A compelling look at today's complex relationship between religion and politics In his second book, bestselling author Charles Kimball addresses the urgent global problem of the interplay between fundamentalist Abrahamic religions and politics and moves beyond warning signs (the subject of his first book) to the dangerous and lethal outcomes that their interaction can produce. Drawing on his extensive personal and professional knowledge of, experience with and access to all three traditions, Kimball's explanation of the multiple ways religion and politics interconnect within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam will illuminate the problems and give readers a hopeful vision for how to chart a safer course into a precarious future. Kimball is the author of When Religion Becomes Evil, one of the most acclaimed post 9/11 books on terrorism and religion Reveals why religion so often leads to deadly results The author has scholarly knowledge and expertise and extensive personal experience with the peoples, cultures, and leaders involved Readable and engaging, this book gives a clear picture of today's complex political and religious reality and offers hope for the future.
Throughout human history, religion and politics have entertained the most intimate of connections as systems of authority regulating individuals and society. While the two have come apart through the process of secularization, secularism is challenged today by the return of public religion. This cogent analysis unravels the nature of the connection, disconnection, and attempted reconnection between religion and politics in the West. In a comparison of Western Europe and North America, Christianity and Islam, Joppke advances far-reaching theoretical, historical, and comparative-political arguments. With respect to theory, it is argued that only a “substantive” concept of religion, as pertaining to the existence of supra-human powers, opens up the possibility of a historical-comparative perspective on religion. At the level of history, secularization is shown to be the distinct outcome of Latin Christianity itself. And at the level of comparative politics, the Christian Right in America which has attacked the “wall of separation” between religion and state and Islam in Europe with the controversial insistence on sharia law and other “illiberal” claims from some quarters are taken to be counterpart incarnations of public religion and challenges to the secular state. This clearly argued, sweeping book will provide an invaluable framework for approaching an array of critical issues at the intersection of religion, law and politics for advanced students and researchers across the social sciences and legal studies, as well as for the interested public.
The Importance of Religion reveals the significance of religion in modern times, showing how it provides people with meaning to their lives and helps guide them in their everyday moral choices Provides readers with a new understanding of religion, demonstrating how in its actions, texts and world views religion is enduring and vividly engages with the mystery of the world Offers striking arguments about the relationship of religion to science, art and politics Engagingly written by a highly respected scholar of religion with an international reputation
A New History of Christianity in China, written by one of the world's the leading writers on Christianity in China, looks at Christianity's long history in China, its extraordinarily rapid rise in the last half of the twentieth century, and charts its future direction. Provides the first comprehensive history of Christianity in China, an important, understudied area in both Asian studies and religious history Traces the transformation of Christianity from an imported, Western religion to a thoroughly Chinese religion Contextualizes the growth of Christianity in China within national and local politics Offers a portrait of the complex religious scene in China today Contrasts China with other non-Western societies where Christianity is surging
This successor volume to The Hidden Origins of Islam (edited by Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R. Puin) continues the pioneering research begun in the first volume into the earliest development of Islam. Using coins, commemorative building inscriptions, and a rigorous linguistic analysis of the Koran along with Persian and Christian literature from the seventh and eighth centuries--when Islam was in its formative stages--five expert contributors attempt a reconstruction of this critical time period. Despite the scholarly nature of their work, the implications of their discoveries are startling: -Islam originally emerged as a sect of Christianity. -Its central theological tenets were influenced by a pre-Nicean, Syrian Christianity. -Aramaic, the common language throughout the Near East for many centuries and the language of Syrian Christianity, significantly influenced the Arabic script and vocabulary used in the Koran. -Finally, it was not until the end of the eighth and ninth centuries that Islam formed as a separate religion, and the Koran underwent a period of historical development of at least 200 years.Controversial and highly intriguing, this critical historical analysis reveals the beginning of Islam in a completely new light.
Understand the beliefs, customs, and rituals of each faith The fun and easy way to know the common elements of these widespread religions Want to know more about the faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? This plain-English guide traces their evolution from their commonorigin – Abraham – and explains their different, yet linked, beliefs.You'll see how each religion developed, endured setbacks, and became a fixture in modern society – and you'll learn how members havedeveloped similar approaches to worship. Discover: How the belief in one God originated The roots of Abraham's family tree The sacred texts of each faith Major similarities and differences How these religions influenced the world
This complete overview of religious studies provides students with the essential knowledge and tools they need to explore and understand the nature of religion. Covers the early development of religion, with overviews of major and minor religions from Islam to Scientology Considers recent developments including secularization; the relationship between religion and science; and scientific studies on religion, health, and mystical experience Uses humor throughout, allowing students to remain open-minded to the subject Explains what it means to study religion academically, and considers the impact of the study of religion on religion itself Contains numerous student-friendly features including photos, maps, time lines, side bars, historical profiles, and population distribution figures Provides classroom users with a lively website,www.wiley.com/go/religiontoolkit, including questions, quizzes, extra material, and helpful primary and secondary sources
This short book by one of France's leading historians deals with a big question: how was it that Christianity, that masterpiece of religious invention, managed, between 300 and 400 AD, to impose itself upon the whole of the Western world? In his erudite and inimitable way, Paul Veyne suggests three possible explanations. Was it because a Roman emperor, Constantine, who was master of the Western world at the time, became a sincere convert to Christianity and set out to Christianize the whole world in order to save it? Or was it because, as a great emperor, Constantine needed a great religion, and in comparison to the pagan gods, Christianity, despite being a minority sect, was an avant-garde religion unlike anything seen before? Or was it because Constantine limited himself to helping the Christians set up their Church, a network of bishoprics that covered the vast Roman Empire, and that gradually and with little overt resistance the pagan masses embraced Christianity as their own religion? In the course of deciding between these explanations Paul Veyne sheds fresh light on one of the most profound transformations that shaped the modern world – the Christianization of the West. A bestseller in France, this book will appeal to a wide readership interested in history, religion and the rise of the modern world.
