Religions of Asia Today

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-12-17
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Ideal for courses in Asian/Eastern religions and world religions, Religions of Asia Today covers the same material as the second half of the authors' longer textbook, World Religions Today, Third Edition, while also featuring a unique chapter on Islam in Asia. Revealing the significance of religion in contemporary life, Religions of Asia Today explores major religious traditions--Hinduism, Buddhism, East Asian Religions, Islam in Asia, 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 while also focusing on how these religions have responded to and been transformed by the modern world. The authors combine thorough coverage of the historical background of each religion with up-to-the-minute discussions of its current practices. Each chapter includes an "Encounter with Modernity" section that illustrates the tension between premodern views and modernity. The text is enhanced by numerous pedagogical aids--timelines, maps, illustrations, discussion questions, and a comprehensive glossary of key terms--and more than 100 illustrations and photographs. It also incorporates "Tales of Spiritual Transformation" boxes--which relate the stories of people whose lives have been changed by religious faith--and "Teachings of Religious Wisdom" boxes, which introduce primary source material. Religions of Asia Today emphasizes the interconnectedness of faith, culture, politics, and society, providing a peerless examination of the diverse ways in which contemporary human beings are religious. An Instructor's Manual and a Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/esposito provide resources for both students and instructors. Also available to suit your course needs: World Religions Today, Third Edition (978-0-19-536563-4) Religions of the West Today (978-0-19-537361-5)

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
Globalization: World Religions in Everyone's Hometownp. 3
Understanding Religious Experience and Its Expressionsp. 5
The Great Transition: From Tribal Life to Urban Life and the Emergence of World Religionsp. 15
The Great Religious Stories of the Worldp. 18
Modernization in Global Perspectivep. 25
Modern Colonialism, the Socialist Challenge, and the End of Modernityp. 28
Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 31
Conclusion: We Are All Heretics in the Postmodern Situationp. 32
Indigenous Religionsp. 35
Origins of Homo religiosus: Prehistoryp. 41
Religion's Origins Among Hunter-Gatherersp. 42
Indigenous Religious Traditions: Soul Belief and Afterlifep. 46
Shamans: "Technicians of the Sacred"p. 53
Indigenous Religions Todayp. 61
Hinduism: Myriad Paths to Salvationp. 75
Encounter with Modernity: Hindu Challenges to India as a Secular Statep. 80
Premodern Hinduism: The Formative Erap. 83
Premodern Hinduism: The Classical Era (180 B.C.E.-900 C.E.)p. 90
Premodern Hinduism: The Postclassical Era (900 C.E.-1500 C.E.)p. 101
Hinduism and Modernityp. 109
Hinduism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 118
Hindu Festival Practicep. 129
The Religious Institutions of Contemporary Hinduismp. 136
Buddhism: Ways to Nirvanap. 163
Encounter with Modernity: Socially "Engaged Buddhism"p. 167
Premodern Buddhism: The Formative Erap. 170
Premodern Buddhism: The Classical Erap. 184
Premodern Buddhism: Buddhist Expansionp. 198
Buddhism and Modernityp. 204
Buddhism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 217
East Asian Religions: Traditions of Human Cultivation and Natural Harmonyp. 245
Encounter with Modernity: Postcolonial Confucian Economicsp. 252
East Asian Religions in the Premodern Erap. 254
East Asian Religions in the Early Modern Erap. 285
East Asian Religions and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 296
Islam in Asiap. 335
The Dawn of Islam in Asiap. 336
The Islamic Traditionp. 339
Jihadp. 349
The Challenge of European Colonialismp. 351
Globalization: From New to New Age Religionsp. 359
New Religionsp. 361
New Age Religionsp. 366
Religious Postmodernism and Global Ethicsp. 381
Art Credits
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