World Religions Today

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-10-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Revealing the significance of religion in contemporary life,World Religions Today,Fourth Edition, explores major religious traditions--Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, 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 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. The volume 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 200 photographs. NEW TO THIS EDITION: * Updates throughoutthat cover more aspects of the current international situation and developments in religious life around the world * "Rituals and Rites" boxesexamining rituals that have changed in practice or meaning over time * "Gender Focus" boxesthat highlight gender-specific customs within each faith * A revised and updated Instructor's Manual and Test Bank on CDcontaining overviews, learning goals, and summaries for each chapter; lecture outlines; PowerPoint-based lecture slides; fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, and true/false test questions; sample essay/discussion questions; flash cards of key terms; and suggested reading, viewing, and links * An updated Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/espositofeaturing all of the material from the Instructor's Manual and additional resources for students World Religions Today,Fourth Edition, is also available as two separate volumes: Religions of Asia Today,Second Edition (978-0-19-975949-1) Religions of the West Today,Second Edition (978-0-19-975950-7)

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

Prefacep. xii
Introductionp. 3
Globalization: World Religions in Everyone's Hometownp. 3
Why Study World Religions?p. 5
Our Taskp. 6
Understanding Religious Experience and Its Formative Elementsp. 7
The Great Religious Stories of the Worldp. 18
Historical Overview: From Premodern to Postmodernp. 25
The Modern/Postmodern Transition: Colonialism, the Socialist Challenge, and the End of Modernityp. 29
Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 33
Conclusion: We Are All Heretics in the Postmodern Situationp. 34
Discussion Questionsp. 34
Key Termsp. 35
Notesp. 35
Indigenous Religionsp. 37
Overviewp. 37
Origins of Homo religiosus: Prehistoryp. 38
Religion's Origins Among Hunter-Gatherersp. 41
Indigenous Religious Traditions: Soul Belief and Afterlifep. 48
Shamans: "Technicians of the Sacred"p. 54
Indigenous Religions Todayp. 62
Conclusionp. 70
Discussion Questionsp. 71
Key Termsp. 72
Suggested Readingsp. 72
Notesp. 73
Additional Resourcesp. 73
The Many Stories of Judaism: Sacred and Secularp. 75
Overviewp. 75
Encounter with Modernity: Modern Judaisms and the Challenge of Ultra-Orthodoxyp. 79
Premodern Judaism: The Formative Era (2000 BCE-500 CE)p. 83
Premodern Judaism: The Classical Era (500 CE-1729 CE)p. 101
Judaism and Modernity (1729-1967)p. 115
Judaism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World (1967-)p. 128
Conclusionp. 142
Discussion Questionsp. 143
Key Termsp. 144
Suggested Readingsp. 144
Notesp. 145
Additional Resourcesp. 145
Christian Diversity and the Road to Modernityp. 147
Overviewp. 147
Encounter with Modernity: The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy (1859-)p. 152
Premodern Christianity: The Formative Era (31-451 CE)p. 157
Premodern Christianity: The Classical Era (451-1517 CE)p. 172
Christianity and Modernity (1517-1962)p. 182
Christianity and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World (1962-)p. 199
Conclusionp. 209
Discussion Questiotisp. 212
Key Termsp. 212
Suggested Readingsp. 213
Additional Resourcesp. 213
Islam: The Many Faces of the Muslim Experiencep. 215
Overviewp. 215
Encounter with Modernity: The Challenge of Western Colonialismp. 221
Premodern Islam: The Formative Erap. 224
Premodern Islam: The Classical Erap. 238
Islam and Modernityp. 259
Islam and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 265
Islam: Postmodern Challengesp. 285
Conclusionp. 292
Discussion Questionsp. 292
Key Termsp. 293
Suggested Readingsp. 294
Notesp. 295
Additional Resourcesp. 295
Hinduism and Other South Asian Religions: Myriad Paths to Liberationp. 297
Overviewp. 297
Defining Hinduism: Unity, Diversity, Localitiesp. 298
Encounter with Modernity: Hindu Challenges to India as a Secular Statep. 301
Premodern Hinduism: The Formative Erap. 304
Premodern Hinduism: The Classical Era (180 BCE-900 CE)p. 312
Premodern Hinduism: The Postclassical Era (900 CE-1500 CE)p. 324
Hinduism and Modernityp. 332
Hinduism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 343
Hindu Festival Practicep. 355
The Religious Institutions of Contemporary Hinduismp. 363
Conclusionp. 383
Discussion Questiotisp. 386
Key Termsp. 387
Suggested Readingsp. 388
Notesp. 389
Additional Resourcesp. 389
Buddhism: Paths Toward Nirvanap. 391
Overviewp. 391
Encounter with Modernity: Socially "Engaged Buddhism"p. 393
Premodern Buddhism: The Formative Era (600 BCE-100 CE)p. 398
Premodern Buddhism: The Classical Era (100-800 CE)p. 412
Premodern Buddhism: Buddhist Expansion (400-1500 CE)p. 427
Buddhism and Modernityp. 433
Buddhism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 447
Conclusionp. 472
Discussion Questionsp. 474
Key Termsp. 475
Suggested Readingsp. 476
Notesp. 477
Additional Resourcesp. 477
East Asian Religions: Traditions of Human Cultivation and Natural Harmonyp. 479
Overviewp. 479
Geographical Orientationp. 481
Encounter with Modernity: The Fall and Return of Confucianismp. 484
East Asian Religions in the Formative Era (1500 BCE-200 CE)p. 488
East Asian Religions in the Early Modern Erap. 518
East Asian Religions and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial Worldp. 529
Conclusion: Have We Entered a Third Confucian Age?p. 561
Discussion Questionsp. 566
Key Termsp. 567
Suggested Readingsp. 567
Notesp. 568
Additional Resourcesp. 569
Globalization: From New to New Age Religionsp. 571
Overviewp. 571
Encounter with Modernity: The Challenge of Global Diversity to the "Purity" of Traditionp. 573
New Religionsp. 574
New Age Religionsp. 581
Conclusion: The Postmodern Challenge-Can There Be a Global Ethic in a World of Religious Diversity?p. 595
Discussion Questionsp. 608
Suggested Readingsp. 608
Notesp. 609
Additional Resourcesp. 609
Glossaryp. G-1
Art Creditsp. A-1
Indexp. I-1
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