Studying Religion: An Introduction Through Cases

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-09
  • Publisher: McGraw Hill

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Through the use of thought-provoking case studies, summaries, and review questions, this introductory level text shows students how to engage in the academic, objective study of religion and helps instructors address some of the typical problems they encounter when introducing students to the study of religion. Kessler guides students through an unbiased and varied study of religious beliefs and practices such as sacred power, myths and rituals, religious art, the problem of evil, and the relationship between religion and morality. The text also addresses issues of gender and religious institutionalization.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Thinking about Being a Student of Religionp. 1
Insider's and Outsider's Perspectivesp. 1
Qualities Worth Havingp. 4
Opennessp. 4
Honestyp. 4
Critical Intelligencep. 5
Careful Observing, Reading, and Listeningp. 7
Critical Tolerancep. 8
Why Study Religion?p. 10
Review Questionsp. 12
Explorationsp. 12
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 13
Internet Resourcesp. 13
On Defining and Studying Religionp. 14
Marks of a Good Definitionp. 14
Usefulnessp. 14
Precisionp. 15
Freedom from Biasp. 18
Two Definitionsp. 21
Is Secular Humanism a Religion?p. 22
A Simple Map of the Fieldp. 24
Goals and Methodsp. 28
Descriptionp. 28
Interpretationp. 30
Explanationp. 31
Evaluationp. 32
Fieldworkp. 33
A Controversyp. 35
Review Questionsp. 35
Explorationsp. 36
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 36
Internet Resourcesp. 37
Sacred Powerp. 38
Two Case Studiesp. 38
Dao (Tao)p. 38
Anselm on Godp. 41
Comparisonp. 43
Forms of Sacred Powerp. 45
Spirits, Ancestors, and Totemsp. 46
Goddesses and Godsp. 47
Monotheism and Deismp. 49
Dualism Divinep. 51
Pantheism and Monismp. 52
Agnosticism and Atheismp. 54
Review Questionsp. 55
Research Case-Ganeshap. 56
Questions on the Case of Ganeshap. 58
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 58
Internet Resourcesp. 59
Myth as Sacred Storyp. 60
Two Case Studiesp. 61
Enuma elishp. 61
Mosesp. 63
Comparisonp. 67
Types and Functionsp. 68
Theories of Mythp. 71
Myth and Sciencep. 74
Review Questionsp. 78
Research Case-The Primal Manp. 78
Questions on the Case of the Primal Manp. 80
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 80
Internet Resourcesp. 81
Ritual as Sacred Actionp. 82
Two Case Studiesp. 83
Akitu Festivalp. 83
Her Alone They Sing Over (Ishna Ta Awi Cha Lowan)p. 87
Comparisonp. 92
Types and Functionsp. 93
Sacrifice and Violencep. 94
Myth and Ritualp. 97
Review Questionsp. 98
Research Case-Sederp. 98
Questions on the Case of the Sederp. 101
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 102
Internet Resourcesp. 102
Sacred Space and Timep. 103
Two Case Studiesp. 105
Mount Kilimanjarop. 105
The Dreamtimep. 108
Comparisonp. 110
Features of Sacred Space and Timep. 112
Glimpsing the Sacredp. 115
Architecturep. 116
Musicp. 120
Review Questionsp. 121
Research Case-The Cathedral of St. Andrewp. 121
Questions on the Case of the Cathedral of St. Andrewp. 125
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 126
Internet Resourcesp. 126
Experiencing the Sacredp. 127
Two Case Studiesp. 129
Muhammadp. 129
The Buddhap. 133
Comparisonp. 138
Debates About the Nature of Religious Experiencesp. 140
Shamanic Ecstasyp. 143
Mystical Techniques and Statesp. 144
Typologies of Mystical Experiencesp. 144
Mystical Experience: Pure or Culturally Conditioned?p. 145
Mystical Techniquesp. 146
Psychoanalytic Theoriesp. 148
Review Questionsp. 152
Research Case-St. Teresa of Avilap. 152
Questions on the Case of St. Teresa of Avilap. 156
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 157
Internet Resourcesp. 158
Explaining Evilp. 159
Two Case Studiesp. 162
Karmap. 162
The Mahdip. 164
Comparisonp. 166
Types of Theodiciesp. 167
Karma Theodiciesp. 167
Eschatological Theodiciesp. 169
Theodicies of Participationp. 171
Dualistic Theodiciesp. 173
The Theological Problem of Evilp. 174
How Theodicies Workp. 179
Review Questionsp. 181
Research Case-Manichaeismp. 182
Questions on the Case of Manichaeismp. 183
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 184
Internet Resourcesp. 185
Religion and Moralityp. 186
Two Case Studiesp. 188
Divine Command Theoryp. 188
Confucian Virtuep. 191
Comparisonp. 195
Identifying and Legitimating Moral Normsp. 197
What are the Elements of a Religious Morality?p. 199
Retributionp. 201
Overcoming Moral Failurep. 202
Review Questionsp. 203
Research Case-Jain Nonviolencep. 203
Questions on the Case of Jain Nonviolencep. 208
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 208
Internet Resourcesp. 209
Religion and Politicsp. 210
Two Case Studiesp. 212
Inside the Mind of a Religious Terroristp. 212
Separation of Church and Statep. 217
Comparisonp. 222
Patterns of Political Engagementp. 224
Just War and Holy Warp. 226
Civil Religionp. 227
Theocracyp. 229
Review Questionsp. 233
Research Case-The Truth and Reconciliation Commissionp. 234
Questions on the Case of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissionp. 238
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 238
Internet Resourcesp. 239
Organizing the Sacredp. 240
Two Case Studiesp. 242
Tibetan Buddhismp. 242
Jonestownp. 246
Comparisonp. 252
The Dilemmas of Institutionalizationp. 257
Types of Authorityp. 259
Scripturep. 261
Genderp. 264
Review Questionsp. 268
Research Case-Shintop. 268
Questions on the Case of Shintop. 274
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 274
Internet Resourcesp. 275
Human Existence and Destinyp. 276
Two Case Studiesp. 279
Sikhismp. 279
Christianityp. 282
Comparisonp. 287
Religions of Salvation and Societyp. 288
Where are We Going?p. 291
Review Questionsp. 295
Research Case-Zen Buddhismp. 296
Questions on the Case of Zen Buddhismp. 298
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 298
Internet Resourcesp. 299
Religious Diversity and Truthp. 300
Why Can't We All Get Along?p. 301
Exclusivism, Inclusivism, and Pluralismp. 303
Exclusivismp. 303
Inclusivismp. 306
Pluralismp. 308
Can We Determine Religious Truth?p. 311
Language Gamesp. 314
Critical Tolerance and the Principle of Charityp. 314
The Blind People and the Elephantp. 315
The Elephant Principlep. 316
Review Questionsp. 317
Research Case-Baha'lp. 317
Questions on the Case of Baha'ip. 323
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 324
Internet Resourcesp. 325
Notesp. N-1
Glossaryp. G-1
Creditsp. C-1
Indexp. I-1
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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