The Major Religions: An Introduction with Texts / Edition 2

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This popular introduction to the world’s major religions provides a comprehensive survey of the major traditions together with selected primary readings.

  • A new edition of this popular introduction to the world’s major religions
  • Provides a comprehensive survey of the major religious traditions together with selected primary readings
  • Focuses on the beliefs and values that animate each religion, helping students to understand what makes them meaningful to their followers
  • Includes new material on Sikhism and additional material on each religion’s ethics and their encounter with the modern world
  • Features chapter-by-chapter discussion and test questions, summaries, and suggestions for further reading
  • Improved visual design, with extensive student aids including revised maps, timeline and charts.

The book is accompanied by a website at

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you need a text for an introductory course in the world religions, your search will be over after you examine Professor Burke's The Major Religions. What recommends it? Its fresh, lucid and unpretentious style, its direct approach to the essentials of each major tradition, its clear awareness of the abilities and resources of the undergraduate mind. The text is an ideal combination of analysis, illustration, classical texts (with commentary), discussion questions, suggestions for tests and additional reading. Professor Burke and his editors have produced what comes close to the ideal college textbook. Its exciting arrangement will have students eager to turn to their religion assignment." James E. Biechler, Emeritus Professor of Religions, La Salle University, Philadelphia

"Professor Burke's approach is one which I think would be appealing in those contexts (particularly one semester courses) for which it is designed. The inclusion of sources in the book, if designed for one-semester use, is an excellent idea, and furthermore, I think that Professor Burke's selection of sources is remarkably apt. Pedagogically, I think that the book is well done: it will be accessible and interesting to students, and it has plenty of examples." Professor Dewey D. Wallace Jr., George Washington University

"This book is the best, brief description available currently of the origins, tenets and ways of worship of the world's great religions aimed at beginning students. T. Patrick Burke writes in a clear and easily understandable style that will help the reader go back to it regularly to grasp the essentials of faith and its role in the society." Murray Friedman, Director, The Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405110495
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/15/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 673,579
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

T. Patrick Burke was for many years Professor of Religion at Temple University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.

List of Maps.

Preface to Second Edition.

Preface to First Edition.


Part I: The Religions of Indian Origin:.

1. Hinduism. Hinduism Texts.

2. Buddhism. Buddhism Texts.

3. Sikhism. Sikhism Texts.

Part II: The Religions of Chinese Origin: .

5. Traditional Chinese Religion and Confucianism. Confucianism Texts.

6. Taoism. Taoism Texts.

7. Chinese Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism Texts.

Part III: The Religions of Semitic Origin:.

8. Judaism. Israelite Religion. Rabbinic Judaism. Judaism Texts.

9. Islam. Islam Texts.

10. Christianity. Christianity Texts.



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