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Living Religions - Eastern Traditions,9780131829862
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Living Religions - Eastern Traditions

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780131829862

ISBN10:
0131829866
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
5/19/2003
Publisher(s):
Pearson
List Price: $109.20

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Summary

Living Religions: Eastern Traditions presents a highly readable and stimulating survey of the world's major religious traditions that have originated in the East. Exploring the historical development and teachings of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto this book considers how each of these traditions has evolved into contemporary beliefs and practices. A perceptive concluding chapter also examines the rise of new religious movements in the East, the spread of religious pluralism, and the movement toward interfaith dialogue at the beginning of the new millennium. With the help of a team of specialist consultants in each faith, and drawing on a wealth of scholarly research and firsthand source material, Mary Pat Fisher gives a fresh and challenging insight into how believers of today's faiths perceive their religion and its role in the changing world in which they live. FEATURES bull; bull;Color feature boxes on religious figures in public life, religion in practice, and interviews with practitioners bull;Three color timelines and four color maps providing historical and geographical context for each religion bull;Exploration of the contributions and concerns of women in each tradition bull;Coverage of the socio-political context of contemporary religious practice bull;Suggestions for further reading at the END of each chapter bull;Extensive glossary with pronunciation guide bull;With 114 illustrations, 61 in color

Table of Contents

Preface 7(12)
The Religious Response
12(29)
Why are there religions?
12(9)
Materialistic perspective: humans invented religion
13(2)
Functional perspective: religion is useful
15(4)
Faith perspective: Ultimate Reality exists
19(2)
Modes of encountering Ultimate Reality
21(2)
Understandings of Ultimate Reality
23(3)
Worship, symbol, and myth
26(2)
Absolutist and liberal interpretations
28(1)
The encounter between science and religion
29(5)
Women and the feminine in religions
34(2)
The negative side of organized religion
36(2)
Box: Angels Weep
38(1)
Suggested reading
39(2)
Hinduism
41(49)
Harappan civilization
42(1)
Vedic religion
42(1)
Map: The Indian Subcontinent
43(2)
Timeline
45(7)
Fire sacrifices and the cosmic order
47(1)
Philosophy of the Upanishads
48(1)
Castes and social duties
49(1)
Bhakti in the epics and Puranas
50(2)
Teaching Story: Hanuman, the Monkey Chief
52(5)
Spiritual disciplines
57(7)
The guru
58(1)
Yogic practices
59(5)
Major theistic cults
64(1)
Living Hinduism: An Interview with Sarala Chakrabarty
65(6)
Saktas
65(3)
Saivities
68(1)
Vaishnavites
69(2)
Major philosophical systems
71(2)
Samkhya
71(1)
Advaita Vedanta
72(1)
Popular forms of worship
73(8)
Devotions and rituals
73(3)
Festivals
76(5)
Hinduism in the modern world
81(3)
Global Hinduism
83(1)
Religion in Practice: Dharmic Principles: The Swadhyaya Movement
84(4)
Hindu exclusivism vs. universalism
85(3)
Religion in Public Life: Dr. Karan Singh
88(1)
Suggested reading
89(1)
Jainism
90(13)
The Tirthankaras and ascetic orders
90(2)
Freeing the soul: the ethical pillars
92(3)
Karma
93(1)
Ahimsa
93(1)
Aparigraha
94(1)
Religion in Practice: Jain Purification
95(1)
Anekantwad
96(1)
Spiritual practices
96(3)
Teaching Story: The Story of Bahubali
99(1)
World Jainism
99(1)
Living Jainism: An Interview with Samani Charitra Prajna
100(2)
Suggested reading
102(1)
Buddhism
103(47)
The life of the Buddha
103(3)
Timeline
106(3)
The dharma
109(4)
The basic facts of existence
110(2)
The Eightfold Path of liberation
112(1)
Teaching Story: The Monkeys Take Care of the Trees
113(4)
The wheel of birth and death
114(1)
Nirvana
114(3)
Buddhism south and north
117(1)
Map: The Spread of Buddhism
117(6)
Theravada: the path of mindfulness
118(5)
Living Buddhism: An Interview with Komkai Charoensuk
123(4)
Mahayana: the path of compassion and metaphysics
125(2)
Map: Buddhism Today
127(6)
Vajrayana: indestructible way to unity
129(3)
Zen: the great way of enlightenment
132(1)
Religion in Public Life: His Holiness the Dalai Lama
133(2)
Box: Zen Oxherding Pictures
135(5)
Pure Land: calling on Amida Buddha
136(2)
Nichiren: salvation through the Lotus Sutra
138(2)
Buddhism in the West
140(2)
Religion in Practice: Life in a Western Zen Monastery
142(2)
Socially engaged Buddhism
144(3)
Suggested reading
147(3)
Sikhism
150(21)
The sant tradition
150(1)
Guru Nanak
151(2)
The succession of Gurus
153(2)
Teaching Story: Guru Arjun Dev's Devotion
155(4)
Central beliefs
159(3)
Sacred practices
162(2)
Religion in Public Life: His Holiness Baba Virsa Singh
164(2)
Sikhism today
166(1)
Map: The Punjab
167(1)
Living Sikhism: An Interview with G. S. Jauhal
168(2)
Suggested reading
170(1)
Taoism and Confucianism
171(29)
Ancient traditions
171(1)
Timeline
172(2)
Taoism---the way of nature and immortality
174(3)
Teachings of Taoist sages
175(2)
Teaching Story: Three in the Morning
177(9)
Organized Taoism
179(5)
Taoism today
184(2)
Confucianism---the practice of virtue
186(11)
Master K'ung's life
187(1)
The Confucian virtues
188(2)
Divergent followers of Confucius
190(1)
The state cult
191(2)
Confucianism under communism
193(4)
Living Confucianism: An Interview with Ann-Ping Chin
197(2)
Confucianism in East Asia
198(1)
Suggested reading
199(1)
Shinto
200(15)
The essence of Shinto
200(6)
Kinship with nature
200(2)
Honoring the kami
202(1)
Shrines
203(1)
Ceremonies
204(1)
Purification
205(1)
Religion in Practice: Purification by Waterfall
206(3)
Festivals
208(1)
Buddhist and Confucian influences
209(2)
State Shinto
209(2)
Shinto today
211(2)
Living Shinto: An Interview with Hitoshi Iwasaki
213(1)
Suggested reading
214(1)
Religion in the Twenty-First Century
215(8)
Religious pluralism
215(1)
New religious movements
215(3)
Hardening of religious boundaries
218(1)
Interfaith movement
219(3)
Suggested reading
222(1)
Notes 223(6)
Glossary 229(5)
Credits 234(1)
Index 235

