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Conditions favourable to the spread of religion

Slaves, as soldiers, or by free choice found themselves unsupported by the social group in which they had been reared. While in part outwardly preserved and even strengthened, the old city states which had characterized the Mediterranean world and which gave their free citizens a sense of community were basically weakened, absorbed in the large impersonal Empire. Millions were disinherited and deracinated, slaves on the great landed estates or in city mansions, many of them from distant parts of the Empire. They were hungry for a faith which would bring them self-respect. They sought sustaining companionship, many of them in fellowships which combined religious with social purposes. Longing for the assurance of personal immortality was widespread and reached out wistfully for satisfaction through religious faith and ceremonial. As cities multiplied and grew in size, made up as many of them were of strangers and their children, and, like the Empire, impersonal, they provided favourable...

Concepts Of Personhood

One of the first issues to be raised in feminist philosophy of religion and theology in the 'second wave' of the women's movement was put by Valeric Saiving in 1960 is sin the same thing for men as it is for women As Saiving saw it, the modern theological characterization of human beings as essentially free, and therefore prone to anxiety, pride, and 'the imperialistic drive to close the gap between the individual, separate self and others by reducing those others to the status of mere objects which can then be treated as appendages of the self and manipulated accordingly' (Saiving 1979 26) is much more accurate of men than of women. Because of social conditioning, women are far less likely to find that their besetting sins are pride and the desire for mastery. Instead, women are more likely to be prone to inappropriate humility, lack of a sense of self-worth, lack of centredness or focus, and consequently triviality and diffuseness. Because theology has 'defined the human condition...

Caritas The Augustinian Synthesis of Biblical Agape and Hellenistic Eros

Christian love has generally been expressed in the categories he created, and even the emotional quality which it bears is largely due to him.'' Likewise, O'Donovan argues ''Until more detailed research proves otherwise, we must make the supposition that Augustine is responsible not only for the currency of 'self-love' in the theology of the West but also for the predominance of the 'summary' i.e., the two-fold commandment to love in Western Christian ethics.'' Nygren, among others, attributes Augustine's influence not only to his genius but to his context of living ''on the frontier of two separate religious worlds, those of Hellenistic Eros and primitive Christian Agape.'' The fact that persons neglect the order of creation is due to the fall and sin, not the Creator. Creatures, being incomplete due to fall, always desire their completeness. Thus, to Augustine, self-love and the love of God must coincide. Persons always seek their own happiness, their own good self-love seeks what...

Critique and Reconstruction

The androcentric bias within God-talk has also emerged as another important theme, another example of the way in which feminist theologians insist on the politically charged nature of religious language. Dorothee Solle provides a useful example in her protest against the authoritarian ethic implicit in theological metaphors of lordship, power, and fatherhood. Such language sanctifies what she terms a Culture of Obedience in which Christians surrender their destiny to an almighty, other-worldly power, a denial of alternative, life-affirming values of human responsibility and self-worth (Solle 1996 152-3). Another direct connection between religious language and politics - in its broadest sense - is drawn by Sallie McFague's reconstitution of philosophical theology, in which metaphor is used as both deconstructive and reconstructive device. If all language for God is a human construct -provisional and contingent - then it is inevitable that it will reflect, maybe even reify, particular...

The rise and decline of Pietism

In the period between the end of the Thirty Year's War and the era of the French Revolution, no religious movement changed the face of continental Protestantism more than Pietism. The followers of Pietism, as this religious revival soon came to be called, developed new centres of social, cultural, and political activity for all Protestants. But more importantly, perhaps, those Protestants who were inspired by the ideas of Pietism exhibited a new kind of self-esteem. They believed, it seems, that they were completing whatever had remained unfinished in Luther's Reformation. In short, they saw themselves as a better kind of Protestant.

Feminism Colonialism and Christianity

While Western feminist theologians have challenged this androcentric Christian symbolic structure, their counterparts in the South investigated the impact of the introduction of a monotheistic and male-dominated symbolic order into their cultures which had maintained inclusive representations of the divine. Christian mission undermined the myths and practices associated with female divine power. For instance, Musa Dube (2002) points out that among the Ibgo people in Nigeria, women used to enjoy certain economic and social privileges in terms of ownership of property and inheritance, and their gender construction was supported by a spiritual world that recognized female religious imagery and power. Allusion to these powerful goddesses allowed women to carve out their own social space and sphere of influence. But the Christian church and the mission schools systematically condemned goddess religion, and consequently the symbolic structure that bolstered women's self-esteem was...

