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.
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.
Should parents receive vouchers to send their children to religious schools? What limits -- if any -- should the government place on abortion? Should the government permit and fund stem cell research? Should religious organizations have the right to prohibit the employment of homosexuals? Should public schools teach both creationism and evolution? How does religion influence our political stances on gay marriage? The death penalty? Immigration? The issues are real. The emotions are intense. The solutions are difficult to reach and often problematic. From the White House to the courthouse, from governors' mansions to the United States Supreme Court, religion factors into many contemporary leg...
Scholars have long separated a few privileged “religions of the Book” from faiths lacking sacred texts, including ancient Roman religion. Looking beyond this distinction, Duncan MacRae delves into Roman treatises on the nature of gods and rituals to grapple with a central question: what was the significance of books in a religion without scripture?
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 ...
Why are there religious beliefs in all cultures? Do they have features in common and why does religion persist in the face of science? Pascal Boyer shows how experimental findings in cognitive science, evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology are now providing precise answers to these general questions, and providing, for the first time, real answers to the question: Why do we believe?
Only if, with regard to the diversity of religions, there are questions about truth and falsehood do we have a problem about the pluralism of religions and the unity of truth. That problem is not concerned with preserving religious liberty, freedom of worship, and the toleration, in a particular society or in the world, of a diversity of religious institutions, communities, practices, and beliefs. It is concerned only with the question of where, in that diversity, the truth lies if there is any truth in religion at all.