Presenting both the histories and the prevalent worldviews of the major world religions, Matthews' WORLD RELIGIONS methodically introduces students to the richness and diversity of these traditions. The "Worldview" sections in particular make this textbook the most helpful textbook when it comes to comparative analyses of the religions. In these sections students can see how the different religions understand a common set of ten themes that are fundamental to all traditions, including the nature of the Absolute, the place of humans in the world, rituals and symbols, and the prospects for life after death. Furthermore, this text combines insightful, engaging prose with maps, photographs, timelines, excerpts from sacred texts, and other helpful pedagogical aids, to employ a scholarly approach that neither shields students from current research nor encumbers them with it. Students are encouraged, individually and collectively, to pursue their own dialogues with the voices and nuances of these religions.
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia, Warren Matthews previously served as department chair for nine years and as Dean of Student Affairs and as Vice- President for seven years.
INTRODUCTION. PART ONE: RELIGIONS OF TRIBES AND CITY- STATES. 1. Religions of the Americas. 2. Religions of Africa. PART TWO: RELIGIONS ARISING IN INDIA. 3. Hinduism. 4. Buddhism. 5. Jainism and Sikhism. PART THREE: RELIGIONS OF CHINA AND JAPAN. 6. China and Japan. PART FOUR: RELIGIONS THAT INFLUENCED EAST AND WEST. 7. Ancient Religions of Iraq and Iran. PART FIVE: RELIGIONS OF THE FAMILY OF ABRAHAM. 8. Judaism. 9. Christianity. 10. Islam.