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1. The Sinews of the Spirit: The
2. Classical Islam: A Sourcebook
3. Lay Piety and Religious Discipline
4. The Poetry of Meditation: A Study
5. The Desiderata of Faith: A Collection
6. Reformation Unsettled: British
7. Providence (Literature and the
8. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed
9. Religion, Homosexuality and Literature
10. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed
11. The poetry of meditation;: A study
12. Shaping History Through Prayer
13. Literature and Religious Culture
14. Guide to Writing Academic Essays
15. Reaching Out to Religious Youth:
16. Literature Through the Eyes of
17. American Religious Poems: An Anthology
18. Shakespeare and Religious Change
19. The Company of the Creative: A
20. Religion and Literature: A Reader

1. The Sinews of the Spirit: The Ideal of Christian Manliness in Victorian Literature and Religious Thought
by Norman Vance
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-02-04)
list price: US$36.99 -- used & new: US$22.42
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Asin: 0521128609
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This book provides a fresh perspective on nineteenth-century life by examining the nature and context of 'Christian manliness' or 'muscular Christianity', an ideal of conduct that was widely popular with Victorian preachers and writers. It pays particular attention to Charles Kingsley (author of The Water-Babies) and Thomas Hughes (author of Tom Brown's Schooldays). Dr Vance traces the origins of Christian manliness in the traditions of English sporting prowess, in notions of chivalry and gentlemanliness, and in the preaching of vigourous virtue from St Paul to Victorian evangelists. He also considers the social and religious thought of Coleridge, Carlyle, F. D. Maurice and Thomas Arnold, showing how Kingsley and Hughes developed their own ideals of Christian manliness against this background, and in keen response to the troubles of their time: social unrest, religious rancour, war and disease. A final chapter traces the fragmentation and debasement of the ideal in the twentieth century. ... Read more

2. Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature
Paperback: 288 Pages (2003-09-19)
list price: US$45.95 -- used & new: US$33.04
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Asin: 0415240336
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This definitive sourcebook presents more than 50 authoritative new translations of key Islamic texts. Edited and translated by three leading specialists and clearly contextualized for introductory-level students, it illustrates the flowering of ... Read more

3. Lay Piety and Religious Discipline in Middle English Literature (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)
by Nicole R. Rice
Hardcover: 270 Pages (2009-02-16)
list price: US$94.99 -- used & new: US$65.70
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Asin: 052189607X
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In late-fourteenth-century England, the persistent question of how to live the best life preoccupied many pious Christians. One answer was provided by a new genre of prose guides that adapted professional religious rules and routines for lay audiences. These texts engaged with many of the same cultural questions as poets like Langland and Chaucer; however, they have not received the critical attention they deserve until now. Nicole Rice analyses how the idea of religious discipline was translated into varied literary forms in an atmosphere of religious change and controversy. By considering the themes of spiritual discipline, religious identity, and orthodoxy in Langland and Chaucer, the study also brings fresh perspectives to bear on Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales. This new juxtaposition of spiritual guidance and poetry will form an important contribution to our understanding of both authors and of late medieval religious practice and thought. ... Read more

4. The Poetry of Meditation: A Study in English Religious Literature of the Seventeenth Century
by Louis L. Martz
 Paperback: 403 Pages (1976-12)
list price: US$7.95
Isbn: 0300001657
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Introduction for the Novice
I am not sufficiently versed in the religious literature of contemplation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to evaluate this book on its own terms but I found it clear and informative. A more extended discussion of recent meditative poetry would have been preferable for someone with my interests.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Study of 17th century Religious Poetry
This is a superb book because it gives so muchdetail on the subject of Religious Poetry. Poets like Donne, Southwell, Crashaw, Herbert and many others--are shown in the evolutionary stages of Religious poetry leading up to the 18th,19th,20th century poets. The way Martz sets up the book is a great hinderence to the reader---the chapters are setup so that there maybe 5 chapters to every 1 chapter. I call it a book of many books myself because it is so drawn out that way. All of the facts are interesting from the beginning of Religious poetry and what it was used for early within the Middle Ages--From Jesuit Practices to Prayer Books used by the nobles--soon to be used by everyone starting late 17th early 18th century.The rest of the book is analyzing the poetry of Donne, Herbert and Southwell and how they interpereted the Jesuit,Catholic,and or Protestant ways of Meditational handbooks.The book is also split into two parts which makes it terribly long to read and or ever to get through. But you know what was coming up next with the way Martz sets up the book--it is like a Giant Domino Effect for Religious Poetry--each block you knock down the closer you get to the end and you also see how each poet influenced one another time and time again. ... Read more

