Religion and Everyday Life and Culture

by Richard D. Hecht and Vincent F. Biondo, Editors


Religions help during rites of passage, from birth and childhood through adulthood and death. They also influence politics and culture, playing a role in everything from elections and wars to music and art. Religious rituals maintain our history and identity and also provide symbols for revolutionary change. They can create a sense of community and add meaning to life.

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Cover image for Religion and Everyday Life and Culture

March 2010


Pages 1132
Volumes 3
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Religion/General

This intriguing three-volume set explores the ways in which religion is bound to the practice of daily life and how daily life is bound to religion.

In Religion and Everyday Life and Culture, 36 international scholars describe the impact of religious practices around the world, using rich examples drawn from personal observation. Instead of repeating generalizations about what religion should mean, these volumes examine how religions actually influence our public and private lives "on the ground," on a day-to-day basis.

Volume one introduces regional histories of the world's religions and discusses major ritual practices, such as the Catholic Mass and the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Volume two examines themes that will help readers understand how religions interact with the practices of public life, describing the ways religions influence government, education, criminal justice, economy, technology, and the environment. Volume three takes up themes that are central to how religions are realized in the practices of individuals. In these essays, readers meet a shaman healer in South Africa, laugh with Buddhist monks, sing with Bob Dylan, cheer for Australian rugby, and explore Chicana and Iranian art.


  • Includes contributions from 36 scholars from a dozen countries around the globe


  • Explores the ways in which religion is bound to the practice of daily life and also how daily life is bound to religion
  • Examines the influence of religion on art and music, culture, healing, education, sports, and more
  • Describes and analyzes actual religious practices and effects of religion on real people and things the world over
  • Encourages students and general readers to think critically about the influence of religion on daily life
Author Info

Richard D. Hecht is professor of religious studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his publications are The Sacred Texts of the World: A Universal Anthology and To Rule Jerusalem.

Vincent F. Biondo is assistant professor of western religious traditions at California State University, Fresno. In 2009, he served as Fulbright Scholar to the U.K. in Cardiff, researching Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.



"Recommended for public and academic libraries holding strong religious studies collections and for more specialized facilities, such as seminary libraries."Library Journal

"This book should be especially useful for religious studies sections of academic libraries and larger public libraries. ... Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."Choice

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