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Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Author: ,

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Isbn 10: 0307366278

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 224

Number of Views: 959

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In 2002 Xinran’s Good Women of China became an international bestseller, revealing startling new truths about Chinese life to the West. Now she returns with an epic story of love, friendship, courage and sacrifice set in Chinese-occupied Tibet. Based on a true story, Xinran’s extraordinary second book takes the reader right to the hidden heart of one of the world’s most mysterious and inaccessible countries. In March 1958, Shu Wen learns that her husband, an idealistic army doctor, has died while serving in Tibet. Determined to find out what happened to him, she courageously sets off to join his regiment. But to her horror, instead of finding a Tibetan people happily welcoming their Chinese “liberators” as she expected, she walks into a bloody conflict, with the Chinese subject to terrifying attacks from Tibetan guerrillas. It seems that her husband may have died as a result of this clash of cultures, this disastrous misunderstanding. But before she can know his fate, she is taken hostage and embarks on a life-changing journey through the Tibetan countryside — a journey that will last twenty years and lead her to a deep appreciation of Tibet in all its beauty and brutality. Sadly, when she finally discovers the truth about her husband, she must carry her knowledge back to a China that, in her absence, has experienced the Cultural Revolution and changed beyond recognition. . .


Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Author: Blake Kerr

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

Isbn 10: 1559397241

Category: History

Number of Pages: 224

Number of Views: 1671

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This is a riveting firsthand account by Blake Kerr, an American doctor who inadvertently walked into one of the grimmest scenes of political oppression in the world. Kerr was visiting Tibet with his old college friend John Ackerly. They were enjoying the sights and sounds of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and hitchhiking to Everest, where they "humped loads" for an American expedition assaulting the mountain. Upon returning to Lhasa, Kerr and Ackerly witnessed a series of demonstrations by Tibetan monks greater than anything witnessed by foreigners since China entered Tibet in 1949.


Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Author: Dana Levin

Publisher: Copper Canyon Press

Isbn 10: 1619320312

Category: Poetry

Number of Pages: 96

Number of Views: 1528

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"Readers will find that this work carries the pulse of their darkest sorrows, in the breath of their humanity. Highly recommended."—Library Journal "Intimate and hypnotic."—Ploughshares "Levin has the skilled ear, magnificent tongue, and fierce mind of the truly prophetic."—Rain Taxi "Levin's work is phenomenological; it details how it feels to be an embodied consciousness making its way through the world."—Boston Review "Death is the new and unshakeable lens through which I see," writes Dana Levin about her third book, in which she confronts mortality and loss in subjects ranging from Tibetan Buddhist burial practices to Aztec human sacrifice. Shaped by dreams and "the worms and the gods," these poems are a profound investigation of our inescapable fate. As Louise Glück has said: "Levin's animating fury goes back deeper into our linguistic and philosophic history: to Blake's tiger, to the iron judgments of the Old Testament." They took you in an ambulance even though you were dead, they took you and my sister said Why are you saving her if she is dead? shey shey— Curve of sky a crescent blade. Vultures wheeling on thermal parapets, shunyata, void that flays— Yak butter, barley flour and tea: you watch him make the paste. Dana Levin's debut volume In the Surgical Theatre won the prestigious APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


How Not to Make a Human

How Not to Make a Human

How Not to Make a Human

Author: Karl Steel

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

Isbn 10: 145296002X

Category: Literary Criticism

Number of Pages: 280

Number of Views: 319

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From pet keeping to sky burials, a posthuman and ecocritical interrogation of and challenge to human particularity in medieval texts Mainstream medieval thought, like much of mainstream modern thought, habitually argued that because humans alone had language, reason, and immortal souls, all other life was simply theirs for the taking. But outside this scholarly consensus teemed a host of other ways to imagine the shared worlds of humans and nonhumans. How Not to Make a Human engages with these nonsystematic practices and thought to challenge both human particularity and the notion that agency, free will, and rationality are the defining characteristics of being human. Recuperating the Middle Ages as a lost opportunity for decentering humanity, Karl Steel provides a posthuman and ecocritical interrogation of a wide range of medieval texts. Exploring such diverse topics as medieval pet keeping, stories of feral and isolated children, the ecological implications of funeral practices, and the “bare life” of oysters from a variety of disanthropic perspectives, Steel furnishes contemporary posthumanists with overlooked cultural models to challenge human and other supremacies at their roots. By collecting beliefs and practices outside the mainstream of medieval thought, How Not to Make a Human connects contemporary concerns with ecology, animal life, and rethinkings of what it means to be human to uncanny materials that emphasize matters of death, violence, edibility, and vulnerability.


