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Featuring a unique, consistent, and modular chapter structure--"Teachings," "History," and "Way of Life"--and numerous pedagogical features, Invitation to Asian Religions invites students to explore Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Chinese religions (Confucianism and Daoism), and Shinto 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 the religions 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.
A consistent, modular chapter structure--"Teachings, "History," and "Ways of Life"--enables students to navigate each religion in a consistent and systematic way and helps them to 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 large team of authors with diverse specialties ensures that each religion is covered with true expertise
"Voices" present personal, candid interviews with a diverse array of people sharing the ways in which they live their faiths
"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 geographical, social, and political context for each religion's development
"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 and also in the glossary at the back of the book
Suggestions for further reading direct students to some of the best and most recent print and online resources on each tradition
Also available to suit your course needs:
Invitation to World Religions, Second Edition: 978-0-19-937836-4
Invitation to Western Religions: 978-0-19-021127-1
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 Religion as a Subject of Academic Inquiry What Religions Do Religious Questions and Challenges Basic Components of Religions Teachings Historical Development Way of Life Religions in the Modern World Modernization and Related Phenomena The Changing Roles of Women in Religions The Encounter of Religion and Science An Academic Approach to the Study of Religions Balance and Empathy Comparative and Multidisciplinary Approaches CHAPTER 2. HINDUISM The Teachings of Hinduism Hindu Beliefs about Divine Reality The Individual and the Quest for Liberation Three Paths to Liberation Vendanta: The Predominant School of Hindu Philosophy The Individual and Society * VOICES: An Interview with Jayashree Venkatesan Hindu Sacred Texts The Sects of Hinduism The History of Hinduism The Indus Valley Civilization Who Are the Aryans? The Vedic Period The Age of the Guptas The Development of Bhakti Tantra * Early Hindu Encounters with Islam and Rule Under the Mughal Dynasty * Colonial Critique and the Hindu Reformers * Gandhi and the Struggle for Indian Independence Hindu Nationalism and Hindutva The Future of Hinduism Hinduism as a Way of Life Seeing the Divine Image: Temples and Icons Forms of Worship Yoga Rites of Passage Pilgrimage Women in Hinduism Festivals and Holidays Performance Traditions CHAPTER 3. BUDDHISM The Teachings of Buddhism The Life of the Buddha The Essentials of the Buddha's Teaching VOICES: An Interview with Katherine Sei The History of Buddhism The Period of the Buddhist Councils Theravada Buddhism Mahayana Buddhism Vajrayana Buddhism Buddhism in India Buddhism Beyond India The Western Transmission Buddhists in the World Today Buddhism as a Way of Life Who Is a Buddhist? The Buddha's Teachings on Ethics and "Skillful Means" Meditation and the Cultivation of Mind Mantra, Liturgical Ritual, and Chanting Conversion and Ordination Women in Buddhism Sacred Places and Objects of Veneration Holidays and Festivals Funerary Rites CHAPTER 4. JAINISM The Teachings of Jainism Mahavira, the Twenty-fourth and Last Tirthankara of This World Cycle An Eternal Succession of Tirthankaras Jainism and Hinduism Ahimsa and Asceticism: Jainism's Ideals Theory of the Universe Liberation and Salvation The History of Jainism The Indian Historical Context The Legacy of the Tirthankaras: Jainism through the Centuries Jainism in Today's World Jainism as a Way of Life Digambaras and Shvetambaras VOICES: An Interview With Girish Shah The Ascetic Life Jainism and Women The Religious Life of the Jain Laity CHAPTER 5. SIKHISM The Teachings of Sikhism The Life of Guru Nanak Sikh Scripture On God, the Human Condition, and Spiritual Liberation Teachings of Guru Gobind Singh and the Khalsa The History of Sikhism Guru Nanak's Successors Guru Gobind Singh and the Khalsa Sikhs and Nationalism Sikhs in the Diaspora Sikhism as a Way of Life VOICES: An Interview with Onkar Singh Daily Devotional Practices Sikh Worship in the Gurdwara Life Cycle Rituals Worship, Work, and Charity Women and Sikhism Sikh Identity CHAPTER 6. CHINESE RELIGIONS: CONFUCIANISM AND DAOISM The Teachings of Confucianism and Daoism Ancient Chinese Religious Views The Teachings of Confucius Confucianism and Women The Teachings of Daoism Daoism and Women The History of Confucianism and Daoism The History of Confucianism The History of Daoism Confucianism and Daoism as Ways of Life Confucian Rituals VOICES: An Interview with Jason Ch'ui-hsiao Tseng Daoist Practices CHAPTER 7. SHINTO The Teachings of Shinto The Meaning of Kami Creation Myth in the Kojiki VOICES: An Interview with Watanabe Minoru The History of Shinto Medieval Shinto The Modern Period Shinto in Japan Today Shinto as a Way of Life Fertility Rites Women in Shinto Rites of Purification, Presentation, Petition, and Participation Notes Glossary Credits Index