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Anthology of World Religions Sacred Texts and Contemporary Perspectives

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-11-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Anthology of World Religions explores the world's religious traditions by combining substantial overviews of their history, beliefs, and practices with selections from their texts and scriptures and commentary by contemporary practitioners and scholars. It covers each major religion's history, teachings, founder, leaders, practices, and the factors that are now challenging and changing it--secularism, modernism, pluralism, science, the status of women, and sectarian or factional conflicts. The introductory chapter reviews various approaches to the study of religion, defines religious terms and concepts, discusses theories of religion, and distinguishes between the insider and outsider perspectives on religious traditions.


Clear and concise writing that explains difficult concepts without oversimplifying

Ample coverage of women and several readings by or about women within specific traditions

Extensive pedagogy including time lines and maps, text boxes with background information or more details on relevant topics, explanatory notes before each reading, key terms, end-of-chapter study/discussion questions, and lists of suggested reading and online sources

An Ancillary Resource Center containing an Instructor's Manual with Test Bank and PowerPoint lecture slides

A Companion Website with resources for students including flashcards of key terms, links to further resources, self-quizzes, and discussion questions

Author Biography

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Power of Critical Thinking, Fifth Edition (2015), Philosophy Here and Now, Second Edition (2015), and Living Philosophy (2014), all published by Oxford University Press.

Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with Study Questions, Key Terms, and Further Reading.
Chapters 2-14 open with an Introduction.
Chapter 1. The Beginning of Understanding
First Look
Religious Questions and Answers
Studying Religions
The Nature of Religion, Ninian Smart
Comparing Religions, Will Deming
The Sacredness of Nature and Cosmic Religion, Mircea Eliade
Religious Experience: The Root of Religion, William James
Religion Is "the Opium of the People," Karl Marx
The Future of an Illusion, Sigmund Freud
When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone
Chapter 2. Indigenous Religions: North America and Africa
Indigenous North American Religions
Thunder Rides a Black Horse, Claire R. Farrer
Basic Call to Consciousness, Iroquois Nation
Iroquois Myth: The Creation
Cherokee Myth: How the World Was Made
Cherokee Myth: Origin of Disease and Medicine
Sioux Genesis
Native American Spirituality, Evan T. Pritchard
Sacred Ways of a Lakota, Black Elk
The Gift of the Sacred Pipe, Black Elk
Misunderstanding Native Americans, Frederick W. Turner
Indigenous African Religions
Women in African Traditional Religions, Joseph Akinyele Omoyajowo
Traditional Religions in Contemporary Africa, Wande Abimbola
African Traditional Religions: Worldviews and Cosmology, Jacob K. Olupona
Chapter 3. Hinduism
Selections from the Rig Veda
Selections from the Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, and Mundaka Upanishads
Selections from Bhagavad Gita
Selection from the Crest-Jewel of Discrimination, Shankara
Bhagavata Purana and Shiva Purana
The Goddess Durga, David Kinsley
The Spirit of Indian Philosophy, Sarvepalli Radhakrishna
Selections from the Secret Garland
Yoga: Discipline of Freedom, Barbara Stoler Miller
Chanting the Sacred Syllable Om, Chandogya Upanishad
Bhakti Yoga, Bhagavad Gita
Hindu Ritual: Cremation, Rig Veda
Domestic Worship, Vasudha Narayanan
Darsan: Seeing the Sacred, Diana L. Eck
Contemporary Challenges
The Case of Uma Bharati, Katherine K. Young
Untouchability, by Mohandas Gandhi
Chapter 4. Jainism
Nonviolence, Sutrakritanga
Wise and Foolish Men, Acaranga Sutra
Moral Verses, Naladiyar
There Is No Creator God, Mahapurana
Be Watchful, Uttaradhyayana Sutra
The Eternal Law, Acaranga Sutra
Sinning Against the Earth, Acaranga Sutra
The Five Great Vows, Akaranga Sutra
Life of a Jain Nun, N. Shanta
Contemporary Challenges
Jains Today, Vasudha Narayanan
Chapter 5. Buddhism
The Awakened One: From the Dhammapada
The Five Precepts
The Enlightenment
The Recollection of Death, Buddhaghosa
The Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra
The Lotus Sutra: A Parable
Buddha Nature, Peter Harvey
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa
Guidelines for Studying the Way, Eihei Dogen
A Buddhist-American Monk, Heng Sure
Meditation, Damien Keown
No Need for Precepts, Bankei
The Koan Exercise, D.T. Suzuki
When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
Rules for Zazen, Master Dogen
Contemporary Challenges
Freedom in Exile, The Dalai Lama
Engaged Buddhist Ethics, Thich Nhat Hanh
Women in Buddhism, Roy C. Amore and Julia Ching
Chapter 6. Sikhism
The Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh
Hymns of Guru Amar Das, Guru Amar Das
Hymns of Guru Ram Das, Guru Ram Das
The Death of Guru Nanak, Puratan
The Rahit: Code of Conduct, Sikh Rahit Maryada
Selections from the Japji
The Rite of Khalsa Initiation, Hew McLeod
Devotions: The Prakaash, Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa
Contemporary Challenges
Feminine Dimensions of Sikh Faith, Willard G. Oxtoby
Chapter 7. Confucianism
Selections from The Analects
Selections from the The Book of Mencius
Human Nature Is Evil, Xunzi
Confucianism as Religious Humanism, Julia Ching
The Confucian Way of Being Religiousness, Tu Wei-Ming
Sacred Space, Jennifer Oldstone-Moore
Confucian Holy Rite, Herbert Fingarette
Contemporary Challenges
The Revival of Confucian Values, Xinzhong Yao
Chapter 8. Daoism
Selections from the Daodejing
Selections from the Zhuangzi
The Dao of Ecology, Huston Smith
T'ai Chi, Al Chung-liang Huang
Quiet Sitting with Master Yinshi, Jiang Weiqiao
Qingjing Jing
Lady of Great Mystery
Contemporary Challenges
Daoism in the Twenty-First Century, William A. Young
Chapter 9. Shinto
The Nihongi: The Kami Create Japan
Nihongi: The Kami of the Sun and Moon
Kojiki: Kami, the Netherworld, and the Eclipse of the Sun
Life Is Transitory
Mount Fuji
Rituals, Shrines, and Festivals, Ian Reader
Contemporary Challenges
Japanese Religion in Modern Times, Howard W. French
Chapter 10. Zoroastrianism
The Zoroastrian Creed
To Ahura and the Fire
Hymn to Ahura
Resurrection and Final Judgment
Good and Evil
Fate of the Soul at Death
The Four Main Prayers, Yasna
Burial of the Dead
Zoroastrian Ceremonies, Rustom Masoni
Contemporary Challenges
Zoroastrianism's Biggest Worry: Membership, Ariane Sherine
Chapter 11. Judaism
Creation, Genesis
The Covenant with Noah
The Covenant with Abraham
The Exodus
The Mosaic Covenant
The Holiness Code
The Entry into Canaan
Psalms of David
The Babylonian Conquest and Exile
Mishnah: The Ethics of the Fathers
Maimonides: 13 Principles of the Jewish Faith
Reform Judaism: The Pittsburgh Platform, 1885
Elie Wiesel: To Be a Jew
God in Search of Man, Abraham Joshua Heschel
George Robinson: Observing the Sabbath
Herman Wouk: Yom Kippur
George Robinson: The Seder
Contemporary Challenges
Viktor Frankl: Meaning from Suffering
Jewish Feminism, Judith Plaskow
Chapter 12. Christianity
The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7
Healing the Blind and Casting Out Demons
The Good Samaritan
Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, and Resurrection
The Women at the Tomb
The Word Made Flesh
The Ascension and Pentecost
Paul: Life After Death
The Gnostic Gospel of Mary
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Augustine's Confessions
Thomas Aquinas: The Five Ways
Orthodox Christianity
The Apostles' Creed
The Nicene Creed
Prayer and Fasting
The Eucharist
Anointing the Sick
The Didache: Teaching of the Apostles
St. Teresa of Avila: The Prayer of Union
Contemporary Challenges
Women in the New Testament
Women and Christianity, Linda Woodhead
Chapter 13. Islam
The Quran, Suras 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 11, 17, 53, 75, 96, 97, 100, 102, 103, 104, 10,
Hadith: Jihad, How Divine Revelation Came to the Holy Prophet, Divorce
Sunni Beliefs (al-Ash'ari)
Shi'a Beliefs (Ibn Babuya al-Saduq)
The Sufi Path: Doorkeeper of the Heart
Al-Ghazali: The Classes of Seekers
The Quran: The Cow and the Five Pillars of Islam
Hadith: Charity
Contemporary Challenges
Reforming Islam, John L. Esposito
Passages about Women: The Quran, Sura 4
Women and the Quran: Problematic Verses, Ruth Roded
Women and the Shari'a, Malise Ruthven
Tolerating the Beliefs of Others, Michael Cook
Chapter 14. New Religious Movements
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Smith's Introduction to the Book of Mormon
Christ Appearing in America
Statement of Beliefs
Vision and Conversion of Joseph Smith
Christian Science
Science and Health, Preface, Mary Baker Eddy
Science and Health, Recapitulation, Mary Baker Eddy
Baha'u'llah and Basic Baha'i Teaching
Baha'i Laws: Kitab-I-Aqdas
The Bab on Islam and Christianity
World Peace
Drawing Down the Moon (1949)
Power (1953)

Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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