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Cover

Rethinking Religion

A Concise Introduction

Will Deming

Publication Date - October 2004

ISBN: 9780195169812

176 pages
Paperback
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $44.99

A brief and accessible introduction to religion. Drawing material from a diverse range of religions -- including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and primal religions -- author Will Deming walks readers through thirty examples of how religions "work," exploring the significance of religious events and pronouncements.

Description

The overwhelming majority of people in the world--85%--are religious, and more religions are now practiced in the United States than in any other country. Religion plays a critical role in international politics, in the global economy, and in a wide variety of social and cultural interactions on the domestic front. Even though religion is such an integral part of today's world, many Americans have difficulty discussing it publicly. They are often unfamiliar with any religion but their own, finding other religions mysterious or even threatening.
Offering a brief and accessible point of entry into the subject, Rethinking Religion: A Concise Introduction begins by highlighting the significance of religion in modern society and providing a simple definition that goes beyond vague notions of "faith" or "belief in God." Drawing material from a diverse range of religions--including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and primal religions--author Will Deming walks readers through thirty examples of how religions "work," exploring the significance of religious events and pronouncements. He also considers several topics that continue to fascinate and challenge Westerners: the ethics of studying someone else's religion, the "truth" of religion, the possibilities for preferring one religion over another, religious pluralism, and the contentious dialogue between science and religion.
Enhanced by an innovative glossary of religious terms and numerous pictures and analyses of everyday religious activities, Rethinking Religion: A Concise Introduction is ideal for introducing students to the concept of religion and for courses in comparative and world religions. It is also captivating reading for theologians, scholars, and anyone interested in the topic.

Reviews

"Fresh, intellectual, and very appropriate for students in the 21st century."--Joan J. Earley, University at Albany

"A well laid-out, strikingly presented, orderly, and deeply informative text. Presentations are accessible and uncluttered. An excellent resource."--Johanna Stiebert, University of Tennessee

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Introduction
    SECTION ONE. STARTING POINTS
    1. Why Study Religion?
    2. What Is Religion?
    3. Religious Symbols
    SECTION TWO. THIRTY EXAMPLES
    4. Hinduism
    5. Buddhism
    6. Judaism
    7. Christianity
    8. Islam
    9. Primal Religions
    SECTION THREE. COMPLEXITIES, LIMITS, ETHICS
    10. Change in Symbolic Systems over Time
    11. Further Complexities of Analysis
    12. The Limits of Analysis
    13. The Ethics of Analysis
    SECTION FOUR. COMPARISON AND EVALUATION
    14. The Comparison of Religions
    15. The Evaluation of Religion
    16. The Evaluation of Religions
    Conclusion
    Postscript: Science and Religions
    Notes
    Analytical Glossary of Religious Terms
    Suggestions for Further Reading
    Index

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