5. The Desiderata of Faith: A Collection of Religious Poems
by Max Ehrmann
Hardcover: 64 Pages (1996-02-13)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$8.99
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Asin: 0517703319
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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An unabashed if undogmatic believer, Max Erhmann knew how important a role faith plays in the human heart. The Desiderata of Faith presents 24 poems that touch on this universal theme. Includes 26 line drawings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars That Which is to Be Desired in a Book of Poetry
This book is a beautiful collection of both blank and common verse. It starts with a presentation of the title portion, the beautiful "Desiderata" (to be desired). It then follows with a poems thatare beautiful, thought provoking, and sometimes breathtaking in theirsimple, but eloquent, insights. It is truly an example of what should bedesired from faith. As Christ said "all things are made new" whenwe look at them through the eyes of faith as opposed to the eyes ofpessimism. ... Read more

6. Reformation Unsettled: British Literature and the Question of Religious Identity, 1560-1660 (Proteus)
by Jan Frans Van Dijkhuizen, Richard Todd
Hardcover: 290 Pages (2009-02-28)
list price: US$87.00 -- used & new: US$76.03
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Asin: 2503526241
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Recent historical studies have emphasized that the English Reformation can no longer be seen as an inevitable response to abuses within the late-medieval Western ('Catholic') Church. Contrary to Protestant stereotypes, the late-medieval Church catered to the spiritual needs of its members. In addition, the English Reformation was an incomplete process and, even after the Elizabethan Settlement of 1559, English religious culture was full of continuities with the past, with pre-Reformation religious culture only partially displaced. This essay collection investigates how the literature of the first century after the Elizabethan Settlement dealt with this cultural ambivalence. Focusing on a mixture of canonical texts and less well-known ones, the contributors show that the religious hybridity of early-modern England is found in a concentrated form in the literary texts of the period. In contrast to theologians, literary writers were not obliged to choose sides. Literary discourse could confront incompatible doctrinal perspectives within a single text, or forge a hybrid spiritual sensibility out of the competing religious traditions. Literature, sometimes in spite of writers' avowed denominational allegiances, embraced, explored and deepened the ambivalence of early modern English religious culture in a manner unavailable in other kinds of texts. ... Read more

7. Providence (Literature and the Religious Spirit) (Literataure and the Religious Spirit)
by Will D. Campbell
Paperback: 293 Pages (2002-03-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$28.16
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Asin: 0918954843
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Hailed as Will Campbell's most literary work, Providence chronicles the more than 170-year history of a square mile of plantation land in Holmes County, Mississippi. Shifting between history and autobiography, Campbell illustrates the quest for justice among the Choctaws, African-Americans, and Whites on the parcel of land designated Section 13. From the forcible removal of native Choctaws, to slavery and sharecropping on the Providence Plantation, to an interracial cooperative farm in the 1930s-50s, and finally to the present-day ownership by the Department of the Interior, Providence, according to Campbell, "has seen a lot. In a way its saga is the story of the nation." ... Read more

8. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds, Revised Edition (2006)
by Margaret Bald
Hardcover: 464 Pages (2006-08-30)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$30.94
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Asin: 0816062692
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9. Religion, Homosexuality and Literature (Gay Men's Issues in Religious Studies Series)
 Paperback: 103 Pages (1993-04)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$10.00
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Asin: 0930383281
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10. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds
by Margaret Bald
Hardcover: 362 Pages (1998-04)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$7.09
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Asin: 0816033064
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11. The poetry of meditation;: A study in English religious literature of the seventeenth century,
by Louis Lohr Martz
 Paperback: 375 Pages (1969)

Asin: B0007DVPVS
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12. Shaping History Through Prayer & Fasting
by Derek Prince
Paperback: Pages (1973)
-- used & new: US$5.95
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Asin: 0934920230
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Good binding. We ship fast. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book & service!
The book was in great condition, especially considering it being used. I received it faster than expected which was wonderful. I would definitely order from them again. Thanks. ... Read more

