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Abridged from the acclaimed Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date dictionary of religion available in paperback. Written by an expert team of contributors, the volume contains over 8,200 entries, an extensive topic index, and an original and in-depth introductory essay. The book is unparalleled in its coverage of all religions both past and present, studying themes such as asceticism, biogenetics, cosmology, and music and dance. Containing entries on religions, movements, sects, and cults, texts, individuals, sacred sites, customs, and ethics, this dictionary provides the most comprehensive and accessible reference available in paperback, indispensable for anyone interested in the world's many religions.