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A Concise Introduction to World Religions

Third Edition

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

Publication Date - March 2015

ISBN: 9780199008551

656 pages
10.0 x 8.0 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $89.95

Explores the world's major religious traditions in depth, from their origins, through their development, to their meaning and practice in today's society


Based on the bestselling two-volume World Religions: Eastern and Western Traditions, A Concise Introduction to World Religions, Third 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

  • Three new contributors explore Indigenous (Ch. 2), Jewish (Ch. 3), and Christian (Ch. 4) traditions in these newly rewritten chapters
  • The opening chapter has also been rewritten for this edition by coeditors Roy C. Amore and Amir Hussain
  • New "Recent Development" sections in each chapter examine the modern challenges and recent developments unique to each tradition
  • More coverage of women and religion throughout, including additional discussion of the contributions of women to the development of each tradition and their roles in practicing and performing rituals
  • Fully revised and updated throughout; each chapter incorporates the latest research and developments in the study of each tradition
  • A redesigned full-color art program effectively illustrates the practices, rituals, and symbols characteristic of each faith


  • 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 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. 12) 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

About the Author(s)

The late Willard G. Oxtoby, the original editor of this work, was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he launched the graduate program in the study of religion.

Roy C. Amore is Professor and an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

Amir Hussain is Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

The late Alan F. Segal was Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish studies at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Table of Contents

    Important Features of this Edition
    1. The Nature of Religion, Roy C. Amore and Amir Hussain
    2. Indigenous Traditions, Ken Derry
    3. Jewish Traditions, Michele Murray
    4. Christian Traditions, Wendy L. Fletcher
    5. Muslim Traditions, Amir Hussain
    6. Hindu Traditions, Vasudha Narayanan
    7. Jaina Traditions, Anne Vallely
    8. Buddhist Traditions, Roy C. Amore
    9. Sikh Traditions, Pashaura Singh
    10. Chinese and Korean Traditions, Terry Tak-ling Woo
    11. Japanese Traditions, John K. Nelson
    12. New Religions and Movements, Roy C. Amore

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