13. Literature and Religious Culture in Seventeenth-Century England
by Reid Barbour
Hardcover: 292 Pages (2001-12-24)
list price: US$101.00 -- used & new: US$29.98
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Asin: 0521006643
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Reid Barbour's study takes a fresh look at English Protestant culture in the reign of Charles I (1625 1649). In the decades leading into the civil war and the execution of their monarch, English writers explored the experience of a Protestant life of holiness, in terms of heroic endeavors, worship, the social order, and the cosmos. This broad ranging study offers an extensive reappraisal of crucial seventeenth-century themes, and will be of interest to historians as well as literary scholars of the period. ... Read more

14. Guide to Writing Academic Essays in Religious Studies
by Scott G. Brown
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-05-13)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$11.57
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Asin: 0826498884
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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One of the greatest challenges for instructors in religious studies is the task of explaining why, in colleges and universities, the truth claims of the religions studied are not accepted, but instead a disinterested, academic approach is taken. Most instructors prefer not to address the issue directly, leaving their students to work out for themselves the difference between religious studies and the study of religion. Those who remain confused inevitably submit essays that reveal more about their religious upbringing than their ability to analyze a phenomenon objectively."A Guide to Writing Academic Essays in Religious Studies" eases the transition for undergraduate students by explaining what they need to know about writing research essays pertaining to religion. This book includes topics such as theoretical and methodological assumptions, how to locate appropriate scholarly literature, types of research essays, developing a thesis, the essentials of essay form and content, rewriting and proofreading, choosing an appropriate form of documentation, sample documentation, block quotations, gender-inclusive language, avoiding plagiarism, and meeting deadlines.This is an indispensible guide for the undergraduate instructor or student. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great handbook for every student of religion
I have two degrees from private Christian institutions in North America and am currently engaged in PhD studies in a public university in the UK.I recently came across this book when I was surveying my library's collection of texts on academic writing and critical thinking.None of them stood out like this one.

This book highlights many of the traps that a person of religious conviction (as myself) would have when writing essays or theses for a secular, pluralistic institution.In fact, I would say that it is very helpful even for many students in Bible colleges and seminaries.This small handbook has four short but helpful chapters:

1. The Essentials of Essay Writing, for Students New to Religious Studies
2. Approaching Ancient Texts
3. Some Finer Points of Writing for More Experienced Students
4. The Hallmarks of Bad Scholarship: Considerations for Advanced Students

There are many things that are assumed to be universal truths about academic writing, but there are very few places that really identify and articulate those assumptions.This is what you find in the first chapter.The next chapter helps to highlight the critical eye for texts that are sacred and traditionally understood as authoritative.The third has a really helpful section on differences in writing styles between British English, Canadian English and American English (another excellent guide for American English is The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition).The author closes his final chapter with helpful guides for avoiding those no-no's that we all do in our writing.

Another book that I find as incredibly helpful, but that comes from a different angle is: A Little Exercise for Young Theologians.This other book trains students of Christian theology to humbly bring what is learned in the academia into the pews. ... Read more

15. Reaching Out to Religious Youth: A Guide to Services, Programs, and Collections (Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series)
by L. Kay Carman
Paperback: 240 Pages (2004-06-30)
list price: US$42.00 -- used & new: US$31.50
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Asin: 0313320411
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Do religious teens in your community think your library has "nothing for me"? Shouldn't your library be actively embracing all of the diverse populations in your community? For many, the teen years are times of intense spiritual and religious growth. Public libraries, charged with serving all facets of their communities, must reach out to all people, including religious youth. If that prospect seems daunting, this book can help. It provides you with a vision and a plan for enhancing your library service to religious teens-with pertinent information that helps you understand the different belief systems and traditions of various religious groups, and practical guidance for developing services and collections to serve their needs. Chapters cover the major religious groups in the United States today-Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Latter-day Saint, Orthodox Christianity, Seventh-day Adventist, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu. In each chapter, a snapshot summary introduces you to the basic aspects of the religion, such as origins and beliefs and practices. A discussion of the history and core beliefs and values follows. After describing common misconceptions and stereotypes, the authors detail the formative experiences of teens in these groups, and discuss what types of services they need in the library. Advice on building your collection is accompanied by helpful booklists; and ideas for services and programs supplement the resource. Lists of pertinent publishers and helpful web sites make this an invaluable guide. ... Read more

