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Religion: A Very Short Introduction


Thomas A. Tweed

26 November 2020

ISBN: 9780190064679

160 pages

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99


Religion plays a central role in human experience. Billions of people around the world practice a faith and act in accordance with it. Religion shapes how they enter the world and how they leave it - how they eat, dress, marry, and raise their children. It affects law, economy, and government. It sanctifies injustice and combats it. Beginning with the first signs of religion among ancient humans and concluding with a look at modern citizens and contemporary trends, leading scholar Thomas Tweed examines this powerful and enduring force in human society. Religion: A Very Short Introduction offers a concise non-partisan overview of religion's long history and its complicated role in the world today.

  • Traces the history of religion from the stone age to the computer age
  • Addresses diverse perspectives on what religion is and what role it plays in society
  • Written by a leading authority on the historical study of religion, who served as the president of the American Academy of Religion
  • Discusses the largest global traditions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism — as well as indigenous religions and other lesser known faiths that play a role in the contemporary world
  • Provides an informative overview of the global presence of religion in modern-day life, including its role in both intensifying and addressing contemporary political and environmental problems.

About the Author(s)

Thomas A. Tweed, Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies and Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

Thomas A. Tweed is Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies and Professor of History, University of Notre Dame. He was formerly President of the American Academy of Religion.

Table of Contents

    Preface: Why Religion Matters
    1. What Religion Is
    2. What Religion Does
    3. How Religion Is Expressed
    4. How Religion Has Changed
    5. Global Religion Today


"...illuminating..." - John Pridmore, The Way

"...Tweed's book is strong on historizing and contextualizing religion..." - Michael Stausberg, Religion