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Religions of the West Today



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Oxford University Press
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  • Religions of the West Today
    Religions of the West Today
  • Religions of the West Today
    Religions of the West Today


Ideal for courses in Western religions,Religions of the West Today,Second Edition, covers the same material contained in the authors' longer textbook,World Religions Today,Fourth Edition. Religions of the West Today,Second Edition, reveals the significance of religion in contemporary life. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, indigenous religions, and new religions are explored as dynamic, ongoing forces in the lives of individuals and in the collective experience of modern societies.Thisunique volume accomplishes two goals: it connects today's Western religions to their classical beliefs and practices and focuses on how these religions have responded to and been transformed by the modern world.The authors combine thorough coverage of the historical background of each religion with up-to-the-minute discussions of its current practices. This volume is enhanced by numerous pedagogical aids--text boxes, timelines, maps, discussion questions, a comprehensive glossary of key terms, and suggestions for further reading--and more than 100 photographs and illustrations. NEW TO THIS EDITION: * Updates throughoutthat cover more aspects of the current international situation and developments in religious life around the world * "Rituals and Rites" boxesexamining rituals that have changed in practice or meaning over time * "Gender Focus" boxesthat highlight gender-specific customs within each faith * A revised and updated Instructor's Manual and Test Bank on CDcontaining overviews, learning goals, and summaries for each chapter; lecture outlines; PowerPoint-based lecture slides; fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, and true/false test questions; sample essay/discussion questions; flash cards of key terms; and suggested reading, viewing, and links * An updated Companion Website at all of the material on the Instructor's Manual and additional resources for students ALSO AVAILABLE TO SUIT YOUR COURSE NEEDS: World Religions Today,Fourth Edition (978-0-19-975951-4) Religions of Asia Today,Second Edition (978-0-19-975949-1)

Author Biography

John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies, and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. Darrell J. Fasching is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. Todd Lewis is Professor of World Religions at the College of the Holy Cross.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 3
Globalization: World Religions in Everyone's Hometownp. 3
Why Study World Religions?p. 5
Our Taskp. 6
Understanding Religious Experience and Its Formative Elementsp. 7
The Great Religious Stories of the Worldp. 18
Historical Overview: From Premodern to Postmodernp. 25
The Modern/Postmodern Transition: Colonialism, the Socialist Challenge, and the End of Modernityp. 29
Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 33
Conclusion: We Are All Heretics in the Postmodern Situationp. 34
Discussion Questionsp. 34
Key Termsp. 35
Notesp. 35
Indigenous Religionsp. 37
Overviewp. 37
Origins of Homo religiosus: Prehistoryp. 38
Religion's Origins Among Hunter-Gatherersp. 41
Indigenous Religious Traditions: Soul Belief and Afterlifep. 48
Shamans: "Technicians of the Sacred"p. 54
Indigenous Religions Todayp. 62
Conclusionp. 70
Discussion Questionsp. 71
Key Termsp. 72
Suggested Readingsp. 72
Notesp. 73
Additional Resourcesp. 73
The Many Stories of Judaism: Sacred and Secularp. 75
Overviewp. 75
Encounter with Modernity: Modern Judaisms and the Challenge of Ultra-Orthodoxyp. 79
Premodern Judaism: The Formative Era (2000 BCE-500 CE)p. 83
Premodern Judaism: The Classical Era (500 CE-1729 CE)p. 101
Judaism and Modernity (1729-1967)p. 115
Judaism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World (1967-)p. 128
Conclusionp. 142
Discussion Questionsp. 143
Key Termsp. 144
Suggested Readingsp. 144
Notesp. 145
Additional Resourcesp. 145
Christian Diversity and the Road to Modernityp. 147
Overviewp. 147
Encounter with Modernity: The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy (1859-)p. 152
Premodern Christianity: The Formative Era (31-451 CE)p. 157
Premodern Christianity: The Classical Era (451-1517 CE)p. 172
Christianity and Modernity (1517-1962)p. 182
Christianity and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World (1962-)p. 199
Conclusionp. 209
Discussion Questionsp. 212
Key Termsp. 212
Suggested Readingsp. 213
Additional Resourcesp. 213
Islam: The Many Faces of the Muslim Experiencep. 215
Overviewp. 215
Encounter with Modernity: The Challenge of Western Colonialismp. 221
Premodern Islam: The Formative Erap. 224
Premodern Islam: The Classical Erap. 238
Islam and Modernityp. 259
Islam and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 265
Islam: Postmodern Challengesp. 285
Conclusionp. 292
Discussion Questionsp. 292
Key Termsp. 293
Suggested Readingsp. 294
Notesp. 295
Additional Resourcesp. 295
Globalization: From New to New Age Religionsp. 297
Overviewp. 297
Encounter with Modernity: The Challenge of Global Diversity to the "Purity" of Traditionp. 299
New Religionsp. 300
New Age Religionsp. 307
Conclusion: The Postmodern Challenge-Can There Be a Global Ethic in a World of Religious Diversity?p. 321
Discussion Questionsp. 334
Suggested Readingsp. 334
Notesp. 335
Additional Resourcesp. 333
Glossary G-1
Art Credits A-1
Index I-1
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