From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

Author: Caitlin Doughty

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Isbn 10: 0393249905

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 224

Number of Views: 1106

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A New York Times and Los Angeles Times Bestseller “Doughty chronicles [death] practices with tenderheartedness, a technician’s fascination, and an unsentimental respect for grief.” —Jill Lepore, The New Yorker Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty embarks on a global expedition to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Zoroastrian sky burials to wish-granting Bolivian skulls, she investigates the world’s funerary customs and expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with dignity. Her account questions the rituals of the American funeral industry—especially chemical embalming—and suggests that the most effective traditions are those that allow mourners to personally attend to the body of the deceased. Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a fascinating tour through the unique ways people everywhere confront mortality.


Tibetan Rituals of Death

Tibetan Rituals of Death

Tibetan Rituals of Death

Author: Margaret Gouin

Publisher: Routledge

Isbn 10: 1136959173

Category: Political Science

Number of Pages: 208

Number of Views: 1779

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This book describes and analyses the structure and performance of Tibetan Buddhist death rituals, and situates that performance within the wider context of Buddhist death practices generally. Drawing on a detailed and systematic comparative survey of existing records of Tibetan funerary practices, including historical travel accounts, anthropological and ethnographic literature, Tibetan texts and academic studies, it demonstrates that there is no standard form of funeral in Tibetan Buddhism, although certain elements are common. The structure of the book follows the twin trajectories of benefiting the deceased and protecting survivors; in the process, it reveals a rich and complex panoply of activities, some handled by religious professionals and others by lay persons. This information is examined to identify similarities and differences in practices, and the degree to which Tibetan Buddhist funeral practices are consistent with the mortuary rituals of other forms of Buddhism. A number of elements in these death rites which at first appear to be unique to Tibetan Buddhism may only be ‘Tibetan’ in their surface characteristics, while having roots in practices which pre-date the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet. Filling a gap in the existing literature on Tibetan Buddhism, this book poses research challenges that will engage future scholars in the field of Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Anthropology.


Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Author: Xinran

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Isbn 10: 0307366278

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 224

Number of Views: 1754

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In 2002 Xinran’s Good Women of China became an international bestseller, revealing startling new truths about Chinese life to the West. Now she returns with an epic story of love, friendship, courage and sacrifice set in Chinese-occupied Tibet. Based on a true story, Xinran’s extraordinary second book takes the reader right to the hidden heart of one of the world’s most mysterious and inaccessible countries. In March 1958, Shu Wen learns that her husband, an idealistic army doctor, has died while serving in Tibet. Determined to find out what happened to him, she courageously sets off to join his regiment. But to her horror, instead of finding a Tibetan people happily welcoming their Chinese “liberators” as she expected, she walks into a bloody conflict, with the Chinese subject to terrifying attacks from Tibetan guerrillas. It seems that her husband may have died as a result of this clash of cultures, this disastrous misunderstanding. But before she can know his fate, she is taken hostage and embarks on a life-changing journey through the Tibetan countryside — a journey that will last twenty years and lead her to a deep appreciation of Tibet in all its beauty and brutality. Sadly, when she finally discovers the truth about her husband, she must carry her knowledge back to a China that, in her absence, has experienced the Cultural Revolution and changed beyond recognition. . .


Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Sky Burial

Author: Blake Kerr

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

Isbn 10: 1559397241

Category: History

Number of Pages: 224

Number of Views: 901

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This is a riveting firsthand account by Blake Kerr, an American doctor who inadvertently walked into one of the grimmest scenes of political oppression in the world. Kerr was visiting Tibet with his old college friend John Ackerly. They were enjoying the sights and sounds of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and hitchhiking to Everest, where they "humped loads" for an American expedition assaulting the mountain. Upon returning to Lhasa, Kerr and Ackerly witnessed a series of demonstrations by Tibetan monks greater than anything witnessed by foreigners since China entered Tibet in 1949.


Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day

Author: Peter Zuckerman,Amanda Padoan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Isbn 10: 0393084086

Category: Sports & Recreation

Number of Pages: 304

Number of Views: 1959

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Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and the Banff Mountain Book Award: "Gripping, intense…Buried in the Sky will satisfy anyone who loved [Into Thin Air]." —Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe When eleven climbers died on K2 in 2008, two Sherpas survived. Their astonishing tale became the stuff of mountaineering legend. This white-knuckle adventure follows the Sherpas from their remote villages in Nepal to the peak of the world’s most dangerous mountain, recounting one of the most dramatic disasters in alpine history from a fascinating new perspective. Winner of the NCTE George Orwell Award and an official selection of the American Alpine Club Book Club.


