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Dr. I. G. Poole "ian3637" (Liverpool)
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The Price of Inequality
The Price of Inequality
by Joseph Stiglitz
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading!, 16 Aug. 2012
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This book needs to be read. It is written by an economist - former head of world bank and nobel prize winner - who knows what he is talking ablout. I am not an economist, nor could I be described as a 'socialist', but like many people I am instinctively disgusted by the world we are living in. Old people struggling in their homes, the disabled being left as there is no money to care for them, the ever-increasing sell-off of our cherished NHS to money-grabbing American organisations. All this while a subset of truly appalling people such as 'Fred the Shred' and Bob Diamond live in luxury and find paying taxes unnecessary. One knows it is so wrong, yet this book explains, in a non-technical way, exactly why it is wrong, why it doesn't work and what can be done about it.
Although written for an American market it is applicable to the UK and the Eurozone. It underlines that austerity - the 'cure' being forced upon us all, never works and only makes the situation worse. He debunks the myths that there have to be super-rich people in order for the rest of us plebs to have something to do. The 'trickle-down' effect is another evil myth. These people, the top 1% or even the top 0.1% have rigged the laws, the regulations and the polictical system so that they remain at the top and we steadily get poorer.
It is an excellent read. Impotent riots will only hurt ourselves, but this book points a way out of this mess by uniting (for once) around the concept of equality for everyone.


The Holy Spirit and Christian Origins: Essays in Honor of James D G Dunn
The Holy Spirit and Christian Origins: Essays in Honor of James D G Dunn
by Professor of New Testament Studies Graham N Stanton
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collection, 21 Oct. 2011
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The collection put together by Stanton and Stroumsa has the usual properties of a 'collection' on invited papers - they cover a great range of topics and hence there are those which are little jewels for the specific reader and those which remain unread. The ones which interested me were good, although occasionally one does get the feeling that the author is dusting off a pet topic to rehash yet again. Overall the general theme is Jewish-Christian relations at the start of the 'Christian' era and goes a long way to clarifying the events. Too often the impression is still given that Christianity replaced Judaism and that such was Jesus' mission: this book counters that with a review of the whole field of modern research. It's intrinsic theme is one of 'toleration' and what that meant, and as such it deserves to be appreciated.


Testimony of the Beloved Disciple, The: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John
Testimony of the Beloved Disciple, The: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John
by Richard Bauckham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb text, 21 Oct. 2011
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One must admit that this is bound to be restricted in readership to those interested in the Fourth Gospel. The introduction as a 'collection' of essays does not do it justice, as one tends to expect a few discarded items from an author's desk. These are crisp and relevant and review the subject with great erudition. While his deductions regarding the 'Beloved Disciple' are not my own, I found that much of the evidence he brings to the fore can be used to support an alternative view. In particular I was grateful for the chapter on Nikdimon ben Gurion. This important character has previously been spoken about in Eisenman's 'The New Testament Code', but as that book is practically unreadable it was good to have Prof Bauckham's lucid review.


The Fountain [DVD] [2006]
The Fountain [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Hugh Jackman
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film, 21 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: The Fountain [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This film will completely divide people. I think it is one of the most beautiful and lyrical films I have ever seen and was enraptured by it. My daughter on the other hand found it 'depressing' and bailed out before the end! Those of you who have only seen Hugh Jackman messing about as Wolverine will be amazed at what a superb actor he is, playing three separate roles in this intertwining film. Rachel Weisz is also excellent in playing several roles. What makes the film is the combination of a tight script, excellent cinematography and a really beautiful music score. I was genuinely mesmerised and enchanted by this film. I'm afraid if you want exploding helicopters etc then this is not for you. If you want a film which enters your soul then see this.


The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse
The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse
by Patrick Heron
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting -- but!, 8 Sept. 2011
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This book lies within a specific genre which is often dismissed as being merely the ravings of a crank, but this book is well written and makes a lot of well-founded points. As such I found it well worth reading, and most importantly quite thought-provoking. It is no use dismissing facts as 'silly' - some of the facts regarding both the creation myth of the fallen angels and of the Great pyramid cannot be so lightly discounted. In particular, the Nephelim are a very important 'myth' and does stand a serious discussion, as readers of the books of Sitchin will readily agree. My reservation is the rather cavalier referencing - many people like myself like to read the references from which the points are taken. On one occasion the writer stated that in 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul referred to an 'angel of light'. Unfortunately reference to the quote, and then to the original Greek, does indicate that he said 'serpent', as normally translated. The reference is therefore factually wrong and does undermine the author's research. Unfortunately the later parts of the book became a right-wing bible-basher's rant and lost my interest. Unless you believe that the New Testament is the unsullied actual word of God and Noah's flood was caused entirely by the gay community then I suggest you'll find his arguments less than convincing! It gets you thinking I suppose.


