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Cover

A Concise Introduction to World Religions

Fourth Edition

Edited by Roy C. Amore, Amir Hussain, and Willard G. Oxtoby

Publication Date - October 2019

ISBN: 9780190919023

672 pages
Paperback
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $94.99

A pedagogically rich introduction to the world's major religious traditions, from their origins, through their development, to their meaning and practice in today's society

Description

Based on the best-selling World Religions: Eastern Traditions and World Religions: Western Traditions, A Concise Introduction to World Religions, Fourth Edition, is ideal for single-semester courses. Renowned contributors trace the origins and evolution of the major traditions, explain their essential teachings, outline their practices, and examine their interactions with modern culture and society, while insightful introductory and concluding essays suggest countless avenues for further reflection and study.

New to this Edition

  • "Interview" boxes bring to life the impact that a member of each religion is having on today's world
  • "Practice" boxes highlight religion as observed in daily life
  • "Women in the Traditions" boxes highlight the essential roles played by women in each tradition
  • A new introductory chapter, "Studying Religions," gives more attention to theories about religion and methods for studying religion
  • A new chapter (Ch. 3), "Religions of Antiquity," provides both background and context for Western traditions
  • Attention to the role of religion in current political and social issues

Features

  • Balances historical and contemporary coverage by offering students a solid grounding in the foundation of each tradition while also exploring the role that each tradition plays in contemporary society and the challenges that it faces
  • Excerpts from sacred texts, prayers, or hymns in "Document" boxes within each chapter include passages from the Bible, the Qur'an, the Dhammapada, the Bhagavad Gita, the Adi Granth, the Book of Mormon, and a Baha'i prayer
  • Coverage of new religions and movements (Ch. 13) looks at movements that have emerged out of established traditions along with new religions that have formed in response to changing spiritual needs
  • ENGAGING PEDAGOGY: A wealth of learning tools throughout help students appreciate and understand world religions: * Focus boxes provide insight into rituals or practices that are specific to each religion * Tradition at a Glance boxes offer an insightful overview of each tradition, facilitate comparative analysis, and serve as quick review references * Sites boxes indicate locations of special significance to each tradition * Document boxes highlight key passages from each tradition's sacred texts * Sacred Texts tables outline the process of compiling and revising the fundamental texts for each tradition as well as their oral, legal, and ritual uses * End-of-chapter study questions and glossaries, detailed maps, timelines, and recommended websites and further readings provide students with additional support
  • An Ancillary Resource Center provides PowerPoint lecture outlines and an Instructor's Manual with chapter summaries, learning objectives, student activities, class discussion topics, essay topics, and lists of multimedia resources for each chapter
  • A Companion Website offers a Student Study Guide containing chapter summaries, learning objectives, short-answer questions (with answers), reflection questions, research paper topics, and multimedia resources

About the Author(s)

Roy C. Amore is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

The late Willard G. Oxtoby, the original editor of this work, was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.

Reviews

"A Concise Introduction to World Religions is a highly readable and rounded survey of the foundational doctrines and practices, and the historical development, of the world's major religions. Its informative chapters, combined with its extensive supplemental resources, provide helpful materials for instructors to use in designing and teaching an introduction to world religions course."--Judson B. Murray, Wright State University

"This is one of the best and most thorough world religions textbooks currently in use. It is well organized and has a good deal of supplemental aids."--Clayton Crockett, University of Central Arkansas

"The book's main strength is the introduction to each chapter that engages students with modern concerns. In addition, the history of each religion is complete, but written in a very accessible style."--Jeffrey Scholes, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Table of Contents

    Contributors
    Preface
    1. STUDYING RELIGIONS
    What Is Religion?
    Why Study Religion?

