religions Book is also perfect for religion and philosophy students.