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Despite a goal to separate church and state, peoples' religious beliefs always find a way into political discussion. This collection of essays gives readers a thorough understanding of how religion impacts politics. Essays debate whether Christian fundamentalism is ruining American freedom, whether pastors should be allowed to endorse candidates, and whether religion can bring peace and justice.
The cognitive science of religion is a new discipline that looks at the roots of religious belief in the cognitive architecture of the human mind. The Roots of Religion deals with the philosophical and theological implications of the cognitive science of religion which grounds religious belief in human cognitive structures: religious belief is ‘natural’, in a way that even scientific thought is not. Does this new discipline support religious belief, undermine it, or is it, despite many claims, perhaps eventually neutral? This subject is of immense importance, particularly given the rise of the ‘new atheism’. Philosophers and theologians from North America, UK and Australia, explore the alleged conflict between truth claims and examine the roots of religion in human nature. Is it less ‘natural’ to be an atheist than to believe in God, or gods? On the other hand, if we can explain theism psychologically, have we explained it away. Can it still claim any truth? This book debates these and related issues.
Each person is born in a circumstance which is not of his own choosing. The religion of his family or the ideology of the state is thrust upon him from the very beginning of his existence in this world. By the time he reaches his teens, he is usually fully brain-washed into believing that the beliefs of his particular society are the correct beliefs that everyone should have. However, when some people mature and are exposed to other belief-systems, they begin to question the validity of their own beliefs. The seekers of truth often reach a point of confusion upon realizing that each and every religion, sect, ideology and philosophy claims to be the one and only correct way for man. Indeed, they all encourage people to do good. So, which one is right?
This volume brings together current research on young people, (non)religion, and diversity, documenting the forms young people’s stances may take and the social or spatial contexts in which these may be formed. The social contexts studied include the family, school, and faith communities. The spatial contexts include (sub)urban and rural geographies and places of worship and pilgrimage.Youth and (non)religion are an area of academic interest that has been gaining increasing attention, especially as it pertains to youthful expressions of (non)religion and identities. As research on religion and young people spans and expands across academic disciplines and across geographic areas, comparative approaches and perspectives, such as presented in this volume, offer important spaces for reflecting about the experience of religiosity among young people and the ways they are learning about, and developing, (non)religious identities. Building bridges geographically and methodologically, this volume provides an international perspective on religion and nonreligion among young people, offering a diversity of religious and nonreligious perspectives.
This introductory text helps students think through the basic questions that arise in the study of religion. What is the nature of religious experience? How does religion shape the actions of individuals and communities? How does religion promote or inhibit human development and well-being? This 2nd edition has been updated throughout, including new examples, new themes such as religious fundamentalism and violence, and a new emphasis on environmental issues.
"The Pragmatics of Defining Religion" is a multidisciplinary volume on the problem of the definition of religion with chapters on the polemics of defining religion in modern contexts, the history of the concept of religion, the methodology of its definition; it includes several definition proposals.
Where can religions find sources of legitimacy for human rights? How do, and how should, religious leaders and communities respond to human rights as defined in modern International Law? When religious precepts contradict human rights standards - for example in relation to freedom of expression or in relation to punishments - which should trump the other, and why? Can human rights and religious teachings be interpreted in a manner which brings reconciliation closer? Do the modern concept and system of human rights undermine the very vision of society that religions aim to impart? Is a reference to God in the discussion of human rights misplaced? Do human fallibilities with respect to interpr...
Originally published in 1966, this was the first of Muhammad ‘Abduh’s works to be translated into English. Risālat al Tauhid represents the most popular of his discussion of Islamic thought and belief. ‘Abduh is still quoted and revered as the father of 20th Century Muslim thinking in the Arab world and his mind, here accessible, constituted both courageous and strenuous leadership in his day. All the concerns and claims of successive exponents of duty and meaning of the mosque in the modern world may be sensed in these pages. The world and Islam have moved on since ‘Abduh’s lifetime, but he remains a source for the historian of contemporary movements and a valuable index to the self-awareness of Arab Islam.
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...