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A Concise Introduction to World Religions.

A Concise Introduction to World Religions. Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, editors. Oxford University Press. [pounds sterling]36.99 p.b. ix + 584 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-542207-8. This title, which is published only in paperback, originated with OUP Canada. It argues that without due attention to religion, one cannot understand the modern world. The panel of eight scholars, all from either Canada or the US, examine eight 'traditions' and two 'religions'. The traditions are: indigenous, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist. The two 'religions' are: Chinese (Confucianism and Daoism), and Korean and Japanese. There is, finally, an essay by the editors on 'the nature of religion'. The entries present a wide range of information in a clear manner and in an easily digested format. The approach is on the whole balanced although one notes that when talking about 'women and gender' in Christianity, Mr Oxtoby wrote that the 'Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches ... do not yet [reviewer's italics] ordain women'. One could just as accurately say that those churches have not yet adopted human sacrifice. (J.M.)
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2007
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