Incarnation as pedagogy

T he absolute difference between God and the world presupposed by the doctrine of creation from nothing becomes also a way of asserting the continuity between the being of God and the act of creation as the utterance and 'overflow' of the divine life. Belief in creation from nothing is one reflective path towards understanding God as trinity and belief in God as trinity, intrinsic self-love and self-gift, establishes that creation, while not 'needed' by God, is wholly in accord with the divine being as being-for-another For God to act for God's sake is for God to act for our sake.14 Creation, as an act of God's triune life, is God being for God which is for us. God is divine being-for-one-another the world is God in divine being-for-us. And the content of that being-for-us is best discerned by reference to the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Incarnation emerges as a

Theology in the academy and the input of philosophical anthropology 18801900

These moral theories were championed particularly by Archimandrite Sergius (Stargorodsky, 1867-1944), whose 1895 Master's dissertation, The Orthodox Teaching of Salvation, was approved, even though it denied completely that expiation should be understood as satisfaction of God's justice. Having begun in the wrong place, he argued, Western theologians then proceeded to work out in a wrong legal fashion the details of the problem of justification and merits. This entirely wrong conception of justification has its roots in human self-love, which thirsts for a posthumous reward while simultaneously fearing retribution and so we submit to the divine will only out of a wholly negative combination of fear and desire for profit.

Love and the Individual Abelard and Bernard

Abelard, born in Brittany of a knight named Berengar and his wife Lucia, both of whom later entered monastic life, was driven by his quest for learning, willing to forfeit his inheritance in search of his holy grail, knowledge. Abelard's exceptional brilliance was matched by his self-esteem. Both characteristics played significant roles in his life, much of which we know about through his autobiography, appropriately titled The Story of My Misfortunes (Historia calamitatum, thus also translatable as the ''history of my calamities'' ), ostensibly written to provide comfort to an unnamed friend going through his own difficulties. He studied with some of the most prominent philosophers and theologians of his day, but was often dismissive of their work. Nevertheless he did gain the teaching position of ''Master'' at the cathedral school of Notre Dame. It was here that he met Heloise, fell in love, clandestinely married, had a son, and was castrated by Heloise's angry uncle and guardian....

Reformer in the Vatican Pope John Paul I

But reporters with closed minds and an inflated sense of their own worth never bothered to study the man or his record. His folksy manner and simplicity of bearing were taken for ignorance, and his gentleness for weakness. Luciani had never shown much interest in theology, which also contributed to his underestimation by the reactionaries who throng the Curia. To such minds, there exists nothing worth knowing beyond theology.

The Reality Of Violence In La Tin America

When Cain killed Abel, he set up a totality in which the Other came to be at best a slave under his domination. Everything goes well so long as the slave does not advert to his situation or feel any self-worth. If I feel I am worth nothing, it is because I have been subjected to a pedagogy that has driven that point home to me. But if I suddenly

Religious Relativism and Revelation

Because it jumped from a standpoint outside of Christianity to a standpoint in Christianity, from natural theology to revelation, without awareness of the leap, Ritschl also began to analyze God's nature simply from the point of view of a member of the human community confronting nature. Having said that Christian judgments are value-judgments he proceeded to set forth a value-scale which was not that of Christian faith, for which God is the highest value and could not be God were he not absolute in worth, but was rather the value-scale of civilized man. His value-standard is well known The religious view of things rests on the fact that man distinguishes himself in worth from the phenomena around him in every religion what is sought with the help of superhuman, spiritual power, reverenced by man, is a solution of the contradiction in which man finds himself as both a part of nature and a spiritual personality claiming to dominate nature. Having said originally that God, as known in...

Transcending space and time

Meanwhile, eternal life pressed more closely upon the living,87 less frequently symbolized in a martyr's dramatic sacrifice, and more often enlivened by the heightened expectation of whole communities. The radical disturbance of the western provinces made such intensification more understandable in the East, where the structures of the Christian empire were, for a time, apparently more secure, the urgency was less evident. The West was thus better prepared, paradoxically, for a future it believed might never materialize, while the East awaited the more spectacular shock of further invasion and enclosure, which would test severely its Christian self-confidence.

