This book combines study of the dynamic historical development of each religious tradition with a comparative thematic structure. In this way, the book helps readers to explore each of the major religions as a unique and integral system of meaning and life. At the same time, readers are encouraged to discover and explore the nature of religious experience by comparing basic themes and issues common to all religions. Covering the religions arising from India, China, and Japan, this book introduces the key dimensions of religious experience, outlining the basic human concerns that give rise to religious experience, such as origin and identity, ultimate reality, human nature, and the good life. For anyone interested in exploring the origins and development of the diverse religions of the world.
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Excerpted and revised from The Sacred Paths: Understanding the Religions of the World, this book introduces readers to the religions of the East by combining an historical, descriptive approach with a thematic, comparative approach. It looks at each religion as an historically unique system, and explores the meaning of religious experience by focusing on major themes and issues comparatively. The book contains two main parts: Religions arising from India (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism. and Sikhism), and the religions from China and Japan (Confucianism, Daoism [Taoism], Shinto, and Mahayana Buddhism).From the Back Cover:
This unique book allows readers to examine each of the world's major religions as a unique system of meaning, and at the same time, it lets them explore the inner nature of sacred experience by comparing basic themes and issues common to all religions and pertinent to their own personal lives. It begins with a discussion of the basic human questions and concerns relating to religion—e.g., origin and identity, ultimate reality, human nature, and the good life—and then uses these essential concepts to help describe the beliefs, practices, and historical development of each religion. Chapter topics include religions arising from India, and the religions of China and Japan. Also covered are basic gender issues; and the role of women in major world religions. For individuals interested in religious studies, theology, and philosophy, and anyone looking to draw more personal meaning from the inner experiences found in different religions.
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