Introduction to World Religions

Communities and Cultures

Introduction to World Religions
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Religious communities are dynamic groups that continue to address relevant concernsWith an emphaisis on communities of faith, this accessible book will introduce students to the classic texts, important events, key figures, defining rituals, essential creeds and symbols of world religions.


Introduction by William Scott Green
A. Judaism: Beginnings: Religion of Ancient Israel by Baruch A. Levine
B. Judaism: The Formation by Jacob Neusner
C. Judaism in Modern Times: Reform, Orthodox, and Conservative Judaism,
Zionism by Jacob Neusner
2. Christianity
A. Christianity: Beginnings by Bruce Chilton
B. Christianity: Roman Catholicism by Lawrence S. Cunningham
C. Orthodox Christianity by J. A. McGuckin
D. Christianity: Protestantism by Martin E. Marty
3. Islam
A. Islam: Beginnings by Th. Emil Homerin
B. Islam: The Shiite Tradition by Liyakat Takim
C. Islam: The Sunni Tradition by Th. Emil Homerin
4. Hinduism by Douglas Brooks
5. Buddhism
A. Buddhism: Beginnings by Mario Poceski
B. Buddhism: The Theravada Tradition by Kristen Scheible
C. Buddhism: The Mahayana Tradition by Mark L. Blum
6. Daoism by Mark Meulenbled
7. Confucianism by Mark A. Csikszentmihalyi
8. Shinto by James L. Ford
9. Indigenous Religions
A. Indigenous Religious Tradition by Jualynne E. Dodson and Soyna Maria Johnson
B. African Indigenous Religions by Jacob Olupona
10. New 19th Century American Religions by Danny L. Jorgensen
11. New 20th Century American Religions by Dell deChant


"Often overlooked in the study of religion is that the world's religions are made up of communities of believers embedded in particular cultures. Clifford Geertz made us aware decades ago that Islam in Indonesia looks quite different from Islam in Morocco. Jacob Neusner's latest religion text does not ignore this lesson. In fact, he uses it as the focus of an intriguing and valuable text that will be an asset in any world religion class. I recommend it highly."
--Terry C. Muck, Dean, E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism, Professor of Mission and World Religion, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky

"So many of us try to teach our students that asking new questions is the best way to study religions, but it is so difficult to practice. World Religions: Communities and Cultures is a wonderful resource for those of us who want to practice what we preach: it is alive with new questions and new ways of framing age-old issues in the study of each tradition. Written by a refreshing mix of new and seasoned scholars, it will wake us all up and make us think in new ways about how religious traditions have changed over time and the humans who change them."
--Laurie L Patton, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religions, Department of Religion, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Today, Africa and Asia, Europe and America sit side by side in our cities, and religious traditions, formed over many centuries and deeply rooted in community life, are powerful motors in human affairs. In our time ignorance of religion, and of religions, is positively dangerous. In such circumstances, this volume is welcome. It holds a vast store of information, skilfully presented. It is a triumph of compression; but the structure adopted enables readers to find their way without being overwhelmed or overloaded, and the treatment is sensitive both to the diversity within traditions and to the dynamics of historical development. --Andrew Walls, University of Edinburgh and Liverpool Hope University