In Introduction to Religious Studies, Harvey J. Sindima provides an unconventional approach to the study of world religions. Often, books and courses on religious studies focus on the major world religions. This approach, however, frequently ignores other religious experiences, such as those of various African groups as well as the indigenous people of the Americas and Australia. These less widespread religions are commonly described in pejorative terms such as 'primitive religions' or 'non-literate religions.' Focusing solely on well-known religions is an approach that impoverishes religious studies and deprives students of the enormous wealth of religious knowledge of the world. Introduction to Religious Studies pulls together the diverse religious experience of Africans, Native Americans, and the indigenous peoples of Australia in order to provide a comprehensive introduction to the study of religion and broaden the horizons of religious studies students. Under each theme or topic, examples are drawn from religions of salvation as well as African and Native American religious traditions.
This book provides students with a deep, wide, and very rich introduction to religious studies.
Harvey J. Sindima is a professor of philosophy and religion and Presidential Scholar at Colgate University. He is the author of numerous books and articles in academic journals. His latest books include The Gospel According to the Marginalized (2008), Reclaiming Christianity in the Twenty-first Century: Building A Spiritual Powerhouse (2007), and The Gospel According to John (2006).
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1. Why Study Religion Chapter 3 2. What is Religion Chapter 4 3. The Elements of Religion Chapter 5 4. Celebration and Divination Chapter 6 5. Scripture Chapter 7 6. Religions Functionaries Chapter 8 7. Magic, Sorcery, and Witchcraft Chapter 9 8. Sacred Time, Objects, and Space Chapter 10 9. Living Within the Sacred Chapter 11 Works Cited Chapter 12 Index