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This complete overview of religious studies provides students with the essential knowledge and tools they need to explore and understand the nature of religion.Covers the early development of religion, with overviews of major and minor religions from Islam to Scientology Considers recent developments including secularization; the relationship between religion and science; and scientific studies on religion, health, and mystical experience Uses humor throughout, allowing students to remain open-minded to the subject Explains what it means to study religion academically, and considers the impact of the study of religion on religion itself Contains numerous student-friendly features including photos, maps, time lines, side bars, historical profiles, and population distribution figures Provides classroom users with a lively website including questions, quizzes, extra material, and helpful primary and secondary sources
John Morreall is Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. He has published widely in the philosophy of religion, and on the comic dimensions of world religions. His book Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion (1999) won the Choice Outstanding Academic Book 2000. He is also the author of Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor (2009), published by Wiley-Blackwell.
Tamara Sonn is the Wm. R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. Her books include Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam (with J. Neusner, 1999) and Islam: A Brief History, 2nd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She was senior editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003), and associate editor of The Islamic World Past and Present (2004). She is currently an editor of Oxford Islamic Studies Online, and of Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (2009). In addition, Sonn is editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies, and co-editor-in-chief of Wiley-Blackwell's Religion Compass.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Prepare To Be Surprised
An Overview of Religion: Making Sense of Life
Explaining Suffering and Evil
The Importance of Order
Order Out of Chaos
Order and Predictability: Eschatology, Prophecy, Divination
Ethics/Morality and Law
Authority and Power
The Role of Ritual
The Relationship between Philosophy and Theology
Two Kinds of Christian Theology
Scriptural (Biblical) Studies and the Impact of the Printing Press
William Robertson Smith: Historical Criticism
The Rise of Modernity and New Academic Disciplines:Oriental Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology
Max Mller: Oriental Studies and Religion
Edward Burnett Tylor: Anthropology and Religion
James Frazer: Evolution and Religion
Negative Views of Religion
Karl Marx: Religion and the Opiate of the Masses
Sigmund Freud: Religion and Neurosis
Sociology of Religion
Emile Durkheim: Modernization Theory
Max Weber: The Protestant Ethic
Back to Philosophy
Analytic Philosophy: Antony Flew
Phenomenology and Religious Studies
Philosophy of Religion
William Lane Craig
Anthropology of Religion
Sociology of Religion
Peter L. Berger
Robert N. Bellah
Psychology of Religion
Using the Tools: Surveying World Religions
Animism and Anthropomorphism
Ancient Religions, Oral Religions
The Neolithic Revolution, Patriarchy, and the Rise of Historic Religions
The Torah, the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament
The History and Teachings of Judaism
The Development of Reform Judaism
The Rituals of Judaism
The History and Teachings of Christianity
The Institutionalization and Politicization of Christianity
Eastern and Western Christians
The Western/Roman Church
The Eastern Orthodox Churches
The History and Teachings of Islam
Early History: The Life of Muhammad and the Rashidun Caliphs
The Modern Period: Reform and Recovery
Major Divisions Today
The Impact of Religious Studies on the Western Monotheisms
Rosemary Radford Ruether
Two Traditions of India: Hinduism and Buddhism
Hinduism and Buddhism
Indus Valley Civilization (3,000-1,500 BCE)
The Aryans and the Vedas (1,500-600 BCE)
The Mystical Worldview of the Upanishads
The Laws of Manu
History and Teachings of Buddhism
Understanding the Four Noble Truths
The Ethics of "Awakening"
The Core of All Buddhist Traditions
The Development of the Three Main Traditions
Conclusion: Religious Studies and Indian Traditions
The Tao, Yin and Yang
The History of Chinese Religious Thought
The Zhou Period (12th-3rd c. BCE)
Buddhism in China
Chinese Folk Traditions
Chinese Traditions Today
What Makes a "World Religion"?
The Traditions of the Seneca
Conclusion: To Be or Not To Be a Religion?
Can We Define Religion?
Resurgent Religion in the U.S.?
Secularization in Europe
Religion and Physical Health
Religion and Mental Health
Does Prayer Work?
Brain Science and Mystical Experience
Conclusion: Another Surprise?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.