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A Comparative Study of Religions

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This books is the result of concerted teamwork among the academia staff of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi between 1986 and 1990. The Project was prompted by the necessity to produce relevant and comprehensive textbooks for the undergraduate degree programme. The book has remained in demand, confirming the relevance and quality of its content covering the whole range of major religions of the world with extensive geographical and historical acope. It includes a specific section on African Religion, thus placing the African Religious Heritage within the mainstream of the comparative study of the world�s religions.

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Published 29 December 2010
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EAN13 9789966792389
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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# %1/2#4#6+8' 567&; 1( 4'.+)+105 Second Edition Edited by J.N.K. Mugambi
University of Nairobi Press
First published 1990 by University of Nairobi Press Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library University of Nairobi P.O. Box 30197 – 00100 Nairobi E-mail: nup@uonbi.ac.ke http://www.uonbi.ac.ke/press The University of Nairobi Press supports and promotes the University’s objectives of discovery, dissemination and preservation of knowledge and stimulation of intellectual and cultural life by publishing works of the highest quality in association with partners in different parts of the world. In doing so, it adheres to the university’s tradition of excellence, innovation, and scholarship. The moral rights of the authors have been asserted. © Jesse Ndwiga Kanya Mugambi, 1990.  Second Edition 2010 All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of fully acknowledged short passages for the purposes of criticism, review, research or teaching, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the University of Nairobi Press. University of Nairobi Library CIP Data A Comparative Study of religion Ed. J.N.K. Mugambi – Nairobi: Nairobi University Press, 1990 299p. Second Edition: University of Nairobi Press, 2010 399p. Includes bibliography and index 1.Religions 2. Religion, Comparative. I.Mugambi, Jesse N.K. BL 80.2.c6 ISBN 9966 846 89 1 Printed by Starbright Services Limited P.O Box 66949 – 00200, Nairobi
6CDNG QH %QPVGPVU List of Contributors ............................................................................... viiPreface to the Second Edition ................................................................ ix
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1. 2.
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5GEVKQP +8 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
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)GPGTCN +PVTQFWEVKQP CPF 6JGQTKGU QH VJG 1TKIKP QH 4GNKIKQP   The Scope of Comparative Religion........................................... 3Theories of the Origin of Religion............................................ 15
4GNKIKQPU QH 2TG.KVGTCVG 2GQRNGU 1WVUKFG #HTKEC    Religion of the Eskimos ........................................................... 25Religion of the Indigenous Australians .................................... 31Religion of the Indigenous Americans ..................................... 35
#HTKECP 4GNKIKQP   Earlier Studies of African Religion .......................................... 45Nature and Structure of African Religion................................. 51The Conception of God in African Religion ............................ 55The Conceptions of Divinities and Spirits ............................... 61
4GNKIKQPU QH +PFKC    Pre-Vedic Elements in Hinduism ............................................. 69Vedic Hinduism........................................................................ 75Classical Hinduism................................................................... 83Origins and Teachings of Jainism............................................. 95The Lay Aspect of Jainism ..................................................... 105The Origins of Buddhism ....................................................... 111The Enlightenment of the Buddha.......................................... 117The Philosophical Foundation of Buddhist Teaching............. 123The Spread of Buddhism, and its Scriptures........................... 131The Origin of Sikhism ............................................................ 137Sikhism after Nanak ............................................................... 143
4GNKIKQPU QH VJG (CT 'CUV   Confucianism ......................................................................... 153Taoism.................................................................................... 161
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Shintoism................................................................................ 167Mahayana Buddhism .............................................................. 171The Spread of Mahayana Buddhism to Northern Lands........ 179Some of the Main Sects of Buddhism in Japan...................... 185Buddhism in Tibet .................................................................. 191
