The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (Routledge Religion Companions)

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9780415473279: The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (Routledge Religion Companions)

The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion is a major resource for courses in Religious Studies. It begins by explaining the most important methodological approaches to religion, including psychology, philosophy, anthropology and comparative study, before moving on to explore a wide variety of critical issues, such as gender, science, fundamentalism, ritual, and new religious movements. Written by renowned international specialists, this new edition:

  • includes eight new chapters, including post-structuralism, religion and economics, religion and the environment, religion and popular culture, and sacred space
  • surveys the history of religious studies and the key disciplinary approaches
  • explains why the study of religion is relevant in today’s world
  • highlights contemporary issues such as globalization, diaspora and politics
  • includes annotated reading lists, a glossary and summaries of key points to assist student learning.

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About the Author:

John Hinnells is Emeritus Professor at Liverpool Hope University and Honorary Research Professor at SOAS where he was founding head of the Department for the Study of Religion. He is also a Senior Member of Robinson College, Cambridge. His main works on Zoroastrianism are Zoroastrians in Britain (1996); Zoroastrian and Parsi Studies (2000) and The Zoroastrian Diaspora (2005). He edited the New Penguin Dictionary of Religions and the New Penguin Handbook of Living Religions (1997 and 1998). He is editor of the Routledge series the Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices.

Review:

'The Second Edition of The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion is even better than the first edition. It provides a great overview of 'religious studies' as a cluster of disciplines, of major issues such as secularization and the rise of spirituality and of fundamentalism, and of religions in the real world of politics, economy, science, and media. The book will be valuable for advanced undergraduate students, for graduate students who need to combine their specific focus with a broader understanding of the field, and for intellectuals of various kinds who welcome such a rich offer of approaches to a multifaceted feature of modern cultures.' - Willem B. Drees, Leiden University, The Netherlands, and Editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science

'This is a necessary volume for anyone interested in the study of religion. Well edited by Hinnells...the work consists of four introductory chapters (including Hinnells's "Why Study Religions?") and another 29 chapters grouped under three rubrics: "Key Approaches to the Study of Religions," "Key Topics in the Study of Religions," and "Religions in the Modern World." These consist of perceptive treatments titled "Religion and Politics," "Economics of Religion," "Geography, Space and the Sacred," "Religion and the Environment," "Religion and Science," "Religion and Cognition," "Religion, Media and Cultures of Everyday Life," and "Religion and Diaspora." This collection represents a considerably revised and expanded version of the first edition (2005); new topics have been added, and the bibliographies and suggested readings at the end of each chapter are generally very much up-to-date. The chapters, composed by North American and British scholars, are refreshingly accessible and substantive, so that readers ranging from novices to specialists will find something (in fact, many things) of interest. Given the heterogeneous nature of the anticipated audience, the glossary of terms - from "A Common Word" to "Zoroastrianism"- is especially welcome, as is the index. This volume merits a place in every library where religion is studied. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers.' - L. J. Greenspoon, Creighton University, USA (for CHOICE)

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