Related to: 'Mark Vernon'

Coronet

The Science of Prayer

Rupert Sheldrake
Authors:
Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake, author of the bestselling Science Delusion and Richard Dawkins's nemesis is a prominent botanist and the most prominent scientist to argue that science supports rather than undermines religious belief.He has written this book to show that science can not only justify and authenticate religious belief, it can also help improve it. The spiritual practises he examines include prayer, mediation, ritual, communing with nature, pilgrimage, psychedelics, gratitude - and sport!He writes: There are many spiritual practices, and most of them have now been studied scientifically. There is powerful evidence for their benefits in modern secular societies. There has been a dramatic decline in traditional religious observance, but most people continue to believe in the reality of the spiritual realm, even if they are not sure what it is or what name to give it.Spiritual practices often lead to a feeling of connection with a consciousness greater than oneself. All religions involve spiritual practices, and the practices of different religions are often very similar. Even some atheists follow practices like mindfulness meditation, and some, like Alain de Botton, in his Religion For Atheists, call for a reinvention of spiritual practices for atheists. In this book I discuss a wide range of practices in which I myself have some experience, and which readers can try for themselves. In each chapter, I make several suggestions about how to follow the practice I am discussing. I am a Christian myself, an Anglican, and therefore have more experience of Christian spiritual practices than those of other traditions. But I was also an atheist for more than a decade, a practitioner of Indian traditions of yoga and meditation, and a follower of Sufi practices. I have attended Tibetan Buddhist retreats, and worked with several shamans. Many of my friends describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. Spiritual practices can give immediate experiences of being linked to, or in communion with, a greater consciousness than our own. For materialists, who believe that matter is the only reality, these experiences are all inside the brain. They may involve triggering off responses from pleasure centres, or the release of neurotransmitters like anandamide, an internally-produced cannabis-like molecule, or other physical and chemical changes. But all attempts to explain ineffable experiences exclusively in term of the activity of nerves and molecules depend on materialist assumptions, which are beliefs. Should belief take precedence over experience? Are our minds connected to a collective human consciousness? Do they go further than humanity, and connect us with the consciousness of the earth, Gaia? Or do they go further still, to the solar system, the galaxy, or the entire cosmos? Is the mind or soul of the universe the ultimate reality, or does it itself depend on an ultimate conscious reality that transcends the universe? Is God not only in nature, but nature also in God?

Hodder & Stoughton

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Eugene Peterson
Authors:
Eugene Peterson

'Sixty years ago I found myself distracted.' So begins the introduction to As Kingfishers Catch Fire. What follows is the record of the collaboration of pastor and congregation in acts of worship and a life together. What Eugene Peterson, for thirty years pastor of a Maryland church, discovered is that the pastor's life is much more than just the preaching. It is also made up of attending to the details in all the circumstances and relationships specific to a people and a place - prayers at a hospital bed, conversations with the elderly, small talk on a street corner. This collection of spiritual writings presents Peterson's distinctive approach designed to communicate to his congregation, and the reader, 'the full counsel of God.' Seven sections containing seven teachings, each expertly crafted to stir the biblical imagination. In these teachings, Peterson walks the reader through Scripture to bring fresh insight to familiar names such as Moses, David, Isaiah, Solomon, Peter, Paul, and John of Patmos.

Hodder & Stoughton

Martin Luther

Peter Stanford
Authors:
Peter Stanford
Sceptre

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

As well as being a prize-winning, bestselling novelist, Siri Hustvedt is widely regarded as a leading thinker in the fields of neurology, feminism, art criticism and philosophy. She believes passionately that art and science are too often kept separate and that conversations across disciplines are vital to increasing our knowledge of the human mind and body, how they connect and how we think, feel and see. The essays in this volume - all written between 2011 and 2015 - are in three parts. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women brings together penetrating pieces on particular artists and writers such as Picasso, Kiefer and Susan Sontag as well as essays investigating the biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. The Delusions of Certainty is an essay about the mind/body problem, showing how this age-old philosophical puzzle has shaped contemporary debates on many subjects and how every discipline is coloured by what lies beyond argument-desire, belief, and the imagination. The essays in the final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, tackle such elusive neurological disorders as synesthesia and hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound consideration of suicide and a towering reconsideration of Kierkegaard. Together they form an extremely stimulating, thoughtful, wide-ranging exploration of some of the fundamental questions about human beings and the human condition, delivered with Siri Hustvedt's customary lucidity, vivacity and infectiously questioning intelligence.(P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

John Murray

The Invention of Nature

Andrea Wulf
Authors:
Andrea Wulf

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARDWINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2016'Dazzling' Literary Review 'Brilliant' Sunday Express'Extraordinary and gripping' New Scientist'A superb biography' The Economist'An exhilarating armchair voyage' GILES MILTON, Mail on Sunday Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.

