Gods in the Global Village: The World's Religions in Sociological Perspective / Edition 3

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Overview

In an era plagued by religious conflict, the Third Edition of Gods in the Global Village directly responds to issues of social problems prevalent in the world today. Using an engaging, thought-provoking style, author Lester R. Kurtz focuses on the relationship among the major faith traditions that inform the thinking and ethical standards of most people in the emerging global social order.

This book focuses on a central aspect of that common crisis. A major assumption of this book is that all knowledge is shaped by the social context of the knower; therefore, both religious traditions and our studies of them are shaped by the context in which we construct them. The author argues that religious pluralism will be a necessary precondition of the global village for the foreseeable future. The question that faces us as a human community is not “Which religious tradition is true?” or even “Is any religious tradition true?” but rather “How can we enable the various religious and secular traditions to coexist peacefully on the planet?” The text supports the belief that the sociology of religion—itself a pluralistic discipline—can provide invaluable insight into the most pressing problems of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Claude A. Perrottet
"Kurtz’s book is the only textbook on the sociology of religion to my knowledge that is genuinely interreligious. It transcends the one-sidedness of western / Christian views not only in intent, but in fact… the book introduces the key topics and concerns of the given discipline with clarity and good continuity. It is also quite comprehensive. In one word, it is a textbook that can be used as such without too much of a need for the instructor to reshuffle everything."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412991254
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Series: Sociology for a New Century Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 354,401
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lester R. Kurtz is Professor of Public Sociology at George Masonthe University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches the comparative sociology of religion, peace and conflict, social movements, globalization, and both Western and non-Western social theory. He lectures regularly at the European Peaee University and was previously Director of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. and He holds a master’s in Religion from Yale Divinity School and a Ph D in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He is editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict (Elsevier), coeditor of Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective (Blackwell), and coeditor of The Web of Violence: From Interpersonal to Global (University of Illinois Press). He is the author of numerous books and articles on religion and conflict peace, including The Nuclear Cage: A Sociology of the Arms Race (Prentice Hall) and The Politics of Heresy: The Modernist Crisis in Roman Catholicism (University of California Press), which received the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s Distinguished Book Award. He is currently working on books titled Gandhi’s Paradox and Gods and Bombs, as well as a documentary film, Peaceful Warriors: The History of Nonviolence, with James Otis.

Dr. Kurtz is the past Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association as well as the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section of the American Sociological Association, which awarded him its Robin Williams Distinguished Career Award in 2005. He has lectured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America and has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Delhi University in India, and Tunghai University in Taiwan.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Religious Life in the Global Village
Chapter 2. A Sociological Tour: Turning East
Chapter 3. Indigenous Religions
Chapter 4. The Tour: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Chapter 5. The Religious Ethos
Chapter 6. Modernism and Multiculturalism
Chapter 7. Religious Movements for a New Century
Chapter 8. Religion and Social Conflict
Notes
Glossary/Index

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