Religion in Five Minutes
Religion in Five Minutes provides an accessible and lively introduction to the questions about religion and religious behaviour that interest most of us, whether or not we personally identify with -- or practice -- a religion. Suitable for beginning students and the general reader, the book offers more than 60 brief essays on a wide range of fascinating questions about religion and its study, such as: How did religion start? What religion is the oldest? Who are the Nones? Why do women seem to play lesser roles in many religions? What’s the difference between a religion and a cult? Is Europe less religious than North America? Is Buddhism a philosophy? How do we study religions of groups who no longer exist? Each essay is written by a leading authority and offers succinct, insightful answers along with suggestions for further reading, making the book an ideal starting point for classroom use or personal browsing.
Published: Aug 21, 2017
Religion in Five Minutes is an excellent collection of the questions so many people have but never dare to ask—journalists, policymakers, practitioners, and, yes, also students of religion. The answers given by well-known experts in the field are straight to the point, candid, and accessible. Browsing through this book will make readers eager to spend more than five minutes on the fascinating and enigmatic thing we call 'religion'.
Kocku von Stuckrad, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Religion in 5 Minutes presents a new way to gain a comprehensive grasp of the complex and fascinating field of Religious Studies. By answering 81 sincere and direct questions of students in short, eloquent texts devoid of jargon, the book makes decades of academic research and theory accessible to everyone. Here is a text that will not only be very useful to beginning students but will also help scholars and researchers explain their work more precisely and effectively.
Naomi Goldenberg, Professor of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa
At last! At last! The perfect resource I never dreamed of having in one convenient place has come along. I get dozens of these questions each time I teach a class, and now I have an informative, scholarly, reliable source that also happens to be thoroughly inviting to students. I plan to assign this book in both introductory and more advanced courses. This is hands down a ‘must-have’ for every Religious Studies department but, more importantly, every school, hospital or healthcare center, government office and definitely newsroom should have a copy on hand. Beautifully executed and brilliantly conceived, this is so much more than simply a handbook. Each article also provides a robust springboard into higher-level meta-conversations about why students are asking these particular questions and how and why they (and many others) frame ‘religion’ in the manner that they do.
Sarah McFarland Taylor, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Northwestern University