We all know what religion is - or do we? Confronted with religious pluralism and cultural diversity, it manifests itself in many forms. What is Religion? serves not only as an introduction to the different belief systems flourishing throughout the modern world, but asks us to consider how the very boundaries of faith might be drawn now and in the future. How might religion interact with political ends, or permeate culture, society and everyday life? Is the post-secular world in thrall to 'religions' of its own kind - materialism, humanism, medicine, science? And what logic separates 'common-sense' or academic knowledge from the immutable but unstable boudaries of faith? Which is the more certain? What does it mean to believe? Combining clear accounts of contemporary global religious practice with an incisive philosophical interrogation of the dynamics and aims of belief, What is Religion? offers a fresh and wide-ranging introduction to the perennial human questions of ritual, faith, ethics and salvation.
What do we talk about when we talk about religion? Is it an array of empirical facts about historical human civilizations? Or is religion what is in essence unpredictable - perhaps the very emergence of the new? In what ways are the legacies of religion-its powers, words, things, and gestures - reconfiguring themselves as the elementary forms of life in the twenty-first century? Given the Latin roots of the word religion and its historical Christian uses, what sense, if any, does it make to talk about religion in other traditions? Where might we look for common elements that would enable us to do so? Has religion as an overarching concept lost all its currency, or does it ineluctably return ...
Since its first publication in 1981, AMERICA: RELIGIONS AND RELIGION has become the standard introduction to the study of American religious traditions. Written by one of the foremost scholars in the field of American religions, this textbook has introduced thousands of students to the rich religious diversity that has always been a hallmark of the American religious experience. Beginning with Native American religious traditions and following the course of America's religious history up to the present day, this text gives students the benefit of the author's rigorous scholarship in clear language that has proven to be readily accessible for today's undergraduates. This long-awaited new edit...
Written in plain English and covering the world's major faiths, this book is packed with short, pithy explanations that cut through the jargon, step-by-step diagrams that untangle the central tenets, and witty illustrations that play with our perception of religion -- Back cover.
While religion can be a source of healing, peace, and reconciliation, it can also be a trigger, if not an underlying cause, for conflict between peoples of varying beliefs. With that awareness, the International Academy of Practical Theology convened its 2007 meeting around the theme of "Religion, Diversity, and Conflict." From the multiple seminars, lectures, and studies presented at that meeting, a selection was chosen for this book. Representing contributions from four continents, and drawing upon perspectives from African traditional religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, the book offers a rich introduction to the problems and promises of religion in dialogue with 21st-century diversity. Religion, Diversity and Conflict will serve as a veritable primer on the field of practical theology. (Series: International Practical Theology - Vol. 15)
In his exploration of the interaction between religion and worldwide social and cultural change, the author examines the major theories of global change and discusses the ways in which such change impinges on contemporary religious practice, meaning and influence. Beyer explores some of the key issues in understanding the shape of religion today, including religion as culture and as social system, pure and applied religion, privatized and publicly influential religion, and liberal versus conservative religions. He goes on to apply these issues to five contemporary illustrative cases: the American Christian Right; Liberation Theology movements in Latin America; the Islamic Revolution in Iran; Zionists in Israel; and religiou
The Religions of Canadians draws on the expert knowledge and personal insights of scholars in history, the social sciences, and the phenomenology of religion to introduce the beliefs and practices of nine religious traditions.