Excerpts

Religion is not a museum piece. As the twenty-first century unfolds, religion is a vibrant force in the lives of many people around the world, and many religions are presently experiencing a renaissance.Living Religions: Eastern Traditionsis a sympathetic approach to what is living and significant in the world's major religious traditions and new religious movements that have originated in the East. This book provides a clear and straightforward account of the development, doctrines, and practices of these faiths. It ends with conclusions about trends that are now being seen in all religions. The emphasis throughout is on the personal consciousness of believers and on their own accounts of their religion and its relevance in contemporary life. Special featuresOne of the unique features of this text is personal interviews with followers of each faith. This material provides interesting and informative first-person accounts of each religion as perceived from within the tradition. This volume includes special boxes featuring interviews with a Hindu grandmother, a Jain "semi-nun," a Thai Buddhist trying to incorporate meditation into worldly life, a Chinese scholar living abroad and witnessing social changes as they affect the religious values of her parents, and a Shinto practitioner trying to restore faith in his ancient religion. In addition, first-person accounts have been interwoven throughout the text.Living Religions: Eastern Traditionsalso includes feature boxes on "Religion in Public Life." These portray the spiritual roots of Dr. Karan Singh and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, followers of Eastern religions who are making significant contributions to modern society. In their stories, one recognizes that deep religiosity can go hand-in-hand with deep social commitment.There are also feature boxes on "Religion in Practice," such as the Swadhyaya Movement and Life in a Western Zen Monastery, and "Teaching Stories", such as "The Monkeys Take Care of the Trees", which can serve as take-off points for discussions about core values imbedded in each faith.Violence perpetrated in the name of religion is often in the news these days.Living Religions: Eastern Traditionsincludes probing discussions of this disturbing factor. Distinctions are made between the basic teachings of religions, none of which condones wanton violence, and the ways in which religions have been politicized. There is extensive coverage of the socio-political context of the contemporary practice of religions, particularly with reference to emergent Hindu nationalism. The final chapter examines the current tensions between the hardening of inter-religious boundaries and efforts to bring harmony among religions.Throughout the book, women's contributions and women's issues are carefully considered. Women's voices, including those of female religious leaders and scholars, are woven into the discussions.The opening chapter, "The Religious Response," brings critical scholarship to bear on underlying issues in the study of religion. Throughout the book the latest scholarship has been applied. The text incorporates extensive quotations from primary sources to give a direct perception of the thinking and flavor of each tradition. Particularly memorable brief quotations are set off in boxes.One of the most engaging features of Living Religions: Eastern Traditions is its illustrations. I have been glad to have the chance to use 114 illustrations, 61 of them in color, to help bring religions to life. Narrative captions accompanying the illustrations offer additional insights into the characteristics and orientation of each tradition and the people who practice it. Learning aidsI have tried to present each tradition clearly and without the clutter of less important names and dates. Key terms, defined and highlighted in boldface when they first appear, are includ


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