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Barbara McGraw, Associate Professor, St. Mary's College of California, joined with the original writer, Robert Ellwood, Emeritus Professor, University of Southern California, as coauthor for the sixth edition of Many Peoples, Many Faiths, and continues to have a large part in the rewriting of all sections of the seventh edition of the book. In particular, Professor McGraw has contributed nearly all of the material that was added in the sixth edition on women in the world religions. The growing interest in this issue and its own intrinsic importance have led both of us to believe that world religions textbooks must now give substantial amounts of space and detail to the role and experience of women in religion. And we hope that the effort to combine factual information with empathetic writing has been carried over intothe material on women in the world's faiths, while recognizing at the same time that sometimes shedding light on a subject at all may call its basic tenets into question.
In general, this seventh edition of Many Peoples, Many Faiths seeks to continue the balanced and empathetic approach to the religions of the world toward which previous versions have striven. Additions made to earlier editions have been maintained and, where appropriate, updated. For example, in the sixth edition new material was added throughout on the presence of the world religions in the United States. Further, it was previously recognized that in a world increasingly faced with very difficult choices and with a growing awareness of current injustices, no human institution, religion included, can avoid challenge and criticism. New material was previously added to the introductory chapter on critical approaches to religion, and a new final chapter was then appended on religion in the context of present and future crises, which has been substantially revised for the seventh edition. Readers will be challenged to think about how religion has responded to present developments in ecology, technology, globalization and other trends, and what possible futures for religion there may be in light of them.
Further, this seventh edition has been substantially edited in many places and additional headings have been added as "pointers" to make the material even more accessible to students than it was before—without, however, losing any of the beauty and flow of Robert Ellwood's original words. Also, the first person narratives that this book has been known for in the past have been restored. In this regard, notations have been provided to indicate which of the authors is speaking—an asterisk indicating Robert S. Ellwood, a dagger indicating Barbara A. McGraw.
The glossary for the seventh edition has been substantially expanded so that it can be used more effectively as a teaching and learning tool. The authors suggest that students be instructed to use the glossary as a study guide for each chapter. In addition, updated material has been added throughout the book, including the addition of recent books to the lists of suggested readings at the end of each chapter. As before, it must be emphasized that these lists are by no means exhaustive. In many of the categories, there are hundreds, even thousands, of valuable books. What we have tried to do is suggest a few books in each subject area, not so much for advanced research as for broader familiarization with the area. Most, therefore, are books written at a level accessible to beginning or middle-level students. Many are textbooks with good further bibliographies. Books footnoted in the text but not cited in the reading lists are generally recommended too. In many cases, the books in the suggested reading lists have gone through a number of editions; the dates given may not represent the earliest or latest printing. Again, these are only books representative of the wealth of material available in the study of the religious world; the inclusion or exclusion of a book should not be taken to reflect the authors' own critical judgment of a particular book.
In this edition, new material has been added to Chapter 10, "Spirits Rising," on new religious movements in the hope that appreciation of the dynamic, changing quality of religion will be enhanced. New material has also been added to Chapter 8 to reflect the growth and impact of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and to Chapter 9 to reflect the developments of Islam around the world. In addition, it is hoped that teachers and students will be aided by the Appendix, which gives practical suggestions on how to write papers for classes using this text. In addition, maps have been updated and improved.
As always, true understanding of the many faiths of the many peoples of earth requires a mixture of knowledge and empathy. As you read this book keep the necessary facts in mind, but read it also with that human empathy that alone can furnish an understanding of what those facts mean to human beings for whom they are gateways to ultimate meaning.
We are indebted to many people who have helped to make this seventh edition possible. First, we would like to thank everyone at Prentice Hall who has worked on this book. Unfortunately, we cannot name them all here, but we would like to thank Ross Miller, the Acquisitions Editor for Religion, who has overseen this project, and whose diligence and guidance have contributed immensely to a successful result, and Joseph Scordato, the Production Editor, whose efficiency and generally pleasant manner of communication certainly have made an invaluable contribution to this book and made its production a pleasant experience, as well. In addition, special thanks is given to our copy editor, Stephen Hopkins, whose attention to detail and copy suggestions were much appreciated.
We also wish to acknowledge the reviewers who offered suggestions for the Improvement of this seventh edition. Our thanks and appreciation to: Araminta Johnston of Queens College and Randal Cummings of California State University, Northridge. And we also wish to acknowledge the work of Professor McGraw's research assistant, Andrew J. Gibson, who contributed to the updating of the "Suggested Readings" sections throughout this book.
Further, Barbara McGraw would like to acknowledge her former professor and now colleague and friend, Professor Elizabeth Say, Director of Women's Studies, California State University at Northridge, for her continuing inspiration, especially with regard to the study of women in religion, and Professor Robert S. Ellwood for opening the doors that count.
ABC News/PH Video Library — Issues in World Religions
Video is the most dynamic of all supplements you can use to enhance your class. But the quality of the video material and how well it relates to your course still makes all the difference. Prentice Hall and ABC News are now working together to bring you the best and most comprehensive video ancillaries available in the college market.
Segments from award-winning ABC News programs, including 20/20, World News Tonight, Primetime Live, and Nightline cover issues related to text concepts and applications. The programs have extremely high production quality, present substantial content, and are hosted by well-versed, well-known anchors.
Posted April 1, 2003
While many people depend on Huston Smith's marvelous 'The World's Religions' for an introduction to religions from around the world, Smith's book is a little behind the times. 'Many Peoples, Many Faiths' has more current information, as well as many well-chosen illustrations, maps, and tables. Not only that, but it's really very well-written -- not necessarily what you'd expect from a textbook! The timelines, and tables comparing the different religions, are especially useful. An excellent reference book that you'll actually want to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.