Introducing World Religions

ISBN-10: 0415772702
ISBN-13: 9780415772709
Edition: 2008
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Description: Introducing World Religions offers an exciting new approach to the study of the world's religions. Taking its inspiration from performance studies and using and innovative dramatic metaphor, it enables students to explore religious ideas and culture  More...

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Book details

List price: $47.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Routledge
Publication date: 3/24/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.892
Language: English

Introducing World Religions offers an exciting new approach to the study of the world's religions. Taking its inspiration from performance studies and using and innovative dramatic metaphor, it enables students to explore religious ideas and culture in terms of the players (key figures), the script (foundational texts) and performance (religious practices). The discussion of key players treats human and non-human figures on the world stage, including the principle (God, Dharma, Dao), imaginal figures (angels, baals, bodhisattvas), exceptional persons (founders, prophets, gurus), and historical persons (significant players in the drama of religions). The discussion of the foundational texts includes materials that balance or challenge mainstream texts with an alternative perspective. The section on performance explores non-verbal religious activities such as pilgrimage, icon painting, dance, divination, and meditation. Those concerned with introducing post-colonial" discourseto students without losing the classic category of "the sacred" should find this textbook to be balanced and evocative. It presents workable concepts from the camps of both "religionists" and "reductionists" and students are challenged to move between "inside" and "outside" positions as they survey what have been called (controversially) "world religions". Specially designed to assist learning it includes: chapter timelines showing key persons

Preface
Religions in our world today A word about problematic terms Editorial formalities [dates - treatment of terms] Chapter enhancements
Approaching religious traditions The insider-outsider challenge Two approaches to the study of religions [the "truth" question in the study of religions - the orientation of this book] A religionist primer [creating religious symbols - the power of Religious Impressions - hierophany and kratophany - the sui generis nature of religion] Reductionist warnings Three functions of religion in society [religions of the status quo - religions of resistance - religions of revolution] Roots of the modern study of religions Cultural imperialism and "world religions" The fallout from colonialism Subtle erasures The east-west diptych Defining religion Drama: a root metaphor for world religions Players in the drama of world religions [the ultimate principle - imaginal players - exceptional players - historical players] The religious texture of world religions [foundational texture - supportive texture - cross-over texture] Meaningful performance in world religions [three expressive aspects - seven expressive functions] Key points Study questions Glossary Key reading
Expressive traditions of Oceania, America and Africa Timeline Lived time: ceremonial gardening Lived place: Aboriginal Dreaming Lived object: Maori tattoos Donation: Sioux Sun Dance Restoration: Navajo sandpainting Enactment: Mexican identity Symbolization: Candomble dance Transformation: Dagara initiation Accession: Fon divination Transmission: the Lion King Story Between old and new Key points Study questions Glossary Key reading
Zoroastrian tradition Timeline
Zoroastrian players The ultimate principle [Ahura Mazda] Imaginal players [cosmic twins - the fravashis - Sayoshyant] Exceptional players [Zarathushtra Spitama - Zarathushtra's story based on the Gathas - Zarathushtra's sacred biography] Historical players [Cyrus the Great - the three magi - Kirdir - Iranis and Parsis - Parsi innovators]
Zoroastrian texture Foundational texture [the Avesta] Supportive texture [Bundahishn creation story] Cross-over texture [responses to the Abrahamic traditions]
Zoroastrian performance Living a sacred history [keeping the fire - initiation - funerals] Key points Study questions Glossary Key reading
Judaic tradition Timeline
Judaic players The ultimate principle [Ha-Shem - YHVH] Imaginal players [angels- Prophet Elijah - sephiroth of the cabbala - the Canaanite baalim] Exceptional players [Abraham's lineage - early Israelite leaders - prophets and a prophetess] Historical players [temple builders - Jews of the Hellenistic era - rabbis - medieval Jews - Jewish mystics - Jewish thinkers of the European Enlightenment - Jews of modern times]
Judaic texture Foundational texture [The Tanakh] Supportive texture [The Talmuds - Midrash] Cross-over texture [a modern view of Havah - Yiddish tehinott]
performance Jewish ritual life [blessings - daily prayers - the Sabbath day - Pilgrim Festivals - Days of Awe] A living tradition Key points Study questions Glossary Key reading
Christian tradition Timeline
Christian players The ultimate principle [God the Father] Imaginal players [Christ: transfigured and resurrected - the Holy Spirit - angels - saintly figures] Exceptional players [Mary - Jesus of Nazareth] Historical players [early followers of Jesus - Christian martyrs - Christian emperors - Christian religious specialists - critics of the Roman Catholic Church (1300-1600) - Martin Luther - John Calvin - proponents and prisoners of the Catholic Counter-reformation - more Protestant Christians - Pentecostalists - Christian existentialism - modern activists]
Christian texture Foundational texture [Old Testament - New Testament] Supportive texture [Confes

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