Hodder & Stoughton

Inventing the Universe

Alister McGrath
Authors:
Alister McGrath

We just can't stop talking about the big questions around science and faith. They haven't gone away, as some predicted they might; in fact, we seem to talk about them more than ever. Far from being a spent force, religion continues to grow around the world. Meanwhile, Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists argue that religion is at war with science - and that we have to choose between them. It's time to consider a different way of looking at these two great cultural forces. What if science and faith might enrich each other? What if they can together give us a deep and satisfying understanding of life?Alister McGrath, one of the world's leading authorities on science and religion, engages with the big questions that Dawkins and others have raised - including origins, the burden of proof, the meaning of life, the existence of God and our place in the universe. Informed by the best and latest scholarship, Inventing the Universe is a groundbreaking new primer for the complex yet fascinating relationship between science and faith.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Divine Magician

Peter Rollins
Authors:
Peter Rollins

Peter Rollins knows one magic trick - now, make sure you watch closely. It has three parts: the Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige. In The Divine Magician, each part comes into play as Rollins describes the way God works in our world today, and how this connection helps us understand the truly radical message of Christianity.The Divine Magician interrogates traditional religious notions from a refreshingly original perspective, undermining the commonplace debates involving dogma, doctrine, and tradition.Rejecting our preconceptions of what the spiritual and the religious mean, Rollins argues for a deeply material faith that finds meaning not in a set of beliefs, but in a passionate commitment to the world.This incendiary reading of Christianity breaks the boundaries of religion and overturns the tables of conventional wisdom. It offers hope for those seeking a depth and density in life, calling for the existing church to disappear, only to reappear in a fundamentally new and dynamic form.

Hodder & Stoughton

Deep Magic, Dragons and Talking Mice

Alister McGrath
Authors:
Alister McGrath

What if you could ask C. S. Lewis his thoughts on the questions we all ask ourselves from time to time - questions about friendship, education, suffering, God ... and the meaning of life itself?Alister McGrath's provocative and perceptive book Deep Magic, Dragons and Talking Mice takes Lewis as the perfect conversation companion for the persistent meaning-of-life questions everyone asks. Lewis travelled from staunch atheism to reluctant belief, from rational scepticism to the appreciation of human desires and imagination, and from Christian apologist during the Second World War to celebrated author of classic children's literature - and as such looked at life's mysteries from many different viewpoints. The questions Lewis thought so deeply about are still relevant today, and all are illuminated by his astonishingly varied body of work. Whether you're new to Lewis, a fan of the Narnia books or a devotee of his apologetic writings, McGrath will lead you into an exploration of life's deepest questions, using one of the twentieth century's most engaging writers as our guide.

Hodder & Stoughton

How to be a Bad Christian

Dave Tomlinson
Authors:
Dave Tomlinson
Teach Yourself

Use Philosophy to be Happier - 30 Steps to Perfect the Art of Living: Teach Yourself

Mark Vernon
Authors:
Mark Vernon

Happiness. We all want it - but how can we get it? Author Mark Vernon has solved the problem by collecting the wisdom of the greatest minds in history and making their thinking on the important things in life accessible and, above all, practical. Full of everyday examples to make sometimes high-blown philosophy entertaining and relevant, this book shows you how you can crack the secret to living The Good Life.

Hodder & Stoughton

Love: All That Matters

Mark Vernon
Authors:
Mark Vernon
Hodder Paperbacks

Insurrection

Peter Rollins
Authors:
Peter Rollins
Sceptre

The Yellow Birds

Kevin Powers
Authors:
Kevin Powers
Hodder & Stoughton

Judaism: All That Matters

Keith Kahn-Harris
Authors:
Keith Kahn-Harris

For a group of people so limited in number, the Jewish community has had a huge impact on both global events and local politics. In this vibrant new look at Judaism, sociologist and cultural critic Keith Kahn-Harris provides a remarkably sharp insight into this history, and particularly the diverse Jewish communities (and diverse ideas of Jewishness) that exist today.

Hodder & Stoughton

God: All That Matters

Mark Vernon
Authors:
Mark Vernon

In this book: 'Mark Vernon writes with sharp insight and a generous understanding of how humans search and create meanings to sustain their lives' - Madeleine Bunting, Guardian.Why doesn't God go away? God: All That Matters, by philosopher Mark Vernon,suggests that there is something odd about the way God is discussed today. It is often as if the divine were being examined in a test tube, in a search for empirical and objective confirmation of his/her existence. Yet, for people of faith, the experience of God is nothing if not subjectively real; they know God, in-so-far as they do, in their lives. Vernon therefore looks to move the argument on from the debates between atheist and religious fundamentalists, to look at how people through time have looked for, experienced, and explained God - in suffering, in nature, in morality, in peak experiences, in goodness, in the future and in love.This accessible and concise book will appeal to both students and general readers, giving a fascinating introduction to a wide range of perspectives on God.The All That Matters series:All That Matters books:All books in the All That Matters series are written by world experts in their subject field. These experts work to distil a topic and get right to its heart, making the book accessible for both students and general readers. Each compelling book contains new and interesting perspectives and tells stories that matter.The Author:Mark Vernon has an unparalleled ability to convey profound philosophical ideas in a manner that is both accessible and personal but also rigorous and challenging."- Raymond TallisMark Vernon is a journalist, broadcaster, teacher and author of several books. He is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London and has degrees in physics, and theology and a PhD in philosophy. He was a priest in the Church of England, left a convinced atheist, though now takes religious and spiritualpractice very seriously - a journey he has written about in his book How to be an Agnostic. Keep up with Mark Vernon on his website: www.markvernon.com.Other books in the All That Matters series:All That Matters - Interesting introductions to important issuesBooks on the following subjects are available from the All That Matters series: Muhammad, Water, Political Philosophy, Sustainability, Philosophy, Intelligence, Love, Russian Revolution, War, and Creativity.To find out more visit: www.allthatmattersbooks.com

