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A Lama Walks Among Us

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is coming to Calgary! No doubt you could pick this instantly recognizable gentleman out of a line-up, but how much do you know about him and the tradition which he’s inherited?

Who or what is a Lama? Where is he from, and what does he believe? What is the relationship between the Dalai Lama and China? For that matter, what is the relationship between the Dalai Lama and Richard Geere? Visit the library to explore and learn more!

Browse our catalogue for “Dalai Lama” or “Buddhism”.

Use our e-library to access encyclopedias such as Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism, and a huge range of popular and academic journal articles about Buddhism.

Join a library program about Buddhism!

Also, don’t miss out on the activities that are happening throughout the city, during His Holiness’s visit. For more information:

The Dalai Lama presented by the University of Calgary

Free public lecture: The Dalai Lamas: A Cultural Heritage of Embodied Compassion

Calgary Buddhist (Jodo Shinshu) Temple

Who's Who in the Old Testament?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The Old Testament is the book of the Western world, and no serious study of history, religion or literature could be complete without at least a cursory examination of this immensely important text. The Old Testament is so many things: obscure but imaginative, honest but challenging, and strange but all-too-human. There are so many interesting characters in the Old Testament; in terms of complexity, some of them rival even Shakespearean characters. If Adam and Eve are the only ones you’ve heard of, read on:

Who’s Who in the Old Testament is a comprehensive encyclopedia that you can access online, with your library card. Use it for your university research, your Bible study, as a promt for creative writing, or just for your own interest.

From our e-library, select Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Next, select Credo Reference, and have your library card handy.

When CREDO opens, select “find a book” at the top left corner, and then scroll down to “Religion”. Here you’ll find Who’s Who in the Old Testament, and many others.

Print, save, e-mail, and even post to Facebook the articles that you find, and use auto-formatting features to complete your bibliography. Your library card allows you to access all sorts of academic information, from home. We make it easy; you don't need "the patience of Job" to do your research!

What is the Sound of a Billion Stomachs Rumbling?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

This month, Muslims throughout the world will observe Ramadan. Through fasting, they will practice self control and learn sympathy for the hungry. Fasting is the fourth of five pillars, which every Muslim must satisfy. What are the others? Use the Calgary Public Library to find out!

Check out our collection, and browse for “Islam”, and “Muslim”. We’ve got books about the history and development of Islam, Islamic theology, Islam and women, Islam and the Western world, Islam and global politics, and so much more! My personal recommendation is anything by Karen Armstrong, one of the greatest living scholars of religion. Also, check out our DVDs! We’ve got documentaries about women and Islam, Islamic art, even children’s DVDs about the prophet Muhammad.

Use our e-library to find all sorts of information, including “Need to Know? Islam”, “Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World” and a full text version of Islam's sacred scripture, the Qur’an. Our databases provide you with access to academic journals; we’ve got thousands (!) of articles about Islam.

Read about Islam and you’ll read about struggles and battles, faith and community, and extraordinary artistic and mathematical achievement. Islam is a rich and dynamic tradition - learn more about it today!

The Atheist Craze

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Atheism is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, thanks to a few very prominent atheists - Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris being chief among them.

However, atheism is no new concept, and this will not be its first or last moment to shine. It’s a belief as old as ancient Greece – likely very much older. As the forces of scientific discoveries and cultural revolutions have played their parts in history, the popularity of atheism has waxed and waned. Still, whether you’re a believer or not, reading about atheism is well worth your time. The authors mentioned above are razor-sharp, deadly serious, and stunningly articulate. Reading any one of them is food for the brain, and although their beliefs are parallel, each has a unique “take” on atheism.

Dawkins believes that raising children in a religious tradition – any one of them – is tantamount to child abuse. His writing is not for the faint of heart; he uses his astounding range of vocabulary as a weapon in the battle against false beliefs.

The much milder (though still emphatic) Dennett treats religion as a natural phenomenon (not unlike music), which isn’t diminished whatsoever by close study. He wants to see how it evolves, and what evolutionary advantage religion might bestow on those who "use" it.

Hitchens provides all sorts of examples that refute the idea of (g)od’s greatness, and argues that throughout our recent history, religion has been a destructive and dangerous force, rather than a redemptive one.

Harris is worried about faith in particular. He wonders why it is that in the post-modern, highly scientific world, we could consider faith (and the devaluing of scientific evidence implied therein) virtuous.

These men write with such passion that readers cannot finish these books unaffected. For something that will really stir you up, I wholeheartedly recommend reading any one of them!

The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins

Breaking the Spell, by Daniel C Dennett

God is not Great, by Christopher Hitchens

The End of Faith, by Sam Harris

Letter to A Christian Nation, by Sam Harris

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