Why is human suffering and the existence of evil part of the human experience? How does religious doctrine establish one’s identity? In what ways does religion interact with and shape the social order? This thought-provoking work ponders these questions and explores the concept of religion from various perspectives: as a tool for self and community-based spiritual awareness, as a set of practices that translates faith into interaction with others, and as a cornerstone of society for those who seek to harness—or hinder—its influence.
Written in accessible and inviting language, each volume focuses on a particular dimension of religion. The first book examines religious experience in the modern world and explores suffering in religious faiths, the second volume centers around ritual and pilgrimage, and the last book analyzes the controversial relationship between religion and societies. The content features such thought-provoking topics as death and green burials, sexuality and sex trade, and how and why evil manifests in the human experience.
- Features original essays on religious experience across a wide spectrum of social, cultural, and political environments
- Considers the social performance and effects of ritual
- Includes content based on fieldwork in North America, South America, Europe, China, the Philippines, South Africa, Morocco, and Lebanon
- Reveals how the culture of professional sports compares to traditional religious cultures
- Connects religion with the cultural interpretations of body images and politics