Coming Soon!
Religion and World Civilizations
How Faith Shaped Societies from Antiquity to the Present
by Andrew Holt, Editor
June 2023, 1020pp, 8 1/2x11
3 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7423-9
$352, £271, 307€, A483
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7424-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The impact of religious belief on social and cultural norms has not been limited in time or place but has been a global phenomenon throughout recorded human history. Although increasingly challenged by modern secularism and atheism, the influence of religion on people’s lives remains strong in the modern world as well.

Providing an indispensable resource for readers investigating how religion has influenced societies and cultures, this encyclopedia considers the impact of religion on 24 societies or cultures spanning from the ancient world to the present day.

This work provides a three-volume overview of the ways in which religious faith has shaped societies from the ancient world until the present. Each volume focuses on a different era of world history, ranging through the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds, and includes essays that focus on religious themes from different geographical regions. For example, volume one offers a section with essays considering religion in ancient Rome, while volume three offers a section with essays considering religion in modern Africa. Such a layout makes it simple for a reader to find information about a particular religion in a particular era and place.

Altogether, this work gathers more than 500 essays from more than 150 scholars offering scholarly introductions to religious people, places, and events that have influenced the development of societies over the course of recorded human history.


  • Contains focused sections considering the impact of religion on 24 distinct cultures around the world spanning the course of recorded human history.
  • Offers three volumes divided by eras (ancient, medieval, and modern) and civilizations (e.g. Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Medieval Arab Civilization, Medieval Africa, Pre-Columbian Societies, Modern North America, etc.), allowing for easy navigation.
  • Each of the 24 sections contains essays offering scholarly introductions to important religious figures, beliefs, people, places, and events and their impact on the societies in which they exist.
  • Each essay also provides a Further Reading section to guide the reader to worthwhile research resources on the subject in question.
Andrew P. Holt, PhD, teaches history at Florida State College at Jacksonville and Norwich University. He is the author or editor of six books or multi-volume encyclopedias including Greenwood's The World of the Crusades: A Daily Life Encyclopedia and (with co-editor Florin Curta) ABC-CLIO's Great Events in Religion: An Encyclopedia of Pivotal Events in Religious History.
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