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The History of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem

Author: Charles Savona-Ventura (University of Malta)

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2014

Book Description:
The Order of Saint Lazarus is a lesser known Crusader Order that saw its development in the wake of the First Crusade in the 12th century together with the more popularly known Crusader Orders – the Order of Saint John [Hospitallers] and the Order of the Temple [Templars]. Its original brief in the Kingdom of Jerusalem was to succour the victims of leprosy but eventually assumed a military role. Supported by various European Royal houses, the Order expanded its range of influence to Europe. Following political machinations, it saw itself divided into two main branches: 1. A Savoyan branch – the Order of Sts. Lazarus and Maurice; and 2. A French branch – the Order of Saint Lazarus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Both Orders are still active today.

The book reviews in detail the history of the Order of Saint Lazarus from its conception to the modern period using whenever possible access to original documentation and contemporary texts. Unfortunately, much of what has been written about the Order in the past has been based on biased secondary sources which have had a specific agenda either to denigrate or to support the Order. By reviewing the history using primary sources, whenever possible, one would hope that the reader would be able to identify fact from fiction throughout the historical timeline. The Order’s raison d’etre has changed over the centuries from a specific hospitaller Order caring for victims of leprosy adding on a military role in later years, to a Chivalric Order enjoying Papal and French Royal protection, to a philanthropic Order enjoying the fons honorum of the Melkite Patriarch and eventually becoming increasing secular in an organization with a primary philanthropic role on an international scale.

The book targets a varied audience ranging from individuals interested in Medieval, Crusader and Military history, and is suitable for the non-academic readers such as current members of the present Orders of Saint Lazarus to undergraduate and postgraduate academic researchers.

Binding: Hardcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-62948-563-8
ISBN: 978-1-62948-725-0

Price: $150.00
Price: $150.00


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The Culture of our Thinking in Relation to Spirituality

Author: Michael Hogan (School of Psychology, NUI Galway, Ireland)

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2014 - 4th Quarter

Book Description:
This book explores the culture of our thinking in relation to spirituality. It focuses largely on psychological science and the problems faced by scientists as they attempt to understand spirituality in action. The book attempts to untangle the concept of spirituality from various cultural attachments and it considers the way different worldviews and different philosophical perspectives can influence the models of spirituality we build. The book moves toward a contextualist view of spirituality, focusing in particular on the act in context, and it moves the reader to consider spirituality as the ultimate testing ground for pragmatic analysis. In this context, spirituality has to become more than a simple abstraction to survive, because to survive the test of pragmatic analysis it must facilitate successful action in context. The fact that spirituality has survived as a working concept for thousands of years suggests that it is resilient in this respect. However, to survive in the modern culture of science it needs to constantly reinvent itself as a working concept. Ultimately, spirituality, in this book, resurfaces from the depths of abstraction as part of an ongoing action state that has real functional significance. Spirituality comes to be identified as a worthy focus of analysis for children and adults alike as part of the science of education itself. Spirituality is not an abstraction to be feared and branded as anti-scientific. But to reverse engineer spiritual consciousness and spiritual action is no easy task either. Insight and out-sight must reach some form of compromise.

Binding: Hardcover
Binding: Softcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-60876-181-4
ISBN: 978-1-63463-024-5
ISBN: 978-1-61209-403-8

Price: $98.00
Price: $50.00
Price: $98.00


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Is God a Democrat? Essays from a Christian Perspective

Author: James S. Larson (Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA)

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2014 - 1st Quarter

Book Description:
This book is about the basic differences between Democrats and Republicans that divide our country. It is also about God’s perspective on the issue, as revealed in the Christian Bible, and about God and the future- our future in heaven with him. God appears to sympathize with Democrats on certain public policy issues, as expressed in his views on the poor and the need to care for them. This implies God’s sympathy for the use of government intervention on their behalf when the private sector economy fails to provide for them. However, the Democratic view is problematic when the Bible is applied to certain social issues. Republicans rightly point out that God is not neutral on these social issues.
How can political parties in the U.S. reach agreement on these and other issues? The idea of a society that is regulated by government to ensure more economic equality needs to be balanced with the freedom to pursue individual dreams. Republicans and Democrats will always fight over where that balance point should be placed. On the important social issues of the day, both sides need to pay more attention to God’s point of view as expressed in the Bible, and not simply dismiss that view when it fails to agree with contemporary mores. To risk God’s displeasure is a foolish course.
Christians also should view world politics from a more cautious perspective. Jesus was not optimistic about human nature and our ability to solve problems with worldly values. Similarly, we should not be optimistic about man’s ability to politically and socially engineer a perfect world. Human nature and the presence of evil in spiritual realms will prevent that.
To maintain some optimism, we need to focus on the future and God’s plan for us in heaven. Christians believe that we will reign with Christ in heaven, where he will be King of kings. Heavenly government seems like a contradiction in terms, but the Bible talks about a millennial reign of Christ on earth, followed by an eternal reign of God the Father. When God the Father comes to reign on earth, his power will be centered in a New Jerusalem which will descend to a physical earth that is newly renovated. All of these events are described in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible.
In the meantime, Christians need to prepare for heaven by growing closer to God. By being better Christians, we become better citizens in the earthly nations of which we are a part. In doing so, we need to recognize that democracy, for all its virtues, is a flawed system of government, and social progress on earth is limited. This should not result in cynicism, but in a renewed effort to see our public problems and solutions from God’s perspective, a perspective of love and faith.

