Connected by their veneration of the One God proclaimed by Abraham, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share much beyond their origins in the ancient Israel of the Old Testament. This Very Short Introduction explores the intertwined histories of these monotheistic religions, from the emergence of Christianity and Islam to the violence of the Crusades and the cultural exchanges of al-Andalus.
This book describes the evolution of Marian thought from early Christianity to the present day. Covering the various Christian denominations, as well as the Islamic Mary, it considers medieval and renaissance doctrine and representations of Mary, as well as her involvement in debates over the Virginal body, race, anti-Semitism, and globalism.
The nature of the virtues has a long tradition of thought, from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas. This book considers the virtues in various cultural, religious, and philosophical contexts. Examining the key virtues, and some of the vices, it explores the cultivation of the virtues as an alternative way of moral thinking.
Demography is the study the study of population size, distribution, composition, and density. Sarah Harper discusses the key theories and methods involved in studying population trends and movements, considers how our current global population came about, and addresses some of the future population challenges of the 21st century.
Today Adam Smith, author of the Wealth of Nations, is associated with the promotion of self-interest and a defence of greed. Yet if Smith is actually read this is more a caricature than a faithful portrait. Berry offers a balanced and nuanced view of this seminal thinker, set against contemporary European history, politics, and philosophy.
This book provides an overview of the history of religion and war, and a framework for analysing it. Ranging from ancient history to modern day conflicts, and touching on both religiously incited violence and pacifism, it offers a nuanced view on these issues that have had such weight in the past, and which continue to shape our present and future.
This book outlines the nature of contemporary marketing, considering how marketers function as an interface between customers and organisations. As globalisation creates increasing challenges to established marketing practices it shows how marketing efforts need to adapt continuously to allow an organisation to reach its intended market.
For thousands of years humanity has engaged in creative expression. This book explores the history, theory, and practice of creativity from a psychological perspective. It considers the nature and development of creativity, analyzing why we produce creative work, and the ways in which we can understand creative work in its cultural context.
For many, Russia's political influence far exceeds its weight in the global economy. Richard Connolly demonstrates that in fact Russia's economy affords it global power, and explores how its socialist past has shaped its economic system into a unique blend of state and market.
Arbitration is a legal dispute resolution mechanism, alternative to courts. This book explains what arbitration is, how it works, what parties who have agreed to go to arbitration should expect, the relationship between arbitration and the law, and the politics of arbitration. It also considers where the global system of arbitration is headed.
Refugees are one of the great contemporary challenges the world is confronting, and the international community struggles to provide adequate responses to refugee needs. Gil Loescher explores the causes and consequences of the contemporary refugee crisis for both sending and receiving states, for global order, and for refugees themselves.
Explores the promise and limitations of competitive market dynamics, looking at the threats to competition-cartels, agreements, monopolies, and mergers-and the laws in place across the US and European Union to safeguard the process of competition.
'Globalization' is one of the defining buzzwords of our time, describing a variety of accelerating economic, political, and cultural processes that constantly change our experience of the world. The fifth edition of this Very Short Introduction provides an exploration of both the causes and effects of the phenomenon.
International relations affects everyone's lives: their security, economic well-being, rights and freedoms, and the environment they share. This book explores international relations' central concerns with the changing way that political authority is organized globally, and provides the theoretical tools to understand the dynamics of the field.
Islamic law is one of the major legal systems in the world today, yet it is often misunderstood, particularly in the West. This book provides a critical overview of the theory, scope, and practice of Islamic law, taking into account both classical and modern scholarly perspectives in examining the various facets of this key legal system.
In its heyday in the late 1990s, neoliberalism emerged as the world's dominant economic paradigm. Since then the global financial crash of 2008 and the recent emergence of more nationalist ideologies have challenged neoliberal assumptions and systems. This book examines the origins, core claims, and global variations of neoliberalism.
The U.S. Constitution: A Very Short Introduction explores the major themes of American constitutional history-federalism, the balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. Informed by the latest scholarship, each theme illustrates how the Constitution has served as a dynamic framework for legitimating power and advancing liberty.
David Evans introduces glaciers and ice sheets as systems, discussing the processes that shape them, and their impacts on our planet in terms of erosional and depositional processes. He explains how we can use this knowledge in reconstructing glaciers and ice sheets of the past, and discusses the impacts on glaciers of climate change.
In the years since the Human Genome Project, genomics has grown into a big and rapidly developing field driven by bioinformatics technology. The implications for our health and privacy, and our understanding of ecological systems and evolution are profound. This book provides an account of this exciting new science, its impact and its potential.
James Yeates covers the history of veterinary science, considering the roles of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in animal health. Discussing recent challenges such as the outbreak of BSE, and antibiotic resistance, he considers the future of the field, and difficulties in balancing the interests of owners and animals when they don't coincide.
The fast growing field of synthetic biology, which involves the novel design or redesign of living matter, has opened a vista of technological opportunities, from drug manufacture to producing biofuels. Jamie Davies considers the possibilities and controversies surrounding this exciting new science.
Jan Zalasiewicz introduces the field of geology, its fundamental role in understanding the Earth and other planets, and its economic importance in the finding and exploitation of resources. He explains how geologists work today, and describes major discoveries such as plate tectonics, and the field's exciting frontiers such as the geology of Mars.
With the rise of digital technologies the need for effective means of identification has grown enormously. Biometrics is the rapidly growing science of identifying individuals through biological characteristics, from iris patterning to voice recognition. This book introduces biometrics, what it can do today, and future possibilities.
The Arctic is a complex space. This book considers the competing elements surrounding the region, from geopolitical claims on its rich resources to environmental concerns over the effects of climate change and shrinking sea ice. It examines the impact of ongoing cultural, physical, and economic changes, and considers the future of the Arctic.
