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Full-Text Articles in Religion

The Prospect Of Human Spiritual Unity Through The Cosmic Story, Philip Novak Feb 2018

The Prospect Of Human Spiritual Unity Through The Cosmic Story, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme have noted that, “we seem to be moving beyond any religious expression so far known to the human into a meta-religious age that seems to be a new comprehensive context for all religions.” That “new comprehensive context” is of course now known as Big History -- a.k.a. the Evolutionary Epic, Universe Story, or New Cosmic Story—the astonishing contemporary synthesis of modern sciences that tells a coherent story of the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago to the present.

Yet with the notable exception of the writings ...


Building A Bridge Between Theravada Buddhism And Islam, Philip Novak Oct 2017

Building A Bridge Between Theravada Buddhism And Islam, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

In a world riven by national egoisms and intercultural tensions, it is perhaps more important than ever for us to try to see what is noble and universal in the varied religious symbol systems of the world’s cultures. Our long journey towards a global spirituality requires us to constantly translate the insights of particular faiths into universally intelligible concepts and images drawn from our common human experience and, thus equipped, to boldly encourage the world’s religions to recognize their deep family resemblances. ~article excerpt~


Spiritual Discipline And Psychological Dream-Work: Some Distinctions, Philip Novak Mar 2016

Spiritual Discipline And Psychological Dream-Work: Some Distinctions, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"The world's great religious traditions and spiritualities commonly contain two essential elements. The first doctrine, a distinction between the Real and the unreal; the second is method, a way for human consciousness to concentrate upon the Real. 'Prayer' and 'yoga' are probably the two most inclusive generic terms coming under what I here designate as method. they are ways that human beings, in their living consciousness, endeavor to lessen the existential 'distance' between themselves and ultimate Reality. For the purpose of this essay, let us group those psychotransformative strategies known to religious traditions under the common heading of 'contemplative ...


Search For Nothing: The Life Of St. John Of The Cross By Richard P. Hardy, Philip Novak Mar 2016

Search For Nothing: The Life Of St. John Of The Cross By Richard P. Hardy, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"A new biography of such a seminal figure could hardly be anything but welcome. Yet I can only recommend Hardy's book with reservations. Though written lovingly by a professor of spirituality who seems to share John of the Cross' contemplative sensibilities, and who, moreover, has done his homework, the book remains curiously one-dimensional. In a word it lacks, depth." ~ from the article


Search For Nothing: The Life Of St. John Of The Cross By Richard P. Hardy, Philip Novak Mar 2016

Search For Nothing: The Life Of St. John Of The Cross By Richard P. Hardy, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"A new biography of such a seminal figure could hardly be anything but welcome. Yet I can only recommend Hardy's book with reservations. Though written lovingly by a professor of spirituality who seems to share John of the Cross' contemplative sensibilities, and who, moreover, has done his homework, the book remains curiously one-dimensional. In a word it lacks, depth." ~ from the article


Towards A New Mysticism By Ursula King, Philip Novak Mar 2016

Towards A New Mysticism By Ursula King, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"Toward a New Mysticism is, in sum, a chronologically-oriented study of the development of Teilhard's new and evolutionist mysticism, with special attention given to surmises about the roles which Teilhard's years in the East and his readings in Asian philosophy and religion played in that development." ~ from the article


Fullness Of Life: Historical Foundations For A New Mysticism By Margaret R. Miles, Philip Novak Mar 2016

Fullness Of Life: Historical Foundations For A New Mysticism By Margaret R. Miles, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"When in his poem 'Among School Children' W. B. Yeats spoke of that place where 'the body is not bruised to pleasure soul,' he unwittingly pointed to a task that has lately engaged the energies of a number of scholars of Christianity: how to revalorize the body in the Christian tradition and rescue it from its status as the spiritually detrimental half of human being. Margaret Miles, a professor of historical theology at Harvard Divinity School, has responded to this task with scholarship, style and insight." ~ from the article


Attention, Philip Novak Mar 2016

Attention, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"The subject of attention has until recently been largely confined to the domain of experimental psychology. Researchers have sought to measure and explain such things as the selective capacity of attention, its range and span, the number of objects that it can appreciate simultaneously, and the muscle contractions associated with attentional efforts. Such work has been carried on amid considerable disagreement over basic definitions of the phenomenon of attention itself." ~ from the article


The Chun-Tzu, Philip Novak Feb 2016

The Chun-Tzu, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

The question of personal immortality-life after death-has haunted us ever since human beings realized a basic fact of existence: everything that lives is going to die. Filippo Liverziani considers evidence for life after death; from the out-of-body journeys of mystics to the near-death experiences of ordinary people who reached the threshhold of the other side and returned to tell the tale. Compelling reading for anyone who has asked that timeless question: What happens when I die?


