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Books and Media:
Reviews on religion and philosophy




Asian Religion and Philosophy


Taoism: The Enduring Tradition

by Kirkland, Russell

This clear and reliable introduction to Taoism brings a fresh dimension to a tradition that has found a natural place in Western society. Examining Taoist sacred texts together with current scholarship, it surveys Taoism's ancient roots, contemporary heritage and role in daily life. From Taoism's spiritual philosophy to its practical perspectives on life and death, self cultivation, morality, society, leadership and gender, Russell Kirkland's essential guide reveals the real contexts behind concepts such as Feng Shui and Tai Chi. Order



Religions of South Asia: An Introduction
by Mittal, Sushil; Gene Thursby


South Asia is home to many of the world's most vibrant religious faiths. It is also one of the most dynamic and historically rich regions on earth, where changing political and social structures have caused religions to interact and hybridise in unique ways. This comprehensive and accessible textbook introduces the contemporary religions of South Asia, from the indigenous religions such as the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh traditions, to incoming influences such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In ten chapters, it surveys the nine leading belief systems of South Asia and explains their history, practices, values and worldviews. A final chapter helps students relate what they have learnt to religious theory, paving the way for future study. All chapters are specially designed to aid cross-religious comparison, following a standard format covering set topics and issues; the book reveals to students the core principles of each faith, compares it to neighbouring traditions, and its particular place in South Asian history and society.


Religions of China in Practice

by Lopez, Donald S.

This volume demonstrates that the "three religions" of China--Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism (with a fourth, folk religion, sometimes added) -- are not mutually exclusive: they overlap and interact with each other in a rich variety of ways. The volume also illustrates some of the many interactions between Han culture and the cultures designated by the current government as "minorities." Selections from minority cultures here, for instance, are the folktale of Ny Dan the Manchu Shamaness and a funeral chant of the Yi nationality collected by local researchers in the early 1980s. Each of the forty unusual selections, from ancient oracle bones to stirring accounts of mystic visions, is preceded by a substantial introduction. Stephen Teiser provides a general introduction in which the major themes and categories of the religions of China are analyzed. The book represents an attempt to move from one conception of the "Chinese spirit" to a picture of many spirits, including a Laozi who acquires magical powers and eventually ascends to heaven in broad daylight; the white-robed Guanyin, one of the most beloved Buddhist deities in China; and the burning-mouth hungry ghost. The book concludes with a section on "earthly conduct." Order



Chinese Thought: An Introduction

by Bishop, Donald

Reprint of a useful textbook in which specialists overview the nature and course of Chinese thought since pre-confucian times. Consideration is also given to 20th century Chinese philosophers outside the mainland and to the Chinese contribution to world thought. For the student or serious general reader. Order



Hinduism
by Sen, Kshiti Mohan

2005 reissue of the 1961 classic study of Hinduism, with a new introduction by the author's grandson Amartya Sen, Master of Trinity, Cambridge. This book, written for the general reader, sets out the history of Hinduism from its Indus Valley origins in the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE, and traces its widespread and diverse development. The impacts of other contiguous religions are also discussed. With extracts from Hindu scriptures and index.

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Hindu Gods: The Spirit of the Divine
by Hemenway, Priya


Over centuries, the stories of the Hindu gods have evolved into great epcs filled with adventure romance, and wisdom. From Brahma the Creator and Lakshmi the Goddess of Fortune to Durga the Invincible, each deity has a story to tell and an important lesson to teach. In the pages of this book you'll meet the most colorful figures of the Hindu pantheon. Each profile is paired with an Indian miniature painting, making this a colorful celebration of the spirit of the Hindu gods.


Islam: The Basics
by Turner, Colin


With nearly 1,500 years of history and culture to its name, Islam is one of the world's great faiths, and in modern times, the subject of increasingly passionate debate by believers and non-believers alike. This volume gives an overview of the history of Islam, introduces all aspects of Muslim belief and practice, and discusses the relevance of Islam today through chapters that explore: the life of Prophet Muhammad; the Koran and its teachings; gender in Islam; Sufism and Shi'ism; Islam and the modern world; non-Muslim approaches to Islam; spirituality in Islam. With glossary, reading list, chronology of key dates and index.


Inside Islam: 101 Questions & Answers
by Shaik Kadir


This is a guidebook that has been structured into a Q&A format. Written in chapters with specific headings, it enables readers to find the answers to their queries on different aspects of Islam. Muslims and non-Muslims alike can easily learn about and understand the origins of Islam, its fundamental philosophy and basic religious tenets.


The Living I Ching, Using Ancient Chinese Wisdom to Shape Your Life
by Deng Ming-Dao


The I Ching or Book of Changes has been known in China for more than 3000 years and it is used by many Chinese as tool for predicting the future. Its basic premises are simple: that all the world changes, that change is driven by impersonal forces that can be seen in terms of yin and yang, and that all change is cyclical. The expression of yin and yang is often associated with Taoism, and it is right then that a leading authority on Taoist practice and philosophy has produced this new, accessible English translation of the I Ching for the general reader.