A History of the World’s Religions 14th Edition by David S. Noss, ISBN-13: 978-1138211698


A History of the World’s Religions 14th Edition by David S. Noss, ISBN-13: 978-1138211698

[PDF eBook eTextbook]

  • Publisher: ‎ Routledge; 14th edition (December 26, 2017)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 658 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1138211699
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1138211698

A History of the World’s Religions bridges the interval between the founding of religions and their present state, and gives students an accurate look at the religions of the world by including descriptive and interpretive details from original source materials. Refined by over forty years of dialogue and correspondence with religious experts and practitioners around the world, A History of the World’s Religions is widely regarded as the hallmark of scholarship, fairness, and accuracy in its field. It is also the most thorough yet manageable history of world religion available in a single volume. A History of the World’s Religions examines the following topics:

  • Some Primal and Bygone Religions
  • The Religions of South Asia
  • The Religions of East Asia
  • The Religions of the Middle East

This fourteenth edition is fully updated throughout with new images and inset text boxes to help guide students and instructors. Complete with figures, timelines and maps, this is an ideal resource for anyone wanting an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the world’s religions.

Table of Contents:

Map ii
Preface xvii
Timeline xviii
P A R T 1 Some Primal and Bygone Religions 1
1 Religion in Prehistoric and Primal Cultures 2
I. Beginnings: Religion in Prehistoric Cultures 2
II. Basic Terminology: Characteristics of Religion in Primal Cultures 8
III. Case Study: The Dieri of Southeast Australia 18
IV. Case Study: The BaVenda of South Africa 24
V. Case Study: The Cherokees of the Southeastern Woodlands 26
Glossary 35
2 Bygone Religions That Have Left Their Mark
on the West 38
I. Mesopotamia 38
II. Greece 46
III. Rome 58
IV. Europe Beyond the Alps 65
V. Mesoamerica: The Maya 71
Glossary 77
P A R T 2 The Religions of South Asia 81
3 Early Hinduism: The Passage from Ritual
Sacrifice to Mystical Union 82
I. The Religion of the Vedic Age 83
II. Brahmanism, Caste, and Ceremonial Life 93
Glossary 106
4 Later Hinduism: Religion as the Determinant
of Social Behavior 109
I. Changes in Brahmanism: The Four Goals and the Three Ways 110
II. The Three Ways of Salvation 112
III. The Devotional Life 137
IV. Issues and Problems of the Present 141
Glossary 150
5 Jainism: A Study in Asceticism 153
I. Mahavira’s Manner of Life 155
II. Philosophy and Ethics of Jainism 158
III. Mahavira’s Followers 162
Glossary 164
6 Buddhism in Its First Phase: Moderation
in World Renunciation 166
I. Life of the Founder 167
II. The Teachings of the Buddha 176
Glossary 186
7 The Religious Development of Buddhism:
Diversity in Paths to Nirvana 189
I. The Spread of Buddhism in India and Southeast Asia 191
II. The Rise of the Mahayana in India 199
III. The Spread of Buddhism in Northern Lands 200
IV. The Help-of-Others Message of the Mahayana 205
V. The Mahayana Philosophies of Religion 208
VI. Mahayana Schools of Thought in China and Japan 214
VII. Buddhism in Tibet 225
VIII. Buddhism Today 232
Glossary 238
8 Sikhism: A Study in Syncretism 243
I. The Life and Work of Nanak 244
II. Nanak’s Teaching 247
III. The Political History of Sikhism 249
Glossary 253
P A R T 3 The Religions of East Asia 255
9 Native Chinese Religion and Daoism 256
I. The Basic Elements of Chinese Religion 256
II. Daoism as a Philosophy ( Dao-Jia ) 268
III. Daoism as Magic and Religion ( Dao-Jiao ) 279
Glossary 290
10 Confucius and Confucianism: A Study
in Optimistic Humanism 293
I. The Man Confucius 294
II. The Teachings of Confucius 296
III. The Confucian School: Its Rivals and Champions 309
IV. Neo-Confucianism 323
V. The State Cult of Confucius 327
VI. Religion in China in the Modern Period 329
Glossary 332
11 Shinto: The Native Contribution to
Japanese Religion 337
I. The Background of Shinto 338
II. The Shinto Myth 340
III. Shinto in Medieval and More Recent Times 343
IV. State Shinto to 1945 348
V. Shinto and the Warrior 353
VI. Shrine Shinto Today 357
VII. Domestic and Sectarian Shinto 359
Glossary 362
P A R T 4 The Religions of the Middle East 365
12 Zoroastrianism: A Religion Based
on Ethical Dualism 366
I. Iranian Religion before Zoroaster 367
II. The Life and Teachings of Zoroaster 369
III. The Religion of the Later Avesta 375
IV. The Zoroastrians of the Present Day 381
Glossary 386
13 Judaism in Its Early Phases: From
Hebrew Origins to the Exile 388
I. The Religion of the Pre-Mosaic Hebrews 389
II. Moses and the Covenant with Yahweh (about 1250 BCE ) 392
III. Entering Canaan and Confronting the Baals 398
IV. Prophetic Protest and Reform 402
V. The Babylonian Exile 416
Glossary 423
14 The Religious Development of Judaism 426
I. The Rise of Judaism in the Restoration Period 426
II. New Trends of Thought in the Greek and Maccabean
Periods 432
III. The Roman Period to 70 CE 437
IV. The Great Dispersion 439
V. The Making of the Talmud 442
VI. The Jews in the Middle Ages 445
VII. Judaism in the Modern World 452
Glossary 460
15 Christianity in Its Opening Phase: The Words and
Work of Jesus in Apostolic Perspective 462
I. The World into Which Jesus Came 464
II. The Life of Jesus: The First Phase 466
III. The Themes of Jesus’s Teaching 470
IV. The Climactic Events 476
V. The Apostolic Age 480
VI. The Early Church (50–150 CE ) 486
Glossary 492
16 The Religious Development of Christianity 494
I. The Ancient Catholic Church (150–1054 CE ) 494
II. The Eastern Orthodox Churches 507
III. The Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages 510
IV. The Protestant Reformation 521
V. The Catholic Reformation 530
VI. Crosscurrents in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 532
VII. Eastern Orthodoxy in the Modern World 536
VIII. Catholicism in the Modern World 537
IX. Protestantism in the Modern World 541
X. Recent Theological Trends 548
Glossary 552
17 Islam: The Religion of Submission
to God: Beginnings 555
I. Arabian Beliefs and Practices Before Muhammad 556
II. The Prophet Muhammad 560
III. The Faith and Practice of Islam 567
IV. The Spread of Islam 576
V. The First Five Centuries of Muslim Thought 580
Glossary 591
18 The Shı-‘ah Alternative and Regional Developments 595
I. The Party (Shı-‘ah) of ‘Alı- 595
II. Further Developments 601
III. Islam and Culture 604
IV. Issues in the Modern Period 607
V. Regional Developments 610
VI. Movements toward Innovation and Syncretism 621
Glossary 624
Index 627

David S. Noss taught in the Religion and Philosophy Department of Heidelberg College from 1950 until his retirement in 1989, although he continued teaching students and advising faculty until his passing in 2010.

Blake Grangaard earned his B.A. from St. Olaf College, M.Div. from Luther Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He was a pastor for almost 10 years before turning to academia. He is currently a Professor of Religion at Heidelberg University, USA.

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