The Pesharim and Qumran History: Chaos or Consensus?
The Pesharim and Qumran History: Chaos or Consensus?
by James H. Charlesworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars An erudite review, 8 Sept. 2011
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this is a very sound review of the recent work on the Dead Sea Scrolls. This subject is rapidly changing from the consensus still found in older books that they were a group of ascetic old men living in grumpy isolation to the view that they were an admittedly radical sect but one well within Judaism of the time and with connections and influence throughout Palestine. in particular they were occasionally married, seem to have admitted women and traded with the outside. Well worth reading


Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians
Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians
by Noam Chomsky
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent review of the facts, 6 Aug. 2011
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This quite densely written book presents a good review of the facts. While it does not claim to be as comprehensive as, say, Robert Fisk's monumental account, it provides a good continuation of that scholar's work. Fisk's book ends around 2000, and this continues the sad and depressing story up to the horrendous attack upon Gaza, or should we say the latest of a long line of attacks upon Gaza. He also makes the very valid point that the 'International community' tends to talk about 1967 as the 'established borders' and the validity of a 'two-state' solution. This ignores the fact that the Palestinians would be left with an unworkable rump of their own country, as well as still being in the political grip of Israel. The constant support of the US in this is underlined. The book rightly reasserts the single state alternative, except that the single state would not treat the majority of its population as serfs. Secondly it reminds us that the creation of the Israeli state in 1948 was an act of ethnic cleansing, every bit as obscene as the actions in the Balkan wars. People were forced from their homes and villages by the army and murdered if they stayed. All-in-all it paints a depressing picture which seems to be lurching ever onward to WW3.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2011 10:50 PM BST


Hillel and Jesus: Comparisons of Two Major Religious Leaders
Hillel and Jesus: Comparisons of Two Major Religious Leaders
by James H. Charlesworth
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An important contribution, 28 July 2011
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As the introduction states it is remarkable that this has not been, until very recently, a well researched topic. Unfortunately, scholars in Christianity and Judaism used to regard each other as irrelevant to their fields of study. In these more enlightened times we can admit that Jesus was a Jew living within a Jewish environment. This book is a set of articles comparing and contrasting these two figures, with the clear implication that both were inspirational leaders within the Jewish community, perhaps pushing the boundaries but part of that community nevertheless. As such, it is simply invaluable. There is a lot of unwritten background to these studies, as no-one seems to want to place them too close. Surely society has matured enough now for some facts! But I suppose the Bible-bashing right wing of the US will hate the suggestion that Jesus was part of his society and sought, with people like Hillel, to advance Judaism to include all people. They went their separate ways of course, but the conclusion, to this reader at least, is that Jesus was following Hillel's teaching. An important contribution to early christian studies. Sadly it is a pricey book, even for second hand copies!


Mary Magdalene and the First Christians
Mary Magdalene and the First Christians
by Ian Poole
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Ian Poole, the author, 14 April 2011
This is the second of two books, and considers the influence of Mary Magdalene, Jesus' niece, upon the emerging church in the post-crucifixion period. It attempts to answer two crucial questions: why did the church become so anti-Semitic so quickly, considering Jesus and all involved were Jewish, and why did the church become so misogynistic, considering Mary was such a founding figure. In order to answer these we consider the person of Paul, and especially his correspondence with the Corinthians. We also suggest that Peter being the first 'Pope' is a myth, and that the leader of the Roman Church was Simon Magus, who was personally baptised by Jesus in the event in the Fourth Gospel recorded as the 'Samaritan Woman'. This is a serious book of interest to anyone concerned with the Early Church.


Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of John
Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of John
by Ian Gary Poole
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Information from the author, 14 April 2011
This is a serious book about how Mary Magdalene produced the gospel which became, after much redaction, the Fourth Gospel. In demonstrating this a new life of Jesus emerges from the text. Also, many of the traditional problems associated with the Fourth Gospel are explained: The 'marriage' at Cana, the 'Woman at the Well', the Raising of Lazarus, the events at the empty tomb. Mary emerges from myth as a powerful, intelligent woman - Jesus' niece, and a leading influence in Early Christianity. We also attempt to demonstrate that Judas was Jesus' brother, and it was most definitely not a 'betrayal'.


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