Introduction to Religious Studies

Course instructors considering a book for adoption will be provided a complimentary copy.
$29.95
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Introduction to Religious Studies is more like a conversation than a textbook——a conversation about approaches, methods, and discoveries in the study of religion that draws students in, invites them to pose their own questions, and involves them in wrestling with the realities of religious experience and commitments.  .  .  .  [This text] engages students intellectually and interpersonally, and models a rigorous, reflective, and respectful approach to religious study applicable far beyond the classroom.”

Elna K. Solvang, PhD
Department of Religion
Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

  .  .  .  the long-awaited answer to the question of how to present the foundational and contemporary dimensions of religious studies in a dialogical framework to the college-level undergraduate student.  .  .  .  .  [The] authors share a wealth of scholarship and teaching experience on a variety of topics that invite both critical inquiry and personal exploration. Keeping in mind a broad range of student religious commitments, the text breaks new ground in presenting the complexities of the interrelationship of religion and contemporary life.”

Dr. Lucinda A. Nolan
Assistant Professor of Religious Education
The Catholic University of America

“Throughout the year, students doing independent work in various disciplines come to me asking for guidance on ways that their topics relate to religion. I often find myself scrambling to help them locate resources that are both written at the introductory level and still engaging and rich in content. Introduction to Religious Studies will be an invaluable resource in helping me to help my students. Not only are the topics timely and illustrative, but the list of additional resources at the conclusion of each chapter will help guide students toward doing the kinds of work they want to do.”

Trina Janiec Jones
Associate Professor of Religion
Wofford College

“The book is well put together with good, good writers. The editing is superb—so much so that, if you were not told at the outset that the chapters are written by different writers, I’’m not sure you would guess it. I like the format used for each chapter with Preface, Chapter Goals, Introduction, and Conclusion, with Questions for Reflection and Discussion scattered throughout, and ending with a good list of additional resources, including Web resources. This is a positive book; it is not written from a perspective of religious arrogance—’my faith is better than yours!’—but is an attempt to look honestly at ‘religion’ both devotionally and academically. It is a fine piece of work.”

G. Byrns Coleman
Professor of Religion
Wingate University

“Honestly, my students actually enjoyed the text, Introduction to Religious Studies. There are several reasons for this: the distinction it makes, early on, between the academic and devotional study of religion; the accessibility of the majority of the articles; the wide range of diverse topics it offers, as well as the meaningful questions for reflection and discussion it encourages. Nontraditional and first-year students alike gave it high ratings. I recommend it enthusiastically.”

Mary Hembrow Snyder, PhD
Professor of Religious Studies
Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA

Introduction to Religious Studies provided my students with a variety of perspectives on issues in the study of religion that they find important. The material was both accessible and challenging, worthy achievements for any text.”

Austin Newberry
Adjunct Instructor
Religious Studies
Thomas University

About This Book

Overview

Designed for College Students Taking Their First Course in the Study of Religion

A solid overview to introduction to religious studies courses, this text is neither too broad nor too narrow. Chapters explore what religion is and how it is formed and studied; religious experience; truth claims; ethics and moral theology; violence and religion; social involvement; religion and the environment; asceticism and mysticism; religion, technology, and science; religions and their words, stories, writings, and books; and more. The text respects cultural considerations and the contemporary global climate in showing religious studies in action and exploring questions of theory, method, and research. The contributing authors are in tune with college students’ interests and are well suited to address the issues and methods of religious studies.

Details

Weight 0.9 lbs
Dimensions 7.25 x 1.5 x 9.125 in
Format

Softcover

ISBN

978-0-88489-976-1

Pages

232

Item # 7023

Customer Reviews

Introduction to Religious Studies is more like a conversation than a textbook——a conversation about approaches, methods, and discoveries in the study of religion that draws students in, invites them to pose their own questions, and involves them in wrestling with the realities of religious experience and commitments. Introduction to Religious Studies provides a framework for inquiry that is flexible——adaptable to varied classroom contexts and readily paired with other readings and resources of the instructor’’s choosing. A particular strength of this volume is its attentiveness to the range and variety of religious expression. Each chapter explores its subject from multiple cultural and faith perspectives, enabling students not only to recognize religious diversity but to ponder the meaning and purpose of particular beliefs and practices. Introduction to Religious Studies is a well-written volume that fits the goals of the introductory religion course, engages students intellectually and interpersonally, and models a rigorous, reflective, and respectful approach to religious study applicable far beyond the classroom.”

