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Anthology of World Religions

Sacred Texts and Contemporary Perspectives

Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - 14 November 2016

ISBN: 9780195332360

560 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

An extensive selection of sacred texts and contemporary readings on the world's religions combined with in-depth introductions to the history, beliefs, and practices of each tradition


Anthology of World Religions explores the world's religious traditions by combining substantial overviews of their history, beliefs, and practices with selections from their texts and scriptures and commentary by contemporary practitioners and scholars. It covers each major religion's history, teachings, founder, leaders, practices, and the factors that are now challenging and changing it--secularism, modernism, pluralism, science, the status of women, and sectarian or factional conflicts. The introductory chapter reviews various approaches to the study of religion, defines religious terms and concepts, discusses theories of religion, and distinguishes between the insider and outsider perspectives on religious traditions.


Clear and concise writing that explains difficult concepts without oversimplifying

Ample coverage of women and several readings by or about women within specific traditions

Extensive pedagogy including time lines and maps, text boxes with background information or more details on relevant topics, explanatory notes before each reading, key terms, end-of-chapter study/discussion questions, and lists of suggested reading and online sources

An Ancillary Resource Center containing an Instructor's Manual with Test Bank and PowerPoint lecture slides

A Companion Website with resources for students including flashcards of key terms, links to further resources, self-quizzes, and discussion questions

About the Author(s)

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Power of Critical Thinking, Fifth Edition (2015), Philosophy Here and Now, Second Edition (2015), and Living Philosophy (2014), all published by Oxford University Press.


"A comprehensive and expansive collection that allows for endless comparison and discovery, within and between faith traditions, and that assists students in understanding the development of those traditions across time as reflected in their own documents."--Dereck Daschke, Truman State University

"Within the cacophony of religious voices throughout history and today, Vaughn's Anthology of World Religions is a steady guide. Anyone seeking to orient themselves to one of the most pervasive aspects of the human condition would be well served by this book."--James Joiner, Northern Arizona University

