Religion Today: A Reader

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Religion Today: A Reader in Tradition, Modernity and Change presents a broad selection of primary and secondary texts for studying the central themes and issues in contemporary religion. This volume accompanies the five textbooks published in the Open University/Ashgate Religion Today Series, but also offers an independent, comprehensive Reader for all those studying and interested in religion today. The Reader is structured around five key themes: Sacred text to internet; Religion and social transformation; Civil religions; Global religions in regional context; Alternative spiritualities. Each section includes an introduction by the editor, and presents an international range of the most important textual sources for study.

Religion Today: Tradition, Modernity and Change - an Open University/Ashgate Series

This new Open University/Ashgate series of textbooks with accompanying reader offers an in-depth introduction to contemporary themes and challenges in religious studies, highlighting the central issues and ideas that are shaping religion today - and will continue to do tomorrow. Spanning many countries and religions, the textbooks include plentiful contemporary case studies and integrate methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives seamlessly into the text, ensuring that students understand the relevance of methodologies to lived experience and gain the abilities to transfer analytic skills and explanatory devices to the breadth of nations and religions. The 5 textbooks offer introductions to the following key issues in contemporary religious studies: representation and interpretation; modernity and social change; civil religion; the impact of globalisation on religion; the growth of alternative religion. The accompanying Reader presents primary source material structured around these core themes.

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Editorial Reviews

Ninety-one readings meant to accompany introductory undergraduate religion classes. The focus of the volume is on the process of religious change. The readings are grouped into thematic sections that explore the representation of religion in picture, text, politics, film, and on the Internet; the relationship between religion, modernity, and social change; the shifting meanings of civil religion; the impact of globalization; and the growth of alternative spiritualities. The editors make no attempt to provide equal coverage of all the major religions, preferring to focus on general themes of the practice and experience of religion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754607434
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/1/2002
  • Series: 19th Century Series
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I From Sacred Text to Internet
1.1 Mark's Gospel 3
1.2 Does the Historical Jesus Matter? 7
1.3 Seeing the Sacred 15
1.4 Idolatry and the Defence of Hindu Theism 17
1.5 Idol Worship 20
1.6 Defence of Image Worship 22
1.7 Glimpses of Religion 23
1.8 Images as an Aid to Worship 24
1.9 The Principles of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order 25
1.10 The FWBO and the Buddhist Tradition 27
1.11 Learning about Buddhism 28
1.12 Kadampa Buddhism 29
1.13 Training as a Qualified Dharma Teacher 30
1.14 Bhikku Sangha: The Order of Monks 34
1.15 Zaynab al Ghazali: Islamist Feminist? 38
1.16 The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace 43
Pt. II Religion and Social Transformations
2.1 Christianity in the Post-Communist Vacuum 49
2.2 How Can a Muslim Live in this Era? 57
2.3 Human Rights Declaration, 1948 63
2.4 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam 67
2.5 Who is Mary for Today's Asian Women? 74
2.6 Asian Women Writing Theology 77
2.7 Mary in the Christian Community: Model for Liberation 78
2.8 Black Feminism and Theology 80
2.9 Self-understanding of Biblical Scholarship 82
2.10 God as Mother 84
2.11 A Buddhist Life is a Green Life 88
2.12 A Zone of Peace 90
2.13 Saving Forests so There can be Forest Monks 93
Pt. III Perspectives on Civil Religion
3.1 Civil Religion in America 101
3.2 Baptized in Blood 106
3.3 Completing the Theological Circle: Civil Religion in America 113
3.4 War Memorials 116
3.5 Say Goodbye to Grandad 118
3.6 How Did Uncle Edmund Die? 121
3.7 War Grave Pilgrimage 125
3.8 Communion at the Wall 132
3.9 The Things They Leave Behind 134
3.10 Night Rounds: A Visit to the Vietnam Memorial 136
3.11 To Heal a Nation 137
3.12 Notice Announcing the Proposed Rededication of Siena to the Virgin, June 18 1944 141
3.13 Act of Donation of the City of Siena to the Most Holy Virgin Mary 142
3.14 The Day of the Palio 144
3.15 Palio 146
Pt. IV Global Religious Movements in Regional Context
4.1 Looking Back, Reaching Forward 151
4.2 The Charismatic Movement in the Church of England 155
4.3 Christianity for a New Age 159
4.4 Can Evangelicalism Survive its Success? 161
4.5 Recovering the Primacy of Evangelism 168
4.6 The Legacy of John Wimber 169
4.7 Which Part of the Great Commission Don't You Understand? 172
4.8 Some Reflections on the Meaning and Practice of Worship from Inside South America 176
4.9 View from the Other Side 182
4.10 Dawa and its Significance for the Future 184
4.11 Does Anybody Care?: The Umma at a Charity Dinner 188
4.12 Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo: Soka Gakkai Introduction Card 194
4.13 Happiness in this World 195
4.14 The One Essential Phrase 196
4.15 Soka Gakkai International Charter 198
4.16 President Ikeda's Guidance 200
4.17 Adapting the Precepts to the Locality 202
4.18 Flood Disaster in Venezuela 204
Pt. V Belief Beyond Boundaries
5.1 Pagan Theologies 209
5.2 Neopaganism 211
5.3 Ritual is My Chosen Art Form 214
5.4 New Age or Pagan 217
5.5 The Stations of the Sun 220
5.6 The Celtic Year 224
5.7 Three 'p's 226
5.8 Are the Modern Celts Bogus? 228
5.9 Three Things There Are, That Are Seldom Heard 231
5.10 Apologies to Native People 237
5.11 Behind the Buckskin Curtain 239
5.12 Nature and First Nations' Religions 241
5.13 Spokespersons for Indian Spirituality 244
5.14 An Earth First! Activist on the Importance of Ritual 247
5.15 Drawing Down the Moon 250
5.16 There Have Been Witches in All Ages 253
5.17 The Burning Times 256
5.18 Sorceresses 258
5.19 The Witches of Eastwick 260
5.20 The Worst Witch 261
5.21 The Ride-by-Nights 262
5.22 Witch at Home 263
5.23 Science and Religion 267
5.24 Whose Science? Whose Religion? 269
5.25 Psychology and Religion 272
5.26 Syncronicity 275
5.27 Foreword to the I Ching 277
5.28 Why Jung Would Doubt the New Age 280
Acknowledgements 283
Index 289
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