A history of the most profitable company in the world, Saudi Aramco, and the story behind the family that ruthlessly maneuvered to control this multi-trillion dollar enterprise.
The Saudi royal family and Aramco leadership are, and almost always have been, motivated by ambitions of long-term strength and profit. They use Islamic law, traditional ideology, and harsh justice to maintain stability and their own power, but underneath the thobes and abayas and behind the religious fanaticism and illiberalism lies a most sophisticated and ruthless business enterprise. Today, that corporation is poised to pull off the biggest IPO in history.
Over more than a century, fed by ambition and oil wealth, al Saud, as the royal family is known, has come from next to nothing to rule as absolute monarchs, a contrast with the world around them and modernity itself. The story starts with Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdul Aziz, a lowly refugee embarking on a daring gambit to reconquer his family's ancestral home?the mud-walled city of Riyadh. It takes readers almost to present day, when the multinational family business has made al Saud the wealthiest family in the world and on the cusp of a new transformation.
Now al Saud and its family business, Aramco, are embarking on their most ambitious move: taking the company public and preparing the country for the next generation.
The Souls of China
By Johnson, Ian
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a revelatory portrait of religion in China today - its history, the spiritual traditions of its Eastern and Western faiths, and the ways in which it is influencing China's future.
The Souls of China tells the story of one of the world's great spiritual revivals. Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches, and mosques - as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty - over what it means to be Chinese and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is searching for new guideposts.
Ian Johnson first visited China in 1984; in the 1990s he helped run a charity to rebuild Daoist temples, and in 2001 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. While researching this book, he lived for extended periods with underground church members, rural Daoists, and Buddhist pilgrims. Along the way, he learned esoteric meditation techniques, visited a nonagenarian Confucian sage, and befriended government propagandists as they fashioned a remarkable embrace of traditional values. He has distilled these experiences into a cycle of festivals, births, deaths, detentions, and struggle - a great awakening of faith that is shaping the soul of the world's newest superpower.
By FaugeÌrolas, Marie-ange
Angels appear in every major world religion - from Christianity to Judaism, Islam to the Native American Thunderbirds. This book is a celebration of all the world's divine messengers and a definitive resource containing all of the knowledge collected about these awe-inspiring beings.Rigorously researched, Angels is packed with knowledge about these protectors and guides, including: * who (or what) angels are, their duties to the people of earth, their appearance, and their origins * prayers for invoking your guardian angel and chasing away negative emotions * the many rituals that will help you call on angels to help transform your life and guide, protect, and steer you toward love and success . . . and much more.This tome of ancient and modern angel wisdom offers a perspective on a world we could only have previously imagined, as well as practical tools to bring more love, light, and energy into our lives.
Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2015.
By Wells, Dale
In order for twenty-first century readers to properly understand Revelation, we have to look at it through first century eyes. Their understanding of the book frames our understanding. Start with the assumption that the last book of the Bible is exactly what it purports to be - a revelation, not a mystery. Add to that assumption the fact that it was written by a first century author and that it was originally read by first century readers who were expected to understand and obey the message contained in it. Take into consideration their first century frame-of-reference and the author's familiarity with the Old Testament. Wrap that all up in the popular -apocalyptic- literary genre of its day with its pervasive use of symbolism. That mixture of elements is what gave rise to the Book of Revelation.
Christmas in the Crosshairs
By Bowler, G Q
An Anglican priest hands out brass knuckles to his congregation, preparing to battle anti-Christmas fanatics. Fascists insist that the Winter Solstice is the real Christmas, while Communists stage atheist musicals outside of churches on Christmas Eve. Activists vandalize shops that start touting the holiday in October and anti-consumerists sing parody carols in shopping malls. Is there a war on Christmas? As Gerry Bowler demonstrates in Christmas in the Crosshairs, there is and always has been a war, or several wars, on Christmas.
