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World Religions Western Traditions,9780199002870
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World Religions Western Traditions

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Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press

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This is the 4th edition with a publication date of 3/11/2014.
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Featuring work from expert contributors, World Religions: Western Traditions, Fourth Edition, provides students with an authoritative examination of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, ancient, indigenous, and new traditions. Accessible and engaging, this acclaimed text explores the origins, central teachings, divisions and branches, rituals and practices, influences on culture, and responses to modern challenges for each tradition.


* New chapter structures better reflect the uniqueness of each tradition

* Newly written chapters on Jewish and Christian traditions bring fresh perspectives to the volume

* A new "Recent Developments" section for every tradition provides more focus on contemporary issues

* A revised and updated "Current Issues" chapter better tackles key challenges facing Eastern traditions today

* Additional coverage of the role of women offers students a more inclusive overview of each tradition

* Dynamic pedagogical features including "Traditions at a Glance," "Document," "Focus," and "Sites" boxes, bolded key terms, maps, photographs, timelines, sites, text extracts, and further reading lists help bring each tradition to life for students

* New learning tools including chapter outlines, chapter summaries, discussion questions, and "Sacred Text" tables make difficult topics easier for students to understand

* An exceptional support package includes a Companion Website at, an Instructor's Manual, a Test Generator, PowerPoint-based slides, a Student Study Guide, and more

Ideal for courses in Western religions and comparative religions, World Religions: Western Traditions, Fourth Edition, combines a historically descriptive perspective with a spirit of sympathetic fascination.

Author Biography

The late Willard G. Oxtoby, the original editor of this text, was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.
Amir Hussain is Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

Roy C. Amore is Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Windsor.

Table of Contents

Brief Contents
Full Contents
Important Features of this Edition
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. About Religion
Basic Human Religion: Looking Both Ways from Stonehenge
Looking Forward from Stonehenge
What Is Religion?
Why Study Religion?
2. Religions of the Ancient World
Understanding the World
Negotiating the World
Communing with the Divine
Overcoming the World
The End of Antiquity
Recent Developments
3. Jewish Traditions
Jewish Identity as Ethnicity and Religion
Earliest Jewish History: The Biblical Story
The Second Temple Period (515 BCE-70 CE)
Enter the Romans (63 BCE)
Jewish Life under Islam: Seventh-Twelfth Century
The Modern Period (18th Century to the Present)
The Holocaust (1933-1945)
Life-cycle Events
Recent Developments
4. Christian Traditions
Relations between Church and Society
Authority in the Early Church
The Development of Orthodoxy
Relations between East and West
Eastern Orthodoxy
Medieval Christianity
The Early Modern Era
The Modern Era
Recent Developments
5. Muslim Traditions
The Spread of Islam
Cultural Expressions
Towards the Modern World
Recent Developments
6. Indigenous Traditions
"Indigenous Religion"
Cultural Expressions
Recent Developments
7. New Religions and Movements
Defining New Religions, Sects, and Cults
New Religions from the East
Religions Arising from the Abrahamic Lineage
Religions Inspired by Other Forms of Spirituality
The New Age Movement
8. Current Issues
Religion and Politics
The Environment
Gender and Sexuality
Religious Diversity

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