    Insider Versus Outsider
    Methods for the Study of Religion
    Basic Human Religion: Origins of Faith
    Three Worlds
    Sacred Places
    Animal Spirits
    Death and Burial
    Why Are Humans Religious?
    Basic Human Religion: Patterns of Faith
    Shamanism
    Connecting to the Cosmos
    Temple Religion
    Middle Eastern Prophets and Asian Sages
    The First Principle: Greek Philosophy and Daoist Thought
    Mystery Religion
    Avatar: God on Earth
    Scriptural Religion
    Some Practical Matters
    2. INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS
    "Indigenous" Religion
    Change and Syncretism
    "Us" and "Them"
    "Primitives" and the Problem of History
    Transmission
    Stories
    Origin Stories
    Tricksters
    Practice
    Ritual
    Rites of Passage
    Sacrifice
    Cultural Expressions
    Weaving
    Carvings
    Buildings
    Colonialism
    Invasion
    Conversion
    Appropriation
    Recent Developments
    Interaction and Adaptation
    "The End is Near"
    Autonomy and Equality
    Contemporary Indigenous Traditions
    Summary
    3. RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY
    Introduction
    Prehistory
    Gobekli Tepe
    Catalhoyuk
    Nabta Playa
    Common Features of the Religions of Antiquity
    Deities
    Myth
    Services to the Gods
    Afterlife
    Mesopotamian Tradition
    Egyptian Tradition
    Greek Tradition
    Roman Tradition
    Iranian Tradition (Zoroastrianism)
    Manichaean Tradition
    The End of
    Paganism
    Recent Developments
    Summary
    4. JEWISH TRADITIONS
    Jewish Identity as Ethnicity and Religion
    Earliest Jewish History: The Biblical Story

    The Biblical Narrative as Sacred History
    The Origins of "Israel," "Hebrew," "Jew," and "Semitic"
    When Was the Torah Written Down?
    Relationship as Covenant: The Israelites and their God
    Of Kings and Messiahs
    The Exile in Babylonia
    The Second Temple Period (515 BCE-70CE)
    The Impact of Alexander the Great
    A Variety of Judaisms
    Enter the Romans (63 BCE)
    Herod the Great
    The Rabbinic Period
    The Talmud and Women
    Jewish Life under Islam: Seventh toTwelfth Century
    The Gaonic Period
    Maimonidies
    Jews in the Christian World: Seventh to Fifteenth Century
    The Spanish Inquisition
    The Kabbalah
    Eastern Europe
    The Modern Period
    Haskalah: The Jewish Enlightenment
    Modern Branches of Judaism
    The Modern Synagogue
    Anti-Semitism
    Zionism
    The Holocaust (1933-1945)
    The Rise of Hitler
    The State of Israel
    Life-Cycle Events
    How Jews Deal with Death
    Marriage
    Divorce
    Recent Developments
    The Jewish Bloodline
    Attitudes towards Gays and Lesbians
    Gender Equality: A Distance Yet to Go
    Summary
    5. CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS
    Origins
    Internal Conflicts in the Early Church
    Relations Between Church and Society
    Constantine
    Authority in the Early Church
    Centralized Authority
    Women in Ministry
    The Development of Orthodoxy
    The Scriptural Canon
    Councils of the Church
    Other Early Heresies
    Key Figures in Early Church Development
    Relations Between East and West
    Practice
    Worship Spaces
    Early Christian Art
    The Rise of Monasticism
    Eastern Orthodoxy
    Christianizing the Slavs
    Byzantine Art
    Icons in the Orthodox Church
    Medieval Christianity
    Decline and Expansion
    The Crusades
    Punishing Heresy
    The Development of Papal Authority
    Reason and Revelation: Scholasticism and Mysticism
    Medieval Religions Communities: Monastic and Mendicant Orders
    Women in Medieval Catholicism
    Sainthood
    Worship in the Medieval Church
    The Early Modern Era
    Humanism
    The Protestant Reformation in Continental Europe
    Sixteenth-Century Protestant Denominations
    The Counter-Reformation
    The English Reformation
    Worship and the Protestant Reformation
    The Modern Era
    The Enlightenment
    Sociopolitical Context
    Evangelical Great Awakenings
    Women and Revivalism
    Missions
    Theological Controversies and Denominational Splitting
    Historical Biblical Criticism
    Reactions to Modernism
    Theological Diversity in the Modern/Postmodern Era
    The Changing Place of Women
    Twentieth-Century Movements for Social Change
    Vatican II
    The Church of Rome Today
    Recent Developments

