Religion John Bowker God: A Brief History

ISBN 13: 9780789480507

God: A Brief History

 
9780789480507: God: A Brief History

Not just in words, but in art, dance, music and silence -- this book is the perfect overview for viewing divinity from every perspective. The history of God cannot possibly be told. How can you write the history of One who is outside time and space, and who has no beginning and no end? Nevertheless, the desire to understand and experience the divine is a fundamental human need. For billions of people, through many millennia, the quest to answer the basic questions of existence -- Why are we born? What will happen to us when we die? and how should we live out lives? -- has become a search for God. A Brief History of God explores the myriad ways in which humans have sought connection to the divine from the dawn of history to the present -- not just through religion and philosophy, but in art and literature, in music and dance, and in science.

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About the Author:

John Bowker was Dean of Trinity college, Cambridge, from 1984 to 1991. He is currently a Fellow of Gresham College, London, and Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. He is also Adjunct Professor of Religion at North Carolina State University. Professor Bowker's extensive knowledge of languages, both ancient and modern, enables him to translate religious script hitherto unknown to the modern world. His many books include The Meaning of Death (which won the HarperCollins Religious book Award in 1993), the Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, an Introduction to Jewish Interpretations of Scripture, and Jesus and the Pharisees. He also wrote the bestselling titles World Religions and The complete Bible Handbook, published by Dorling Kindersley. A consultant to UNESCO, Professor Bowker has presented a number of prestigious television programs on contemporary religion for the BBC, including the highly acclaimed Worlds of Faith series.

From Library Journal:

The former dean of Trinity College, Cambridge University now at Gresham College, Bowker (The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions) quotes a poem by R.S. Thomas to explain the purpose of his book: "the better ventilating of the atmosphere of the closed mind." Throughout, he opens doors to many spiritual and religious traditions, describing ways in which people "have made their own discoveries of God and have developed and changed our understanding of who and what God is, and of how God became real to them." The result is a fascinating, all-purpose book, beautifully illustrated in the DK manner. After the introductory material, the text is divided into sections on the religions of India, the religions of other Asian countries, and the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). With articles like "Jihad and Martyrdom," "Temples of India," "From Tagore to Gandhi," "Sex and Tantra," "Kabbalah," "Thealogy (feminist theology)," and "Celtic Christianity," the range is obviously wide. The maps, time lines, and comprehensive index are also helpful, and readers are encouraged to explore further with the help of a very good bibliography. Though similar information can be found in many introductory books on world religions, including the more traditional The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions (edited by Bowker; see review below), this work lends itself more to pleasure reading than reference and will appeal to the casual reader interested in the variety of colorful religious rituals and symbols presented here. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries as well as undergraduate collections in academic libraries. Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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