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Summer Religion Reading List

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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6/10/2015 3:34:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

Pretty much ignoring what you requested but if I weren't hardcore language studying right now, I'd be reading this. Looks really good. You might find it interesting.

Alternative Concepts of God
Essays on the Metaphysics of the Divine

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com...

"A much-needed counterbalance to standard theism
"The only volume of its kind
"Promises to radically alter the scope of philosophy of religion
"Original work by leading experts in the field
The concept of God according to traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic theism minimally includes the following theses: (i) There is one God; (ii) God is an omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect agent; (iii) God is the creator ex nihilo of the universe and the sustainer of all that exists; and (iv) God is an immaterial substance that is ontologically distinct from the universe. Proponents of alternative concepts of God, such as pantheism, panentheism, religious anti-realism, developmental theism, and religious naturalism, exclude at least one of these claims. A number of prominent philosophers and scientists have expressed sympathy with alternative concepts of the divine. However, voices raised in defense of these concepts tend not to be taken seriously in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. This volume aims to shed light on alternative concepts of God and to thoroughly consider their merits and demerits. The contributors are leading analytic philosophers of religion, including critics of these views as well as sympathizers. This is the first contemporary edited collection featuring the work of analytic philosophers of religion covering such a wide range of alternative concepts of God."
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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6/10/2015 4:56:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
How 'bout some revisionist stuff on the real Jesus of Nazareth--as well as life in general and some of the wily characters of that time--during the First Century AD in Roman-occupied Palestine?

I highly recommend Reza Aslan's book Zealot.

Uh, needless to say, it is a tad controversial among mainstream Christians.

Also: Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation." A lovely little book that you can read in two hours.
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Saint_of_Me
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6/10/2015 4:57:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Oh..and if you have not already read it, as far as Gnosticism goes, you cannot beat Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels."
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Envisage
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6/10/2015 5:45:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 4:56:14 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
How 'bout some revisionist stuff on the real Jesus of Nazareth--as well as life in general and some of the wily characters of that time--during the First Century AD in Roman-occupied Palestine?

Not really interested in borderline theology (much less Christian theology) - rather read actual history. And yes, the revisionist stuff does qualify as theology in this context..

I highly recommend Reza Aslan's book Zealot.

Never heard of it, will look it up.

Uh, needless to say, it is a tad controversial among mainstream Christians.

Also: Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation." A lovely little book that you can read in two hours.

Mergh... No more popular atheist writings please... I want to read about history of religion, not modern day atheism.... Besides if I wanted to read atheist writings them I have some Oppy papers I have yet to read which are a much more substantive than Harris et. al.
Envisage
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6/10/2015 5:45:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 4:57:37 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
Oh..and if you have not already read it, as far as Gnosticism goes, you cannot beat Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels."

This is exactly what I am looking for :-)
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,288
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6/10/2015 6:54:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Christian History: Christopher Dawson. Fantastic for a Catholic perspective, and defense of Catholicism through the Reformation period, which you rarely hear, plus a delightful trashing of Martin Luther. The Formation of Christendom is glorious, just sweeping in its scope, and the Dividing of Christendom offers a refreshing alternate assessment of later events. If you want Catholic history, this is the gold standard.

Islamic History: Ibn Khaldun (for an arabic persepctive), Maria Rosa Menocal (al-Andalus), and William Montgomery Watt (for a Western, but informed, perspective.) A lot of the more modern history on the Middle East is such utter trash that I'm actually beginning to entertain conspiracy theories on the subject.

Political science/history: Machiavelli and Hobbes are my favorites, though Ibn Khaldun is actually in a similar camp, to my surprise. I like Alexander Hamilton as well on general political science.

For Buddhist works, read the original scriptures. The Tripitaka is of course essential, with the Dhammapada being the most well-known work in the West, though it is only a part of a part of part of the whole body of religious texts. Don't read popular western summaries; they are replete with misrepresentations and outright fabricated quotes. If you want to dive into another interesting subset of Buddhism, the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote a work from the perspective of both a hermit monk and a warrior/servant entitled Hagakure, and it is a fantastically interesting and historically illustrative read.
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PetersSmith
Posts: 5,860
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6/10/2015 7:50:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

Arianism and Chalcedonism.
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Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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6/10/2015 8:23:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)

- If you could read Arabic, I would've recommended a list for you to read! Otherwise, you could ask Skepsykima, he can recommend good sources, though, I can recommend "La Civilisation des Arabes" by Gustave LeBon, the most comprehensive book on Islamic Golden Age I've come across written by a westerner.

