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The World's Religions Worldviews and Contemporary Issues,9780205675111

The World's Religions Worldviews and Contemporary Issues

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Edition:
3rd
ISBN13:

9780205675111

ISBN10:
0205675115
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/31/2009
Publisher(s):
Pearson
List Price: $69.80

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Summary

For courses in World Religions or Comparative Religions. This introduction to the world's religions provides an orientation to the study of religion; surveys the stages of development, worldviews, and current situations of the major world religions; and discusses the ways these religions respond to contemporary ethical issues. It also presents a sampling of new religious movements and looks to the possible ways the world's religions may interact in the 21st century. Its distinctive "framework for understanding" religious worldviews allows students to compare and contrast the teachings of religions objectively.

Author Biography

William Young is Professor of Religious Studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. In addition to The World’s Religions:  Worldviews and Contemporary Ethical Issues (3rd edition, 2009) he is co-author (with Christian Hauer) of the widely-adopted textbook An Introduction to the Bible: A Journey into Three Worlds (Prentice Hall, 7th edition, 2008) and author of Quest for Harmony:  Native American Spiritual Traditions (Hackett Press, 2006). During a thirty-five year teaching career, he has introduced generations of students to the world’s religions and taught a wide variety of special topic courses ranging from Religion and Politics to Spiritual Ecology: Religion and Nature. 

