"These images appear to us every day. They surround us. Yet we're oblivious to them as we occupy ourselves with the business of what we call living. But in that life, these overlooked images,... More > these memories and half-dreams, are worth the trouble of seeing. Yates has given us the opportunity to see the familiar as something wondrous and arresting or, as the title would tell us, chimerical."
-From the foreword to Chimera, the Photography of LMF Yates.< Less
Divided in two parts, The Trial of Paris examines the manner in which belief in God can be sustained without direct proof of His existence, and describes some of the choices we make in life and the... More > effect of those choices.
Together, these two parts attempt to answer the author’s question: If I would be emancipated from this world, should I not at least first recognize the manner and extent to which I am enslaved?
This short book relates the myth of the Judgment of Paris, the contest between Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena for possession of the Golden Apple upon which the words For the Fairest are inscribed. Ultimately, Paris awards the Apple to Aphrodite. This outcome ignites the Trojan War and costs Paris his life.
In this retelling, during the contest Athena reveals to Paris his future should he accept Hera’s gift, or Aphrodite’s, or her own. Athena explains how it is possible to see the gift that she offers, which is seemingly least appealing, as the gift most worthy of the Apple.< Less
A reference to Jesus’ final hour on the cross when he cried out to God in anguish, The Ninth Hour is the story of love’s power over reason and the implications of this power.
“I... More > have collected stories of love; anecdotes to entertain the one I love. Here are my stories of love; parables to admonish men that all proofs come to nothing. If wine is forbidden to you, you may drink from this little cup. A sip of love makes drunkards of saints, makes fools of scholars. A droplet of love breaks the cup but quenches thirst, swallows a hundred Jonahs, drowns a thousand Pharaohs. Jesus was told, You have raised Lazarus back to life. Jesus said, This is nothing compared to love.”
The Ninth Hour recounts stories of Solomon and the queen of Sheba, of Muhammad and Khadijah, of Majnun and Layli, of Joseph and Zuleika, and of others. These stories illustrate the potency of love and also its mystery. Finally The Ninth Hour explores the possibility that the single proof of love, like the proof of God, is love itself.< Less
The End of Reason in three parts explores the use of rational intellect, primarily in the form of analogical reasoning, to justify the ways of God to man and to address even the possibility of the... More > existence of God. Reliance on “natural” religion is rejected and the work underscores the importance of revealed religion as the source of understanding God, but also demonstrates the limitations of that understanding, whether in literal or figurative (analogical) terms. Using both original stories and drawing others from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scripture and apocrypha, the author confronts the logical contradictions of monotheism. At times provocative, The End of Reason, like the Book of Job, is a drama with little action and addresses uncomfortable questions for those who believe in God.< Less
The Gulistan is among the most famous works of Persian literature by one of Persia’s greatest poets, Muslih-uddin Sa‘di Shirazi. Born in Shiraz sometime between 1184 and 1210 CE,... More > Sa‘di received his education in Baghdad and spent several decades in travel and pilgrimage. In 1256, Sa‘di returned to Shiraz. He wrote the Gulistan in 1258, the same year that the Mongols sacked Baghdad.
The Gulistan or Rose Garden of Sa‘di, intended as a “mirror for princes,” includes prose didactic tales interspersed with short verses. The book is divided into eight parts: The Manners of Kings, The Morals of Dervishes, The Excellence of Contentment, The Advantages of Silence, Love and Youth, Weakness and Old Age, The Effects of Education, and Rules for Conduct in Life.
This classic translation by Edward Rehatsek has been edited and updated with a new introduction by David Rosenbaum.< Less
Of the works of Persia’s great poet Sa‘di, the Bustan is second only to the Gulistan in reknown and popularity. Born in Shiraz sometime between 1184 and 1210 CE, Muslih-uddin Sa‘di... More > Shirazi received his education in Baghdad and spent several decades in travel and pilgrimage. In 1256, Sa‘di returned to Shiraz. He wrote the Bustan in 1257, and the next year wrote the Gulistan.
The Bustan or Orchard of Sa‘di, intended as a “mirror for princes,” was written entirely in verse and included “ten doors of instruction,” that were the following ten chapters: Justice and Counsel, Benevolence, Love, Humility, Resignation, Contentment, Education, Gratitude, Repentance, and Prayer.
This prose translation by A. Hart Edwards has been edited and updated by David Rosenbaum.< Less