Cover image for The Cambridge illustrated history of religions
The Cambridge illustrated history of religions
Bowker, John, 1935-
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
336 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 26 cm.
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BL80.2 .C334 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions provides a comprehensive survey of world religions from pre-history to the present day. Each religion is treated in depth, with text written by an acknowledged academic expert supported by lavish illustration. Images have been carefully chosen to complement the text. There are special box features and spreads. The religions covered include Jainism, Chinese and Japanese religions, Hindu religions, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, along with smaller sections on Zoroaster and Parsis, Greece and Rome, Egypt and Mesopotamia, aboriginal religions, Shamanism, and modern religions such as Bahai. The book includes a substantial bibliography, a full chronology for each section, a general chronology giving the most significant dates from all religions, and information on religious phenomena such as festivals and calendars. This is an authoritative reference book in an attractive format which will appeal equally to students of religion, teachers, and general interested readers.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Prolific comparative religion scholar Bowker here assembles a team of competent authors to survey religious history. The major religions get thoroughgoing treatment, with short introductions also given to the Zoroastrianism; the religions of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Mesopotamia; aboriginal religions; and new religious movements. Only Baha'i and Mormonism are truly scanted. Christianity receives a separate chapter as well as substantial treatment in chapters on Chinese, Korean, and Japanese religions, but Buddhism in those countries is dealt with only under Buddhism. Some of the articles include sections with a special focus, as in a discussion of women in the entry for Japanese Buddhism or the theme of universality in Christianity, but the overall approach varies from article to article. There is a chronology and basic bibliography, and extensive and helpful illustrations, mainly in color, set off the text without overwhelming it. This volume presents a large amount of information in an engaging way, offering much scholarly insight for the lay reader. It should, however, be used as a companion to other established general introductions to world religions, such as Huston Smith's The Illustrated World's Religions or The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion. Useful for students, teachers, and general readers as an introduction to religious history, this work is recommended for public and college libraries. William P. Collins, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Richly illustrated with copious, full-color photographs, this most recent volume in the Cambridge Illustrated History series certainly has visual appeal. Beyond aesthetics, this reference provides concise, but well-researched and informative narratives on the world's major belief systems. Edited by Bowker (Gresham College, UK), this book covers Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism; the religions of India, China, Korea, Japan, and the Mediterranean; and new religions. Each narrative traces the history of a particular religion from its beginnings to the present. Along the way, each contributor addresses major themes and defines pertinent concepts. Aside from the narratives, this volume also contains a bibliography for each section, individual chronologies for each religion, and a general chronology. Presented in an accessible and attractive format, it will provide general readers and lower-division undergraduates with an elementary understanding of world religions. R. Watts University of Arkansas at Monticello

Table of Contents

John BowkerGavin FloodPaul DundasEleanor NesbittDavid L. GoslingAdrian AbbottsRoger CorlessPaul IngramYoungsook PakXinzhong YaoJames Huntley GraysonJay SakashitaJonathan MagonetJohn BowkerDavid BowkerJohn BowkerDavid L. EdwardsDavid BowkerPenelope JohnstoneJohn Bowker
Introductionp. 8
Indian Religions and the Hindu Traditionp. 24
Jainismp. 54
Sikhismp. 64
India and Southeast Asiap. 72
Tibetp. 90
Chinap. 94
Japanp. 98
Koreap. 106
Chinese Religionp. 110
Korean Religionp. 144
Japanese Religionsp. 150
Judaismp. 180
Zarathustra and the Parsisp. 214
Mediterranean Religions
Classical Greek and Roman Religionp. 222
Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamiap. 226
Christianityp. 230
Norse Religionp. 246
Islamp. 270
New Religionsp. 304
Chronologiesp. 310
Bibliographyp. 320
Indexp. 326
Contributorsp. 335
Acknowledgmentsp. 336