Battleground: Religion
by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, Editor
December 2008, 480pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34098-7
$203, £157, 177€, A279
eBook Available: 978-1-57356-956-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This work covers the impact that religion has had on the most hotly contested debates in the contemporary world.

Is there a controversial issue in the contemporary world that does not involve religion? Whether it’s a debate over the beginning of life, or on sexuality and family life, or on the stewardship of humans over the environment, almost all of the most contentious matters that impact today’s society involve people’s deeply held religious beliefs. Battleground: Religion helps clarify these complex topics by examining how various religious beliefs and practices impact current political, social, and cultural debates. Each of the approximately 100 entries examines a hot-button issue—from war and peace to the culture wars—and discusses, in a balanced and objective way, the points of view on these topics from all parts of the religious spectrum. Students will come away from Battleground: Religion with a better understanding of the issues that they will be encountering for years to come.

Each entry includes a bibliography or resources for further information.


"The 72 signed entries by scholars in the field provide a brief, middle-of-the-road assessment of each issue. The 'further reading' lists provide some excellent written and online materials for research at many levels. Cross-references within some articles are a big help. Material on liberation theology is especially well presented. The general bibliography could have been more expansive. This set provides good, basic material for a wide range of readers and researchers. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice, July 1, 2009

"The Battleground series provides references to inform debate on major issues in the US, and the topic of these volumes is the impact of religion on modern social and political issues. Entries present data and summarize positions on such matters as abortion, capitalism and socialism, deep ecology and radical environmentalism, health reform movements, Nation of Islam, right-wing extremism, same-sex marriage, and vegetarianism as religious witness. They are written by scholars of religion, literature, culture, and other disciplines and by religious practitioners. Extensive topic-specific bibliographies are provided, along with some cross-references. The two volumes are paged and indexed together."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2009
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