World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained

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9780756617721: World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained
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A refreshing approach to understanding different faiths. Detailed annotations to stunning illustrations provide intriguing insights into the world’s most important religions—offering a deeper appreciation of the beliefs central to each.

World Religions looks at the beliefs and practices of many different religions, from the ancient Egyptians through to Zoroastrianism—the oldest “living” religion—and the great faiths practiced today. Each of the major faiths—Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Islam—is examined in detail through its sacred texts, epic imagery, key beliefs, and religious artifacts.

The distinctive identities of different faiths are explored in World Religions by studying the main principles and thinking of each religion. The book’s superb reproduction allows the symbolism and meaning in religious imagery and iconography to be revealed in great detail.

Accessible and far-reaching, World Religions will engage the whole family as much as the serious student.

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About the Author:

John Bowker is a priest and religious studies scholar. His published works include God: A Brief History, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Why Religions Matter, and The Sacred Neuron: The Extraordinary New Discoveries Linking Science and Religion. He studied at Oxford University and has taught at University of Pennsylvania and North Carolina State University.

From Library Journal:

Bowker (divinity, Gresham Coll., London) has produced two very different books, though both are focused on world religion. The Oxford Dictionary, whose entries often lack information on etymology and pronunciation, is actually a one-volume desktop encyclopedia for ready reference. Combining brevity of exposition with a massive number of entries in an attempt to be dictionary-like, the work suffers from trying to be comprehensive in breadth of coverage instead of depth. The psychology of religion is discussed in a half-page, for instance, and the Church Fathers get only two sentences. In addition, the entries are uneven in quality; one has the feeling that the 80 contributors are each writing according to his or her own personal interests and styles. Despite these idiosyncracies, the work is a solid reference source for people who want to know only the barest of facts about any religious topic. In World Religions, on the other hand, one has the feeling that Bowker, now the author, is finally freed to range over what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. This book is a bold attempt to meld religious information with expressive art and to use the art as a tool for pedagogy. Each religion is represented by a few brilliantly illustrated icons, paintings, or sculptures, which the author painstakingly annotates to illuminate their theologies and deepen one's insight. Whether he is using Michelangelo's Final Judgment to explain Christian eschatology or a handscroll of Chou Ch'en to explain Taoist concepts of immortality, the emphasis upon the visual makes these religions vibrant and intriguing. There are surprising discrepancies between the two works. World Religions has generous discussions of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Norse, and Celtic religions, topics not even included in the Oxford Dictionary. There are also variations of names. Ultimately, World Religions is the more commendable publication, though both books are recommended for most libraries.?Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9781405314398: World Religions

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ISBN 10:  1405314397 ISBN 13:  9781405314398
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