16. Literature Through the Eyes of Faith: Christian College Coalition Series
by Susan V. Gallagher, Roger Lundin
Paperback: 192 Pages (1989-03-29)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$4.32
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Asin: 0060653183
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This comprehensive study, cosponsored by the Christian College Coalition, addresses questions faced by students in introductory literature courses. It examines literature as a form of human action and argues that the reading and writing of literary works provide vital ways for men and women to act as responsible agents in God's world.

Building upon the doctrine of Creation, the authors show how the reading of literature helps us to be more effective interpreters of the stories and images we encounter daily. They demonstrate that great works of literature open up a realm of beauty and truth and help us gain an understanding of ourselves, God, and the world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book about why we read
This superb book shows both the limitations and the potential for literature to expand our lives.Discussion is enhanced by reference to numerous literary examples to demonstrate the authors' points.This was one of those books that was so good, I found myself wanting to underline almost every paragraph in agreement.Highly recommended. ... Read more

17. American Religious Poems: An Anthology by Harold Bloom
by Harold Bloom
Hardcover: 685 Pages (2006-10-05)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$8.93
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Asin: 193108274X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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No more profound and intimate expression of America's spiritual life can be found than the work of its poets.From Anne Bradstreet to the Beats, from Native American chant and Shaker hymnody to Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, religion and spirituality have always been central to American poetry.In this unique anthology, world-renowned scholar Harold Bloom weaves a tapestry from the many strands of American religious experience and practice: the searching meditations of Puritan pioneers, the evangelical fervor of the Great Awakenings, the mystical currents of Transcendentalism, the diverse influences of the world religions that have taken root in modern America.

Spanning four centuries and more than 200 poets, American Religious Poems is a bountiful and moving gathering of voices that offers countless moments of inspiration, solace, meditation, and transcendence. The poems in this unprecedented volume are a lasting testimony to the American spirit and its unremitting quest for ultimate truth and meaning.

This deluxe collector's edition features:

- an introduction by Harold Bloom
- a reader's guide to significant topics and themes in the poems
- Smyth-sewn binding and flexible, leatherette covers
- and a ribbon page-marker ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful anthology
this is the reason we use the word - sensational!
Wow - who better than bloom to put this together?

God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience he is pleased to require of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry containing worlds
This anthology is another one of Bloom's fantastic encyclopediac projects. He and his assistant Sam Zuba selected nine- hundred poems of two - hundred poets to represent the work of more than three - hundred years of American poetry.
While the first part of the work deals with devotional poetry Bloom's heart is with the Emersonian revolution, and its greatest poet, Whitman. The traditional categories are cast aside and the American cosmic religion goes forth into the world containing universes. This anthology too contains universes in which poets of diverse religious traditions have their say. It also contains a very strong, some might say , too strong representation of naysayers or those who are not ordinarily associated with conventional religion at all. David Gates in his 'Newsweek' review notes.
" His poets include Christians, Jews and Muslims, as well as all the whatevers; he also has American Indian songs and chants and African-American spirituals. "The Criteria of Political Correctness," he writes, "I dismiss with weary contempt." Go ahead and laugh, but I'll bet the Great Enjoyer really does enjoy it all."
Marilynn Robinson however finds that this all- encompassingness raises a certain problem.
"Given all this, Harold Bloom's introduction to American Religious Poems seems at odds with its content. He takes the view that there is a sui generis American religion which bears no relation to religion elsewhere and which is obdurately simpleminded. Yet most American poets who are held in high regard are represented here, and there is a preponderance of modern and contemporary poetry. In other words, aside from the rather perfunctory selection of early writing and a few songs and hymns that seem to have been chosen for their familiarity rather than for their interest as poetry, most of the work collected here is thoughtful and sophisticated by any standard. Much of it would seem "religious" only in a context that encouraged the reader to consider it in this light. Yet in this light it is indeed religious."
It seems to me that while Bloom might be easily open to criticism on his conception of what Religion is he cannot really be faulted for his great passion for and understanding of Poetry. In fact it is far to say Poetry is Bloom's Religion. And therefore the enthusiasm and love he brings to reading it, and this especially in regard to Whitman and Dickinson, works as pervasive spirit in the volume as a whole.
Morever there is so much fine work in this anthology each and every reader will be able to find in it poetry which sustains and inspires.

