Description : Humankind has always been fascinated by the glories of the universe, whether in its microscopic detail or its vast extent. From time immemorial this has posed questions about origins, purpose and design. This work takes as its starting point the observable order of the universe and the ways in which the natural sciences point to a discoverable God. In it, Alister McGrath provides a guided tour to many forms of the search for meaning in the universe. The author refers to the great variety of searchers, from Ancient Greece to modern day, and explores their method with insight. Many widely accepted ideas are scrutinized and dilemmas of certainty and doubt are addressed and explained.
Description : The Great Fire of 1666 was one of the greatest catastrophes to befall London in its long history. While its impact on London and its built environment has been studied and documented, its impact on Londoners has been overlooked. This book makes full and systematic use of the wealth of manuscript sources that illustrate social, economic and cultural change in seventeenth-century London to examine the impact of the Fire in terms of how individuals and communities reacted and responded to it, and to put the response to the Fire in the context of existing trends in early modern England. The book also explores the broader effects of the Fire in the rest of the country, as well as how the Great Fire continued to be an important polemical tool into the eighteenth century.
Description : One of the earliest sources of humanity's religious impulse was severe weather, which ancient peoples attributed to the wrath of storm gods. Enlightenment thinkers derided such beliefs as superstition and predicted they would pass away as humans became more scientifically and theologically sophisticated. But in America, scientific and theological hubris came face-to-face with the tornado, nature's most violent windstorm. Striking the United States more than any other nation, tornadoes have consistently defied scientists' efforts to unlock their secrets. Meteorologists now acknowledge that even the most powerful computers will likely never be able to predict a tornado's precise path. Similarly, tornadoes have repeatedly brought Americans to the outer limits of theology, drawing them into the vortex of such mysteries as how to reconcile suffering with a loving God and whether there is underlying purpose or randomness in the universe. In this groundbreaking history, Peter Thuesen captures the harrowing drama of tornadoes, as clergy, theologians, meteorologists, and ordinary citizens struggle to make sense of these death-dealing tempests. He argues that, in the tornado, Americans experience something that is at once culturally peculiar (the indigenous storm of the national imagination) and religiously primal (the sense of awe before an unpredictable and mysterious power). He also shows that, in an era of climate change, the weather raises the issue of society's complicity in natural disasters. In the whirlwind, Americans confront the question of their own destiny-how much is self-determined and how much is beyond human understanding or control.
Description : Much has been written about the ups and downs of financial markets, from the lure of prosperity to the despair of crises. Yet a more fundamental and pernicious source of uncertainty exists in today's world: the traditional "insurance" risks of earthquakes, storms, terrorist attacks, and other disasters. Insightfully exploring these "acts of God and man," Michael R. Powers guides readers through the methods available for identifying and measuring such risks, financing their consequences, and forecasting their future behavior within the limits of science. A distinctive characteristic of earthquakes, hurricanes, bombings, and other insurance risks is that they impact the values of stocks, bonds, commodities, and other market-based financial products, while remaining largely unaffected by or "aloof" from the behavior of markets. Quantifying such risks given limited data is difficult yet crucial for achieving the financing objectives of insurance. Powers begins with a discussion of how risk impacts our lives, health, and possessions and proceeds to introduce the statistical techniques necessary for analyzing these uncertainties. He then considers the experience of risk from the perspectives of both policyholders and insurance companies, and compares their respective responses. The risks inherent in the private insurance industry lead naturally to a discussion of the government's role as both market regulator and potential "insurer of last resort." Following a thoughtful and balanced analysis of these issues, Powers concludes with an interdisciplinary investigation into the nature of uncertainty, incorporating ideas from physics, philosophy, and game theory to assess science's limitations in predicting the ramifications of risk.
Description : Enhanced by more than one thousand full color illustrations, a concise guide features thousands of references to literature, art, history, famous figures, and philosophy with respect to religion, covering the beliefs, doctrines, practices, teachings, rites of passage, and specific rituals of the world's major religions.
Description : Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.