Although Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali lived a relatively short life (1058-1111), he established himself as one of the most important thinkers in the history of Islam. The Incoherence of the Philosophers, written after more than a decade of travel and ascetic contemplation, contends that while such Muslim philosophers as Avicenna boasted of unassailable arguments on matters of theology and metaphysics, they could not deliver on their claims; moreover, many of their assertions represented disguised heresy and unbelief. Despite its attempted refutation by the twelfth-century philosopher Ibn Rushd, al-Ghazali's work remains widely read and influential.
PDF | 10 MB
PDF | 10 MB
From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up–This encyclopedia describes and illuminates a momentous 650-year period of world history that includes what historians have called The Dark Ages and the Renaissance. While the resource focuses on the political, military, and social aspects of the religious wars (Crusades, The Thirty Years' War, Inquisition, The Armada, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire) that created enormous changes in the political and social landscape of Europe and Asia, it also addresses social customs (chivalry, tournaments); historical movements (feudalism, Reformation, age of exploration); religious organizations and beliefs (Catholic Church, Calvinism, Islam, Orthodox Churches, Confucianism); and the lives of important figures (Oliver Cromwell, Niccolò di Bernardo Machiavelli, Cardinal Richelieu). Nolan's well-written and authoritative preface serves as an excellent and clear introduction to this large slice of world history, and the alphabetically arranged entries are equally informative, impartially written, and accessible to students. The longer entries end with cross-references and a short list of suggested reading. Except for a section of 25 black-and-white maps, which are sometimes hard to read, there are no illustrations. A 22-page chronology, an extensive selected bibliography that includes some Web sites, and a helpful index end the set. Though specialized, this encyclopedia is recommended for libraries supporting a robust world history curriculum or fielding a number of questions on the topic.–Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
PDF | 6 MB
Armstrong, a British journalist and former nun, guides us along one of the most elusive and fascinating quests of all time--the search for God. Like all beloved historians, Armstrong entertains us with deft storytelling, astounding research, and makes us feel a greater appreciation for the present because we better understand our past. Be warned: A History of God is not a tidy linear history. Rather, we learn that the definition of God is constantly being repeated, altered, discarded, and resurrected through the ages, responding to its followers' practical concerns rather than to mystical mandates. Armstrong also shows us how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have overlapped and influenced one another, gently challenging the secularist history of each of these religions.
PDF | 1 MB
About 40 years ago popular opinion assumed that religion would become a weaker force and people would certainly become less zealous as the world became more modern and morals more relaxed. But the opposite has proven true, according to theologian and author Karen Armstrong (A History of God), who documents how fundamentalism has taken root and grown in many of the world's major religions, such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Even Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism have developed fundamentalist factions. Reacting to a technologically driven world with liberal Western values, fundamentalists have not only increased in numbers, they have become more desperate, claims Armstrong, who points to the Oklahoma City bombing, violent anti-abortion crusades, and the assassination of President Yitzak Rabin as evidence of dangerous extremes.
Yet she also acknowledges the irony of how fundamentalism and Western materialism seem to urge each other on to greater excesses. To "prevent an escalation of the conflict, we must try and understand the pain and perception of the other side," she pleads. With her gift for clear, engaging writing and her integrity as a thorough researcher, Armstrong delivers a powerful discussion of a globally heated issue. Part history lesson, part wake-up call, and mostly a plea for healing, Armstrong's writing continues to offer a religious mirror and a cultural vision.
PDF | 1 MB
Privacy in an Age of Terabytes and Terror
The boundaries are shifting between public interest and "the right to be let alone."
Reflections on Privacy 2.0
Some issues that appear to be questions of privacy turn out to be matters of security or health policy.
Brave New World of Wiretapping
As telephone conversations migrate to the Internet, the government wants to listen in.
Tools of the Spy Trade
Night-vision cameras, biometric sensors and other gadgets already give snoops access to private spaces. Coming soon: palm-size "bug-bots."
How to Keep Secrets Safe
A versatile range of software solutions can protect the privacy of your information and online activities to any desired degree.
The End of Privacy?
Social-networking Web sites may be radically realigning what is considered public and private.
PDF | 8.3 MB
China's Children of Smoke
Epidemiologists find molecular clues to air pollution's impact on youngsters. Routine use of screening technologies to measure such biomarkers could, at least theoretically, identify people at risk from specific pollutants.
Facing the Freshwater Crisis
As demand for freshwater soars, global supplies are becoming unpredictable. Existing technologies could avert a water crisis but must be implemented soon.
Why Migraines Strike
Biologists finally are unraveling the medical mysteries of migraine, from aura to pain.
Quantum Computing with Ions
Researchers are taking the first steps toward building ultrapowerful computers that use individual atoms to perform calculations.
Bracing for a Solar Superstorm
A recurrence of the 1859 solar superstorm would be a cosmic Katrina, causing billions of dollars of damage to satellites, power grids and radio communications.
PDF | 8.1 MB