Celtic Mythology by John Arnott MacCulloch
11 November 2013, 13:58
2004 | EPUB | 8.67MB
This classic study of the ancient tales of Ireland and Wales will delight everyone interested in Celtic folklore. Its lively tales of romance and love, of war and carnage, and of deeds both noble and base are accompanied by expert commentary, which places them within a larger cultural context.
Sources of the Jesus Tradition
11 November 2013, 13:50
2010 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.27/2.87MB
Who was the "real Jesus"? Given the historical unreliability of the gospels and other ancient sources, can this question ever be answered? Is it possible that a historical Jesus never existed?
These questions and more are addressed in this collection of expert essays based on the latest research in New Testament scholarship. All of the authors are participants in the Jesus Project, a new investigation into the origins of Christianity directed by R. Joseph Hoffmann under the auspices of the Council for the Scientific Examination of Religion at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY. Dr. Hoffmann describes the project as a beneficiary of its history, building on the work of prior inquiry and acknowledging important advances in the reconstruction of Christian origins in the last two centuries. It is "new" in advocating a faith-free approach to the sources and greater attention to method than previous inquiries.
The scholars represented in this volume are among the finest in the world. Included are not only experts in New Testament studies but also specialists in archeology, legal history, intertestamental Judaism, educational studies, Near Eastern studies, philosophy, and classics.
The first fruits of this scholarly collaboration are gathered together in this excellent anthology, which will be a welcome addition to the libraries of anyone with an interest in Christian origins.
The Case for God [Audiobook]
11 November 2013, 13:49
2009 | MP3@192 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 16 hrs 45 mins | 1.36GB
A nuanced exploration of the part that religion plays in human life, drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.
Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality that it called by many names, such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese spiritualities, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time, when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith. Why has God become unbelievable? Why is it that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God in a way that veers so profoundly from the thinking of our ancestors?
Answering these questions with the same depth of knowledge and profound insight that have marked all her acclaimed books, Armstrong makes clear how the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level. Yet she cautions us that religion was never supposed to provide answers that lie within the competence of human reason; that, she says, is the role of logos. The task of religion is “to help us live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there are no easy explanations.” She emphasizes, too, that religion will not work automatically. It is, she says, a practical discipline: its insights are derived not from abstract speculation but from “dedicated intellectual endeavor” and a “compassionate lifestyle that enables us to break out of the prism of selfhood.”
The World of Biblical Israel
11 November 2013, 13:20
Course No 6325 | MP4, 570x320, 1094 Kbps | AAC, VBR, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 6.08GB
We all have associations with the word “Israel”—a modern-day nation in the Middle East that makes up part of the biblical Holy Land. But how did ancient Israel emerge? Who were the Israelites and where did they come from? What was it like to live in biblical Israel? Before unpacking these questions, it might help to consider how the very meaning of the word “Israel” evolved throughout the Hebrew Bible:
- “Israel” first referred to a person, Jacob, the founding ancestor of the Israelites.
- Jacob had twelve sons whose descendants became the “twelve tribes of Israel.”
- Later, “Israel” became the name of the monarchy headed by King David and his son Solomon.
- When the monarchy divided, the northern kingdom was called “Israel” and the southern kingdom, “Judah.”
- Finally, “Israel” came to refer to the Judeans who survived as a nation in exile during the Babylonian captivity.
In fact, the Babylonian captivity is at the heart of the Hebrew scriptures (known to Christians as the Old Testament) and provides a key to understanding biblical Israel—as a people, a kingdom, and a nation. It was during this period of exile that the Judeans systematically gathered their stories and defined their identity as descendants of Abraham and one of Jacob’s tribes. The act of storytelling helped to create a community in exile, preserving the Judeans’ sense of identity while they were separated from their homeland. This story of exile still resonates with us today, as we have seen numerous modern crises that resulted in the reshaping of national identity.
The World of Biblical Israel takes you on a journey through ancient Israel to introduce you to the world, the people, the challenges, and the triumphs of this ancient land. In 24 captivating lectures, Professor Cynthia R. Chapman of Oberlin College introduces you to the stories of the Judeans in exile and grounds them in their historical context, giving you a grand vision of history as presented in the scriptures. She compares the history in the Bible to the archaeological record, giving you a complete picture of life in biblical Israel.
Along the way, you’ll encounter the richness of the Hebrew Bible, which for thousands of years has been one of the most important literary and religious works in the world, foundational to all three Abrahamic religions. In fact, Judaism has maintained unbroken ties to this text, and studying it sheds light on how the religion is practiced today. Yet it’s not until you view the Hebrew scriptures in the context of the history in which they were written that you see how truly powerful their narratives are.
