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Abrahamic Religions: A Very Short Introduction

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In the book of Genesis, God bestows a new name upon Abram--Abraham, a father of many nations. With this name and his Covenant, Abraham would become the patriarch of three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Connected by their mutual--if differentiated--veneration of the One God proclaimed by Abraham, these traditions share much beyond their origins in the ancient Israel of the Old Testament. This Very Short Introduction explores the intertwined histories of these monotheistic religions, from the emergence of Christianity and Islam to the violence of the Crusades and the cultural exchanges of al-Andalus.

Each religion continues to be shaped by this history but has also reacted to the forces of modernity and politics. Movements such as the Reformation and that led by seventh-century Kharijites have emerged, intentioned to reform or restore traditional religious practice but quite different in their goals and effects. Relationships with states, among them Israel and Saudi Arabia, have also figured importantly in their development. The Abrahamic Religions: A Very Short Introduction brings these traditions together into a common narrative, lending much needed context to the story of Abraham and his descendants.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780190654344
Publication Date: 
2020-01-08
0

Against the Academics: St. Augustine's Cassiciacum Dialogues, Volume 1

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A fresh, new translation of Augustine's inaugural work as a Christian convert

The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are the remarkable "Cassiciacum dialogues." In this first dialogue, expertly translated by Michael Foley, Augustine and his interlocutors explore the history and teachings of Academic skepticism, which Augustine is both sympathetic to and critical of. The dialogue serves as a fitting launching point for a knowledge of God and the soul, the overall subject of the Cassiciacum tetralogy.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300238556
Publication Date: 
2019-06-25
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Against Translation

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We often ask ourselves what gets lost in translation--not just between languages, but in the everyday trade-offs between what we experience and what we are able to say about it. But the visionary poems of this collection invite us to consider: what is loss, in translation? Writing at the limits of language--where "the signs loosen, fray, and drift"--Alan Shapiro probes the startling complexity of how we confront absence and the ephemeral, the heartbreak of what once wasn't yet and now is no longer, of what (like racial prejudice and historical atrocity) is omnipresent and elusive. Through poems that are fine-grained and often quiet, Shapiro tells of subtle bereavements: a young boy is shamed for the first time for looking "girly"; an ailing old man struggles to visit his wife in a nursing home; or a woman dying of cancer watches her friends enjoy themselves in her absence. Throughout, this collection traverses rather than condemns the imperfect language of loss--moving against the current in the direction of the utterly ineffable.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780226613505
Publication Date: 
2019-03-08
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Alexander the Great: From His Death to the Present Day

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An illustrious scholar presents an elegant, concise, and generously illustrated exploration of Alexander the Great's representations in art and literature through the ages

John Boardman is one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Greece, and his acclaimed books command a broad readership. In this book, he looks beyond the life of Alexander the Great in order to examine the astonishing range of Alexanders created by generations of authors, historians, and artists throughout the world--from Scotland to China.

Alexander's defeat of the Persian Empire in 331 BC captured the popular imagination, inspiring an endless series of stories and representations that emerged shortly after his death and continues today. An art historian and archaeologist, Boardman draws on his deep knowledge of Alexander and the ancient world to reflect on the most interesting and emblematic depictions of this towering historical figure.

Some of the stories in this book relate to historical events associated with Alexander's military career and some to the fantasy that has been woven around him, and Boardman relates each with his customary verve and erudition. From Alexander's biographers in ancient Greece to the illustrated Alexander "Romances" of the Middle Ages to operas, films, and even modern cartoons, this generously illustrated volume takes readers on a fascinating cultural journey as it delivers a perfect pairing of subject and author.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691181752
Publication Date: 
2019-01-08
0
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America's Religious Wars: The Embattled Heart of Our Public Life

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How American conflicts about religion have always symbolized our foundational political values

When Americans fight about "religion," we are also fighting about our conflicting identities, interests, and commitments. Religion-talk has been a ready vehicle for these conflicts because it is built on enduring contradictions within our core political values. The Constitution treats religion as something to be confined behind a wall, but in public communications, the Framers treated religion as the foundation of the American republic. Ever since, Americans have translated disagreements on many other issues into an endless debate about the role of religion in our public life.

