An exhaustive compilation of immense theological value, especially as a prologue to future study.

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JESUS AND MUHAMMAD

THEIR MESSAGES, SIDE-BY-SIDE

A debut book compares the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad. 

The often inflammatory arguments between ideological partisans of Christianity and Islam are rarely conducted by way of sober textual analysis. The complex doctrines of the two religions—as well as the prohibitive nature of the foreign languages in which their primary sources were written—make such comparisons less than accessible. St Michael aims to dismantle that barrier to understanding by supplying an impressively comprehensive catalog of the utterances of Jesus and Muhammad, grouped thematically and presented, as the subtitle of the book notes, helpfully side by side. The work begins with some introductory commentary: a glossary of key terms within both religious traditions as well as concise histories and timelines of Jesus’ and Muhammad’s lives. Some of the themes chosen are doctrinal—topics like forgiveness and repentance are covered—while others are more directly related to what the author calls “daily living,” like finances, diet, and marriage. One section is titled “Distractions” and seems almost like a catchall, including subjects like Satan and disagreement. St Michael clearly wants the texts to speak for themselves, and so with the exception of a brief editorial comment here and there, the quotations are presented without any accompanying interpretations: “This book is not meant to present information for judgement of the faithful of either religion, but rather to elucidate the foundations of the faiths.” Even the histories provided are minimal, and much of the work is presented in an efficient, bullet-style format. For readers of either faith, such a lucid and unbiased record of the points of commonality and disagreement between Jesus and Muhammad is sure to be educational. And the entire book is scrupulously sourced, adding to the general air of transparency and scholarly rigor. But additional commentary would actually have been quite useful—the quotes are furnished without any discussion of the context within which they appear, and so their meanings often remain obscure. For this reason, the offering is better understood as an encyclopedic preliminary to more in-depth study, because any serious comparison between Jesus and Muhammad would require an exegetical framework. 

An exhaustive compilation of immense theological value, especially as a prologue to future study. 

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9996146-0-0

Page Count: 536

Publisher: Rising Myrrh Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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