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Tentative future religious and spiritual book selections

2018-July to December

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2018-July's selection

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"The Moral Arc: How Science Makes Us Better People " by Michael Shermer

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store.
$10.16 in Kindle format, or $10.48 plus postage in hardcover, or $5.20 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"From Galileo and Newton to Thomas Hobbes and Martin Luther King, Jr., thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non-physical world. The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment led theorists to apply scientific reasoning to the non-scientific disciplines of politics, economics, and moral philosophy. Instead of relying on the woodcuts of dissected bodies in old medical texts, physicians opened bodies themselves to see what was there; instead of divining truth through the authority of an ancient holy book or philosophical treatise, people began to explore the book of nature for themselves through travel and exploration; instead of the supernatural belief in the divine right of kings, people employed a natural belief in the right of democracy. In this provocative and compelling book, Shermer will explain how abstract reasoning, rationality, empiricism, skepticism -- scientific ways of thinking -- have profoundly changed the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a more just world."

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2018-August's selection

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"Elements of Pantheism: A Spirituality of Nature and the Universe 3rd Edition" by Dr. Paul Harrison.

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
$5.10 in Kindle format, or $9.93 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"At the heart of modern scientific pantheism is reverence for Nature and the Universe. It offers a challenging alternative, beyond theism and atheism, with a joyful approach to our lives and a caring concern for all life on this earth. Pantheism is a 2,500 year-old belief system expressed by many famous thinkers and artists including Lao Tzu, Heraclitus, Spinoza, Wordsworth, Whitman, Emerson, Einstein and Carl Sagan. Today, pantheism is seeing a revival as the underlying world view of many environmentalists, of leading scientists, of nature-revering pagans, and of non-theists looking for a more embracing perspective.

This accessible and authoritative handbook is the only available introduction to the history, theory and practice of pantheism.

Reviews from Amazon:

"Probably the best book to recommend to someone who is no longer comfortable living with the intellectual compromises necessary to maintain a traditional 'faith.' This book is a gem, with useful contextual information and insights on every page." George Faulkneron.

"Wonderful book for exploring a way to approach religion in a scientific world." Brady Walker.

"This book is the perfect introduction to Pantheism. It's well written and to the point. Tells what Pantheism is and what it isn't, offers a history and gives basic practices. Fantastic!" Tag Jones.

This book is surely one of the most extraordinary books written in recent years about the subject of religion. Dr Bill Bruehl.

Highly impressed with this book and author. He carefully explained the beliefs of Pantheists without being condescending or judgmental toward other belief systems. This is a book I will keep to refer back to in future. Dragon Lady.

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2018-September's selection

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"3 Theories of Everything" by Ellis Potter

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $2.89 in Kindle format, or U.S. $13.36 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"What is reality? What is the meaning of human life? Why do we suffer? In this simple volume, international lecturer Ellis Potter explores three major worldviews that propose radically different answers to these eternal questions. In clear and compelling language, Potter shows us that the three worldviews, and the unique hope that each offers to humanity, have profoundly different consequences for how we see everyday reality and the ultimate purpose of our lives.

This book is a concise, reader friendly look at 3 basic ways of seeing reality from the East and the West. It wrestles with the problem of suffering and finds solutions in each of the 3 points of view. It is respectful of each worldview and engages the readers in some deep and hard-hitting questions about how they identify themselves and how they look at and understand the world. Reading, thinking about and perhaps discussing this book will bring the readers into a clearer focus of their own way of seeing reality.

3 Theories of Everything is based on lectures by the author and has a large section of questions and answers drawn from actual discussions."

This book received an average of 4.3 stars out of a maximum of 5 by Amazon customers.

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2018-October's selection

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"The Practical Stoicism: Your Step-By-Step Guide to an Ancient Yet Effective Philosophy to live a life of wisdom, perseverance and Joy"
by Nicholas Mayor

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $0.98 in Kindle format, or U.S. $9.99 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"... the ancient yet effective philosophy of stoicism is the [sic] way to live the modern life.

You wouldn’t be the first person to explore this unique way of living, our history's greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today's top performers including sport coaches to CEOs and celebrities—have already embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics.

Stoicism is one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how this ancient philosophy and its insight is still significant for living our modern day lives.