Experience a People in Exile, a Nation in Crisis
The Hebrew Bible contains some of the most influential stories in Western civilization, and we regularly encounter them today—not just in religious services, but in art, films, literature, political speeches, and more. The World of Biblical Israel takes you inside the stories, introduces you to the characters, and shows you what daily life would have been like for ordinary people. Professor Chapman introduces you to the complete literary power of the scriptures by investigating many of the Bible’s key historical moments:
- The origins of the Israelites: The first five books of the Bible—the Torah—provide the ancestral history of the Israelites and set down a series of laws—many of which continue to be observed today.
- The monarchic period: Under David and Solomon, the state political structure of Israel emerged, and then the kingdom divided under subsequent rulers.
- The age of empires: Neighboring empires, including the Assyrians and the Babylonians, attacked and eventually conquered Israel and then Judah, and the resulting political instability created a tremendous economic and social burden for the Israelites and Judeans who survived.
- The Babylonian captivity: The exilic period inspired the conquered Judeans, who came to see themselves as the remnant of ancient Israel, to reflect on who they were as a people, and it forced them to reconsider their worship practices.
- Resettlement: Cyrus and the Persian Empire freed the Judeans from captivity, but the period of resettlement motivated the community to reexamine its relationship to its God, its land, its religious practices, and its legacy to the children who would become the new Israel.
In addition to learning about the period’s governments, laws, and wars, you’ll take part in the religious debates of the time. You’ll see how the gradual development of monotheism shows up in the language of the scriptures. You’ll also consider the philosophical and theological issues with which ancient Israelites wrestled:
- Why would God allow the Israelites to be conquered?
- How could the Israelites continue their worship after the temple had been destroyed?
- Why does God allow evil in the world?
Explore a Variety of Archaeological Sources
While the Bible provides a wealth of insight, Professor Chapman also delves into the archaeological record and compares it to biblical accounts. For instance, the Bible presents two histories on the return of the Israelites from Egypt—in Joshua and in Judges. You’ll see why archaeological evidence favors the Judges account.
But The World of Biblical Israel is about more than the sweep of history. Professor Chapman zooms in on the daily life of ordinary Israelites. From the family compounds to the battlefields and from the kitchens to the temples, she puts flesh on the bones of the biblical stories.
- Learn about marriage and the role of women by studying Eve, Dinah, Ruth, Jezebel, and others.
- Reflect on social inequality in the story of Naboth’s vineyard as well as the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah.
- Meet judges such as Deborah, Jephthah, and Gideon, and trace the development of law and society.
- Study the importance of literacy, as indicated in the books of Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel.
- Find out what the story of Jacob and Esau has to do with the later period of exile.
An Ancient Civilization Comes to Life
You’ll look at the art, relief sculptures, writing, and administrative records, not only from the Israelites but also from the Assyrians, the Persians, the Egyptians, and other peoples to see how they viewed ancient Israel. This method gives you a balanced, historical look at a truly fascinating time and place and puts you in the role of a history detective uncovering how life was lived in biblical Israel. Additional elements such as maps, family trees, and timelines provide an even more detailed visual representation of the people, their relationships, and the sites they occupied.
This course is such a treat because it provides the full historical context for the Hebrew Bible. You’ll enjoy Professor Chapman’s lively storytelling and clear examples, and you’ll be surprised by her grand vision of the scriptures—as if the history you’ve known all your life suddenly came into brilliant focus. Spiritually engaging and historically fascinating, this course is unlike any other—and it will give you a new appreciation both for ancient history and for the foundation of the Abrahamic faiths.
Course Lecture Titles:
- Biblical Israel—The Story of a People
- By the Rivers of Babylon—Exile
- Ancestor Narratives in Genesis
- Moses—The Torah’s Central Hero
- Becoming the Nation of Israel
- Kinship and Economics in Highland Villages
- Three Weddings and a Funeral
- Political Power Bases in Early Israel
- Kingdoms and King Making
- Politics and Economy of a Centralized Cult
- Worshipping Locally
- Lives of the Rich, Lives of the Poor
- Assyrian Incursion into Israel and Judah
- Life under Siege
- Religious Debates and Preserved Text
- Ezekiel—Exilic Informant
- Life in Exile, Life in Judah
- Literacy and Education
- Religious Developments of the Exile
- The New Israel—Resettling the Land
- Food and the Family Meal—Boundaries
- National Identity—Intermarriage
- National Identity—Twins and Enemies
- Loss and Restoration—Two Biblical Stories
Listening In: Radio And The American Imagination
11 November 2013, 13:19
2004 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.48/1.87MB
Few inventions evoke such nostalgia, such deeply personal and vivid memories as radio?from Amos ?n? Andy and Edward R. Murrow to Wolfman Jack and Howard Stern. Listening In is the first in-depth history of how radio culture and content have kneaded and expanded the American psyche.
