The World's Religions offers a fascinating insight into a wide range of faiths, their history and their followers. In the richly illustrated new edition of this popular book, religions are described through their symbols, rituals, followers, architecture and art. References, statistics, maps and pictures have been updated and added. The text has been thoroughly revised to highlight recent developments, such as the spread of Islam, African-American and Hispanic-American religious experience, and women priests.
"The World's Religion's is recommended as a basic introduction, and quite possibly for the circulating as well as reference collection." Choice
Smart emeritus, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara is one of the few public religious intellectuals who can be compared to the late Joseph Campbell. In this second edition of his study of world religions, he has expanded his discussion of the multifaceted dimensions of religious thought. This edition retains the same structure found in the earlier one: Part 1 charts the historical development of religions in the ancient worlds, while Part 2 follows how they changed after the Renaissance, the settling of the Americas, and other cultural shifts. In this version, he adds the effects of the breakup of the Soviet Union, the expansion of Islam, the spread of African American religious experiences, and the changes brought about by the introduction of female priests. It would be a mistake to assign this book as a primary textbook for a world religions class; Smart is primarily a historian, and the emphasis here is on world religions in terms of world history and constantly developing systems of faith, belief, and theology. Recommended for all libraries.--Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
Preface; Introduction; Part I: 1. Earliest religions; 2. South Asia; 3. China; 4. Japan; 5. Southeast Asia; 6. The Pacific; 7. The Americas; 8. The ancient Near East; 9. Persia and Central Asia; 10. The Greek and Roman world; 11. Classical and medieval Christianity and Judaism; 12. Classical and medieval Islam; 13. Classical African religions; Part II: 14. The explosion of Europe and the re-forming of Christianity; 15. North America; 16. South Asia and reactions to colonial intervention; 17. China and Korea in modern times; 18. Modern Southeast Asia; 19. Japan in modern times; 20. Islam passes through the shadows; 21. The colonial impact in the Pacific; 22. Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union; 23. Africa in the modern world; 24. Latin America and the Caribbean; 25. Some final reflections on global religion; Bibliography; Credits; Index.