Religion Today introduces students to key concepts in religious studies through a compelling problem-solving framework.Each chapter opens with a contemporary case study that helps students engage in current religious issues, explore possible solutions to difficult religious problems today, and learn key themes and concepts in religious studies.
This book covers the usual introductory material of a religious studies course but does so in a way designed to challenge and involve the student more than other texts in this field. It is an original and exciting approach that will make the student a real partner in learning.
I found Religion Today to be engaging, interesting, and hard to put down. It is the only true 'Religious Studies' introduction that I have seen in recent memory – most introductions to religion are precisely that, introductions to different religious systems. Religion Today, however, introduces students to core principles in religious studies while building critical thinking skills. I very much like the pedagogical approach. It is distinctive, creative, clear and I think it would be very effective with today’s college student.
Martha L. Finch
An accessibly written introduction to the academic study of religion, Religion Today moves beyond standard theories of religion textbooks to demonstrate the ways that religious studies contributes to contemporary public debates around such heated issues as the reclamation of sacred artifacts by Native Americans, the wearing of head-coverings by Muslim women, and the proliferation of religious violence. The book avoids simplistic analyses by emphasizing critical thinking throughout: each chapter opens with a twenty-first-century controversy as a test case and uses it to explore, apply, and evaluate various solutions presented by theories of religion, both ‘classical’ and contemporary, Western and Eastern. Religion Today engages the student-reader in real-life scenarios and provides intellectual tools for understanding their complexity and developing informed responses, a must for academic programs feeling the pressure to demonstrate the relevance of the study of religion in contemporary public life.
1: Introducing a Critical Thinking Approach to Religious Studies
2: Methods of Studying Religion
3: Would You Believe! Religious Beliefs and their Reasons
4: The Right to Sacred Things: Symbol, Myth, and Ritual
5: Inside the Religious Brain: New Research into Religious Experience
6: Chapter 6: Trouble in the Global Village: Violence in the Name of Religion
7: Making It After All: The Future of Religion
Glossary Key Scholars Notes Bibliography Index About the Author