In This Section:
I. Author Bio
II. Author Letter
I. Author Bio
Mark Woodward is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University and Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies at Gadjah Madah University and Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, both in Yogyakarta Indonesia. He conducted ethnographic research in Indonesia, Burma and Thailand, and is also author of the books, Islam in Java and Java, Indonesia and Islam.
II. Author Letter
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the new edition of Religions of the World. This is the twelfth edition, and the book has gone through many changes over the years. It was originally authored by Lewis Hopfe, a dedicated teacher and scholar whose vision for teaching the World Religions course combined a sense of history with an appreciation of keeping the subject alive by focusing on contemporary trends in religions and the role of religion in world affairs.
In the editions I have edited, and sections of the book that I have rewritten, I have done the best that I can to retain this perspective. I continue to include both primary texts and first hand accounts of what is now called "lived religion" or somewhat less pretentiously "religion and everyday life. In fact, I explore these "living religions" in terms of the historical and cultural factors that produced them, the lives of their founders, their basic teachings, and their historical development and current status in the world.
I have been fortunate enough to have lived in many parts of the world and to have had the chance to interact with people from most of the religious traditions discussed in the book. These experiences have had a major impact on almost every chapter, especially those concerned with contemporary religious life. It is also apparent in original photographs that I have used whenever possible.
Another unique feature of this book is frank and honest discussion of the issue of religion and violence. I think that there is no escaping this issue and that our students will hold us accountable if we do not help them to understand how it is that people of many, indeed almost all, faiths can use religion to motivate or excuse violence and the dehumanization of others.
Please do let me know what you think of the new edition of Religions of the World. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about the book, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at MARK.WOODWARD@asu.edu.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Arizona State University
Brief Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Basic Religions and World Religions
Chapter 2 Native American Religions
Chapter 3 African Religions
Religions Originating in India
Chapter 4 Hinduism
Chapter 5 Jainism
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Chapter 7 Sikhism
Religions Originating in China and Japan
Chapter 8 Chinese Religions
Chapter 9 Shinto
Religion Origination in the Middle East
Chapter 10 Zoroastrianism
Chapter 11 Judaism
Chapter 12 Christianity
Chapter 13 Islam
Chapter 14 Baha’i (Online Bonus Chapter)