The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions
Oxford University Press, Aug 25, 2011 - Religion - 688 pages
This is a reference for understanding world religious societies in their contemporary global diversity. Comprising 60 essays, the volume focuses on communities rather than beliefs, symbols, or rites. It is organized into six sections corresponding to the major living religious traditions: the Indic cultural region, the Buddhist/Confucian, the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim regions, and the African cultural region. In each section an introductory essay discusses the social development of that religious tradition historically. The other essays cover the basic social facts: the community's size, location, organizational and pilgrimage centers, authority figures, patterns of governance, major subgroups and schisms as well as issues regarding boundary maintenance, political involvement, role in providing cultural identity, and encounters with modernity. Communities in the diaspora and at the periphery are covered, as well as the central geographic regions of the religious traditions. Thus, for example, Islamic communities in Asia and the United States are included along with Islamic societies in the Middle East. The contributors are leading scholars of world religions, many of whom are also members of the communities they study. The essays are written to be informative and accessible to the educated public, and to be respectful of the viewpoints of the communities analyzed.
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aboriginal activities African American Arab areas Asian authority beliefs Bene Israel brahman British Cao Dai centers Central China Chinese Christian Christian communities civil claim colonial contemporary context converts Coptic Copts countries cultural developed diaspora East Eastern economic emerged Empire established ethnic Europe European evangelical example faith global groups Hindu Hinduism Hoa Hao identity ideology immigrants India indigenous influence institutions Islamic Israel Jainism Jains Jewish Jewish community Jews Judaism land language leaders living major million missionaries modern monasteries monks Mormon mosques Muslim Muslim communities North one’s organizations Orthodox Church percent political popular population Protestant Protestantism region religion religious practices religious traditions ritual role Roman Russian sacred Saints scholars sects secular Shi’i Shinto shrines Sikh social society South Asia Soviet spiritual studies Sufi temples theology Theravada Tibetan Buddhism twentieth century ulama United University Press urban Vodou West Western worship York