Religions of Asia Today

by ; ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-11-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $82.08 Save up to $46.98
  • Rent Book $41.04
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • 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.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Ideal for courses in Asian/Eastern religions, Religions of Asia Today, Third Edition, covers the same material contained in the authors' longer textbook, World Religions Today, Fifth Edition, while also featuring a unique chapter on Islam in Asia. Revealing the significance of religion in contemporary life, it explores Hinduism, Buddhism, South Asian religions, East Asian religions, indigenous religions, and new religions as dynamic, ongoing forces in the lives of individuals and in the collective experience of modern societies.

This unique volume accomplishes two goals: it connects today's religions to their classical beliefs and practices and focuses on how these religions have both radically changed the modern world and been changed by it. The book is enhanced by numerous pedagogical aids--text boxes, timelines, maps, illustrations, discussion questions, a comprehensive glossary of key terms, and suggestions for further reading--and more than 100 photographs. For a wealth of additional teaching and study resources, visit the book's Companion Website.

Also available to suit your course needs:

World Religions Today, Fifth Edition:

Religions of the West Today, Third Edition:

Author Biography

John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies, and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Darrell J. Fasching is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida.

Todd Lewis is Professor of World Religions at the College of the Holy Cross.

Table of Contents

Globalization: World Religions in Everyone's Hometown
Why Study World Religions?
Our Task
Understanding Religious Experience and Its Formative Elements
The Sacred
Myth, Scripture, and Beliefs
Community and Morality
Religious Leaders/Experts
The Great Religious Stories of the World
The Myths of Nature
China and the Myths of Harmony
India and the Myths of Liberation
The Middle East and the Myths of History
Religious Diversity and Historical Change: The Structure of this Book
Historical Overview: From Premodern to Postmodern
The Modern/Postmodern Transition: Colonialism, the Socialist Challenge, and the End of Modernity
Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
Conclusion: We Are All Heretics in the Postmodern Situation
Origins of Homo religiosus: Prehistory
Religion's Origins Among Hunter-Gatherers
Fertility, Childbirth, and Survival
Religion in Prehistory: The Secret of Early Cave Rituals
Indigenous Religious Traditions: Soul Belief and Afterlife
Totemism: Australian Aboriginal Religion
Shamans: "Technicians of the Sacred"
Bear Sacrifice: A Widespread Arctic and Pacific Rim Tradition
Shamans Who "Repair the World"
Indigenous Religions Today
The Cataclysms of Colonialism
Shamanism in Modern Asia: Division of Labor Within the World Religions
Global Neo-Shamanism: Expropriation by "White Shamans"
Defining Hinduism: Unity, Diversity, Localities
Encounter with Modernity: Hindu Challenges to India as a Secular State
Premodern Hinduism: The Formative Era
The Aryans and Religion in the Vedic Era
Vedic Religion
Karma, Yoga, and the Quest for Liberation
Premodern Hinduism: The Classical Era (180 BCE-900 CE)
"Early Heterodox" Indic Religions: Jainism and Buddhism
Jainism: The Tradition of Spiritual Conquerors
The Reality of Karma and Caste
The Four Stages of Life
The Four Aims of Life
Epics and the Development of Classical Hinduism
Mainstream Hinduism and the Rise of Devotion to the Great Deities
Premodern Hinduism: The Postclassical Era (900 CE-1500 CE)
The Formation of Major Hindu Schools of Thought
The Early Islamic Era: Delhi Sultanate (1192-1525)
Religion in the Mughal Era (1526-1707)
Hinduism and Modernity
Hinduism Under British Colonialism
Challenges and Responses to Colonialism
The Work of Gandhi: Hindu Elements in Indian Nationalism
Hinduism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
The Persistence of Traditional Religious Understandings
Contemporary Hindu Practices
Hindu and Sikh Festival Practice
Pilgrimage Festivals
Sikh Festivals
The Religious Institutions of Contemporary Hinduism
