Today's (9/3/2015) New Book Releases on Religion & Spirituality

The Best of Christmas in my Heart Volume 2: Timeless Stories to Warm Your Heart by Joe Wheeler - 224 pages
The second volume of the most loved and requested stories from the Christmas in My Heart series -- compiled by famed author, Joe wheeler.

Joe Wheeler is renowned for bringing the classic stories of Christmas to eager readers, and he continues this tradition with this newly handpicked collection, in an elegantly designed Christmas keepsake, The Best of Christmas in My Heart, Volume 2.

These time-tested stories are sure to warm the heart of readers of all ages. This special volume also includes personal journaling pages that allow readers to preserve their holiday memories for years to come, so they can recall them with the same joy and happiness as when they first jotted them down. The Best of Christmas in My Heart, Volume 2 is the perfect gift for family, friends, and loved ones, distilling the peace, hope, and love of Christmas into timeless tales that will touch readers' hearts.

This collection awakens wonderful nostalgia in anyone who has ever sat at the feet of a parent or grandparent and been swept up in Christmas stories of old. Now readers can relive that cheerful experience simply with this beautiful holiday treasure.

5Gateways - a profound spiritual routemap by Open - 284 pages
Life on Earth is becoming increasingly challenged; only spiritual evolution into a New Paradigm will solve humanity's problems. There are many wonderful, new approaches to spirituality emerging in these times of turbulent change, but how can you be sure you are heading in the right direction? There are many ways up the 'spiritual mountain', for each of us there is a unique path. Yet those who have climbed before, often speak of five key expansions of consciousness, five key 'altitudes' through which we all tend to pass. It is a routemap that has been walked by spiritual masters throughout the ages. Where are you on your spiritual path right now? How might you catalyse your next evolutionary leap? 5GATEWAYS helps make sense of why your life is taking the twists and turns it is; how the internal shifts of consciousness are affecting your daily life. It helps you ride the wave into the next evolutionary paradigm. The time is now, there is no other time!
Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, 1666-1816 by Ada Rapoport-Albert - 400 pages
Women are conspicuously absent from the Jewish mystical tradition. Even if, historically, some Jewish women may have experienced mystical revelations and led richly productive spiritual lives, the tradition does not preserve any record of their experiences or insights. Only the chance survival of scant evidence suggests that, at various times and places, individual Jewish women did pursue the path of mystical piety or prophetic spirituality, but it appears that they were generally censured, and efforts were made to suppress their activities. This contrasts sharply with the fully acknowledged prominence of women in the mystical traditions of both Christianity and Islam. It is against this background that the mystical messianic movement centered on the personality of Sabbatai Zevi (1626-1676) stands out as a unique and remarkable exception. Sabbatai's highly original liberationist message proclaimed that he had come to make women 'as happy as men' by releasing them from the pangs of childbirth and subjugation to their husbands ordained for them as a consequence of the primordial sin. This unprecedented redemptive vision became an integral part of Sabbatian eschatology, which the messianists believed to be unfolding and experienced in the present. Their New Law, superseding the Old with the dawning of the messianic era, overturned the traditional halakhic norms that distinguished and regulated relations between the sexes. This was expressed not only in the outlandish ritual transgression of sexual prohibitions, in which Sabbatian women were notoriously implicated, but also in the apparent adoption of the idea - alien to rabbinic Judaism - that virginity, celibacy, or sexual abstinence were conducive to women's spiritual empowerment. Now available in paperback, this book traces the diverse manifestations of this vision in every phase of Sabbatianism and its offshoots. These include the early promotion of women to center stage as messianic prophetesses; their independent affiliation with the movement in their own right; their initiation into the esoteric teachings of the kabbalah; and their full incorporation, on a par with men, into the ritual and devotional life of the messianic community. *** "To be congratulated for demonstrating that Jewish messianic mysticism, far from being an arcane scholarly domain of interest only to textual specialists, is a topic of key significance to anyone interested in the processes through which the corporatist boundaries of eighteenth-century European society travelled." -- Adam Sutcliffe, Eighteenth-Century Studies *** "Not only breaks down many stereotypes about the roles of women in Judaism and Jewish society, but it is also a major contribution to understanding how Sabbatianism and Frankism spread and in original ideas and insights." -- Shaul Stampfer, Religious Studies Review *** "Exhaustively researched and brilliantly written." -- David Biale, Jewish Review of Books [Subject: Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, History, Women's Studies]