What does it mean to be made 'in the image and likeness of God'? This is the first and defining characteristic of our humanity celebrated in the opening pages of the Bible. Its subsequent record is of the struggle between good and evil in human life, a tension that we face daily within ourselves and in the relationships of our lives.
Western Christian tradition has often given the impression, and sometimes explicitly taught that this tension is primarily between the soul and the body. The result has been a denigration of the human body and distrust of our deepest physical desires. We no longer recognise within ourselves the characteristics of the divine image. Yet written into the vey fabric of our being in the mystery, wisdom, strength, beauty, creativity, eternity and presence of God.
This profound and challenging book clears away centuries of misunderstanding, confusion and shame that have damaged our self-perception. Drawing on both Jewish and Celtic Christian sources of spirituality, Philip Newell leads us to discover the sacredness of our souls and our bodies. Our present day assumptions about love, beauty, sexuality and worth are transformed by this truly ground-breaking book.
Thomas Merton's life, especially once he had become a writer, was to a great extent one of dialogue with people who were distant, both geographically and historically. In these probing and perceptive studies, Rowan Williams looks closely at the key intellectual and spiritual relationships that emerge in Merton's writings, exploring the impact on him of thinkers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Karl Barth, William Blake, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Olivier Clement, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Paul Evdokimov, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Vladimir Lossky, John Henry Newman, Boris Pasternak and St John of the Cross.
This is an illustrated book by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Dennis Linn. They describe it as follows: 'When we are hurt, we are tempted to either act as a passive doormat or to strike back and escalate the cycle of violence. We can avoid both of these temptations and find creative responses to hurts by moving through the five stages of forgiveness. In so doing, we discover the two hands of nonviolence: one hand that stops the person who hurts us and the other that reaches out, calms that person and offers new life. This book has healing processes so simple that children can use them."
Carmina Gadelica is an anthology of poems and prayers from the Gaelic oral tradition, the most comprehensive ever collected. They came from communities all over the Highlands and Islands of Scotlad, were often shared or performed in the evening ceilidh and therby passed on from generation to generation. Alexander Carmichael complied the collection in the second half of the nineteenth century, and in doing so created a lasting record of a culture and way of life that has now largely disappeared. In the Introduction, Carmichael recounts with great warmth and evident pleasure the hospitality which he received from the people whose songs and stories he was anxious to record "I have three regrets -" he says, "that I had not been earlier collecting, that I have not been more diligent in collecting, and that I am not better qualified to treat what I have collected." Nevertheless, Carmina Gadelica quickly became an invaluable resource for those wanting to study and understand Gaelic culture and for those wanting to experience the beauty and wisdom of its oral literature.