Action Guides And Christian Ethics

There are different ways in which authors who claim a distinctiveness for Christian ethics relate that to various choices about life in the world, personal and social. Love, for example, has often been claimed to be the distinctive feature of Christian ethics, and agape has been differentiated from other forms of love, e.g. eros, or philia (e.g. Nygren 1953 Earth 1958 727-51 Tillich 1963 135-40 Toner 1968 Outka 1972 Singer 1984 268-311). Precisely what agape means as an ethical term or reality is subject to a variety of interpretations. Gene Outka, in his cogent ethical analysis of agape stresses 'equal regard', i.e. 'regard is for every person qua human existent, to be distinguished from those special traits which distinguish particular personalities' (Outka 1972 9). This focus requires critical assessment of other emphases, e.g. self-sacrifice, and the relation of agape to self-love and to justice, its application to human relations in which special traits of persons Applications of...

Subalterns identity politics and Christian theology in India

For the dalits, Adivasis and the other oppressed communities, this theological position, which does not presuppose the privileging of any human collective in terms of their ethnic reality, is a move away from the hierarchical mindset that leads to claims of exclusive priority of God's favour. First, it saves communities from the politics of measuring their own worth before God in direct proportion to the weight of their suffering a trend that resorts to quantifying oppression in terms of once- or twice- or thrice-alienated, as if the more one accumulates the affects of marginalization the more one is preferred by God. Secondly, it retains the inclusive character of God while at the same time formulating a crucial role for the marginalized based on their participation in their own lib-erative struggles. Thirdly, it proposes an understanding of God's relationship with God's people which is based on participation in God's activity of restoring human freedom and dignity, so that all...

Humility as a Virtue and the Crux of Magnanimity

In his paper on Anger as a Vice A Maimonidean Critique of Aristotle's Ethics, Daniel Frank argues for Maimonides' interpretation of Aristotelian Virtue in the light of the fundamental Old Testament virtue of Humility before God (Frank, 1990). He notes that Maimonides' praise of in-irascibility betokens an un-Aristotelian conception of the self and, likewise an un-Aristotelian notion of what constitutes self-esteem (Frank, 1990, 277) and Contradiction notwithstanding, Maimonides' final word on the matter is that total lack of anger, total inirascibility is normative. No one aspiring to virtue may accustom himself to the mean in the sphere of anger. In adopting this position Maimonides sets himself in direct opposition to Aristotle (Frank, 1990, 275).

Literary influences on secular theology

Following the Orthodox ascetic tradition, particularly that of St. Theophan the Recluse, Dostoevsky contends that the disruption of relationships has its origin in self-love. However, where the ascetic tradition understood self-love as separating a person from God, Dostoevsky understands it as disrupting our relationships with other people. This disruption might nevertheless be overcome with the help of a religiously understood but generally accepted idea of freedom and love. This theological line of thought, complemented by an understanding of human suffering as a saving catharsis, is noticeable in his novels Crime and Punishment (1866) and Demons (1870), but most outstandingly in The Brothers Karamazov (1879). Here Ivan Karamazov judges and rejects the ugly parody of sacrament, miracle, and authority, by which the church had raised the human inclination to sin to the level of divinity however, this apotheosis of human peccability is opposed to the true Christianity of truth,...

Biblical Views of Love

Jenni makes the point that the reference to self-love in Lev. 19 18, 34 ''is simply presupposed as the norm'' not ''as a dangerous temptation one must combat through self-denial.'' Love is self-explanatory persons are referred to what they already know. In contrast, then, to the Western cultural interest in introspection and conscience, the biblical reference to self-love appears in the pre-Freudian context of covenant rather than emotion and self-regard. In his extensive study of Lev. 19 18, Mathys persuasively argues that this is the correct insight into the famous friendship of David and Jonathan (1 Sam. 18 1, 3 19 1 20 17 2 Sam. 1 26). Jonathan, the son of King Saul, is the one who initiates the pact to protect the future king, David.

Philosophy and Theology

No one can doubt that Thomas admired pagan philosophers both for their zeal in inquiry and for their way of life. He praises the philosophic pursuit of contemplation, just as he holds up the philosopher's abandonment of earthly goods.5 But Thomas also diagnoses the origin of philosophic contemplation as self-love, and so distinguishes it sharply from Christian contemplation.6 The philosopher's asceticism is not the Christian's, since the Christian must renounce worldly goods for the sake of Christ.7 The philosophers seek authority by dispute, while the Lord teaches believers to come peacefully under a divinely constituted authority.8 Philosophers offer a dozen causes for the arrangement of the cosmos, but the believer knows that divine providence has arranged the world so that human beings might have a home.9

