Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night.
Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.
The Birdwisher is a novella about a girl, a pigeon-detective and a murderous mystery. Written after Dashiell Hammet's "Dead Yellow Woman," this debut book from Anna Joy Springer (Blatz, Cypher in the Snow, The Gr'ups, Sister Spit) is beautifully illustrated throughout by Sam McWilliams. Strange, grotesque, noir and rendered in gorgeous inventive prose, The Birdwisher is the first book from Birds of Lace.
Synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist and science historian Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. Using sensory data that flow in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning, forming beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, accelerating the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop. In The Believing Brain, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. And ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not our beliefs match reality.
Writing from his prison cell in Nazi Germany in 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German theologian, sketched a vision of what he called "religionless Christianity." In this book, John Shelby Spong puts flesh onto the bare bones of Bonhoeffer's radical thought.
The result is a strikingly new and different portrait of Jesus of Nazareth—a Jesus for the non-religious. Spong challenges much of the traditional understanding that has for so long surrounded the Jesus of history, from the tale of his miraculous birth to a virgin, to the account of his cosmic ascension into the sky at the end of his life. Spong questions the historicity of the ideas that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that he had twelve disciples, and that the miracle stories were meant to be descriptions of supernatural events.
He also speaks directly to those contemporary critics of Christianity who call God a "delusion" and who write letters to a "Christian nation" and describe how Christianity has become evil and destructive. Spong invites his readers to look at Jesus through the lens of both the Jewish scriptures and the liturgical life of the first-century synagogue. Dismissing the dispute about Jesus' nature that consumed the church's leadership for the first 500 years of Christian history as irrelevant, Spong proposes a new way of understanding the divinity of Christ: as the ultimate dimension of a fulfilled humanity. Traditional Christians who still cling to dated concepts of the past will not be comfortable with this book; however, skeptics of the twenty-first century will not be quite so certain that dismissing Jesus is the correct pathway to walk. Jesus for the Non-Religious may be the book that finally brings the pious and the secular into a meaningful dialogue, opening the door to a living Christianity in the post-Christian world.
In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophers, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this wide-ranging volume, Jonathan Israel offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism.
Can God's nonexistence be established by good, clear, objective evidence? It all depends on what is meant by "God." This book expands the frontiers of philosophy by exploring this nest of issues in more detail than ever before, while presenting a strong case for atheism. The two major arguments in support of nonexistence, the more established Argument from Evil and the recent Argument from Nonbelief, are explored individually and in parallel development while defending both against the strongest objections. Included are examinations of the free-will problem, the possibility of an afterlife, arguments by theists, and positive atheism. Drange also discusses specific concepts of the duty e.g. of evangelical and liberal Christianity, and orthodox Judaism to demonstrate how theological and atheological arguments depend upon the conception of God one accepts.
Despite the great variety of social and political movements organized around millennial beliefs today, suspicion, fear, and ridicule typically govern society's treatment of these groups. Violence, as associated with Jonestown, the Branch Davidians, Aum Shinrikyo, Solar Temple, and Heaven's Gate, all too frequently is the consequence of this mistrust. Presented here are case studies of contemporary millennial religions that either became violent, or had the potential for becoming violent. Wessinger provides the essential tools for understanding millennial beliefs and the complex internal mix that shapes a group's decision to embrace or reject violence. Wessinger's fair-minded, practical approach will change misconceptions and, ultimately, help prevent the violence.