The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-hearted man of business and has little time for the good humor and charity of the Christmas season. But that's about to change. A visit from his deceased business partner sets in motion a night in which Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Will his listen to their messages? Will he heed their warnings? Ebenezer Scrooge is about to take a Christmas journey that he won't soon forget.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a nineteenth-century German philosopher. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, using a distinctive German language style and displaying a fondness for aphorism. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism.
Thus Spake Zarathustra (Also sprach Zarathustra), is a work composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Overman, which were first introduced in The Gay Science. Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written", the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality, featuring as protagonist a fictionalized Zarathustra. A central irony of the text is that the style of the Bible is used by Nietzsche to present ideas of his which fundamentally oppose Judaeo-Christian morality and tradition.
Tozer, Aiden Wilson
"As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." This thirst for an intimate relationship with God, claims A.W. Tozer, is not for a select few, but should be the experience of every follower of Christ. But, he asserts, it is all too rare when believers have become conditioned by tradition to accept standards of mediocrity, and the church struggles with formality and worldliness. Using examples from Scripture and from the lives of saints who lived with this thirst for God, Tozer sheds light on the path to a closer walk with God. (Summary by D. Leeson)
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). It offered a modernist approach, discussing religion dispassionately as a cultural phenomenon, rather than from a theological perspective. Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that centered around the worship of, and periodic sacrifice of, a sacred king. This king was the incarnation of a dying and reviving god, a solar deity who underwent a mystic marriage to a goddess of the earth, who died at the harvest, and was reincarnated in the spring. Frazer claims that this legend is central to almost all of the world's mythologies. The germ for Frazer's thesis was the pre-Roman priest-king at the fane of Nemi, who was ritually murdered by his successor. While most of Frazer's theories (such as those on the nature of magic) have subsequently been exploded, his influence on contemporaneus European literature was immense. (From Wikipedia)
Platt, Rutherford Hayes
The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan is a Christian pseudepigraphical work found in Ge'ez, translated from an Arabic original and thought to date from the 5th or 6th century AD. It was first translated from the Ethiopic version into German by August Dillmann. It was first translated into English by S. C. Malan from the German of Ernest Trumpp. The first half of Malan's translation is included as the "First Book of Adam and Eve" and the "Second Book of Adam and Eve" in The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden. Books 1 and 2 begin immediately after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden and end with the testament and translation of Enoch. Great emphasis is placed in Book 1 on Adam's sorrow and helplessness in the world outside the garden.
Reputed as Eliot’s favourite novel Silas Marner is set in the early years of the 19th century. Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small congregation in Lantern Yard. Falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he leaves his home and lives a solitary life near the village of Raveloe. Dedicating his life to weaving and hoarding gold for the next fifteen years, circumstances beyond his control shape his destiny and help to restore his faith in humanity.(Summary by T.Hynes)
In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas. ( Summary by Wikipedia )
Chesterton, G. K.
The Author Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England on the 29th of May, 1874. Though he considered himself a mere "rollicking journalist," he was actually a prolific and gifted writer in virtually every area of literature. A man of strong opinions and enormously talented at defending them, his exuberant personality nevertheless allowed him to maintain warm friendships with people--such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells--with whom he vehemently disagreed. Chesterton had no difficulty standing up for what he believed. He was one of the few journalists to oppose the Boer War. His 1922 "Eugenics and Other Evils" attacked what was at that time the most progressive of all ideas, the idea that the human race could and should breed a superior version of itself. In the Nazi experience, history demonstrated the wisdom of his once "reactionary" views.
Chesterton wrote several works of Christian apologetics, the best known of which are "Othodoxy", "Heretics", and "The Everlasting Man". (Summary from Project Gutenberg)
In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, philosopher David Hume examines whether belief in God can be rational. The work takes the form of a debate between three characters: Cleanthes, who argues that the existence and nature of God can be empirically verified; Demea, who argues that God is completely beyond human knowledge; and Philo, a philosophical skeptic widely thought to represent Hume's own beliefs. Much of the debate centers around Cleanthes' presentation of the analogical argument from design. According to this argument, the complexity and beauty of the universe can only be explained by inferring an intelligent designer, in the same way that one would infer a designer if one came across an intricately complicated machine. Philo presents several objections to this argument, with rejoinders by Cleanthes and occasional interjections by Demea. (Summary by Leon Mire)
The Dhammapada is is a Buddhist scripture, containing 423 verses in 26 categories. According to tradition, these are verses spoken by the Buddha on various occasions, most of which deal with ethics. It is is considered one of the most important pieces of Theravada literature. Despite this, the Dhammapada is read by many Mahayana Buddhists and remains a very popular text across all schools of Buddhism.
Text of famous inspirational lecture and biography of Russell Conwell, a Baptist minister and Temple University Founder (Summary by Scott Dahlem)
Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564?30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death.
The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean. The Jew of Malta is considered to have been a major influence on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
The play contains a prologue in which the character Machiavel, a Senecan ghost based on Niccolò Machiavelli, introduces "the tragedy of a Jew." (summary by Wikipedia)
Thomas Heywood: The well-known dramatist of the time has included Prologues and Epilogues both for the court and the Cock-Pit theatre "...making choice of you unto whom to devote it;" . (summary by David Lawrence)
Bede, The Venerable
Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England is a work in Latin by Bede on the history of the Christian Churches in England, and of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between Roman and Celtic Christianity. It is considered to be one of the most important original references on Anglo-Saxon history. It is believed to have been completed in 731, when Bede was approximately 59 years old. Divided into five books, it covers the history of England, ecclesiastical and political, from the time of Julius Caesar to the date of its completion (731).