Heroic Politics versus an Amateur Citizenry Character Formation

The Iliad and the Odyssey, the aristocratic military ideal man of excellence (arete) was considered to have inherited certain qualities that were not wholly within his control.86 He was portrayed as competitive among equals in a disorderly, unstable world. He was aggressive and courageous as a warrior and leader of fighting men, a hero whose honour depended in large part upon the good opinion of others so that he acted to avoid being shamed and dishonoured. His notion of justice was indifferent to any intent behind an action it was the act that mattered and the more spectacular the better. This hero is presented as chafing at the restrictiveness of mortality itself, which he attempts to override by performing a monumental, immortal deed to win him undying renown.87 His heroic ambition did not, however, bring him happiness. Rather, it brought him and his kin fame. Heroic pride and self-esteem often made this type of character prepared to run risks only on his own behalf and he was...

Balthasar and Sexual Difference Introductory Notes

Following on from this, sexual difference becomes for Balthasar one of the key terms whereby an analogical understanding of the relationship between God and creation can be developed. The biblical imagery of Israel as bride of YHWH and church as bride of Christ is brought forward and developed in the light, both of a phenomenological analysis of sexual difference and eros and of the whole history of creation and redemption. A complex passage in the final volume of The Glory of the Lord uses the exegesis of Ephesians 5 to develop a vision of creaturely eros sacramentalized and drawn beyond the closed circle of human sexuality by its completion in the agape-love of Christ for the church, which in turn has its source in the selfless self-love of the persons of the Trinity (Balthasar 1982-91 VII, 480-4). Thus, in a further development of the theme of diastasis, sexual difference finds its ultimate ground and analogue in the life of the Trinity itself (see further Moss and Gardner 1998)....

Priori Arguments for Trinitarian Theism

The chief a priori argument for affirming a plurality of Persons in God is the one already mentioned in the chapter on Creation. If God is thought of by analogy with an isolated individual, some creation or other appears to be necessary for God to have an object of his love. It follows that the supreme goodness of interpersonal relation cannot be predicated of God as such. But the only alternative to making some created object necessary to God, ifGod is love, is to postulate the relation of love given and love received in God. This argument is really an aspect of maximal greatness theology. As was pointed out in chapter 3, the perfection of love cannot be thought of as lacking in that than which no greater can be conceived. Aquinas himself, as Norman Kretzmann shows,18 was persuaded that reason could demonstrate that God is love. Admittedly, for Aquinas, this entailed no more than speaking of the love God has of himself.But, as C. J. F. Williams insists, in an essay of great...

Working Bodies Occupations of Slaves

Descriptions of banquets suggest that elaborate household staffs would enhance the self-image of some slaveholders. The more frivolous a slave's task, the clearer the evidence of the owner's wealth. In the Satyricon, Encolpus describes the scene as he enters Trimalchio's banquet, where Trimalchio is playing a ball game with some boys

Conclusion On Popular Culture

In FightClub, as we have seen before, the filmmaker uses popular culture to critique popular culture. This scene invites us to reject both the designer self and the therapeutic self as inadequate views of human identity. And while the story offers brutal solutions that we are not really expected to accept (pain and the infliction of pain is the only thing that will confirm your existence), it nevertheless captures a feeling that people are yearning for a connection to reality that neither a bricolage of accessories nor cloying self-esteem finally satisfy.

The ritual roots of rock

But rock music is not entirely about its accoutrements. It is also worth examining for its lyrical content. Much contemporary rock music is either vacuous or nihilistic. Unfortunately, this is some of the most commercially successful recorded music, conveying the message that shallowness, self-destruction, or the raw assertion of the will-to-power will be rewarded with profit and fame. Another big segment of highly successful rock music is about youth in their twenties dealing with angst and various resentments typical of their age and sorting out things like self-esteem, identity, and relationships with friends and lovers. This can become a bit redundant with its stories of false starts, premature reports of enlightenment, alienation and dead ends, but there is some value in eternally rehashing these experiences in light of shifting cultural conditions. Then there are performers who conscientiously pursue salvific themes in their music - through social protest, romance, and mysticism.

