Atlas of the World's Religions

ISBN 13: 9780195334012

Atlas of the World's Religions

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9780195334012: Atlas of the World's Religions
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This superbly illustrated reference work remains the only comprehensive visual guide to the world's religious traditions. With text by leading experts and lavish photography, thematic maps, tables, and charts, the Atlas of the World's Religions, Second Edition ranges from the travels of the Buddha to the geographical distribution of modern indigenous faiths, providing a full and informative picture of world religion, both past and present.

Through almost 200 full-color maps, organized in a beautifully designed series of double-page spreads, this marvelous atlas shows the historical development and present state of all the world's major religions, with color illustrations that show temples, sites, ceremonies and works of art connected with religious life. The updated and expanded second edition provides a comprehensive overview of the major events over time that influenced the geographical development of the world's religions, and it provides a global and regional assessment of religion in the modern world. There are eight entirely new double-page spreads that illuminate such topics as the spread of the Latter-day Saints throughout the world, Pentecostal Christianities today (perhaps numbering more than 500 million adherents, or nearly one-fourth of the global Christian population), contemporary diasporic communities, South American religions, and much more. The second edition also includes extensive updates to many page spreads, 20,000 new words of text, fresh maps and illustrations, a revised introduction by the new editor, Frederick Denny, an expanded glossary and index, and a list of additional resources, all of which further enhance the value of the book.

Both a treasury of information and an exhilarating visual feast, Atlas of the World's Religions, Second Edition is an essential reference work for anyone interested in faith around the globe.

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About the Author:


Frederick Mathewson Denny is Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies and the History of Religions at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a member of the editorial board of The Muslim World and served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion.

From Booklist:

The modern religious world is diverse and complicated. Getting acquainted with it geographically was made a lot easier in 1999 with Smart’s Atlas of the World’s Religions. Taking the editorial reins for the updated coverage is Denny (University of Colorado, Boulder), who has preserved well over 90 percent of the content from the original edition. Among the new features are approximately 10 two-page spreads covering Mormonism, Christianity in South America, and modern pilgrimages, to name a few. The 2 opening chapters set the tone for the 10 that follow. The apparent purpose of these 2 chapters and the rest of the atlas is not simply to depict how things currently stand but also to provide insight regarding how those things came to be. The treatment of Judaism, for example, begins with a two-page spread on “Ancient Israel” and ends with one on “Judaism in the Modern World,” with all the necessary stops in between. At least two-thirds of the atlas’ 200-plus maps highlight the past, while the rest focus on the present. This attention to history sets the atlas apart from its closest rival, The Atlas of Religion (University of California, 2007), which focuses almost exclusively on the twenty-first century. Six ample chapters deal with world religions, like Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. Other chapters provide a regional focus. Small, full-color photos abound but never take away from the main attraction: the maps. Alongside the photos and maps is a fair amount of text. The writing is only slightly academic in tone and describes the most notable events depicted in the maps. Readers will appreciate the thoroughness of the 20-page index, along with the glossary and bibliography that accompany it. Libraries with the first edition of this atlas may be mildly disappointed in how little has changed with the second. Others, though, will greatly appreciate the visual way the atlas supplements religious dictionaries and encyclopedias. Highly recommended to most libraries, public or academic. --Wade Osburn

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