Experiencing the World's Religions: Tradition, Challenge and Change
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Experiencing the World's Religions provides a clear and compelling account of religion as a diverse, lived experience by peoples around the world. Global in its coverage, the text conveys the vitality and richness of the world's religions as a living cultural wellspring that not only concerns systems of belief but how those beliefs are expressed in ceremonies, food, clothing, art, architecture, pilgrimage, scripture, and music. The text demonstrates why an understanding of the world's religions enriches our lives. In an engaging narrative emphasizing the experience of religion, the text takes students on a personal voyage through doctrines, history, the religiously inspired arts, ceremonies, and everyday expressions of belief and combines these with powerful photographs from around the globe. The text goes beyond traditional approaches to personally connect students with the vitality of the great religions and how they reach into the lives of individuals and the culture at large. This fourth edition has been thoroughly updated in both content and illustration, to address recent world events and political changes, and provide additional insight into current theory and practice.
constantly in a process of change—influenced by governments, thinkers, historical events, changing technology, and the shifting values of the cultures in which they exist. First Pattern: Focus of Beliefs and Practices Realizing the limitations of all generalizations, we nonetheless might gain some perspective by examining the orientations exhibited by individual religions. When we look at the world’s dominant religions, we see three basic orientations in their conception and location of the
moL0750X_fm_i-xxix.indd Page xv 9/23/09 2:07:51 PM user-s180 /Volumes/MHSF-New/MHSF152/MHSF152-fm CONTENTS Christianity Faces the Modern World 412 412 The Challenges of Science and Secularism Contemporary Influences and Developments Reading: The Good Samaritan 10 Islam 417 422 First Encounter 423 The Life and Teachings of Muhammad Essentials of Islam 425 430 431 The Five Pillars of Islam 437 Additional Islamic Religious Practices 441 Scripture: The Qur’an The Historical
god or goddess is often justified by saying that although the divine is ultimately formless, human beings must worship the divine through its physical manifestations. This belief gives rise to much painting, sculpture, music, and ceremony in honor of many gods, who are described in the following sections. The Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva Three gods have been particularly important in the devotional and artistic life of Hinduism. Although of differing origins, they have sometimes been
greatness, and ultimate freedom.39 One brilliant example of Gandhi’s nonviolent techniques was the Salt March of 1930. At that time the British taxed all salt eaten in India and made it illegal to possess salt not bought from the government monopoly. Gandhi cleverly led a three-week march on foot from his ashram to the ocean, nearly 250 miles away. Fewer than a hundred people began the march with him, but thousands joined along the way. Reaching the sea, Gandhi collected the natural salt left on
exists there.) Often, too, the boundaries between the branches have been blurred or are even nonexistent. We should also realize that the three so-called branches are not homogeneous and monolithic. Instead, within them are also divisions and different understandings of belief and practice. (Among Theravada Buddhist orders of monks, for example, some believe they must go barefoot, whereas others wear sandals; some wear orange robes, and others wear brown or burgundy; some believe they must beg