Binding: Softcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-62948-849-3
ISBN: 978-1-62948-851-6

Price: $52.00
Price: $52.00


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Religious Exemptions and Expressions: Analyses of Select Issues

Editor: Leopold Selvaggio

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2014 - 2nd Quarter

Book Description:
This book examines the constitutional and statutory protections related to free exercise of religion, including current Supreme Court interpretations, as well as judicial and legislative avoidance of defining the parameters of religious belief. It also discusses significant examples of existing religious exemptions in current law, including employment nondiscrimination, health care, and public accommodations law. It analyzes recent federal judicial decisions that have considered the religious freedom rights of commercial entities whose owners have religious objections to the contraceptive coverage requirement. The book then continues to discuss church and campaign activity; legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws; and prayer and religious expression in public institutions.

Binding: Softcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-63117-833-7
ISBN: 978-1-63117-834-4

Price: $62.00
Price: $62.00


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Islam in Africa and Europe: Selected Case Studies

Author: Norman C. Rothman (Department of History, University of Maryland University College, MD, USA)

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2014 - 3rd Quarter

Book Description:
This book is of interest to both the general reader and the student of Islamic, African, and European Affairs. It gives the historical and contemporary state of Islam in selected countries in Africa and Europe. Part one, a general introduction, reviews the arrival and evolution of Islam on the continents of Africa and Europe.
Part II through Part VII concentrates on specific regions. Part II deals with North Africa with specific reference to Algeria and Libya. Part III examines West Africa with the focus on Mali and Nigeria. Part IV treats East Africa with studies of Somalia and Nigeria. Part V covers the Caucasus as it is concerned with Azerbaijan, Dagestan, and Chechnya. Part VI concentrates on the Balkan with chapters on the Albanian world and Bosnia respectively. Part VII discusses the Muslim diaspora in Europe through a scrutiny of the role in Islam in France, the United Kingdom (Great Britain), and Germany. Part VIII is devoted to concluding comments. In addition to citations and references, the book provides a glossary of terms in addition to the index.
In addition to the obvious fields of Islamic, African, and European Studies, this inter-disciplinary work is of interest to students of history, government, comparative religion, and general anthropology and sociology with its focus on culture and society. It is the concluding volume of a trilogy that covers Islam on a global basis.

Binding: Hardcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-63117-920-4
ISBN: 978-1-63117-930-3

Price: $125.00
Price: $125.00


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Women in Islamic Societies: A Literature Review of Social Science Scholarship

Editor: Ruth Ulrich

Series: Religion and Society

Publication Date: 2015 - 2nd Quarter

Book Description:
Half a billion Muslim women inhabit some 45 Muslim-majority countries, and another 30 or more countries have significant Muslim minorities, including, increasingly, countries in the developed West. This book provides a literature review of recent empirical social science scholarship that addresses the actualities of women’s lives in Muslim societies across multiple geographic regions. This book also discusses the differences in the Sunnis and Shiites in Islam.

Binding: Hardcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-63482-014-1
ISBN: 978-1-63482-050-9

Price: $120.00
Price: $120.00


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Returning to Spirituality

Editor: David Muskhelishvili (Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, Georgia)

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2015 - 2nd Quarter

Book Description:
This book consists of articles that were presented at the International Conference dedicated to the 80th birth-anniversary and 35th anniversary since the enthronement of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II. The conference was held by the International Centre for Christian Studies at the Orthodox Church of Georgia in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 14-15 December, 2012.
The conference had three working sections:
1) Religion and Science
2) Religion and Culture
3) “God, Motherland and Man”

Participants of the conference were scholars from the USA, France, Italy, Rumania, Poland, Czechia, and Lithuania; participants included the most reverend hierarchs, clergymen and representatives of the Georgian government.

The work of the conference was summed up by the Round Table which outlined the tasks and methods of further cooperation. The participants of the Second International Conference expressed hope that modern society would fully estimate the dangers caused by the present lack of spirituality and will do all that is possible to restore spirituality in all spheres of public life. All these elements are examined and written about in this book.

Binding: Hardcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-63482-147-6
ISBN: 978-1-63482-192-6

Price: $190.00
Price: $190.00


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Spirituality: Global Practices, Societal Attitudes and Effects on Health

Editor: Edith C. Roberts

Series: Religion and Spirituality

Publication Date: 2015 - 2nd Quarter

Book Description:
Spirituality has only recently been conceptualized as a distinct construct from religion or religiosity. For centuries, the term religiosity referred to both personal and public attempts to relate to the divine essence of the universe. More recently, and first among the layperson, the term spirituality has been recognized as a private phenomenon and the term religion as a public phenomenon. This book discusses global practices of spirituality. It also examines societal attitudes toward spirituality and the effects it has on human health.

Binding: Hardcover
Binding: e-Book

ISBN: 978-1-63482-370-8
ISBN: 978-1-63482-387-6

Price: $230.00
Price: $230.00