Religions of Asia Today

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Ideal for courses in Asian/Eastern religions and world religions, Religions of Asia Today covers the same material as the second half of the authors' longer textbook, World Religions Today, Third Edition, while also featuring a unique chapter on Islam in Asia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195373608
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/17/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies, and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Darrell J. Fasching is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida.

Todd T. Lewis is Professor of World Religions at the College of the Holy Cross.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Chapter 1 Introduction 3

Globalization: World Religions in Everyone's Hometown 3

Understanding Religious Experience and Its Expressions 5

The Great Transition: From Tribal Life to Urban Life and the Emergence of World Religions 15

The Great Religious Stories of the World 18

Modernization in Global Perspective 25

Modern Colonialism, the Socialist Challenge, and the End of Modernity 28

Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World 31

Conclusion: We Are All Heretics in the Postmodern Situation 32

Discussion Questions 32

Key Terms 33

Notes 33

Chapter 2 Indigenous Religions 35

Overview 35

Origins of Homo religiosus: Prehistory 41

Religion's Origins Among Hunter-Gatherers 42

Indigenous Religious Traditions: Soul Belief and Afterlife 46

Shamans: "Technicians of the Sacred" 53

Indigenous Religions Today 61

Conclusion 70

Discussion Questions 71

Key Terms 72

Suggested Readings 72

Notes 73

Chapter 3 Hinduism: Myriad Paths to Salvation 75

Overview 75

Encounter with Modernity: Hindu Challenges to India as a Secular State 80

Premodern Hinduism: The Formative Era 83

Premodern Hinduism: The Classical Era (180 BCE-900 CE) 90

Premodern Hinduism: The Postclassical Era (900 CE-1500 CE) 101

Hinduism and Modernity 109

Hinduism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World 118

Hindu Festival Practice 129

The Religious Institutions of Contemporary Hinduism 136

Conclusion 155

Discussion Questions 159

Key Terms 160

Suggested Readings 160

Notes 161

Chapter 4 Buddhism: Ways to Nirvana 163

Overview 163

Encounter with Modernity: Socially "Engaged Buddhism" 167

PremodernBuddhism: The Formative Era 170

Premodern Buddhism: The Classical Era 184

Premodern Buddhism: Buddhist Expansion 198

Buddhism and Modernity 204

Buddhism and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World 217

Conclusion 236

Discussion Questions 241

Key Terms 242

Suggested Readings 243

Notes 243

Chapter 5 East Asian Religions: Traditions of Human Cultivation and Natural Harmony 245

Overview 245

Encounter with Modernity: Postcolonial Confucian Economics 252

East Asian Religions in the Premodern Era 254

East Asian Religions in the Early Modern Era 285

East Asian Religions and Postmodern Trends in a Postcolonial World 296

Conclusion 324

Discussion Questions 330

Key Terms 331

Suggested Readings 331

Notes 332

Web Bibliography 333

Chapter 6 Islam in Asia 335

Overview 335

The Dawn of Islam in Asia 336

The Islamic Tradition 339

Jihad 349

The Challenge of European Colonialism 351

Conclusion 356

Key Terms 356

Suggested Readings 357

Notes 357

Chapter 7 Globalization: From New to New Age Religions 359

Overview 359

New Religions 361

New Age Religions 366

Religious Postmodernism and Global Ethics 381

Discussion Questions 391

Suggested Readings 392

Notes 392

Glossary G-1

Art Credits A-1

Index I-1

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