Sacred Paths of the West: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
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Unique in approach, Theodore M. Ludwig's The Sacred Paths of the West combines a historical-descriptive presentation of individual religions with a comparative-thematic approach. It begins with a discussion of the basic human questions and concerns relating to religion-for example, origin and identity, ultimate reality, human nature, and the good life-and then uses these essential concepts to help describe the beliefs, practices, and historical development of each religion.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Editionp. xi
Exploring the Sacred Pathsp. 1
Perspectives on the Religious Pathp. 3
Studying Religious Experiencep. 3
Some Dimensions of Religious Experiencep. 6
Basic Human Concerns and Religious Responsesp. 10
Sacred Story and Historical Contextp. 11
Worlds of Meaning: Theoretical Teachingsp. 13
Ritual Practices and the Good Life
Discussion Questionsp. 25
Key Terms: Exploring the Sacred Pathsp. 26
Beginnings of the Human Religious Adventurep. 27
Story of Humankind Before Historyp. 28
Religions of the Great Ancient Civilizationsp. 31
Discussion Questionsp. 33
Key Terms: Beginnings of the Human Religious Adventurep. 33
Sacred Paths Among Indigenous Peoplesp. 34
Identity Through Sacred Storiesp. 35
Recounting the Tribal Sacred Historyp. 35
Identifying with the Culture Heroesp. 37
Map: The Americas and the Pacificp. 38
Worlds of Meaning of Indigenous Peoplesp. 39
Sacred Reality in Sky and Earthp. 39
Map: African Peoplesp. 43
The World and Human Existencep. 44
Paths of Healing and Transformationp. 48
Ritual Activity and the Good Lifep. 51
Sacred Time, Ritual, and Artp. 51
Society and the Good Lifep. 57
Modern Transformations of Indigenous Societiesp. 61
Discussion Questionsp. 67
Key Terms: Sacred Paths Among Indigenous Peoplesp. 68
Religions Arising in the Mediterranean Worldp. 70
Religions of Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greecep. 73
Ancient Egyptian Religionp. 73
Cosmic Harmony and Human Existencep. 73
Ritual and Ethical Lifep. 75
MAP: Ancient Civilizationsp. 76
Religion in Ancient Mesopotamiap. 76
Cosmic State and Human Servicep. 77
Ritual and Ethical Lifep. 78
Religion in Ancient Greecep. 79
Worlds of Meaning in Ancient Greecep. 79
Ritual Activities and the Good Lifep. 80
Discussion Questionsp. 81
Key Terms: Religions of Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greecep. 81
The Zoroastrian Traditionp. 82
Sacred Story and Historical Contextp. 82
Zarathustra's Life and Teachingsp. 82
Development of the Zoroastrian Traditionp. 83
Zoroastrian Worlds of Meaningp. 85
Supreme God and Lesser Divine Powersp. 85
Creation and Human Historyp. 87
The Path of Human Transformationp. 88
Ritual and the Good Life for Zoroastriansp. 88
Prayer, Rituals, and Artp. 88
Community and Ethical Idealsp. 92
Discussion Questionsp. 93
Key Terms: Zoroastrianismp. 94
Jewish Sacred Story and Historical Contextp. 95
Foundations of the Jewish Storyp. 95
Beginnings: Israel, People of the Covenantp. 95
The Promised Land and the Kingdomp. 99
MAP: Ancient Israep. 100
Decline of the Kingdom: The Prophetsp. 102
The Founding of Judaismp. 103
Further Transformations of Judaismp. 106
Jewish Life and Thought in Islamic Contextsp. 106
Tragedy and Response in Christian Medieval Europep. 109
Emancipation and the Modern Agep. 110
Continuing Struggles and Hopesp. 113
Discussion Questionsp. 114
Jewish Worlds of Meaningp. 115
One God as Creator, Revealer, and Redeemerp. 115
The Development of Monotheismp. 115
Jewish Vision of the One Godp. 116
The World and Human Existencep. 118
Creation and Preservation of the Worldp. 118
The Shadow of Sinp. 120
Following the Path of Torahp. 122
God as Redeemerp. 122
The Human Movement of Repentancep. 123
On the Path of Transformationp. 124
Universal Blessing, Now and Hereafterp. 125
