Religions of the World / Edition 12

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Overview

Discover the historical importance of religion in the world's cultures

Closely edited for clarity and readability, and conceived for students with little or no background in the academic study of religions, Religions of the World offers the most up-to-date and historically accurate coverage of the world’s major religions. It not only explains to students why it is imperative to study religions, but does this through the support of primary source documents, coverage of religions as they exist today, and integrated media resources.

In preparing the twelfth edition of Religions of the World, Mark Woodward drew on his introductory teaching experience – to thousands of undergraduates over the last decade – and his living / working experiences in Asian Christian, Buddhist, Confucian and Muslim societies for extended periods. He continues to stress the importance of religion in the world’s cultures, and the need to promote harmony and understanding among people of different faiths.

Teaching and Learning Experience

Personalize Learning - MyReligionLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.

Improve Critical Thinking - Outstanding student pedagogy and Religion and Violence boxes encourage students to examine their assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence, assess their conclusions, and more!

Engage Students - Religions of the World provides undergraduate students with a relevant text written at a level they can understand, and explains religious diversity and complex themes within context of real people and real life.

Support Instructors - Teaching your course just got easier! You can create a Customized Text or use our Instructor’s Manual, Electronic “MyTest” Test Bank or PowerPoint Presentation Slides. Plus, Religions of the World’s coverage is both comprehensive and broad enough that you can choose which religions you want to cover, and not find it necessary to use handouts, course packs, or supplemental texts.

MyReligionLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyReligionLab, please visit: www.MyReligionLab.com or you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MyReligionLab (at no additional cost): VP ISBN-10: 0205201180/ VP ISBN-13:9780205201181

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The main strength is that it covers the major religions adequately. The other strength is that it covers the traditional religions in the Americas and in Africa. The other strength is that the vocabulary words are bolded and there is a glossary for them. "

- Ivory Lyonns, Mount Union College

"Very good textbook, it covers all the world religions from east to the west, this means, it is complete, thorough, and comprehensive. It gives a place to discuss those new religions such as Baha'i faith and some other hot topics such as Religion and Violence, etc. It offers some new perspectives and points of view to consider regarding religion and its role in the contemporary world."

-Hong Qu, Iowa State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205158607
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 11/7/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 12
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 139,045
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

In This Section:

I. Author Bio

II. Author Letter

I. Author Bio

Mark Woodward is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University and Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies at Gadjah Madah University and Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, both in Yogyakarta Indonesia. He conducted ethnographic research in Indonesia, Burma and Thailand, and is also author of the books, Islam in Java and Java, Indonesia and Islam.

II. Author Letter

Dear Colleague,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the new edition of Religions of the World. This is the twelfth edition, and the book has gone through many changes over the years. It was originally authored by Lewis Hopfe, a dedicated teacher and scholar whose vision for teaching the World Religions course combined a sense of history with an appreciation of keeping the subject alive by focusing on contemporary trends in religions and the role of religion in world affairs.

In the editions I have edited, and sections of the book that I have rewritten, I have done the best that I can to retain this perspective. I continue to include both primary texts and first hand accounts of what is now called "lived religion" or somewhat less pretentiously "religion and everyday life. In fact, I explore these "living religions" in terms of the historical and cultural factors that produced them, the lives of their founders, their basic teachings, and their historical development and current status in the world.

I have been fortunate enough to have lived in many parts of the world and to have had the chance to interact with people from most of the religious traditions discussed in the book. These experiences have had a major impact on almost every chapter, especially those concerned with contemporary religious life. It is also apparent in original photographs that I have used whenever possible.

Another unique feature of this book is frank and honest discussion of the issue of religion and violence. I think that there is no escaping this issue and that our students will hold us accountable if we do not help them to understand how it is that people of many, indeed almost all, faiths can use religion to motivate or excuse violence and the dehumanization of others.

