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...
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.
Tyler Roberts encourages scholars to abandon the conceptual opposition between "secular" and "religious" to better understand how human beings actively and thoughtfully engage with their worlds and make meaning. The artificial distinction between a self-conscious and critical "academic study of religion" and an ideological and authoritarian "religion," he argues, only obscures the phenomenon. Instead, Roberts calls on intellectuals to approach the field as a site of "encounter" and "response," illuminating the agency, creativity, and critical awareness of religious actors. To respond to religion is to ask what religious behaviors and representations mean to us in our individual worlds, and s...
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.
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.
This is the first study to explore the relationship between Christianity, Judaism and Islam in the Early Modern period. Contributors debate the complicated terms in which these 'Religions of the Book' interacted. The collection illuminates this area of European culture from the late Middle Ages to the end of the Seventeenth century.
This book, first published in 1935, collects together material on the origins of religion from two very different sources. South America, where the author spent six years studying the religious beliefs and customs of several Indian tribes representing different stages of culture; and the Finno-Ugrian area, where Finnish and Russian ethnologists had brought to light a new body of facts which formed an important addition to our knowledge of religious life at an early stage of cultural development. This book is a key work in the study of comparative religion, and is an essential reference source on the origins of religion.
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.
"The first sociology of religion textbook to begin the task of diversifying and decolonizing the study of religion, Sociology of Religion develops a sociological frame that draws together the personal, political and public, showing how religion - its origins, development and changes - is understood as a social institution, influenced by and influencing wider social structures. Organized along sociological structures and themes, the book works with examples from a variety of religious traditions and regions rather than focusing in depth on a selection, and foregrounds cultural practice-based understandings of religion. It is therefore a textbook about 'religion', not 'religions', that explore...