Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace / Edition 1

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Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace explores major religions and current worldviews to understand how each seeks peace and justice and discourages promotion of privilege and war. Worldviews presented include Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Marxist, and Native American. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is provided as a case study for how worldviews affect-and effect-the search for justice and peace. Other chapters explore Christian social teaching, liberation theologies, active nonviolence, and just war theory. Numerous religious figures, including Mohandas Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Thich Nhat Hanh, A. T. Ariyaratne, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Etty Hillesum, Marc Ellis, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dorothy Day, provide concrete models for comparison of belief and action.

About the Author:
David Whitten Smith, S.T.D., S.S.L., is a diocesan priest and the founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota

About the Author:
Elizabeth Geraldine Burr, Ph.D., is a researcher, writer, and editor for the Justice and Peace Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota

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Editorial Reviews

International Journal On World Peace
The strengths of the book are multi-fold: a robust introduction with the plan for each chapter, followed by extensive accounts of different world views with summary, key terms, discussion questions, notes and suggestions for further reading. The style of writing and choice of topics are absorbing and at the same time challenging to those who would delve further into the issues raised…. Understanding World Religions is an indispensable and rich resource for not only students of justice and peace studies but also for any reader who has an inclination towards the advancement of social justice, world peace and the enhancement of human welfare.
December 2008 Peace and Justice Studies
David Whitten Smith and Elizabeth Geraldine Burr...are to be commended for writing a text covering many world religions and world views from the prspective of peace and justice....The book's attempt to introduce various religious and non-religious worldviews from a universal moral perspective is a worthy one....Understanding World Religions is a passionate and timely text.
(Online) Good Reads Reviews
Smith does a really good job of summarizing the major world religions, including Marxism, liberation theology, and views on just war and the Israel-Palestine conflict. This made for a good textbook. September 28, 2008
Journal Of Religion
Understanding World Religions is an edited culmination of years of photocopied texts and student research that the authors have written and collected in the absence of an appropriate college-level textbook for teaching religious and ideological worldviews before the post-9/11 academic trend to do so. . . . [This] book easily stands out as the most up-to-date, approachable, and comprehensive volume with its mission and with the necessary admittance in its preface and advertised description as being conceived and written from a normative, values-based perspective that invalidates impartiality and advances social action-in the form of writing-for peace.
June 2008 American Reference Books Annual
Along with very accessible descriptions of the various sets of beliefs, which the authors manage to deliver with a remarkable lack of bias, they also provide a very good bibliography that includes significant materials on comparative religion, peace work and justice issues. They also include a comprehensive glossary.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742550551
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/29/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 444
  • Sales rank: 1,021,975
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

David Whitten Smith is the founding director of the Justice and Peace studies program at the University of St. Thomas.

Elizabeth Geraldine Burr, Ph.D., is a researcher and editor for the Justice and Peace Program at the University of St. Thomas.

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Table of Contents

Preface     xiii
Credits     xvii
Introduction: The Study of Worldviews     xix
Hindu Worldviews     1
Buddhist Worldviews     25
Jewish Worldviews     55
Christian Worldviews     85
Muslim Worldviews     117
Native American Worldviews     149
Marxist Worldviews     169
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict     189
Christian Social Teachings     227
Liberation Theologies     253
Active Nonviolence     277
Just War Theory     303
Glossary     333
Bibliography     365
Index     381
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