Built around a set of compelling narratives--George Washington's battle with Quaker pacifists; the fight of Mormons and Catholics for equality with Protestants; Teddy Roosevelt's concept of land versus the Lakota's concept; the creation-evolution controversy; and the struggle over sexuality--this book shows how religion, throughout American history, has symbolized, but never resolved, our deepest political questions.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300213867
Publication Date: 
2019-06-04
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American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity

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This illuminating account of contemporary American Buddhism shows the remarkable ways the tradition has changed over the past generation

The past couple of decades have witnessed Buddhist communities both continuing the modernization of Buddhism and questioning some of its limitations. In this fascinating portrait of a rapidly changing religious landscape, Ann Gleig illuminates the aspirations and struggles of younger North American Buddhists during a period she identifies as a distinct stage in the assimilation of Buddhism to the West. She observes both the emergence of new innovative forms of deinstitutionalized Buddhism that blur the boundaries between the religious and secular, and a revalorization of traditional elements of Buddhism, such as ethics and community, that were discarded in the modernization process.

Based on extensive ethnographic and textual research, the book ranges from mindfulness debates in the Vipassana network to the sex scandals in American Zen, while exploring issues around racial diversity and social justice, the impact of new technologies, and generational differences between baby boomer, Gen X, and millennial teachers.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300215809
Publication Date: 
2019-02-26
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Antiracism: An Introduction

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An introduction to antiracism, a powerful tradition crucial for energizing American democracy On August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a rally of white nationalists and white supremacists culminated in the death of a woman murdered in the street. Those events made clear that racism is alive and well in the United States of America. However, they also brought into sharp relief another American tradition: antiracism. While racists marched and chanted in the streets, they were met and matched by even larger numbers of protesters calling for racism's end. Racism is America's original and most enduring sin, with well-known historic and contemporary markers: slavery, lynching, Jim Crow, redlining, mass incarceration, police brutality. But racism has always been challenged by an opposing political theory and practice. Alex Zamalin's Antiracism tells the story of that opposition. The most theoretically generative and politically valuable source of antiracist thought has been the black American intellectual tradition. While other forms of racial oppression--for example, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Latino racism--have been and continue to be present in American life, antiblack racism has always been the primary focus of American antiracist movements. From antislavery abolition to the antilynching movement, black socialism to feminism, the long Civil Rights movement to the contemporary Movement for Black Lives, Antiracism examines the way the black antiracist tradition has thought about domination, exclusion, and power, as well as freedom, equality, justice, struggle, and political hope in dark times. Antiracism is an accessible introduction to the political theory of black American antiracism, through a study of the major figures, texts, and political movements across US history. Zamalin argues that antiracism is a powerful tradition that is crucial for energizing American democracy.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781479822638
Publication Date: 
2019-03-19
0
Author: 

Art of Loving

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The renowned psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm has helped millions of men and women achieve rich, productive lives by developing their hidden capacities for love. In this astonishingly frank and candid book, he explores the ways in which this extraordinary emotion can alter the whole course of your life.

Most of us are unable to develop our capacities for love on the only level that really counts--a love that is compounded of maturity, self-knowledge, and courage. Learning to love, like other arts, demands practice and concentration. Even more than any other art it demands genuine insight and understanding.

In this classic work, Fromm explores love in all its aspects--not only romantic love, steeped in false conceptions and lofty expectations, but also love of parents, children, brotherly love, erotic love, self-love, and the love of God.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780061129735
Publication Date: 
2019-08-06
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Aurum: Poems

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Unflinching and magnetic, the language and structure of Aurum never strays from its dedication to revealing the prominent reality of Native people being marginalized and discarded in the wake of industrial progress. While uncovering different forms of oppression that estrange Native Americans from their own land, these poems explore the raw and disturbing aspects of living in the wastelands of contemporary America.

Aurum does not attempt to provide answers or solutions. Instead, it splits the belly of North America and lays it bare into powerful words and unconventional structures. Brutally honest and incredibly fine tuned, this collection digs up "the grit where teeth once rooted" to show the objectification of Native peoples and cultures for the grotesque erasure it really is.

