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William A. Young employs a set of engaging, essential questions to draw students into a concise, contemporary study of the world's religions. Coverage includes major religions, as well as indigenous religions and new religious movements, providing basic history and worldviews of each. Unlike other leading texts on the market, Young devotes an entire section to twenty-first century ethical concerns—ecology, economics, war, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, gender, and sexual orientation—describing in a ...
William A. Young employs a set of engaging, essential questions to draw students into a concise, contemporary study of the world's religions. Coverage includes major religions, as well as indigenous religions and new religious movements, providing basic history and worldviews of each. Unlike other leading texts on the market, Young devotes an entire section to twenty-first century ethical concerns—ecology, economics, war, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, gender, and sexual orientation—describing in a balanced manner how world religions understand and address these issues.
FREE! BOUND INTO EVERY NEW COPY of The World's Religions is The Sacred World: Encounters with the World's Religions, Prentice Hall's new student tutorial on CD-ROM for world religion. Containing over 60 video segments on nine of the world's leading religions, it vividly illustrates key rituals and beliefs. Also included are a glossary of terms and self-assessment questions on the web tied directly to The Sacred World, to help improve student comprehension. The Sacred World brings the color, sound, and beauty of the world's religions right to students ...no matter where in the world they are!
ALSO FREE! AND BUNDLED WITH EVERY NEW COPY of The World's Religions is Prentice Hall's exclusive TIME Special Edition: World Religions. Recent articles and essays on the world's major religions bring currency to students' study of religion. Articles are highlighted at the end of chapters.
In nearly three decades of teaching college courses on the world's religions, I have found that students most want to know how religions answer basic human questions such as "Why are we here?" and "What happens after death?" In addition, they wish to learn how religions respond to contemporary ethical issues such as the ecological crisis, economic justice, war, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, gender equality, and sexual orientation. They also request an accessible overview of the history and development of religions and their worldviews.
Informed by my students' interests and questions, I have attempted to write a "reader-friendly" introduction to the world's religions, intended for use in classroom surveys, as well as for general readers. It focuses on the basic histories, worldviews, and responses to contemporary ethical issues of the world's religions.
This second edition reorganizes the structure of the book, allowing students to more effectively explore, as well as compare and contrast, religious worldviews and religious responses to some of the most critical issues of the twenty-first century. It also thoroughly updates the surveys of the religions, adding reflections on the status of each religion as the new century begins, and makes current the discussion of ethical issues. Finally, it adds study aids requested by students, including lists of important terms and phrases, and Web sites useful for further study.
Chapter One establishes a framework for understanding religion, with a definition that both distinguishes religion from other human phenomena and structures the analysis of religion. This edition explores more fully the various established methodsfor studying religion, and clarifies the approach taken in this text. It also discusses general questions, such as "Why are people religious?" and "What is the relationship between religion and science?"
Chapters Two through Thirteen provide an overview of the histories, sacred texts, and worldviews of the major religions of the world. The worldviews are presented using the framework introduced in Chapter One, allowing students to develop their own comparisons. The religions surveyed include indigenous religions (with the religions of the Yoruba of West Africa and Oglala Lakota of the northern great plains of North America as examples); religions of South Asia (Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism, and Jainism); religions of East Asia (Daoism, Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism, Shinto); and religions of the Middle East and beyond (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism).
Chapter Fourteen focuses on a representative sampling of new religious movements. This edition reorganizes the discussion, in terms of the following distinguishing themes evident in these religions:
The chapter updates the treatment of new religious movements, and adds descriptions of several that have become prominent since the publication of the first edition in 1995: Aum Shinryko, International Raelian Religion, and Falun Gong.
Chapters Fifteen through Eighteen present in an updated manner the responses of the world's major religions and selected new religious movements to the following critically important twenty-first-century ethical issues:
The final chapter of the book looks to the future, raising questions of how the religions of the world may relate to one another in the twenty-first century, and whether they will find common ground in addressing ethical issues such as the ecological crisis. Anew feature of this edition is a reflection on the challenges posed to the world's religions and religious people by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Study aids at the end of each chapter include a summary, a list of important terms and phrases, questions for discussion and reflection, and sources and suggestions for further study (including Web sites).
|Ch. 1||An Introduction to Religion and the Study of Religion||2|
|What Is Religion?||3|
|Why Are People Religious?||7|
|Why So Many Religions?||8|
|Why Is the Study of Religion So Important Today?||9|
|What Is the Relationship between Science and Religion Today?||10|
|What Special Terms Are Used in the Study of Religion?||11|
|What Are Symbols, Myths, and Rituals?||11|
|What Is the Approach to Religion in this Text?||14|
|Ch. 2||An Orientation to Religious Responses to Basic Human Questions and Contemporary Ethical Issues||20|
|Basic Human Questions||21|
|Contemporary Ethical Issues||24|
|Ch. 3||Introduction and Indigenous Religions of Africa||40|
|Problems in Studying Indigenous Religions||41|
|The Traditional Worldview of Indigenous Peoples||42|
|An Orientation to the Indigenous Religions of Africa||48|
|Case Study - The Yoruba of West Africa||53|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||58|
|Ch. 4||Indigenous Religions of North America||64|
|An Orientation to the Indigenous Religions of North America||65|
|Case Study - The Oglala Lakota (Sioux): The Sacred Hoop of the Nation||70|
|The Continuing Impact of Indigenous Religions||84|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||85|
|Ch. 5||Hinduism: Many Paths to the Summit||96|
|An Orientation to South and Southeast Asia||97|
|Stages of Development and Sacred Texts||104|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||126|
|Ch. 6||Theravada Buddhism: The Middle Way||136|
|Stages of Development and Sacred Texts||137|
|Distinctive Teachings of the Theravada Branch||144|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||151|
|Ch. 7||Jainism: The Way of Non-Injury: and Sikhism: Neither Muslim nor Hindu||158|
|Jainism: Non-Injury to All Life||159|
|Sikhism: Neither Hindu nor Muslim||165|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||171|
|Ch. 8||Taoism: The Way of Nature and Confucianism: The Way of Virtue||176|
|An Orientation to East Asia||177|
|Taoism: The Way of Nature||184|
|Confucianism: The Way of Virtue||192|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||200|
|Ch. 9||Mahayana Buddhism: The Great Vehicle: and Shinto: The Way of the Kami||208|
|A Brief History of Korea and Japan||209|
|Popular Japanese Religion||210|
|Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia||212|
|Shinto: The Native Religion of Japan||225|
|Religion in Modern East Asia||235|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||237|
|Ch. 10||Zoroastrianism: Good versus Evil||248|
|An Orientation to the Middle East||249|
|Zoroastrianism: Good versus Evil||255|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||262|
|Ch. 11||Judaism: The Way of Torah||264|
|Introduction: What Is Judaism?||265|
|Stages of Development and Sacred Texts||265|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||288|
|Ch. 12||Christianity: The Way of Jesus Christ||304|
|Stages of Development and Sacred Texts||305|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||328|
|Ch. 13||Islam: The Way of Submission to Allah||352|
|Stages of Development and Sacred Texts||353|
|Responses to Contemporary Ethical Issues||374|
|Ch. 14||The New Religions||386|
|Introduction: Why So Many New Religions?||387|
|The "Cults" Controversy||387|
|The "New Age" Phenomenon||389|
|Spiritually Oriented New Religions||391|
|Secular New Religions||420|
|Ch. 15||The Future of the World's Religions||432|
|How Will the World's Religions Relate to One Another? Three Possible Futures||433|
|The Search for Common Ground: The Ecological Crisis||436|
|A Final Word||438|