There are as many different ways to pray as there are faiths in the world. Mosley and Hill describe the various methods and offer tips on using the most appropriate ones at the most effective times. Some prayers are informal and conversational, others ask for specific results, and still others take place in a church or other institutional setting. Mosley and Hill advise anyone who wants to pray more effectively and with greater satisfaction to try several approaches, depending on one's attitude at the moment and on the particular situation. For example, instead of pacing up and down at an airport waiting for the flight to depart, practice simple meditation techniques to instill peace and tranquility. Mosley and Hill also examine how prayer is used in different religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Most people may learn nothing new from this slim book, but especially those who have neglected the art of prayer will probably appreciate its support and encouragement. June Sawyers
Universally, the power of prayer has being recognized by many cultures for immeasurable time. Whether it be a part of a formal service recited with a congregation of worshipers or an individual, quiet moment, prayer is part of the lives of people from a variety of religions. There seems to be an innate urge among humanity to connect with a higher source of energy and love when we need guidance or direction, and this is called prayer. By reading prayers from religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, from cultures in Africa, India, Egypt and China, we begin to share the sense of a common experience. The deepest inner feelings and longings are similar, concern for family, assistance in healing, a longing for peace, or a wish for a greater wisdom. Prayer then becomes more than a means to an end; it becomes a state of humility and of awe. It can exist whether we are washing the floor or composing a symphony. Prayer is communion with the Divine, a universal loving creative force that exists in a variety of ways for people around the world. This book brings together an inspirational collection of prayer suitable to all ages and traditions. In addition, it offers insight and guidance about the nature of prayer that will be useful for the serious seeker.
105 pages, 1.42 MB, PDF. Scan.
Panayotis Tzamalikos - Origen: Cosmology and Ontology of Time
"Professor Panayotis Tzamalikos has become a recognised authority on Origen's understanding of Time. This erudite and closely argued new study sheds further light on a pivotal theme in Origen's thought, uncovering generalised misapprehensions about 'Platonism' and 'Greek views' of complex issues. A fine achievement.' George Newlands, (Professor of Divinity, University of Glasgow)."
Origen's Cosmology and Ontology of Time constitute a major catalyst and a massive transformation in the development of Christian doctrine. The author challenges the widespread impression about this theology being bowled head over heels by its encounter with Platonism, Gnosticism, or Neoplatonism, and casts new light on Origen's grasp of the relation between Hellenism, Hebrew thought and Christianity. Against all ancient and modern accounts, the ingrained claim that Origen sustained the theory of a beginningless world is disconfirmed. He is argued to be the anticipator and forerunner of critical notions, with his innovations never having been superseded. While some of the accounts afforded by subsequent Christian writers were more extended, they were not fuller. Of them, Augustine just fell short of even accurately echoing this Theory of Time, since he introduced affinity with Platonism at points where Origen had instituted a radical dissimilarity. With his background fruitfully brought into the study of these questions, Origen's propositions are genuine innovations, not mere advances, however massive.
422 pages, 15.5 MB, PDF. Scan.
Brian Ogren - Renaissance and Rebirth, Reincarnation in Early Modern Italian Kabbalah
Metempsychosis was a prominent element in Renaissance conceptualizations of the human being, the universe, and the place of the human person in the universe. A variety concepts emerged in debates about metempsychosis: human to human reincarnation, human to vegetal, human to animal, and human to angelic transmigration. As a complex and changing doctrine, metempsychosis gives us a well-placed window for viewing the complex and dynamic contours of Jewish thought in late fifteenth century Italy; as such, it enables us to evaluate Jewish thought in relation to non-Jewish Italian developments. This book addresses the problematic question of the roles and achievements of Jews who lived in Italy in the development of Renaissance culture in its Jewish and its Christian dimensions.
333 pages, 2.86 MB, PDF.
Archimandrite George - The Lords Prayer
Meanings in Gospel discourse are formulated in the Holy Spirit and therefore with enduring value and a view to eternity.
Every teaching, parable, story and description, as well as every phrase, every word and ever "detail" contained in the Gospel οf Christ is οf greatest depth and significance. These αre not exhαusted by α mere superficiαl interpretαtion, the most our own poor spiritual measure can conceive. This is αlso true οf the God-given prαyer known to αs ''Our Father", which the Lord Himself gαve to His Church as αn exαmple οf prαyer for αll of us.