    Ecumenism
    Fission and Fusion
    Christianity and Pluralism
    Summary
    6. MUSLIM TRADITIONS
    Beginnings
    Pre-Islamic Arabia
    The Life of Muhammad (560-632 CE)
    Foundations
    Prophets and Messengers
    The Qur'an
    Practice
    The Five Pillars of Islam
    Religious Sciences
    Islamic Philosophy and Theology
    Variations of Islam
    Shi'ism
    Sufism: The Mystical Tradition
    The Spread of Islam
    North Africa
    Spain
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Central Asia and Iran
    China
    South Asia
    Southeast Asia
    Cultural Expressions
    Islamic Architecture
    Islamic Art
    Towards the Modern World
    Islam and Modernity
    Premodern Reform Movements
    Modern Revivalism and Reform
    Recent Developments
    Twentieth-Century Secularism
    Twentieth-Century Islamic Revivalism
    Contemporary Revivalist Movements
    State Islam and the Islamic Revolution
    Islam in Western Europe
    Islam in North America
    Marriage and the Family
    War, Terrorism, and Violence
    Summary
    7. HINDU TRADITIONS
    "Hinduism"
    Origins
    The Harappa Culture
    The Indo-Europeans
    The Vedas
    Classical Hinduism
    The Ramayana
    The Mahabarata and the Bhagavad Gita
    The Three Ways to Liberation
    The Deities of Classical Hinduism
    The Hindu "Trinity"
    Ages of Time
    Caste and the Laws of Manu
    The Stages and Goals of Life
    Attitudes Toward Women
    Schools and Communities of Theology
    Vedanta
    Yoga
    Tantra
    Hinduism in Southeast Asia
    South Indian Devotion (Bhakti)
    North Indian Bhakti
    Colonialism and Beyond
    Practices, Rituals, and Arts
    Temple Worship
    Sculptural and Pictorial Symbolism
    Domestic Worship
    Ayurvedic Medicine
    The Annual Festival Cycle
    Life-Cycle Rites
    Women's Rituals
    The Performing Arts
    Recent Developments
    Global Hinduism, Interaction, and Adaptation
    The Hindu Diaspora
    Hinduism and the Environment
    Other Challenges
    Summary
    8. SIKH TRADITIONS
    Overview
    Guru Nanak
    The 10 Gurus
    The Khalsa
    Crystallization
    The Sacred Scriptures
    Sikh Doctrine
    Four Notions of Guruship
    Sikh Ethics
    Practice
    Prayer
    Congregational Worship
    The Annual Festival Cycle
    Life-Cycle Rituals
    Differentiation
    Encounter with Modernity
    Sikh Reform Movements
    Cultural Expressions
    Social Norms
    The Role of Women
    Music
    Art
    Literature
    Interaction and Adaptation
    Twentieth-Century India
    The Sikh Diaspora
    White Sikhs
    Recent Developments
    Religious Pluralism
    Political Militancy
    Sexuality and Bioethical Issues
    Environmental Issues
    Sikh Visibility
    Summary
    9. JAINA TRADITIONS
    Overview
    The Shramana Revolution
    The Early Sangha
    Sacred Literature
    Cosmology
    Major Developments
    Reform
    Practice
    Ascetic Practice
    Householder Practice
    The Fast to Death
    Jaina Astrology
    Jaina Worship
    Expressive Dimensions
    Festivals
    Jainas among Others
    Women
    Recent Developments

    Twentieth-Century Reform Movements
    Jaina Identity
    Jainism Around the World
    Summary
    10. BUDDHIST TRADITIONS
    Overview
    The First Gem: The Buddha

