May 4th is upon us once again, and fans around the globe are set to pay homage to George Lucas’ Science Fantasy cult saga. Over the years the popular saying “May the fourth be with you” has gained a life of its own, making Star Wars Day possibly the punniest holiday in existence.
As such, here at James Clarke & Co/ The Lutterworth Press we think it is only right to celebrate by exploring our list of titles that demonstrate spiritualism, liminality and the forces of good and evil and without the need of travelling far, far away…
At the number one spot, we have a study of how we treat our own planet and each other in a theologically literate exploration of the spiritual and ethical dimensions of the possibilities of alien contact:
Encountering ETI weaves together scientific knowledge and spiritual faith in a cosmic context. It explores consequences of Contact between terrestrial intelligent life (TI) and extraterrestrial intelligent life (ETI). Humans will face cosmic displacement if there are other complex, technologically advanced intelligent beings in the universe; our economic structures and religious beliefs might need substantial revision. On Earth or in space, humans could encounter benevolent ETI (solicitous of our striving for maturity as a species) or malevolent ETI (seeking our land and goods to benefit themselves, claiming that their “superior civilization” gives them the right) – or meet both types of species.
“Encountering ETI manages to raise the level of anticipation significantly while respecting the need for good science, a need not always respected in the public domain.“
George V. Coyne, author of Wayfarers in the Cosmos
Next, a book which explores God’s influence in understanding the problems of knowledge, and in particular our knowledge of the external world through Descartes’ epistemology:
Descartes’ attempt to ground the possibility of human knowledge in the existence of God was judged to be a complete failure by his contemporaries. This remains the universal opinion of philosophers to this day, despite the fact that three and a half centuries of secular epistemology – which attempts to ground the possibility of knowledge either in the unaided human intellect or in natural processes – has failed to do any better. Further, the leading twentieth century attempts at theistic epistemology reject both the conception of knowledge and the standards of epistemic evaluation that Descartes takes for granted.
In this book – partly an interpretation of Descartes and partly an attempt to complete his project – the author endeavours to show that a theistic epistemology incorporating Platonic and Aristotelian elements can revitalize the Cartesian approach to the solution of the central problems of epistemology, including that most elusive of prizes – the proof of the external world.
“Steven Duncan has produced a rigorous and highly original contribution to one of the greatest philosophical problems of all time. Specialists in Descartes and philosophers doing epistemology will find this book very provocative and original, but The Proof of the External World will also appeal to the general reader interested in the history of philosophy. A wonderful contribution!”
Paul Herrick, Professor of Philosophy, Shoreline Community College
Likewise, in Groundless Gods we are taken through an anthology of essays that explores the intriguing possibilities of theology in a context that transcends traditional metaphysical forms…
Groundless Gods deals with possible interpretations of an emerging interest in contemporary theology: post-metaphysical theology. The authors grapple with what metaphysics and post-metaphysics imply, and also with what it could mean to write theology from the standpoint of the non-metaphysician. The book asks, for instance, whether this world has any singular definition, and whether God is some being standing apart from the world or an experience within the world.
“Von Sass and Hall have assembled a powerful group of established and emerging philosophical theologians from Europe and North America. This book boldly addresses a faith that is freed from its traditional ‘man-behind-the-curtain’ metaphysics. As theology moves into a postmetaphysical age in order to account for 21st-century religious praxis, this anthology leads the way.”
Brad Elliott Stone, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Similarly, our new title Liminal Reality and Transformational Power: Transition, Renewal and Hope explores, draws together, and integrates the many facets of liminality, and informs our understanding of liminal phenomena in the world. Through anthropology, sociology, theology, neurology and psychology, Carson correlates exterior transitions with their corresponding intra-psychic movements and points toward useful methods that contribute to personal and social transformation.
“Liminal Reality is insightful and thought-provoking. It helps us to deepen our understanding of the many liminal realities in our lives, and to think how such spaces can lead us to heal and transform ourselves and our world. I highly recommend it.”
Gabriella Lettini, Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Professor of Theological Ethics, Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley, CA
“In recent years, and for very good reasons, the concept of liminality has come to the fore in the wider social sciences. Scholars are today revitalising the original insights of Arnold van Gennep concerning the centrality of rites of passage toward a deeper understanding of both continuity and change. Equipped with liminality, this book takes the reader on a voyage into the heart of theology, and into the human search for meaning. It is worth a read for scholars and non-scholars alike.”
Bjørn Thomassen, Associate Professor, Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University, Denmark
And May the fourth be with you.