How to Overcome Religion and Follow Your Own Path

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 11:39

"The fundamentalist religions of our world have led much of humanity into a life of fear, guilt and shame. These fear based dogmatic beliefs prevent many of us from achieving our highest and greatest potential. Fear keeps us imprisoned in our own personal hell, preventing us from recognizing our intrinsic worth and true ability. We were created to succeed and live a joy filled existence, yet many of us are trapped in misery and personal torment. Once we free ourselves from our fear based beliefs we are able to become who we were divinely created to be.

How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps: A Toolkit for Secular Activists

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 11:30

"Do you want the greatest challenges of the day to be addressed with thoughtful, reality-based solutions rather than with cherry-picked quotations from scripture? Do you want to shrink religion—especially fundamentalist religion—to the point that it plays no noticeable role in American public life? Do you want right-wing religious leaders to be so unpopular that politicians avoid them rather than pander to them for endorsements?

Holy Resilience: The Bible's Traumatic Origins

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 10:54

"Human trauma gave birth to the Bible, suggests eminent religious scholar David Carr. The Bible’s ability to speak to suffering is a major reason why the sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity have retained their relevance for thousands of years. In his fascinating and provocative reinterpretation of the Bible’s origins, the author tells the story of how the Jewish people and Christian community had to adapt to survive multiple catastrophes and how their holy scriptures both reflected and reinforced each religion’s resilient nature.
 

Holy Misogyny: Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 10:50

"In Holy Misogyny, bible scholar April DeConick wants real answers to the questions that are rarely whispered from the pulpits of the contemporary Christian churches. Why is God male? Why are women associated with sin? Why can't women be priests? Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the early Christian literature, she seeks to understand the conflicts over sex and gender in the early church-what they were and what was at stake.

Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 10:17

"When you think of saints, you envision stained-glass pictures of piety. But the truth can be horribly different. Consider Saint Pius V: As Grand Inquisitor, he sent Catholic troops to kill 2,000 Waldensian Protestants in southern Italy. After becoming pope, he sent Catholic troops to kill Huguenot Protestants in France. Pius also launched the final crusade against Muslims, sending a Christian naval armada to slaughter thousands in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. And, he intensified the Roman Inquisition, torturing and burning Catholics whose beliefs varied from official dogma.

Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 08:38

"American evangelicalism has long walked hand in hand with modern consumer capitalism. Timothy Gloege shows us why, through an engaging story about God and big business at the Moody Bible Institute. Founded in Chicago by shoe-salesman-turned-revivalist Dwight Lyman Moody in 1889, the institute became a center of fundamentalism under the guidance of the innovative promoter and president of Quaker Oats, Henry Crowell.

Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics

Submitted by RWMaster on Sat, 01/14/2017 - 15:22

""Arguably the most distinctive feature of the early Christian literature," writes Bart Ehrman, "is the degree to which it was forged." The Homilies and Recognitions of Clement; Paul's letters to and from Seneca; Gospels by Peter, Thomas, and Philip; Jesus' correspondence with Abgar, letters by Peter and Paul in the New Testament--all forgeries. To cite just a few examples.

The End of White Christian America

Submitted by RWMaster on Fri, 01/13/2017 - 16:31

"Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, spells out the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation. “Quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year” (The New York Times Book Review).

A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America

Submitted by RWMaster on Mon, 01/09/2017 - 15:16

"American society has changed dramatically since A Culture of Conspiracy was first published in 2001. In this revised and expanded edition, Michael Barkun delves deeper into America's conspiracy sub-culture, exploring the rise of 9/11 conspiracy theories, the "birther" controversy surrounding Barack Obama's American citizenship, and how the conspiracy landscape has changed with the rise of the Internet and other new media.

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All of It Back

Submitted by RWMaster on Mon, 01/09/2017 - 14:25

"By the time he was nineteen, Frank Schaeffer’s parents, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, had achieved global fame as bestselling evangelical authors and speakers, and Frank had joined his father on the evangelical circuit. He would go on to speak before thousands in arenas around America, publish his own evangelical bestseller, and work with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Dr. James Dobson. But all the while Schaeffer felt increasingly alienated, precipitating a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure—even if it meant losing everything.