World Religions: Reference Classics

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Overview

For thousands of years, belief in a reality greater than ourselves has served as a source of profound ideas about the nature and meaning of the cosmos, and as an antidote to the fragility and finality of human existence. This book seeks to convey, among other things, the compelling mysteries, the profound intellectual constructs and the rich expressions of holiness that the world’s major faiths have achieved: how they have helped to shape the general landscape of cultures and provided traditions of prayer, ...

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Overview

For thousands of years, belief in a reality greater than ourselves has served as a source of profound ideas about the nature and meaning of the cosmos, and as an antidote to the fragility and finality of human existence. This book seeks to convey, among other things, the compelling mysteries, the profound intellectual constructs and the rich expressions of holiness that the world’s major faiths have achieved: how they have helped to shape the general landscape of cultures and provided traditions of prayer, meditation and healing, as well as rituals that lend order and meaning to life.

Today, in some quarters, the old certainties of different faiths are being shaken by modernizing influences; elsewhere, a new religious radicalism is being fostered. At the same time, the religious situation in much of the world has become increasingly complex. Individuals are becoming more curious about the beliefs of their neighbors, and scholars are devoting more attention to the understanding of cultures other than their own.

Clarifying these complex issues in a highly accessible text, World Religions is a penetrating introduction to the extraordinary diversity of the world’s great faiths as well as to their common concerns. Focusing on the seven most important religions in terms of numbers of adherents, historical significance and diffusion, the book brings depth and clarity through a wealth of reference information, including maps, charts, and more than 250 superb full-color photographs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435141742
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/30/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael D. Coogan is Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College, Easton, Massachusetts, and Director of Publications at Harvard Semitic Museum. He has also taught at Wellesley College and Harvard University. Among the many books he has written and edited are the New Oxford Annotated Bible and The Oxford Companion to the Bible (with Bruce M. Metzger).

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