Join the faculty authors of CSU, Chico's Department of Religious Studies as they explore a range of exciting and provocative issues in religious studies and related disciplines. The following books are available for purchase from bookstores across the country. The links below will take you to Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com where you can read reviews, peruse related texts, and buy new or used copies of these volumes.
- Jason Clower
- Kate McCarthy
- Daniel Veidlinger
- Joel Zimbelman
- Sarah Pike
- Jed Wyrick
- Bruce Grelle
- Julie Hilton Danan
- Former Professors
Jason Clower, The Unlikely Buddhist: Tiantai Buddhism in Mou Zongsan's New Confucianism (Brill Academic Publishers, 2010)
I have tried to write a book that will accessible and enjoyable for anyone at all who is curious about contemporary Chinese philosophy. Now that more people have "woken up" to modern China as a place of interest, I thought it was time that we had a book in English about Mou Zongsan (1909-1995), the towering figure of modern Chinese philosophy. Famous for reviving Confucianism as a going concern in philosophy, Mou declared that he had actually drawn many of his key concepts from Buddhist thought, though it has long been hard to explain why or how he did that, or even what he thought some of these Buddhist concepts meant. Therefore I aimed to give a a reader-friendly unpacking of Mou’s ideas about Buddhism, Confucianism, and metaphysics with the precision needed to make them available for critical appraisal.
Kate McCarthy, Interfaith Encounters in America (Rutgers University Press, 2007)
In my latest book I explore the paradox of Americans' deeply held religious beliefs and simultaneous commitment to diversity and freedom of religion. Through a set of case studies of five sites of interfaith encounters in the United States (ranging from the intimate domestic dynamics of multifaith families to the official exchanges of religious institutions at academic and ecclesial conferences) the book is an on-the-ground exploration of what motivates people to engage with those who are religiously different, what happens when they do, and what these encounters can tell us about the evolving meanings of religious identity in America.
Kate McCarthy and Eric Mazur, eds., God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2000)
God in the Details gave me the chance to combine a lifelong interest in popular culture generally and popular music specifically with my training in religious studies. The book is a collection of essays on the religious dimensions of everyday American life - everything from watching The Simpsons or the Superbowl to eating pork barbecue or going to a Bruce Springsteen concert. In the current American landscape, where religion is significantly privatized, eclectic, and individualized, this look at the religious insights and quasi-religious practices of popular culture tells us something about the deep values and conflicts that are shaping our lives as individuals and in communities. If you've ever had the suspicion that there was some deeper meaning to the music you listen to or the movies you enjoy, you might find these essays both fun and enlightening.
Daniel Veidlinger, Spreading the Dhamma: Writing, Orality and Textual Transmission in Buddhist Northern Thailand (University of Hawaii Press, 2006)
An important idea in this modern “information age” is that the medium through which a message is communicated affects the way this message is understood. While it seems to me self-evident that listening to a text provides a very different experience than does reading it, most studies of Buddhism have focused on the content of the sacred texts to the exclusion of the ways in which they were communicated to the faithful. In this book, I examine the two main ways by which Buddhist texts were historically disseminated in Southeast Asia: through the oral tradition and through written manuscripts. The book focuses mainly on the development of writing and its displacement of the oral tradition in northern Thailand, and is based on data drawn from extant manuscripts, inscriptions, chronicles, archaeological evidence and reports of early European and Chinese travelers. I have tried in this book to paint as detailed a picture as possible of the roles that both memory and manuscripts had in the dissemination and preservation of Buddhist canonical texts. I also touch upon the different attitudes that various segments of society had towards writing and the oral tradition, and show that not everyone was happy to see the written word eclipse the oral tradition as time went on.
