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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
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Addiction and Pastoral Care

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A timely resource treating addiction holistically as both a spiritual and a pathological condition

Substance addictions present a unique set of challenges for pastoral care. In this book Sonia Waters weaves together personal stories, research, and theological reflection to offer helpful tools for ministers, counselors, chaplains, and anyone else called to care pastorally for those struggling with addiction.

Waters uses the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark's Gospel to reframe addiction as a "soul-sickness" that arises from a legion of individual and social vulnerabilities. She includes pastoral reflections on oppression, the War on Drugs, trauma, guilt, discipleship, and identity. The final chapters focus on practical-care skills that address the challenges of recovery, especially ambivalence and resistance to change.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780802875686
Publication Date: 
2019-02-05
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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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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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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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Black Christ: 25th Anniversary Edition

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In this classic work, first published in 1994, Kelly Brown Douglas offers a compelling portrait of who Jesus is for the Black community. Beginning with the early testimonies of the enslaved, through the writings and thought of religious and literary figures, voices from the Civil Rights and Black Power era, including Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, up through the contemporary work of Black and Womanist theologians, Douglas presents a living tradition that speaks powerfully to the message of our day: Black Lives Matter.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781626983168
Publication Date: 
2019-04-24
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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 Women's History of the United States

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A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are--and have always been--instrumental in shaping our country

In centering Black women's stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women's unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.

A Black Women's History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women's lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women's history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780807033555
Publication Date: 
2020-02-04
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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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Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

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How The Book of Common Prayer became one of the most influential works in the English language

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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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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Breathe: A Letter to My Sons

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Best-of Lists: Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 (Kirkus Reviews) - 25 Can't-Miss Books of 2019 (The Undefeated)

Explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a Black person in contemporary America and what it means to parent our children in a persistently unjust world.

Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love--finding beauty and possibility in life--and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition.

Perry draws upon the ideas of figures such as James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ida B. Wells. She shares vulnerabilities and insight from her own life and from encounters in places as varied as the West Side of Chicago; Birmingham, Alabama; and New England prep schools.

With original art for the cover by Ekua Holmes, Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780807076552
Publication Date: 
2019-09-17
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Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World

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"Theology is a place and a story. Theology is the place and story you think of when you ask yourself about the meaning of your life, of the world, and the possibility of God."

So begins Serene Jones's epic work of raw truth, fierce love, and spiritual teaching as muscular as the fractured soul of this century demands. From her abiding Oklahoma roots to her historic leadership of a legendary New York seminary, her story illuminates the deep fault lines of this age--and points beyond them. With a voice that is at once frank and poetic, humble and prophetic, intimate and practical, Jones makes complex teachings around hatred, forgiveness, mercy, justice, death, sin, and grace understandable and immediately applicable for modern people. Excavating the wisdom of great theological voices--Soren Kierkegaard, Reinhold Niebuhr, John Calvin, James Baldwin, James Cone, Luce Irigaray, Saint Teresa of Avila--she brings them to life with an intimacy and vividness that illumines our lives and our culture now. At the same time, and with great beauty, Call It Grace reveals Serene Jones as a towering voice of a new, and urgently necessary, public theology for this century.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780735223646
Publication Date: 
2019-03-19
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Choose You This Day: The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Politics of Trumpism

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The American church is in crisis. The crisis is not caused by the politics of Trumpism, though that is the occasion for it. The crisis is evoked by the great challenge which every generation faces: to follow Jesus Christ in the way of discipleship. The word of God's promise sets before American Christians a simple but dramatic choice in the face of the toxic politics of Trumpism. Does the gospel of Jesus Christ embrace the politics of Trumpism? Yes, or no? Each must choose, and the gospel itself is at stake.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781532685736
Publication Date: 
2019-07-25
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Christ's Associations: Connecting and Belonging in the Ancient City

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A groundbreaking investigation of early Christ groups in the ancient Mediterranean

As an urban movement, the early groups of Christ followers came into contact with the many small groups in Greek and Roman antiquity. Organized around the workplace, a deity, a diasporic identity, or a neighborhood, these associations gathered in small face-to-face meetings and provided the principal context for cultic and social interactions for their members. Unlike most other groups, however, about which we have data on their rules of membership, financial management, and organizational hierarchy, we have very little information about early Christ groups.