Table of Contents

    Each chapter ends with Study Questions, Further Reading, and Online Resources.
    Chapter 1. The Beginning of Understanding
    First Look
    Religious Questions and Answers
    Studying Religions
    Key Terms
    Identifying Religions
    The Nature of Religion, Ninian Smart
    Comparative Studies
    Comparing Religions, Will Deming
    The Sacred and the Profane
    The Sacredness of Nature and Cosmic Religion, Mircea Eliade
    Subjective Belief
    Religious Experience: The Root of Religion, William James
    Religion as Human Invention
    Religion Is "the Opium of the People," Karl Marx
    Religion as Illusion
    The Future of an Illusion, Sigmund Freud
    The Goddess
    When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone
    Chapter 2. Indigenous Religions: North America and Africa
    Indigenous North American Religions
    Indigenous African Religions
    Key Terms
    Indigenous North American Religions
    Thunder Rides a Black Horse, Claire R. Farrer
    Basic Call to Consciousness, Iroquois Nation
    Iroquois Myth: The Creation
    Cherokee Myth: How the World Was Made
    Cherokee Myth: Origin of Disease and Medicine
    Sioux Genesis
    Native American Spirituality, Evan T. Pritchard
    Sacred Ways of a Lakota, Wallace Black Elk
    The Gift of the Sacred Pipe, Wallace Black Elk
    Misunderstanding Native Americans, Frederick W. Turner
    Indigenous African Religions
    Women in African Traditional Religions, Joseph Akinyele Omoyajowo
    Traditional Religions in Contemporary Africa, Wande Abimbola
    African Traditional Religions: Worldviews and Cosmology, Jacob K. Olupona
    Chapter 3. Hinduism
    Hindu Beliefs
    Hindu Ritual
    Hindu Philosophies
    Hindu Beginnings
    Hindu Scriptures: The Vedic Period
    Hindu Scriptures: After the Vedas
    --The Epics
    --The Puranas
    --The Legal and Moral Codes
    Major Monotheisms
    Challenges to Hinduism
    Key Terms
    Selections from the Rig Veda
    Selections from the Upanishads
    Selections from the Bhagavad-Gita
    Selection from the Crest-Jewel of Discrimination, Advaita Vedanta
    The Path of Devotion: Bhagavata Purana
    Shiva Purana
    The Goddess Durga, David R. Kinsley
    The Spirit of Indian Philosophy, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
    Selections from The Secret Garland
    Yoga: Discipline of Freedom, Barbara Stoler Miller
    Chanting the Sacred Syllable Om, Chandogya Upanishad
    Bhakti Yoga, Bhagavad Gita
    Hindu Ritual: Cremation, Rig Veda
    Domestic Worship, Vasudha Narayanan
    Darsan: Seeing the Sacred, Diana L. Eck
    Contemporary Challenges
    The Case of Uma Bharati, Katherine K. Young
    Untouchability, Mohandas Gandhi
    Chapter 4. Jainism
    Jain History
    Teachings and Practices
    Jain Scriptures
    Key Terms
    Nonviolence, Sutrakritanga
    Wise and Foolish Men, Acaranga Sutra
    Moral Verses, Naladiyar
    There Is No Creator God, Mahapurana
    Be Watchful, Uttaradhyayana Sutra
    The Eternal Law, Acaranga Sutra
    Sinning Against the Earth, Acaranga Sutra
    The Five Great Vows, Akaranga Sutra
    Life of a Jain Nun, N. Shanta
    Contemporary Challenges
    Jains Today, Vasudha Narayanan
    Chapter 5. Buddhism
    Buddhist Complexities
    The Buddha's Life
    The Buddha's Teachings
    Modern Challenges to Buddhism
    --Women and Buddhism
    --Socially Engaged Buddhism
    Buddhist Scriptures
    Key Terms
    The Awakened One
    The Five Precepts
    The Enlightenment
    The Recollection of Death, Buddhaghosa
    The Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra
    The Lotus Sutra: A Parable
    Buddha Nature, Peter Harvey
    Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa
    Guidelines for Studying the Way, Eihei Dogen
    A Buddhist-American Monk, Heng Sure
    Meditation, Damien Keown
    No Need for Precepts, Bankei
    The Koan Exercise, D.T. Suzuki
    When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
    Rules for Zazen, Master Dogen
    Contemporary Challenges
    Freedom in Exile, The Dalai Lama
    Thich Nhat Hanh on Engaged Buddhist Ethics, Sallie B. King
    Women in Buddhism, Roy C. Amore and Julia Ching
    Chapter 6. Sikhism
    Sikh Scriptures
    Key Terms
    Hymns of Guru Gobind Singh
    Hymns of Guru Amar Das
    Hymns of Guru Ram Das
    The Death of Guru Nanak
    The Rahit: Code of Conduct
    Selections from the Japji
    The Rite of Khalsa Initiation, Hew McLeod
    Devotions: The Prakaash, Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa
    Contemporary Challenges
    Feminine Dimensions of Sikh Faith, Willard G. Oxtoby
    Chapter 7. Confucianism
