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The Power of Religion

A Comparative Introduction

Amanda Porterfield

Publication Date - 11 December 1997

ISBN: 9780195093292

240 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


The Power of Religion is an engaging introduction to six religious traditions--Native American religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism--which recognizes the diversity of religious belief and offers both comparative and historical analysis. Genuinely accessible to undergraduates and general readers, it shows how various forms of these traditions are lived out in practice, experience, and community, presenting religions as conceivable ways of living and demonstrating how religious beliefs are integrally related to other aspects of life. Many chapters open with a description of a particular religious event or act that one might encounter today in the United States, where virtually all of the world's religions are now being practiced. The author discusses several of the historical developments each religion has undergone and considers how each of the religions has changed in response to the climate of religious exchange and religious pluralism that exists in the United States today. The Power of Religion helps readers to understand the vitality and plausibility of religious belief, to draw comparisons between religions, and to reflect on the nature of religion and its role in society. It is ideal for courses in introduction to religion, world religions, and comparative religion, and will also appeal to general readers interested in religion.

Table of Contents

    Part I: Religious Practice
    1. Navajo Sandpainting
    2. The Roman Catholic Eucharist
    3. A Jewish Passover Seder
    4. Islamic Salat
    5. Puja to the Hindu Goddess Devi
    6. Buddhist Zazen
    Part Two: Experience
    7. Lakota Self-Sacrifice
    8. Presbyterian Grace
    9. Jewish Mysticism
    10. Islamic Jihad
    11. Experiencing God in the Hindu Bhagavadgita
    12. Meeting a Tibetan Budda
    Part III: Community
    The Power of Religious Communities

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