With images that taunt, disturb, and fascinate, Aurum captures the vibrantly original language in Santee Frazier's first collection, Dark Thirty, while taking on a completely new voice and rhythm. Each poem is vivid and memorable, beckoning to be read again and again as the words lend an enhanced experience each time. Frazier has crafted a wrought-iron collection of poetry that never shies away from a truth that America often attempts to ignore.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780816539628
Publication Date: 
2019-09-17
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Balm in Gilead: A Theological Dialogue with Marilynne Robinson

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Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson is one of the most eminent public intellectuals in America today. In addition to literary elegance, her trilogy of novels (Gilead, Home, and Lila) and her collections of essays offer probing meditations on the Christian faith. Many of these reflections are grounded in her belief that the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformer John Calvin still deserves a hearing in the twenty-first century. This volume, based on the 2018 Wheaton Theology Conference, brings together the thoughts of leading theologians, historians, literary scholars, and church leaders who engaged in theological dialogue with Robinson's published work--and with the author herself.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780830853182
Publication Date: 
2019-04-02
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Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature

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A History Today Best Book of the Year
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Horace, and other authors of ancient Rome are so firmly established in the Western canon today that the birth of Latin literature seems inevitable. Yet, Denis Feeney boldly argues, the beginnings of Latin literature were anything but inevitable. The cultural flourishing that in time produced the Aeneid, the Metamorphoses, and other Latin classics was one of the strangest events in history.

"Feeney is to be congratulated on his willingness to put Roman literary history in a big comparative context... It is a powerful testimony to the importance of Denis Feeney's work that the old chestnuts of classical literary history--how the Romans got themselves Hellenized, and whether those jack-booted thugs felt anxiously belated or smugly domineering in their appropriation of Greek culture for their own purposes--feel fresh and urgent again."
--Emily Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

"[Feeney's] bold theme and vigorous writing render Beyond Greek of interest to anyone intrigued by the history and literature of the classical world."
--The Economist

ISBN/SKU: 
9780674986589
Publication Date: 
2019-01-14
0
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Beyond Orality: Biblical Poetry on Its Own Terms

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Central to understanding the prophecy and prayer of the Hebrew Bible are the unspoken assumptions that shaped them--their genres. Modern scholars describe these works as "poetry," but there was no corresponding ancient Hebrew term or concept. Scholars also typically assume it began as "oral literature," a concept based more in evolutionist assumptions than evidence. Is biblical poetry a purely modern fiction, or is there a more fundamental reason why its definition escapes us?

Beyond Orality: Biblical Poetry on its Own Terms changes the debate by showing how biblical poetry has worked as a mirror, reflecting each era's own self-image of verbal art. Yet Vayntrub also shows that this problem is rooted in a crucial pattern within the Bible itself: the texts we recognize as "poetry" are framed as powerful and ancient verbal performances, dramatic speeches from the past. The Bible's creators presented what we call poetry in terms of their own image of the ancient and the oral, and understanding their native theories of Hebrew verbal art gives us a new basis to rethink our own.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781138235625
Publication Date: 
2019-02-28
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Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby

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How the billionaire owners of Hobby Lobby are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make America a "Bible nation"

The Greens of Oklahoma City--the billionaire owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores--are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an ambitious effort to increase the Bible's influence on American society. In Bible Nation, Candida Moss and Joel Baden provide the first in-depth investigative account of the Greens' sweeping Bible projects. Moss and Baden tell the story of the Greens' efforts to place a Bible curriculum in public schools; their rapid acquisition of an unparalleled collection of biblical antiquities; their creation of a closely controlled group of scholars to study and promote the collection; and their construction of a $500 million Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Revealing how all these initiatives promote a very particular set of beliefs about the Bible, the book raises serious questions about the trade in biblical antiquities, the integrity of academic research, and the place of private belief in public life.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691191706
Publication Date: 
2019-07-16
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Birth of Modern Belief: Faith and Judgment from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

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An illuminating history of how religious belief lost its uncontested status in the West

This landmark book traces the history of belief in the Christian West from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, revealing for the first time how a distinctively modern category of belief came into being. Ethan Shagan focuses not on what people believed, which is the normal concern of Reformation history, but on the more fundamental question of what people took belief to be.

Shagan shows how religious belief enjoyed a special prestige in medieval Europe, one that set it apart from judgment, opinion, and the evidence of the senses. But with the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation, the question of just what kind of knowledge religious belief was--and how it related to more mundane ways of knowing--was forced into the open. As the warring churches fought over the answer, each claimed belief as their exclusive possession, insisting that their rivals were unbelievers. Shagan challenges the common notion that modern belief was a gift of the Reformation, showing how it was as much a reaction against Luther and Calvin as it was against the Council of Trent. He describes how dissidents on both sides came to regard religious belief as something that needed to be justified by individual judgment, evidence, and argument.