Please do let me know what you think of the new edition of Religions of the World. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about the book, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at MARK.WOODWARD@asu.edu.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Mark Woodward

Arizona State University

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Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

PREFACE
to the Eighth Edition

In preparing the eighth edition of Lewis Hopfe's text, I have drawn on my experience teaching the introductory course on world religions to thousands of students over the past decade and living and working in Buddhist and Muslim societies for extended periods. I have updated the chapters on Asian religions, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam, and also the one on African religions. I have attempted to leave the style of presentation and the comparative focus of the text intact. Living in Arizona for more than a decade, I have also had the good fortune to encounter a variety of Native American religious traditions and have drawn on this experience in revising Chapter 2.

Mark R. Woodward

PREFACE
to the Sixth Edition

Wherever people are found, there too religion resides.

The study of world religions has become increasingly important in this last decade of the twentieth century. As a result of mass communications and ease of travel, individuals of varied backgrounds are coming into contact more than ever before. The Middle East is a cauldron of emotions involving Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Headlines are being made by devotees of Hinduism and Islam in India. Some of the conflicts in areas of the former Soviet Bloc nations have religious undertones. A knowledge of world religions is now essential to understanding people of various world cultures, their political systems, and the quest for world peace.

World religions is never a simple subject and can be incredibly complex and intricate for the beginning student. Religions of the World iswritten for the student who wants a concise introduction to the historical and philosophical foundations of the major living religions of the world. While this text makes no conscious effort to shortcut or simplify religions, neither does it go out of its way to delve too deeply into the technicalities. This new edition follows the same narrative style and approach that has met with such a positive response in previous editions.

Readers are first introduced to the basic vocabulary of the field and to some of the theories of the origin of religion. The text then goes on to explore the major living religions: the historical and cultural factors that produced them, the lives of their founders, their basic teachings, and their historical development and current status in the world. Selected readings from source material are included to give the student a feel for the literature of the world religions, a glossary to define difficult and foreign terms, and a suggested reading list of available, current texts which can further instruct the student. Study questions are included at the end of each chapter in order to focus the attention of the reader on the central themes of the chapter.

Changes within this new edition include a partial revision of the Judaism chapter, with the addition of a section on medieval Judaism. A new section on myths and rituals has been added to the Basic Religions chapters. Each religion chapter, other than Basic Religions, includes a new section on the major holy days and festivals celebrated by adherents of that religion.

This edition is the result of the combined efforts of many people. Before the untimely death of Dr. Lewis M. Hopfe on September 2, 1992, he had completed all of the major changes and additions, leaving the editing and final completion of the Sixth Edition to his wife, Lavinia R. Hopfe, and his son, Lewis M. Hopfe, Jr. Many thanks to Maggie Barbieri, our editor at Macmillan, Sharon Lee and Connie Geldis, also at Macmillan, Laurie Thomas for copyediting, Catherine Howard, and others who made this text possible.

Lavinia R. Hopfe
Lewis M. Hopfe, Jr.
for Lewis M. Hopfe

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Table of Contents

Brief Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Basic Religions and World Religions

Chapter 2 Native American Religions

Chapter 3 African Religions

Religions Originating in India

Chapter 4 Hinduism

Chapter 5 Jainism

Chapter 6 Buddhism

Chapter 7 Sikhism

Religions Originating in China and Japan

Chapter 8 Chinese Religions

Chapter 9 Shinto

Religion Origination in the Middle East

Chapter 10 Zoroastrianism

Chapter 11 Judaism

Chapter 12 Christianity

Chapter 13 Islam

Chapter 14 Baha’i (Online Bonus Chapter)

Glossary

Credits

Index

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Preface

PREFACE:

PREFACE
to the Eighth Edition

In preparing the eighth edition of Lewis Hopfe's text, I have drawn on my experience teaching the introductory course on world religions to thousands of students over the past decade and living and working in Buddhist and Muslim societies for extended periods. I have updated the chapters on Asian religions, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam, and also the one on African religions. I have attempted to leave the style of presentation and the comparative focus of the text intact. Living in Arizona for more than a decade, I have also had the good fortune to encounter a variety of Native American religious traditions and have drawn on this experience in revising Chapter 2.

Mark R. Woodward

PREFACE
to the Sixth Edition

Wherever people are found, there too religion resides.