Christian Love as Self Denial

Another way of expressing this is to say that Christian love is self-denial's love, which is the boundless and passionate giving of ourselves to others in such a way as to drive out selfishness in ourselves by placing the neighbour as a middle term or third party between self-love and its 'other I' in the beloved or friend (WL 54). As Kierkegaard sees it, self-denial is 'Christianity's essential form' and is what distinguishes Christian love most of all from other forms of love such as erotic love (Elskov) and friendship (Venskab) (56). These forms of love are based on personal preference and thus are exclusive in nature, loving one person above or in contrast to all others, whereas 'self-denial's boundlessness in giving itself means not to exclude a single one' (52). 'The Christian doctrine', Kierkegaard asserts, 'is to love the neighbor, to love the whole human race, all people, even the enemy, and not to make exceptions, neither of preference nor of aversion' (19).

Can our guilt be wiped away What is sanctifying grace

Are guilty. indeed, we are hounded, tormented, plagued, overwhelmed by our guilt. Some of it is related to things that we did when we knew we were wrong. We cheated on a test teased another person mercilessly stole from a supermarket lied to a teacher, a parent, a friend. We swore a false oath, we consciously gave a bad piece of advice, we were not fair to a child, we were ungrateful to a parent. We bribed a public official, we disillusioned a young admirer, we subtly but effectively undermined the self-esteem of another, we mistreated a neighbor. We had a serious auto accident because we were drunk. We flirted with another woman's husband, tried to seduce another man's wife, harassed a woman whose job depended on us, tempted a man whose weakness could lead to our progress. All of us experience some self-hatred all of us engage in self-punishment. Many of us cannot stand ourselves and wish desperately that we were someone else. We spend much of our time punishing ourselves for our own...

Ethiopianism myth and memory

Ethiopianism was a movement with many strands. It was rooted in the Bible specifically in the passage in Psalm 68 31 that prophesied that 'Princes shall come out of Egypt Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.' The prophetic reading of this passage is traced to African Americans who in the golden age of black nationalism from 1850 to 1925 crafted an empowering exegesis around this passage. It has inspired generations who refashioned it freely. The Ethiopian tradition sprang from certain shared political and religious experiences and found expression in slave narratives, the exhortations of conspiratorial slave preachers, folklore and the songs of slaves. After 1872, it moved beyond the nostalgia of prideful heritage to communal assertion. The intellectual origin may include the impact of European ideals filtered through American revolutionary rhetoric to inspire African Americans who returned to the motherland. The Christianity of the returnees, argues Sanneh, was stamped...

The War in Our Public Schools

Before some of you panic, be assured that this book does not advocate a return to a Christian-oriented education in our public schools, though it does encourage educational freedom. The federal education bureaucracy should relax its chokehold on our education system, including its opposition to the school choice and home-schooling movements. But we must understand that when virtually every vestige of Christianity, including its associated values, is meticulously removed from public schools, something has to replace that void. And it has. While the education establishment vigorously opposes the dissemination in schools of any value or belief that can be remotely traced to the Bible, it affirmatively endorses other values that many Christians find repugnant. Public schools are replete with values-laden curricula, from sex education and sexual orientation instruction to notions of self-esteem and death education.

Philosophical Considerations

One way of resolving the argument between religion and liberalism is from the notion of capabilities. In Women and Human Development (2000), Nussbaum argues on the basis of a concept of the capabilities of human beings, which can command a broad cultural consensus. Consequently, this is a notion which can be endorsed for political purposes. It serves as the moral basis for constitutional guarantees endorsed by people who do not agree on what a complete good life for a human being would be. These central capabilities have value in themselves, and are not just instrumental in making possible further actions. Nussbaum argues for ten such central human functional capabilities life bodily health bodily integrity, including absence of domestic violence, absence of sexual abuse, and choice in reproduction sense, imagination, and thought, which covers religious practice, freedom of expression, and the use of literacy and numeracy emotions, which refers to not having one's emotions blunted by...

No fire without smoke the texture of colonial Christianity as the backdrop to Ethiopianism

Partition introduced virulent forms of European nationalism into the continent. The mission churches embellished this spirit with denominational stripes. The Berlin Conference's demand for physical presence rather than mere declarations of areas of influence opened the African interior to missionary gaze. It was a moot point whether colonies were acquired in a fit of official absent-mindedness or by the machinations of the men-on-the-spot the character of the cross-cultural process changed. European self-confidence replaced the initial respect for African chiefs as colonial weaponry was now at the behest of gospelbearers. The scale of missionary activities was enormously enlarged, making analysis complex competition among missionaries became rife broadly, Catholics squared off against Protestants but there were intramural competitions among the Catholic orders and Protestant denominations

