Journals Higher Education
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£60.00 £45.00


Published: 24 November 2011

648 Pages | 100 photos; 11 maps; 10 tables.


ISBN: 9780195437744

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A Concise Introduction to World Religions.

Second Edition

Willard Oxtoby and Alan Segal

  • NEW 'Contemporary Issues' section in each chapter addresses the modern challenges unique to each tradition, including fundamentalism and extremism, religious violence, abuse, bioethics, and interaction with politics.
  • NEW chapter on new religions and movements (Chapter 12) highlights the changing face of religious expression. The chapter examines movements that have emerged out of established faiths (Hare Krishna [Hinduism], Kabbalah [Judaism] , Baha'i [Islam], the Church of Latter Day Saints [Christianity]) as well as new religions that have sprung up in response to changing spiritual needs (Wicca, Scientology, the Raël movement, the New Age movement, New Thought, Spiritual Ecology/Green Religion).
  • Expanded coverage of the contributions of women to the development of each tradition as well as their roles in practising and performing rituals.
  • Expanded and updated pedagogy in each chapter includes bolded key terms; a 'Tradition at a Glance' box that itemizes key characteristics and statistics about each tradition, 'Major Branches of. . .' box to provide a breakdown of the divisions within each faith, a map to geographically situate the evolution of each religion, a timeline that catalogues significant events, NEW 'Sacred Text' table on the process of compiling, revising, and ritual use of the sacred documents particular to each faith, NEW end-of-chapter study questions, a glossary, and further readings and NEW recommended websites lists.
  • Each chapter contains excerpts from sacred texts, prayers, and/or hymns belonging to each tradition. Selections include passages from the Bible, the Qu'ran, the Dhammapada, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Adi Granth; NEW selections are included from the Book of Mormon, a Baha'i prayer, and others.
  • Focus boxes provide insight into rituals and practices that are specific to each religion, such as going to temple in the Jaina tradition, the daily routine of liturgical prayers for Sikhs, and the avoidance of taboo words by male and female Shinto priests in Japan.
  • Revamped, full-colour art program that more effectively illustrates the practices, rituals, and symbols characteristic of each faith.
  • Contributed text written by distinguished academics that are well versed in each faith and its scholarship, resulting in chapters that are both comprehensive and authoritative.
  • NEW inside-front-cover 'Religions of the World' map allows students to situate each faith within a geographical setting; NEW inside-back-cover 'Religions Timeline' provides students with a historical context for understanding key events in each religion's development.