Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders

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Foreword by Hans Küng

A fascinating look at the founders of the world’s main religions.

The major religious traditions of the world owe their existence to the vision of an ancient founder. This important volume explores the lives of the five founders of major world religions—Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad—chronicling what is ...

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Overview

Foreword by Hans Küng

A fascinating look at the founders of the world’s main religions.

The major religious traditions of the world owe their existence to the vision of an ancient founder. This important volume explores the lives of the five founders of major world religions—Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad—chronicling what is actually known of these charismatic men and introducing readers to the cultural and religious worlds that heard their messages.

Readers in predominantly Christian lands, in addition to learning about the lives of Confucius, Buddha, and Muhammad— whom they might not be familiar with— will also be introduced to modern research now casting fresh light on the careers of Moses and Jesus. Whether studied individually or in comparison with one another, these biographies, together with a chapter on the characteristics of religious leadership, chart the spiritual rivers that continue to feed the diversity of religious expression today.

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Editorial Reviews

Brian C. Wilson
The Rivers of Paradise is a rarity among scholarly works on religion today, as it can be read profitably by both specialists and general readers alike. Students who are looking for brief yet sophisticated introductions to Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam will find these essays engagingly written and satisfyingly detailed. Specialists, on the other hand, will find a book that takes comparative religion seriously and that boldly redefines the contentious category of ‘world religion' through the lens of Weberian sociology. Not all who read The Rivers of Paradise will agree with the authors' assessments, but the book will spark debate, and for this reason alone it will make an ideal text for both undergraduate and graduate courses in religious studies.
Willard G. Oxtoby
No religious tradition begins in a vacuum. This book's authorial team ably explains what we can hope to know of the varying lives and times of five important religious founder figures.
Booknews
American religious scholars present biographies of the historical figures credited with founding the five world religions. They chronicle what is actually known about the charismatic figures, and introduce the cultural and religious worlds that heard their messages. A final chapter reassesses Max Weber's theory of religious leadership. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Contributions from the best contemporary thinkers provide explorations of the lives and beliefs of the five founders of major world religions: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad. These essays provide new insights into the careers of these individuals, blending biography with spiritual insights. An excellent contemporary review.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802845405
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: 43137 William B Eerdmans
  • Pages: 711
  • Lexile: 1340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Hans Küng

Introduction: The Rivers of Paradise
David Noel Freedman

Moses, Torah, and Judaism
Carl S. Ehrlich

Shakyamuni: Buddhism’s Founder in Ten Acts
Richard S. Cohen

Confucius
Mark Csikszentmihalyi

Jesus
Michael J. McClymond

Muhammad
Daniel C. Peterson

Prophet or Loss? Reassessing Max Weber’s Theory of Religious Leadership
Michael J. McClymond

Final Thoughts: Responses to McClymond’s "Prophet or Loss?"

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