Oxford Dictionary of World Religions by John Bowker, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
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The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

by John Bowker
     
 

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Here is the most comprehensive and up-to-date dictionary of religion available in paperback. Written by an expert team of 80 international and multi-faith contributors, the volume contains over 8,200 entries and an original and in-depth introductory essay.
Readers will find information on:
Religions: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam

Overview

Here is the most comprehensive and up-to-date dictionary of religion available in paperback. Written by an expert team of 80 international and multi-faith contributors, the volume contains over 8,200 entries and an original and in-depth introductory essay.
Readers will find information on:
Religions: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and much more
Movements, Sects, and Cults: Over 500 entries on everything from Cargo Cults and the New Age movement to Rastafarians and Soka Gakkai
Sacred Texts: Over 1,000 entries covering the sacred writings of religions worldwide
Individuals: Including founders, leaders, gurus, philosophers, mystics, and heretics
Sacred Sites: Cities, buildings, centers of pilgrimage
Customs: Religious practices, dogmas, beliefs, traditions, festivals and fasts, and artifacts such as altars, rosaries, icons, and torah ornaments
Ethics: Entries cover world-wide religious teachings on abortion, animals, birth control, war, sexuality and homosexuality, and suicide
In addition, the Dictionary features a 13,000-item topical index, directing readers to subjects that might not have their own entries, such as Brahman, breathing, death, heavens and paradises, mandala, mantra and yantra, Sufism, yoga, and Zen practice. There is also a detailed system of cross-references so that readers can explore related topics in the book, and suggestions for further reading for those who wish to pursue a subject in greater depth.
The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions is the definitive reference work on this subject, the most comprehensive and authoritative one-volume resource available. Now in an affordable paperback edition, it is the first place to turn for information on virtually any aspect of religion worldwide.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bowker (divinity, Gresham Coll., London) has produced two very different books, though both are focused on world religion. The Oxford Dictionary, whose entries often lack information on etymology and pronunciation, is actually a one-volume desktop encyclopedia for ready reference. Combining brevity of exposition with a massive number of entries in an attempt to be dictionary-like, the work suffers from trying to be comprehensive in breadth of coverage instead of depth. The psychology of religion is discussed in a half-page, for instance, and the Church Fathers get only two sentences. In addition, the entries are uneven in quality; one has the feeling that the 80 contributors are each writing according to his or her own personal interests and styles. Despite these idiosyncracies, the work is a solid reference source for people who want to know only the barest of facts about any religious topic. In World Religions, on the other hand, one has the feeling that Bowker, now the author, is finally freed to range over what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. This book is a bold attempt to meld religious information with expressive art and to use the art as a tool for pedagogy. Each religion is represented by a few brilliantly illustrated icons, paintings, or sculptures, which the author painstakingly annotates to illuminate their theologies and deepen one's insight. Whether he is using Michelangelo's Final Judgment to explain Christian eschatology or a handscroll of Chou Ch'en to explain Taoist concepts of immortality, the emphasis upon the visual makes these religions vibrant and intriguing. There are surprising discrepancies between the two works. World Religions has generous discussions of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Norse, and Celtic religions, topics not even included in the Oxford Dictionary. There are also variations of names. Ultimately, World Religions is the more commendable publication, though both books are recommended for most libraries.Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198662426
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Edition description:
New
Pages:
1126
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 2.00(d)

Meet the Author

John Bowker is an authority on religious studies. He has taught at universities in the United States and the UK, is an Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, and a well-known broadcaster on BBC Radio.

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