Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices

Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices By J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann
Publisher: ABC 2002 | 1507 Pages | ISBN: 1576072231 | File type: PDF | 28 mb

This comprehensive, four-volume work details the history, development, organization, current status, and contact information for major organizations associated with various living world faiths. Edited with the requisite authority by Melton (director, Inst. for the Study of American Religion) and Baumann (history of religions, Univ. of Lucerne), this unique encyclopedia is not concerned with defining and analyzing the major world religions but rather with presenting the constitutive communities, groups, and associations within each religion. The result is a sort of "encyclopedia of associations" for world religions with superb commentary. The 1200 alphabetically arranged entries have been contributed by 200 international scholars reflecting diverse research interests and religious affiliations. Some 16 core essays provide the framework for the listed organizations, covering the major religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as traditional African religions, Western esoteric traditions, and a general consideration of unbelief. In the remaining entries, readers will encounter information on the Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin, Freemasonry, the Legion of Mary, Santer!a, serpent handlers, the Reformed Church in America, and Satanism, to name a few. Another major feature is the inclusion of entries for 276 recognized nations and territories, assessing the distinctive role of religion and religious practice within each and offering statistical tables as well as maps provided by David. B. Barrett, author of World Christian Encyclopedia. The book is fully indexed and cross-referenced, and all the entries are signed and include relevant addresses, web sites, and bibliographies. This remarkable work is recommended for academic and larger public libraries, which might also consider Barrett's work as a companion volume.

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