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This comprehensive and engaging introduction to the anthropology of religion brings together a rich and balanced collection of classic and contemporary readings. Ideal for courses in the anthropology of religion or comparative religion, this exceptional anthology not only gives students the tools to analyze and comprehend religion but also enables them to consider religion's major role in contemporary world affairs.
Organized topically, Sacred Realms: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion, Second Edition, covers twelve major areas in faith, religion, and belief. Demonstrating the breadth and variety of human religious experience, the essays are written by authors from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds and include vivid ethnographic examples drawn from field studies around the world. The readings range from classic contributions by Bronislaw Malinowski, Horace Miner, and Anthony F. C. Wallace to more recent selections including one on the Rajneeshee by Charles Lindholm and articles on Sufism, witches, and American raves. The volume concludes with a unique section by the editors that describes the basic facets of five of the world's most influential religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The editors also provide helpful background material throughout; their general introduction encourages students to approach religion as an objective human experience rather than from the perspective of their own upbringings, while overviews to each of the text's six parts place subjects in context and highlight key issues. Essay introductions identify the author's perspective, the article's major points, and the questions the essay raises.
New to the second edition of Sacred Realms is a section on the intersection of religion and politics, which includes a classic article by Raymond Firth as well as recent articles on issues in Korea and the Middle East. This edition also features a world map at the front of the book--referencing locations in each essay, by number--and a glossary of terms at the end of the book. An Instructor's Manual on CD is available to adopters.