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Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
by Pope Benedict XVI
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.52
86 used & new from $4.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the beginning, December 18, 2012
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How sad that the prior reviewer wishes to put his bigotry on display for all to see in this season of love for all creation. Loving our enemies was of course one of the great teachings that Jesus brought into the world 2000 years ago. His birth and teachings have transformed humanity and given us the chance for a new a beginning even though it's not always easy to discern the positive results. But given the eyes to see we can discern real results in the world stemming from the birth of Christ as witnessed in the gospel. Helping to give us these eyes is what the pope's series of three books on Jesus is about, especially this latest one on the infancy narratives. It is a powerful analysis full of profound insights made all the more effective by its brevity. It takes a penetrating mind to say so much in so short a space. It makes the message and meaning of the work all the more clear and concise. This is a book worth savoring for the way in which it helps us understand so much about who we are and where we come from in both the secular and sacred realms of history. This alone makes the book worth reading and contemplating whether we are believers or not. It certainly is not a book to dismiss without reading unless you are someone who takes delight in making a point of your own bigotry. But if you do Jesus loves you anyway. Shedding some light on this greatest of all mysteries is what the book is about and it does the job as effectively as anything I have ever heard or read.

Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home
Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home
by Glenn S. Sunshine
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.16
68 used & new from $6.27

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very illuminating and useful in the classroom, February 12, 2011
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I used this book in a humanities class (covering the Western world from late antiquity to the Renaissance) that I taught last fall term and got a very good reaction to it from most of the students who were largely college freshmen. They generally seemed to find it illuminating, interesting and readable. Many liked the way it challenged them to look at things from a differenet perspective than the typical liberal/left steriotype of the past that they usually received in the classroom. The discussions it generated were stimulating and thoughtful. I balenced it however with other readings that took different points of view on some the topics discussed by Sunshine in WYTTWYD. All in all a very informative and useful book with a clear but legitimate point of view shedding light on the entire course of western civilization and culture that is well written and forcefully argued. Nothing wrong with that!

The Next American Civil War: The Populist Revolt against the Liberal Elite
The Next American Civil War: The Populist Revolt against the Liberal Elite
by Lee Harris
Edition: Hardcover
65 used & new from $0.01

76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read, May 12, 2010
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I couldn't put the book down once I strated reading. It put into vivid historical context so much of what has been dominating the evening news, talk radio programs, and cable news programs over the past year or so. Harris writes about all of this very clearly and concisely for the general reader yet also displays great intellectual and philosphical knowledge and insight at the same time. He is everything one could want in a public intellectual. In this book (I have previously read two others by this author) Harris explains the nature and significance of the "tea party" movement as the latest phase in the evolution of America's redefining and grapling with it's notions of liberty. He sees this all as part of a dynamic and creative process the consequences of which are of the upmost importance. Simply put we are currently witnessing the latest populist revolt against elitist authority in American History. What's different this time is that the revolt is a conservative uprising against authority and not a left wing one. This is a revolt which strives to maintain something which is perceived as being lost as the government in Washington grasps greater and greater overweening powers in the name of doing good for and serving those who it believes are incapable of deciding for themselves what is good for them. This is all within the grand tradition of grassroots American political movemetns except that the actors have reversed roles. And that's what makes something seemingly very old in actually something quite new. How will it all play out? Read this book and gain at least a better and more contextaulized perspective on what's at stake.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2010 3:02 PM PST

Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't
Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't
by Robert Spencer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.01
86 used & new from $0.14

51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love your enemies!, August 15, 2007
One religion enjoins us to follow the example of one who teaches that we should love our enemy. Though we fall short, this is what the Christian is to aspire to. The other asks its adherents to follow the example of a prophet who himself engages in much violence and advocates wordly power. This is Spencer's central point. The example of what we are to aspire to differs radically in Christianity and Islam. Of course there is always room for interpretation but the difference between the founder and central figure of each religion is stark. Spencer explains all of this with clearity and lucidity and in great detail drawing on the relevent texts of both religious traditions.

What Is the West?
What Is the West?
by Philippe Nemo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, cogent, and timely, April 7, 2007
This review is from: What Is the West? (Paperback)
What is the West? represents the summing up in very concise and readable fashion the thinking of one of Europe's most respected, insightful and powerful intellects. It's a short and readable essay built upon a solid foundation of decades of academic research all summarized for the general reader in little over 100+ lucid and readable pages.

The reviewer below obvously does not understand and has little appreciation for the work of a world class scholar writing for a general audience and he has also mischaracterized the content of the author's argument. The previous reviewer appears terribly dissaponted that this is not the anti-Western screed he expected. It is about the basic and fundamental ingredients that went into the making of what is known to the world as "The West". And yes, that includes the contributions of Christianity. It shows an appreciation for what the West has contributed to the world. This is apparently what passes for biased cold War "propaganda" to the reviewer below. Only a reviling and demonizing of the West would pass as "objective" history for many like minded readers. In truth the previous reviewer is looking for anything but obkectivity and balence.

Just one look at the scholarly reviews and comments so far would indicate that this book is far from what the previous reviewer would have you believe it is. He/she has his own agenda to push. For the reader who wants an easy to digest summary of what the West is and a lucid analysis what ingredients it is built upon, but one which also rests on a soild foundation of knowledge and academic research this is an excelelnt place to start.

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