Religion: A Very Short Introduction [#669]
Religion: A Very Short Introduction [#669]

Religion: A Very Short Introduction [#669]

Thomas A. Tweed


  • Traces the history of religion from the stone age to the computer age
  • Addresses diverse perspectives on what religion is and what role it plays in society
  • Written by a leading authority on the historical study of religion, who served as the president of the American Academy of Religion
  • Discusses the largest global traditions -- Christianity, Islam, Judaism -- as well as indigenous religions and other lesser known faiths that play a role in the contemporary world
  • Provides an informative overview of the global presence of religion in modern-day life, including its role in both intensifying and addressing contemporary political and environmental problems.

Religion plays a central role in human experience. Billions of people around the world practice a faith and act in accordance with it. Religion shapes how they enter the world and how they leave it - how they eat, dress, marry, and raise their children. It shapes their assumptions about who they are and who they want to be. Religion also identifies insiders and outsiders, who has power and who doesn't. It sanctifies injustice and combats it. It draws national borders. It affects law, economy, and government. It destroys and restores the environment. It starts wars and ends them. Whether you notice it or not, religion plays a role in how billions conduct their lives. We are called, then, to understand this important factor in human life today.
Beginning with the first signs of religion among ancient humans and concluding with a look at modern citizens and global trends, leading scholar Thomas Tweed examines this powerful and enduring force in human society. Tweed deftly documents religion as it exists around the world, addressing its role in both intensifying and alleviating contemporary political and environmental problems, from armed conflict to climate change. Religion: A Very Short Introduction offers a concise non-partisan overview of religion's long history and its complicated role in the world today.


Preface: Why Religion Matters

1. What Religion Is
2. What Religion Does
3. How Religion Is Expressed
4. How Religion Has Changed
5. Global Religion Today


Thomas A. Tweed is Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies and Professor of History, University of Notre Dame. He was formerly President of the American Academy of Religion.

"...illuminating..." -- John Pridmore, The Way

"...Tweed's book is strong on historizing and contextualizing religion..." -- Michael Stausberg, Religion

A compact introduction filled with marvelous insights. Global in approach, sensitive to historical context and nuances, Professor Tweed's book is an amazingly accessible introduction to a complex field. Supported by the strength of his rigorous scholarship through the decades, he makes a compelling case about why all of us— and not just college students— should study and better understand religion. A veritable tour de force which should be mandatory reading for every public official and everyone in institutions of higher learning. - Vasudha Narayanan, Distinguished Professor, Department of Religion, Director, Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions, University of Florida


ISBN : 9780190064679

Thomas A. Tweed
168 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Religion: A Very Short Introduction [#669]

Religion: A Very Short Introduction [#669]

Religion: A Very Short Introduction [#669]