The Practice Of Attention, Philip Novak Feb 2016

The Practice Of Attention, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"Practices that strengthen the capacity for concentration or attention play a role in most great religious traditions. The importance of developing attention is most readily seen in the great traditions that arose in India, namely Hinduism and Buddhism." ~ from the article


Mysticism, Enlightenment, And Morality, Philip Novak Feb 2016

Mysticism, Enlightenment, And Morality, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"Our outspoken anthropologist friend, Dr. A. Bharati, once remarked that if someone is a stinker before a mystical experience, he'll be a stinker afterwards .1 The swami's observation stemmed from years spent among the holy men of India and , no doubt, from considerable personal experience. It is an exaggeration , of course, but we cannot dismiss his crucial point: it is quite possible to be a mystic and a stinker. If we refuse to take Bharati's word for it, we need only to examine the numerous recent accounts of the oafish behavior displayed by acclaimed mystic-teachers. Or we ...


Foreword, Philip Novak Feb 2016

Foreword, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"When Mother India gave birth to Rabindranath Tagore in 1861, she endowed him, too, with the gift for seeing the One behind and within the many -- and much else besides. The scion of a wealth Calcutta family, Rabindranath showed signs even in childhood of the prodigious literary talent that would characterize his adult life." ~ from the book


Dynamics Of Attention In Spiritual Discipline, Philip Novak Feb 2016

Dynamics Of Attention In Spiritual Discipline, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

The volumes in the God: The Contemporary Discussion Series are indicative of this continuing pursuit and represent "stepping stones" designed to broaden the forum of the discussion. Many of the essays presented here also reflect the influence of the encounter on each individual contributor. A unique experience herein awaits the student of religion or philosophy, the seeker of knowledge of the Ultimate, the teacher of spiritual discipline, or anyone interested in emerging confluence of the religious traditions of the world.


Buddhism And The Problem Of Identity (Or: On The Virtue Of Not Knowing Who You Are), Philip Novak Feb 2016

Buddhism And The Problem Of Identity (Or: On The Virtue Of Not Knowing Who You Are), Philip Novak

Philip Novak

No abstract provided.


Buddhism : A Concise Introduction, Huston Smith, Philip Novak Feb 2016

Buddhism : A Concise Introduction, Huston Smith, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

Smith and Novak cover the essential teachings, practices, and historical development of Buddhism in all its rich variety. Beginning with the life and legend of the Buddha, Buddhism explores core Buddhist doctrines such as the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, nirvana, and emptiness. The authors go on to discuss the split between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, the continued divisions of Mahayana into Pure Land, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism, and the confluence of Hinduism and Buddhism in India. The second half of the book follows the global migration of Buddhism and its continuing diversification and development in the West, especially ...


The World's Wisdom : Sacred Texts Of The World's Religions, Philip Novak Feb 2016

The World's Wisdom : Sacred Texts Of The World's Religions, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

This extraordinary book is an essential collection of the world's most profound and enlightening wisdom - a world Bible for our time - containing sacred readings from Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, Taoist, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and primal religion sources. Like his mentor Huston Smith, gifted teacher and author Philip Novak sees religious traditions as the distilled wisdom of humankind. Here Novak has gathered the most powerful and elegant expressions of this global wisdom in a distinctive and accessible volume." "Selections for this unique anthology have been chosen for their inspirational power and instructional value. Authentic poetic translations of key texts are coupled ...


