Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion

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9780023713705: Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion

For one-semester, undergraduate courses in Introduction to Religion and Comparative Religion, and more advanced courses dealing with issues in the theoretical study of religion.


This comprehensive introduction to the nature and variety of religious phenomena, belief, and practice (1) explores the issues in religious studies, (2) examines the universal forms of religious experience, (3) offers a cross-cultural study of a broad range of classic types of religious belief and practice in terms of the seven basic concepts of a religious world view, and (4) surveys the challenges faced by religions today.

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"Three strengths (of the text are): 1) The global perspective, incorporating examples from many world religions and setting them side by side to consider in relation to one another without making any judgments; 2) The clear, comprehensive, beautifully written prose in the areas of summary and general commentary on religions and religious phenomena; 3) The introductory material with a fascinating and thorough coverage of various definitions of religions, perspectives on religion, and ways of studying religion. This material is extremely helpful." — Linda J. Tessier, Youngstown State University

"...It (Anatomy of the Sacred) is the best text in the field." — Steven W. Godby, Broward Community College

"It (Anatomy of the Sacred) covers some of the basic theories of religion and then illustrates these theories by delineating various themes in the global history (phenomenology) of religion. This is a very helpful way to construct an introductory textbook... I am impressed by Professor Livingston's erudition ...Livingston is respectful of all Religions." — Winston Davis, Washington and Lee University

From the Back Cover:

Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion presents a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the nature and variety of religious belief and practice. Organized into three sections, Part One explores such questions as What is religion? Why study religion? And how does one go about the study of religion? It includes illustrations of specific methods and disciplines drawn from the work of eminent scholars in the field of religion.

Part Two examines universal forms of religious experience and expression and includes discussions of the sacred or holy; the nature of religious symbolism, myth, and doctrine; religious ritual; sacred scripture; as well s the social forms and dimensions of religion.

Part Three consists of a comparative analysis of six fundamental components that make up a religious world-view. These include deity or ultimate reality; cosmogony; the nature of the human problem, theodicy or the problem of evil; ethics or moral action; and the ways and goals of salvation or enlightenment. Examples are selected from a wide range of primal and archaic religions as well as from the great historical religious traditions of the present. An epilogue explores the challenges to religion introduced by modern pluralism and secularization.

Among this text's special features are:

  • A highly readable comparative study of religious experience that incorporates the most up-to-date scholarship and translates it into terms accessible to undergraduates.
  • Extensive citation of well-selected cross-cultural primary materials from primal, archaic, and modern religious traditions that illustrate the great variety of religious belief and practice.
  • Each chapter includes an introductory overview, photographs, key words, review questions, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive glossary of terms and proper names.

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Livingston, James C.
Published by Macmillan Pub Co (1989)
ISBN 10: 0023713704 ISBN 13: 9780023713705
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Macmillan Pub Co, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0023713704

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