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).
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'Dimension of the Sacred' for the first time maps the underlying features of the world’s major faiths – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, African and other indigenous religions. This would be remarkable enough in itself. But Ninian Smart extends his examination using the same principles to secular religions such as Marxist-Leninism and nationalism. The result of twenty-five years of reflection and research by one of the world’s leading authorities on comparative religion, 'Dimension of the Sacred' leads us through the entire spectrum of spiritual life. To our perennial questions about the nature of existence, this book is an indispensable guide.
“An ambitious feat of scholarship and argument…'Dimension of the Sacred' throws up intriguing connections and parallels on every page.”
CATHERINE LOCKERBIE, 'Scotsman'
“Richly informative…Professor Smart has distinguished himself as a pioneer in this field. There is great scholarship at work here…an absorbing and most valuable book.”
NICK THOMAS, 'Catholic Herald'
“Extremely precise…[Smart] demonstrates that all religions, whether theistic or non-theistic, share certain similarities. They all have a creed, elements of ritual, an ethical or legal standpoint and a mythic dimension. [It is] a work of immense erudition. The bibliography alone is a student of comparative religion’s idea of heaven.”
DARIANE PICTET, 'Literary Review'
Ninian Smart is J.F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religions at the University of California and was formerly professor at Lancaster University, where he inaugurated Britain’s first major Religious Studies department. Among his many books are ‘The World’s Religions’, ‘Buddhism and Christianity: Rivals and Allies’, ‘The Religious Experience’ and ‘Choosing a Faith’.
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Book Description Fontana Press, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. A slight tan to the page edges. Minor Shelfwear. Good reading copy. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0005366777
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002639097
Book Description FONTANA PRESS. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Bookseller Inventory # G0006863728I3N00
Book Description Fontana Press, London, 1997. Paper Back. Book Condition: Good. Marks inside cover, pages yellowed.Corner of back cover creased. Size: Size E: 7"-8" Tall (177-203mm). Bookseller Inventory # 119055
Book Description FONTANA PRESS, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # P020006863728