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Give me a child when he is young... ISBN: 0 9588645 0 0

Originally published in 1987 and still very much in demand, this compelling book is the autobiography of Dr Ian Guthridge, the first Jesuit priest in Australia to leave the Jesuit Order. The book remains topical and controversial and has been the subject of interviews on leading media programs.

In Part One, he tells us why he entered the Priesthood at 17 and talks frankly about what it was like to live in a monastery for twenty years, with "no wine, women or song"; what specific aims and methods were involved in the formidable Jesuit training - good and bad; why he eventually cut ties with both the Jesuit Order and Catholic Church at nearly 40; and how he managed to "re-locate on planet earth" after such a long period in what he calls "the cocoon".

In Part Two, he explores the major issues that underpin that story - issues both personal to the author, and part of the wider dialogue about religion in the public forum today. For example, issues such as the existence of God, the afterlife and the supernatural; the Bible as "word of God" or word of man; the tainted origins of sexual puritanism in the West, and - within the Catholic system - the insistence on priestly celibacy and the ban on birth control; and the place of Christianity above, or alongside of, other religions, particularly in the Far East.

Print Book: A$30 + GST & delivery

Kindle e-book

All About Christmas ISBN: 09588645 19

Originally published in 1988, the revised printed editions of this book are now sold out. The updated copy is now only available in either e-book or audio formats.

Paradoxically, this book grew out of the author's research for a book on Italy. For, having long assumed (like most people perhaps) that all the things we do at Christmas are derived from the birth of Christ on Christmas Day, he was surprised to discover that the Celts, Romans and Germanic peoples in the north were doing most of these things long before the advent of Christianity; and, in fact, they have nothing to do with the birth of Christ after all. For no date for Christ's birth is mentioned in the Gospels. Indeed, the first mention of December 25th as the date of his birth is in the Christian calendar dates from 336 A.D. - three and a half centuries after Christ was born! If we don't know when Christ was born, why do we celebrate his birth on December 25th? Besides, what is folk and what is fact?

Intriguing questions are answered: Who was Santa and where did his Reindeer come from? Why is it Santa who brings the presents at Christmas? Why do we have a Christmas Tree with fairy lights? Why the "holly and the ivy" - and mistletoe? Why turkey with cranberry sauce and plum pudding with "charms" inside. And why the crackers and funny hats? Why Carols at Christmas - and why were Carols banned for centuries in Protestant countries like the U.K.? What about presents and the holidays including Boxing Day?

Kindle e-book

All About Christmas (Audio Edition) ISBN: 978-0-9876065-0-1

The Christmas book has been revised and re-released as an Audio Book.

Chapters: Santa Claus, The Christmas Tree, The Roman Saturnalia, The Christian Christmas, The Medieval Christmas, The Victorian Christmas.

Enjoy it in the car or at home on your computer or DVD/CD player.

Audio Book: A$30 + GST & delivery

Great Women in History and Art ISBN: 09588645 35

In soft cover, and containing 320 richly- illustrated, glossy pages, this "tribute" book was published in 1996 as a collection and celebration of The Lives of 70 Great Women from ancient Egypt to modern times. An impressive "Coffee-Table" book (36 x 23 cm), it contains detailed, historically accurate yet personable "portraits" of queens, writers, artists, reformers and performers who made a significant contribution to their own time and remain important to this day, but were so often forgotten or "glossed over" in the history records.

For, if History, like the Bible, has traditionally been written by men, about men, and for men to hand down to their female dependants, it is hardly surprising that traditional collections of "Great Lives" have included only a couple of Great Women such as Joan of Arc and Queen Elizabeth 1, thereby giving the impression that women have contributed nothing worth recording - whereas, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

For there have been great women rulers and royal patrons such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen Isabella of Spain, Empress Maria Teresa of Austria, and Catherine the Great of Russia; women writers such as George Sand, Jane Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf; women artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Elizabeth Vigée Lebrun and Mary Cassatt; reformers such as Elizabeth Fry, Mary Stopes, Emileen Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale and our own Caroline Chisholm; and performers such as Sarah Bernhardt and Nellie Melba in the age of Marie Curie.

And apart from questions about "greatness", we may find that the lives of these and other less well known women are often more colourful and moving than those of their male contemporaries - as in the case of Mary Queen of Scots, Madame de Pompadour, Empress Josephine and Emma Hamilton. In this book we shall meet all of these (among others), down a Time-Line that runs from Ancient Egypt to modern times - with Introductions on the Status and Role of Women at each successive stage in our Journey.

Print Book: A$40 + GST & delivery

Great Women in History & Art (Audio Edition) ISBN: 978-0-9876065-1-8

This audio book is narrated by the author Dr Ian Guthridge as a "Journey through Time" in the company of women, instead of men. We shall encounter not just people, but issues; not just the past, but the present; not just who they were way back then, but who we are now, and why.

Of the 70 women covered in the original print publication, this audio book includes the author's personal selection of eleven: Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth 1, Madame Pompadour, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, Emma Hamilton, Jane Austen, George Sand, Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Marie Curie.

Enjoy it in the car or at home on your computer or DVD/CD player.

Audio Book: A$30 + GST & delivery

All About Italy ISBN: 09588645 27

In paper-back with illustrations, this book was first published in 1991 and reviewed by Gourmet Traveller as "one of the best travel books available for the independent-minded traveller to Italy" although it was not written as a Guide Book.

