There’s something for everyone here – Celtic and North American traditional stories, two very different reflections on faith journeys to NZ, an introduction to Islamic beliefs, and a Buddhist call to remain relevant to social concerns.
Te Rongopai 1814 ‘Takoto te pai!’ : bicentenary reflections on Christian beginnings and developments in Aotearoa New Zealand, edited by Allan Davidson, Stuart Lange, Peter Lineham, Adrienne Puckey.
2014 was the bicentenary year for Rev Samuel Marsden’s arrival in the Bay of Islands. Ruatara, Hongi Hika, Korokoro and five others accompanied them from Australia. Marsden’s church service Christmas Day is taken as the beginning of the mission in New Zealand made possible by the important friendship that had developed between Marsden and Ruatara, a Rangatira in the Bay of Islands. The several essays here explore different aspects of the Anglican missionaries, including dialogue between Maori and missionaries.
The Celtic myths : a guide to the ancient gods and legends, by Miranda Aldhouse-Green.
This includes both vivid retelling of Irish and Welsh myths as well as social history, evidence from archaeology (such as the Gundestrup Cauldron) and a guide to themes such as animals or the environment. the book begins with a discussion on how myths are handed down and ends with a discussion on the influence of monastic writers and translators. This is a great guide for anyone interested in Celtic history. The library has also received Pagan Britain, by Ronald Hutton, which takes a different approach to a similar topic.
The handy Islam answer book, by John Renard, Ph.D.
This user-friendly guide answers nearly 800 questions that cover Islamic history, religious practices, and Muslim cultural perspectives. Some questions include Why is Mecca a holy city for Muslims? What do Muslims mean by the term Allah? What is the Muslim “call to prayer”? Do Muslims, Christians, and Jews worship the “same God”? Why do some people not want girls to get an education? Muslims are diverse, and they have a vast range of views about Islam, just as any other religious adherents. This guide brings us further down the path of understanding.
The God code : the secret of our past, the promise of our future, by Gregg Braden.
The author shares his discovery of a coded message within the molecules of life, deep within the DNA in each cell of our bodies. Regardless of race, religion, heritage, or lifestyle, the message is the same in each cell of every man, woman, and child, past and present – forming evidence of a universal bond.
The perfect I : fitness in mind, fearless in body, by Mike Ansari.
Martial arts expert and mystic, Mike Ansari, describes his forty-year search for God. He first visited a Moslem shrine at aged four and the reader follows him from Iran to his journey to New Zealand. Mike’s beliefs in the need for fitness in mind, body and spirit has led him to follow a strict Sufi regime of self-sacrifice, fasting and meditation. (summarised from the Back cover.)
Waking the Buddha : how the most dynamic and empowering Buddhist movement in history is changing our concept of religion, by Clark Strand.
This tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement today. This movement invites Buddhism to “wake up” so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives, rather than foster a style of meditation which detaches from reality. The author draws on his experiences as a Buddhist teacher and journalist to offer insight into how and why the Soka Gakkai’s commitment and approach to social justice has become a role model.
A brief guide to Native American myths and legends, by Lewis Spence.
“In this reworking of Lewis Spence’s seminal ‘Myths and Legends of the North American Indians’, Jon E. Lewis puts the work in context with an extensive new introductory essay and additional commentary throughout the book on the history of Native Americans, their language and lifestyle, culture and religion/mythology.” (Syndetics summary)
God loves sex : an honest conversation about sexual desire and holiness, by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III.
The church’s general attitude to sexual matters has been clear and consistent – all sexual activity outside marriage is sin. But it has seldom honestly addressed the real needs those with sexual desires they believe to be different to the Bible. This book explores a new view of sensuality by recovering the clear meaning of the Song of Songs which it uses to answer questions such as ‘How can our sexual struggles take us deeper into the purposes of God?’