Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions / Edition 9

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Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions

Ninth edition

Robert S. Ellwood, Barbara A. McGraw

This classic work presents the religions of the world in a way that captures the total human experience in a factual and empathetic manner, helping students gain a sense of each religion's unique characteristics, positive meaning, romance, and beauty, while tackling some of today's most critical religious issues. Written in an engaging style, it comes fully updated--with fresh insights and information on the theology/philosophy, practice, social organization, ethics, art and experiential aspects of the world religions, placing them in their historical context.


  • (New!) Sections on religion and politics for each world religion
  • Sections on women in religion for each world religion
  • Sections on each world religion in America
  • (New!) Revised chapter on Islam, adding more information on Islam’s manifestations around the world
  • (New!) Additions to the preexisting wealth of photographs in this beautiful text
  • (New!) Updated bibliography and information on the current important and changing role of religionin world affairs
  • Helpful maps, timelines, summary information tables, and glossary to guide student’s learning
  • Final chapter on issues in and affecting religion today and tomorrow, such as globalization, climate change, and pluralism

"A very good book, best on the market"

Helena Gourko, Merrimack College, MA

"There is no competition for this book. It is as nearly perfect introductory textbook in my considered estimation."

Dell deChant, University of South Florida

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136017615
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/11/2008
  • Series: MyReligionKit Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Brief Table of Contents:

1. Understanding the World's Religious Heritage.

2. The Sacred in Nature.

The Religions of Prehistoric and Tribal Peple

3. Life Against Time.

The Spiritual Paths of India

4. Wisdom Embarked for the Farther Shore.

The Journey of Buddhism

5. Dragon and Sun.

Religions of East Asia

6. One God, Many Words and Wonders.

The Family of the Three Great Monotheistic Religions and Zoroastriamism

7. Keeping Covenant with God in History.

The Unique Perspective of Judaism

8. Spreading the Word of God in the World.

The Growth of Christianity

9. Submitting to the Will of God.

Submitting to the Will of God

10. Spirits Rising.

New Religious Movements

11. Looking Over the Spiritual Horizon.

Religion Today and Tomorrow

Appendix: Studying World Religions.

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For three decades this introduction to the world's religions, Many Peoples, Many Faiths, has endeavored in various ways to combine factual information with empathetic writing that tries to convey something of the flavor of our planet's diverse religions and cultures. While striving for accuracy and depth, it is neither an encyclopedic compilation of data nor a survey of alternative philosophies. Instead, it us seeks to present something of the total human experience, made up as it is of an inseparable mingling of conceptual, worship, and social factors of religious life from past to present. The authors hope that their efforts will implant in many readers a sense of the richness and fascination of the areas of scholarship that lie behind the presentation of this experience, and that it will inspire at least some to explore these areas more deeply.

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 subsequent editions of the book. In particular, Professor McGraw has contributed nearly all of the material that was added in the sixth and seventh editions 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 give substantial amounts of space and detail to the role and experience of women in religion to more fully reflect the total human experience of religion's influence on the cultures of theworld.

In general, this eighth edition of Many Peoples, Many Faiths seeks to continue the balanced, empathetic, yet critical, 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, and the first and last chapters have been substantially revised for the eighth edition. Readers will be challenged to think about how religion has responded to present developments in science, technology, globalization, the environment, and other trends, and what possible futures for religion there may be in light of them.

The glossary was substantially expanded in the seventh edition and has been updated for the eighth edition so that it can be used 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 books are only 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 the seventh edition, new material was 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 was also added to Chapter 8 to reflect the growth and impact of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and to Chapter 9 to reflect developments in Islam around the world. All of these rapidly developing and shifting areas have been revised and updated for the eighth edition.

New "Suggested Websites" sections have been added to each chapter for the eighth edition, and a new section on Internet Research has been added to the Appendix.

In addition, it is hoped that teachers and students will be aided by the other materials in the Appendix, which gives practical suggestions on how to write papers for classes using this text.

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 the 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 eighth 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 Senior Acquisitions Editor for Religion; Wendy Yurash, Assistant Editor, who has overseen this project and whose diligence and guidance have contributed immensely to a successful result; and Louise Rothman, the Production Editor, whose dedication to this project was most appreciated by the authors. In addition, special thanks to Echo Anne McCollum and Alex Barker for their research assistance.

A also wish to acknowledge the reviewers who offered suggestions for the improvement of this eighth edition. Our thanks and appreciation to Charles H. Lippy, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Grant R. Shafer, Washtenaw Community College, Charles S. Prebish, Pennsylvania State University, Frank Farrell, Manor College, Dell deChant, University of South Florida, and Michelle Comstock, Washtenaw Community College.

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 inspiration, especially with regard to the study of women in religion, and Professor Robert S. Ellwood for opening the doors that count.

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