We all know what religion is - or do we? Confronted with religious pluralism and cultural diversity, it manifests itself in many forms. What is Religion? serves not only as an introduction to the different belief systems flourishing throughout the modern world, but asks us to consider how the very boundaries of faith might be drawn now and in the future. How might religion interact with political ends, or permeate culture, society and everyday life? Is the post-secular world in thrall to 'religions' of its own kind - materialism, humanism, medicine, science? And what logic separates 'common-sense' or academic knowledge from the immutable but unstable boudaries of faith? Which is the more certain? What does it mean to believe? Combining clear accounts of contemporary global religious practice with an incisive philosophical interrogation of the dynamics and aims of belief, What is Religion? offers a fresh and wide-ranging introduction to the perennial human questions of ritual, faith, ethics and salvation.
Traces the decline of Christianity in America since the 1950s, posing controversial arguments about the role of heresy in the nation's downfall while calling for a revival of traditional Christian practices.
What do we talk about when we talk about religion? Is it an array of empirical facts about historical human civilizations? Or is religion what is in essence unpredictable - perhaps the very emergence of the new? In what ways are the legacies of religion-its powers, words, things, and gestures - reconfiguring themselves as the elementary forms of life in the twenty-first century? Given the Latin roots of the word religion and its historical Christian uses, what sense, if any, does it make to talk about religion in other traditions? Where might we look for common elements that would enable us to do so? Has religion as an overarching concept lost all its currency, or does it ineluctably return ...
Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from.
While religion can be a source of healing, peace, and reconciliation, it can also be a trigger, if not an underlying cause, for conflict between peoples of varying beliefs. With that awareness, the International Academy of Practical Theology convened its 2007 meeting around the theme of "Religion, Diversity, and Conflict." From the multiple seminars, lectures, and studies presented at that meeting, a selection was chosen for this book. Representing contributions from four continents, and drawing upon perspectives from African traditional religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, the book offers a rich introduction to the problems and promises of religion in dialogue with 21st-century diversity. Religion, Diversity and Conflict will serve as a veritable primer on the field of practical theology. (Series: International Practical Theology - Vol. 15)
What is Religion and Who Needs It? Does the animals of the field have a "religion" that instructs them on how to interact in their day to day existence? If we consider the religious or moral implications among humans, who are animals to a certain degree, is it religious or moral for a male dog, for instance, to fiercely fight another male if it attempts to sexually interact with it? On the other hand, since reason, etc... is what separates man from the level of animals with the faculty of thought, why do homosexuality, promiscuity and bestiality exist among mankind? The animals seem to have a "natural code" of conduct that's built in from birth. Did the Creator leave that out of all humans? Could it be that a religion is needed when the properties therein are not hardwired by natural means. Consequently, how to be moral, good and right, has to be nurtured, because it's missing by nature?
This comprehensive narrative account of religion in America from 1607 through the present depicts the religious life of the American people within the context of American society. It addresses topics ranging from the European/Puritan origins of American religious thought, the ramifications of the "Great Awakening", the effect of nationhood on religious practice, and the shifting religious configuration of the late 20th century.