Author(s): Peter Stanford
Despite frequent prognostications regarding the death of God' and the triumph of secular materialism, religion remains a central component in the lives of most people around the world. There are currently thought to be 2 billion Christians, 1.2 billion Muslims, 800 million Hindus, along with some 700 million followers of other religions. 50 Religious Ideas You Really Need to Know offers a clear path through the conceptual and denominational thickets of global religion. Award-winning religious affairs correspondent Peter Stanford begins with an examination of sacred texts, the divine principle and good and evil, before moving on to a discussion of the different traditions within Christianity, Islam, Judaism and the myriad customs of the East. Contents: The Divine Principle, Baptists, Buddha's teachings, Sacred Texts, Presbyterians, Dhama, Good and Evil, Sects and cults, Forms of Buddhism, Life and Death, Rapture, Confucianism, Golden Rule, God & Torah, Taoism, Rites and Rituals, Anti-Semitism, Shintoism, Life of Christ, Kabbalah, Missionary impulse, God and Mammon, Being Jewish, Just War, Reformation, Mohammed, Church and State, Papacy, Pillars of Islam, Spirituality, Guilt and Misogyny, Shari'ah law, Fundamentalism, Holy Spirit, Sunni & Shia, Darwinist challenge, Saints and sinners, Sufism, People and Creation, Orthodoxy, Islamism, The poor, Lutheranism, Hindu trinity, Sea of faith, Anglicanism, Sansara, Methodism, Sikhs & Jains.
Peter Stanford is a former editor of the Catholic Herald (1988-1992), and now writes for a variety of papers including the Independent on Sunday, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Tablet.
Introduction. Common Ground: The God-shaped hole; Sacred texts; Good and evil; Life and death; The Golden Rule; Rites and rituals. Christianity: The life of Christ; God and Mammon; Reformation; The papacy; Guilt and misogyny; The Holy Spirit; Saints and Sinners; Orthodoxy. The Reformed Tradition: Luther and his successors; Anglicanism; Methodism; Baptists; Presbyterians; Sects and cults; Rapture. Judaism: Being Jewish; Jewish rites of passage; Kabbalah; Anti-Semitism. Islam: The birth of Islam; The Pillars of Islam; Sunni and Shi'a; The heart of Islam; Militant Islam. Eastern Traditions: The many faces of Hinduism; Hindu worship; Samsara; Jainism; Sikhism; Buddha and the Bodhi tree; Schools of Buddhism; Buddhist wheel of life; Confucianism; Confucius and the Communists; Taoism; Shintoism. Modern Dilemmas: Contemporary credos; Religion and science; Atheism; Stewards of creation; The just war; The missionary impulse; Spirituality; The future of religion. Glossary. Index.