The unpromising rootage of Christianity

Christians have seen in this story the fashion in which God works. They have believed that always and everywhere God has been seeking man and has been confronting man with Himself and with the standard which He has set for man. Yet man, so they have held, persistently rebels against God and becomes corrupt. God, of His mercy and love, has wrought for man's redemption. This He has not done in the way which men would have predicted. Even those whom men have accounted wise have been so blinded by sin, especially by pride and self-confidence, that they could not clearly see or hear God. For reasons known only to Himself, so Christians have maintained, God chose as His channel for man's salvation a small, insignificant minority among the people of Israel, themselves of slight consequence in physical might. As the culmination of His revelation of Himself and His redemption of man, He sent His son, who, the heir of this humble minority and building on the foundations laid by them, became the...

From the Beginning Sin

The richly symbolic language of the opening chapters of Genesis pictures God as creating all things 'good', with humanity forming the climax of God's creative work. 'The man' and 'the woman' of Genesis 2 transgressed the divine command, ate the forbidden fruit, and lost both their innocent relationship with one another and their trusting relationship with God. The story vividly portrays their loss of innocence and urge to redress their self-image 'The eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together, and made loincloths for themselves' (Gen. 3 7). They now 'knew' through their experience the difference between 'good' and 'evil' (Gen. 3 5). In their guilt they tried to hide 'themselves from the presence of the Lord God' (Gen. 3 8). Those who hoped that eating the forbidden fruit would make them even more 'like God' (Gen. 3 5) now anxiously try to get away from God. Sin has disrupted their basic relationship with their divine Lord.

Moses and Aaron PBUT Given Their Duties Quranic

Moses said O my Lord Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And ease my task for me and make loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue, (remove the incorrectness of my speech) that they understand my speech, and appoint for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother increase my strength with him, and let him share my task (of conveying Allah's Message and Prophethood), and we may glorify You much, and remember You much, Verily You are of us Ever a Well-Seer.

Jesus Christ

In the middle years of the twentieth century, the revitalization of evangelical Protestantism generated a renewal of its theological self-articulation. Evangelical theology, particularly in the United States, acquired greater self-confidence, supported by a firmer institutional and churchly base, and looked to position itself vis-a-vis mainstream Protestant thought. The timing of the emergence of evangelical theology is important for its subsequent Christological development. In the mid-century, academic theology was dominated by German Protestantism, and in particular by two opposing streams the blend of skepticism and existentialism of a Lutheran cast which held sway in New Testament studies under the influence of Bultmann and the commanding presence in dogmatics of the Reformed thinker Barth. Evangelical theologians such as Carl Henry, eager to address themselves to their mainstream setting, judged that their context betrayed the failure of the Barthian and Bultmannian theology,''1...

The Right Question

While typically masculine characteristics are 'pride' and 'will-to-power' , the cultural construction of femininity prizes 'triviality, distractibility, and dif-fuseness lack of an organizing center or focus dependence on others for one's own self-definition . . . sentimentality gossipy sociability, and mistrust of reason - in short, underdevelopment or negation of the self' (Saiving 1979 37). As a result, Christian moral teaching commends sacrifice and service as a corrective to pride but for women, these merely serve to reinforce cultural expectations of self-abnegation and servitude. Sin for women is actually a failure to affirm their own independence and uniqueness and to overcome these barriers requires a degree of self-love and self-assertion - pride, self-esteem, and dignity - which upbringing and culture have previously denied them.

Lessings Spinozism

The world and one that considerably shook the self-confidence of the German Enlightenment. 8 As mentioned above, the pantheism controversy, which is so important for the history of modern German philosophy, originated in the Spinoza controversy that began soon after Lessing's death between Mendelssohn and Jacobi over Lessing's theological and or religious-philosophical convictions. The immediate cause was that Jacobi, soon after Lessing's death, disclosed the content of private conversations he had held with Lessing during his last years. According to what Jacobi alleged in his Concerning the Doctrine of Spinoza, in Letters to Herr Moses Mendelssohn ( ber die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an den Herrn Moses Mendelssohn), Lessing confided to him his secret allegiance to Spinozism. Hence the focus of the dispute between Mendelssohn and Jacobi was Lessing's alleged Spinozism. The burning question was that of how Lessing's Spinozism should be interpreted.9

Scarf Wars

The symbolic meanings attached to women's dress help explain the critical importance of the headscarf, which in recent years has become a key marker of religious and cultural difference. Once again, we see the importance of the year 1989 in symbolizing a new upsurge of Islamic militancy, a new self-confidence and willingness to engage in confrontational protests. Apart from the Rushdie protests in several nations, this was also the time when the principal of a secondary school at Creil, near Paris, decided to enforce official secularism by prohibiting ostentatious tokens of faith. Though he also targeted Jewish students observing the Sabbath, most of the public attention focused on his ban on Muslim girls, mainly Algerian, wearing the headscarf. This detonated a national controversy about assimilation and separatism, in which the UOIF first attracted national publicity and now became a major player on the French political scene. The 1989 debate also launched the subsequent Scarf Wars...

