Invitation to World Religions

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Overview

Featuring a unique, consistent, and modular chapter structure—"Teachings," "Way of Life," and "History"—and numerous pedagogical features, Invitation to World Religions invites students to explore the world's great religions with respect and a sense of wonder. It describes the essential features of each religion and shows how they have responded to basic human needs and to the cultural contexts in which they developed. The authors also encourage students to develop an appreciation of what religious beliefs and practices actually mean to their adherents.

FEATURES:

A consistent, modular chapter structure—"Teachings," "Way of Life," and "History"—enables students to focus on content rather than trying to navigate each chapter anew

Voices: In personal, candid interviews, a diverse array of people share the ways in which they live their faiths

Visual guides: Keys to important religious symbols—in easy-to-read tables—offer quick reference and comparison points

Chapter-opening maps provide geographical context for each religion's development

Timelines help students trace the evolution of each religion within its larger social and political context

Seeking Answers sections at the end of each chapter encourage students to constructively compare the ways in which different religions address the same essential questions

For Review questions prompt students to reexamine essential concepts

For Further Reflection questions invite students to think critically and to engage in deeper analyses

Key Terms are boldfaced at their first appearance and defined in the glossary that follows each chapter

A Glossary at the back of the book includes all of the key terms from the text

Suggestions for Further Reading direct students to some of the best and most recent print and online resources on each tradition

A wealth of rich, robust, and relevant color photographs and illustrations keep students visually engaged

An Instructor's Manual with Computerized Test Bank on CD, downloadable Learning Management System Cartridges, and a Companion Website provide additional resources

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Phenomenal; its simplicity, structure, short treatment of subtopics, treatment of North American and African indigenous religions, and the systematic approach in content are quite distinctive."—Robert Y. Owusu, Clark Atlanta University

"Invitation to World Religions places great weight on the importance of empathy and the appreciation of religions other than one's own. The chapter openings will engage students and draw them into the 'world' of each religion."—Paul G. Schneider, University of South Florida

"This book offers exactly what I was looking for: it provides a strong foundation in the history, theology, rituals, and cultural expression of each particular religion, yet is also appealing to young people who have never or barely been exposed to other religions. I can truly say that I find in each chapter some reasons for adopting this new text as soon as it becomes available."—Maria Luce Ronconi, Marist College

"The pedagogical features are far superior to those in any other text. The book contains college-level questions, not just basic content-review ones. It invites students to a real and deep engagement with religion. The modular approach is perfect."—Jim Ford, Rogers State University