Brilliantly illuminating, The Birth of Modern Belief demonstrates how belief came to occupy such an ambivalent place in the modern world, becoming the essential category by which we express our judgments about science, society, and the sacred, but at the expense of the unique status religion once enjoyed.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691174747
Publication Date: 
2019-01-08
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Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality

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In Black Feminism Reimagined Jennifer C. Nash reframes black feminism's engagement with intersectionality, often celebrated as its primary intellectual and political contribution to feminist theory. Charting the institutional history and contemporary uses of intersectionality in the academy, Nash outlines how women's studies has both elevated intersectionality to the discipline's primary program-building initiative and cast intersectionality as a threat to feminism's coherence. As intersectionality has become a central feminist preoccupation, Nash argues that black feminism has been marked by a single affect--defensiveness--manifested by efforts to police intersectionality's usages and circulations. Nash contends that only by letting go of this deeply alluring protectionist stance, the desire to make property of knowledge, can black feminists reimagine intellectual production in ways that unleash black feminist theory's visionary world-making possibilities.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781478000594
Publication Date: 
2019-02-08
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Black Theology and Black Power: 50th Anniversary Edition

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First published in 1969, Black Theology and Black Power provided the first systematic presentation of Black Theology, while also introducing the voice of an African American theologian who would shake the foundations of American theology. Relating the militant struggle for liberation with the gospel message of salvation, James Cone laid out the foundation for an interpretation of Christianity from the perspective of the oppressed that retains its urgency and challenge today.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781626983083
Publication Date: 
2019-02-20
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Black Writers Matter

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An anthology of African-Canadian writing, Black Writers Matter offers a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with beautiful, sometimes raw, prose. As Whitney French says in her introduction, Black Writing Matters "injects new meaning into the word diversity [and] harbours a sacredness and an everydayness that offers Black people dignity." An "invitation to read, share, and tell stories of Black narratives that are close to the bone," this collection feels particular to the Black Canadian experience.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780889776166
Publication Date: 
2019-02-02
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Bless This Mess: A Modern Guide to Faith and Parenting in a Chaotic World

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A witty, compelling guide to raising open-minded and morally grounded kids in these crazy times, with an approach that's rooted in science, psychology, and faith

"Groundbreaking, profound, frank and friendly."--Wendy Mogel, PhD, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee

When Rev. Molly Baskette and Dr. Ellen O'Donnell first met, they were both new mothers seeking parenting wisdom. They read a lot of books on the topic, but none of them contained practical suggestions that would help their families psychologically and spiritually while maintaining their progressive values: How do we teach the art of forgiving and serving others? How do we raise kids who are tolerant, curious, and honorable? And what about the sex talk?

Taking matters into their own hands, Baskette and O'Donnell began creating actionable steps addressing these questions and more. This book is the fruit of their many conversations begun long ago during the daycare carpool, from angsty moments to hallelujahs.

In Bless This Mess, readers will gain constructive tools as they learn how to talk to their children about social justice, money, God, ethics, bullying, disabilities, sexuality, and their bodies. Parents will also glean insights on how to serve others with joy, give generously and gratefully, and--perhaps most important--learn how to stop being so afraid all the damn time, even while raising kids in an increasingly chaotic and often scary world. With real-life examples, relatable personal stories, and strategies tailored to the toddler, preteen, or teenager, Bless This Mess guides parents of children at all stages of their development.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781984824127
Publication Date: 
2019-08-06
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Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Pacifism, Just War, and Peacebuilding

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ISBN/SKU: 
9781506431659
Publication Date: 
2019-03-02
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Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

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While many of us are familiar with such famous words as "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here. . ." or "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," we may not know that they originated in The Book of Common Prayer, which first appeared in 1549. Like the words of the King James Bible and Shakespeare, the language of this prayer book has saturated English culture and letters. Here Alan Jacobs tells its story. He shows how The Book of Common Prayer--from its beginnings as a means of social and political control in the England of Henry VIII to its worldwide presence today--became a venerable work whose cadences express the heart of religious life for millions.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780691191782
Publication Date: 
2019-05-28
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Book of Exodus: A Biography

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An essential biography of one of the Bible's most powerful and inspiring books

Exodus is the second book of the Hebrew Bible, but it may rank first in lasting cultural importance. It is here that the classic biblical themes of oppression and redemption, of human enslavement and divine salvation, are most dramatically expressed. Joel Baden tells the story of this influential and enduring book, tracing how its famous account of the Israelites' journey to the promised land has been adopted and adapted for millennia, often in unexpected ways.