The Inner Journey : Views From The Buddhist Tradition, Philip Novak Feb 2016

The Inner Journey : Views From The Buddhist Tradition, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

With The Inner Journey, Philip Novak, editor of The World’s Wisdom and coauthor of Buddhism, a Concise Introduction, selects the best work from the Buddhist tradition to be found within Parabola’s 30 years of archives. The contributors, broad and experienced, range from H. H. the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman to Pema Chodran and Thict Nhat Hanh. Incisive interviews and cogent essays are informed by poetry and folklore. A lavish, full-color, 16-page set of plates brilliantly conveys the rich variety within the tradition. From full works of great intricacy to passages of pure insight, the collection spans the ...


Reconsidering The Resurrection, Philip Novak Apr 1994

Reconsidering The Resurrection, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"Episcopal Bishop John Spong has taken a scalpel to the heart of Christianity. As with all heart operations it wll be seen as either life-enhancing or life threatening, depending on one's perspective.

In 'Resurrection: Myth or Reality?' Spong puts his case bluntly: 'If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, the Christianity is doomed.' But the bishop is no mere skeptic. Although he does no literalize the Easter narrative, neither does he 'abandon the worship of Jesus as [his] Lord.'"


From Suffering To Clarity, Philip Novak Dec 1993

From Suffering To Clarity, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"Davis writer David Schneider's 'Street Zen' is an excellent addition to the still-early annals of American Buddhism: a crisp, candid and utterly engaging read. This is the story of a religious conversion, but about as unsentimental as you could imagine." ~ from the article


Religion And Altruism, Philip Novak Dec 1991

Religion And Altruism, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"First, we will survey the altruistic ideals of the great religious traditions; second, we will reflect on the obstacles to the realization of these ideals; and third, we will consider our prospects for overcoming these obstacles, with special attention to the role of religious practices." ~ from the report


Universal Theology And The Idea Of Cosmic Order, Philip Novak Dec 1991

Universal Theology And The Idea Of Cosmic Order, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"The most urgent task of theology today, some noted thinkers argue, is to construct a universal theology of religion. '[S]uch a theology' writes A K Min, 'seeks to translate the central insights of one's own faith and those of others into an 'ecumenical Esperanto,'i.e., universally intelligible concepts... images and symbols based on common human experience... (the latter being) not only the source of universal theology but also its critical norm.' It is in light of this task that the following reflection on the notion of cosmic order is undertaken." ~ from the article


Dimensions Of The Sacred By Ninian Smart, Philip Novak Dec 1987

Dimensions Of The Sacred By Ninian Smart, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"The noted historian and philosopher of religion tells us that his work aims to 'classify the elements of worldviews' (1). Under 'worldviews' he subsumes not only religious traditions but also widely influential ideologies like Marxism and various nationalisms, though his treatments of the latter in this particular work remain largely allusive." ~ from the review


Concept And Empathy: Essays In The Study Of Religion By Ninian Smart, Philip Novak Dec 1987

Concept And Empathy: Essays In The Study Of Religion By Ninian Smart, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"Collected between the covers of this 240-page book are twenty-one articles written by Professor Smart over a span of thirty years. All but two have been published before, but this volume serves us by retrieving them from their far-flung homes and arranging them, though somewhat artificially, under three headings." ~ from the review


The Buddha And The Computer: Meditation In An Age Of Information, Philip Novak Aug 1986

The Buddha And The Computer: Meditation In An Age Of Information, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

Information overload is one of the factors behind current alarming statistics on stress. Meditation helps the body-mind resist the deleterious effects of the information onslaught. Though meditation is well known as a relaxation technique, its noetic value is often overlooked. Its benefits extend well beyond superficial soothing: it trains attention; it increases pattern recognition; and it reconnects us to the whole of our intelligence, enhancing coordination between its complementary poles. Meditation is a potent high-touch resource in a high-tech world.


The Dynamics Of Attention: Core Of The Contemplative Way, Philip Novak Jan 1984

The Dynamics Of Attention: Core Of The Contemplative Way, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"I am suggesting, then, that in the long haul of planetary evolution, spiritually questing men from various cultures have commonly discovered that here in the mind's inchoate ability to remain attentive there dwelt the fundamental meas of awakening to the full meaning of existence. For attention, as I will presently and briefly suggest, is the core and common denominator of all man's higher form of contemplative praxis, And later I will be attempting to suggest how a little thing like attention may be thought to transform even the deep and unconscious structural determinants of consciousness." ~ from the article