Experiencing the World's Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change / Edition 3

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Boston, MA 2004 Hard cover 3rd ed. New in very good dust jacket. 587 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Experiencing the World's Religions provides a clear and compelling account of religion as a diverse, lived experience by peoples around the world. Global in its coverage, the text conveys the vitality and richness of the world's religions as a living cultural wellspring that not only concerns systems of belief but how those beliefs are expressed in ceremonies, food, clothing, art, architecture, pilgrimage, scripture, and music. The text demonstrates why an understanding of the world's religions enriches our lives. In an engaging narrative emphasizing the experience of religion, the text takes students on a personal voyage through doctrines, history, the religiously inspired arts, ceremonies, and everyday expressions of belief and combines these with powerful photographs from around the globe. The text goes beyond traditional approaches to personally connect students with the vitality of the great religions and how they reach into the lives of individuals and the culture at large. This fourth edition has been thoroughly updated in both content and illustration, to address recent world events and political changes, and provide additional insight into current theory and practice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072835069
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 587

Meet the Author

Appreciation for religion was programmed into me when I was young--before I had any chance to resist its fascination. My grandmothers were my first teachers. When my mother's mother was 19 she went to Paris to study painting and to experience cultural life there. She stayed in Paris for two years, and it was a turning point in her life. She returned home to create paintings, which surrounded me as I grew up in Los Angeles. She also returned with hundreds of photographs of religious statues, paintings, and other objects, as well as a thirst to take her grandchildren to museums and churches. My other grandmother was a choir director, and I remember many hours spent in the choir loft, which vibrated from the pedal notes of the organ music. It was through art and music that I discovered the richness of religion.Early experiences like these led me to leave the country after college in order to see the world, and my travels made me recognize how much people and their cultures are shaped by religions. When I returned, I studied religion formally. My MA degree (at St. John's University) allowed me to study the images of darkness in Jewish and Christian mystical literature. I received a scholarship from the East-West Center in Hawai'i, and in Hawai'i my life began to be influenced by the thought of Asia. For my Ph.D. (at the University of Hawai'i) I wrote on the Hindu and Buddhist mysticism to be found in the writings of Aldous Huxley. I had the pleasure of meeting Huxley's wife Laura in Los Angeles, interviewing people who knew him, and reading his original manuscripts at UCLA. I did graduate work at Banaras Hindu University, and later studied traditional Japanese arts--includingkendo, tea ceremony, ceramics, and calligraphy--in Kyoto. I have practiced meditation at Christian and Buddhist monasteries in Asia, Europe, and the United States. I am currently writing a book for McGraw-Hill on Christianity. I live in Honolulu.
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Table of Contents

1. Understanding Religion
What Is Religion? / Patterns Among Religions / Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religion / Key Critical Issues / Why Study the Major Religions of the World? / The Pilgrimage
2. Indigenous Religions
Discovering Indigenous Religions / Studying Indigenous Religions: Learning from Patterns / Sacred Practices in Indigenous Religions / Indigenous Religions Today
3. Hinduism
The Origins of Hinduism / The Upanishads and the Axis Age / Living Spiritually in the Everyday World / Devotional Hinduism / Hinduism and the Arts / Hinduism: Modern Challenges
4. Buddhism
The Beginnings of Buddhism: The Life of the Buddha / The Basic Teachings of Buddhism / The Influence of Indian Thought on Early Buddhist Teachings / The Early Development of Buddhism / Mahayana Buddhism: The “Big Vehicle” / Vajrayana Buddhism: The “Diamond Vehicle” / Buddhism and the Modern World
5. Jainism and Sikhism
Shared Origins / Jainism / Background / Mahavira and the Origins of Jainism / Worldview / Jain Ethics / The Development of Jainism and Its Branches / Jain Practices / Jain Scriptures / Jain Art and Architecture / Sikhism / Background / Nanak and the Origins of Sikhism / The Worldview and Teachings of Nanak / The Development of Sikhism / Sikh Scriptures / Sikhism and the Modern World
6. Daoism and Confucianism
Basic Elements of Traditional Chinese Beliefs / Daoism / The Origins of Daoism / The Basic Early Teachings / Daoism and the Quest for Longevity / The Development of Daoism / Daoism and the Arts / Daoism and the Modern World / Confucianism / The Dao in Confucianism / The Life ofConfucius / Living According to Confucian Values / Confucian Literature / The Development of Confucianism / Confucianism and the Arts / Confucianism and the Modern World
7. Shinto
The Origins of Shinto / The Historical Development of Shinto / Essentials of Shinto Belief / Shinto Religious Practice / Shinto and the Arts / Shinto Offshoots: The New Religions / Shinto and the Modern World
8. Judaism
An Overview of Jewish History / The Hebrew Bible / Biblical History / Cultural Conflict during the Second Temple Era / The Development of Rabbinical Judaism / Questioning and Reform / Judaism and the Modern World / Jewish Belief / Religious Practice / Divisions within Contemporary Judaism / The Contributions of Judaism / Jewish Identity and the Future of Judaism
9. Christianity
The Life and Teachings of Jesus / Early Christian Beliefs and History / The Early Spread of Christianity / Influences on Christianity at the End of the Roman Empire / The Eastern Orthodox Church / Christianity in the Middle Ages / The Protestant Reformation / The Development of Christianity Following the Protestant Reformation / Christian Practice / Christianity and the Arts / Christianity Faces the Modern World
10. Islam
The Life and Teachings of Muhammad / Essentials of Islam / The Historical Development of Islam / Sufism: Islamic Mysticism / Islamic Law and Philosophy / Islam and the Arts / Islam and the Modern World
11. Alternative Paths
Origins of New Religions / Contemporary Paganism: Wicca and Druidism / Religions of the Yoruba Tradition: Santería, Voodoo, Candomblé / Theosophy / Scientology / Falun Gong / Cao Dai / Rastafarianism / Baha'i / New Religious Movements: A Special Role
12. The Modern Search
Modern Influences on the Future of Religion / The Recurring Challenge of Change / Environmentalism: A Religious Phenomenon? / Eclectic Spirituality / Notes / Credits / Index
In each chapter:
Religion Beyond the Classroom
For Fuller Understanding
Related Readings
Key Terms
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