Religion John Bowker World Religions

ISBN 13: 9780789414397

World Religions

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9780789414397: World Religions

The world's most important religions explained through detailed annotation of sacred texts, religious artifacts, paintings, and architecture. World Religions is a refreshing new approach to understanding different faiths. detailed annotations of stunning illustrations provide intriguing insights into the world's most important religions -- offering a deeper appreciation of the beliefs central to each. The Evolution of Major Faiths: World Religions looks at the beliefs and practices of many different religions, from the ancient Egyptians through to Zoroastrianism -- the oldest "living" religion -- and the great faiths practiced today. Each of the major faiths -- Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam -- is examined in detail through its sacred texts, epic imagery, key beliefs, and religious artifacts. Unrivaled Insight: The distinctive identities of different faiths are explored in World religions by studying the main principles and thoughts of each religion. The book's generous size and superb reproduction reveal, in glowing detail, the symbolism and meaning in religious imagery and iconography. Clear and informative, World Religions will engage the whole family as much as the serious student.

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About the Author:

John Bowker was Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1984 to 1991 and is currently a Fellow of Gresham College, London and Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. He is also Adjunct Professor of Religion at North Carolina State University. Professor Bowker's many books include the DK titles God: A Brief History and The Complete Bible Handbook. He lives in Cambridge.

From Library Journal:

Bowker (divinity, Gresham Coll., London) has produced two very different books, though both are focused on world religion. The Oxford Dictionary, whose entries often lack information on etymology and pronunciation, is actually a one-volume desktop encyclopedia for ready reference. Combining brevity of exposition with a massive number of entries in an attempt to be dictionary-like, the work suffers from trying to be comprehensive in breadth of coverage instead of depth. The psychology of religion is discussed in a half-page, for instance, and the Church Fathers get only two sentences. In addition, the entries are uneven in quality; one has the feeling that the 80 contributors are each writing according to his or her own personal interests and styles. Despite these idiosyncracies, the work is a solid reference source for people who want to know only the barest of facts about any religious topic. In World Religions, on the other hand, one has the feeling that Bowker, now the author, is finally freed to range over what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. This book is a bold attempt to meld religious information with expressive art and to use the art as a tool for pedagogy. Each religion is represented by a few brilliantly illustrated icons, paintings, or sculptures, which the author painstakingly annotates to illuminate their theologies and deepen one's insight. Whether he is using Michelangelo's Final Judgment to explain Christian eschatology or a handscroll of Chou Ch'en to explain Taoist concepts of immortality, the emphasis upon the visual makes these religions vibrant and intriguing. There are surprising discrepancies between the two works. World Religions has generous discussions of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Norse, and Celtic religions, topics not even included in the Oxford Dictionary. There are also variations of names. Ultimately, World Religions is the more commendable publication, though both books are recommended for most libraries.?Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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