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.
Religious belief is one of the most pervasive and ubiquitous characteristics of human society. Religion has shadowed and illuminated human lives since primitive times, shaping the world views of cultures from isolated tribes to vast empires. Starting from the premise that religion is a concept which can be analysed and compared across time and cultures, What is Religion? brings the most up-to-date scholarship to bear on humankind’s most enduring creation. The book opens with a brief history of the idea of religion, then divides the study of religion into four essential topics - types, representations, practices, and institutions – and concludes with a final, eye-opening chapter on religi...
Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from.
Does religion positively affect well-being? What leads to fundamentalism? Do religious beliefs make us more moral? The Psychology of Religion explores the often contradictory ideas people have about religion and religious faiths, spirituality, fundamentalism, and atheism. The book examines whether we choose to be religious, or whether it is down to factors such as genes, environment, personality, cognition, and emotion. It analyses religion’s effects on morality, health, and social behavior and asks whether religion will survive in our modern society. Offering a balanced view, The Psychology of Religion shows that both religiosity and atheism have their own psychological costs and benefits, with some of them becoming more salient in certain environments.
From the local to the global level, religion is – more than ever – an important and hotly debated part of modern life in the twenty-first century. From silver rings to ringtones and from clubs to headscarves, we often find the cultural role and discussion of religion in unexpected ways. Now in its second edition, Religion: The Basics remains the best introduction to religion and contemporary culture available. The new edition has been fully revised and updated, and includes new discussions of: the study of religion and culture in the twenty-first century texts, films and rituals cognitive approaches to religion globalization and multiculturalism spirituality in the West popular religion. With new case studies, linking cultural theory to real world religious experience and practice, and guides to further reading, Religion: The Basics is an essential buy for students wanting to get to grips with this hotly debated topic.
For billions of people, having a religious belief system provides purpose in life. For some, religion serves as a guide for moral behavior. Today's world is one in which our understanding of world religions is both understatedly important, as well as increasingly complex. After many years exploring the foundations of various world religions, Jason Boyett has written this comprehensive, easy-to-understand exploration of the twelve major world religions through a meticulous, yet unbiased lens. 12 Major World Religions offers an impartial look at where each of these belief systems intersects, how they differ, and why some have been―or are currently―misunderstood.
Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Best First Book Prize of the American Society of Church History Named a Society for U. S. Intellectual History Notable Title in American Intellectual History The story of liberal religion in the twentieth century, Matthew S. Hedstrom contends, is a story of cultural ascendency. This may come as a surprise-most scholarship in American religious history, after all, equates the numerical decline of the Protestant mainline with the failure of religious liberalism. Yet a look beyond the pews, into the wider culture, reveals a more complex and fascinating story, one Hedstrom tells in The Rise of Liberal Religion. Hedstrom attends especially to the cri...
'Grace Davie is one of the best analysts of religion in contemporary sociology. This book caps a distinguished record of studies of religion - first of Britain, then of Europe, then globally. This is a magisterial work, which should be read by anyone interested in the place of religion in the modern world' - Peter L. Berger, Boston University 'This book offers both an expert survey of contemporary sociology of religion and the personal reflections of one of the leading scholars in the field. Grace Davie is a good model for students and their teachers: she is clear, engaging and fair minded but unafraid to express a point of view' -David Voas, University of Manchester 'Grace Davie has written...
This edited volume discusses mediatized religion in Asia, examining the intensity and variety of constructions and processes related to digital media and religion in Asia today. Individual chapters present case studies from various regions and religious traditions in Asia, critically discussing the data collected in light of current mediatization theories. By directing the study to the geographical, cultural and religious contexts specific to Asia, it also provides new material for the theoretical discussion of the pros and cons of the concept mediatization, among other things interrogating whether this concept is useful in non-’Western’ contexts."
Indonesia is a remarkable case study for religious politics. While not being a theocratic country, it is not secular either, with the Indonesian state officially defining what constitutes religion, and every citizen needing to be affiliated to one of them. This book focuses on Java and Bali, and the interesting comparison of two neighbouring societies shaped by two different religions - Islam and Hinduism.