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Striving to be the most student-friendly textbook in this field, WAYS TO THE CENTER: AN INTRODUCTION TO WORLD RELIGIONS, Seventh Edition, weaves together rich historical, cultural, and theological detail into structural and philosophical sections that analyze each of the world's major religions in terms of its views on nature, society, self, and ultimate reality. The readily accessible text is designed for today's students and places a premium on the development of critical thinking. Combining both historical and systematic analyses, the book takes as its focus the theme of personal centeredness--a primary goal of each featured religion.
- Chapter 3, "Ancient Civilizations," includes an expanded section on Zoroastrianism.
- Additional content on Jainism has been added to Chapter 4, "India."
- Chapter 10 on Islam now includes more information on Sikhism, Bahai, Druze, Nation of Islam, Yazidis, and Sabean Mandaens.
- The Companion Website features chapter-by-chapter outlines, reviews, quizzes, and links to relevant YouTube videos.
- An introductory chapter seeks to identify the essence of religion in juxtaposition to other spheres of human concern and then lays out an array of scholarly approaches taken up by key religious scholars.
- Promoting student comprehension, a summary essay concluding each chapter succinctly represents the heart of each tradition's convictions.
- Critical-thinking boxes throughout the text encourage students to wrestle with various religious concepts in the context of contemporary life.
- "Case Study" boxes give a more in-depth look at various stories, scriptures, important figures, and cultural practices that give deeper insight into each religion.
- Charts and tables are used to convey a great deal of information in an easily digestible format. Timelines, comparison charts, tables of themes, and more help students to learn important concepts and provide useful study tools.
1. WHAT IS RELIGION?
Definition of Religion. Religion Versus Science? Religion Versus Other Values. Components of Religion. God or Gods? Religion Versus Government. Sacred Writings. Religious Roles. Scholarly Approaches.
2. TRIBAL RELIGIONS.
Earliest Religion. Common Themes in Tribal Religion. Australian Aborigines. Inuits (Eskimo). Native Americans. Africans. Southeast Asians and Melanesians. Polynesians. Ainu. Teutons. Celts.
3. RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS.
Religious Themes. Mesopotamia. Egypt. Iran & Zoroastrianism. New World Civilizations.
History. Worldview. Summary: The Hindu Center.
History. Worldview. Summary: The Jewish Center.
6. CHINA AND JAPAN.
History of China. The Chinese Worldview. Summary: The Chinese Center. The History of Japan. Japanese Worldview. Summary: The Japanese Center.
7. GREEK AND HELLENISTIC RELIGION.
History. Worldview. Summary: The Greek and Hellenistic Center.
History. Worldview. Summary: The Buddhist Center.
History. Worldview. Summary: The Christian Center.
History. Worldview. Summary: The Muslim Center.
11. MODERN TIMES.
Worldview. Summary: The Humanistic Center. Responses to Secularism. Unity and Diversity.
Index and Glossary.
"One of the strongest points of this text is how it clearly and consistently speaks to students."
"The material is readable, engaging, and the various visual aids facilitate comprehension."
"The book comes across as a nice balance between rigorous scholarship and accessibility."
"A wide-ranging, accessible text, one that students will find engaging and stimulating and that professors, who can be notoriously difficult to satisfy, will appreciate for its rigor and its even-handedness."