Two powerful and interrelated transnational cultural expressions mark our epoch, Charismatic spirituality and global city. This book demonstrates how these two forces can be used to inform ethical design of cities and their common social lives to best support human flourishing, spirituality, and social and ecological wellbeing of their residents.
William Ward's account of the Hindu communities among whom he served as a Baptist missionary in Serampore in West Bengal was first published in 1811 and reprinted in this third edition in 1817. It was an extremely influential work that shaped British views of the newly defined entity of 'Hinduism' in the early nineteenth century. Ward and his fellow missionaries promoted social reforms and education, establishing the Serampore Mission Press in 1800 and Serampore College in 1818. Ward devoted twenty years to compiling his study of Hindu literature, history, mythology and religion, which was eventually published in four volumes. It provided richly detailed information, and was regarded as authoritative for the next fifty years. It is still an important source for researchers in areas including Indian history, British colonialism, Orientalism and religious studies.
Twenty-eight scholars, many of them well known in the sociology of religion, examine a variety of faith traditions and sociological topics that illustrate the connection between religion and society in many different countries at the dawn of the 21st century. The faith traditions include Judaism, Roman Catholicism, evangelical and mainstream Protestantism, Islam, Hinduism, Yuruba religion, Chinese religion, and several new religious movements, including a UFO cult in Quebec.
The book will be of interest to scholars in the sociology of religion, but a special feature is its utility as a reader in undergraduate and graduate courses. The topics represent the range usually presented in a course in the sociology of religion: individual religiosity, religious identity, conversion, plausibility structure, community, church and sect, religious leadership, organizational analysis, new religious movements, race, gender, religion and politics, and the relationship of religion to social order and social change.
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