But Listening In is more than a history. It is also a reconsideration of what listening to radio has done to American culture in the twentieth century and how it has brought a completely new auditory dimension to our lives. Susan Douglas explores how listening has altered our day-to-day experiences and our own generational identities, cultivating different modes of listening in different eras; how radio has shaped our views of race, gender roles, ethnic barriers, family dynamics, leadership, and the generation gap. With her trademark wit, Douglas has created an eminently readable cultural history of radio.
Three Crooked Kings
11 November 2013, 13:18
2013 | EPUB | 6.5MB
Journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account—a searing story of greed, crime, and corruption—of an era that changed Queensland society: an impact that reverberates across the country to this day. In 1949, a young Terence Murray Lewis graduated from the police academy, ready to start his career in law enforcement. Over the next four decades, he rose to the pinnacle of power as the knighted Commissioner of Police in Queensland before his spectacular downfall and imprisonment after the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s.
This book follows Lewis’s journey through the ranks, as he becomes part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glenn Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof. The alleged suicide of prostitute and brothel madam Shirley Brifman in the early 1970s provides the turning point for a culture that reigned unchecked for several decades. It was part of a grand narrative teeming with murder, pay-offs, political machinations, drug heists, assisted suicides, police in-fighting, and a complicated system of corruption that ultimately collapsed under its own weight.
Based on unprecedented interviews with Terry Lewis and access to his personal papers, this book is the missing piece in the puzzle of the story of Queensland’s endemic generational corruption.
BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech
11 November 2013, 13:17
2010 | EPUB | 308.21KB
In the early 1990s, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and his brother, Terry “Southwest T,” rose up from the slums of Detroit to build one of the largest cocaine empires in American history: the Black Mafia Family. After a decade in the drug game, the Flenorys had it all—a fleet of Maybachs, Bentleys and Ferraris, a 500-man workforce operating in six states, and an estimated quarter of a billion in drug sales. They socialized with music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, did business with New York's king of bling Jacob "The Jeweler" Arabo, and built allegiances with rap superstars Young Jeezy and Fabolous. Yet even as BMF was attracting celebrity attention, its crew members created a cult of violence that struck fear in a city and threatened to spill beyond the boundaries of the drug underworld. Ruthlessness fueled BMF’s rise to incredible power; greed and that same ruthlessness led to their downfall.
When the brothers began clashing in 2003, the flashy and beloved Big Meech risked it all on a shot at legitimacy in the music industry. At the same time, a team of investigators who had pursued BMF for years began to prey on the organization’s weaknesses. Utilizing a high-stakes wiretap operation, the feds inched toward their goal of destroying the Flenory’s empire and ending the reign of a crew suspected in the sale of thousands of kilos of cocaine — and a half-dozen unsolved murders.
Legacy of Secrecy
11 November 2013, 13:16
2009 | PDF | 3.99MB
John F. Kennedy's assassination launched a frantic search to find his killers. It also launched a flurry of covert actions by Lyndon Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, and other top officials to hide the fact that in November 1963 the United States was on the brink of invading Cuba, as part of a JFK-authorized coup. The coup plan's exposure could have led to a nuclear confrontation with Russia, but the cover-up prevented a full investigation into Kennedy's assassination, a legacy of secrecy that would impact American politics and foreign policy for the next 45 years. It also allowed two men who confessed their roles in JFK's murder to be involved in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, in 1968.
Exclusive interviews and newly declassified files from the National Archives document in chilling detail how three mob bosses were able to prevent the truth from coming to light – until now.
Hit List [Audiobook]
11 November 2013, 13:15
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 12 mins | 306.79MB
Richard Belzer and David Wayne are back to set the record straight after Dead Wrong; this time they’re going to uncover the truth about the many witness deaths tied to the JFK assassination. For decades, government pundits have dismissed these “coincidental” deaths, even regarding them as “myths” as “urban legends.”
Like most people, Richard and David were initially unsure about what to make of these ‘coincidences’. After all, events don’t “consult the odds” prior to happening; they simply happen. Then someone comes along later and figures out what the odds of it happening were. Some of the deaths seemed purely coincidental; heart attacks, hunting accidents. Others clearly seemed noteworthy; witnesses who did seem to know something and did seem to die mysteriously.