Discussion Questionsp. 126
Ritual Practices and the Good Life for Jewsp. 127
Jewish Rituals and Worshipp. 127
Sabbaths for Rest, Festivals for Rejoicingp. 127
Mitzvot of Ritual and Worshipp. 129
Healing and Medicine Among Jewsp. 132
Artistic Expression in Jewish Religious Lifep. 133
The Life of Torah: Jewish Community and Ethicsp. 134
The Jewish Peoplep. 135
The Life of Halakhahp. 136
The Missions of Peoplehoodp. 138
Discussion Questionsp. 141
Key Terms: Judaismp. 141
Christian Sacred Story and Historical Contextp. 143
Foundations of the Christian Storyp. 143
Jewish Roots of the Christian Wayp. 143
Life and Teachings of Jesusp. 144
Crucifixion and Resurrectionp. 147
Beginnings of the Christian Churchp. 150
Further Transformations of the Christian Wayp. 153
The Early Christian Church in the Roman Worldp. 153
MAP: THe Mediterranean Worldp. 155
Medieval Christianity: The Age of Faithp. 157
Renaissance and Reformationp. 160
Struggles with Modernityp. 164
Christians in the World Todayp. 165
Discussion Questionsp. 166
Christian Worlds of Meaningp. 167
Loving Parent and Triune Godp. 167
Seeing God's Face in Christp. 167
One God, Three Persons: The Trinityp. 168
Creation and Human Existencep. 170
The Nature of Creationp. 170
Sin and Separation from Godp. 171
The Path: Salvation by Gracep. 173
Saved by Jesus Christp. 173
The Way of Faithp. 176
The Life of the World to Comep. 178
Discussion Questionsp. 178
Ritual Practices and the Good Life for Christiansp. 179
Christian Worship and Ritualp. 179
Breaking Bread and Praising Godp. 179
Festivals and Holy Daysp. 180
Worship in Daily Lifep. 182
Healing and Medicine Among Christiansp. 184
Art in Christian Worship and Ritualp. 185
The Life of Love: Society and Ethicsp. 186
The Society of the Churchp. 186
Sanctification of Life in Ethicsp. 189
Responsibility and Mission in the Worldp. 192
Discussion Questionsp. 193
Key Terms: Christianityp. 194
Muslim Sacred Story and Historical Contextp. 196
The Story of the Prophet and the Bookp. 196
The Times Before Muhammadp. 196
Muhammad as the Final Prophetp. 198
Establishing the Ummah in Medinap. 201
A Religion for All Peoples: Expansion of Islamp. 204
The Islamic Ummah in Historyp. 205
The Classical Period of Islamp. 205
MAP: The Spread of Islamp. 206
Medieval Empires: Stability and Flourishing Muslim Culturep. 212
Reform Movements and the Modern Worldp. 214
MAP: The Contemporary Middle East and Surrounding Countriesp. 216
Muslims in the World Todayp. 217
Discussion Questionsp. 219
Muslim Worlds of Meaningp. 220
Allah, Lord of the Worldsp. 220
Life Centered in One Godp. 220
God in the Worldp. 221
Nature of the World and Humansp. 222
The World as God's Creationp. 222
Negligence and Unbeliefp. 224
Guidance on the Straight Pathp. 226
Islam as a Path of Knowledgep. 227
Blessings Now and in the Life Hereafterp. 228
Discussion Questionsp. 229
Ritual Practices and the Good Life for Muslimsp. 230
Ritual Worship and Sacred Timesp. 230
The Five Pillarsp. 230
Other Festivals and Ritualsp. 234
Muslim Views of Healing and Medicinep. 236
Art in Islamic Worship and Lifep. 237
The Life of Shari'ah: Society and Ethicsp. 238
Social Structure of Islamp. 238
The Way of Shari'ahp. 241
Transformation of Human Societyp. 244
Discussion Questionsp. 245
Key Terms: Islamp. 245
Ongoing Explorations on the Sacred Pathsp. 247
New Religious Movementsp. 248
Spiritual Searching and Alternative Sacred Pathsp. 248
Rise of New Sectarian Movementsp. 249
Attraction to Alternative Paths in the Westp. 250
Nontraditional New Religious Movementsp. 252
New Sacred Paths: Nineteenth-Century Rootsp. 252
New Spiritual Movements of the Twentieth Centuryp. 258
Discussion Questionsp. 263
Key Terms: New Religious Movementsp. 264
Guideposts and Crossings on the Pathsp. 265
Discussion Questionsp. 270
Glossaryp. 271
Notesp. 280
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 283
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