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Exploring Religious Meaning,9780130923868
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Exploring Religious Meaning

by ; ; ; ; ;
Edition:
6th
ISBN13:

9780130923868

ISBN10:
0130923869
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
5/28/2002
Publisher(s):
Pearson
List Price: $95.20

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Summary

This new EDITION explores the many dimensions of religion as a central reality of human life. It provides a functional definition of religion that suggests that religion is important to everyone because each person's life is shaped by, and all persons are concerned about, occasions in their lives that threaten or promote fulfillment of the individual's basic values and commitments. FEATURES: bull; bull;A broad approach to defining religion in terms of value and commitment-Allows examination of traditional religious issues, beliefs, and patterns. bull;A functional definition of religion-Provides several definitions of religion-with emphasis upon that which gives "pivitol value" to life. bull;A variety of resource materials-Drawn from the Scriptures and classic literature of the world's great religions, as well as from classic and contemporary sources that seek to interpret religion in its various dimensions. NEW TO THIS EDITION: bull; bull;Updated contemporary examples from popular culture-Features poetry, drama, cinema, comics, news stories, and song lyrics. bull;Expanded and revised content throughout-E.g., ecstatic religion, religion and gENDer, myth, religious understandings of evil, and postmodernism. bull;Examination of recent world events-As they relate to religion. bull;Fuller treatment of religious orientations and movements in simpler and contemporary society.

Table of Contents

Preface or Some Ways of Using This Text ix
Part I Religion and Religious Traditions
Toward a Definition of Religion
1(19)
Reliance upon a Pivotal Value
5(2)
Person-in-Community
7(2)
An Individual and Person-in-Community
9(1)
Other Values Subordinate to Central Value
10(2)
Authentic to the Individual
12(1)
Religious Tradition
13(2)
Life-Governing Value
15(1)
Understanding Based on Dialogue
16(2)
Communication
18(2)
Religious Traditions
20(32)
Hinduism
21(4)
Buddhism
25(5)
Taoism
30(3)
Confucianism
33(2)
Judaism
35(4)
Christianity
39(4)
Islam
43(9)
Summary
47(1)
Basic Tenets of the Major World Religions
48(4)
Part II Experiencing Religion
Religious Experience
52(15)
God's Call, Moses' Response
54(1)
Gautama's Quest for Nirvana
55(3)
Sufi Encounters
58(3)
Saint Teresa's Ecstasy
61(2)
Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe
63(1)
Mahatma Gandhi's Religious Journey
64(3)
Elements of Religious Experience
67(26)
The Role of Symbols in Religion
68(5)
The Role of Ritual in Religion
73(5)
Myth and Religious Insight
78(3)
Magic: Theory and Practice
81(3)
Ecstatic Religious Phenomena
84(4)
Mysticism in Religious Experience
88(5)
Religion in Artistic Expression
93(23)
Art as Symbolic Vehicle
94(6)
Images of Jesus as Christ in the Early Church
100(7)
Luminous Wholeness in Western European Medieval Architecture
107(9)
Part III The Divine
Knowledge, Belief, Authority, and Tradition
116(24)
How Do We Know? What Can We Know?
117(4)
Interpretation and Verification of Religious Knowledge
121(5)
General and Special Revelation, Reason and Faith
126(5)
Authority in Religion
131(2)
Tradition: Its Meaning and Function
133(3)
The Anatomy of Faith
136(4)
Ways of Conceiving the Divine
140(20)
Unit 38 The Holy
141(5)
Unit 39 The Divine Expressed in Religious Texts
146(7)
Unit 40 Conceptual Expressions of the Divine
153(2)
Unit 41 Spirit
155(5)
Part IV The Self and Religion
Evil: Its Reality and Meaning
160(13)
Why Suffering?
161(3)
Concepts of Evil
164(6)
Institutionalized Forms of Evil
170(3)
Understanding the Self
173(15)
The Nature of Humanity
174(5)
On the Meaning of Person
179(5)
Views of Being Human, East and West
184(4)
Freedom and the Self
188(7)
Human Freedom
189(3)
Concepts of Christian Choosing: Grace, Predestination, and Accountability
192(3)
Sin and Guilt
195(8)
Roles of Shame and Guilt
196(1)
Guilt and Religious Experience
197(3)
Judeo-Christian Concepts of Sin
200(3)
Death and the Self
203(14)
Attitudes Toward Death
204(3)
How It May Feel To Die
207(4)
Death and the Afterlife: Cultural Perspectives
211(3)
Resurrection and Monotheistic Faith
214(3)
Salvation and Redemption
217(14)
Salvation
217(3)
Eschatology: The Coming Fulfillment
220(11)
Part V Religion and the Sociocultural Context
The Religious Matrix of Interpersonal Relations
231(12)
The Individual and the Community
232(3)
Love and Duty
235(4)
Act and Motive
239(4)
Corporate Expressions of Ethical Concerns
243(25)
Liberation Theology and Justice
244(2)
Peace or Justice?
246(5)
Religion and the Social Status of Women
251(6)
Sexuality and Human Liberation
257(5)
Poverty and Race
262(3)
Ethnic Pluralism and Contemporary American Religion
265(3)
Religious Traditions and Social Stability
268(10)
Community of Faith
269(2)
Wholeness of Life in a Simply Structured Society
271(2)
Wholeness of Life in Classical Greece
273(2)
Japanese Fondness of Simplicity
275(3)
Religious Traditions and Social Change
278(24)
Population Growth and World Hunger
278(6)
Religion, Humanity, and Technology
284(3)
Secularization
287(3)
Characteristics of Modernization
290(2)
Modernism and Postmodernism: Some Variations
292(4)
New Religious Movements
296(6)
Part VI Religion and the Natural Order
Human Response to the Natural Process
302(10)
Humanity and the World
303(5)
Nature and the Natural
308(4)
Order and Origins
312(19)
Religious Views on the Origin of the Universe
313(6)
Religious Vision and Scientific Method
319(6)
The Temporal and Eternal
325(6)
Index of Religious Traditions 331(4)
Index of Names and Subjects 335