4GNKIKQPU QH VJG 0GCT 'CUV    The Rise of Zoroastrianism..................................................... 199The Teachings of Zarathustra ................................................. 205The Evolution of Judaism ....................................................... 215Basic Teachings and Practice of Judaism ............................... 225The Religious and Cultural Background of Early Christianity ............................................................................. 239Christ and the Church He Founded......................................... 245Growth and Spread of Christianity ......................................... 253The Religious Heritage of Arabia Before and During Muhammad’s Time................................................................. 261Muhammad as the Founder of Islam ...................................... 269Islam: A Living World Religion ............................................. 277
5GEVKQP 8++ %QORCTCVKXG 5VWF[ QH 5QOG /CLQT 6JGOGU    38.285Creative Act of God................................................................ 39. Forms of Theism..................................................................... 29540. Models of Relationship........................................................... 30541. The Nature and Destiny of Man.............................................. 31542. Good and Evil......................................................................... 32543. Salvation ................................................................................. 33544. Death ...................................................................................... 34145. Immortality of the Soul........................................................... 349
5GEVKQP 8+++ 6JG 2TGUGPV 5VCVG QH 4GNKIKQP CPF (WVWTG 2TQURGEVU  46. The State of Religion in the Contemporary World ................. 35747. The Future of Religion............................................................ 365Bibliography .................................................................................... 373Index ................................................................................................ 379
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B.J. Ekeya, B.A. (St. Joseph M.N.), M.A. (Collegeville, M.N.), Ph.D. (Nairobi). Former Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, Egerton University. Author of Chapters 30, 31. Former Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi. E.M. Kasiera, B.A. (Springfield, MO), M.A. (Concordia, MO), MTh. (Princeton), Ph.D (Aberdeen). Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, Moi University. Author of Chapters 1–5, 10–12. Formerly, Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi. S.G. Kibicho(Deceased), B.A., M.Div. (Louisville), Ph.D. (Vanderbilt) was Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi. Author of Chapters 6–9, 13–20, 24–27. J.N.K. Mugambi, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Nairobi). Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and former Academic Registrar, University of Nairobi. Author of Chapters 35, 36, 46 and 47. Former Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts, former Chairman, Department of Religious Studies. Professor Extraordinarius, University of South Africa. Former visiting Mellon distinguished Professor, Rice University. He served as Visiting Professor of Theology at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, U.S.A. His books include:The African Religious Heritage (Co-author, 1976);Ecumenical Initiatives in Eastern Africa (Co-author, 1982);God, Humanity and Nature(Author, 1987);Death and Burial in Modern Kenya (Co-editor, 1989);The Biblical Basis for Evangelization (Author, 1989); African Christian Theology(Author, 1989);African Heritage and Contemporary Christianity1989); (Author, The Church in African Christianity(Co-editor, 1990).
G.E.M. Ogutu, B.A. (Makerere), M.A., Ph.D. (Nairobi). Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi, Author of Chapters 32–34.
J.J. Ongong’a, M.A., Ph.D. (Urbanian). Senior Lecturer and Chairman, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Kenyatta University. Author of Chapters 38–45. His books include:Christian Religious Education Book IV (Co-Author, 1990).
D.W. Waruta, B.A. (Hardin, Simmons), M.A. (Nairobi), D.Ed. (Southwestern Baptist Thological Seminary). Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi. Author of Chapters 21–23, 28–29; 37. Formerly Principle, Baptist Theological Seminary, Arusha, Tanzania.
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This Second Edition has been published in response to popular demand for the book within universities, seminaries, theological colleges and pastoral institutes. Following its publication in 1990, the first edition went through several reprints, to the extent that the supply could not meet the demand. Although it was originally written as a textbook for the undergraduate course on Comparative Study of Religions at the University of Nairobi, it rapidly became a core textbook in other universities, seminaries, theological colleges and pastoral institutes. The book eventually became required reading in other courses at various institutions, as a pre-requisite for various syllabi in which the study of religion in general is essential, such as Phenomenology of Religion, Philosophy of Religion, Sociology of Religion and Psychology of Religion. The unique features of this book include the following: It is the only book presenting African Religion abreast of other religions of the world, without prejudice, denigration or exaggeration. Its scope is geographical rather than historical, thus avoiding the idiosyncrasy if social and religious evolutionism. Its content is written by a team of scholars each focusing on a set of units which cover the cultural and religious heritage of a particular geographical religion. Its emphasis is phenomenological rather than doctrinal, which makes it appealing to readers belonging to any and all religions. Although it is written primarily for students of world religions it covers all major religions with adequate depth to satisfy those majoring in each of those religions.