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
An Introduction to Religion and the Study of Religionp. 2
What Is Religion?p. 2
The Problem of Defining Religionp. 2
Adopting a Working Definition of Religionp. 3
Secular Religions?p. 5
Why Are People Religious?p. 6
Why So Many Religions?p. 7
Why Is the Study of Religion So Important in the Twenty-First Century?p. 7
What Is the Relationship Between Science and Religion?p. 9
How Might Religion Be Studied?p. 10
Evaluative Methods of Studying Religionp. 10
Descriptive Methods of Studying Religionp. 11
How Will We Study the World's Religions?p. 12
A Framework for Understanding and Comparing Religious Worldviewsp. 12
Symbols, Myths, and Ritualsp. 14
Looking Ahead: An overview of the Rest of the Textp. 17
Chapter Summaryp. 19
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 20
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 20
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 21
The World's Religions-Histories and Worldviewsp. 23
Indigenous Religions-Quest for Harmonyp. 24
An Orientation to Indigenous Peoples and Their Religionsp. 24
Problems in Studying Indigenous Religionsp. 24
The Traditional Worldview of Indigenous Peoplesp. 26
The Yoruba of West Africap. 31
Introductionp. 31
Yoruba Religion: Harmony with the Orisap. 32
The Oglala Lakota (Sioux) of the Great Plains of North Americap. 37
Introductionp. 37
A Brief History of the Oglala Lakotap. 38
Oglala Lakota Religion: The Way of the Sacred Pipep. 39
The Continuing Impact of Indigenous Religions in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 48
Chapter Summaryp. 48
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 49
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 49
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 49
Hinduism-Many Paths to the Summitp. 53
Introductionp. 53
An Orientation to South and Southeast Asiap. 54
Lands and Peoplesp. 54
A Brief History of Indiap. 54
The Traditional South Asian Worldviewp. 56
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 59
The Problem with the Name "Hinduism"p. 59
Religion of the Indus Valley (Harappan) Civilizationp. 59
The Religion of the Vedas: The Rig-Veda and the Upanishadsp. 60
Hindu Society: The Laws of Manup. 62
The Epics: Ramayana and Mahabharatap. 64
Devotional Literature and Movements: The Puranasp. 66
Philosophical Literature and Movements: The Yoga School and Advaita Vedantap. 70
Hindu Reform Movements and Reformers in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuriesp. 71
Independent Indiap. 73
The Hindu Worldviewp. 74
Humanity: An Eternal Soul (Atman)p. 74
Problem: Trapped by Karmap. 74
Cause: Desire and Ignorancep. 74
End: Liberation (Moksha) from the Cycle of Rebirthp. 74
Means: The Paths of Action, Devotion, and Knowledgep. 75
Reality: Penetrating the Veil of Mayap. 79
Sacred: Many Gods and Beyond the Godsp. 79
Hinduism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 79
Hinduism as a Global Religionp. 79
Hindu Nationalism in Indiap. 80
Chapter Summaryp. 81
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 82
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 82
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 83
Theravada Buddhism-The Middle Wayp. 84
Introductionp. 84
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 84
Founder: Siddartha Gautamap. 84
Formation of the Order of Buddhist Monks and Nuns (Sangha)p. 87
The Spread of Buddhism Beyond Indiap. 88
The Pali Canonp. 88
The Three Major Branches of Buddhismp. 88
The Theravada Buddhist Worldviewp. 89
Humanity: No Permanent Identity (Anatta) and Dependent Originationp. 89
Problem: The First Noble Truth-Life Is Suffering (Dukkha)p. 90
Cause: The Second Noble Truth-Suffering Is Caused by Craving (Tanha)p. 91
End: The Third Noble Truth-The Extinction of Craving (Nirvana)p. 92
Means: The Fourth Noble Truth-The Eightfold Path of the Middle Wayp. 94
Reality: Impermanence (Anicca)p. 97
Sacred: Spiritual Atheismp. 97
Theravada Buddhism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 97
Chapter Summaryp. 98
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 99
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 99
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 99
Jainism-The Way of Noninjuryp. 101
Introductionp. 101
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 101
Founder: Mahavira and the Tirthankarasp. 101
The Jain Communityp. 103
Jain Texts: The Agamasp. 103
The Jain Worldviewp. 104
Humanity: Eternal, Infinite Souls (Fivas)p. 104
Problem: Souls "Weighed Down" by Actions (Karma)p. 104
Cause: Activityp. 104
End: Becoming a Conqueror (Fina) and Well-Beingp. 105
Means: Self-Denial and Noninjury (Abimsa)p. 105
Reality: A Dualism of Matter (Ajiva) and Spirit (Fiva)p. 109
Sacred: Spiritual Atheismp. 110
Jainism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 110
Chapter Summaryp. 110
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 111
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 111
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 111
Daoism-The Way of Naturep. 113
Introductionp. 113
An Orientation to East Asiap. 113
Lands and Peoplesp. 113
A Brief History of Chinap. 114
The East Asian Worldview and Indigenous Religionsp. 115
Daoism: The Way of Naturep. 119
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 120
The Worldview of Daoist Philosophyp. 124
Daoism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 126
Chapter Summaryp. 127
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 127
