This cool, clear-sighted comparative study has no theological axe to grind. It offers a trusty thematic guide to the figureheads of three of the largest religions in the world. * The comparative approach is descriptive and even-handed, highlighting both similarities and differences across a range of major areas. * The thematic chapters cover: early life, followers, the core message, political attitudes, relations with women, and death. * The engaging writing and descriptive approach make this an ideal text for students, instructors and general readers.
Paul Gwynne is Lecturer in Comparative Religion in the General Education Program at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where he is also affiliated to the Law School. He has taught theology and religious studies in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, and Melbourne, Australia. Dr Gwynne is the author of World Religions in Practice: A Comparative Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and Special Divine Action (1996).
Preface ix Notes xiv Maps xv 1 Sources 1 The Delay in Writing 1 Gospel Portraits 6 Qur an, Sira and Hadith 11 Observations 16 2 Context 23 The Ganges Plain 23 Roman Palestine 28 Arabia Deserta 34 Observations 37 3 Early Years 44 Heir to the Throne 44 Son of the Carpenter 49 Orphan and Merchant 54 Observations 58 4 Turning Point 65 The Four Sights 65 Waters of the Jordan 71 Night of Power 75 Observations 80 5 Message 88 Four Noble Truths 88 Kingdom of God 94 The Straight Path 100 Observations 106 6 Miracles 114 Iddhi 114 The Finger of God 118 One or Many? 122 Observations 127 7 Followers 134 The Third Jewel 134 The Twelve Disciples 141 Companions 147 Observations 154 8 Women 163 The Renunciation 163 Eunuch for the Kingdom 168 Mothers of the Faithful 174 Observations 179 9 Politics 185 The Enemy Within 185 Messiah 191 Ruler of Arabia 196 Observations 204 10 Death 212 The Blacksmith s Meal 212 Cross and Tomb 218 In A isha s arms 226 Observations 230 Conclusion 238 Further Reading 245 References 251 Index 255