When Autobiography of a Yogi first appeared in 1946, it was acclaimed as a landmark work in its field. The New York Times hailed it as "a rare account". Newsweek pronounced it "fascinating". The San Francisco Chronicle declared, "Yogananda presents a convincing case for yoga, and those who 'came to scoff' may remain 'to pray." Today it is still one of the most widely read and respected books ever published on the wisdom of the East.
"An elegant discourse on Why?"
World-renowned thinker and scholar Thich Nhat Hanh, considered by many to be a "Living Buddah," explores the spiritual crossroads where the traditions of Christianity and Buddhism meet. Living Buddha, Living Christ reawakens our understanding of both religions and the connections between them.
"if only it wasn't abridged it'd be a five"
In the century's darkest time, one man became the most unlikely of heroes. German-Catholic industrialist and Nazi Party member Oskar Schindler used his wealth and influence to save the lives of more than 1,300 Jews who would have otherwise died in the concentration camp at Plaszow. Here is the story on which Steven Spielberg based his powerful motion picture. If you like this, try Ursula Hegi's Stones from a River.
"Abridged books just don't cut it!"
Confucius (551-479 BCE) taught a moral wisdom that would become a predominant social force in China from the second century BCE until the mid-20th century. Confucianism does not teach a central doctrine that a God or gods should be worshipped, but it does embrace a system of ritual and emphasizes humanistic virtues and values. Daoism is both a philosophy and a religion, seeking a life and a mind in harmony with nature.
"Not Deep Enough for these Subjects"
The traditional religion known as Shinto was present in Japan from prehistoric times, long before Buddhism and other traditions arrived from the Asian continent. Shrine Shinto, centered around local shrines and seasonal festivals, has greatly influenced Japanese culture. Sect Shinto is characterized by more highly organized institutions, which attract many members; folk Shinto consists of beliefs and practices apart from these institutions, especially in the home.
"Kingsley's 'newsreel' tone a touch distracting"
North, Central, and South American Indians have a rich religious heritage, though much has been lost since these peoples were conquered by Europeans. Characteristic features of Native American religion included the master of the animals, a protective spirit of a species or of all animals. Shamans, ecstatic medicine men, used supernatural powers to cure the ill. Totemism was a mysterious religious bond between the human clan and their animal guardians.
"Interesting information and great narrator"
Christianity arose within the social and spiritual dislocation of the Roman Empire. Jesus, perceived by authorities as a threat to public stability, was executed in about 30 CE; his crucifixion and belief in his resurrection became a defining symbol for world-wide Christian religion.
"Interesting historical discussion, but not great."
Judaism is more than a religion; it is a civilization, including a people, a language, unique laws, a system of ethics, customs, a homeland, and a theology. Jews worship one God and obey a wide-ranging and vigorous moral law centered around the Torah, God's teaching or instruction. Jewish sacred literature preserves the ancient oral tradition through the Hebrew Bible and other writings.
"Great Overview of Judaism"
The religious ideas and practices of African peoples have much in common with each other, and with related religions in the Caribbean and the Americas. African Islam and African Christianity have developed separately since their earliest time in Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Sudan.
The compelling, beautiful narrative of Code Name God is one man's rags-to-riches story and, more profoundly, the vision of a world-class physicist seeking to integrate the findings of science, religion, and spiritual quest.
Hinduism is a very broad term for the religious practices and doctrines of the Indian people. This tradition is believed to have begun in about 1800 BCE with religious poems known as the Vedas. Hinduism is best known in the west through the doctrines of Advaita, the belief that there is only one ultimate reality. Advaitans, however, worshipped a range of icons that represented the separate manifestations of the ultimate Brahman.
The religious practices and understandings of small indigenous societies are recognized by many to be in no way inferior to other religious beliefs. Many such cultures still exist; their prescientific, even prehistoric social and intellectual pattern includes shamans, sacrifices, totems, animism, taboos, and certain rituals and myths that reflect their unique and increasingly rare way of life.
"I give you assurances," cried the Tiger to the Brahmin. "I shan't eat you if you let me out of the cage." But when the Brahmin makes the mistake of taking the Tiger at his word, he discovers that the dishonest beast intended to eat him all along. In the end, it is the wily jackal who comes to the Brahmin's aid and teaches him a lesson he had never found in his holy books. This clever, absorbing adaptation, written by Brian Gleeson, is read by Ben Kingsley.
Buddhism began with Gotama the Buddha in the sixth century BCE and has developed two chief forms: Theravada (or Hinayana) is found especially in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand; Mahayana is found in Japan, China, Korea, and Indochina. Zen, a more recent form of Buddhism, is found throughout the world. Some believe Buddhism is not properly understood as a religion, though this presentation describes its religious qualities.
"well written and well spoken"
The early myths of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Asia Minor, Canaan, Greece, and Rome have greatly and continuously influenced all of Western culture and civilization. Myths rely on imagination and intuition; they express fervently held convictions about the ultimate nature of things, exploring the mysteries of life and death, passion and suffering. Today, theological interest is resurging in goddess worship, and other early nature-based religions are receiving a renewed attention.
Just as the style of a great writer cannot easily be imitated, the performance of a great reader is hard to duplicate. This volume features some of the best readers dramatizing some of the best writings.
"The Best Readers Are Not Enough"
They call the ancient hills of Jerusalem the butcher's theater. Here, upon this bloodstained stage, a faceless killer performs his violent specialty: The first to die brutally is a fifteen-year-old girl. She is drained of blood, then carefully bathed and shrouded in white. Precisely one week later, a second victim is found.
Protestant Christianity began in the early 16th century as a reform movement directed against Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. Early leaders such as Martin Luther and John Calvin laid out the movement's foundational principles, which emphasized the individual's relationship to God and scripture through the Bible and God's grace rather than through the authority of the church.
In More of the 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said, Ross and Kathryn Petras continue their connoisseur's compendium of awkward utterances, slips of the tongue, doubletalk, and just plain stupid statements from politicians, celebrities, sports figures, social leaders and average joes.
"Interesting but too much, too fast"
Islam today is a rapidly growing religion: Indonesia, the most populous Islamic land, has well over 100 million Muslims. Islam means "submission to the will of God"; Muslims are "submitters" to God's will as it was communicated to the prophet Muhammad in a series of divine revelations. Islam began in the seventh century, and had evolved into various forms, including Sunni and Shi'ah Muslims, Sufi mystics, and others. It has been and remains one of the most significant influences in the world.
"A great beginning point"