    Life of Confucius
    Confucian Teachings
    The Confucian Canon
    Key Terms
    Selections from The Analects
    Selections from The Book of Mencius
    Human Nature Is Evil, Xunzi
    Confucianism as Religious Humanism, Julia Ching
    The Confucian Way of Being Religious, Tu Wei-Ming
    Sacred Space, Jennifer Oldstone-Moore
    Confucian Holy Rite, Herbert Fingarette
    Contemporary Challenges
    The Revival of Confucian Values, Xinzhong Yao
    Chapter 8. Daoism
    The Daoist Canon
    Key Terms
    Selections from the Daodejing
    Selections from the Zhuangzi
    The Dao of Ecology, Huston Smith
    T'ai Chi, Al Chung-liang Huang
    Quiet Sitting with Master Yinshi, Jiang Weiqiao
    Qingjing Jing
    The Lady of Great Mystery
    Contemporary Challenges
    Daoism in the Twenty-First Century, William A. Young
    Chapter 9. Shinto
    Beliefs and Practices
    Sacred Writings
    Key Terms
    The Nihongi: The Kami Create Japan
    Nihongi: The Kami of the Sun and Moon
    Kojiki: Kami, the Netherworld, and the Eclipse of the Sun
    Life Is Transitory
    Mount Fuji
    Rituals, Shrines, and Festivals, Ian Reader
    Contemporary Challenges
    Japanese Religion in Modern Times, Howard W. French
    Chapter 10. Zoroastrianism
    Zarathustra and His Teachings
    Zoroastrian Scriptures
    Key Terms
    The Zoroastrian Creed
    To Ahura and the Fire
    Hymn to Ahura
    Resurrection and Final Judgment
    Good and Evil
    Fate of the Soul at Death
    The Four Main Prayers
    Burial of the Dead
    Zoroastrian Ceremonies, Rustom Masani
    Contemporary Challenges
    Zoroastrianism's Biggest Worry: Membership, Ariane Sherine
    Chapter 11. Judaism
    Key Terms
    The Creation Story
    The Covenant with Noah
    The Covenant with Abraham
    The Exodus
    The Mosaic Covenant
    The Holiness Code
    The Entry into Canaan
    Psalms of David
    The Babylonian Conquest and Exile
    Mishnah: The Ethics of the Fathers
    Maimonides: Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith
    Reform Judaism: The Pittsburgh Platform, 1885
    To Be a Jew, Elie Wiesel
    God in Search of Man, Abraham Joshua Heschel
    Observing the Sabbath, George Robinson
    Yom Kippur, Herman Wouk
    The Seder, George Robinson
    Contemporary Challenges
    Meaning from Suffering, Viktor Frankl
    Jewish Feminism, Judith Plaskow
    Chapter 12. Christianity
    --Story of Jesus
    --From Empire to Schism
    --The Middle Ages
    --The Reformation
    Key Terms
    The Sermon on the Mount
    Healing the Blind and Casting Out Demons
    The Good Samaritan
    Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, and Resurrection
    The Women at the Tomb
    The Word Made Flesh
    The Ascension and Pentecost
    Paul: Life After Death
    The Gnostic Gospel of Mary
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
    Augustine's Confessions
    The Five Ways, Thomas Aquinas
    Orthodox Christianity, Ernst Benz
    The Apostles' Creed
    The Nicene Creed
    Prayer and Fasting
    The Eucharist
    Anointing the Sick
    The Didache: Teaching of the Apostles
    The Prayer of Union, St. Teresa of Avila
    Contemporary Challenges
    Women in the New Testament
    Women and Christianity, Linda Woodhead
    Chapter 13. Islam
    Key Terms
    The Quran, Suras 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 11, 17, 53, 75, 96, 97, 100, 102, 103, 104, 107
    Hadith: Jihad, How Divine Revelation Came to the Holy Prophet, Divorce
    Sunni Beliefs (al-Ash'ari)
    Shi'a Beliefs (Ibn Babuya al-Saduq)
    The Sufi Path: Doorkeeper of the Heart
    Al-Ghazali: The Classes of Seekers
    The Quran: The Cow (The Five Pillars), The Cow (Laws)
    Hadith: Charity
    Contemporary Challenges
    Reforming Islam, John L. Esposito
    Passages About Women: The Quran, Sura 4
    Women and the Quran: Problematic Verses, Ruth Roded
    Women and the Shari'a, Malise Ruthven
    Tolerating the Beliefs of Others, Michael Cook
    Chapter 14. New Religious Movements
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Christian Science
    Key Terms
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Joseph Smith's Introduction to the Book of Mormon
    Christ Appearing in America
    Statement of Beliefs
    Vision and Conversion of Joseph Smith
    Christian Science
    Science and Health, Preface, Mary Baker Eddy
    Science and Health, Recapitulation, Mary Baker Eddy
    Baha'u'llah and Basic Baha'i Teaching
    Baha'i Laws: Kitab-I-Aqdas
    The Bab on Islam and Christianity
    World Peace
    Drawing Down the Moon (1949)
    Power (1953)

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