Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sue Hamilton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191579424

Category: Philosophy

Page: 176

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India has a long, rich, and diverse tradition of philosophical thought, spanning some two and a half millennia and encompassing several major religious traditions. This Very Short Introduction emphasizes the diversity of Indian thought, and is structured around six schools which have achieved classic status. Sue Hamilton explores how the traditions have attempted to understand the nature of reality in terms of an inner or spiritual quest, and introduces distinctively Indian concepts such as karma and rebirth. She also shows how Indian thinkers have understood issues of reality and knowledge — issues which are also an important part of the Western philosophical tradition. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Hinduism

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kim Knott

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745540

Category:

Page: 160

View: 3555

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Hinduism is practised by nearly eighty per cent of India's population, and by some seventy million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott offers a succinct and authoritative overview of this major religion, and analyses the challenges facing it in the twenty-first century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of Brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the cultural and moral importance of epics such as the Ramayana. In this second edition Knott considers the impact of changes in technology and the flourishing of social media on Hinduism, and looks at the presence of Hinduism in popular culture, considering pieces such as Sita Sings the Blues. She also analyses recent developments in India, and the impact issues such as Hindu nationalism and the politicization of Hinduism have on Hindus worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Philosophy in the Islamic World

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Adamson

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199683670

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 9942

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In the history of philosophy, few topics are so relevant to today's cultural and political landscape as philosophy in the Islamic world. Yet, this remains one of the lesser-known philosophical traditions. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Adamson explores the history of philosophy among Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in Islamic lands, from its historical background to thinkers in the twentieth century. Introducing the main philosophical themes of the Islamic world, Adamson integrates ideas from the Islamic and Abrahamic faiths to consider the broad philosophical questions that continue to invite debate: What is the relationship between reason and religious belief? What is the possibility of proving God's existence? What is the nature of knowledge? Drawing on the most recent research in the field, this book challenges the assumption of the cultural decline of philosophy and science in the Islamic world by demonstrating its rich heritage and overlap with other faiths and philosophies. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bhikhu Parekh

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191606677

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 8341

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Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. During his time as a lawyer in South Africa he developed his strategy of non-violence: the idea of opposing unjust laws by non-violent protest, which he made the basis of his successful struggle against British rule in India. In this Very Short Introduction to Gandhi's life and thought, Bhikhu Parekh outlines both Gandhi's major philosophical insights and the limitations of his thought. He looks at Gandhi's cosmocentric anthropology, his spiritual view of politics, his unique form of liberal communitarianism, and his theories of oppression, non-violent action, and active citizenship. He also considers how the success of Gandhi's principles was limited by his lack of coherent theories of evil, and of state and power, and how his hostility to modern civilization impeded his appreciation of its complexity. Gandhi's life and thought has had an enormous impact both within and outside India, and he continues to be widely revered, as one of the greatest moral and political leaders of the twentieth century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

God

A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Bowker

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198708955

Category: Religion

Page: 135

View: 3920

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In this concise introduction to the deity, John Bowker explores how each major religion, and countless philosophers and theologians, have answered the fundamental question: Who or what is God? He also explores why some people believe in God and others do not, and concludes by looking at how our understanding of God continues to evolve in the present day. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kim Knott

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191606456

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 3556

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Hinduism is practised by eighty per cent of India's population, and by thirty million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott combines a succinct and authoritative overview of a major religion with an analysis of the challenges facing it in the twentieth century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the importance of epics such as the Ramayana. Issues such as the place of women and dalits (untouchables) in contemporary society are also addressed, making this book stimulating reading for Hindus and non-Hindus alike. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Magic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Owen Davies

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191623881

Category: Religion

Page: 152

View: 1630

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Defining 'magic' is a maddening task. Over the last century numerous philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and theologians have attempted to pin down its essential meaning, sometimes analysing it in such complex and abstruse depth that it all but loses its sense altogether. For this reason, many people often shy away from providing a detailed definition, assuming it is generally understood as the human control of supernatural forces. 'Magic' continues to pervade the popular imagination and idiom. People feel comfortable with its contemporary multiple meanings, unaware of the controversy, conflict, and debate its definition has caused over two and a half millennia. In common usage today 'magic' is uttered in reference to the supernatural, superstition, illusion, trickery, religious miracles, fantasies, and as a simple superlative. The literary confection known as 'magical realism' has considerable appeal and many modern scientists have ironically incorporated the word into their vocabulary, with their 'magic acid', 'magic bullets' and 'magic angles'. Since the so-called European Enlightenment magic has often been seen as a marker of primitivism, of a benighted earlier stage of human development. Yet across the modern globalized world hundreds of millions continue to resort to magic - and also to fear it. Magic provides explanations and remedies for those living in extreme poverty and without access to alternatives. In the industrial West, with its state welfare systems, religious fundamentalists decry the continued moral threat posed by magic. Under the guise of neo-Paganism, its practice has become a religion in itself. Magic continues to be a truly global issue. This Very Short Introduction does not attempt to provide a concluding definition of magic: it is beyond simple definition. Instead it explores the many ways in which magic, as an idea and a practice, has been understood and employed over the millennia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Buddha: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael Carrithers

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854534

Category: Religion

Page: 108

View: 2083

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Very Short Introductions offer stimulating, accessible introductions to a wide variety of subjects, demonstrating the finest contemporary thinking about their central problems and issues.'admirably well-paced and informative.' -Galen Strawson, Sunday Times