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 127
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 128
Confucianism-The Way of Virtuep. 129
Introductionp. 129
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 130
Founder: Master Kong (Confucius)p. 130
The Analects and Other Textsp. 131
Formation of the Confucian School, and Confucianism as State Teachingp. 131
Neo-Confucianismp. 132
Is Confucianism a Religion?p. 133
The Decline of Confucianismp. 133
The Confucian Worldviewp. 133
Humanity: Social Relationships and Microcosmp. 133
Problem: Social Chaosp. 134
Cause: A Breakdown of Virtuep. 134
End: Leaders of Character (Fun-zi) and the Harmonious Societyp. 134
Means: The Virtuous Lifep. 134
Reality: Life-Giving, Relational, Harmoniousp. 137
Sacred: Making the Dao Greatp. 137
Confucianism and Other Religions in the People's Republic of Chinap. 137
Chapter Summaryp. 139
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 139
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 139
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 140
Mahayana Buddhism (The Great Vehicle) and Vajrayana Buddhism (The Thunderbolt Vehicle)p. 141
Introductionp. 141
A Brief History of Korea and Japanp. 141
Koreap. 141
Japanp. 142
Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in East Asiap. 143
The Spread of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism into East Asiap. 143
Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist Texts of Indiap. 144
Mahayana, Vajrayana, and Theravada Buddhism Contrastedp. 145
The "Three Bodies" of the Buddhap. 145
Bodhisattvasp. 145
Sunyata ("Emptiness")p. 146
Major Mahayana Schools in East Asiap. 147
Pure Land: The Devotional Schoolp. 147
Zen: The Meditation Schoolp. 149
Nichiren: The Political Schoolp. 152
Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibetp. 154
Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 157
Chapter Summaryp. 158
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 158
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 158
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 158
Shinto-The Way of the Kamip. 160
Introductionp. 160
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 160
The Origin and Meaning of "Shinto"p. 160
The Shinto Myth: Japan as the Land of the Kamip. 161
Popular Japanese Religionp. 162
Medieval Shinto: Theoretical Amalgamation with Buddhismp. 162
The Revival of Shintop. 163
The Shinto Worldviewp. 165
Humanity: The People of the Kamip. 165
Problem: Pollutionp. 165
Cause: Lack of Reverence for the Kamip. 166
End: Purity and Harmonyp. 166
Means: Shrines, Rituals, and Self-Cultivationp. 166
Reality: The Land of the Kamip. 169
Sacred: The Kamip. 170
Religion in Twenty-First-Century Japan and Koreap. 170
Japanp. 170
Koreap. 171
Chapter Summaryp. 171
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 171
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 172
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 172
Judaism-The Way of Torahp. 173
Introductionp. 173
An Orientation to the Middle Eastp. 174
Lands and Peoplesp. 174
A Brief Historyp. 174
The Traditional Worldviewp. 175
Judaism: The Way of Torahp. 180
What Is Judaism?p. 180
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 180
The Jewish Worldviewp. 189
Judaism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 197
Chapter Summaryp. 198
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 198
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 199
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 199
Christianity-The Way of Jesus Christp. 201
Introductionp. 201
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 201
Founder: Jesus of Nazarethp. 201
The New Testament and the Birth of Christianityp. 203
The Institutionalization and Spread of Christianityp. 205
Reform Movements in Christianityp. 207
Major Christian Movementsp. 208
Other Developmentsp. 212
The Christian Worldviewp. 213
Humanity: One in Christp. 213
Problem: Separation from Godp. 213
Cause: Original Sinp. 214
End: The Kingdom of God in Heaven and on Earthp. 214
Means: Grace, Faith, and the Sacramentsp. 215
Reality: Creation and the Cosmic Christp. 217
Sacred: One God, Three "Persons"p. 218
Christianity in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 219
Chapter Summaryp. 222
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 222
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 222
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 223
Islam-The Way of Submission to Allahp. 225
Introductionp. 225
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 226
Arabia in the Seventh Century C.E.p. 226
The Prophet Muhammadp. 226
The Holy Qur'anp. 228
The Spread of Islam and the Rise of Islamic Civilizationp. 228
The Branches of Islamp. 231
Sufi: The Mystical Movementp. 234
The Revival of Islamp. 236
The Islamic Worldviewp. 241
Humanity: From a Single Soulp. 241
Problem: Rejecting Allah's Guidancep. 242
Cause: Distractionp. 242
End: Paradise and the "House of Islam"p. 242
Means: A Life of Submissionp. 243
Reality: The Signs of Allahp. 247
Sacred: There Is No God but Allahp. 247
Islam in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 248
Chapter Summaryp. 249
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 249
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 249
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 250
Sikhism-The Way of the Gurup. 252
Introductionp. 252
Stages of Development and Sacred Textsp. 252