With growing concerns over climate change and air pollution, the need to switch from fossil fuels to clean and renewable sources of energy has become pressing. Here, Nick Jelley describes the main renewables, explains how wind and solar farms can provide the cheapest energy in many parts of the world, and calls for urgent action.
Systems biology utilises new computational tools to analyse biological processes on an extraordinary scale. We can now study complex biological phenomena within their natural contexts, applying a holistic, systems-based approach. This book explores what this interdisciplinary field is about, and how it will affect our understanding of life.
Ecology is the science of how organisms interact with each other and with their environment to form communities and ecosystems. This book explains the principles of ecological thinking, how ecology affects our everyday lives, and how it guides environmental policy, especially in the light of current and future environmental challenges.
All living things are composed of cells, which have fundamentally the same chemistry. Biochemistry is the study of reactions within these cells, and the molecules that are created, manipulated, and destroyed as a result of them. This book discusses the key concepts of biochemistry, as well as the recent discoveries and innovations in the field.
From frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders, to the lesser-known caecilians, there are over 8,000 species of amphibians alive today. T. S. Kemp explores their evolution, adaptations, and biology, as well as the threat humans represent to their survival.
Biogeography is the study of geographical variation in all characteristics of life, from genetic variation and differences in behaviour in species across regions, to geographic trends in diversity of whole communities. This book explains the key role played by geographical context in understanding the natural world.
Richard Whatmore examines the diverse, interconnected relationships between political history, theory, and action. Considering the work of Michel Foucalt, John Pocock, Quentin Skinner and other key theorists, this book highlights the connections between past and present political systems, and the ongoing relevance of the field today.
This book explores the field of human physiology, considering the interplay of physiological mechanisms and principles and how they come together to result in human life being sustained. It also discusses how physiological experiments are undertaken, and covers the medical applications of new discoveries.
Throughout our planet's history volcanoes have played a large role in shaping landscapes, the climate, and biological evolution. This book explains the fundamental mechanisms of volcanism, considering why volcanoes are essential for life on Earth, and how they interact with the Earth's other physical processes, and with human society.
Geophysics is the physics of the Earth. It encompasses seismology, volcanism, plate tectonics, gravitational anomalies, and changes in the Earth's magnetic field (present and past). William Lowrie describes how all these give clues to the structure and working of the planet.
Number theory is the branch of mathematics primarily concerned with the counting numbers, especially primes. It dates back to the ancient Greeks, but today it has great practical importance in cryptography, from credit card security to national defence. This book introduces the main areas of number theory, and some of its most interesting problems.
From sound waves to gravitational waves, and from waves of light to crashing rollers on the ocean, Mike Goldsmith explores the fundamental features shared by all waves in the natural world, and considers the range of phenomena resulting from wave motion, including reflection, diffraction, and polarization in light, and beats and echoes in sound.
Tom McLeish delves into the growing field of soft matter - the study of materials such as polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, and foams. Looking beneath their appearance to their inner structure, he discusses their shared physical properties, the principle of Brownian Motion that underlies all soft matter, and the applications of these materials.
Rooted in ancient astronomy, trigonometry is mathematics' powerful toolkit for scientific measurement. It has been at the heart of the study of infinity, complex and imaginary numbers, and the shape of the space itself. Our experience of the universe has been made possible, and deeply challenged, by this surprisingly deep and fruitful subject.
What is time? This book describes the developing physics of the concept of time from Newton, via Einstein, to the present day, and the related philosophical aspects. It also discusses the psychological experience of time and insights from cognitive science.
For many decades, we were only familiar with our own system of planets, the Solar System, orbiting our Sun. Now we know that it is just one among a vast range of planetary systems around distant stars. This book explores the nature and variety of planetary systems, how they are formed, and how they die.
Nicholas Cook explores the nature of music, how we think about it, its social and cultural dimensions, and its history. He discusses the many musical traditions across the world and the interactions between them. He also considers performance, how composers create music, and the position of music in today's globalized society.
Some people are cleverer than others, but how and why do people differ in their thinking powers? Drawing on the latest psychological data Ian Deary considers some of our most burning questions about intelligence, such as how genes, environment, age, or gender can affect our intelligence. He also asks whether intelligence is increasing.
From the Plantation of Ulster to the entry into peace talks in the late twentieth century the Northern Irish people have been engaged in conflict. This book explores the pivotal moments in Northern Irish history - the rise of republicanism in the 1800s, Home Rule, the growth of Sinn Fein, and the DUP, before bringing the story up to date.
Jim Fraser explains the forensic techniques used in the investigation of crime, such as DNA profiling, toxicology, trace evidence, digital forensics, fingerprints, and crime scene management, and how forensic scientists work alongside criminal investigators and lawyers.
Exploring the role of socialism over the last two hundred years, Michael Newman explains its major theories, and the key challenges facing it today. Drawing on case studies such as Bolivia and Cuba, he considers recent attempts to put socialism into practice, and argues that it remains ultimately relevant in today's world.
Philip Mladenov examines the nature and variety of life in the oceans, and its importance to us and to the planet. He considers the human impact on these complex ecosystems, through overfishing, pollution, and climate change, and the actions needed to establish a more sustainable relationship, to protect them for future generations.
Damien Keown offers an introduction to Buddhist moral teachings, and considers the application of Buddhist ethical principles to pressing issues today, including violence and terrorism; environment; treatment of animals; and views on sexuality and gender; abortion; suicide and euthanasia; and technological developments such as AI.
Since the 1960s, many people around the world have challenged the idea that western perspectives are the only ones that count. This book examines the history of that challenge, outlining the ideas behind it, and showing the ways in which the histories and the cultures of the world can be rethought in new, different and productive directions.