OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

World Religions: Western Traditions (4th edition)

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Author: 
Amir Hussain; Roy C. Amore; Willard G. Oxtoby
Pub date
Jan 2014
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The fourth edition of World Religions: Western Traditions provides students with an authoritative examination of Western religions. In this contributed text, experts on Jewish, Christian, Muslim, ancient, indigenous, and new traditions employ extensive knowledge and rigorous research to thoroughly investigate each fascinating tradition. Accessible and engaging, the text explores the origins, central teachings, divisions and branches, rituals and practices, influences on culture, and responses to modern challenges for each tradition. Newly written chapters on Jewish and Christian traditions bring fresh perspectives to the volume and join established contributions to create an enhanced fourth edition. The new edition also includes more content on the role of women and an increased focus on contemporary issues in a new "Recent Developments" section in every chapter. Additions to the dynamic pedagogical program retained from the third edition include chapter outlines, chapter summaries, discussion questions, and "Sacred Texts" tables. "Document" boxes provide excerpts from important texts, hymns, and prayers; "focus" boxes offer additional insight on interesting topics; and new "site" boxes highlight places with special significance to create a rich learning experience. Visually stunning, more full-colour photographs effectively illustrate the practices, rituals, and symbols characteristic of each tradition, while maps help situate their evolution. Recognized as the definitive survey of the subject, the fourth edition of World Religions: Western Traditions continues to provide a readable and reliable introduction to Western religions.

Index: 

Brief Contents
Full Contents
Contributors
Important Features of this Edition
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. About Religion
Basic Human Religion: Looking Both Ways from Stonehenge
Looking Forward from Stonehenge
What Is Religion?
Why Study Religion?
2. Religions of the Ancient World
Terminology
Religiosity
Prehistory
Deities
Understanding the World
Negotiating the World
Communing with the Divine
Overcoming the World
The End of Antiquity
Recent Developments
Summary
3. Jewish Traditions
Jewish Identity as Ethnicity and Religion
Earliest Jewish History: The Biblical Story
The Second Temple Period (515 BCE-70 CE)
Enter the Romans (63 BCE)
Jewish Life under Islam: Seventh-Twelfth Century
The Modern Period (18th Century to the Present)
The Holocaust (1933-1945)
Life-cycle Events
Recent Developments
Summary
4. Christian Traditions
Origins
Relations between Church and Society
Authority in the Early Church
The Development of Orthodoxy
Relations between East and West
Practice
Eastern Orthodoxy
Medieval Christianity
Saints
The Early Modern Era
The Modern Era
Recent Developments
Summary
5. Muslim Traditions
Beginnings
Foundations
Practice
Variations
The Spread of Islam
Cultural Expressions
Towards the Modern World
Recent Developments
Summary
6. Indigenous Traditions
"Indigenous Religion"
Transmission
Practice
Cultural Expressions
Colonialism
Recent Developments
Summary
7. New Religions and Movements
Defining New Religions, Sects, and Cults
New Religions from the East
Religions Arising from the Abrahamic Lineage
Religions Inspired by Other Forms of Spirituality
The New Age Movement
Summary
8. Current Issues
Religion and Politics
Fundamentalism
Bioethics
The Environment
Gender and Sexuality
Religious Diversity
Credits
Index

About the author: 

The late Willard G. Oxtoby, the original editor of this text, was professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he launched the graduate program in the study of religion. His books include Experiencing India: European Descriptions and Impressions and The Meaning of Other Faiths. Amir Hussain is professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches courses on Islam and world religions. Roy C. Amore is professor and an associate dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

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