Our Holy Fαthers lived the Gospel of Christ. They kept His holy commαndments. Their life, their discourse became extensions of the Gospel, αnd their experience in the Spirit οf God enriches the holy Tradition οf the Church. They reveαl the great depth ofthe sαving words οf the Lord Christ αnd prove thαt His commandments "are not heavy", but cαn be αpplied by Christiαns in αny αge, αnd thus they keep control over our lαck οf faith, neglect αnd sloth. With our old and modern Holy Fαthers αs interpreters of the Lord's Prαyer, we investigate αnd touch its depths, directing it to the Lord.
46 pages, 7.88 MB, PDF. Scan.
Boesel & Keller - Apophatic Bodies, Negative Theology, Incarnation and Relationality
The ancient doctrine of negative theology or apophasis--the attempt to describe God by speaking only of what cannot be said about the divine perfection and goodness--has taken on new life in the concern with language and its limits that preoccupies much postmodern philosophy, theology, and related disciplines. How does this mystical tradition intersect with the concern with material bodies that is simultaneously a focus in these areas? This volume pursues the unlikely conjunction of apophasis and the body, not for the cachet of the "cutting edge" but rather out of an ethical passion for the integrity of all creaturely bodies as they are caughtup in various ideological mechanisms--religious, theological, political, economic--that threaten their dignity and material well-being. The contributors, a diverse collection of scholars in theology, philosophy, history, and biblical studies, rethink the relationship between the concrete tradition of negative theology and apophatic discourses widely construed. They further endeavor to link these to the theological theme of incarnation and more general issues of embodiment, sexuality, and cosmology. Along the way, they engage and deploy the resources of contextual and liberation theology, post-structuralism, postcolonialism, process thought, and feminism.The result not only recasts the nature and possibilities of theological discourse but explores the possibilities of academic discussion across and beyond disciplines in concrete engagement with the well-being of bodies, both organic and inorganic. The volume interrogates the complex capacities of religious discourse both to threaten and positively to draw upon the material well-being of creation.
481 pages, 1.94 MB, PDF.
Richard J. Foster - Celebration of Discipline
When Richard Foster began writing Celebration of Discipline more than 20 years ago, an older writer gave him a bit of advice: "Be sure that every chapter forces the reader into the next chapter." Foster took the advice to heart; as a result, his book presents one of the most compelling and readable visions of Christian spirituality published in the past few decades. After beginning with a simple observation--"Superficiality is the curse of our age.... The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people"--Foster's book moves to explain the disciplines people must cultivate in order to achieve spiritual depth. In succinct, urgent, and sometimes humorous chapters, Foster defines a broad range of classic spiritual disciplines in terms that are lucid without being too limiting and offers advice that's practical without being overly prescriptive. For instance, after describing meditation as a combination of "intense intimacy and awful reverence," he settles into such down-to-earth topics as how to choose a place and a posture in which to meditate.
Perhaps most interesting and useful is Foster's chapter on the controversial Christian discipline of submission. According to Foster, submission does not demand self-hatred or loss of identity. Instead, it simply means growing secure in the conviction that "our happiness is not dependent on getting what we want" but on the fulfillment that naturally flows from love of one's neighbors. Such wise and encouraging suggestions have helped many readers to discard the idea that discipline is an onerous duty and to move toward a liberating and simpler idea of discipline--whose defining character, as Foster never forgets, is joy. --Michael Joseph Gross
Foreword by D. Elton Trueblood
1. The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to Liberation
Part I. The Inward Disciplines
Part II. The Outward Disciplines
Part III. The Corporate Disciplines
In Celebration of Celebration of Discipline
358 pages, 1.24 MB, PDF.
Richard J. Foster - Life with God, Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation
Starred Review. Foster (Celebration of Discipline) has built a career exploring foundational spiritual practices like fasting, prayer, study and worship. Here he zeroes in on Bible study to help Christians grow in their faith. Although Bible study is nothing if not a well-trod topic, Foster breathes new life into it by drawing on ancient resources: he is especially interested in the age-old practice of lectio divina, sacred reading that requires the attention of both mind and heart. Foster cautions several times that lectio divina is neither a magical solution to problems nor an approach that bypasses the living God by treating the Scriptures as a sort of Ouija board. He warns that the Bible is also not an owner's manual for successful living or even moral living; we shouldn't read it merely to serve our own needs. Rather, lectio divina offers an invitation to enter the Bible as a story (or a complex group of stories) and enter its river of life. As usual, Foster's work is not for those readers who are seeking quick answers or a behavioral checklist of what the Bible says they should do. Rather, it is a deep reflective guide to spiritual rumination and growth.
243 pages, 710 KB, PDF.
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