The study of world religions has become increasingly important in this last decade of the twentieth century. As a result of mass communications and ease of travel, individuals of varied backgrounds are coming into contact more than ever before. The Middle East is a cauldron of emotions involving Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Headlines are being made by devotees of Hinduism and Islam in India. Some of the conflicts in areas of the former Soviet Bloc nations have religious undertones. A knowledge of world religions is now essential to understanding people of various world cultures, their political systems, and the quest for world peace.

World religions is never a simple subject and can be incredibly complex and intricate for the beginning student. Religions of the Worldiswritten for the student who wants a concise introduction to the historical and philosophical foundations of the major living religions of the world. While this text makes no conscious effort to shortcut or simplify religions, neither does it go out of its way to delve too deeply into the technicalities. This new edition follows the same narrative style and approach that has met with such a positive response in previous editions.

Readers are first introduced to the basic vocabulary of the field and to some of the theories of the origin of religion. The text then goes on to explore the major living religions: the historical and cultural factors that produced them, the lives of their founders, their basic teachings, and their historical development and current status in the world. Selected readings from source material are included to give the student a feel for the literature of the world religions, a glossary to define difficult and foreign terms, and a suggested reading list of available, current texts which can further instruct the student. Study questions are included at the end of each chapter in order to focus the attention of the reader on the central themes of the chapter.

Changes within this new edition include a partial revision of the Judaism chapter, with the addition of a section on medieval Judaism. A new section on myths and rituals has been added to the Basic Religions chapters. Each religion chapter, other than Basic Religions, includes a new section on the major holy days and festivals celebrated by adherents of that religion.

This edition is the result of the combined efforts of many people. Before the untimely death of Dr. Lewis M. Hopfe on September 2, 1992, he had completed all of the major changes and additions, leaving the editing and final completion of the Sixth Edition to his wife, Lavinia R. Hopfe, and his son, Lewis M. Hopfe, Jr. Many thanks to Maggie Barbieri, our editor at Macmillan, Sharon Lee and Connie Geldis, also at Macmillan, Laurie Thomas for copyediting, Catherine Howard, and others who made this text possible.

Lavinia R. Hopfe
Lewis M. Hopfe, Jr.
for Lewis M. Hopfe

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Introduction

The world has changed since the last edition of this book was published. After September 11, 2001, it was no longer necessary to question the need for the academic study of religion. Policymakers, students, and the public at large came to understand very quickly that religion had replaced economics as the most ideologically potent force in the post-Cold War world. Just as religions include the seeds of peace, they offer the potential for hatred and violence. It is naive to believe that understanding alone will lead to tolerance and acceptance of the basic humanity of others. Some interpretations of most religions are inherently intolerant and incline toward violence. Understanding the dark side is, however, essential in the struggle to overcome it. Understanding religions other than our own, even if our own is none, is also necessary if we are to avoid stereotyping all members of a faith because of the violent acts of a few. In preparing the ninth edition of Lewis Hopfe's text, I have drawn on my experience teaching the introductory course on world religions to thousands of students over the past decade and living and working in Buddhist and Muslim societies for extended periods. I have tried to bring the book and the study of world religions into the post-September 11 era. There is expanded coverage of "new religions" and new variants of established traditions. Some of these traditions, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the new Chinese religion Falun Dafa, have been the victims of persecution. Others, including the version of Islam promoted by Usama bin Laden and his associates and Hindu fundamentalist in India, encourage acts of violence.

My thanks to the reviewers of the ninth edition: Barry R. Sang, Catawba College, and Pamela Jean Owen, University of Nebraska.

This edition of Religions of the World is dedicated to the survivors and victims of the tragedies of September 11, 2001.

Mark R. Woodward

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    not worth it

    I very much dislike that I am not able to read this on my actual devise and that you have to go through nook study. I barely read anything the entire semester. I also am not fond of reading on an LCD screen for hours. I do, however, understand that it provides more protection against hackers and other sorts, but it seriously hindered my performance. I would rather have paid more money to get the hard copy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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