"Invitation to World Religions is better organized than other books and more thorough without being pedantic."—Keith E. Welsh, Webster University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199738434
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/16/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 49,126
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1. AN INVITATION TO THE STUDY OF WORLD RELIGIONS
"Religion" and the Study of World Religions
Defining "Religion"
What Religions Do
Religious Questions and Challenges
Basic Components of Religions
Teachings
Ways of Life
Historical Development
Religions in the Modern World
Modernization
Urbanization
Globalization
Multiculturalism
Religion and Science
An Academic Approach to the Study of Religions
Balance
Empathy
Comparative Approaches
CHAPTER 2. INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS OF NORTH AMERICA
The Teachings of Native American Indigenous Religions
Creation and Origins
Life Lessons in Myths
The Importance of Balance: Humanity and the Natural World
Sacred Language and Sacred Time
VOICES: An Interview with Lin Estes
Native American Indigenous Religions as a Way of Life
Healing
Rites of Passage
Rites of Renewal and Rites of Purification
The History of Native American Indigenous Religions
Conquest, Colonization, and Christianity
Resistance Movements
Native Religions and Non-Native Practitioners
CHAPTER 3. INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS OF AFRICA
The Teachings of Indigenous African Religions
Myths
Supernatural Beings: Gods and Spirits
VOICES: Interviews with Sammy Letoole and Festus Ogunbitan
Humanity and the Human Condition
Indigenous African Religions as a Way of Life
Communicating with the Spirit World
Using Supernatural Powers
Life Cycle Rituals
The History of Indigenous African Religions
The Spread of Islam
Christianity and Colonialism
Reform and Resistance
African Religions in the Americas
CHAPTER 4. HINDUISM
The Teachings of Hinduism
Hindu Beliefs About God
Hindu Philosophical and Social Concepts
VOICES: An Interview with Saraswati Krishnan
Texts in Hinduism
The Sects of Hinduism
Hinduism as a Way of Life
Seeing the Divine Image: Temples and Icons
Forms of Worship
Yoga Traditions and Asceticism
Rites of Passage
Pilgrimage
Festivals and Holidays
Performance Traditions
The History of Hinduism
Indus Valley
Who Are the Aryans?
The Vedic Period
Zoroastrianism
The Early Upanishads (900-600 C.E.)
The Rise of Theistic Hinduism
Hindu Expansion in the Age of the Guptas
The Development of Bhakti
Tantra
Sanskritization
Colonial Critique and the Hindu Reformers
Gandhi, Hinduism, and Indian Nationalism
Hindu Nationalism and Hindutva
The Future of Hinduism
CHAPTER 5. BUDDHISM
The Teachings of Buddhism
Meeting the Buddha
The Life of the Buddha
The Basics of the Buddha's Teaching
Buddhist Sects and Texts
VOICES: An Interview with Katherine Sei
Women in Buddhism
Buddhism as a Way of Life
Meditation and the Cultivation of Mind
Mantra, Liturgic Ritual, and Chanting
Ordination and "Being a Buddhist"
Sacred Places and Objects of Worship
Festivals
Funerary Rites
The Wider Implications of Buddhist Ritual and Practice
The History of Buddhism
The Period of the Buddhist Councils
The Period of Expansion
The Development of Mahayana in Monasteries
Buddhism Beyond India
The Beginnings of the Western Transmission
Buddhists in the World Today
CHAPTER 6. JAINISM
The Teachings of Jainism
Mahavira, the Twenty-fourth and Last Tirthankara of this World Cycle
An Eternal Succession of Tirthankaras
Jainism and Hinduism
Ahimsa and Asceticism: Jainism's Ideals
Theory of the Universe
Liberation and Salvation
VOICES: An Interview With Girish Shah
Jainism as a Way of Life
Digambaras and Shvetambaras
The Ascetic Life
The Religious Life of the Jain Laity
The History of Jainism
The Indian Historical Context
The Legacy of the Tirthankaras: Jainism through the Centuries
Jainism in Today's World
CHAPTER 7. SIKHISM
The Teachings of Sikhism
The Life of Guru Nanak
Sikh Scripture
On God, the Human Condition, and Spiritual Liberation
Teachings of Guru Gobind Singh and the Khalsa
VOICES: An Interview with Onkar Singh
Sikhism as a Way of Life
Daily Devotional Practices
Sikh Worship in the Gurdwara
Worship, Work, and Charity
Women and Sikhism
The History of Sikhism
Guru Nanak's Successors
Guru Gobind Singh and the Khalsa
Sikhs and Nationalism
Sikh Identity
Sikhs in the Diaspora
CHAPTER 8. CHINESE RELIGIONS: CONFUCIANISM AND DAOISM
The History of Confucianism and Daoism
Ancient Chinese Religion
History of Confucianism
History of Daoism
The Teachings of Confucianism and Daoism
Ancient Chinese Religious Views
The Teachings of Confucius
Confucianism and Women
Teachings and Beliefs of Daoism
Daoism and Women
Confucianism and Daoism as a Way of Life
VOICES: An Interview with Jason Ch'ui-hsiao Tseng
Confucian Rituals
Daoist Practices
CHAPTER 9. SHINTO
The Teachings of Shinto
The Meaning of Kami
Creation Myth in the Kojiki
VOICES: An Interview with Watanabe Minoru
Shinto as a Way of Life
Fertility Rites
Women in Shinto
Rites of Purification, Presentation, Petition, and Participation
Religious Observances throughout the Year
The History of Shinto
Medieval Shinto
The Modern Period
Shinto in Japan Today
CHAPTER 10. JUDAISM
The History of Judaism
Dispersion, Assimilation, and Collective Identity
The Biblical Period
The Second Temple Period
The Formative Age
The Conflict Between Judaism and Christianity
The Age of Philosophy and Mysticism
The Modern Era
Reform Movements in Europe and in the U.S.
The Shoah and the State of Israel
The Future of Judaism in the Contemporary World
The Teachings of Judaism
God
Torah
Covenant and Election
Israel
The Messiah and the Messianic Age
The Afterlife
Jewish Mysticism
Judaism as a Way of Life
The Major Festivals
VOICES: An Interview with Rabbi Brad Bloom
The Minor Festivals
The Sabbath
Life-Cycle Events
Other Sacred Practices
Prayer
CHAPTER 11. CHRISTIANITY
The Teachings of Christianity
The Life of Jesus
The Teachings of Jesus
Paul and the Mission to the Gentiles
God, Creation, and Original Humanity
God as Trinity
Sin and Human Nature
Grace and Salvation
VOICES: An Interview with Mia Sasaki
The Church
Scripture
Tradition
"Last Things"
The Afterlife
Christianity and Other Religions
Christianity as a Way of Life
Sacraments
Church Interiors: Sacred Space
Prayer
The Liturgical Year
Veneration of Saints
Social and Political Activism
The History of Christianity
Christianity in the Roman World
The Church in the Middle Ages
The Reformation
Christianity in the Modern World
Christianity Today and Tomorrow: Trends and Prospects
CHAPTER 12. ISLAM
THE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM
Muhammad and the Revelations
The Holy Qur'an
The Teachings of the Qur'an
Commentary on the Qur'an
The Hadith Literature
VOICES: An Interview with Tunay Durmaz
ISLAM AS A WAY OF LIFE
The Five Pillars
The Qur'an in Daily Life
Jihad
The Islamic Year and Holidays
The Shari'ah: Islamic Law
Marriage and Family
Women and Islam
THE HISTORY OF ISLAM
The Hijra and the Growth of the Muslim Community
The Crisis of Succession and the Rightly Guided Caliphs
The Umayyads and the Abbasids
Later Islamic Empires: The Ottomans, the Mughals, and the Safavids
Islam and Nationalism
Islamic Reform Movements
Varieties of Islam
Sufism
Muslims in North America
CHAPTER 13. NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS
What Is "New" about New Religious Movements?
Modernization, Globalization, and Secularization
Theoretical Models and Social Typologies
Alternative Christianities and their Offshoots
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Christian Science and New Thought
Adventism
Jehovah's Witnesses
The Family (Children of God)
The Unification Church
The Rediscovery of Eastern Religious Thought
ISKCON: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness
The Osho Rajneesh Movement
Transcendental Meditation
THE REVIVAL OF ESOTERIC AND NEO-PAGAN THOUGHT
Eckankar
The Findhorn Foundation
The Raelian Movement
The Church of Scientology
Wicca
VOICES: An Interview with Mary Carpenter
The Baha'i Faith
The New Atheism

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