5-0 out of 5 stars poetry paradise
Here under one cover is a poetry lover's gold mine --over 900 poems, by over 200 poets, about all things religious. Bloom and Zuba have defined religion very broadly both in terms of faith traditions and subject matter, the skeptical and the unconventional included, the result being poems and poets that reflect the diverse and plural religious perspectives in American history, including Native American, African American, Buddhist, Sufi, Deist, Jewish, Unitarian, Protestant, Catholic and dozens more. The poems are arranged chronologically, beginning with the 1640 Bay Psalm Book (the first book printed in the colonies) and ending with Brett Foster (b. 1973) of Wheaton College. After the 900-plus poems there are 14 American Indian Songs and Chants, then 14 Spirituals and Anonymous Hymns (eg, "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel" and "Free at Last"). A reader's guide to religious terms, an name index of poets, and an index of poem titles and first lines complete the volume. I was disappointed in Bloom's "introduction," which was little more than a short, technical essay on Walt Whitman ("our prime shaman of American religion") and Emily Dickinson ("Whitman's only possible rival in American poetry"). A broader treatment would have served a general readership better. Nor is there any introduction to the poets or their poems, save their date of birth. Still, this is a literary treasure trove, and I was sorry I had to return it to the public library; between its two covers there is enough poetry for a lifetime of meditation and reflection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A collection of classic American religious poems
American Religious Poems is a collection of classic American religious poems by an immense variety of authors, covering all stages of America's history and spiritual legacy. Notes, an index, a source list, and an invaluable Reader's Guide complement the poems themselves, which have been carefully selected for their intergenerational appeal. A worthy cross-section of American faith through the centuries as expressed in poetic literature, from classical narrative poems to spirituals and anonymous hymns. "God": I followed and breathed in silence. / What of its task is beheld? / My feeding thee has lent all / Which broke the current thread breeze / That kept the sprout of pregnant seas / Of weathered promising call. / The filling shades he only changes, / Tells the logos, its unearned dew / Not to feed, as if from cages, / His cloak that perfumes fragrant hew; / What of all the bulging mountains, / Sordid earth and rotting clays? / If then sense is suction fountains, / That same thought is but its ways.

4-0 out of 5 stars Quirky but worth buying
You know you'll be getting a slightly idiosyncratic choice of poets and poems with gnostic Harold Bloom as the chief editor. There are poets included who would be a bit surprised to hear themselves considered "religious,"so you get early Merwin only, and Mark Strand, James Merrill (spiritual, kinda, but not 'religious').Only one poem each from Mary Oliver, Gjertrude Schnakenberg, and Jorie Graham, while several from John Ashberry.On the other hand, several poets included I've never heard of--one of the reasons I buy anthologies, to be exposed to new voices. It is a book with great surprises as well, not just limited in scope to the old predictable chestnuts. The real reason I didn't give it a five stars is the physical book itself--ridiculously wasted attempt at a slip cover (cheap, flimsy, faux marbling) and odd graphic of a fountain pen in gold on an off white cover...just not what I expect from the publisher, especially at the cost. ... Read more

18. Shakespeare and Religious Change (Early Modern Literature in History)
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2009-08-15)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$68.06
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Asin: 023021309X
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This balanced and innovative collection explores the relationship of Shakespeare's plays to the changing face of early modern religion, considering the connections between Shakespeare's theatre and the religious past, the religious identities of the present and the deep cultural changes that would shape the future of religion in the modern world.
... Read more

19. The Company of the Creative: A Christian Reader's Guide to Great Literature and Its Themes
by David L. Larsen
Paperback: 656 Pages (1999-11)
list price: US$32.99 -- used & new: US$13.95
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Asin: 0825430976
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Great works and authors of the world are introduced and reviewed artistically, intellectually, and theologically. Persons discussed include Plato, Milton, Dickens, Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, and C. S. Lewis. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Creative Company
the book was a bit of a disappointment, but that's not the seller's fault, it was rated at more than what it is.It's mainly a book that gives a short summary of "Christian" writers

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Survey of Great Literature
David Larsen is a professor of preaching and pastoral theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. But he is also an avid reader, and he does a wonderful job of introducing the beginner to some of the greatest writers who have ever lived. He gives short biographical sketches of people such as Tacitus, Augustine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leo Tolstoy, Isaac Bashevis Singer, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Pearl Buck, Flannery O'Connor, Elie Wiesel, and many, many more.

