Synopses & Reviews
From its introduction by Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu to the epilogue by the Dalai Lama, Geography of Religion
encourages new understanding of the world's great religions and of their evolution from ancient roots to vital roles in modern life. With a text as fascinating as it is authoritative; vivid photographs that evoke the reverence, rituals, and rewards of each spiritual tradition; and a rich variety of essays, sidebars, and maps, this magnificent book charts the many paths that guide us to God.
Chapters on each of the 5 major religionsHinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islamexplore the landscapes and cultures where they took hold and flourished. Eminent scholars share the faiths they live and study, revealing their sacred scriptures and rites. Every page offers new insights into religious history and doctrine, along with stunning images of believers at prayer, the holy places they cherish, and their houses of worshipfrom soaring cathedrals and magnificent mosques to humble shrines infused with a blessed simplicity.
Fittingly, each chapter closes with a photo-essay on pilgrims and their devotional journeysa wonderful visual reminder that no matter which faith we may embrace, we are all fellow travelers in our search for the truth.
"The 200 photographs demonstrating the diversity of architecture, people, and terrain, are stunning in their beauty and simplicity." Publishers Weekly
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Though replete with the gorgeous photographs for which National Geographic is known, this book boasts no more than a literal handful of maps five, to be exact which seems odd for a book on geography. The authors of the foreword (Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu) and of the epilogue (His Holiness the Dalai Lama) admirably echo each other in their beliefs that understanding begets tolerance, which in turn begets harmony. Disappointingly, the editors seem too unsure of their audience to foster a sustained understanding of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Too text-heavy for the coffee table and too academic for the general reader, the dense narrative smothers the rich histories of these religions. Sidebars illustrating the particular practice of each faith provide some interesting insights, though at times these reveal more about their authors than the faith itself. A Hindu professor shares his memory of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and a Muslim-American professor laments her failure to impress upon her students the nuances of life as a woman in a Muslim country. Other sidebars highlighting selected sacred scriptures and describing daily practice easily compare faiths. The 200 photographs demonstrating the diversity of architecture, people and terrain, are stunning in their beauty and simplicity. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The Geography of Religion is an invitation to understand the great religions of the world. This gorgeously illustrated book is an authoritative text that portrays the great religions of humankind with vivid photographs, tracing each from its ancient roots to its role in modern life. Eminent scholars share the faiths they have lived and studied. For each of 5 major religions, explore the landscapes, areas, and cultures where these faiths took hold and flourished. See them spread around the world, survive conflict, and translate into other enduring faiths based on their geographic location and cultures. Learn what it means to be a Hindu and bathe in the sacred Ganges; for a Buddhist to revere a statue of the Enlightened One; for a Muslim to trek to Mecca; for Christian martyrs to welcome death. Beautiful maps, photographs, and art illuminate the history of each religion.
An invitation to understand the five major religions of the world, this gorgeously illustrated book is an authoritative text that portrays the great religions of humankind with vivid photographs, tracing each religion from its ancient roots to its role in modern life.
About the Author
Susan Tyler Hitchcock, Ph.D. is the author of seven books and is currently at work on an eighth. A longtime student of religion, her doctoral dissertation explored the life and poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley through modern theories of the psychology of religion. She lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.
John L. Esposito, is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs, and of Islamic Studies, at Georgetown University. His more than 25 books include World Religions Today, What Everyone Should Know about Islam: Questions and Answers, Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, and The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? He is also Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World.
From the Trade Paperback edition.