Fortress Press

The World's Religions: A Contemporary Reader

The World's Religions

A Contemporary Reader

Arvind Sharma (Editor)


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Watch Arvind Sharma discuss his new book, The World's Religions

This wide-ranging reader combines some of the best and most valuable contemporary perspectives from leading and significant writers, teachers, and thinkers who together address critical challenges and opportunities for the world's religions in a post 9/11 world. Edited by Arvind Sharma and organized by topic, the essays in this reader consider broad questions such as, What influence does religion have on contemporary life? Can religion destroy or preserve us? Could the world's religions join together as a force for good? The thematic arrangement of topics includes diverse religious perspectives on: pluralism, human rights, war, peace, globalization, science, spirituality and other topics. A special foreword by John Hick speaks to the value of this reader in broadening our needed understanding of religion.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800697464
  • Dimensions 7.5 x 9.25
  • Pages 392
  • Publication Date October 1, 2010


Chapter 1;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Foreword by John Hick;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Introduction;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Contents;   Adobe Acrobat Document

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"This volume brings together a set of readable and interesting essays on the impact of religion in the contemporary world. Rather than organizing these around religious traditions, the editor presents them as discussions of timely, lively topics—such as human rights, environmental and gender issues, and the troubling revival of religion in political violence, terrorism, and war, ending with essays on the possibilities of a global spirituality for the twenty-first century."
—Mark Juergensmeyer
Author of Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State

"The conspiracy theory of the 9/11 commission that blames crazed Muslim fundamentalists for the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States has been used to promote an endless war driven by fear of terrorists, Muslims, foreigners, and people serious about their religious faith. Whether that framing of 9/11 is accurate or not (and I don't believe it is), the varied articles in Sharma's reader provide more careful and helpful investigations of how religions may contribute to or interfere with our efforts to act well in the current world situation. This collection will be valuable for any course in world or comparative religion, as well as for political science and peace studies."
—David Whitten Smith
Professor of Theology Emeritus and Founding Director Emeritus of Justice and Peace Studies
University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota