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Sociology Of Religion

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  1. 12.6 hrs • 2/23/2016 • Unabridged

    Hailed by the Washington Post as “mandatory reading,” and praised by Fareed Zakaria as “intelligent, compassionate, and revealing,” this powerful journey will help bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today. If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Power’s eye-opening story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship—between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh—had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text. A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran’s most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafés, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars. Armed with a new understanding of each other’s worldviews, Power and Akram offer eye-opening perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long.

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    If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power

    If the Oceans Were Ink

    12.6 hrs • 2/23/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.2 hrs • 12/4/2014 • Unabridged

    A guidebook for living a life without religion, combining sociological insight, and personal inspiration. Over the last twenty-five years, “no religion” has become the fastest growing religion in the United States. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people have turned away from the traditional faiths of the past and embraced a secular—or nonreligious—life, generating societies vastly less religious than at any other time in human history. Revealing the inspiring beliefs that empower secular culture—alongside real stories of nonreligious men and women, based on extensive in-depth interviews from across the country—Living the Secular Life is an indispensable handbook for millions of secular Americans. Drawing on innovative sociological research, Living the Secular Life illuminates this demographic shift with the moral convictions that govern secular individuals, offering crucial information for religious and nonreligious alike. Zuckerman reveals that, despite opinions to the contrary, nonreligious Americans possess a unique moral code that allows them to effectively navigate the complexities of modern life. Spiritual self-reliance, clear-eyed pragmatism, and an abiding faith in the Golden Rule to adjudicate moral decisions, such common principles—among others—are shared across secular society. Zuckerman demonstrates these principles in action and points to their usage throughout daily life.

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    Living the Secular Life

    8.2 hrs • 12/4/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    5.9 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’ new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From multiple New York Times bestselling author, neuroscientist, and “new atheist” Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds. Throughout the book, Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives—and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow. Waking Up is part seeker’s memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.

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    Waking Up

    5.9 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 6.1 hrs • 8/12/2014 • Unabridged

    It’s the end of Christianity as we know it. But it’s not a catastrophe—it’s an opportunity. Thousands are walking away from the church. Christians are grappling with their faith. And both believers and nonbelievers wondering: what’s coming next? Fearless and provocative, spiritual trailblazer Christian Piatt offers a road map to the future of faith with an unflinching examination of the church today. What’s left? Pairing the best “virtues” and worst “scandals” of Christianity, Piatt invites us to abandon institutional religion for deeper, truer faith. Can we fix it? Guided by the biggest historical, religious, and pop-cultural pioneers of the post-Christian era, he demonstrates how to save the best of what Christianity has to offer—and how to rediscover and reinvent the rest. Do we care? There’s plenty of good left in Christianity—if we dare to be as scandalously graceful and loving as Jesus himself. Bold and insightful, postChristian dares Christians to break out of the box and invites outsiders into the fold as we revolutionize faith for a postmodern world.

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    PostChristian

    6.1 hrs • 8/12/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    17.4 hrs • 1/17/2013 • Unabridged

    A clear-sighted revelation and a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Looming Tower, the now classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center are two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion; and his successor, David Miscavige—a tough and driven man, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard. We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract. In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation and understanding, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.

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    Going Clear

    17.4 hrs • 1/17/13 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.2 hrs • 11/6/2012 • Unabridged

    As brilliant as it is witty, Harry Brod’s surprisingly insightful exposé delves into the secret identities of the world’s most famous superheroes. Zeddy Lawrence once said, “It may not be true in all cases, but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. If the word ‘man’ appears at the end of someone’s name you can draw one of two conclusions: a) they’re Jewish, as in Goldman, Feldman, or Lipman; or b) they’re a superhero, as in Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man.” In Superman Is Jewish? Harry Brod reveals the links between Jews and superheroes in a penetrating investigation of iconic comic book figures. He describes how the role of each hero reflects the evolution of the Jewish place in American culture—an alien in a foreign land, like Superman; a figure plagued by guilt for not having saved his family, like Spider-Man; outsiders persecuted for being different (X-Men); a nice, smart guy afraid people won’t like him when he’s angry (the Hulk). Brod blends humor and sharp observation as he considers these well-known figures’ overtly and discreetly Jewish characteristics and talks about how their creators—including Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby—integrated their Jewish identities and their creativity. His lively guided tour takes us from the Passover Haggadah’s exciting action scenes of Moses’ superpowers to acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winners and overseas animators. Brod has written and lectured extensively on this fun and provocative topic. Through his expertise he explores the deeper story of how one immigrant group can influence the larger culture through entertainment and, in the process, see itself in new, more empowering ways. Not just for comic book fans, Superman Is Jewish? is a story of America and is as poignant as it is fascinating.

