Universal Religions in World History: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam / Edition 1

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Focusing on Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, this book traces the origins and spread of these "world" or "universal" religions. By examining cross-cultural encounters and inviting students to consider similarities and differences in the meanings they ascribe to human life, the book highlights the relationship between religious and cultural life and the political and social context in which it is embedded.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072954289
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Series: Explorations in World History Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter One: The Origins of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam


Universal Religions

The Setting and Context

The Indian Subcontinent

West Asia

The Arabian Peninsula

The Spiritual Worlds of Buddhism, Christianity and






Chapter Two: The Expanding World of Buddhism: Buddhist Encounters from South to East Asia

Buddhism's Early Growth

The Formation of the Canon

Buddhism Splits into Schools

Buddhism in the Kushan Empire

Buddhism in Southeast Asia

The Khmer Kingdom

Mahayana Buddhist Carry the Faith to China

Schools of Buddhism

Buddhism Helps the Sui Unite China

Images, Relics, and Printing

Why Did Buddhism Decline in China?

The Neo Confucian Synthesis

Buddhism Travels to the Frontiers of Eurasia


Buddhism Travels to Japan


Chapter Three: From Manger to Metropolis: The Early Spread of Christianity

Paul's Efforts to Promote Christianity

The Environment into which Christianity Spread

Zoroastrian Legacies: The Eternal Struggle between Good and Evil

The Milieu of Mithraism

The Persistent Ghost of Gnosticism

Why Were Early Converts Attracted to Christianity?

Multiple Varieties of the Christian Faith

Paul and John

The Jewish Christians

Gnostic Christians

The Macionites

The Syrian Church

Mainstream Christians

Christianity in the Late Roman Empire

Christianity Under Constantine

Christianity Reaches Nubia and Axum

Nestorian Christians Take Christianity to the East

Desert Fathers, Mothers, and the First Monasteries

Lay Christians and the Secular Clergy

Making Sense Out of the Disintegration of the Roman Empire

Constantinople and Byzantium

The Growing Separation of the Roman and Eastern Churches

Christianity Spreads to Ireland and Western Europe

The Widening Schism between East and West: Popes and Patriarchs

The Debate over Relics

The Franks and Charlemagne

Christianity Moves Across Asia


Kiev and Russia

Central Asia

Nestorians in China

Somalia and Ethiopia

Christianity Matures in Europe, 1000 – 1550

Reform Movements

Renewed Religious Enthusiasm in Europe

The Church in Crisis

A New Wave of Reform

The Break-Up of the Universal Church: The Protestant Reformation


Chapter Four: The Widening Reach of Dar al-Islam

Strengthening the Community

The Era of Rightly Guided Caliphs

Achievements During the Right Guided Caliphs Period

Why Was the Military So Successful?

What Did Muslims Think of Non-Muslims?

How Did Islam Change Women's Lives?

The Umayyad Caliphate

Achievements of the Umayyad Caliphate

The Ulama and Sufis

Initial Conversions

Internal Tension Weaken the Umayyad Caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate


The Importance of Cities

The Place of Law in Dar al-Islam

Women, Slaves, Soldiers, and Scholars

The Spread of Dar al-Islam



Southeast Asia



The Indian Subcontinent


Chapter Five: Comparisons, Contrasts, and Syntheses

The Gradual Process of Conversion

Contact and Borrowing

Religious Toleration in Central Asia

New Syncretic Faiths Develop


The Rise of Sikhism

Similarities and Differences among the Universal




Common Religious Rituals and Practices

Christian-Muslim Relations

Children of Abraham, Sibling Rivalry, Clash of Civilizations

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