Elna K. Solvang, PhD
Department of Religion
Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

Introduction to Religious Studies is the long-awaited answer to the question of how to present the foundational and contemporary dimensions of religious studies in a dialogical framework to the college-level undergraduate student. With faculty and student learning goals in mind, the authors share a wealth of scholarship and teaching experience on a variety of topics that invite both critical inquiry and personal exploration. Keeping in mind a broad range of student religious commitments, the text breaks new ground in presenting the complexities of the interrelationship of religion and contemporary life. Educators will find here content that is central to the introductory study of religion as well as resources and references for further investigation.”

Dr. Lucinda A. Nolan
Assistant Professor of Religious Education
The Catholic University of America

“Throughout the year, students doing independent work in various disciplines come to me asking for guidance on ways that their topics relate to religion. I often find myself scrambling to help them locate resources that are both written at the introductory level and still engaging and rich in content. Introduction to Religious Studies will be an invaluable resource in helping me to help my students. Not only are the topics timely and illustrative, but the list of additional resources at the conclusion of each chapter will help guide students toward doing the kinds of work they want to do.”

Trina Janiec Jones
Associate Professor of Religion
Wofford College

“The book is well put together with good, good writers. The editing is superb—so much so that, if you were not told at the outset that the chapters are written by different writers, I’’m not sure you would guess it. I like the format used for each chapter with Preface, Chapter Goals, Introduction, and Conclusion, with Questions for Reflection and Discussion scattered throughout, and ending with a good list of additional resources, including Web resources. This is a positive book; it is not written from a perspective of religious arrogance—’my faith is better than yours!’—but is an attempt to look honestly at ‘religion’ both devotionally and academically. It is a fine piece of work.”

G. Byrns Coleman
Professor of Religion
Wingate University

“Honestly, my students actually enjoyed the text, Introduction to Religious Studies. There are several reasons for this: the distinction it makes, early on, between the academic and devotional study of religion; the accessibility of the majority of the articles; the wide range of diverse topics it offers, as well as the meaningful questions for reflection and discussion it encourages. Nontraditional and first-year students alike gave it high ratings. I recommend it enthusiastically.”

Mary Hembrow Snyder, PhD
Professor of Religious Studies
Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA

Introduction to Religious Studies provided my students with a variety of perspectives on issues in the study of religion that they find important. The material was both accessible and challenging, worthy achievements for any text.”

Austin Newberry
Adjunct Instructor
Religious Studies
Thomas University

About the Author

PaulMyrhe

Paul O. Myhre, editor

Paul O. Myhre received his PhD in historical theology from St. Louis University. He has been the associate director of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion since 2001.

Table of Contents

Introduction: For Teachers Using This Book

  • What Is Religion?
    Paul O. Myhre
  • How Is Religion Studied?
    Debra Majeed
  • Origin Stories and Religion: How Are Religions Formed?
    David C. Ratke
  • Religion as “Truth-Claims”
    Dianne L. Oliver
  • Sacred Words, Stories, Writings, and Books
    Karl N. Jacobson, Rolf A. Jacobson
  • An Aesthetic Approach to Religion
    S. Brent Plate
  • Religious Ethics, Moral Values, and Standards for Human Conduct
    Jack A. Hill
  • Violence and Religion
    Darlene Fozard Weaver
  • Social Activism and Engagement
    Swasti Bhattacharyya
  • World Religions: Environmentally Active
    Daniel G. Deffenbaugh
  • Ascetically and Mystically Removed and Engaged
    Bernadette McNary-Zak
  • Technology and Religion
    A. K. M. Adam
  • Studying Science and Religion
    S. Brian Stratton
  • Ritual Studies
    Kendra G. Hotz

About the Authors
Index

Browse by Subject

  • Eco-Ethics
  • Ethics
  • Religious Studies
  • Science and Religion
  • Scripture
  • Theology