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  • Counter :
  • 650
  • Date :
  • 10/11/2003

1-Remembering God:Reflections on Islam


Charles Le Gai Eaton

From Publishers Weekly
Eaton, a British convert to Islam, has published several books under the auspices of British and Iranian Islamic societies and has lectured widely on the topic of Islam and the modern world. Like many converts fromEurope and America, he finds Sufism, or "mystical" Islam, to be the most meaningful form of religion. Eaton's book is a sort of religious editorial, an effort to prescribe a cure for a spiritually dead society. This cure is "remembering God." In Sufi practice, remembering (dhikr) often refers to the meditative repetition of the names of God. As an outline of one man's faith in God and his vision of the well-lived life, Eaton's writing contains much beauty and truth. His observations on the effect of pluralism on modern religious life are insightful and honest. Yet the book falters on the frequent occasions that it sinks into condemnation. Eaton is often accusatory, not of other religions--refreshingly, he believes that all religions can be valid--but of diverse ways of living meaningfully. He begins and ends with the opposition between "Islam" (in many of his anecdotes, he seems to equate this with "Arab") and "the West." The West is degenerate and spiritually dead, while Islam is traditional and spiritually beleaguered by the West. Unfortunately, the book dwells on the perceived evils of the West as much as it does on Eaton's particular version of Islamic life. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Parabola
"This is a beautifully written book. It offers a taste of theology, of history, of aesthetics and of eschatology..."

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Advice to the Serious Seeker:
 Mediations on the Teaching of Frithjof Schuon

James S. Cutsinger
Binding: Paperback
Published: April, 1997

Book Description

Two books in one, Advice to the Serious Seeker is an introduction for scholars to the perennialist school of comparative religious philosophy and at the same time a guidebook for the general reader who is looking for intellectually serious but accessible answers to questions about the spiritual life.

Scholars will find a comprehensive introduction to the work of Frithjof Schuon, the leading contemporary figure in the perennialist or traditionalist school of comparative religion. Written by James S. Cutsinger, one of the world's foremost academic authorities on the perennial philosophy, the book provides a detailed commentary on the full range of Schuon's spiritual writings.

But the book is also intended for inquisitive and searching readers in general. Composed in a style that is simple and conversational, it reads as an open letter to the author's students. The aim is to cut through the banality of much that passes for spiritual instruction today and to provide intellectually serious but accessible answers to questions typically posed by cynics and skeptics, conservative believers, and persons attracted to the so-called "new age" religions.

The author's Advice takes the form of a series of meditations on Truth, Virtue, Beauty, and Prayer, which Schuon regards as the fundamental elements in every authentic spiritual path. Covering a range of issues both theoretical and practical, topics include proofs of God, the problem of evil, classical virtues, predestination and freedom, symbolism and cosmic hierarchy, sacred art, the relationship between spiritual method and grace, techniques ofconcentration and meditation, the role of the spiritual master, and human destiny. The book concludes with an epilogue on Schuon's well-known thesis concerning the "transcendent unity of religions."--This text refers to theHardcover edition.

Card catalog description

Two books in one, Advice to the Serious Seeker is an introduction for scholars to the perennialist school of comparative religious philosophy and at the same time a guidebook for the general reader who is looking for intellectually serious but accessible answers to questions about the spiritual life. Scholars will find a comprehensive introduction to the work of Frithjof Schuon, the leading contemporary figure in the perennialist or traditionalist school of comparative religion. Written by James S. Cutsinger, one of the world's foremost academic authorities on the perennial philosophy, the book provides a detailed commentary on the full range of Schuon's spiritual writings. But the book is also intended for inquisitive and searching readers in general. Composed in a style that is simple and conversational, it reads as an open letter to the author's students. The aim is to cut through the banality of much that passes for spiritual instruction today and to provide intellectually serious but accessible answers to questions typically posed by cynics and skeptics, conservative believers, and persons attracted to the so-called "new age" religions.

About the Author

James S. Cutsinger is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Thought at the University ofSouth Carolina. His previous work includes The Form of Transformed Vision: Coleridge and the Knowledge of God.--This text refers to theHardcover edition.

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The 72 Names of God:
 Technology for the Soul

 Yehuda Berg, Rav Berg


From Publishers Weekly

This self-help book from Rabbi Berg (The Power of Kabbalah) draws upon the "72 names" of God mentioned in the Kabbalah to empower individuals to embrace life more fully. Berg says that when Moses experienced his do-or-die moment on the shores of theRed Sea, God spoke to the Israelites in three verses as recorded in the Book of Exodus-each verse consisting of 72 Hebrew letters. Encoded in those letters was the "technology" the Israelites needed to escape the situation on their own, without further divine assistance. Berg writes that contemporary seekers can also tap into this power and energy by learning about, and calling upon, the 72 names of God. The book can be shallow, particularly in its proof-texting of both Kabbalah and the findings of modern scientists to demonstrate "uncanny congruencies between astrophysics and Kabbalah concerning Creation," or its rapid-fire determination to whiz through each name in a single page. Although the device of using the 72 names is a refreshing addition to self-help literature, the end result is the same: the book offers individuals a relatively quick and painless way to achieve joy, financial prosperity, sexual fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment. The real star here is not the writing but the layout; rarely has a Kabbalah book been so easy on the eyes. Trendy designs, chic photographs and illustrations, and even a little comic-book-style graphic art enhance the book and maintain reader interest.

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