The Message and the Book; Sacred Texts of the World's Religions

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2012-03-27
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Grand in its sweep, this survey of the sacred writings of the major religions of the world offers a thoughtful introduction to the ideas and beliefs upon which great faiths are built. Under the expert guidance of John Bowker, a religious scholar and author of international stature, readers explore the key texts of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi, Confucian, Daoist, and Shinto traditions. The author discusses some 400 books, among them such well-known sacred texts as the Bible and the Quran, but also spiritual writings by theologians, philosophers, poets, and others. Bowker provides clear and illuminating commentary on each text, describing the content and core tenets of the work and quoting pertinent passages. He also sets the writings in religious and historical contexts, showing how they have influencedand in many cases continue to influenceartistic, musical, literary, and political traditions. The Message and the Bookis essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the meaning and the deep significance of primary religious texts of civilizations around the globe.

Author Biography

John Bowker is a former fellow of Corpus Christi College and Trinity College, Cambridge, and of Gresham College, London. A highly respected writer on world religions, he is the author and editor of more than 30 books, including the New York Times best-seller God: A Brief History; World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained; and The Sacred Neuron: The Extraordinary New Discoveries Linking Science and Religion. He lives in the UK.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Using This Book: Bibliography and Translationsp. 17
Judaismp. 19
The Bible: The Origins of the Jewish Peoplep. 21
Tanakh: History and Revelationp. 25
Tanakh: Canon and Translationsp. 29
Interpretation of Torah: Mishnah and Talmuds; Shulhan Aruchp. 32
Maimonides: Mishneh Torahp. 37
Qabbalah: Zoharp. 40
Liturgy and Prayer: Amida and Piyyutimp. 43
Christianityp. 47
The New Testament: Jesus and the Canonp. 49
The New Testament: The Gospelsp. 53
The New Testament: Epistles and Other Writingsp. 59
Translations: The Vulgate, The Authorised Versionp. 63
Creeds and Confessions: The Apostles' and the Nicene Creeds; from Augsburg to Peter the Greatp. 69
Councils: Ecumenical Councils, Vatican I, Vatican IIp. 73
Prayers and Hymns: The Office, The Book of Common Prayer, Hymns, John and Charles Wesleyp. 77
Liturgy and Eucharist: The Last Supper; Kontakiap. 81
Prayer and Monastic Orders: Basil the Great, Dionysius, The Philokaliap. 85
Monasticism: Rule of Benedictp. 89
Christianity of the Celts: Columbanus, Patrick, Carmina Gaedelicap. 93
Acts of the Martyrs: Polycarp, Dietrich Bonhoefferp. 97
Augustine: The Confessionsp. 100
Thomas Aquinas: Summa contra Gentiles, Summa Theologicap. 105
Poetry: Dante and Othersp. 109
The Reformations: Luther, Calvinp. 114
The Reformations: Trent, John of the Cross, Ignatiusp. 118
Islamp. 123
The Quran: Muhammad the Prophetp. 125
The Quran: Revelation, the People of the Bookp. 129
The Quran: The Mushafp. 133
Hadith: The Six Sound Collectionsp. 137
Sharia and the Life of Muhammad: ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allahp. 142
alGhazali: Ihya 'Ulum udDin, Munqidh min adDalalp. 147
Sufisp. 151
The Poets of Persia: Farid, Sa'di, Hafiz, Jami, Rumip. 154
Zoroastrians and Parsisp. 159
Zarathustra: Gathas, Yasna, Avestap. 161
Indiap. 165
The Vedasp. 167
Upanishads and Agamasp. 171
Sutras: Badarayana's Vedanta Sutra, Patanjali's Yoga Sutrap. 175
Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras: Manusmritip. 179
The Epics: Ramayana and Mahabharatap. 183
Puranas: Bhagavata Puranap. 187
The Song of the Lord: Bhagavadgitap. 190
The Love of God: Gitagovindap. 193
The Love of God: Alvars and Nayanarsp. 197
Tantra: Shrividyap. 201
The Gitas: Anugita, Ishvaragita and Devigitap. 204
The Sants: Kabirp. 208
Sikhsp. 213
Guru Nanak: Japji and Mul Mantrap. 215
The Gurus: Adi Granth, Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granthp. 219
Jainsp. 223
Agamas, Suttas and Tattvartha Sutrap. 225
Buddhism (for Buddhism in Korea, see Korea)p. 229
The Buddha: The First and Final Addressesp. 231
Sacred Texts of Buddhists: The Pali Canon and the Canons of Tibet, China and Japanp. 235
Lives of the Buddha: Jatakas, Buddhacarita and Lalitavistarap. 239
The Sangha: Vinaya Pitaka, Dhammapadap. 242
Dharma/Dhamma: Abhidhamma, Visuddhimagga, Milindapa˝hap. 246
Mahayana: Sutrasp. 250
Perfection of Wisdom: Ashtasahasrika Sutra, The Diamond-Cutter Sutra, The Heart Sutra, and Nagarjunap. 253
Yogacara: Lankavatara Sutra, Asanga and Vasubandhup. 257
Huayan: Avatamsaka Sutrap. 260
Tiantai: The Threefold Lotus Sutra, Nichirenp. 264
Pure Landp. 267
Chan: Bodhidharma, The Platform Sutrap. 270
Zen: Rinzai and Koans, Soto and Dogenp. 275
Tibetan Buddhism: Kangur and Tengyurp. 280
Tibetan Buddhism: Naropa, The Tibetan Book of the Deadp. 284
China (for Buddhism in China, see Buddhism)p. 289
The Confucian Classics: Liujingp. 291
The Book of Songs: Shijingp. 294
The Analects: Lunyup. 298
Great Learning and Doctrine of the Mean: Da Xue and Zhong Yongp. 301
The Book of Meneius: Mengzip. 305
The Daoist Canon: Daozangp. 309
Laozi, The Way and its Power: Daodejingp. 312
Zhuangzi: Zhuangzi or Nan Hua Zhen Jingp. 316
The Neo-Confucianists: The Five Mastersp. 320
Koreap. 325
The Korean Canon: Taejang Togam, Wonhyo and Chinulp. 327
Japan (for Buddhism in Japan, see also Buddhism)p. 331
Shinto: Kojiki and Nihongip. 333
The Organisation of Japanese Society: Jushichijo Kempo, Engishiki and Noritop. 336
Shingon and Shinto: Nanto Rokushu, Kukai and Kitabatake Chikafusap. 339
The Defining of Shinto: The Five Shinto Classics, Kokugakup. 342
Poetry and the Power of Words: Manyoshu, Kokinshu, Shinkokinshu and Bashop. 346
Conclusionp. 351
Sacred Texts and the Burning of Booksp. 353
Translation seriesp. 358
Additional translations and books quoted or referred to in the textp. 360
Acknowledgementsp. 389
Indexp. 393
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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