Founder: Nanakp. 252
The Gurus After Nanakp. 253
Guru Adi Granth (The Granth Sahib)p. 254
The Resurgence of Sikhism in Modern Indiap. 255
The Sikh Worldviewp. 256
Humanity: A Pearl in an Oysterp. 256
Problem: Living Apart from Godp. 256
Cause: Egoismp. 257
End: Absorption in Godp. 257
Means: Praise and Compassionp. 257
Reality: Penetrating the "Wall of Falsehood"p. 259
Sacred: The True Namep. 259
Sikhism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 260
Chapter Summaryp. 260
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 261
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 261
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 261
The New Religious Movements-Renewal and Innovationp. 262
Introductionp. 262
The Rapid Growth of New Religious Movementsp. 262
Problems in Studying New Religious Movementsp. 263
Preparing for the End: Apocalyptic New Religious Movementsp. 265
Seventh-Day Adventism: Living in the Final Daysp. 265
Branch Davidians: Unlocking the Seven Sealsp. 266
Aum Shinrikyo: Teaching the Supreme Truthp. 267
Faith and Spirit: New Religious Movements of Healing and Awarenessp. 268
Christian Science: Recovering Lost Healingp. 268
International Raelian Religion: Preparing for the Elohimp. 270
Jediism: Star Wars Religionp. 270
Reviving the Church: Christian New Religious Movements of Renewalp. 272
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons): Christ's Kingdom in Americap. 272
The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (the Unification Church): Restoration of Original Harmonyp. 274
Nature and Spirit: Earth-Based and Ecological New Religious Movementsp. 276
Wicca: Renewing European Witchcraftp. 276
Deep Ecology: Ecological Egalitarianismp. 277
Liberation and Enlightenment: New Religious Movements with Asian Rootsp. 279
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness: The Hare Krishnasp. 279
Falun Dafa (Falun Gong): Cultivating the Universal Life Energyp. 281
Soka Gakkai: The Society for Value Creationp. 282
African-American and Afro-Caribbean New Religious Movementsp. 282
The Nation of Islam: The "Black Muslims"p. 283
The Ras Tafari Movement: The Black Messiahp. 284
Native American New Religious Movementsp. 285
The Native American Church: Peyote Religionp. 285
Focusing on the Human and the Natural: Secular New Religious Movementsp. 286
Secular Humanism: Humanity as Ultimatep. 286
Marxism: Toward a Classless Societyp. 287
Satanism: Indulging Selfp. 288
The Quest for Unity: Universalist New Religious Movementsp. 289
The Baha'i Faith: Toward World Unityp. 290
Unitarian Universalist Association: The Unity of Godp. 291
Chapter Summaryp. 292
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 292
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 293
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 293
The World's Religions and Contemporary Ethical Issuesp. 295
The Ecological and Economic Crises-Humans and Resourcesp. 297
The Ecological Crisis: Is the Balance of Life on Planet Earth in Jeopardy?p. 297
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 297
Religious Responsesp. 298
The Economic Crisis: Why Hunger and Abject Poverty in a World of Plenty?p. 310
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 310
Religious Responsesp. 311
Chapter Summaryp. 321
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 322
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 322
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 322
War and Capital Punishment-Society and Violencep. 331
War: When, If Ever, Is War Justified?p. 331
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 331
Religious Responsesp. 332
Capital Punishment: When May the State Take a Criminal's Life?p. 339
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 339
Religious Responsesp. 340
Chapter Summaryp. 343
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 343
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 344
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 344
Abortion and Euthanasia-Life and Deathp. 348
Abortion: Right to Life or Right to Choose?p. 348
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 348
Religious Responsesp. 349
Euthanasia: A "Good Death" or "Playing God"?p. 357
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 357
Religious Responsesp. 358
Chapter Summaryp. 363
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 363
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 363
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 364
Gender and Sexual Orientation-Roles and Identityp. 368
The Changing Roles of Women: Liberation or Confusion?p. 368
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 368
Religious Responsesp. 369
Homosexuality: Orientation, Preference, or Perversion?p. 385
The Nature of the Issue and the Role of Religionp. 385
Religious Responsesp. 386
Chapter Summaryp. 396
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 397
Questions for Discussion and Reflectionp. 397
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 397
Conclusionp. 407
The Future of the World's Religionsp. 408
How the World's Religions Will Relate to One Another: Three Possible Futuresp. 408
Exclusivismp. 408
Inclusivismp. 410
Pluralismp. 410
The Search for Common Ground: The Ecological Crisisp. 413
The World's Religions after September 11, 2001p. 416
Important Terms and Phrasesp. 416
Sources and Suggestions for Further Studyp. 417
Glossaryp. 419
Indexp. 427
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