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N. Street (UK)

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Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Thomas Dixon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, balanced and recommended, 14 Jan 2011
The book can perhaps be best summed up in this quotation by the author, Thomas Dixon:

"The story (of religion and science) is not always one of a heroic and open-minded scientist clashing with a reactionary and bigoted church. The bigotry, like the open-mindedness, is shared around on all sides - as are the quest for understanding, the love of truth, the use of rhetoric, and the compromising entanglements with the power of the state. Individuals, ideas and institutions can and have come into conflict, or been resolved into harmony, in an endless array of different combinations."

This was interesting and concise read and particularly informative in the areas of Gallileo, evolution and intelligent design. Largely the author avoids most of the tedious and ill-informed polarisations in this area and presents a balanced picture. I did feel that the chapter on 'miracles' was pretty weak and not worthy of inclusion. Also the chapter on brain and consciousness was somewhat lacking. In this regard, It's a shame that the book does not bring in aspects from Eastern traditions, like research into states of consciousness and meditation.

Enjoyable, balanced and recommended but not flawless.

TRUE COST LOW PRICES: The Violence of Globalization
TRUE COST LOW PRICES: The Violence of Globalization
by Vincent A. Gallagher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating and horrifying simultaneously, 14 Feb 2010
I thought I was reasonably informed about injustices brought about by trade and the influence of dominant business and Western government. I buy some Fair Trade products and lend some money through micro-finance. But the particular details given by the author of this book - both in terms of his personal experience of individuals affected by the trade injustices, and the descriptions of the workings of the systems that perpetuate the injustice - are illuminating and horrifying simultaneously. The author writes from the perspective of someone who has first hand knowledge of working conditions, mostly in South America. He had worked with the World Bank, UN, World Health Organization and others, researching dangerous working environments.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is not a 'comfortable' read especially with the increasing awareness of how we all are complicit in the perpetuation of the virtual slavery inflicted on the millions of people who make our goods. But it is necessary to be informed before any of us can possibly make better choices. This is the first review I've ever written and I felt compelled to write it. Please read this book.

Mahishasura Mardhini Kanakadhara Stothram
Mahishasura Mardhini Kanakadhara Stothram
Price: £16.37

5.0 out of 5 stars otherworldly beauty, 9 Nov 2006
Beautifully and clearly chanted devotional sanskrit set against accessible but authentic sounding Indian music. No synthesisers or Western influence and therefore probably not for all, but quite accessible for those who have enjoyed delving a little in this direction.

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