The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies innovatively combines the ways in which scholars from fields as diverse as philosophy, psychology, religious studies, literary studies, history, sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics have integrated the study of Sikhism within a widerange of critical and postcolonial perspectives on the nature of religion, violence, gender, ethno-nationalism, and revisionist historiography. A number of essays within this collection also provide a more practical dimension, written by artists and practitioners of the tradition. The Handbook is divided into eight thematic sections that explore different "expressions" of Sikhism. Historical, literary, ideological, institutional, and artistic expressions are considered in turn, followed by discussion of Sikhs in the Diaspora, and of caste and gender in the Panth. Each sectionbegins with an essay by a prominent scholar in the field, providing an overview of the topic. Further essays provide detail and further treat the fluid, multivocal nature of both the Sikh past and the present. The Handbook concludes with a section considering future directions in SikhStudies.
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - BL1575 .E94 2013
With such ancient beginnings, Zoroastrianism is as remarkably enduring as it is venerable. It has also been influential beyond its own followers, interacting with other, younger faiths: especially their views on evil, messianic notions and ideas about the last days. The power of its sacred scriptures, the Gathas, and the resonance of the message of its founder, Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) transformed it from small beginnings into the principal religion of Iran until the advent of Islam. This richly illustrated book explores the chief themes of Zoroastrianism: its rise during the second millennium BCE; its doctrines, rituals and teachings; its growth into the foremost faith of the Achaemenid and Parthian empires; its consolidation under the Sasanians; its expansion east to China; and the impact it had on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. From Iran to the west coast of India, the story continues with the maritime exodus of the Zoroastrians and their settlement as an immigrant community (now called 'Parsis') under British colonial rule. With chapters by world-leading authorities, this is a vital record of the arts, literatures and cultures of one of the world's most fascinating religious traditions.
What we today call Shinto has been at the heart of Japanese culture for almost as long as there has been a political entity distinguishing itself as Japan. A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine describes the ritual cycle at Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki's major Shinto shrine. Conversations with priests, other shrine personnel, and people attending shrine functions supplement John K. Nelson's observations of over fifty shrine rituals and festivals. He elicits their views on the meaning and personal relevance of the religious events and the place of Shinto and Suwa Shrine in Japanese society, culture, and politics. Nelson focuses on the very human side of an ancient institution and provides a detailed look at beliefs and practices that, although grounded in natural cycles, are nonetheless meaningful in late-twentieth-century Japanese society. Nelson explains the history of Suwa Shrine, basic Shinto concepts, and the Shinto worldview, including a discussion of the Kami, supernatural forces that pervade the universe. He explores the meaning of ritual in Japanese culture and society and examines the symbols, gestures, dances, and meanings of a typical shrine ceremony. He then describes the cycle of activities at the shrine during a calendar year: the seasonal rituals and festivals and the petitionary, propitiary, and rite-of-passage ceremonies performed for individuals and specific groups. Among them are the Dolls' Day festival, in which young women participate in a procession and worship service wearing Heian period costumes; the autumn Okunchi festival, which attracts participants from all over Japan and even brings emigrants home for a visit; the ritual invoking the blessing of the Kami for young children; and the ritual sanctifying the earth before a building is constructed. The author also describes the many roles women play in Shinto and includes an interview with a female priest. Shinto has always been attentive to the protection of communities from unpredictable human and divine forces and has imbued its ritual practices with techniques and strategies to aid human life. By observing the Nagasaki shrine's traditions and rituals, the people who make it work, and their interactions with the community at large, the author shows that cosmologies from the past are still very much a part of the cultural codes utilized by the nation and its people to meet the challenges of today.
Call Number: GCC North -- GENERAL - BL1356 .C67 2011
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain laity. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." --Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies "Jains in the World is a significant and welcome ethnography of contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal of the American Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reason Jains in the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - E98 .E85 K45 2014
In contemporary Indian Country, many of the people who identify as "American Indian" fall into the "urban Indian" category: away from traditional lands and communities, in cities and towns wherein the opportunities to live one's identity as Native can be restricted, and even more so for American Indian religious practice and activity. Tradition, Performance, and Religion in Native America: Ancestral Ways, Modern Selves explores a possible theoretical model for discussing the religious nature of urbanized Indians. It uses aspects of contemporary pantribal practices such as the inter-tribal pow wow, substance abuse recovery programs such as the Wellbriety Movement, and political involvement to provide insights into contemporary Native religious identity. Simply put, this book addresses the question what does it mean to be an Indigenous American in the 21st century, and how does one express that indigeneity religiously? It proposes that practices and ideologies appropriate to the pan-Indian context provide much of the foundation for maintaining a sense of aboriginal spiritual identity within modernity. Individuals and families who identify themselves as Native American can participate in activities associated with a broad network of other Native people, in effect performing their Indian identity and enacting the values that are connected to that identity.
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - BL310 .H3 1998
The world-renowned classic that has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes. Edith Hamilton's mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture-the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present. We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognize reference points for countless works for art, literature and culture inquiry-from Freud's Oedipus complex to Wagner's Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra Both a reference text for scholars of all ages and a book to simply enjoy, Mythology is a classic not to be missed.
Call Number: GCC Main & North -- GENERAL - BP365 .M643 2008
In this clear, readable, and informative guide, Momen provides a vibrant introduction to all aspects of the Baha’i Faith, which now has over 5.5 million adherents. From the spiritual development of the individual to the belief in the need for world peace, Momen’s comprehensive study gives anyone interested in the contemporary religious landscape an authoritative insight into this 150-year old tradition. Dr Moojan Momen is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of both the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies and the Association for Baha’i Studies.
Call Number: GCC Main & Online -- GENERAL - BL1853 .S84 2013
Is Confucianism a religion? If so, why do most Chinese think it isn't? From ancient Confucian temples, to nineteenth-century archives, to the testimony of people interviewed by the author throughout China over a period of more than a decade, this book traces the birth and growth of the idea of Confucianism as a world religion. The book begins at Oxford, in the late nineteenth century, when Friedrich Max M#65533;ller and James Legge classified Confucianism as a world religion in the new discourse of "world religions" and the emerging discipline of comparative religion. Anna Sun shows how that decisive moment continues to influence the understanding of Confucianism in the contemporary world, not only in the West but also in China, where the politics of Confucianism has become important to the present regime in a time of transition. Contested histories of Confucianism are vital signs of social and political change. Sun also examines the revival of Confucianism in contemporary China and the social significance of the ritual practice of Confucian temples. While the Chinese government turns to Confucianism to justify its political agenda, Confucian activists have started a movement to turn Confucianism into a religion. Confucianism as a world religion might have begun as a scholarly construction, but are we witnessing its transformation into a social and political reality? With historical analysis, extensive research, and thoughtful reflection, Confucianism as a World Religion will engage all those interested in religion and global politics at the beginning of the Chinese century.