The Illustrated Guide to World Religions

Front Cover
Michael D. Coogan, Michael David Coogan
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Religion - 288 pages
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.
 

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The illustrated guide to world religions

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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 Texts THE WORD OF GOD
104
Ethical Principles SHARIA AND THE LAW OF ISLAM
110
Death and the Afterlife THE RETURN TO GOD
118
chapter four Hinduism
125
Aspects of the Divine GODS AND GODDESSES
134
Sacred Persons TEACHERS AND LEADERS
142
Sacred Time REJOICING IN THE DIVINE
152
Society and Religion DIVISION AND IDENTITY
158
Ethical Principles THE PATH TO NIRVANA
184
Sacred Time HONORING THE WAY
190
JAPANESETRADITIONS
237
Aspects of the Divine AWORLD OF SPIRITs
246
Sacred Persons LIGHTS OF WISDOM
252
Sacred Space ALANDSCAPE OFSANCTUARIES
258
Death and the Afterlife HEAVENS AND HELL
266
GLOSSARY
272

introduction
164
Historical Development SCHOOLS AND VEHICLES
172
Sacred Texts WORDS OF THE DHARMA
178

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About the author (1998)


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.

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