Drawing on data about associative practices throughout the ancient world, this innovative study offers new insight into the structure and mission of the early Christ groups. John S. Kloppenborg situates the Christ associations within the broader historical context of the ancient Mediterranean and reveals that they were probably smaller than previously believed and did not have a uniform system of governance, and that the attraction of Christ groups was based more on practice than theological belief.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300217049
Publication Date: 
2019-11-26
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Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History

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A history of unparalleled scope that charts the global transformation of Christianity during an age of profound political and cultural change

Christianity in the Twentieth Century charts the transformation of one of the world's great religions during an age marked by world wars, genocide, nationalism, decolonization, and powerful ideological currents, many of them hostile to Christianity. Written by a leading scholar of world Christianity, the book traces how Christianity evolved from a religion defined by the culture and politics of Europe to the expanding polycentric and multicultural faith it is today. Brian Stanley provides a history of Christianity as a popular faith experienced and lived by its adherents, telling a compelling and multifaceted story of Christendom's fortunes across the globe.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691196848
Publication Date: 
2019-11-26
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Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann (Vol. 3)

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This collection features sixty sermons by Walter Brueggemann, preached mostly in the last five years. For his final public appearances, he preached at various churches and the Festival of Homiletics, including his last address there in 2018. Most of these are based on lectionary texts, with numerous sermons on Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter texts. Preachers will find inspiration in the handful of sermons covering special occasions or themes, including confirmation, evangelism, and funerals.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780664265816
Publication Date: 
2020-01-21
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Crossing: A Transgender Memoir

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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

"I visited womanhood and stayed. It was not for the pleasures, though I discovered many I had not imagined, and many pains too. But calculating pleasures and pains was not the point. The point was who I am."

Once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s privilege, Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald) had wanted to change genders from the age of eleven. But it was a different time, one hostile to any sort of straying from the path--against gays, socialists, women with professions, men without hats, and so on--and certainly against gender transition. Finally, in 1995, at the age of fifty-three, it was time for McCloskey to cross the gender line.

Crossing is the story of McCloskey's dramatic and poignant transformation from Donald to Dee to Deirdre. She chronicles the physical procedures and emotional evolution required and the legal and cultural roadblocks she faced in her journey to womanhood. By turns searing and humorous, this is the unflinching, unforgettable story of her transformation--what she lost, what she gained, and the women who lifted her up along the way.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780226662565
Publication Date: 
2019-09-20
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Crucible of Islam

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Little is known about Arabia in the sixth century, yet from this distant time and place emerged a faith and an empire that stretched from the Iberian peninsula to India. Today, Muslims account for nearly a quarter of the global population. A renowned classicist, G. W. Bowersock seeks to illuminate this obscure and dynamic period in the history of Islam--exploring why arid Arabia proved to be such fertile ground for Muhammad's prophetic message, and why that message spread so quickly to the wider world. The Crucible of Islam offers a compelling explanation of how one of the world's great religions took shape.

"A remarkable work of scholarship."
--Wall Street Journal

"A little book of explosive originality and penetrating judgment... The joy of reading this account of the background and emergence of early Islam is the knowledge that Bowersock has built it from solid stones... A masterpiece of the historian's craft."
--Peter Brown, New York Review of Books

ISBN/SKU: 
9780674237728
Publication Date: 
2019-05-20
0
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Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (10th Anniversary Edition)

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A 10th anniversary edition of this field defining work--an intellectual inspiration for a generation of LGBTQ scholars Cruising Utopia arrived in 2009 to insist that queerness must be reimagined as a futurity-bound phenomenon, an insistence on the potentiality of another world that would crack open the pragmatic present. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, José Esteban Muñoz argued that the here and now were not enough and issued an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination. On the anniversary of its original publication, this edition includes two essays that extend and expand the project of Cruising Utopia, as well as a new foreword by the current editors of Sexual Cultures, the book series he co-founded with Ann Pellegrini 20 years ago. This 10th anniversary edition celebrates the lasting impact that Cruising Utopia has had on the decade of queer of color critique that followed and introduces a new generation of readers to a future not yet here.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781479874569
Publication Date: 
2019-04-23
0
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Cunegonde's Kidnapping: A Story of Religious Conflict in the Age of Enlightenment

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How a popular religious war erupted on the Dutch-German border, despite the ideals of religious tolerance proclaimed by the Enlightenment

In a remote village on the Dutch-German border, a young Catholic woman named Cunegonde tries to kidnap a baby to prevent it from being baptized in a Protestant church. When she is arrested, fellow Catholics stage an armed raid to free her from detention. These dramatic events of 1762 triggered a cycle of violence, starting a kind of religious war in the village and its surrounding region. Contradicting our current understanding, this war erupted at the height of the Age of Enlightenment, famous for its religious toleration.

Cunegonde's Kidnapping tells in vivid detail the story of this hitherto unknown conflict. Drawing characters, scenes, and dialogue straight from a body of exceptional primary sources, it is the first microhistorical study of religious conflict and toleration in early modern Europe. In it, award-winning historian Benjamin J. Kaplan explores the dilemmas of interfaith marriage and the special character of religious life in a borderland, where religious dissenters enjoy unique freedoms. He also challenges assumptions about the impact of Enlightenment thought and suggests that, on a popular level, some parts of eighteenth-century Europe may not have witnessed a "rise of toleration."
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300244410
Publication Date: 
2019-07-01
0
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