The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Social Justice brings together a team of distinguished scholars to provide a comprehensive and comparative account of social justice in the major religious traditions. The first publication to offer a comparative study of social justice for each of the major world religions, exploring viewpoints within Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism Offers a unique and enlightening volume for those studying religion and social justice – a crucially important subject within the history of religion, and a significant area of academic study in the field Brings together the beliefs of individual traditions in a comprehensive, explanatory, and informative style All essays are newly-commissioned and written by eminent scholars in the field Benefits from a distinctive four-part organization, with sections on major religions; religious movements and themes; indigenous people; and issues of social justice, from colonialism to civil rights, and AIDS through to environmental concerns
In this important new book, the distinguished Egyptologist Jan Assmann provides a masterful overview of a crucial theme in the religious history of the West – that of 'religio duplex', or dual religion. He begins by returning to the theology of the Ancient Egyptians, who set out to present their culture as divided between the popular and the elite. By examining their beliefs, he argues, we can distinguish the two faces of ancient religions more generally: the outer face (that of the official religion) and the inner face (encompassing the mysterious nature of religious experience). Assmann explains that the Early Modern period witnessed the birth of the idea of dual religion with, on the one hand, the religion of reason and, on the other, that of revelation. This concept gained new significance in the Enlightenment when the dual structure of religion was transposed onto the individual. This meant that man now owed his allegiance not only to his native religion, but also to a universal 'religion of mankind'. In fact, argues Assmann, religion can now only hold a place in our globalized world in this way, as a religion that understands itself as one among many and has learned to see itself through the eyes of the other. This bold and wide-ranging book will be essential reading for historians, theologians and anyone interested in the nature of religion and its role in the shaping of the modern world.
Religion in Britain evaluates and sheds light on the religious situation in twenty-first century Britain; it explores the country’s increasing secularity alongside religion’s growing presence in public debate, and the impact of this paradox on Britain’s society. Describes and explains the religious situation in twenty-first century Britain Based on the highly successful Religion in Britain Since 1945 (Blackwell, 1994) but extensively revised with the majority of the text re-written to reflect the current situation Investigates the paradox of why Britain has become increasingly secular and how religion is increasingly present in public debate compared with 20 years ago Explores the impact this paradox has on churches, faith communities, the law, politics, education, and welfare
An engaging and accessible introduction to Christianity’s relationship with other world religions, addressing the questions of why the reality, and vitality, of other religions has become a challenge, and showing how Christianity is equipped to deal with religious plurality at both the doctrinal and social level. Timely and accessible, this book tackles the question of why the reality, and vitality, of other religions has become a challenge for Christianity Makes a decisive contribution to debates about the clash between Islam and the West, arguing that the major threat to religious freedoms come from secularism, and that Islam and Christianity both have the resources to develop a vibrant and pluralist public square; one informed by intellectual rigor and debate Considers the wider issue of how modernity has defined ‘religion’, and provides a substantial critique of secular ways of controlling religions Shows how Christianity is very well suited to deal with religious plurality at the doctrinal and social level Addresses the core issues and describes the various answers that have been proposed in recent years – making it an ideal introduction to the field, and one which will stimulate ideas and discussions
Christianity in Asia explores the history, development, and current state of Christianity across the world’s largest and most populous continent. Offers detailed coverage of the growth of Christianity within South Asia; among the thousands of islands comprising Southeast Asia; and across countries whose Christian origins were historically linked, including Vietnam, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea Brings together a truly international team of contributors, many of whom are natives of the countries they are writing about Considers the Middle Eastern countries whose Christian roots are deepest, yet have turbulent histories and uncertain futures Explores the ways in which Christians in Asian countries have received and transformed Christianity into their local or indigenous religion Shows Christianity to be a vibrant contemporary movement in many Asian countries, despite its comparatively minority status in these regions
The definitive work on the philosophical nature and impact of the theories of Charles Darwin, written by a well-known authority on the history and philosophy of Darwinism. Broadly explores the theories of Charles Darwin and Darwin studies Incorporates much information about modern Biology Offers a comprehensive discussion of Darwinism and Christianity – including Creationism – by one of the leading authorities in the field Written in clear, concise, user-friendly language supplemented with quality illustrations Examines the status of evolutionary theory as a genuine theory and its implications for philosophy, epistemology and ethics Provides a strong understanding of the philosophical nature and impact of Darwin's thought Holds wide appeal for general audiences outside the world of academic philosophy Strongly supports Darwinism and fully explores modern naturalistic explanations of religion
In The Wiley-Blackwell History of Jews and Judaism, a team of internationally-renowned scholars offer a comprehensive and authoritative overview of Jewish life and culture, from the biblical period to contemporary times. Provides a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the main periods and themes of Jewish history, from Biblical Israel, through medieval and early modern periods, to Judaism since the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Judaism today Brings together an international team of established and emerging scholars across a range of disciplines Discusses how to present Judaism – to both non-Jews and Jews – as a religious system on its own terms and with its own unique vocabulary Explores the latest scholarship on a range of issues, including folk practices, politics, economic structure, the relationship of Judaism to Christianity, and the nature of Zionism diaspora and its implications for contemporary Israel Considers Jewish historiography and the lives of ordinary people, the achievements of Jewish women, and the sustained interaction of Jews within the environments they inhabited Edited by a leading scholar in Jewish studies and history