The History of the English Church and People has a clear polemical and didactic purpose. Bede sets out, not just to tell the story of the English, but to advance his views on politics and religion. In political terms he is a partisan of his native Northumbria, amplifying its role in English history over and above that of Mercia, its great southern rival. While Bede is loyal to Northumbria, he shows an even greater attachment to the Irish and the Irish Celtic missionaries, whom he considers to be far more effective and dedicated than their rather complacent English counterparts. His final preoccupation is over the precise date of Easter, which he writes about at length. It is here, and only here, that he ventures some criticism of St Cuthbert and the Irish missionaries, who celebrated the event, according to Bede, at the wrong time. In the end he is pleased to note that the Irish Church was saved from error by accepting the correct date for Easter. (Summary modified from Wikipedia)
George MacDonald, a Scottish pastor, wrote these short poems, one for each day of the year, to help him with the severer misfortune he was experiencing. The poems are filled with hope and promises of Christ, yet, he also writes about his doubts. These poems are wonderful to listen to for people of any religion. (Summary by Alisson Veldhuis)
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is a 1624 prose work by the English writer John Donne. It is a series of reflections that were written as Donne recovered from a serious illness, believed to be either typhus or relapsing fever. (Donne does not clearly identify the disease in his text.) The work consists of twenty-three parts describing each stage of the sickness. Each part is further divided into a Meditation, an Expostulation, and a Prayer.
The seventeenth meditation is perhaps the best-known part of the work. It contains the following passage:
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." (Summary by Wikipedia)
Chesterton, G. K.
The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus. When MacIan challenges Turnbull to a duel to the death, Turnbull is overjoyed. For twenty years no one had paid the slightest attention to his Bible bashing. Now at last someone is taking him seriously! Most of the rest of the story is a series of comic events in which the two enemies wander about seeking a spot for their duel." MacIan and Turnbull become friends as they protect each other from interference from the modern world, which has trivialized their views over life's most important question (the existence of God) and outlawed their honorable duel. The irony is heightened when they both fall in love with ladies who happen to hold to their opponent's deepest convictions. Professor Lucifer and a Bulgarian monk also play important roles in this perennially relevant story. (Summary by Matthew Heckel)
Martin Luther strove to give a verse by verse exegesis of the Epistle to the Galatians in the work. The original work, written in Latin in around 1516, was much longer. This translation by Theodore Graebner strove to produce a copy of the work in a format and with wording much more applicable to the general English-speaking American public. (Summary by Timothy Perkins)
Eastman, Charles Alexander (Ohiyesa)
"We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us their children. It teaches us to be thankful, to be united, and to love one another! We never quarrel about religion."
Mill, John Stuart
Part 1 lays out the framework for Positivism as originated in France by Auguste Comte in his Cours de Philosophie Positive. Mill examines the tenets of Comte's movement and alerts us to defects. Part 2 concerns all Comte's writings except the Cours de Philosophie Positive. During Comte's later years he gave up reading newspapers and periodicals to keep his mind pure for higher study. He also became enamored of a certain woman who changed his view of life. Comte turned his philosophy into a religion, with morality the supreme guide. Mill finds that Comte learned to despise science and the intellect, instead substituting his frantic need for the regulation of change. (Summary by Bill Boerst)
Loyola, St. Ignatius
This account of the life of St. Ignatius, dictated by himself to Father Gonzalez, is a most valuable record of the great Founder of the Society of Jesus. It, more than any other work, gives an insight into the spiritual life of St. Ignatius. Few works in ascetical literature, except the writings of St. Teresa and St. Augustine, impart such a knowledge of the soul.The saint in his narrative always refers to himself in the third person, and this mode of speech has here been retained. Many persons who have neither the time, nor, perhaps, the inclination, to read larger works, will read, we trust, with pleasure and profit this autobiography. Ignatius, as he lay wounded in his brother's house, read the lives of the saints to while away the time. Touched by grace, he cried, "What St. Francis and St. Dominic have done, that, by God's grace, I will do." May this little book, in like manner, inspire its readers with the desire of imitating St. Ignatius. This autobiography is a valuable key for the understanding of his Spiritual Exercises. It was kept in the archives for about 150 years (Summary from the preface)
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Past Days by Emily Brontë . This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 28th, 2010
Anne Brontë was a British novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She wrote a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and in short succession she wrote two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall appeared in 1848. Anne's life was cut short with her death of pulmonary tuberculosis when she was 29 years old. She published under the androgynous pen name Acton Bell.
Please note, at the time of this poetry project, the Gutenburg index was mis-interpreted and this poem was mistakenly attributed to Emily Brontë / Ellis Bell. The recorded LibriVox introductions will reflect this mistake.
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Music On Christmas Morning by Anne Bronte.
Published in the 1846 collection Poems By Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell under Anne's nom de plume 'Acton Bell'.
This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 29th, 2009.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.