The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Thonemann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191063150

Category: Social Science

Page: 152

View: 4984

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The three centuries which followed the conquests of Alexander are perhaps the most thrilling of all periods of ancient history. This was an age of cultural globalization: in the third century BC, a single language carried you from the Rhône to the Indus. A Celt from the lower Danube could serve in the mercenary army of a Macedonian king ruling in Egypt, and a Greek philosopher from Cyprus could compare the religions of the Brahmins and the Jews on the basis of first-hand knowledge of both. Kings from Sicily to Tajikistan struggled to meet the challenges of ruling multi-ethnic states, and Greek city-states came together under the earliest federal governments known to history. The scientists of Ptolemaic Alexandria measured the circumference of the earth, while pioneering Greek argonauts explored the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic coast of Africa. Drawing on inscriptions, papyri, coinage, poetry, art, and archaeology, in this Very Short Introduction Peter Thonemann opens up the history and culture of the vast Hellenistic world, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) to the Roman conquest of the Ptolemaic kingdom (30 BC). ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Timothy Beal

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199729517

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 3532

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It's hard to think of a single aspect of American culture, past or present, in which religion has not played a major role. The roles religion plays, moreover, become more bewilderingly complex and diverse every day. For all those who want--whether out of curiosity, necessity, or civic duty--a vivid picture and fuller understanding of the current reality of religion in America, this Very Short Introduction is the go-to book they need. Timothy Beal describes many aspects of religion in contemporary America that are typically ignored in other books on the subject, including religion in popular culture and counter-cultural groups; the growing phenomenon of "hybrid" religious identities, both individual and collective; the expanding numbers of new religious movements, or NRMs, in America; and interesting examples of "outsider religion," such as Paradise Gardens in Georgia and the People Love People House of God in Ohio. He also offers an engaging overview of the history of religion in America, from Native American traditions to the present day. Beal sees three major forces shaping the present and future of religion in America: first, unprecedented religious diversity, which will continue to grow in the decades to come; second, the information revolution and the emergence of a new network society; and third, the rise of consumer culture. Taken together, these forces offer the potential to create a new American pluralism that would enrich society in unimaginable ways, but they also threaten the great ideal of e pluribus unum. With visual aids that help readers navigate America's diverse religious landscape, this informative, thoughtful, and provocative book is a must-read in the emerging public conversation concerning religion in America. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Lyman Tower Sargent

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191614424

Category: Political Science

Page: 160

View: 5499

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There are many debates about utopia - What constitutes a utopia? Are utopias benign or dangerous? Is the idea of utopianism essential to Christianity or heretical? What is the relationship between utopia and ideology? This Very Short Introduction explores these issues and examines utopianism and its history. Lyman Sargent discusses the role of utopianism in literature, and in the development of colonies and in immigration. The idea of utopia has become commonplace in social and political thought, both negatively and positively. Some thinkers see a trajectory from utopia to totalitarianism with violence an inevitable part of the mix. Others see utopia directly connected to freedom and as a necessary element in the fight against totalitarianism. In Christianity utopia is labelled as both heretical and as a fundamental part of Christian belief, and such debates are also central to such fields as architecture, town and city planning, and sociology among many others Sargent introduces and summarizes the debates over the utopia in literature, communal studies, social and political theory, and theology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Damien Keown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199663831

Category: Religion

Page: 158

View: 5803

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Introduces Buddhism, looking at how the tradition began and how it evolved and explaining its central teachings and practices.

Empire: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Howe

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604445

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 3229

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A great deal of the world's history is the history of empires. Indeed it could be said that all history is colonial history, if one takes a broad enough definition and goes far enough back. And although the great historic imperial systems, the land-based Russian one as well as the seaborne empires of western European powers, have collapsed during the past half century, their legacies shape almost every aspect of life on a global scale. Meanwhile there is fierce argument, and much speculation, about what has replaced the old territorial empires in world politics. Do the United States and its allies, transnational companies, financial and media institutions, or more broadly the forces of 'globalization', constitute a new imperial system? Stephen Howe interprets the meaning of the idea of 'empire' through the ages, disentangling the multiple uses and abuses of the labels 'empire', 'colonialism', etc., and examines the aftermath of imperialism on the contemporary world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Tibetan Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Matthew T. Kapstein

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199735123

Category: Religion

Page: 130

View: 9049

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What does Tibetan Buddhism teach? Just what is the position of the Dalai Lama, and how will his succession be assured? This Very Short Introduction offers a brief account responding to these questions and more, in terms that are easily accessible to those who are curious to learn the most essential features of Tibetan Buddhist history, teachings, and practice.

Plague: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Slack

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191623962

Category: Medical

Page: 160

View: 6902

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Throughout history plague has been the cause of many major catastrophes. It was responsible for the Black Death of 1348 and the Great Plague of London in 1665, and for devastating epidemics much earlier and much later, in the Mediterranean in the sixth century, and in China and India between the 1890s and 1920s. Today, it has become a metaphor for other epidemic disasters which appear to threaten us, but plague itself has never been eradicated. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Slack explores the historical impact of plague over the centuries, looking at the ways in which it has been interpreted, and the powerful images it has left behind in art and literature. Examining what plague meant for those who suffered from it, and how governments began to fight against it, he demonstrates the impact plague has had on modern notions of public health and how it has shaped our history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.