Excerpts

PREFACE OR SOME WAYS OF USING THIS TEXTExploring Religious Meaningis intended to serve as a set of tools and resources for exploring the many dimensions of religion as a central reality of human life. It was designed with introductory courses in religion, religion and culture, religion and society, and the humanities in mind. It has also been used successfully as a main or supplementary text for courses in comparative religion, sociology of religion, and philosophy of religion. It is indexed and formatted in ways that suggest a variety of uses. It can be used readily for independent study.The book's design suggests an approach to inquiry that may be called inductive and integrative. Many of the readings are taken from Scriptures and classic literature of the world's religions. Others, presented in a variety of ways, are drawn from classic and contemporary sources that interpret religion in its various dimensions--theological, psychological, sociological, philosophical, cultural, and practical. Some are drawn from areas of contemporary -culture in which religious experience and commitment are actualized, appreciated, or criticized.The authors ofExploring Religious Meaningdo not always agree among themselves on questions of interpretation. Readers will no doubt find themselves questioning or disagreeing with points of view expressed in sources or interpretative commentary. We hope that individual readers will be stimulated to address their own questions and formulate their own responses in studying the issues. Questions and discussion points are connected with readings more closely than in earlier editions. We believe they will be more useful.To understand religion, religious phenomena must be seen in their contexts as manifested in the lives of societies and individuals. Traditional practices, organizational structures, doctrinal formulations handed down from generation to generation are important aspects of religion that receive attention in this text. Important too are individual experiences of feeling and response movements of innovation, protest and reform, and the emergence of new patterns that may modify, give new life to, or eclipse the old and established.In the first chapter, a functional definition of religion is proposed. This definition suggests that religion is important to everyone because each person's life is shaped by--and all persons are concerned about--events that confront them with occasions that threaten or promote fulfillment of the individual's most basic values and commitments. Such basic commitments express what the individual most desires, how that person defines the meaning and value of existence. Basic commitments that involve the person's deepest loyalties, feelings, and beliefs about what is worth trying to acquire or preserve are--according to our proposed definition of religion--religious.Exploring Religious Meaningbegan as an attempt in the late 1960s to communicate and illuminate religious concepts, practices, and traditions in ways that would effectively speak both to students who had religious interest and commitments and to others who had little experience of or even interest in the subject. Materials in the book have been updated many times since then. Probably the two greatest changes, beginning with the second edition, were (1) the addition of a separate chapter giving connected accounts of eight of the world's major religious traditions and (2) greater attention to unity and clarity in the structure of the book. Each subsequent edition has seen the addition of more information about individual religious traditions, including the major religions, new religious movements, and religion in ancient or simpler societies. These will be found throughout the book. Also, each edition has seen the development of a strengthened context of interpretation, giving greater clarity and a more comp


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