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Cover

Invitation to World Religions

Fourth Edition

Jeffrey Brodd, Layne Little, Bradley Nystrom, Robert Platzner, Richard Shek, and Erin Stiles

Publication Date - July 2021

ISBN: 9780197543788

688 pages
Paperback
7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $99.95

An invitation into the teachings, history, and ways of life of the world's religions

Description

Featuring a unique, consistent, and modular chapter structure--"Teachings," "History," and "Way of Life"--and numerous pedagogical features, Invitation to World Religions invites students to explore the world's great religions with respect and a sense of wonder. This chapter structure enables students to navigate each religion in a consistent and systematic way and helps students to make comparisons between religions. The book describes the essential features of each religion and shows how they have responded to basic human needs and to the cultural contexts in which they developed. The authors also encourage students to develop an appreciation for what religious beliefs and practices actually mean to their adherents.

New to this Edition

  • Twenty-first Century boxes: A new feature highlighting in a concentrated manner how each religion is manifested in contemporary times, as reflected in population figures and current trends. These boxes are consistently located at the end of each chapter, allowing for easily accessible information on the state of the religion today
  • Focus on religion and the environment: Each chapter includes substantive consideration of the religion's stance on the environment and on activities aimed at caring for the natural world
  • Enhanced consideration of gender roles and personal identity: Moving beyond standalone sections on “Women and Religion” and attending to perspectives both traditional and modern, each chapter clarifies gender roles and examines forces that have brought about transformations. Issues involving sexuality and gender identity are also explored
  • A more uniform writing style and better images and graphics

Features

  • A consistent, modular chapter structure-"Teachings," "History," and "Way of Life"-enables students to navigate each religion in a consistent and systematic way and helps them make comparisons between religions
  • A lucid and accessible writing style imparts a sense of invitation, welcoming students into the beliefs and practices of religious adherents around the world
  • A team of authors with diverse specialties ensures that each religion is covered with true expertise
  • "Voices" interviews present personal, candid interviews with a diverse array of people sharing the ways in which they live their traditions, giving students an insider's perspective on the traditions they are studying
  • “Global Snapshot” highlights how each religion is reflected in a globalized world or as it is lived in diasporic communities
  • "Seeking Answers" sections at the end of each chapter encourage students to compare the ways in which different religions address the same essential questions
  • "Visual Guides" offer keys to important religious symbols in easy-to-read tables for quick reference and comparison
  • Chapter-opening maps and timelines throughout the text provide a geographical context for each religion's development and help students to trace the evolution of each religion within its larger social and political context
  • "For Review" and “For Further Reflection” questions prompt students to reexamine essential concepts and invite students to think critically and to engage in deeper analyses
  • Key terms are boldfaced at their first appearance and defined in the glossaries that follow each chapter as well as in a comprehensive glossary at the end of the book
  • Suggestions for further reading direct students to some of the best and most recent print and online resources on each tradition
  • A wealth of rich and relevant color photographs and illustrations keep students visually engaged and add visual experience to the verbal descriptions of sacred objects, buildings, art, and other material aspects of religious life
  • A robust ancillary program includes student quizzes, chapter learning objectives, suggested web links, and flashcards

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Brodd is Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Layne Little is Lecturer of Religious Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bradley Nystrom is Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Robert Platzner is Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Richard Shek is Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Erin Stiles is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Table of Contents

    Preface
    1 An Invitation to the Study of World Religions
    APPROACHING THE STUDY OF WORLD RELIGIONS
    WHAT RELIGIONS DO
    RELIGIONS IN THE MODERN WORLD
    AN ACADEMIC APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF RELIGIONS
    2 Indigenous Religions of North America
    THE TEACHINGS OF INDIGENOUS NORTH AMERICAN RELIGIONS
    THE HISTORY OF INDIGENOUS NORTH AMERICAN RELIGIONS
    INDIGENOUS NORTH AMERICAN RELIGIONS AS A WAY OF LIFE
    3 Indigenous Religions of Africa
    THE TEACHINGS OF INDIGENOUS AFRICAN RELIGIONS
    THE HISTORY OF INDIGENOUS AFRICAN RELIGIONS
    AFRICAN RELIGIONS AS A WAY OF LIFE
    4 Hinduism
    THE TEACHINGS OF HINDUISM
    THE HISTORY OF HINDUISM
    HINDUISM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    5 Buddhism
    THE TEACHINGS OF BUDDHISM
    THE HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
    BUDDHISM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    6 Jainism
    THE TEACHINGS OF JAINISM
    THE HISTORY OF JAINISM
    JAINISM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    7 Sikhism
    THE TEACHINGS OF SIKHISM
    THE HISTORY OF SIKHISM
    SIKHISM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    8 Chinese Religions: Confucianism and Daoism
    THE TEACHINGS OF CONFUCIANISM AND DAOISM
    THE HISTORY OF CONFUCIANISM AND DAOISM
    CONFUCIANISM AND DAOISM AS WAYS OF LIFE
    9 Shinto
    THE TEACHINGS OF SHINTO
    THE HISTORY OF SHINTO
    SHINTO AS A WAY OF LIFE
    10 Zoroastrianism
    THE TEACHINGS OF ZOROASTRIANISM
    THE HISTORY OF ZOROASTRIANISM
    ZOROASTRIANISM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    11 Judaism
    THE TEACHINGS OF JUDAISM
    THE HISTORY OF JUDAISM
    JUDAISM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    12 Christianity
    THE TEACHINGS OF CHRISTIANITY
    THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY
    CHRISTIANITY AS A WAY OF LIFE
    13 Islam
    THE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM
    THE HISTORY OF ISLAM
    ISLAM AS A WAY OF LIFE
    14 New Religious Movements
    WHAT IS "NEW" ABOUT NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS?
    ALTERNATIVE CHRISTIANITIES AND THEIR OFFSHOOTS
    THE REDISCOVERY OF EASTERN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
    THE REVIVAL OF ESOTERIC AND NEOPAGAN THOUGHT
    THE EMERGENCE OF UNIVERSALIST RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
    THE NEW ATHEISM
    Notes N-1
    Glossary G-1
    Credits C-1
    Index I-1

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