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Understanding World Religions


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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1: Hindu Worldviews 2: Buddhist Worldviews 3: Jewish Worldviews 4: Christian Worldviews 5: Muslim Worldviews 6: Native American Worldviews 7: Marxist Worldviews 8: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 9: Religious Social Teachings: Christian and Beyond 10: Liberation Theologies 11: Active Nonviolence 12: Just War Theory Glossary Bibliography

About the Author

David Whitten Smith is the founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Elizabeth Geraldine Burr teaches in the Ethnic and Religious Studies Department at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Finally a book on worldviews that provides an honest and comprehensive discussion of issues that are most critical to the very survival of religion and civilization. The book's focus on justice and peace as its guiding themes has greatly enhanced the value of studying world religions. -- Irfan A. Omar, Marquette University
This second edition is an excellent book and a must-read for students interested in a full-scope overview of the competing worldviews-both religious and secular-that compete with one another in the current marketplace of ideas and ideologies. The book is beautifully written, expertly researched, and replete with helpful diagrams, lists of terms, and bibliography. Written from a humane and ethically nuanced perspective, the book demonstrates why a thoroughgoing and critical understanding of the animating worldviews that shape our era are crucial for a well-informed and engaged citizenry. Original and highly recommended -- Mark Wallace, Swarthmore College; author of Finding God In The Singing River: Christianity, Spirit, Nature
Unquestionably, we are teaching children/young adults who have grown up fearing and misunderstanding our Muslim sisters and brothers in the wake of 9/11. Understanding World Religions is a readable text that goes a little deeper with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I, also, appreciate their goal of working toward justice, peace and understanding. In a sense, why else do we study the world's religions if not to grow respect for the "dignity of difference." -- Christine Billups, Lewis University

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