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

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Overview

Understanding World Religions studies major religions and worldviews current in today's world in order to seek their assistance in work for justice and peace, and to discourage their promotion of selfish privilege and war. Worldviews studied include Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Marxist, and Native American. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is given as a case study for how worldviews impact justice and peace. Further chapters explore Christian social teaching, liberation theologies, active nonviolence, and just war theory. Numerous examples (Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Thich Nhat Hanh, A.T. Ariyaratne, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Etty Hillesum, Marc Ellis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Women in Black) provide concrete models for the reader to consider. The treatment is designed to excite interest and invite further study, rather than to offer a comprehensive picture.

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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.
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.
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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: 1,097,117
  • 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

Part 1 Preface Part 2 Introduction Chapter 3 The Seven "Dimensions"; Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Social and Institutional Dimension; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Ethical and Legal Dimension; Material and Artistic Dime Part 4 Chapter One: Hindu Worldviews Chapter 5 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Narrative or Mythic Dimension-including Sacred Writings; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Social and Institutional Dimension; Issues for Justice and Peace; Spo Part 6 Chapter Two: Buddhist Worldviews Chapter 7 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Sacred Writings; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Ethical and Legal Dimension; Social and Institutional Dimension; Issues for Ju Part 8 Chapter Three: Jewish Worldviews Chapter 9 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Sacred Writings; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Ethical and Legal Dimension; Influence from the Experiential and Emotional Dim Part 10 Chapter Four: Christian Worldviews Chapter 11 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Sacred Writings; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Ethical and Legal Dimension; Issues for Justice and Peace; Social and Institut Part 12 Chapter Five: Muslim Worldviews Chapter 13 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Sacred Writings; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Experiencial and Emotional Dimension: Sufism; Social and Institutional Dimensi Part 14 Chapter Six: Native American Worldviews Chapter 15 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Sacred Writings; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Practical and Ritual Dimension; Ethical and Legal Dimension; Social and Institutional Dimension; Issues for Ju Part 16 Chapter Seven: Marxist Worldviews Chapter 17 Experiential and Emotional Dimension; Historical Periods; Classic Writings; Narrative or Mythic Dimension; Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension; Social and Institutional Dimension; Marxist Theory Today; Issues for Justice and Peace; Summary; Discussion Q Part 18 Chapter Eight: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Chapter 19 Purpose of This Chapter; Palestine-Israel Geography and History; Spokespersons for Justice and Peace; Summary; For More Information; Discussion Questions; Notes; Suggestions for Further Reading Part 20 Chapter Nine: Christian Social Teaching Chapter 21 Highlights of Christian Social Concern through History; Roman Catholic Social Teaching; Protestant Social Teaching; Prelude to Liberation Theologies; Summary; Discussion Questions; Notes; Suggestions for Further Reading Part 22 Chapter Ten: Liberation Theologies Chapter 23 Historical Background; Other Forms of Liberation Theology; The Vision of Karen Lebacqz; Summary; Discussion Questions; Notes; Suggestions for Further Reading Part 24 Chapter Eleven: Active Nonviolence Chapter 25 What It Is and How It Works; Some Nonviolent Activists; Women's Groups; Nonviolence as a Tactic, Or as a Way of Life; Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers; "Active Nonviolence: Jesus' Third Way" by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer; Summary; Discussion Questions; Notes; Part 26 Chapter Twelve: Just War Theory Chapter 27 General Points; Principles of Just War; Principle 1: Just Cause; Principle 2: Comparative Cause; Principle 3: Attitude; Principle 4: Intention; Principle 5: Last Resort; Principle 6: Likely Success; Principle 7: Authority; Principle 8: Declared; Principle Part 28 Bibliography

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