Hodder & Stoughton

Explore Humanism: Flash

Mark Vernon
Authors:
Mark Vernon
Teach Yourself

Understand Humanism: Teach Yourself

Mark Vernon
Authors:
Mark Vernon

Understand Humanism is the definitive introduction to this diverse and increasingly prominent philosophy. This guide teaches you everything you need to know about humanism, from it's ancient origins and key figures, to humanist answers to pressing modern issues, like climate change and identity politics. NOT GOT MUCH TIME?One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.AUTHOR INSIGHTSLots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.TEST YOURSELFTests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.EXTEND YOUR KNOWLEDGEExtra online articles at www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of psychology.FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBERQuick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.TRY THISInnovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Ross Fraser

Mark Vernon is one of the UK's leading popular philosophers. He has written a number of successful books, including most recently 'How to Be an Agnostic'. His writing appears regularly in the Guardian and the Evening Standard, and he is a well-known figure on the literary festival circuit as both an interviewer and an guest. He has PhD's in both theology and philosophy (from Oxford and Durham). He is a founder of the School of Life, based in London. Paul L. Younger is one of the world's leading hydrologists, with 25 years of experience in the water industry worldwide. He is currently Rankine Professor of Engineering at the University of Glasgow, and also chairs the Global Scientific Committee of the Planet Earth Institute. Professor Younger has lent his expertise to projects around the globe, and frequently advises UN agencies on issues of water sustainability. David Ashford is Managing Director of Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd, an innovative small company developing the Ascender spaceplane. He studied Aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, London, and did postgraduate research at Princeton, before being involved in major projects including Concorde, the Skylark sounding rocket, and missile and electronic warfare projects at Douglas Aircraft and BAE Systems. Jonathan Clements is well known for his biographies of figures from Chinese history, including Chairman Mao, Confucius, Empress Wu, Khubilai Khan and Marco Polo, as well as a highly regarded history of Beijing. His biography of the First Emperor was itself published in Chinese. His most recent book is a new translation of Sun Tzu's Art of War. Michael Scott is Professor of English and Theatre Studies and Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Glyndwr University, Wrexham. He has taught Shakespeare for over 35 years and has also tutored A Level students, and for over ten years he worked as a Visiting Lecturer teaching Shakespeare with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has extensive experience also of teaching Shakespeare worldwide, including as Visiting Professor in English at Georgetown University. In Spring 2013 he conducted an extensive lecture tour on Shakespeare in China. Peter Warren is an award-winning newspaper and TV journalist acknowledged as an expert on technology and computer and internet crime. He wrote the first articles highlighting the potential for the internet to be abused by paedophiles in 1989 and as a result was asked to brief the first UK police force to respond to the danger, the Greater Manchester Police Obscene Publications Squad, on the issues the technology has produced. He has also set up the Cyber Security Research Institute, an organisation pulling together the UK's top academic and business experts in the field of computer security with leading journalists in a bid to raise awareness of cyber crime. Michael Streeter is an author and former Fleet Street executive who worked for The Independent, the Daily Express, the Mirror and the Daily Mail. He was also editor of the Scottish Daily Express and launch editor of the Daily Express website. Michael's books include the co-authorship with Peter Warren of Cyber Alert: How the world is under attack from a new form of crime. Julian Baggini is a philosopher, author and journalist, who was recently named on the Observer's list of Britain's top public intellectuals. His doctorate was from University College London on the philosophy of personal identity, and his books have been published globally and translated into twelve languages. Camilla Ween is an architect, urban planner and Harvard University Loeb Fellow. She worked for Transport for London for 11 years, where she was responsible for advising the Mayor of London on the implications for transport of land use policy and development, and developing planning policy for many of London's key growth areas.

Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller was born in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He became a Christian at university, was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America and worked as a pastor for nine years.He was asked to start Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan in 1989, and under his leadership the church's congregation experienced unprecedented growth from 50 to 5000 members. His target audience consists mainly of urban professionals, whom he believes exhibit disproportionate influence over the culture and its ideas.The 'Influentials' Issue of New York Magazine featured Dr. Keller as "the most successful Christian evangelist in the city by recognizing that young professionals and artists are 'disproportionately influential' in creating the country's culture and that you have to meet this coveted demographic on its own terms."Timothy Keller is renowned for his clear, reasoned approach to Christian apologetics and his book THE REASON FOR GOD: BELIEF IN AN AGE OF SKEPTICISM was named Book of the Year for 2008 by World Magazine.Timothy Keller lives in New York City with his wife Kathy and sons David, Michael and Jonathan.

Chapter One

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, by John le Carré

Read the first chapter of John le Carré's acclaimed TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, now a major film.