We all know what religion is - or do we? Confronted with religious pluralism and cultural diversity, it manifests itself in many forms. What is Religion? serves not only as an introduction to the different belief systems flourishing throughout the modern world, but asks us to consider how the very boundaries of faith might be drawn now and in the future. How might religion interact with political ends, or permeate culture, society and everyday life? Is the post-secular world in thrall to 'religions' of its own kind - materialism, humanism, medicine, science? And what logic separates 'common-sense' or academic knowledge from the immutable but unstable boudaries of faith? Which is the more certain? What does it mean to believe? Combining clear accounts of contemporary global religious practice with an incisive philosophical interrogation of the dynamics and aims of belief, What is Religion? offers a fresh and wide-ranging introduction to the perennial human questions of ritual, faith, ethics and salvation.
Is religion the same as culture? How does it fit with life in the modern world? Do you have to 'believe' to be part of one? From televangelism in the American South to the wearing of hijab in Britain and Egypt; from the rise of paganism to the aftermath of September 11th, this accessible guide looks at the ways in which religion interacts with the everyday world in which we live. A comprehensive introduction to the world of religion, it includes: * religion and culture * how power operates in religion * gender issues * the role of belief, rituals, and religious texts * religion in the contemporary world Religion: The Basics offers an invaluable and up-to-date overview for anyone wanting to find out more about this fascinating subject.
Traces the decline of Christianity in America since the 1950s, posing controversial arguments about the role of heresy in the nation's downfall while calling for a revival of traditional Christian practices.
An expert team of international scholars provide fifty-one essays as entry points into the sociological study and understanding of religion and in-depth surveys into its changing forms and content in the contemporary world. Issues discussed range from ecology to law, art to cognitive science, crime to health care.
Terrorists and peacemakers may grow up in the same community and adhere to the same religious tradition. The killing carried out by one and the reconciliation fostered by the other indicate the range of dramatic and contradictory responses to human suffering by religious actors. This book explains what religious terrorists and religious peacemakers share in common, what causes them to take different paths in fighting injustice, and how a deeper understanding of religious extremism can and must be integrated more effectively into our thinking about tribal, regional, and international conflict.
Religion: A Humanist Interpretation represents a lifetime's work on the anthropology of religion from a rather unusual personal viewpoint. Raymond Firth treats religion as a human art, capable of great intellectual and artistic achievements, but also of complex manipulation to serve the human interests of those who believe in it and operate it. His study is comparative, drawing material from a range of religions around the world. Its findings are a challenge to established beliefs. This anthropological approach to the study of religion covers themes ranging from; religious belief and personal adjustment; gods and God; offering and sacrifice;religion and politics; Malay magic and spirit mediumship; truth and paradox in religion.
"In their introduction to this Handbook, the editors affirm: 'Many sociologists have come to realise that it makes no sense now to omit religion from the repertoire of social scientific explanations of social life'. I wholeheartedly agree. I also suggest that this wide-ranging set of essays should become a starting-point for such enquiries. Each chapter is clear, comprehensive and well-structured - making the Handbook a real asset for all those engaged in the field." - Grace Davie, University of Exeter "Serious social scientists who care about making sense of the world can no longer ignore the fact that religious beliefs and practices are an important part of this world... This Handbook is a...