Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development

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Overview

The Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development is the first reference work to focus on the developmental process of religion and spirituality across the human life span. Spiritual development is an important part of human development that has links to identity development, moral development, and civic engagement. This innovative Encyclopedia offers insight into the characteristics of people and their contexts that interact to influence religious and spiritual development over time. Editors Elizabeth M. Dowling and W. George Scarlett provide readers with glimpses into the religious and spiritual developmental trajectories of people from all over the world, from many different religious and spiritual backgrounds.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice Magazine
"This is the product of an ambitious project: to bring within a single volume many different facets of religion and spirituality. These two terms are intertwined. Every religion has a spiritual dimension, but it is possible to be spiritual without being affiliated to a religion, and not all religious people are necessarily spiritual. Notwithstanding all the controversies associated with the notions and practices of religion and spirituality, they both permeate practically every sphere of human culture, from literature and music to health and scholarship. Concepts associated with them are ubiquitous in the language; religious names and symbols enrich and inspire human culture and societies.This compendium of brief essays on some of the major topics associated with religion and spirituality is informative and erudite, but by no means exhaustive in its selection of topics or complete in their treatment. Practically all the scholars included are of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The list of leading religious and spiritual figures consists only of those associated with the Abrahamic faiths and Buddha. Not all Christian denominations have an entry. On the other hand, there are articles on some major organizations, such as the Sierra Club and UNICEF; places of religious significance; and key concepts and practices, like rituals, yoga, and prayer. This book deserves a place in every library because it is a rich source of insight and information on topics of growing relevance and interest. Perhaps it may be taken as the prototype of a multivolume encyclopedia on this very vast subject. "— V.V. Raman
CHOICE - V.V. Raman
"This is the product of an ambitious project: to bring within a single volume many different facets of religion and spirituality. These two terms are intertwined. Every religion has a spiritual dimension, but it is possible to be spiritual without being affiliated to a religion, and not all religious people are necessarily spiritual. Notwithstanding all the controversies associated with the notions and practices of religion and spirituality, they both permeate practically every sphere of human culture, from literature and music to health and scholarship. Concepts associated with them are ubiquitous in the language; religious names and symbols enrich and inspire human culture and societies.

This compendium of brief essays on some of the major topics associated with religion and spirituality is informative and erudite, but by no means exhaustive in its selection of topics or complete in their treatment. Practically all the scholars included are of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The list of leading religious and spiritual figures consists only of those associated with the Abrahamic faiths and Buddha. Not all Christian denominations have an entry. On the other hand, there are articles on some major organizations, such as the Sierra Club and UNICEF; places of religious significance; and key concepts and practices, like rituals, yoga, and prayer. This book deserves a place in every library because it is a rich source of insight and information on topics of growing relevance and interest. Perhaps it may be taken as the prototype of a multivolume encyclopedia on this very vast subject."

Diane Donovan
"While the weighty price tag of Encyclopedia of Religious & spiritual Development may limit this volume to serious spiritual collections, reference libraries-especially at the college lever- will find it absorbing. Key short entries written by leading specialists from a range of disciplines and professions examine spiritual development withincommunities at traditions . . . Abibliography for further reading enhances each entry. A "must" for any serious religious collection."
Library Journal
Written to highlight current research on understanding the similarities and differences among world religions and spiritualities by editors Dowling (director of research, the ImagineNations Group) and Scarlett (deputy chair, the Eliot-Pearson Dept. of Child Development, Tufts Univ.), this work addresses the complexity of factors involved in religious and spiritual development. The editors note in the introduction that beyond serving solely as a reference tool, the encyclopedia is meant to foster their broader goals of enabling readers to function more effectively in a pluralistic society and to support personal spiritual growth. The work includes over 250 entries written by 125 international scholars on religions and traditions, institutions, and important texts and practices that have had an impact throughout history. Though the work is not supposed to serve as an exhaustive catalog of its subject, it does provide a broad overview of more traditional topics as well as newer trends and themes. The entries range from several paragraphs to several pages in length-e.g., "Five Pillars of Islam and the Gnostic Gospels" to "Positive Youth Development movement and the spiritual energy sites near Sedona, Arizona"-and include brief bibliographies for further reading. Bottom Line Although its entries are brief, this work is most suitable for readers with at least a basic understanding of the topics discussed. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.-Michele McGraw, Hennepin Cty. Lib., Edina, MN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Dowing is the Director of Research for The Imagine Nations Group, where she is in charge of developing a global survey of young people focused on what they believe needs to happen in their respective countries and the world for the Millennium Development Goals to be met by the target year 2015. She works with local, national, regional, and international research partners to design and implement effective, sustainable research practices for Imagine Nations. Elizabeth received her Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University, where she was a nominee for the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and was awarded the Graduate Student Award for Academic Excellence. She has taught human development courses as an adjunct professor at Tufts University and Boston College. She was trained in the development and analysis of assessment tools and in research related to the intergration between positive youth development and the promotion of civil society. Elizabeth is author of numerous publications in leading journals and handbooks of human development.

W. George Scarlett is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and Clark University (Ph.D., Developmental Psychology). He has worked with such giants of the field as Jerome Bruner and Howard Gardner and has authored numerous articles on children’s play and co-authored books on parenting, managing behavior problems, and religious-spiritual development in childhood. His past research at Harvard Project Zero, the Language and Cognitive Developmental Center and the Cambridge-Somerville Mental Health Center includes development of play assessment techniques for work with typical, at-risk, and atypical children. For over two decades he has taught courses on children’s play. Currently, he is deputy chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University. He is also co-editing the Encyclopedia of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence for Sage, scheduled to be published in 2005.

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