Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs

 
9780002551403: Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs

A world-renowned religion scholar explores the world's major religions and comparable secular systems of thought in this unusually wide-ranging and accessible work. Ninian Smart considers Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, as well as Marxist-Leninism, Maoism, nationalism, and Native American, African, and other systems of belief. His goal is to advance our understanding of how we as human beings interact thoughtfully with the cosmos and express the exigencies of our own nature and existence.

Smart demonstrates that diverse systems of belief reflect several recurring themes: the tendency to worship, the contemplative life, story-telling, a view of history, ethical instruction, guidelines on bodily practices, rituals, and visual icons. He examines each of these themes in relation to specific belief systems. He points out that religions and comparable worldviews should be studied at least as much through their practices as through their beliefs.

The result of twenty-five years of research, this comprehensive book is nothing less than an analysis of the entire pattern of human spiritual life, viewed through what Smart calls "the grammar of symbols, the modes and forms in which religion manifests itself."

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From the Inside Flap:

"Dimensions of the Sacred is arguably one of the most comprehensive and readable accounts of religion that we have had in the past thirty years. Not only does it provide a rich analysis of religious experience, but he also includes much that has been overlooked by other interpreters of the world's religions."—Richard D. Hecht, coauthor of The Sacred Texts of the World

About the Author:

Ninian Smart is J. F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religions at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his many books are Buddhism and Christianity: Rivals and Allies (1993), Choosing a Faith (1995), and The Religious Experience (5th edition, 1996).

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Smart, Ninian
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Smart, Ninian
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Crisp, clean pages, though age-toned in the margins throughout; no owners' marks; binding square and secure, hard cover moderately shelfworn at spine ends and corners and slightly turned in at the top free corners, otherwise clean and well-kept. Dustjacket has one small, closed tear at the top rear edge and one at the bottom right front corner as well as rubbed with a few small chips at corners and spine ends, otherwise bright and excellent. Bookseller Inventory # 069766

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Book Description HarperCollins, Great Britain, 1996. Hard Back. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. Jacket creased at edges and has some surface wear. Pages browned with age. 331pp.This work explores the underlying features of the world's major religions and comparable secular systems of thought. It considers Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Marxist-Leninism, Maoism, nationalism, as well as a number of minor, more local systems of belief. Smart demonstrates that these diverse systems of belief are united by a number of recurring themes: the tendency to worship, the use of visual icons, story-telling, the holding of a rigid, somewhat inflexible view of history, ethical instruction, guidelines on bodily practices and dependence on ritual. The book breaks down each of these themes, and examines them in relation to specific belief systems. For example, it shows the varying beliefs which are held about survival after death (immortality, hell, purgatories, rebirth, final death) and different rituals (greeting, blaspheming, cursing, blessing, praying, bathing, meditiating and initiating). Size: 9.5"/6.5". Bookseller Inventory # 047160

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Book Description HarperCollins, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. 0002551403 Minor wear, including corner bumps, light marks and mild page tanning. Otherwise in very good used condition, with clean unmarked pages, spine intact, bindings firm. Bookseller Inventory # 170428KAEM-135

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