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    Superman Is Jewish?

    8.2 hrs • 11/6/12 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.1 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    What's Your Religious Literacy IQ? Quick—can you: –Name the four Gospels? –Name a sacred text of Hinduism? –Name the holy book of Islam? –Name the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Old Testament?Name the Ten Commandments? –Name the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism? If you can't, you're not alone. We are a religiously illiterate nation, yet despite this lack of knowledge, politicians continue to root public policy arguments in religious rhetoric whose meanings are missed—or misinterpreted—by the vast majority of Americans. "We have a major civics education problem today," says religion scholar Stephen Prothero. He makes the provocative case that to remedy this, we should return to teaching religion in the public schools. Alongside "reading, writing, and arithmetic," religion ought to become the fourth "R" of American education. Many believe that America's descent into religious illiteracy was the doing of activist judges and secularists hell-bent on banishing religion from the public square. Prothero reveals that this is a profound misunderstanding. "In one of the great ironies of American religious history," Prothero writes, "it was the nation's most fervent people of faith who steered us down the road to religious illiteracy. Just how that happened is one of the stories this audio has to tell." Religious Literacy reveals what every American needs to know in order to confront the domestic and foreign challenges facing this country today.

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    Religious Literacy

    10.1 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  8. 14.6 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    At the dawn of the twenty-first century, dizzying scientific and technological advancements, interconnected globalized economies, and even the so-called New Atheists have done nothing to change one thing: our world remains furiously religious. For good and for evil, religion is the single greatest influence in the world. We accept as self-evident that competing economic systems (capitalist or communist) or clashing political parties (Republican or Democratic) propose very different solutions to our planet's problems. So why do we pretend that the world's religious traditions are different paths to the same God? We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, argues religion scholar Stephen Prothero, and it is time to replace naÏve hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences. In Religious Literacy, Prothero demonstrated how little Americans know about their own religious traditions and why the world's religions should be taught in public schools. Now, in God Is Not One, Prothero provides readers with this much-needed content about each of the eight great religions. To claim that all religions are the same is to misunderstand that each attempts to solve a different human problem. For example: –Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission –Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation –Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order –Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening –Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand the big questions human beings have asked for millennia—and the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today. A bold polemical response to a generation of misguided scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions most of us make about the way the world's religions work.

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    God Is Not One

    14.6 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  9. 11.5 hrs • 4/30/2012 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking book about Americans searching for faith and mutual respect, The Faith Club weaves the story of three women, their three religions, and their urgent quest to understand one another. When an American Muslim woman befriends two other mothers, one Jewish and one Christian, they decide to educate their children about their respective religions. None of them guessed their regular meetings would provide life-changing answers and form bonds that would forever alter their struggles with prejudice, fear, and anger. Personal, powerful, and compelling, The Faith Club forces readers to face the tough questions about their own religions. Pioneering, timely, deeply thoughtful, and full of hope, The Faith Club’s caring message will resonate with people of all faiths.

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    The Faith Club

    11.5 hrs • 4/30/12 • Unabridged
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  10. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    1.2 hrs • 3/6/2012 • Unabridged

    A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.

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    Free Will

    1.2 hrs • 3/6/12 • Unabridged
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  11. 18.9 hrs • 11/8/2010 • Unabridged

    American Grace takes its findings from two of the largest, most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America, plus in-depth studies of diverse congregations—among them a megachurch, a Mormon congregation, a Catholic parish, a reform Jewish synagogue, and an African American congregation. From abortion to gay marriage to feminism, this book shows how religion has influenced politics in America—and vice versa. The discoveries are often unexpected: The most politicized churches tend to be liberal, not conservative, congregations. Faith matters less to Americans than their communities of faith. Most Americans marry outside their religion. And nearly half of all Americans change their religion at some point during their lifetime. Robert D. Putnam won huge acclaim for Bowling Alone and Better Together. Together with coauthor David E. Campbell, Putnam brings his distinctive brand of in-depth research and analysis to religion in America.

