<%-- Page Title--%> Books <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 128 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

October 31, 2003

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A Mystical Journey

Sanyat Sattar

No religion has ever advocated terrorism or gone against humanity. Peace and love has always been the key word of every single religion in this world. Then why is religion today seen as the cause for the most destruction on earth?


Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
Elaine H. Pagels
Random House; May 2003

In this majestic new book, Pagels ranges panoramically over the history of early Christianity, demonstrating the religion's initial tremendous diversity and its narrowing to include only certain texts supporting certain beliefs. At the centre of her book is the conflict between the gospels of John and Thomas. Pagels suggests that we recover Thomas as a way of embracing the glorious diversity of religious tradition. Pagels also focuses on how some Christian leaders, especially Irenaeus, despising the esoteric gospels, made sure that the New Testament canon was limited to the four gospels and other approved writings. Pagels' writing, spare, elegant and provocative, leads readers step-by-step down a spiritual path to one's inner self. Indeed a fresh and exciting work of theology and spirituality.


When Religion Becomes Evil
Charles Kimball
Harper San Francisco; September 2003

By now it's common to remark that more violence than good has been committed in the name of religion. The terrorist attacks of September 11 and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian strife confirm this age-old aphorism. Wake Forest religion professor Kimball, has made something of a career out of speaking about the ways in which religion becomes evil. Every religion has the capacity to work either for good or evil, and he contends that there are five warning signs that we can recognise when religion moves toward the latter. Religion can resist becoming evil by practicing an inclusiveness that allows each tradition to retain its distinctiveness while it works for the common good. Kimball's clear and steady voice provides a helpful guide for those trying to understand why evil is perpetrated in the name of religion.

Buddhist Himalayas
Oliver Föllmi, Danielle Föllmi & Matthieu Ricard
Harry N Abrams; October 2002

"Terma," a Tibetan word, meaning "revealed treasures," applies to teachings hidden by ancient masters under rocks or in the earth to be found by future generations; it also applies to this massive volume of photographs and text. The Föllmis have spent 25 years living, working and travelling in the Himalayas with peasants, nomads, monks and spiritual masters; Ricard, a monk himself, has photographed life in Tibet and Nepal for 30 years and is the French translator for the Dalai Lama. This spectacular book invites the reader on a journey to a faraway exotic land and into one's own heart and soul. The beauty of the majestic Himalayan countryside, of the Tibetan people-spiritual masters and humble shepherds alike and of their sacred places all inspire a desire to look within, in search of an understanding of the essence of Buddhism and the Himalayan spirit. Glorious photographs of the Himalayas combine with the text to form a harmonious mosaic of this uniquely spiritual mountaintop civilization.




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