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Cover

World Religions Today

Seventh Edition

John Esposito, Darrell J. Fasching, Todd T. Lewis, and Peter Feldmeier

Publication Date - June 2021

ISBN: 9780197537657

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

Retail Price to Students: $100.95

The only world religions text that offers a unique focus on religion in the modern world, illustrating the tension between tradition and modernity

Description

Revealing the significance of religion in contemporary life, World Religions Today, Seventh Edition, explores major religious traditions--Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, South Asian religions, East Asian religions, indigenous religions, and new religions--as dynamic, ongoing forces in the lives of individuals and in the collective experience of modern societies. This unique volume accomplishes two goals: it connects today's religions to their classical beliefs and practices and focuses on how these religions have both radically changed the modern world and been changed by it. The book is enhanced by numerous pedagogical aids--text boxes, timelines, maps, illustrations, discussion questions, a comprehensive glossary of key terms, and suggestions for further reading--and more than 200 photographs.

New to this Edition

  • Edited and expanded chronology
  • More attention on lived experience in each religion
  • Dramatic revision of the chapters on Judaism and Christianity
  • Significantly updated Islam chapter with sections on fundamentalism, reformers, ISIS, Islamophobia, and the Arab Spring
  • Significantly revised chapter on globalization and the dynamics of new age religiosoty

Features

  • Connects today's religions to their classical beliefs and practices and highlights the tensions between historical religious traditions and their modern manifestations
  • Offers an up-to-date view of how religions have responded to and been transformed by the modern world and how they impact and are impacted by globalization and international relations
  • Highlights some of the most colorful, lively, and striking aspects of religion today through a wide variety of thematic and special-topic boxes that explore particular ideas or practices in some depth: “Ritual and Rites” boxes examine rituals that have changed in practice or meaning over time; “Gender Focus” boxes highlight gender-specific customs within each faith; “Teachings of Religious Wisdom” boxes expose students to primary sources from various traditions; “Contrasting Religious Visions” boxes compare the beliefs of two significant adherents of a faith who each see the demands of their religion calling believers in very different directions in the modern age; “Tales of Spiritual Transformation” offer descriptions of religious experiences in the believers' own words
  • Incorporates helpful pedagogical aids, including timelines, maps, illustrations, discussion questions, a comprehensive glossary, suggestions for further reading, and more than 200 photographs
  • “Tales of Spiritual Transformation” offers descriptions of religious experiences in believers' own words. Some of these are classical voices and others contemporary.

About the Author(s)

John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies, Founding Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and Director of The Bridge: Protecting Pluralism--Ending Islamophobia at Georgetown University. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and is the author of What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, Second Edition (2011), The Future of Islam (2010), and Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (2002), and coauthor of Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring (2015), all published by Oxford University Press.

The late Darrell J. Fasching was Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida.

Todd T. Lewis is Professor of World Religions at the College of the Holy Cross.

Peter Feldmeier is the Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo.

Table of Contents

    Preface

    Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
    Understanding World Religions in Global Perspective
    Why Study World Religions?
    Our Task
    Understanding Religious Experience and Its Formative Elements
    The Great Religious Stories of the World
    The Fundamental Terms and Organization of This Book
    Historical Overview: From Premodern to Postmodern
    The Modern/Postmodern Transition: Colonialism and Socialism
    Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World

    Chapter 2 INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS
    Origins of Homo religiosus: Prehistory
    Confrontation with Modernity
    Religion's Origins Among Hunter-Gatherers
    Indigenous Religious Traditions: Soul Belief and Afterlife
    Shamans: "Technicians of the Sacred"
    Indigenous Religions Today
    Conclusion

    Chapter 3 THE MANY STORIES OF JUDAISM: SACRED AND SECULAR
    What Does It Mean to Be Jewish?
    Encounter with Modernity: Modern Judaisms and the Challenge of Ultra-Orthodoxy
    Premodern Judaism: The Formative Era (2 BCE-500 CE)
    Premodern Judaism: The Classical Era (500 CE-1729 CE)
    Judaism and Modernity (1729-1967)
    Conclusion

    Chapter 4 CHRISTIAN DIVERSITY AND THE ROAD TO MODERNITY
    Encounter with Modernity: The Fundamentalist-Modernist COntroversy (1859-)
    Premodern Christianity: The Formative Era (31-313 CE)
    The Life of the Early Church
    Premodern Christianity: The Classical Era (313-1517 CE)
    The Medieval Church
    Christianity and Modernity (1517-1962)
    Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World (1962-)
    Conclusion: The Challenge of Religious Pluralism

    Chapter 5 ISLAM: THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSLIM EXPERIENCE
    Encounter with Modernity: The Challenge of Western Colonialism
    Premodern Islam: The Formative Era
    Premodern Islam: The Classical Era
    Islam and Modernity
    Islam and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
    Islam: Postmodern Challenges
    Conclusion

    Chapter 6 HINDUISM, JAINISM, AND SIKHISM: SOUTH ASIAN RELIGIONS
    Defining Hinduism: Univty, Diversity, Localities
    Encounter with Modernity: Hindu Challenges to India as a Secular State
    Premodern Hinduism: The Formative Era
    Premodern Hinduism: The Classical Era (180 BCE-900 CE)
    Premodern Hinduism: The Postclassical Era (900 CE-1500 CE)
    Hinduism and Modernity
    Hinduism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
    Hindu and Sikh Festival Practice
    The Religious Institutions of Contemporary Hinduism
    Conclusion

    Chapter 7 BUDDHISM: PATHS TOWARD NIRVANA
    Encounter with Modernity: Socially "Engaged Buddhism"
    Premodern Buddhism: The Formative Era (600 BCE-100 CE)
    Premodern Buddhism: The Classical Era (100-800 CE)
    Premodern Buddhism: Buddhist Expansion (400-1500 CE)
    Buddhism and Modernity
    Buddhism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
    Conclusion

    Chapter 8 EAST ASIAN RELIGIONS: CONFUCIANISM, DAOISM, SHINTO, BUDDHISM
    Encounter with Modernity: The Fall and Return of Confucianism
    East Asian Religions in the Formative Era (1500 BCE-617 CE)
    East Asian Religions in the Classical Era (645-1271 CE)
    East Asian Religions in the Early Modern Era
    East Asian Religions and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
    Conclusion: Have We Entered a Third Confucian Age?

    Chapter 9 GLOBALIZATION: FROM NEW TO NEW AGE RELIGIONS
    The Challenge of Global Diversity
    New Religions
    Part I: Global Trends in World Religions Today
    Part II: Religions Today and the Nation State
    Part III: The Future of World Religions admist Global Crises
    Part IV: "Passing Over": World Citizenship Facing Global Challenges

    Glossary
    Art Credits
    Index

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