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Phenomenon of Religion [Paperback]

By Moojan Momen (Author)
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Item description for Phenomenon of Religion by Moojan Momen...

This is an innovative, thematic presentation of the role of religion in human society, from traditional cultures to the modern world. This comprehensive account covers all the major traditions, features nearly 400 illustrations, and is accompanied by maps, timelines, a glossary, full explanatory notes, and an extensive bibliography.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oneworld Publications
Pages   640
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.21" Width: 5.93" Height: 1.44"
Weight:   2.08 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 1998
Publisher   Oneworld Publications
ISBN  1851681612  
ISBN13  9781851681617  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Comparative Religion
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion

Reviews - What do customers think about Phenomenon of Religion?

Astonishingly encyclopedic and readable  Jul 14, 2007
It is difficult nowadays to get an objective, nuanced opinion on religion, neither flattering nor biased against it. If I were to recommend a way to try and achieve that, I would suggest to read several good books on the matter, including this among them, for in my opinion this is a masterful work that can be savoured by the professional scholar and the educated layperson alike.

In "The Phenomenon of Religion: A Thematic Approach," Moojan Momen has undertaken a sweeping survey of religious phenomena and experience across the globe and throughout history. He analyzes various aspects of religion including chapters on "The Concept of Religion," "Pathways to Religious Experience," "Suffering, Sacrifice and Salvation," and "Fundamentalism and Liberalism." He examines what six major independent world religions - the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism - have to say about each theme, and/or what their followers have come to understand or experience. As a resource on comparative religious studies, it an outstanding reference for anyone concerned with religion.

All that (and much much much more that I do not mention in this summary) is exhaustively developed in some 500 pages (626 pages with notes and index).

Therefore, my rate is between 5 (content) and 5 (pleasure, sometimes falling to 4).

Please see in any event the excellent review available in which encouraged me to buy this book.

Other books I would recommend to read are the following: "Vampires, Burial, and Death : Folklore and Reality" by Paul Barber; "Ecstasies: Deciphering the witches' Sabbath", by Carlo Ginzburg; "Shamans, Sorcerers, and Saints: A Prehistory of Religion" by Brian Hayden; and "Islam. History, present, future" by Hans Küng (also a masterpiece).
Excellent Intro Book!  Aug 30, 2006
I am continually impressed with this text, so much so that I use it for my Intro to Religion course. The book covers all the basic Religious Studies topics--definition of religion, religious experience, theodicy, myth, sacred and profane, ethics, fundamentalism, religion and gender, religion and the modern world--all the good stuff is in here!
The genius of this book, though, is that Momen examines religions and religious bodies from both "eastern" and "western" religious perspectives.
He has great primary source quotes as well as interesting statistics and facts and perspectives. It's definitely difficult finding a palatable intro book that does justice to the brilliance of religious studies (students are usually confused with all the abstract language, and this too has its moments), but Momen does a great job with this book.
good book  Sep 13, 2005
This is an excellent overview of the major world religions and the way they address various common themes. Don't let the size of the book intimidate you. It is written in a clear and accessible manner and heavily illustrated.
Insightful basics  Jul 9, 2004
After many years of studying philosophy and religion, I found it refreshing and informative to read this easy to read overview of comparative religion. What I found refreshing was the unique focus and depth of the author, providing insight into the dynamics of the phenomenon of religion and not just another historical survey or catalogue of religion beliefs. His multi-level approach moving from the philosophical dimensions to the psychological aspects that drive religion to the social forces that shape religion and much more, I felt that I gained much insight that a good overview can provide. Criticisms of reductionism while legitimate, I regard as irrelevant here. Any time one strives to identify the thread of shared themes in a large field , some reductionism is unavoidable. Like an an outline collapsed to it's main topics, this can allow us to see the forest through the trees. At times very useful...
BIG but Simple  Apr 4, 2000
A well presented work comprised of three "fields of enquiry": Religious Experience and it's expression, conceptual aspects of religion, and religion in society. It's essentially a book which compares religions and philosophies, all while using themes from other areas of study as psycology and sociology.

It's a fairly large book, around 600 pages, but the simplistic style of authoring doesn't make it a chore as other comparitive religion books.


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