The Illustrated Guide to World Religions

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2003 - Religion - 288 pages
1 Review
Graced with rich illustrations and written by a team of eminent scholars, The Illustrated Guide to World Religions presents a wealth of information on faiths around the world.
Each chapter in this volume examines one of seven major world religions--from Judaism to Christianity and from Islam to Buddhism--and contains information about its holidays and festivities, key historical and mythological figures, architectural styles, calendars, language, and important texts. The book deals with such issues as the afterlife, the role of women, the importance of saints, and the quest for higher wisdom. We discover, for instance, that Pure Land Buddhism--found mainly in China, Japan, and Tibet--holds that meditation on a particular deity at the moment of death will help insure rebirth into that deity's celestial domain. In Judaism, on the other hand, the concept of an afterlife has never played a central role. Uniquely organized in a manner that encourages comparative analysis, the book's lavish full-color art, maps, and photographs all focus on faith in practice, in both elaborate ritual and everyday life.
Religion continues to be a monumental force in a rapidly changing world. Whether tracing the origins of your own faith or attempting to satisfy a curiosity about religious practices an ocean away, The Illustrated Guide to World Religions will be a fascinating and indispensable guide to the complexity of the world's living religions.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

The illustrated guide to world religions

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Books on world religions have a problem defining what a "world religion" is, and this one is no different. Coogan (religious studies, Stonehill Coll.) solicited contributions from scholars in seven ... Read full review

Contents

Sacred Teas THE WORD OF GOD
104
Ethical Principles SHARIA AND THE LAW OF ISLAM
110
Death and the Afterlife THE RETURN TO GOD
118
hapter lVwr HINDUISM
124
Origins and Historical Development FIVE MILLENNIA
130
Sacred Texts WORDS OF DEVOTION
138
Ethical Principles PATHS TO LIBERATION
144
Sacred Time REJOICING IN THE DIVINE
152
INTRODUCTION
200
Aspects of the Divine THE CELESTIAL EMPIRE
208
Sacred Persons SAINTS AND HEROES
214
Sacred Space A HALLOWED COSMOS
220
Death and the Afterlife THE IMMORTAL BODY AND SOUL
230
JAPANESE TRADITIONS 216
237
Aspects of the Divine A WORLD OF SPIRITS 24f
250
Ethical Principles HARMONY AND ENLIGHTENMENT
256

Society and Religion DIVISION AND IDENTITY
158
INTRODUCTION
164
Historical Development SCHOOLS AND VEHICLES
172
Sacred Texts WORDS OF THE DHARMA
178
Ethical Principles THE PATH TO NIRVANA
184
Sacred Time HONORING THE WAY
190
Sacred Time SHARING IN THE SPIRIT
262
Society and Religion 1 OLD FAITHS IN THE MODERN
268
INDEX
277
PICTURE CREDITS
288
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)


Michael D. Coogan, the co-editor of The Oxford Companion to the Bible, is Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and director of publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum.

Bibliographic information