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What, exactly, is religion? And why does one religious tradition often differ so markedly from another, even when you might not expect it to? Why, for example, are the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-despite their common source-often so different? And what kinds of factors separate the beliefs of a Hindu or Buddhist not only from those held by Jews, Christians, or Muslims, or by each other, but also from many who identify themselves as fellow Hindus or Buddhists?
Every day, religion affects your life, whether directly or indirectly.
It forms the foundation for a wide range of moral codes.
It is the driving force behind the conduct of many individuals.
It can influence the actions of nations on the world stage.
It can affect the public and private lives of citizens through religiously based acts of governance.
At a time when religion and religiously grounded issues are so prevalent in public and private life, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of augmenting your understanding of this powerful force and its impact on so many. It’s also difficult to get a solid working knowledge of the beliefs that unite and divide us-as well as the perspective from the other side of these divisions.
The 24 lectures of Comparative Religion offer you an opportunity to gain a solid grasp of the key ideas of religion itself-the issues that repeatedly surface when you look at any faith’s beliefs, practices, and organization. Using five major religions-Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism-as illustrations of how religions can address the same core issues in parallel and different ways, award-winning Professor Charles Kimball of the University of Oklahoma leads you on an exploration of religion’s complex and multidimensional nature.
It’s an exploration that can strengthen the interpersonal understanding that underlies your daily relationships, enhance your perception of events in a diverse world, and deepen your appreciation of your own beliefs and the traditions followed by others.