A cherished global phenomenon, Christmas is the biggest single event on the planet. For Christians it is the second-most sacred date on the calendar, but it also engages billions of people who are caught up in its commercialism, music, sentiment, travel, and frenetic busyness. Since its controversial invention in the Roman Empire, Christmas has struggled with paganism, popular culture, and fierce Christian opposition; faced abolition in Scotland and New England; and braved neglect and near-death in the 1700s, only to be miraculously reinvented in the 1800s. The twentieth century saw it banned by Bolsheviks and twisted by Nazis. Since then, special interest groups of every stripe have used the holiday's massive popularity to draw attention to their causes.
Christmas in the Crosshairs tells the story of the tug-of-war over Christmas, replete with cross-dressing priests, ranting Puritans, and atheist witches. In this eye-opening history of Christmas and its opponents from the beginning up to the present day, Bowler gives us a shocking, and richly entertaining, new look at the tradition we thought we knew so well.
Oxford University Press
Can We Save the Catholic Church?
By Kung, Hans
The Catholic Church has been nearly destroyed by its resistance to change, censured for its abuses. Pope Francis has promised reform: radical theologian Hans Küng here presents what Catholics have long been yearning for: modern responses to the challenges of a modern world.
In 1962 the Second Vatican Council met in the hope they could, in the words of Pope John XXIII, 'open the windows of the Church and let some fresh air in.' Hans Küng and Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, were both there.
In Can We Save the Catholic Church? Kung relates how after fifty years the Church has only grown more conservative. Refusing to open dialogue on celibacy for priests; the role of women in the priesthood; homosexuality; or the use of contraception even to prevent AIDS, the Papacy has lost touch. Now, amid widespread disillusion over child abuse, the future of Catholicism is in crisis.
Pope Francis seems sincere in his wish for a more compassionate Church. The time is ripe for reform, and here Küng calls for a complete renewal of the Church. As grassroots support grows Can We Save the Catholic Church? makes an inspiring and compelling case for offering a new Catholicism to the modern world.
By Ford, Lance
When you hear the word evangelical, do you think “good news”? That’s what the word means, and it’s what we are meant to be. Yet the surrounding culture often views us as exactly the opposite. Calling yourself an evangelical too often means you are seen through a negative stereotype; people are apprehensive when they hear that an evangelical family has moved into the neighborhood. But is this the way it has to be? What would it look like if evangelical Christians were joyfully living out the gospel in such a way that the culture had no choice but to recognize us as Good News people?Revangelical is a call to realign your heart with the things that most concerned Jesus—a bold message to get the Good News of the gospel of Jesus back into our heads, hearts, mouths, and feet.
The Art of Vinyasa
By Freeman, Richard
A radical presentation of the most rigorous form of contemporary yoga as meditation in motion.The Art of Vinyasa takes a unique look at Ashtanga yoga as meditation in motion that produces profound inner change. Two of the most well-respected teachers of the Ashtanga style of yoga, Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, explore this rigorous practice not as a gymnastic feat, but as a meditative form. They reveal that doing the practice--and particularly the vinyasa, or the breath-synchonized movements--in such a deep and focused way allows practitioners to experience a profound awakening of the body and mind. It also develops an adaptable, flexible practice that can last a lifetime. Freeman and Taylor give an in-depth explanation of form, alignment, and anatomy, and how they work together in the practice.
By Mahany, Barbara
Barbara Mahany believes the sacred is all around, within finger's reach--here to be gathered, culled, collected, through the simple yet complex art of paying attention, of savoring the moment, of cultivating stillness. Making room for God and illuminating the Godly specks in the everyday. Noticing the seen, revealing the unseen, and pinpointing the divine in both. The book sifts through the terrain of three particular landscapes where the author most often encounters the stirrings of the Divine: under heaven's dome; on the front lines of the homefront; and in the unspooling of the seasons. The most essential prayer, often, is the life closely examined, held up to the light. By probing deeply the nooks and crannies of the home-front, the author points out that the reader need not venture far to find what matters most.