    Religious Life in Ancient India
    The Bodhisattva Vow and Previous Lives
    Siddhartha's Birth and Childhood
    The Four Sights and the Great Departure
    Enlightenment
    Setting the Wheel in Motion
    Entering Parinirvana
    The Second Gem: The Dharma
    The Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path
    The Three Characteristics of Existence
    Dependent Origination
    The Tripitaka: Three Baskets of Sacred Texts
    The Third Gem: The Sangha
    Bhikshus and Bhikshunis
    Ordained and Lay Women
    Controversies, Councils, and Sects
    King Ashoka's Conversion
    Buddhism and the State
    Early Buddhism: The First Vehicle ("Hinayana")
    Theravada Buddhism

    Theravada in Sri Lanka
    Theravada in Southeast Asia
    Theravada Practice: Rituals and Mindfulness
    Mahayana: The Second Vehicle
    Mahayana Doctrine
    Mahayana Schools
    Mahayana Holidays
    Vajrayana: The Third Vehicle
    Vajrayana Practice
    Vajrayana in East Asia
    Vajrayana in Tibet
    Interaction and Adaptation in East Asia
    China
    Korea
    Japan
    Cultural Expressions
    Stupas and Pagodas
    Temples
    Images of the Buddha
    Buddhism and the Modern World
    India
    Theravada in Modern Sri Lanka
    Theravada in Modern Southeast Asia
    Mahayana in Vietnam
    Buddhism in Modern China, Korea, and Japan
    Buddhism in the West
    Recent Developments
    The Female Sangha
    A Renewed Sense of Mission
    Buddhist Economics
    Cooperation among Buddhists
    Summary
    11. CHINESE AND KOREAN TRADITIONS
    Overview
    The Classical Period to the Qin (c. 2300 BCE-206 BCE)

    Confucian Beginnings
    Daoism
    The Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE)
    State Confucianism, Huang-Lao, and Religious Daoism
    The Introduction of Buddhism
    Confucianism
    Daoism
    Buddhism
    The Six Dynasties Period (220-589)
    Confucianism
    Buddhism
    Daoism
    The Sui and Tang Dynasties (589-907)
    China Reunited
    Confucianism
    Daoism
    Buddhism
    The Song, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties (960-1644)
    Daoism
    Confucianism
    Buddhism
    Popular Religion
    The Qing Dynasty and Republican Period (1644-present)
    The Challenges of Modernity
    Confucianism
    Daoism and Popular Religion
    Buddhism
    Government Treatment of Religion
    Popular Religion
    Recent Developments
    Korean Religions
    Korea and China: A Shared History
    Old Joseon
    The Three Kingdoms (c. 50 BCE-668 CE)
    United Silla, Later Three Kingdoms, and Goryeo (668-1392)
    Joseon (1392-1910)
    Recent Developments: 1897 to the Present
    North Korea
    South Korea
    Summary
    12. JAPANESE TRADITIONS
    Overview
    Foundations

    Persistent Themes
    Seeking Benefits
    Religious and Spiritual Agents
    Mythology
    Other Spiritual Agents
    Unsettled Spirits
    Pivotal Developments in Japanese Religious History
    Tendai and Shingon
    New Emphases in Japanese Religious Practice
    New Sects in the Kamakura and Muromachi Periods
    Pure Land Salvation
    Rinzai Zen and Kamakura Culture
    Soto Zen: The Gradual Path
    Nichiren
    Confucianism and the Beginnings of Shinto
    The Emergence of "Shinto"
    Continuities of Japanese Religious Practice
    Global and Domestic
    Trends
    Christianity's Rise and Fall
    Unification and Stability
    Religion Meets Modernity
    Recent Developments
    Nationalism and Shinto
    Postwar Restructuring and Religious Adaptation
    Summary
    13. NEW RELIGIONS AND MOVEMENTS
    Defining New Religions, Sects, and Cults
    New Religions from the East

    Soka Gakkai
    Falun Dafa (Falun Gong)
    International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
    Religions Arising from the Abrahamic Lineage
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
    The Baha'i Faith
    The Nation of Islam
    The Kabbalah Centre
    The Church of Almighty God (Eastern Lightning)
    Religions Inspired by Other Forms of Spirituality
    Wicca: The Witchcraft Revival
    Scientology
    The Raëlian Movement
    The New Age Movement
    Summary
    Credits
    Index

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