Baden draws a distinction between the Exodus story and the book itself, which is one of the most multifaceted in the Bible, containing poems, law codes, rituals, and architectural plans. He shows how Exodus brings together an array of oral and written traditions from the ancient Middle East, and how it came to be ritualized in the Passover Seder and the Eucharist. Highlighting the remarkable resilience and flexibility of Exodus, Baden sheds light on how the bestowing of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai divided Jewish and Christian thinkers, on the importance of Exodus during the Reformation and the American Revolution, and on its uses in debates for and against slavery. He also traces how the defining narrative of ancient Israel helped to define Mormon social identity, the American civil rights movement, and liberation theology.

Though three thousand years old, the Exodus--as history, as narrative, as metaphor, as model--continues to be vitally important for us today. Here is the essential biography of this incomparable spiritual masterpiece.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691169545
Publication Date: 
2019-04-30
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Boundary-Breaking God: An Unfolding Story of Hope and Promise

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Tenth Anniversary Edition, with a New Preface by the AuthorA fresh, new exploration of who God is and what God wants for creation.Danielle Shroyer introduces us to a God who delights in breaking through boundaries, loves to pop up in unexpected places, and favors the outsider over the institutional insider. Written for anyone longing for a more generous and loving God, this book offers a new paradigm through which faith can be understood. This boundary-breaking God engages life at every corner--social, economic, political, intellectual, ecological--and offers a refreshing view of God that is creative and expansive.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781506454672
Publication Date: 
2019-03-05
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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A timely and important book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection

Don't miss the hourlong Netflix special Brené Brown: The Call to Courage!

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"True belonging doesn't require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are." Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives--experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

Brown argues that we're experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, "True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that's rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it's easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it's a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It's a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts." Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, "The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it's the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand."

ISBN/SKU: 
9780812985818
Publication Date: 
2019-08-27
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Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons

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Changes in the American religious landscape enabled the rise of mass incarceration. Religious ideas and practices also offer a key for ending mass incarceration. These are the bold claims advanced by Break Every Yoke, the joint work of two activist-scholars of American religion. Once, in an era not too long past, Americans, both incarcerated and free, spoke a language of social liberation animated by religion. In the era of mass incarceration, we have largely forgotten how to dream-and organize-this way. To end mass incarceration we must reclaim this lost tradition. Properly conceived, the movement we need must demand not prison reform but prison abolition.
Break Every Yoke weaves religion into the stories about race, politics, and economics that conventionally account for America's grotesque prison expansion of the last half century, and in so doing it sheds new light on one of our era's biggest human catastrophes. By foregrounding the role of religion in the way political elites, religious institutions, and incarcerated activists talk about incarceration, Break Every Yoke is an effort to stretch the American moral imagination and contribute resources toward envisioning alternative ways of doing justice. By looking back to nineteenth century abolitionism, and by turning to today's grassroots activists, it argues for reclaiming the abolition "spirit."
ISBN/SKU: 
9780190949150
Publication Date: 
2019-12-11
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Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel

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This magisterial follow-up to The New Abolition, a Grawemeyer Award winner, tells the crucial second chapter in the black social gospel's history.

The civil rights movement was one of the most searing developments in modern American history. It abounded with noble visions, resounded with magnificent rhetoric, and ended in nightmarish despair. It won a few legislative victories and had a profound impact on U.S. society, but failed to break white supremacy. The symbol of the movement, Martin Luther King Jr., soared so high that he tends to overwhelm anything associated with him. Yet the tradition that best describes him and other leaders of the civil rights movement has been strangely overlooked.

In his latest book, Gary Dorrien continues to unearth the heyday and legacy of the black social gospel, a tradition with a shimmering history, a martyred central figure, and enduring relevance today. This part of the story centers around King and the mid-twentieth-century black church leaders who embraced the progressive, justice-oriented, internationalist social gospel from the beginning of their careers and fulfilled it, inspiring and leading America's greatest liberation movement.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300244335
Publication Date: 
2019-02-26
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