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How new is atheism? In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean to recover the stories of those who first refused the divinities. Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively free-thinking voices of antiquity. Tim Whitmarsh brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief. Battling the Gods is the first book on the origins of the secular values at the heart of the modern state. Authoritative and bold, provocative and humane, it reveals how atheism and doubt, far from being modern phenomena, have intrigued the human imagination for thousands of years.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Tim Whitmarsh
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Release: 2016-02-02
File: 300 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780571279326

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"How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities. Homer's epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece's only "sacred texts," but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or "godless." Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata. Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity's establishment as Rome's state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label "atheist" was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy--and so it would remain for centuries."--Jacket.

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Genre: History
Author: Tim Whitmarsh
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 2016-10-18
File: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307948779

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How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities. Homer’s epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece’s only “sacred texts,” but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or “godless.” Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata. Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity’s establishment as Rome’s state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label “atheist” was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy—and so it would remain for centuries. As the twenty-first century shapes up into a time of mass information, but also, paradoxically, of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions, Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking. By shining a light on atheism’s first thousand years, Battling the Gods offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own, and, indeed, its own heroes. From the Hardcover edition.

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Genre: History
Author: Tim Whitmarsh
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 2015-11-10
File: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307958334

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows us how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish. We see the West in the sixteenth century beginning to create an entirely new kind of civilization, which brought in its wake change in every aspect of life -- often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the things that changed most was religion. People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances. Armstrong characterizes fundamentalism as one of these new ways of being religious that have emerged in every major faith tradition. Focusing on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Muslim fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, she examines the ways in which these movements, while not monolithic, have each sprung from a dread of modernity -- often in response to assault (sometimes unwitting, sometimes intentional) by the mainstream society. Armstrong sees fundamentalist groups as complex, innovative, and modern -- rather than as throwbacks to the past -- but contends that they have failed in religious terms. Maintaining that fundamentalism often exists in symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each impelling the other on to greater excess, she suggests compassion as a way to defuse what is now an intensifying conflict.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release: 2011-08-10
File: 480 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307798602

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What do Netflix, our desire for the corner office, and that perfect picture we just posted on Instagram have to do with each other? None of these things is wrong in itself. But when we begin to allow entertainment, success, or social media to control us, we miss out on the joy of God’s rule in our hearts. In Gods at War, Pastor Kyle Idleman, bestselling author of Not a Fan, helps every believer recognize there are false gods at war within each of us, and they battle for the place of glory and control in our lives. According to Idleman, idolatry isn’t an issue?it is the issue. By asking insightful questions, Idleman reveals which false gods each of us are allowing on the throne of our lives. What do you sacrifice for? What makes you mad? What do you worry about? Whose applause do you long for? We’re all wired for worship, but we often end up valuing and honoring the idols of money, sex, food, romance, success, and many others that keep us from the intimate relationship with God that we desire. In this updated edition, Pastor Kyle adds a new introduction as well as new content about the battle many of us face with technology—whether we are tempted to send just one more text, stay online when our bodies need rest, or find ourselves putting email before in-person relationships. How can we seek God with our whole hearts instead? Using true, powerful, and honest testimonies of those who have struggled in each area, Gods at War illustrates a clear path away from the heartache of our 21st century idolatry back to the heart of God—enabling us to truly be completely committed followers of Jesus.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Kyle Idleman
Publisher: Zondervan
Release: 2018-11-27
File: 256 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780310353386

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Examining the roots of religious extremism, the author of The Woman Who Laughed at God describes the struggle between monotheism and polytheism in the ancient world, revealing the dark side of monotheism--holy war, inquistions, crusades, and martyrdom--and the brighter side of polytheism, including its emphasis on religious liberty and diversity. Reprint.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Jonathan Kirsch
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2005
File: 336 Pages
ISBN-13: 0142196339

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the Scopes Trial and the battle over evolution and creation in America's schools. In the summer of 1925, the sleepy hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee, became the setting for one of the twentieth century's most contentious courtroom dramas, pitting William Jennings Bryan and the anti-Darwinists against a teacher named John Scopes, represented by Clarence Darrow and the ACLU, in a famous debate over science, religion, and their place in public education. That trial marked the start of a battle that continues to this day in cities and states throughout the country. Edward Larson's classic Summer for the Gods -- winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History -- is the single most authoritative account of this pivotal event. An afterword assesses the state of the battle between creationism and evolution, and points the way to how it might potentially be resolved.

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Genre: Law
Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: Basic Books
Release: 2008-07-31
File: 352 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780786721931

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The most up-to-date sourcebook on warfare in the ancient Near East Fighting for the King and the Gods provides an introduction to the topic of war and the variety of texts concerning many aspects of warfare in the ancient Near East. These texts illustrate various viewpoints of war and show how warfare was an integral part of life. Trimm examines not only the victors and the famous battles, but also the hardship that war brought to many. While several of these texts treated here are well known (i.e., Ramses II's battle against the Hittites at Qadesh), others are known only to specialists. This work will allow a broader audience to access and appreciate these important texts as they relate to the history and ideology of warfare. Features References to recent secondary literature for further study Early Greek and Chinese illustrative texts for comparisons with other cultures Indices to help guide the reader

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Genre: Religion
Author: Charlie Trimm
Publisher: SBL Press
Release: 2017-10-30
File: 748 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780884142379

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Hannibal vs. Scipio. Grant vs. Lee. Rommel vs. Patton. The greatest battles, commanders, and rivalries of all time come to life in this engrossing guide to the geniuses of military history. “A compelling study of military leadership.”—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom Any meeting of genius may create sparks, but when military geniuses meet, their confrontations play out upon a vast panorama of states or civilizations at war, wielding the full destructive power of a mighty nation’s armies. Gods of War is the first single-volume, in-depth examination of the most celebrated military rivalries of all time, and of the rare, world-changing battles in which these great commanders in history matched themselves against true equals. From Caesar and Pompey deciding the fate of the Roman Republic, to Grant and Lee battling for a year during the American Civil War, to Rommel and Montgomery and Patton meeting in battle after battle as Hitler strove for European domination, these match-ups and their corresponding strategies are among the most memorable in history. A thrilling look into both the generals’ lives and their hardest-fought battles, Gods of War is also a thought-provoking analysis of the qualities that make a strong commander and a deep exploration of the historical context in which the contestants were required to wage war, all told with rousing narrative flair. And in a time when technology has made the potential costs of war even greater, it is a masterful look at how military strategy has evolved and what it will take for leaders to guide their nations to peace in the future.

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Genre: History
Author: James Lacey
Publisher: Bantam
Release: 2020-05-19
File: 416 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780345547569

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Jalav tries to combine her female warriors with the male army to battle a strange enemy from outer space

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Sharon Green
Publisher: Sharon Green Books
Release: 1986
File: 446 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780886771287

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