This second edition, which is intended to reflect both changes in academia and in the world since 1987, includes almost all of the 2,750 original entries -- many heavily updated -- as well as approximately 600 entirely new articles. Preserving the best of Eliade's cross-cultural approach, while emphasizing religion's role within everyday life and as a unique experience from culture to culture, this new edition is the definitive work in the field for the 21st century. An international team of scholars and contributors have reviewed, revised and added to every word of the classic work, making it relevant to the questions and interests of all researchers. The result is an essential purchase for libraries of all kinds.
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2005 - Booklist Editors' Choice Reference Title
"Indispensable for students and scholars in many disciplines...The editors serve the interests of both the educated general reader and religious specialists and scholars. "
"With all its comprehensiveness and sophistication, it is still accessible to high school students doing reports on individual religions."
"The first edition of this work was published to considerable acclaim in 1987. For this revising, all 2,750 entries were reviewed. While a few were eliminated, the remainder were put in one of two categories: retained with few changes (1,800) or significantly revised, either by the original or by a new author. These are identifiable by the date at the end of the article. There are 600 new topics in this edition on healing and medicine with an overview and separate articles from Africa to Australia. There is a new 21-part composite section on gender and religion, a new article on genetics and religion, and even coverage of clerical sexual abuse in the United States. The article on homosexuality has surprisingly not been revised or updated. Overall, the end result is a very satisfying one which should serve a new generation of students in the 21st century.\n"
"A fine example of keeping a landmark reference alive, rather than allowing it to be overtaken by new developments and new insights.\n-Booklist, February 2006"
"According to the editor, this revision of a genuine encyclopedia that would introduce educated, non-specialist readers to important ideas, practices, and persons in the religious experience of humankind from the Paleolithic past to our day came about after a careful review of all the entries in the first edition. Some were retained as they were, others had revised bibliographies, while still others were rewritten and updated. The short essays are written in lay language that will be understood by many high school students, and the content will be a good introduction and direction for further studies. The list of articles at the beginning of the set includes the authors and the date the entry was written. The signed articles have \'See Also\' references and bibliographies. Some charts, black-and-white illustrations, and a few pages of color plates illustrate the volumes. Volume 15 has a Synoptic Outline of Contents. Unless you are a librarian in a large religious high school, the purchase of this well-documented resource is one of those items that should be shared either within a larger school district or with a local public library."