Religious Diversity Today
Experiencing Religion in the Contemporary World
by Jean-Guy A. Goulet, General Editor Liam D. Murphy and Anastasia Panagakos, Editors
December 2015, 910pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3331-1
$224, £173, 195€, A307
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3332-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

How does religion interact with and shape the social order of humanity?

This insightful three-volume set examines faith through the social and cultural perspective of anthropology, sociology, and religious studies, shedding light on the role of religion in the human experience.

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
Jean-Guy A. Goulet, PhD, is professor of conflict studies at Saint Paul University. His published works include Ways of Knowing: Experience, Knowledge, and Power among the Dene Tha; Being Changed by Cross-Cultural Encounters: The Anthropology of Extraordinary Experience; and Extraordinary Anthropology: Transformations in the Field. He received his doctorate in social and cultural anthropology from Yale University.

Liam D. Murphy, PhD, is professor of anthropology at California State University, Sacramento. His published works include Believing in Belfast: Charismatic Christianity After the Troubles andA History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition. He received his doctorate in social and cultural anthropology from Yale University.

Anastasia Panagakos, PhD, is professor of anthropology at Cosumnes River College. Her published works include Romancing the Homeland: Transnational Lifestyles and Gender in the Greek Diaspora and numerous journal articles on transnational identities, gender, place, and culture. She received her doctorate in anthropology and women's studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


"This wide-ranging collection is accessible to undergraduates and illustrates how theoretical frameworks help one better understand the vast range and variety of spiritual expression. . . . [S]tudents of religion will find this a useful and interesting collection. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels; general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2016
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.