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History in Review

Religon & Philosophy


A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the dawn of the Monotheistic State, by Charles Freeman.
Acclaimed historian Charles Freeman shows that the Council of Constantinople was in fact a sham, only taking place after Theodosius's decree(that all his subjects were required to subscribe to a belief in the Trinity) had become law. This created numerous theological problems for the Church, which have remained unsolved.

The Acquisitive Society, by Richard Henry Tawney.
In this book Tawney expounds upon his theory that acquisitiveness is morally wrong and that it has a deleterious effect on society. He also offers ideas on how to create a more equitable society.

Alfarabi: Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, by Alfarabi.
This long-awaited reissue of the 1969 Cornell edition of Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle contains Muhsin Mahdi's substantial original introduction and a new foreword by Charles E. Butterworth and Thomas L. Pangle. The three parts of the book, "Attainment of Happiness," "Philosophy of Plato," and "Philosophy of Aristotle," provide a philosophical foundation for Alfarabi's political works.

The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman, Apostle of Abolition, by Thomas P. Slaughter.
A detailed and readable biography of John Woolman, a Quaker, social activist who is known as the father of the abolition movement.

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, by Diarmaid MacCulloch.
Christianity will teach modern readers things that have been lost in time about how Jesus' message spread and how the New Testament was formed.

The Concept of the Soul and the After-Life, by Israel Drazin.
This article examines what the Hebrew Bible, the basic book for Judaism, Christianity, and to some extent for Islam, says about the soul and life after death, as well as what several key philosophers, namely Plato, Abraham Maimonides, Aristotle, and Moses Maimonides thought on the subject.

Consciousness Explained, by Daniel C. Dennett.
The author of Brainstorms, Daniel C. Dennett replaces our traditional vision of consciousness with a new model based on a wealth of fact and theory from the latest scientific research.

Freedom Evolves, by Daniel C. Dennett.
In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.

The Gospel in Brief, by Leo Tolstoy.
Seeking answers to "the problem of life," Tolstoy rewrote the Four Gospels of the New Testament, condensing them into a single book that only included the ethical teachings of Jesus.

Hayy ibn Yaqzan, by Ibn Tufayl.
The Arabic philosophical fable Hayy Ibn Yaqzan is a classic of medieval Islamic philosophy. Ibn Tufayl (d. 1185), the Andalusian philosopher, tells of a child raised by a doe on an equatorial island who grows up to discover the truth about the world and his own place in it.

Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth, by Alister McGrath.
In recent years the distinction between heresy and orthodoxy has come under fire by those eager to reject the formal boundaries of sanctioned beliefs about God, Jesus, and the church. In a timely corrective to this trend, renowned church historian Alister McGrath argues that the categories of heresy and orthodoxy must be preserved.

Isaac Israeli: A Neoplatonic Philosopher of the Early Tenth Century, by A. Altmann and S. M. Stern.
Recognized as one of the earliest Jewish neo-Platonist writers, Isaac ben Solomon Israeli (ca. 855–955) influenced Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars through the Middle Ages.

The Jefferson Bible, by Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson believed that the pure-principled teachings of Jesus should have been separated from the dogma and abuse of organized religion of the day. This led him to recast, by cutting and pasting from the gospels, a new narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus.

The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot, by Bart D. Ehrman.
A leading historian of the early church, Bart Ehrman, offers the first comprehensive account of the newly discovered Gospel of Judas, revealing what this legendary lost gospel contains and why it is so important for our understanding of Christianity.

Moroni and the Swastika, by David Conley Nelson.
Nelson's book claims that the LDS Church prospered under Nazi rule, in part because they aided the Nazi regime. This eye-opening book tells the story of the Mormons in Nazi Germany and the extent to which they, and the American leadership, were complicit in aiding the Nazi cause in order to protect the Church and its members in Germany.

On the Soul - De Anima, by Aristotle.
For the Pre-Socratic philosophers the soul was the source of movement and sensation, while for Plato it was the seat of being. Plato's student, Aristotle, was determined to test the truth of both these beliefs against the emerging sciences of logic and biology and in De Anima, he sought to set out his theory of the soul as the ultimate reality of embodied form.

The Philosophy of Alfarabi: And, Its Influence on Medieval Thought, by Robert Hammond.
Reverend Hammond wrote this brief book to show that the highly respected Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) drew much of his philosophy from the famed Muslim philosopher Abu Nasr Alfarabi (c. 872-c. 950).

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever, edited by Christopher Hitchens.
This book contains 47 selections from some very famous and non-famous people on the value of atheism, as well as a 14 page fiery introduction by Hitchens.

The Proof of God: The Debate That Shaped Modern Belief, by Larry Witham.
This informative volume tells the history and thinking of three important scholars who addressed the question: Can we prove that God exists?

Reflections of Violence, by Georges Sorel.
A treatise on the necessity of violence as a means of social change, in which Sorel advocated for a revolutionary form of syndicalism.

A Sneetch is a Sneetch and other Philosophical Discoveries, by Thomas E. Wartenberg.
Discover the philosophical insights inherent in children's literature, and learn how to discuss philosophical issues with children, in this humorous introduction to the study of philosophy and children's literature.

There is a God, by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese.
How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.

Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales, by Leo Tolstoy.
A collection of short stories by Tolstoy, along with his novella, Walk in the Light: A Story of Early Christian Times, which highlights Tolstoy's view of Christianity.

Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages, by Jaroslav Prlikam.
In this superbly written history, Pelikan takes the reader through the good book’s evolution from its earliest incarnation as oral tales to its modern existence in various iterations, translations, and languages.

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