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Comparative Religious Ethics

Everyday Decisions for Our Everyday Lives

by Christine E. Gudorf

The study of comparative religious ethics is at a critical juncture, given the growing awareness of non-Christian ethical beliefs and practices and their bearing on social change. Christine Gudorf is at the forefront of rendering comparative—and competing—religious beliefs meaningful for students, especially in the area of ethics.

Unlike other texts, Gudorf's work focuses on common, everyday issues—including food and diet, work, sex and marriage, proper dress, anger and violence, charity, family, and infirmity and the elderly—while drawing out ethical implications of each and demonstrating how different religious traditions prescribe rules for action. An introductory chapter reviews standard ethical theory and core elements of comparative religious analysis. Each chapter opens with a riveting real-life case and shows how religious ethics can shed light on how to handle the larger issues, without determining for the reader what a proper ethical response might be.

Helpful pedagogy, including summaries, questions, and list of readings, along with special chapter features, charts and photographs and a glossary, combine to make this new text most suitable for the wide array of courses in comparative religious ethics.

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A Comparative Sociology of World Religions

Virtuosi, Priests, and Popular Religion

Stephen Sharot

A Sociology of World Religions presents a comparative analysis of the world's religions, focusing on the differences and interrelationships between religious elites and lay masses. In each case the volume contextualizes how the relationships between these two religious forms fit within, and are influenced by, the wider socio-political environment.

After introducing the book's major themes, the volume introduces and builds upon an analysis of Weber's model of religious action, drawing on Durkheim, Marxist scholars, and the work of contemporary sociologists and anthropolgists. The following chapters each focus on major religious cultures, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of China and Japan. This ambitious project is the first to offer a comparison of the popular, or folk, forms of religion around the world.

Sharot's accessible introductions to each of the world religions, synthesizing a vast literature on popular religion from sociology, anthropology, and historians of religion, make the project ideal for course use. His comparative approach and original analyses will prove rewarding even for experts on each of the world religions.

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A Comparative Study of Religions

Second Edition

J.N.K. Mugambi

This books is the result of concerted teamwork among the academia staff of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi between 1986 and 1990. The Project was prompted by the necessity to produce relevant and comprehensive textbooks for the undergraduate degree programme. The book has remained in demand, confirming the relevance and quality of its content covering the whole range of major religions of the world with extensive geographical and historical acope. It includes a specific section on African Religion, thus placing the African Religious Heritage within the mainstream of the comparative study of the world�s religions.

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Confucianism and Christianity

The First Encounter

John D. Young

The book centres around a major theme: the first 'confrontation' between the Supreme Ultimate (or T'ien) of the Confucian cosmological order and the Christian anthropomorphic God as conveyed to the Chinese literati by the Western missionaries.

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Daring to Embrace the Other:

Franciscans and Muslims in Dialogue

This volume contains presentations by Michael F. Cusato, Michael D. Calabria, Robert Lentz, Irfan A. Omar and Madge Karecki originally given at the 7th Franciscan Forum held at Colorado Springs, June 2007.

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Diaspora Conversions

Black Carib Religion and the Recovery of Africa

Paul Christopher Johnson

By joining a diaspora, a society may begin to change its religious, ethnic, and even racial identifications by rethinking its "pasts." This pioneering multisite ethnography explores how this phenomenon is affecting the remarkable religion of the Garifuna, historically known as the Black Caribs, from the Central American coast of the Caribbean. It is estimated that one-third of the Garifuna have migrated to New York City over the past fifty years. Paul Christopher Johnson compares Garifuna spirit possession rituals performed in Honduran villages with those conducted in New York, and what emerges is a compelling picture of how the Garifuna engage ancestral spirits across multiple diasporic horizons. His study sheds new light on the ways diasporic religions around the world creatively plot itineraries of spatial memory that at once recover and remold their histories.

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Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent

Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic Schooling in Canada

The education provided by Canada’s faith-based schools is a subject of public, political, and scholarly controversy. As the population becomes more religiously diverse, the continued establishment and support of faith-based schools has reignited debates about whether they should be funded publicly and to what extent they threaten social cohesion.

These discussions tend to occur without considering a fundamental question: How do faith-based schools envision and enact their educational missions? Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent offers responses to that question by examining a selection of Canada’s Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic schools. The daily reality of these schools is illuminated through essays that address the aims and practices that characterize these schools, how they prepare their students to become citizens of a multicultural Canada, and how they respond to dissent in the classroom.

The essays in this book reveal that Canada’s faith-based schools sometimes succeed and sometimes struggle in bridging the demands of the faith and the need to create participating citizens of a multicultural society. Discussion surrounding faith-based schools in Canada would be enriched by a better understanding of the aims and practices of these schools, and this book provides a gateway to the subject.

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Divine Multiplicity

Trinities, Diversities, and the Nature of Relation

Chris Boesel

The essays in this volume ask if and how trinitarian and pluralist discourses can enter into fruitful conversation with one another. Can trinitarian conceptions of divine multiplicity open the Christian tradition to more creative and affirming visions of creaturely identities, difference, and relationality including the specific difference of religious plurality? Where might the triadic patterning evident in the Christian theological tradition have always exceeded the boundaries of Christian thought and experience? Can this help us to inhabit other religious traditions' conceptions of divine and/or creaturely reality? The volume also interrogates the possibilities of various discourses on pluralism by putting them in a concrete pluralist context and asking to what extent pluralist discourse can collect within itself a convergent diversity of orthodox, heterodox, postcolonial, process, poststructuralist, liberationist, and feminist sensibilities while avoiding irruptions of conflict, competition, or the logic of mutual exclusion.

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The Emergence of Islam

Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective

by Bariel Said Reynolds

Gabriel Said Reynolds tells the story of Islam in this brief illustrated survey, beginning with Muhammad's early life and rise to power, then tracing the origins and development of the Qur’an juxtaposed with biblical literature, and concluding with an overview of modern and fundamentalist narratives of the origin of Islam. Reynolds offers a fascinating look at the structure and meaning of the Qur'an, revealing the ways in which biblical language is used to advance the Qur'an's religious meaning. Reynolds' analysis identifies the motives that shaped each narrative—Islamic, Jewish, and Christian. The book’s conclusion yields a rich understanding of diverse interpretations of Islam’s emergence, suggesting that its emergence is itself ever-developing.

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Emerging Scriptures: Torah, Gospel and Qurían in Christian perspective

Rodney Schofield traces the beginnings of Biblical and Quríanic literature and attempts a reconstruction of their original settings. He reassesses some of the classical theories and shows that the sceptres of the Abrahamic faiths, (Torah, Gospel and Qurían) possess many shared perspectives, reflecting their common heritage. A better appreciation of this shared legacy, he comtend, could promote greater mutual understanding and foster respectful co-existence among believers.

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