THE PRACTICAL STOICISM is your step-by-step essential guide to teach you this ancient yet effective philosophy to help you selectively design your life full of wisdom and joy, while persevering in the face of toughest situations and adversities. This book will teach you the great wisdom of Stoic philosophers such as such as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

This book is not merely simply explanation of the ancient philosophy, but the key emphasis of the book is to give you research supported, science backed practical and actionable tips to lead a stoic life. THE PRACTICAL STOICISM is full of examples and life-scenarios to help you understand this philosophy better, so you can face the challenges of the world in the most practical way. ..."

THE PRACTICAL STOICISM, as the name indicates, is for the modern man [sic] to apply this ancient but effective philosophy to cope with the practical life challenges effectively and gracefully.

If you are sincere about leading a life of stoic wisdom, and joy despite the harsh realities of life in the most practical way, THE PRACTICAL STOICISM is your essential and fundamental guide.

This book received an average of 4.8 stars out of a maximum of 5 by Amazon customers.

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2018-November's selection

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"The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day" by Paul Carus

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $0.76 in Kindle format, or U.S. $9.99 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"From ancient Egyptian religions to Judaism, Hinduism to Buddhism, Christianity to Islam, as well as many more, Carus analyses each religion in turn to expose their views of the devil and where those views came from.

He takes the reader from five thousand years ago through to near the present day to give a wide overview of changing views on good and evil and how different civilisations created varying ideas of the devil.

In the last five hundred years of history the devil has appeared to be marginalised as only a literary figure rather than a genuine fear, but Carus demonstrates how throughout the Reformation, the Inquisition and even the nineteenth century, fear of the devil was extremely real.

Paul Carus provides an extremely thorough survey of various ideas about the devil along with what is good and what is evil.

Carus was a pioneering author and thinker of the early twentieth century. He became the first managing editor of the Open Court Publishing Company which aimed to provide a forum for the discussion of philosophy, science, and religion, and to make philosophical classics widely available by making them affordable. As an author he published 75 books and 1500 articles. He died in Februrary 1919."

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2018-December's selection

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"Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior"

By Bart D. Ehrman

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $6.34 in Kindle format, or U.S. $11.48 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"The bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus, one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world today examines oral tradition and its role in shaping the stories about Jesus we encounter in the New Testament -- and ultimately in our understanding of Christianity.

Throughout much of human history, our most important stories were passed down orally—including the stories about Jesus before they became written down in the Gospels. In this fascinating and deeply researched work, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Erhman investigates the role oral history has played in the New Testament—how the telling of these stories not only spread Jesus’ message but helped shape it.

A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman draws on a range of disciplines, including psychology and anthropology, to examine the role of memory in the creation of the Gospels. Explaining how oral tradition evolves based on the latest scientific research, he demonstrates how the act of telling and retelling impacts the story, the storyteller, and the listener -- crucial insights that challenge our typical historical understanding of the silent period between when Jesus lived and died and when his stories began to be written down.

As he did in his previous books on religious scholarship, debates on New Testament authorship, and the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, Ehrman combines his deep knowledge and meticulous scholarship in a compelling and eye-opening narrative that will change the way we read and think about these sacred texts."

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Note to those without a Kindle reader:

Amazon supplies a free Kindle reader app that can be dowloaded for free from their web site. Versions are available for Windows 8, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Android Phones, Android Tablets, iPhone. iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, PC, and Cloud Reader.

For Android phones, PCs, Macs, tablets, etc.:

  • Go to the Amazon web site at: https://www.amazon.com/

  • Go to the search bar at the top of the screen. Enter free reading app

  • There should be a "Free Kindle Reading App" link as the top selection for the device you are currently using.

Benefits of using Kindle books:

  • Once you download the app, you can buy ebooks from Amazon which are usually significantly cheaper than paperback or hardcover versons.

  • If you download the app to your tablet or phone, you will be able to carry dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of books with you!

  • There is no need for you to build additional book shelves!

  • You can join Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program. It enables you to explore over 1 million titles, thousands of audioooks, and many current magazines on any device. The first month is free, and subsequent months cost $9.99 in the U.S.

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Latest update: 2018-JUN-01
Assembled by: B.A. Robinson

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