a history of the concept of god
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A History Of The Concept Of God by Daniel A. Dombrowski
A history of the concept of God through the lens of process thought.
A History Of God by Karen Armstrong
Why does God exist? How have the three dominant monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—shaped and altered the conception of God? How have these religions influenced each other? In this stunningly intelligent book, Karen Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. The epic story begins with the Jews' gradual transformation of pagan idol worship in Babylon into true monotheism—a concept previously unknown in the world. Christianity and Islam both rose on the foundation of this revolutionary idea, but these religions refashioned 'the One God' to suit the social and political needs of their followers. From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, Karen Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic. Praise for History of God “An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay readers.”—The Washington Post Book World “A brilliantly lucid, spendidly readable book. [Karen] Armstrong has a dazzling ability: she can take a long and complex subject and reduce it to the fundamentals, without oversimplifying.”—The Sunday Times (London) “Absorbing . . . A lode of learning.”—Time “The most fascinating and learned study of the biggest wild goose chase in history—the quest for God. Karen Armstrong is a genius.”—A.N. Wilson, author of Jesus: A Life
A History Of God by Karen Armstrong
In this extensive and original account of the evolution of belief, Karen Armstrong examines Western society's unerring fidelity to the idea of One God and the many conflicting convictions it engenders.
The Evolution Of God by Robert Wright
In this sweeping narrative that takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Through the prisms of archaeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright's findings overturn basic assumptions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and are sure to cause controversy. He explains why spirituality has a role today, and why science, contrary to conventional wisdom, affirms the validity of the religious quest. And this previously unrecognized evolutionary logic points not toward continued religious extremism, but future harmony. Nearly a decade in the making, The Evolution of God is a breathtaking re-examination of the past, and a visionary look forward.
God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time” takes on his biggest subject yet–the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. From the Hardcover edition.
The Case For God by Karen Armstrong
From the bestselling author of A History of God and The Great Transformation comes a balanced, nuanced understanding of the role religion plays in human life and the trajectory of faith in modern times. Why has God become incredible? Why is it that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God in a way that veers so profoundly from the thinking of our ancestors? Moving from the Paleolithic Age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the lengths to which humankind has gone to experience a sacred reality that it called God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. She examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith. With her trademark depth of knowledge and profound insight, Armstrong elucidates how the changing world has necessarily altered the importance of religion at both societal and individual levels. And she makes a powerful, convincing argument for structuring a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age. From the Hardcover edition.
The Invention Of God by Thomas Römer
Who invented God? When, why, and where? Thomas Römer seeks to answer these enigmatic questions about the deity of the great monotheisms—Yhwh, God, or Allah—by tracing Israelite beliefs and their context from the Bronze Age to the end of the Old Testament period in the third century BCE, in a masterpiece of detective work and exposition.
All religions make statements about God or the Absolute and about "the beginning": about the beginning of the world and the beginning and nature of the human person. Propositions about God, the human person, and the world, statements about God's eternity or process of becoming, about the status and nature of the human person as the "image of God", and about the beginning of the world are woven into "religious speculations about the beginning". The theology, anthropology, and cosmology of the world religions determine the image of the human person and the image of the world in the world cultures shaped by the different religions. They stand in a tense relationship with the anthropologies and cosmologies of modern science, which in turn challenge the religions to deepen their image of the human person. With this volume leading thinkers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam provide the reader with a first-hand source for understanding the five world religions and their teaching about God, the human person, and the origin of the world.
Two Gods In Heaven by Peter Schäfer
A book that challenges our most basic assumptions about Judeo-Christian monotheism Contrary to popular belief, Judaism was not always strictly monotheistic. Two Gods in Heaven reveals the long and little-known history of a second, junior god in Judaism, showing how this idea was embraced by rabbis and Jewish mystics in the early centuries of the common era and casting Judaism's relationship with Christianity in an entirely different light. Drawing on an in-depth analysis of ancient sources that have received little attention until now, Peter Schäfer demonstrates how the Jews of the pre-Christian Second Temple period had various names for a second heavenly power—such as Son of Man, Son of the Most High, and Firstborn before All Creation. He traces the development of the concept from the Son of Man vision in the biblical book of Daniel to the Qumran literature, the Ethiopic book of Enoch, and the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the picture changes drastically. While the early Christians of the New Testament took up the idea and developed it further, their Jewish contemporaries were divided. Most rejected the second god, but some—particularly the Jews of Babylonia and the writers of early Jewish mysticism—revived the ancient Jewish notion of two gods in heaven. Describing how early Christianity and certain strands of rabbinic Judaism competed for ownership of a second god to the creator, this boldly argued and elegantly written book radically transforms our understanding of Judeo-Christian monotheism.
God by Reza Aslan
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