Changes and Continuities: Examples of Postcolonial Hinduism
The Connection of Religion with Philanthropy and Social Reform
Religious Nationalism: Secular India and its Discontents
A Growing Global Tradition
Encounter with Modernity: Socially "Engaged Buddhism"
Premodern Buddhism: The Formative Era (600 BCE-100 CE)
The Buddha: Context and Biography
Buddhism as the Path to Nirvana
The First Community and Its Development
How Buddhism Became a World Religion
Sangha and Monastery: The Institutional Vehicles of Buddhism's Expansion
Premodern Buddhism: The Classical Era (100-800 CE)
The Pan-Asian Expansion of Buddhism
The Core Doctrines
The Classical Ideal: Buddhist Civilization
The Mahayana: Philosophies and East Asian Monastic Schools
Premodern Buddhism: Buddhist Expansion (400-1500 CE)
South Asia
Southeast Asia
The Himalayan Region
Buddhism and Modernity
Early Modern Buddhist Polities: Monastics, Householders, Kings
Buddhist Monasticism
Buddhism Under Colonialism (1500-1960)
Challenges from Colonialism, Communism, and Modern Critics (1800-Present)
The Buddhist Twentieth-Century Revival Gains Strength
Buddhism for Western Consumption: Meditation and Atheism
Effects of Japanese Imperialism on Buddhism and on Asia
Buddhism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
South Asia
Theravada Buddhism Today in Southeast Asia
Tooth Relics and Anti-Muslim Riots in Myanmar
Three Contemporary Faces of Thai Buddhism
East Asia
Buddhism Today in Diaspora and in Asia
Buddhism's Elective Affinity for Modernization
The Sangha: Adaptive Reformism?
State Buddhism and the Poison of Ethnic Passion
Geographical Orientation
Countries: China, Koreas, Japan
Connections: Chinese Core and Periphery
Encounter with Modernity: The Fall and Return of Confucianism
The Postcolonial Challenge of Confucianism
East Asian Religions in the Formative Era (1500 BCE-200 CE)
Earliest History: Shang (1766-1122 BCE)
Development of the Multiple Traditions in Post-Han China, Korea, and Japan
Religion Under the Early Japanese Imperial State: Buddhism and Shinto
Classical Imperial China (645-1271 CE)
The Development of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism in Korea and Japan
East Asian Religions in the Late Classical Era (1400-1800)
East Asian Religions in the Early Modern Era
Disruptive European Intrusions
Traumatic Transitions of the Modern Era
The Appearance of New Religious Movements and Religions
East Asian Religions and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World
Continuities and Transformations in the East Asian Religions
The Religious Institutions: Monasteries, Temples, Shrines
The Return of Religion to China: Case Studies
Japan's Creative Diversity: Old Traditions and New
Korea's Strong Confucian Tradition Accommodates Diversity
The Dawn of Islam in Asia
What Is Islam, and What Does It Mean to Be a Muslim?
The Children of Abraham
The Islamic Tradition
Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman
The Message of the Quran
Sunni and Shiah Islam
Islamic Law and Mysticism
The Five Pillars of Islam
The Quran and Armed Struggle
The Interior Path: Islamic Mysticism
The Challenge of European Colonialism
The Islamic Resurgence
The Road to 9/11
Globalization and Hijacking of "Jihad"
Contemporary Islam: Issues of Authority and Reform
Encounter with Modernity: The Challenge of Global Diversity to the "Purity" of Tradition
New Religions
Old Religions and New Religions in the History of Religions
The New Age and New Age Religions
Postmodernism and the New Age
The New Age--Modern or Postmodern?
The Age of Apocalypse or the Age of Aquarius?
Wicca and the Resurgence of Goddess Worship
J. Z. Knight and the Ramtha School of Enlightenment
Theosophy, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity
The Baha'i Global Religious Vision
East Goes West: Zen in America
West Goes East: The Aum Shinrikyo Movement
Conclusion: The Postmodern Challenge-Can There Be a Global Ethic in a World of Religious Diversity?
Beyond Atheism: The Challenge of Postmodern Secular Relativism
"Passing Over": A Postmodern Spiritual Adventure That Responds to the Challenge of Globalization
Tolstoy, Jesus, and "Saint Buddha": An Ancient Tale with a Thousand Faces
The Children of Gandhi: An Experiment in Postmodern Global Ethics
The Future of Religion in an Age of Globalization
Art Credits

Rewards Program

Write a Review