Can Islam be located on a map? Is Europe the center of the Christian world? Is India a Hindu nation? While decades ago these questions were often answered in the affirmative, the truth has never been that simple. Not only are adherents of particular faiths spread across the globe, but there are many variations of a particular faith practiced side by side. This has only become more true in recent years as the pace of globalization has quickened. The essays collected here provide brief and accessible introductions to the major world religions in their global contexts. The volume begins with an introduction to the globalization of religion by Mark Juergensmeyer, and is followed by individual essays on Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and local religious societies. The book concludes with three essays reflecting on the global religious scene. Taken together, these essays provide a concise, authoritative, and highly readable introduction to the state of worldwide religion in the 21st century.
About the Author
Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and director of the Global and International Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his many publications are Terror in the Mind of God: The Rise of Religious Violence (2000) and Gandhi's Way: A Handbook of Conflict Resolution (2002).