Gods Love

But the meagre, metaphysical self-love derived in that passage does nothing even to enhance our understanding of divine personhood, let alone contribute to the concept of a loving God. In fact, since Aquinas here infers this divine self-love from the utterly universal ontological thesis that 'a things, to the extent to which they are, naturally love their own being, each in its own way', the only love that's been attributed to God so far isn't even a personifying attitude, much less an interpersonal relationship of the sort that would illuminate the personhood established by the attribution of intellect and will and that would interest human beings most in connection with attributing personhood to first being. However, that short derivation is by no means all we have to go on. As soon as Aquinas has argued for pleasure and joy in God, he devotes a full chapter to God's love (1.91). As an ingredient in the divine self-love we've considered so far, univolence could seem to be utterly...

Moral Attributes

Paul also sees that if grace is unmerited, then there is only one human attitude appropriate as an instrument for receiving such grace, namely, faith That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace (Rom. 4 16). Faith is the one human attitude that is the opposite of depending on oneself, for it involves trust in or dependence upon another. Thus, it is devoid of self-reliance or attempts to gain righteousness by human effort. If God's favor is to come to us apart from our own merit, then it must come when we depend not on our own merit but on the merits of another, and that is precisely when we have faith.

The Language of Love

Have argued that Platonic Eros is ultimately egocentric, self-love desiring to be self-sufficient. This friendship-love grounded upon willing the good for the other for the sake of the other is named eunoia, benevolence. Because rationally one always desires the good for oneself, the question remains about the possibility of benevolent relationships. Aristotle answers that love to another derives from self-love (philautia). The precedence of self-love has its source in a universal principle. All existing being is affirmable and lovable being. Thus when a master craftsman loves his work, he fundamentally loves himself, i.e., his own self, becoming manifest in the work a similar transference illustrates love to others, to friends. Thus each person initially loves himself, and each person is himself his best friend. To love means to assign good things to the beloved. The self-love that thinks the good exists in possessions, honor, and bodily pleasure is reprehensible. True self-love...

The Cistercians

The Cistercians' self image as an elite spiritual corps, superior to other monks, provoked antagonism even in the early years, as when the Benedictine Rupert of Deutz criticised various of their practices, such as the insistence on manual labour. The Order's expansion, acquisition of property, and involvement in wool production, notably in northern England, brought economic and social benefits to the areas where monasteries were established. It also resulted in wealth that contradicted the message of simplicity and austerity articulated in the Order's founding. The monks who had denounced the excesses of Cluniac abbeys found themselves the targets of satire against their own wealth and greed.17

Moral Obligation

Self-love is a phenomenon of this department of the mind. It consists in a constitutional desire of happiness, and implies a corresponding dread of misery. It is doubtless through, or by, this constitutional tendency that the rational idea of the intrinsic value of happiness or enjoyment is at first developed. Animals, doubtless, have enjoyment, but we have no evidence that they possess the faculty of reason in the sense in which I have defined the term. Consequently they have not, as we suppose, the rational conception of the intrinsic worth or value of enjoyment. They seek enjoyment from a mere impulse of their animal nature, without, as we suppose, so much as a conception of moral law, obligation, right or wrong. But we know that moral agents have these ideas. Self-love is constitutional. Its gratification is the chronological condition of the development of the reason's idea of the intrinsically valuable to being. This idea develops that of moral law, or in other words, the...


This account is also revealing in another way. It is not the particular object -the particular natural phenomenon, the particular earthquake, or the particular storm - that is marvelous in the end. It is ourselves. The storm is merely the occasion for a display to ourselves of our autonomy. It does not much matter whether it is a storm or a volcano, or whether it is this storm or that storm. Insofar as they are occasions, they are indistinguishable. We certainly transfer this self-respect to some natural object. Indeed, this transfer is what provides the occasion for the intuition that our rationality is superior to nature. But in the end what we respect, in our respect for that which overwhelms us, is ourselves. This argument has perhaps the single most important theological resonance in the whole of Kant's philosophy. It has a similar shape to Ludwig Feuerbach's argument in The Essence of Christianity that human speech about God is, in the end, merely a projection of human...

