Rethinking Religion: A Concise Introduction

Paperback | October 21, 2004

byWill Deming

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The overwhelming majority of people in the world--85%--are religious, and more religions are now practiced in the United States than in any other country. Religion plays a critical role in international politics, in the global economy, and in a wide variety of social and cultural interactionson the domestic front. Even though religion is such an integral part of today's world, many Americans have difficulty discussing it publicly. They are often unfamiliar with any religion but their own, finding other religions mysterious or even threatening. Offering a brief and accessible point of entry into the subject, Rethinking Religion: A Concise Introduction begins by highlighting the significance of religion in modern society and providing a simple definition that goes beyond vague notions of "faith" or "belief in God." Drawing materialfrom a diverse range of religions--including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and primal religions--author Will Deming walks readers through thirty examples of how religions "work," exploring the significance of religious events and pronouncements. He also considers several topicsthat continue to fascinate and challenge Westerners: the ethics of studying someone else's religion, the "truth" of religion, the possibilities for preferring one religion over another, religious pluralism, and the contentious dialogue between science and religion. Enhanced by an innovative glossary of religious terms and numerous pictures and analyses of everyday religious activities, Rethinking Religion: A Concise Introduction is ideal for introducing students to the concept of religion and for courses in comparative and world religions. It is alsocaptivating reading for theologians, scholars, and anyone interested in the topic.

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From the Publisher

The overwhelming majority of people in the world--85%--are religious, and more religions are now practiced in the United States than in any other country. Religion plays a critical role in international politics, in the global economy, and in a wide variety of social and cultural interactionson the domestic front. Even though religion ...

Will Deming is at University of Portland.

other books by Will Deming

Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 6.42 × 9.02 × 0.79 inPublished:October 21, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195169816

ISBN - 13:9780195169812

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Table of Contents

Preface: Introduction: SECTION ONE. STARTING POINTS1. Why Study Religion?2. What Is Religion?3. Religious SymbolsSECTION TWO. THIRTY EXAMPLES4. Hinduism5. Buddhism6. Judaism7. Christianity8. Islam9. Primal ReligionsSECTION THREE. COMPLEXITIES, LIMITS, ETHICS10. Change in Symbolic Systems over Time11. Further Complexities of Analysis12. The Limits of Analysis13. The Ethics of AnalysisSECTION FOUR. COMPARISON AND EVALUATION14. The Comparison of Religions15. The Evaluation of Religion16. The Evaluation of ReligionsConclusion: Postscript: Science and Religions: Notes: Analytical Glossary of Religious Terms: Suggestions for Further Reading: Index:

Editorial Reviews

"A well laid-out, strikingly presented, orderly, and deeply informative text. Presentations are accessible and uncluttered. An excellent resource."--Johanna Stiebert, University of Tennessee