Dr. Larsen is a sympathetic guide through the lives of these brilliant men and women. You can almost feel his sadness as he describes some of the tragedies and failures that these authors experienced. You can also feel his pride and his admiration as he describes their moments of triumph and success.

The section on Shakespeare is the largest portion of the book. For most authors, Larsen only discusses a few select writings. But with Shakespeare, he discusses nearly every play.

Since Dr. Larsen is a Christian, he also sounds off on the spiritual and religious perspectives of each writer, noting how many great writers mined the Bible for certain phrases and figures of speech. Even the most hardened atheists could not get away from the rich imagery and influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

This book will give you the desire to want to go back in time and read some of the world's greatest books as well as some of the more recent releases. I highly recommend it. ... Read more

20. Religion and Literature: A Reader
by Robert Detweiler, David Jasper, Heidi L Nordberg, S Brent Plate
Paperback: 191 Pages (2000-01-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$11.38
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Asin: 0664258468
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars The Open Book is a Question Mark
The change in biblical studies, with an increasing tendency to read the Bible as literature and to relate it to other literature, offers a field day to those who are skilled in both and there is plenty of evidence that they are able to exploit it. Anything in that department bearing the name of David Jasper is likely to be worth reading and this book is no exception. Fundamentally it is a resource book for teachers and students by two people with experience of both, but it also has much to offer to offer the general reader, especially those who find difficulty moving from the world of modernism (where life is rational and organised) to the world of post-modernism (which seems to be chaotic and marred by uncertainty). In a world where individual interpretations replace community interpretations and trust often gives way to suspicion, these editors explore religious literature afresh and at the same time uncover new biblical insights, not least in those biblical passages often neglected.

If the potential readership is broad so too is the literature. Eight chapters include extracts on origins (beginning with Genesis and the prologue to John and going on to the Quiché Indians and a creation story from the Iroquois), on sacred texts, biblical motifs and images, and on the great themes of literature and religion.

Writers include Ovid, Augustine, Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Luther, Bunyan, Kierkegaard, Teresa of Avila, Mark Twain, D H Lawrence, Goethe, Milton, Merton, Donne, Blake, Kafka, Eliot, Beckett, Derrida,andRicoeur, to mention only a few of the more familiar. With such a wealth it is difficult to be selective, but Michèle Roberts, The Wild Girl, described as `a kind of fifth gospel written by Mary Magdalene', is a good example of breaking into new territory, the bringing together of Job and Kafka a creative way of tackling a theodicy, Elie Wiesel's Night perhaps the most moving, and Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood the seeds of a sermon on Matthew 7:3.

Once you begin to think this way it is difficult ever again to be content with interpreting biblical literature in isolation from other literature, and indeed from all the other arts and the whole world of culture. It certainly raises awkward and embarrassing questions but that may be a more effective way of uncovering religious truth than the traditional watering places of church, liturgy and sermon. Readers should be prepared to be stretched, occasionally alarmed and sometimes threatened, but much of the struggle is avoided only at our peril.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very Brief Extracts
You should be aware that this "reader" offers extracts from 83 works in only 191 pages (the Amazon description as of 7/24/00 giving the page count as 400 is wrong); most works are represented through passagesthat are only a page or so in length.If you are expecting an anthology,you will be disappointed.If you are looking for a text that compilesbrief passages relevant to the theme of literature and religion from a widerange of sources, this book will serve your needs.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine, scholarly selection and presentation.
Robert Detweiler and David Jasper edit Religion And Literature, a reader which offers selections from over seventy sources ranging from ancient classics and Western writings to literary analyses. Study questions at theend of each chapter lend to a fine scholarly presentation. ... Read more

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