The fruit of ten years residence in Rome and another thirty years of lecturing on Italy and conducting "special-interest" tours there, the book is a collection of stories that bring to life the feel and fascination of this unique country and its major cities - fact, not fiction, but as alive and intriguing as a good novel or detective story.

From Roman times, for example, what did the Forum look like, and what did the Romans do in the Forum? Were the early Christians really fed to the lions in the Colosseum and who were the gladiators? What were the Romans like as people - the decadent lot we so often see in films, or intriguingly like us in every way, except in their technology? Why were the Middle Ages so "Dark"? And where did an institution like the Papacy come from - and how did it become such a towering force in the Middle Ages?

From the Renaissance, why did Florence become the power-house of this "re-birth" - why not Paris or London or Vienna? How did the Florentines build that mighty dome - and how can we make head or tail of all those paintings in the Uffizi and the Pitti galleries, without becoming hopelessly confused? Likewise in High Renaissance Rome, we shall explore St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel.

And Venice - was it always the peaceful, romantic city we see today? And how do all those "palaces" along the Grand Canal just sit there in the water, without toppling over, or sinking into the mud? And gondolas, with their pointy noses and tails - why don't they go round and round in circles when they have only a single oar on one side of the stern...?

And apart from all this, the book includes chapters on Pompeii, Ravenna and its mosaics, Assisi and St Francis, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and "Italy and the Music Lover". If you've been to Italy, or plan to go - or if you would just love to "read all about it", you will find this book fresh, informative and eminently readable.

Print Book: A$25 + GST & delivery

Kindle e-book

The Rise and Decline of the Christian Empire ISBN: 09588645 43

Originally published in May 1999 and re-printed several times since, this book has sold nearly 10,000 copies.

With Christianity as one of the twin foundations of Western civilization (along with the secular culture of the Greeks and Romans), the story of Christianity clearly represents a crucial chapter in the evolution of the West. Not just because of its enormous contribution to Western art, architecture, literature and music; nor just because it has shaped so much of the particular character of the Western psyche; but because the story of Christianity raises intriguing questions in its own right, up to and including our own time.

How, for example, did Christianity manage to become the Established religion of the West - within the time of the formidable Roman empire? How did it manage to convert the fierce "barbarian" tribes of Central and Eastern Europe, thereby establishing the first "European Union" - under the banner of Christendom? How did it become such a towering force in politics as well as religion throughout the Middle Ages - with much of the original character of Christianity being lost along the way? How and Why does it appear to be declining in much of the West today? And how much of it is likely to survive - and in what form - in this new millennium?

Not primarily a book about other people or about the the past, this book is about ourselves and where we come from - for better or for worse - and where we appear to be heading in the future.

PodcastABC Radio - Phillip Adams

Print Book: A$30 + GST & delivery

Kindle e-book

A Tale of Twenty Cities
A Romantic Journey Through Time
ISBN: 97809588645 58

Published in 2008, this book is the fruit of eight years of research and half a life-time of travel and teaching.

Neither a Guide-book nor a tome of History, this book presents a series of portraits of some of the world's great Cities and Civilizations: the particular character and contribution of each; their layout, major landmarks and personalities; their art, architecture and music. Arranged down a Time-Line, it takes us on a Voyage of Discovery from Ancient Egypt and Iraq to Jerusalem; then to Athens, Rome, Constantinople and Cordoba; to Venice, Florence and Amsterdam; and to Vienna, Prague, St Petersburg, London, Paris and New York (among others) - as these were in their heyday, and as they are today.

Along the way, we shall meet many of the world's great artists, writers, composers, scientists and explorers. And from a wider, global perspective, we shall make brief detours into the comparable, but less-well-known, civilizations and achievements of China, India, the Islamic world, and the world of the Aztecs and Incas - in their own right, and because they have contributed so much to the West. It's quite a story...

So it includes the major artists, writers, composers, scientists and religious founders who forged the cultural traditions of the West; and it also opens windows on no-less-remarkable developments in China, India, the Arab and Islamic world, and the Ancient Americas, since these forged the cultural traditions of the other half of our global world. Podcast ABC Radio - Phillip Adams

Print Book: A$25 + GST & delivery

Kindle e-book

Religion: Faith, Fact or Fantasy? ISBN:9780646572826

In response to the decline of religion in much of the West today - and also to the challenge from atheist crusaders such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens - this book is an open, no-holds-barred debate, exploring the Pros and Cons on both sides. It discusses traditional beliefs such as the existence of God, the afterlife, and the Bible as "word of God"; and while frankly exploring the damage that religion has done and is is still doing, it also explores what the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions (among others) are really all about - the good, not just the bad.

So it will challenge the believer and non-believer alike to examine the evidence as one would in a court case, in order to form balanced conclusions. The book explores the Jewish Tradition in and beyond the Old Testament, the Christian Tradition in and beyond the New Testament, and the Islamic Tradition in and beyond the Koran - the good things and the bad, with plenty of both in all three. And, more briefly, it also explores the alternative Ways of the Confucian, Hindu and Buddhist Traditions in the increasingly relevant global world of China, India and South-East Asia.

PodcastABC Radio - Sonya Feldhoff     ABC Radio - Phillip Adams (29 minute mark)
Print Book: A$25 + GST & delivery

Kindle e-book

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