Religion / Mythology

We have a small section of reference books about religion in general, and specific religions, as well as new age and mythology books.

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For God's Sake

cover image for gods sake

Jane Caro, Anthony Loewenstein, Simon Smart & Rachel Woodlock
Pan MacMillan
ISBN 9781742612232
Paperback 2013
Price $AU 33.00
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Four of Australia's most interesting religious - and anti-religious - thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? What is a good life? How do we account for evil? And where do we find hope? Along the way we are introduced to the detail of different belief systems - Judaism, Christianity, Islam - and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. This is a fascinating exercise in comparative religion and a philosophical tour de force, but also an entertaining and honest insight into the life events that led each author to their current position. Antony Lowenstein is proudly culturally Jewish but vehemently anti-orthodox. Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Rachael Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but chose Islam as the religion that would best support her into adulthood. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sake encourages us to accept religious differences but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.


Fields of Bloodcover image fields of blood

Karen Armstrong
Bodley Head
ISBN 9781847921871
Paperback 2014
Price $AU 35.00
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Countering the atheist claim that believers are by default violent fanatics and religion is the cause of all major wars, Karen Armstrong demonstrates that religious faith is not inherently violent. In fact, the world's major religions have throughout their history displayed ambivalent attitudes towards aggression and warfare. At times they have allied themselves with states and empires for protection or to further their influence; at others they have tried to curb state oppression and aggression and worked for peace and justice. Taking us on a journey from prehistoric times to the present, Karen Armstrong contrasts medieval crusaders and modern-day jihadists with the pacifism of the Buddha and Jesus' vision of a just and peaceful society; moreover, she demonstrates that the underlying reasons - social, economic, political - for war and violence in our history often had very little to do with religion. While human beings have a natural propensity for aggression, collective violence and warfare emerged at a certain point in history when the invention of agriculture created a society and a state based on the accumulation of wealth. Vast in scope, impeccably researched and passionately argued, Fields of Blood is more than a corrective to the prevailing view that religion is to blame for most of the bloodshed throughout human history: it is a celebration of those religious ideas and movements that have opposed war and aggression and promoted peace and reconciliation.


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