The Good Women of China

The Good Women of China

The Good Women of China

Author: Xinran

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Isbn 10: 030736626X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 256

Number of Views: 916

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An unprecedented, intimate account of the lives of modern Chinese women, told by the women themselves -- true stories of the political and personal upheavals they have endured in their chaotic and repressive society For eight groundbreaking years, Xinran hosted a radio program in China during which she invited women to call in and talk about themselves. Broadcast every evening, Words on the Night Breeze became famous throughout the country for its unflinching portrayal of what it meant to be a woman in modern China. Centuries of obedience to their fathers, husbands and sons, followed by years of fear under Communism, had made women terrified of talking openly about their feelings. Xinran won their trust and, through her compassion and ability to listen, became the first woman to hear their true stories. This unforgettable book is the story of how Xinran negotiated the minefield of restrictions imposed on Chinese journalists to reach out to women across the country. Through the vivid intimacy of her writing, these women confide in the reader, sharing their deepest secrets. Whether they are the privileged wives of party leaders or peasants in a forgotten corner of the countryside, they tell of almost inconceivable suffering: forced marriages, sexual abuse, separation of parents from their children, extreme poverty. But they also talk about love -- about how, despite cruelty, despite politics, the urge to nurture and cherish remains. Their stories changed Xinran’s understanding of China forever. Her book will reveal the lives of Chinese women to the West as never before.


Some Ether

Some Ether

Some Ether

Author: Nick Flynn

Publisher: Graywolf Press

Isbn 10: 1555979343

Category: Poetry

Number of Pages: 104

Number of Views: 1332

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Winner of a "Discovery"/The Nation Award Winner of the 1999 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry Some Ether is one of the more remarkable debut collections of poetry to appear in America in recent memory. As Mark Doty has noted, "these poems are more than testimony; in lyrics of ringing clarity and strange precision, Flynn conjures a will to survive, the buoyant motion toward love which is sometimes all that saves us. Some Ether resonates in the imagination long after the final poem; this is a startling, moving debut."


Confessions of a Funeral Director

Confessions of a Funeral Director

Confessions of a Funeral Director

Author: Caleb Wilde

Publisher: HarperCollins

Isbn 10: 0062465260

Category: Social Science

Number of Pages: 208

Number of Views: 568

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The blogger behind Confessions of a Funeral Director—what Time magazine called a "must read"—reflects on mortality and the powerful lessons death holds for every one of us in this compassionate and thoughtful spiritual memoir that combines the humor and insight of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes with the poignancy and brevity of When Breath Becomes Air. We are a people who deeply fear death. While humans are biologically wired to evade death for as long as possible, we have become too adept at hiding from it, vilifying it, and—when it can be avoided no longer—letting the professionals take over. Sixth-generation funeral director Caleb Wilde understands this reticence and fear. He had planned to get as far away from the family business as possible. He wanted to make a difference in the world, and how could he do that if all the people he worked with were . . . dead? Slowly, he discovered that caring for the deceased and their loved ones was making a difference—in other people’s lives to be sure, but it also seemed to be saving his own. A spirituality of death began to emerge as he observed: The family who lovingly dressed their deceased father for his burial The act of embalming a little girl that offered a gift back to her grieving family The nursing home that honored a woman’s life by standing in procession as her body was taken away The funeral that united a conflicted community Through stories like these, told with equal parts humor and poignancy, Wilde offers an intimate look into the business and a new perspective on living and dying


This Narrow Space

This Narrow Space

This Narrow Space

Author: Elisha Waldman

Publisher: Schocken

Isbn 10: 080524333X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 256

Number of Views: 564

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A memoir both bittersweet and inspiring by an American pediatric oncologist who spent seven years in Jerusalem treating children—Israeli Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza—who had all been diagnosed with cancer. In 2007, Elisha Waldman, a New York–based doctor in his mid-thirties, was offered his dream job: attending physician at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. He had gone to medical school in Israel and spent time there as a teenager; now he was going to give something back to the land he loved. But in the wake of a financial crisis at the hospital, Waldman, with considerable regret, left Hadassah in 2014 and returned to the United States. This Narrow Space is his poignant memoir of seven years that were filled with a deep sense of accomplishment but also with frustration when regional politics got in the way of his patients’ care, and with tension over the fine line he had to walk when the religious traditions of some of his patients’ families made it difficult for him to give those children the care he felt they deserved. Navigating the baffling Israeli bureaucracy, the ever-present threat of full-scale war, and the cultural clashes that sometimes spilled into his clinic, Waldman learned to be content with small victories: a young patient whose disease went into remission, brokenhearted parents whose final hours with their child were made meaningful and comforting. Waldman also struggled with his own questions of identity and belief, and with the intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that had become a fact of his daily life. What he learned about himself, about the complex country that he was now a part of, and about the brave and endearing children he cared for—whether they were from Rehavia, Me’ah She’arim, Ramallah, or Gaza City—will move and challenge readers everywhere.


The Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Author: W. Y. Evans-Wentz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Isbn 10: 0199839514

Category: Religion

Number of Pages: 354

Number of Views: 1176

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The Tibetan Book of the Dead is one of the texts that, according to legend, Padma-Sambhava was compelled to hide during his visit to Tibet in the late 8th century. The guru hid his books in stones, lakes, and pillars because the Tibetans of that day and age were somehow unprepared for their teachings. Now, in the form of the ever-popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, these teachings are constantly being discovered and rediscovered by Western readers of many different backgrounds--a phenomenon which began in 1927 with Oxford's first edition of Dr. Evans-Wentz's landmark volume. While it is traditionally used as a mortuary text, to be read or recited in the presence of a dead or dying person, this book--which relates the whole experience of death and rebirth in three intermediate states of being--was originally understood as a guide not only for the dead but also for the living. As a contribution to the science of death and dying--not to mention the belief in life after death, or the belief in rebirth--The Tibetan Book of the Dead is unique among the sacred texts of the world, for its socio-cultural influence in this regard is without comparison. This fourth edition features a new foreword, afterword, and suggested further reading list by Donald S. Lopez, author of Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Lopez traces the whole history of the late Evans-Wentz's three earlier editions of this book, fully considering the work of contributors to previous editions (C. G. Jung among them), the sections that were added by Evans-Wentz along the way, the questions surrounding the book's translation, and finally the volume's profound importance in engendering both popular and academic interest in the religion and culture of Tibet. Another key theme that Lopez addresses is the changing nature of this book's audience--from the prewar theosophists to the beat poets to the hippies to contemporary exponents of the hospice movement--and what these audiences have found (or sought) in its very old pages.


A Hat Full of Sky

A Hat Full of Sky

A Hat Full of Sky

Author: Terry Pratchett

Publisher: Random House

Isbn 10: 1407042548

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Number of Pages: 352

Number of Views: 1412

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THE SECOND BOOK IN THE TIFFANY ACHING SERIES Something is coming after Tiffany. . . Tiffany Aching is ready to begin her apprenticeship in magic, but life isn't exactly what she thought it would be. She expects spells and magic – not chores and ill-tempered goats! Surely there must be more to witchcraft than this? And Tiffany will find that she needs her magic more than ever, to fight off the insidious, disembodied creature that is pursuing her. This time, neither Mistress Weatherwax (the greatest witch in the world) nor the fierce, six-inch-high Wee Free Men can protect her. In the end, it will take all of Tiffany's inner strength to save herself. Will she succeed?


Funeral for a Dog: A Novel

Funeral for a Dog: A Novel

Funeral for a Dog: A Novel

Author: Thomas Pletzinger

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Isbn 10: 9780393080346

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 322

Number of Views: 1966

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“The kind of writing that makes us want to read the whole book as soon as possible; a shot of adrenaline that immediately takes us to a new world.”—David Varno, Words Without Borders Journalist Daniel Mandelkern leaves Hamburg on assignment to interview Dirk Svensson, a reclusive children's book author who lives alone on the Italian side of Lake Lugano with his three-legged dog. Mandelkern has been quarreling with his wife (who is also his editor); he suspects she has other reasons for sending him away.After stumbling on a manuscript of Svensson's about a complicated ménage a trois, Mandelkern is plunged into mysteries past and present. Rich with anthropological and literary allusion, this prize-winning debut set in Europe, Brazil, and New York, tells the parallel stories of two writers struggling with the burden of the past and the uncertainties of the future. Funeral for a Dog won the prestigious Uwe-Johnson Prize, and critics raved: "Pletzinger's debut is a real smash hit. It's been a long time since a young German writer has thrown himself into the hurly-burly of life and literature with so much intelligence and bravado" (Wolfgang Hobel, Der Spiegel).


