A Concise Introduction to World Religions

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-12-09
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Ideal for a one-semester course,A Concise Introduction to World Religions,Second Edition, is based on the best-selling two-volume set,World Religions: Eastern TraditionsandWorld Religions: Western Traditions. This brief, accessible, and engaging volume covers the major world religions, addressing their significance in today's society and culture and also in historical perspective. Each chapter is written by an esteemed scholar and covers a different tradition, exploring its origins, central teachings, divisions and branches, rituals and practices, influences on culture, and responses to modern challenges. The book combines detailed analysis with excerpts from sacred texts, hymns, and prayers; focus boxes that draw attention to key rituals and figures; and full-color photographs that more effectively illustrate the practices, rituals, and symbols characteristic of each faith. The second edition features expanded and updated "Tradition at a Glance" text boxes, "Major Branches of" text boxes, and maps depicting the evolution of the various faiths. NEW TO THIS EDITION * A "Contemporary Issues" section in each chapter addresses the modern challenges unique to each tradition, including fundamentalism and extremism, religious violence, abuse, bioethics, and interactions with politics * A new chapter (12) on new religions and movements examines movements that have emerged out of established faiths--such as Hare Krishna (Hinduism), Kabbalah (Judaism), Baha'i (Islam), and the Church of Latter Day Saints (Christianity)--as well as new religions that have sprung up in response to changing spiritual needs (Wicca, Scientology, the Rael movement, the New Age movement, New Thought, Spiritual Ecology/Green Religion) * Additional coverage of women's contributions to the development of traditions and their roles in practicing and performing rituals * "Sacred Text" tables on the process of compiling, revising, and ritual use of sacred documents in each faith * A glossary, study questions, and further readings and recommended websites lists for each chapter * A re-vamped, full-color art program * A "Religions of the World" map and a "Religions Timeline"

Author Biography

The late Willard G. Oxtoby, the original editor of this work, was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he launched the graduate program in the study of religion. His books include Experiencing India and The Meaning of Other Faiths.

Alan F. Segal is Professor of Religion and Igeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. He has written extensively in the fields of comparative religion, Judaism, and early Christianity. His books include Rebecca's Children, Paul the Convert, and Life after Death.

Table of Contents

Publisher's Preface
Important Features of this Edition (Pedagogical Resources TOC)
List of Contributors
Introduction, Alan F. Segal and Willard G. Oxtoby
1. The Nature of Religion, Alan F. Segal
2. Indigenous Religious Traditions, Robert M. Baum
3. Jewish Traditions, Alan F. Segal
4. Christian Traditions, Alan F. Segal and Willard G. Oxtoby
5. Muslim Traditions, Amir Hussain
6. Hindu Traditions, Vasudha Narayanan
7. Jaina Traditions, Anne Vallely
8. Buddhist Traditions, Roy C. Amore
9. Sikh Traditions, Pashaura Singh
10. Chinese and Korean Traditions, Terry Tak-ling Woo
11. Japanese Traditions, John K. Nelson
12. New Religions and Movements, Roy C. Amore

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