Religion in Southeast Asia

An Encyclopedia of Faiths and Cultures

by Jesudas M. Athyal, Editor


Southeast Asia is home to most of the world's religions.

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Cover image for Religion in Southeast Asia

March 2015


Pages 396
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/Comparative
  World History/Religion

This engaging encyclopedia covers the religions and religious traditions of various Southeast Asian countries, including Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In this unprecedented profile of the religions of Southeast Asia, scholars from around the world explore the faiths, spiritual practices, and theological dogmas of the region. The book contains a fascinating collection of accurate, detailed articles; informative sidebars; and an extensive list of reference materials, all of which uncover beliefs in that part of the world. Discussions of ancient religions, combined with a look at contemporary trends, feature topics such as religious fundamentalism, secularism, and globalization.

Through 150 alphabetically arranged entries, this encyclopedia investigates the religions and religious traditions of countries such as Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines, among others. Written in an accessible style, this comprehensive reference looks at a variety of belief systems, including Buddhism, Confucianism, tribal practices, Hinduism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism. A selected, general bibliography offers a listing of the most important print and electronic resources on the topic.


  • Promotes respect for cultural diversity by helping students learn about the religious traditions important to many Asian Americans
  • Highlights important information about countries, cultures, religious practices, and key figures in 50 sidebars
  • Examines a variety of religions in Southeast Asia
  • Includes contributions from American, European, and Asian scholars
Author Info

Jesudas M. Athyal, PhD, is visiting researcher at the Center for Global Christianity & Mission, Boston University School of Theology. He was previously associate professor of Dalit theology and social analysis at the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College in India. His published works include the first two volumes of Oxford Encyclopedia of South Asian Christianity; The Community We Seek: Perspectives on Mission; and Religion, State & Communalism: A Post-Ayodhya Reflection. Athyal holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Poona.



"Presenting a topic that is riddled with nuances so it is accessible to nonspecialist readers is not an easy task. From this perspective, this single-volume reference is a welcome edition for high school students and general readers."Booklist

"[T]he volume certainly fills a void in reference works dealing exclusively with the concerns of faith and culture. The treatment is especially appropriate for reference collections serving high school students and undergraduates. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate students and general readers."Choice

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Other Titles of Interest

Essential Buddhism cover imageThe Emergence of Buddhism cover imageEssential Hinduism cover image
Southeast Asia cover imageBuddhism in World Cultures cover imageChinese Religions in Contemporary Societies cover image

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