China Witness

China Witness

China Witness

Author: Xinran

Publisher: Random House

Isbn 10: 140908843X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 448

Number of Views: 766

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China Witness is the personal testimony of a generation whose stories have not yet been told. Here the grandparents and great-grandparents of today sum up in their own words - for the first and perhaps the last time - the vast changes that have overtaken China's people over a century. The book is at once a journey by the author through time and place, and a memorial to those who have lived through war and civil war, persecution, invasion, revolution, famine, modernization, Westernization - and have survived into the 21st century. We meet everyday heroes, now in their seventies, eighties and nineties, from across this vast country - a herb woman at a market, retired teachers, a legendary 'double-gun woman', Red Guards, oil pioneers, an acrobat, a female general, a lantern maker, taxi drivers, and more- those whose voices, as Xinran says, 'will help our future understand our past'.


Life on Mars

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

Author: Tracy K. Smith

Publisher: Graywolf Press

Isbn 10: 155597659X

Category: Poetry

Number of Pages: 88

Number of Views: 1707

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Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize * Poet Laureate of the United States * * A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * * A New Yorker, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * New poetry by the award-winning poet Tracy K. Smith, whose "lyric brilliance and political impulses never falter" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) You lie there kicking like a baby, waiting for God himself To lift you past the rungs of your crib. What Would your life say if it could talk? —from "No Fly Zone" With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars imagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the discoveries, failures, and oddities of human existence. In these brilliant new poems, Tracy K. Smith envisions a sci-fi future sucked clean of any real dangers, contemplates the dark matter that keeps people both close and distant, and revisits the kitschy concepts like "love" and "illness" now relegated to the Museum of Obsolescence. These poems reveal the realities of life lived here, on the ground, where a daughter is imprisoned in the basement by her own father, where celebrities and pop stars walk among us, and where the poet herself loses her father, one of the engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. With this remarkable third collection, Smith establishes herself among the best poets of her generation.


The Sky Atlas

The Sky Atlas

The Sky Atlas

Author: Edward Brooke-Hitching

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Isbn 10: 1797202197

Category: History

Number of Pages: 256

Number of Views: 1795

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The Sky Atlas unveils some of the most beautiful maps and charts ever created during humankind's quest to map the skies above us. This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography—a glorious art often overlooked by modern map books—as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogs, antique instruments, and other curiosities. This is the sky as it has never been presented before: the realm of stars and planets, but also of gods, devils, weather wizards, flying sailors, ancient aliens, mythological animals, and rampaging spirits. • Packed with celestial maps, illustrations, and stories of places, people, and creatures that different cultures throughout history have observed or imagined in the heavens • Readers are taken on a tour of star-obsessed cultures around the world, learning about Tibetan sky burials, star-covered Inuit dancing coats, Mongolian astral prophets and Sir William Herschel's 1781 discovery of Uranus, the first planet to be found since antiquity. • A gorgeous book that delights stargazers and map lovers alike With thrilling stories and gorgeous artwork, this remarkable atlas explores our fascination with the sky across time and cultures to form an extraordinary chronicle of cosmic imagination and discovery. The Sky Atlas is a wonderful book for map lovers, history buffs, and stargazers, but also for those who are intrigued by the many wonderful and bizarre ways in which humans have sought to understand the cosmos and our place in it. • A unique map book that expands beyond the terrestrial and into the celestial • A wonderful book for map lovers, obscure-history fans, mythology buffs, and astrology and astronomy lovers • Great for those who enjoyed What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid, Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, and Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will by Judith Schalansky


The Body in Religion

The Body in Religion

The Body in Religion

Author: Yudit Kornberg Greenberg

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Isbn 10: 147259505X

Category: Religion

Number of Pages: 312

Number of Views: 584

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The Body in Religion: Cross-Cultural Perspectives surveys influential ways in which the body is imagined and deployed in religious practices and beliefs across the globe. Filling the gap for an up-to-date and comparative approach to theories and practices of the body in religion, this book explores the cultural influences on embodiment and their implications for religious institutions and spirituality. Examples are drawn from religions such as Jainism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shintoism, Paganism, Aboriginal, African, and Native American religions, in addition to the five major religions of the world. Topics covered include: - Gender and sexuality - Female modesty and dress codes - Circumcision and menstruation rituals - God language and erotic desire - Death, dying, and burial rites - Disciplining the body through prayer, yoga, and meditation - Feasting and fasting rituals Illustrated throughout with over 60 images, The Body in Religion is designed for course use in religious studies as well as interdisciplinary courses across the humanities and the social sciences. Further online resources include a sample syllabus.