Dr Michael Novak

You will note, for instance, the difference between American atheists and European atheists. The Americans who reject religion do so with a kind of emotional violence, and at the same time are quick to boast about their own moral superiority, honesty, compassion, idealism. In other words, they have to protect their own self-image by insisting that they are even more deeply religious than those who might seem to be so just by going to church or synagogue. Anything believers can do I can do better.

The Goals

In the midst of mounting secularism and odd religious sects, Mr. Hunt has issued a courageous call for a much-needed return to Biblical Christianity. ne Most of what he says is very accurate and needed to be said. He has recognized the seemingly heretical implications of statements made by some recognized charismatic leaders and non-charismatic self-esteem advocates, and his description of biblical Christianity is generally accurate. Mr. Hunt's books, however, raise an important series of questions. What are the central doctrines of biblical Christianity How do we know what those doctrines are How do we decide who is within the Church and who is outside Where do we draw the lines Who decides Can individual Christian writers declare other Christians to be heretical If so, on what basis


This early period represents the Islamic state's height of self-confidence, in which ideas and traditions of all kinds were permitted to be debated in forums often presided over by the caliph himself. During this time, religious and juridical scholarship was also gaining in definition, and gradually the four schools of Islamic law were developed. The idea of a single, Islamic, all-inclusive legal system symbolised by these schools had not yet taken hold, and every aspect of the principles and practices of statecraft, including the foundations of belief itself, were subject to debate and intensive examination.


Part of our nature If so should we, and can we, do anything about it What is natural may not be good. The traditional opposition between reason and desire may point to an important fact about us. Our basic drives and biological instincts are not always good guides. As we have already seen, not all desires are bad, just as not all human reasoning is good. It is too simple to see human nature as involving a battle between the animal and distinctively human parts of our nature. Animals are not as capable of such deliberate evil and cruelty as humans. Nevertheless our inbuilt tendencies to selfishness need themselves to be restrained. As Bishop Butler pointed out in the eighteenth century, the problem is often that we are endowed not with too much self-love but not enough. It is often not in our own long-term interests to indulge whatever passion may for the moment overwhelm us. The selfish passion can be remarkably imprudent, because short-term interest is preferred to long-term. We...


An inner contradiction thus destabilizes every polity of this age. The one triune God can only be enjoyed and so is immune to exploitation by our love of self there is nothing we can use this God for. But partial goods can indeed be used for our antecedent purposes, in fact they invite such use, and so they can be manipulated by self-love. Therefore the very same partial goods that draw a polity of this age together simultaneously tempt each of its members to aggrandize him- or herself at the others' expense. The self-destructive inner dynamic of every polity of this age is self-love in its political form, the passion to dominate libido dominandi, as Augustine calls it.


While Hegel's logic and epistemology engage with some of the more abstract philosophical issues discussed by Kant, the approach he adopts is important also for his account of ethics and history. In conceptual thought, we already see the dialectical striving of the human subject toward freedom and integration. In knowing the world, the subject becomes conscious of itself. Yet to be properly self-conscious it must be related to other selves. To realize one's identity, one must be recognized and acknowledged by others. Self-esteem is reciprocally related to being esteemed by others. At times, we have to prove ourselves before others, whether as individuals or as nations. For Hegel, a nation must sometimes command self-respect by overthrowing another through the waging of war.


Jacob Boehme Throw open and throw out thy heart. For unless thou dost exercise thy heart, and the love of thy heart, upon every man in the world, thy self-love, thy pride, thy envy, thy distaste, thy dislike, will still have dominion over thee In the name and in the strength of God, love all men. Love thy neighbor as thyself, and do to thy neighbor as thou doest to thyself. And do it now. For now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation. These expressions are scriptural and valuable, if they are interpreted ethically, and are understood to inculcate the supreme duty of loving the Holy One, of being holy as he is holy, and of seeking to bring all Intelligent beings into conformity with his holiness. Of the two words for love in the New Testament, file w designates an emotional affection, which is not and cannot be commanded ( John 11 36 Behold how he loved him ), while ajgapa w expresses a rational and benevolent affection which springs from deliberate choice ( John 3 16...