Hit List is a fair examination of the evidence of each case, leading to (necessarily) different conclusions. The findings were absolutely staggering; as some cases were clearly linked to a “clean-up operation” after the murder of President Kennedy, while others were the result of ‘other forces’. The impeccable research and writing of Richard Belzer and David Wayne show that if the government is trying to hide anything, they’re the duo who will uncover it.
With Our Backs to Berlin
11 November 2013, 13:06
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 8.9/4.0MB
In the final months of the Second World War in 1945, the German Army was in full retreat on both its Western and Eastern Fronts. British and American troops were poised to cross the River Rhine in the west, while in the East the vast Soviet war machine was steam-rolling the soldiers of the Third Reich back towards the capital, Berlin. Even in retreat, the German Army was still a force to be reckoned with and vigorously defended every last bridge, castle, town and village against the massive Russian onslaught.
Tony Le Tissier has interviewed a wide range of former German Army and SS soldiers to provide ten vivid first-hand accounts of the fighting retreat that, for one soldier, ended in Hitler's Chancellery building in the ruins of Berlin in April 1945. The dramatic descriptions of combat are contrasted with insights into the human dimensions of these desperate battles, reminding the reader that many of the German soldiers whose stories we read shared similar values to the average British 'Tommy' or the American GI and were not all crazed Nazis.
Illustrated with photographs of the main characters and specially commissioned maps identifying the location and course of the battles, With Our Backs to Berlin is a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in the final days of the Second World War.
11 November 2013, 12:55
2008 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.73/1.59MB
A stunning account of the economic workings of the Third Reich--and the reasons ordinary Germans supported the Nazi state
In this groundbreaking book, historian Götz Aly addresses one of modern history's greatest conundrums: How did Hitler win the allegiance of ordinary Germans? The answer is as shocking as it is persuasive: by engaging in a campaign of theft on an almost unimaginable scale--and by channeling the proceeds into generous social programs--Hitler literally "bought" his people's consent.
Drawing on secret files and financial records, Aly shows that while Jews and citizens of occupied lands suffered crippling taxation, mass looting, enslavement, and destruction, most Germans enjoyed an improved standard of living. Buoyed by millions of packages soldiers sent from the front, Germans also benefited from the systematic plunder of Jewish possessions. Any qualms were swept away by waves of tax breaks and government handouts.
Hitler's Beneficiaries has been hailed as "startling" by Richard Evans, and as "fascinating and important" by Christopher Browning. Above all, as Omer Bartov testifies, this remarkable book "irreversibly transforms our understanding of the Third Reich."
You Are Not Forgotten
11 November 2013, 12:53
2013 | EPUB | 8.21Mb
An inspiring and epic tale of loss and redemption about two American servicemen: a Marine Corps pilot who was shot down in WWII and the modern-day soldier determined to bring home his remains six decades later.
Major George Eyster V comes from a long line of military officers, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Army service was George's family legacy, but his tour of duty in Iraq left him disillusioned and questioning. He was making plans to end his army career but was offered a posting to J-PAC, an elite division armed with the latest detection and forensic technology. J-PAC's sole mission is to fulfill a solemn promise at the heart of the military code: bring all fallen soldiers home to the country for which they gave their lives.
In 1944 Captain Ryan McCown, a dashing young Marine aviator assigned to the USS Nassau, was shot down over the jungles of Papua, New Guinea. McCown's diaries and letters home to his family and fiancee provide a moving, powerful portrait of the fears and costs of a very different war and underscore the pathos of the ultimate cost of duty.
Eyster's mission with J-PAC eventually took him and his team deep into the sweltering interior of New Guinea in search of McCown's remains. It would be a fraught mission, complete with tropical diseases and black magic, at the end of which Eyster would not only repatriate a fallen veteran and fulfill a promise to deliver him to his loved ones but would also uncover something lost in himself-a sense of purpose in a promise between soldiers that is still worth fighting for.
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
11 November 2013, 12:49
2007 | EPUB | 5.53MB
Joseph Smith, America’s preeminent visionary and prophet, rose from a modest background to found the largest indigenous Christian church in American history. Without the benefit of wealth, education, or social position, he published the 584-page Book of Mormon when he was twenty-three; organized a church when he was twenty-four; and founded cities, built temples, and attracted thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Rather than perishing with him, Mormonism migrated to the Rocky Mountains, flourished there, and now claims millions of followers worldwide.
In Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Bushman, an esteemed American cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, tells how Smith formed a new religion from the ground up. Moving beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud, the book explores the inner workings of his personality–his personal piety, his temper, his affection for family and friends, and his incredible determination. It describes how he received revelations and why his followers believed them.
