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

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9780520207776: Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs
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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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Review:

"A colorful tour and a steady stream of illuminating observations propelled by Smart's dazzlingly informed mind and urbane and witty voice."--Philip Novak, "Journal of the American Academy of Religion

From the Back Cover:

""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

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780520219601: Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs

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ISBN 10:  0520219600 ISBN 13:  9780520219601
Publisher: University of California Press, 1999
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9780002551403: Dimensions of the Sacred: Anatomy of the World's Beliefs

Harper..., 1996
Hardcover

9780520208193: Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World's Beliefs

Univer..., 1996
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