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The Oxford Dictionary of World Religionsby John Westerd Bowker
Synopses & Reviews
Here is the most comprehensive and up-to-date dictionary of religion available in paperback. Written by an expert team of 80 international and multi-faith contributors, the volume contains over 8,200 entries and an original and in-depth introductory essay.
Readers will find information on:
Religions: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and much more
Movements, Sects, and Cults: Over 500 entries on everything from Cargo Cults and the New Age movement to Rastafarians and Soka Gakkai
Sacred Texts: Over 1,000 entries covering the sacred writings of religions worldwide
Individuals: Including founders, leaders, gurus, philosophers, mystics, and heretics
Sacred Sites: Cities, buildings, centers of pilgrimage
Customs: Religious practices, dogmas, beliefs, traditions, festivals and fasts, and artifacts such as altars, rosaries, icons, and torah ornaments
Ethics: Entries cover world-wide religious teachings on abortion, animals, birth control, war, sexuality and homosexuality, and suicide
In addition, the Dictionary features a 13,000-item topical index, directing readers to subjects that might not have their own entries, such as Brahman, breathing, death, heavens and paradises, mandala, mantra and yantra, Sufism, yoga, and Zen practice. There is also a detailed system of cross-references so that readers can explore related topics in the book, and suggestions for further reading for those who wish to pursue a subject in greater depth.
The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions is the definitive reference work on this subject, the most comprehensive and authoritative one-volume resource available. Now in an affordable paperback edition, it is the first place to turn for information on virtually any aspect of religion worldwide.
Book News Annotation:
A single volume work on so vast a subject of course requires condensation and selectivity; this dictionary is intended to provide initial bearings. The editor supplies an in-depth introduction. Eighty-some international contributors representing the major faiths have produced over 8,200 entries, each with at least one bibliographical reference. Articles range from brief descriptions to longer discussion; most offer something more than a definition so that the reader can gain some sense of what the item is and why it has been included. Thoroughly indexed by topic.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
IThe Oxford Dictionary of World Religions is an exceptionally wide-ranging A-Z reference guide to the history, beliefs, dogmas, practices, individuals, customs, and artifacts of the worlds religions past and present. As well as detailed information on individual religious traditions, there are fascinating general entries on common topics such as prayer, ethics, asceticism, confession, cosmology, art and architecture, and music.
About the Author
John Bowker is Gresham Professor of Divinity at the University of London and Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a highly regarded authority on religious studies and a well-known broadcaster on the BBC.
Table of Contents
Preface, List of subject advisors and contributors, Note to readers (including details about accents, beathings, and spellings), Introductory essay: Religion, A-Z text, Topic index, Table of Chinese headwords given in both Wade-Giles and Pin yin forms
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