Smith was a builder of cities. He sought to form egalitarian, just, and open communities under God and laid out a plan for ideal cities, which he hoped would fill the world. Adopted as the model for hundreds of Mormon settlements in the West, Smith’s urban vision may have left a more lasting imprint on the landscape than that of any other American.
He was controversial from his earliest years. His followers honored him as a man who spoke for God and restored biblical religion. His enemies maligned him as a dangerous religious fanatic, an American Mohammad, and drove the Mormons from every place in which they settled. Smith’s ultimate assassination by an armed mob raises the question of whether American democracy can tolerate visionaries.
The book gives more attention to Joseph Smith’s innovative religious thought than any previous biography. As Bushman writes, “His followers derived their energy and purpose from the religious world he brought into being.” Some of the teachings were controversial, such as property redistribution and plural marriage, but Smith’s revelations also delved into cosmology and the history of God. They spoke of the origins of the human personality and the purpose of life. While thoroughly Christian, Smith radically reconceived the relationship between humans and God. The book evaluates the Mormon prophet’s bold contributions to Christian theology and situates him culturally in the modern world.
Published on the two hundredth anniversary of Smith’s birth, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling is an in-depth portrayal of the mysterious figure behind one of the world’s fastest growing faiths.
Mr Stanley, I Presume?
11 November 2013, 12:46
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 798.97/958.32KB
Famous for having found the great missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and immortalised as the utterer of perhaps the four most often quoted words of greeting of all time - 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?' - Henry Morton Stanley was himself a man who characterised the great wave of exploring fever that gripped the nineteenth century. Yet his life and achievements are too little known.
Often thought of - and portrayed as - an American, Stanley was born the illegitimate son of Welsh parents and emigrated to America as a young man. He spent a number of years as a soldier in the American Civil War (fighting for both sides), as a seaman on merchant ships and a journalist during the early days of frontier expansion, before being commissioned to find Livingstone. His success made him a hero and he continued his explorations but his journalistic outlook and forceful methods generated fierce criticism - the public preferred their explorers to be gentlemen.
A rover and opportunist by nature, he upset the establishment and yet to managed to become part of it, ending up as an MP and member of the landed gentry.
The Man Behind the Iron Mask
11 November 2013, 12:45
2003 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.83/2.12MB
For more than 300 years the legend of "the man in the iron mask" has held a place on the stage of human enquiry and debate. From the time of his incarceration during the reign of Louis XIV right through to modern day the awful fate of the man condemned to live a lifetime with his face encased in iron has inspired, depending on the era, anger, horror, pity and fascination.
The author presents all the known facts of the prisoner's existence chronologically as they have been discovered, together with all the myths that have flourished, from the preposterous stories put about by his gaoler in 1669 to the famous legend immortalized in the 19th century by Alexander Dumas, and on into modern times with the supposed discovery of his skeleton in an old tower in Cannes in 1977. As the prospective candidates, including the twin brother of Louis XIV, the Duke of Monmouth, Richard Cromwell, Moliere, Nicholas Fouquet, an Armenian archbishop, an Italian astrologer and the mysterious Eustache Dauger, are brought before the reader's attention.
The Last Conquistador
11 November 2013, 12:44
2000 | EPUB | 8.44MB
The Inca civilization of Peru was one of the gratest of the ancient civilizations of the Americas. Famous for their massive temples and fortresses built from huge blocks of stone and decorated with sheets of pure gold, the Incas also developed a system of government, capable of holding a vast area of territory together, and an extensive system of roads, connecting administrative centres, which acted as a means of colonization.
Their religion of human sacrifice, worshipping Inti, the Sun God, was forcibly imposed throughout the empire. The population in 1500 numbered between six and seven million, but in the 1530s the Spanish, led by conquistador Pizarro, arrived in Peru. In their search for gold they devastated the Inca culture, destroying its treasures, killing its leaders and bringing to an end the infrastructure of its empire. By the 1570s, native American control in Peru had been completely lost and the civilization was no more. With Pizarro came Mansio Serra de Leguizamon, who became the last of the Spanish conquistadors to die.
This book tells his story. After crossing the Atlantic when still in his teens, he played a central part in the conquest of the Incas, survived imprisonment and torture, took an Inca princess as his lover, abandoned his wife for the gaming tables of Lima, and spent the rest of his life in Peru. He died at the age of 78, leaving a famous apology for the conquest in his will. This book takes this document as its starting point, weaving a tale of the vicious subjugation of the Inca civilization.