The Religion Toolkit: A Complete Guide to Religious Studies
November 2011, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
- Covers the early development of religion, with overviews of major and minor religions from Islam to Scientology
- Considers recent developments including secularization; the relationship between religion and science; and scientific studies on religion, health, and mystical experience
- Uses humor throughout, allowing students to remain open-minded to the subject
- Explains what it means to study religion academically, and considers the impact of the study of religion on religion itself
- Contains numerous student-friendly features including photos, maps, time lines, side bars, historical profiles, and population distribution figures
- Provides classroom users with a lively website,www.wiley.com/go/religiontoolkit, including questions, quizzes, extra material, and helpful primary and secondary sources
1 Introduction: Prepare to Be Surprised 2
PART I THE TOOLS 15
2 An Overview of Religion: Making Sense of Life 16
3 The Early Development of Religious Studies 44
4 Religious Studies in the 20th Century 76
PART II USING THE TOOLS: SURVEYING WORLD RELIGIONS 103
5 Early Traditions 104
6 The Family of Western Monotheisms: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions 124
UNIT I Judaism 126
UNIT II Christianity 151
UNIT III Islam 167
UNIT IV The Impact of Religious Studies on the Western Monotheisms 183
7 330 Million Gods – or None: Two Traditions from India 206
8 Balancing and Blending: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism in China 246
9 Zoroastrianism, Shinto, Baha’i, Scientology, Wicca, and Seneca Traditions: What Makes a “World Religion”? 274
10 Closing Questions 308
Tamara Sonn is the Wm. R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. Her books include Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam (with J. Neusner, 1999) and Islam: A Brief History, 2nd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She was senior editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003), and associate editor of The Islamic World Past and Present (2004). She is currently an editor of Oxford Islamic Studies Online, and of Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (2009). In addition, Sonn is editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies, and co-editor-in-chief of Wiley-Blackwell's Religion Compass.
—John L. Esposito, Georgetown University
"A decade after 9/11, the world still seems to be torn between
competing religious and political ideas. John Morreall and Tamara
Sonn provide us a road-map based on objective analysis and
scholarly research that offers us a method of understanding the
nature of our world. Most important, they give us hope. Anyone
interested in making sense of our times should be reading this
—Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, American University
"An invaluable guide for students of religion! The overview of
Religious Studies theory is one of the clearest I have read."
—Ravi M. Gupta, College of William and Mary
"This is a highly intelligent, accessible and thoughtful
contribution to religious studies by two of the most respected and
accomplished scholars of religion working in the field
—Mumtaz Ahmad, International Islamic University, Islamabad
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