3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.
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Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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6/11/2015 12:33:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 5:45:58 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/10/2015 4:57:37 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
Oh..and if you have not already read it, as far as Gnosticism goes, you cannot beat Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels."

This is exactly what I am looking for :-)

YW!

Also...Google or Amazon Elaine Pagels and also Karen Johnson for more of their books if you are interested in "revisionist" theology. Not so much atheistic, but simply a more modern and liberal take on traditional Christian dogma.

I think, for example, that Pagels has one on a whole new look at Judas Iscariot. Claiming that there is good evidence that he was, far from being a traitor and a foe of JC, was actually in cahoots with Him; an ally! Fascinating stuff.
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Saint_of_Me
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6/11/2015 12:36:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Oh...and, even though you have probably already read it, if you are interested in learning about the Tao, or Daoism, you might as well go straight to the horse's mouth, as it were, and read the Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu, which is basically the Taoists' "bible."

Far easier and more accessible reading than the Holy Bible. By magnitudes.

The Tao to Ching is the 2nd most widely read religious book in the world.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
JohntheRecorderPlayer
Posts: 10
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6/11/2015 12:42:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 4:57:37 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
Oh..and if you have not already read it, as far as Gnosticism goes, you cannot beat Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels."

It's on my list as is "The Gospel of Thomas."
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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6/11/2015 1:13:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

Why not start from the beginning and work your way up. The Vedic literature is arguably the oldest most complete compiled philosophy on the planet.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/11/2015 2:10:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 1:13:16 PM, johnlubba wrote:
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.


Why not start from the beginning and work your way up. The Vedic literature is arguably the oldest most complete compiled philosophy on the planet.

I have been tempted to do that... But thanks for the lead at least.
Serato
Posts: 743
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6/11/2015 9:39:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

To be Gnostic is to know, and to know comes not from reading books, but from writing books, from writing your own book. Because what is the history of most books anyways, but a fable agreed upon, or at least that's what Napoleon would say, but with one hand hidden, makes you wonder if the other hand knows something.
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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6/11/2015 9:54:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

Can't be knowledgeable about the roots of Christian theology without reading the Celestial Torah Christianity information. At: http://biomystic.org...

Also, all Abrahamic religionists need to read Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman's The Bible Unearthed that exposes the Bible stories as complete mythologies of Judah priests and a-historical recording of the history of Hebrews.
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,245
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6/12/2015 1:00:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 9:39:53 PM, Serato wrote:
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

To be Gnostic is to know, and to know comes not from reading books, but from writing books, from writing your own book. Because what is the history of most books anyways, but a fable agreed upon, or at least that's what Napoleon would say, but with one hand hidden, makes you wonder if the other hand knows something.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
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"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

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Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/12/2015 2:38:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/12/2015 1:00:27 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 6/11/2015 9:39:53 PM, Serato wrote:
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

To be Gnostic is to know, and to know comes not from reading books, but from writing books, from writing your own book. Because what is the history of most books anyways, but a fable agreed upon, or at least that's what Napoleon would say, but with one hand hidden, makes you wonder if the other hand knows something.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I don't understand...
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,245
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6/12/2015 2:58:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/12/2015 2:38:37 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/12/2015 1:00:27 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 6/11/2015 9:39:53 PM, Serato wrote:
At 6/10/2015 2:36:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
This is reaching out to both theists and non-theists alike. I have about a month free this summer where I have very little planned, so I was going to do some heavy reading. I plan on reading into religious history so I am looking to read some of the relevant material. So preferably looking for material on:

1. Early Judea (not sure on time periods)
2. Early Arab (700-1300 AD, encompassing rise and decline of golden age)
3. Chinese religion (Tao, and Chinese Buddhism)
4. Gnostic Jewish/Christian Traditions
5. Any Buddhist material

Not particularly looking for anything regarding Christianity, as am pretty bored of reading about it. I might be interested in reading something on the history of Catholicism.

Also feel free to put in your own requests here and perhaps people on this forum can recommend you something.

To be Gnostic is to know, and to know comes not from reading books, but from writing books, from writing your own book. Because what is the history of most books anyways, but a fable agreed upon, or at least that's what Napoleon would say, but with one hand hidden, makes you wonder if the other hand knows something.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I don't understand...

He namedropped Napoleon.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz

"No aspect of your facial structure suggests Filipino descent."
~ YYW