Comparing Religions is a next-generation textbook which expertly guides, inspires, and challenges those who wish to think seriously about religious pluralism in the modern world. A unique book teaching the art and practice of comparing religions Draws on a wide range of religious traditions to demonstrate the complexity and power of comparative practices Provides both a history and understanding of comparative practice and a series of thematic chapters showing how responsible practice is done A three part structure provides readers with a map and effective process through which to grasp this challenging but fascinating approach The author is a leading academic, writer, and exponent of comparative practice Contains numerous learning features, including chapter outlines, summaries, toolkits, discussion questions, a glossary, and many images Supported by a companion website (available on publication) at www.wiley.com/go/kripal, which includes information on individual religious traditions, links of other sites, an interview with the author, learning features, and much more
In this engaging dialogue, Zygmunt Bauman, sociologist and philosopher, and Stanislaw Obirek, theologian and cultural historian, explore the place of spirituality and religion in the world today and in the everyday lives of individuals. Their conversation ranges from the plight of monotheistic religions cast onto a polytheistic world stage to the nature of religious experience and its impact on human worldviews and life strategies; from Messianic and Promethean ideas of redemption and salvation to the possibility and prospects of inter-religious dialogue and the factors standing in its way. While starting from different places, Bauman and Obirek are driven by the same concern to reconcile the multiplicity of religions with the oneness of humanity, and to do so in a way that avoids the trap of adhering to a single truth, bearing witness instead to the multiplicity of human truths and the diversity of cultures and faiths. For everything creative in human existence has its roots in human diversity; it is not human diversity that turns brother against brother but the refusal of it. The fundamental condition of peace, solidarity and benevolent cooperation among human beings is a willingness to accept that there is a multiplicity of ways of being human, and a willingness to accept the model of coexistence that this multiplicity requires.
This is the first ever comprehensive English-language survey of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest living religions Evenly divided into five thematic sections beginning with an introduction to Zoroaster/Zarathustra and concluding with the intersections of Zoroastrianism and other religions Reflects the global nature of Zoroastrian studies with contributions from 34 international authorities from 10 countries Presents Zoroastrianism as a cluster of dynamic historical and contextualized phenomena, reflecting the current trend to move away from textual essentialism in the study of religion
50 Great Myths about Religions is an intriguing, informative, and often humorous introduction to some of the long standing myths that surround religious belief. This engaging book will get its readers thinking about how and why certain myths have arisen, and their continuing influence on our personal and collective view of religion. Offers a lively, informative, and thought-provoking introduction to some of the common misbeliefs surrounding religions Discusses myths about religious belief in general, as well as specific ideas that surround Judaism, Christianity, Islam, atheism, and agnosticism Covers a wide range of myths, from ancient legends such as the Bible forbidding pork being eaten because it causes illness, to modern urban fables, such as Barack Obama being a Muslim Unpacks each myth in turn, explaining why it arose, how it spread, and why the beliefs that stem from it are questionable Includes a fascinating discussion about human nature, and the main characteristics that predispose us to create and circulate myths to begin with Underpinned by a wide knowledge of academic research, it is written by two respected religion scholars and experienced authors
Written by top practitioner-scholars who bring a critical yet empathetic eye to the topic, this textbook provides a comprehensive look at peace and violence in seven world religions. Offers a clear and systematic narrative with coverage of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Native American religions Introduces a different religion and its sacred texts in each chapter; discusses ideas of peace, war, nonviolence, and permissible violence; recounts historical responses to violence; and highlights individuals within the tradition working toward peace and justice Examines concepts within their religious context for a better understanding of the values, motivations, and ethics involved Includes student-friendly pedagogical features, such as enriching end-of-chapter critiques by practitioners of other traditions, definitions of key terms, discussion questions, and further reading sections
This unparalleled introduction to cults and new religious movements has been completely up-dated and expanded to reflect the latest developments; each chapter reviews the origins, leaders, beliefs, rituals and practices of a NRM, highlighting the specific controversies surrounding each group. A fully updated, revised and expanded edition of an unparalleled introduction to cults and new religious movements Profiles a number of the most visible, significant, and controversial new religious movements, presenting each group’s history, doctrines, rituals, leadership, and organization Offers a discussion of the major controversies in which new religious movements have been involved, using each profiled group to illustrate the nature of one of those controversies Covers debates including what constitutes an authentic religion, the validity of claims of brainwashing techniques, the implications of experimentation with unconventional sexual practices, and the deeply rooted cultural fears that cults engender New sections include methods of studying new religions in each chapter as well as presentations on ‘groups to watch’
The first book-length introduction to an exciting new interdisciplinary field—written by an internationally recognized leader of the Contemplative Studies movement This is the first book-length introduction to a growing and influential interdisciplinary field focused on contemplative practice, contemplative experience, and contemplative pedagogy. Written by an internationally recognized leader in the area, Introducing Contemplative Studies seeks to provide readers with a deep and practical understanding of the nature and purpose of the field while encouraging them to find a place of their own in an increasingly widespread movement. At once comprehensive overview, critical reflection, and visionary proposal, the book explores the central approaches and issues in Contemplative Studies, tackles questions and problems that sometimes go unaddressed, and identifies promising new developments. The author also discusses contemplative pedagogy, an experiential approach to teaching and learning informed by and expressed as contemplative practice. This is a major introduction to a fast emerging interdisciplinary field that will be invaluable to those interested in the area. The only comprehensive introduction to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of Contemplative Studies Written by a distinguished leader in the Contemplative Studies movement who is founding Co-Chair of the Contemplative Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion Informed by ten years of research and practice, the book explores the field’s varied approaches and expressions Offers critical reviews of trends which will create discussions both within and outside the Contemplative Studies Liberally illustrated with both images and charts Introducing Contemplative Studies is a must-read for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, teachers and scholars in Contemplative Studies, as well as anyone who is curious about contemplative practice, meditation, contemplative experience, contemplative pedagogy, contemplative science, and, of course, the exciting field of Contemplative Studies generally.
Comprising the most up-to-date, interdisciplinary research on the study of Chinese religious beliefs and cultural practices, this volume explores the rich and complex religious and philosophical traditions that have developed and flourished in one of the world's oldest civilizations. Covers the main Chinese traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as well as Christianity and Islam Features a unique organizational structure, with groups of readings focused on historical, traditions-based, and topical elements of Chinese religion Explores a number of contemporary religious topics, including gender, nature, asceticism, material culture, and gods and spirits Brings together a team of authors who are experts in their sub-fields, providing readers with the latest research in a rapidly growing discipline
This innovative introductory textbook explores the central practices and beliefs of Hinduism through contemporary, everyday practice. Introduces and contextualizes the rituals, festivals and everyday lived experiences of Hinduism in text and images Includes data from the author’s own extensive ethnographic fieldwork in central India (Chhattisgarh), the Deccan Plateau (Hyderabad), and South India (Tirupati) Features coverage of Hindu diasporas, including a study of the Hindu community in Atlanta, Georgia Each chapter includes case study examples of specific topics related to the practice of Hinduism framed by introductory and contextual material
A Spiritual City provides a broad examination of the meaning and importance of cities from a Christian perspective. Contains thought-provoking theological and spiritual reflections on city-making by a leading scholar Unites contemporary thinking about urban space and built environments with the latest in urban theology Addresses the long-standing anti-urban bias of Christianity and its emphasis on inwardness and pilgrimage Presents an important religious perspective on the potential of cities to create a strong human community and sense of sacred space