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    American Grace

    18.9 hrs • 11/8/10 • Unabridged
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  12. 13.2 hrs • 4/26/2010 • Unabridged

    Ever since evangelical Christians rose to national prominence, mainstream America has tracked their every move with a nervous eye. But in spite of this vigilance, our understanding hasn’t gone beyond the caricatures. Who are evangelicals, really? What are they like in private, and what do they want? Is it possible that beneath the differences in culture, language, church, and party, we might share with them some common purpose? To find out, Gina Welch, a young secular Jew from Berkeley, joined Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. Over the course of nearly two years, Welch immersed herself in the life and language of the devout: she learned to interpret the world like an evangelical, weathered the death of Falwell, and embarked on a mission trip to Alaska intended to save one hundred souls. Alive to the meaning behind the music and the mind behind the slogans, Welch recognized the allure of evangelicalism, even for the godless, realizing that the congregation met needs and answered questions she didn’t know she had. What emerges is a riveting account of a skeptic’s transformation from uninformed cynicism to compassionate understanding and a rare view of how evangelicals see themselves.

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    In the Land of Believers

    13.2 hrs • 4/26/10 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.3 hrs • 10/13/2009 • Unabridged

    People often talk about worldview when describing the philosophy that guides their lives. But how have we come by our worldviews, and what impact did Christianity have on those that are common to Western civilization? This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates the decisive impact that the growth of Christianity had in transforming the outlook of pagan Roman culture into one that, based on biblical concepts of humanity and its relationship with God, established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization. The two-pronged assault in our time on the biblically based worldview by postmodern philosophy and the writings of neo-atheists has made it even more crucial that we acknowledge and defend its historical roots. Unique among books on the topic, this work discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative rather than as simply a catalogue of ideas, and traces the effects changes in worldview had on society. It helps readers understand their own worldviews and those of other people and helps them recognize the consequences that worldviews hold. Professors, students, and armchair historians alike will profit from this book.

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    Why You Think the Way You Do

    8.3 hrs • 10/13/09 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    9.2 hrs • 12/31/2008 • Unabridged

    An impassioned plea for reason in a world divided by faith. This important and timely work delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes. He asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, the world can no longer tolerate views that pit one true god against another. Most controversially, he argues that we cannot afford moderate lip service to religion -- an accommodation that only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need. He calls on us to invoke that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world.

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    The End of Faith

    9.2 hrs • 12/31/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.3 hrs • 9/1/2007 • Unabridged

    Since 2000, America’s most ambitious young evangelicals have been making their way to Patrick Henry College in Virginia, a small Christian school that has earned the nickname “God’s Harvard.” Most of these students are homeschoolers whose idealism and discipline put the average American teenager to shame. The school grooms them to become the Christian elite of tomorrow, dispatching them to the front lines of politics, entertainment, and science to wage the battle to take back a godless nation. Hanna Rosin spent a year and a half following these students from campus to Congress, conservative think tanks, Hollywood, and other centers of influence. Her account captures a nerve center of the evangelical movement at a moment of maximum influence and also crisis, as it struggles to remake the modern world in its own image.

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    God’s Harvard by Hanna Rosin

    God’s Harvard

    9.3 hrs • 9/1/07 • Unabridged
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  16. 1.9 hrs • 12/5/2006 • Unabridged

    Immediate New York Times Best Seller . . . The Challenge to Religious Dogma that has Sparked a National Debate! "Forty-four percent of the American population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next fifty years," writes Sam Harris. "Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this, purely on the basis of religious dogma, should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency." In response to his award-winning bestseller The End of Faith, Sam Harris received thousands of letters from Christians excoriating him for not believing in God. Letter to A Christian Nation is his courageous and controversial reply. Using rational argument, Harris offers a measured refutation of the beliefs that form the core of fundamentalist Christianity. Addressing current topics ranging from intelligent design and stem-cell research to the connections between religion and violence, Letter to a Christian Nation boldly challenges the influence that faith has on public life in our nation.

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    Letter to a Christian Nation

    1.9 hrs • 12/5/06 • Unabridged
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