Joel Zimbelman and Becky White, eds., Moral Dilemmas in Community Healthcare: Cases and Commentaries (Pearson Longman, 2005)
Most people who teach health care ethics, public policy, law, and business think that case studies can help students understand both the theories they have encountered and the messiness of real moral deliberation and justification. We agree. But in the past most case books in bioethics have usually focused on the commentary of one or two types of professionals and a few professional ethicists. Our book tries to change this in some significant ways. The cases in this volume have been posed not only by physicians, but also by nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians, and citizens and take place in rural or small-town health care settings (not, for the most part, in large, technologically sophisticated tertiary medical centers). The 20 cases cover a wide range of clinical encounters that focus on dilemmas involving the management of patients who are chronically ill; in extended care facilities and ambulatory care/outpatient settings; who have a limited choice of providers or institutions; and whose cultural and religious tenets are typically underrepresented in the extant health care setting and larger community. Analyses by physicians and ethicists are supplemented by those of nurses, social workers, psychological and religious counselors, lawyers, health care administrators, pharmacists, and private citizens. Introductions to each case identify key moral components and pose study questions to help students think through these issues.
Sarah Pike, New Age and Neopagan Religions in America (Columbia University Press series on Religion in Contemporary America, 2004)
This book is part of a series that surveys the American religious landscape at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries. I describe the nineteenth-century roots of the Neopagan and New Age movements and their emergence from the 1960's counterculture. I focus on healing, gender and sexuality, millennialism, and ritual experience as the aspects of these religions that attract participants as well as critics.
Sarah Pike, Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community (University of California Press, 2001)
Recent decades have seen a revival of Paganism, and every summer people gather at Neopagan festivals across the United States to celebrate this increasingly popular religion. I attended these festivals over a five-year period, interviewing participants and sometimes taking part in rituals and workshops. In the book I look at debates over drumming, sacred space and sexuality and conflicts between Neopagans and other religious communities, such as conservative Christians and Native Americans.
Jed Wyrick, The Ascension of Authorship: Attribution, Textualization, and Canon Formation in Jewish, Hellenistic, and Christian Traditions(Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2004)
I was never really as interested in the question "who wrote the Bible?" as I was in the question, "who did early Jews and Christians think wrote the Bible?" Most scholars really get caught up in the first question, and forget or ignore the second. But the thing is, the second question is in some ways more crucial for understanding how the Bible and other ancient texts were shaped than the first. This book explores the evidence from the nooks and crannies of literary history (such as passages from the Jewish Talmud, references in the Apocryphya, Pseudepigrapha, and Dead Sea Scrolls, scribal headings attached to the Psalms in the Bible and its early translations, Greek grammatical handbooks, writings by ancient historians and theologians) that convey information about the way books such as the Hebrew Bible, Homeric Epic, and the New Testament got written down, and by whom. My conclusion: Jews, Greeks, and Christians judged the authenticity of the book in question by evaluating the status of its scribe and his place in the prophetic succession (Jews and Christians) or the likelihood that it was actually written down by the person whose name it bore (Greeks and Christians). I also maintain that the modern Western notion of the author stems from St. Augustine's amalgamation of Greek and Jewish views on how much a text can be credited to the person who composed it.
Sumner B. Twiss and Bruce Grelle, eds., Explorations in Global Ethics: Comparative Religious Ethics and Interreligious Dialogue (Westview Press, 1998)
In 1993 Sumner Twiss and I attended the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. There we witnessed more than 6000 representatives of the world's major faiths and many smaller traditions who had gathered to mark the centennial anniversary of the origins of the modern interfaith movement. Attendees at the Parliament acknowledged the role played by religion in many of the world's conflicts, and they challenged the world's religious traditions to find constructive and collaborative ways to address a range of critical moral issues that are facing the global community - issues ranging from intolerance, violence, and the abuse of human rights to poverty and the destruction of the environment. These discussions culminated in the Parliament's approval of a "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic," a statement of minimal moral principles upon which it is hoped that the diverse religious and cultural traditions of the world can agree.
Twiss and I were struck by the gap that existed between the practical and dialogical approach to moral issues that we witnessed at the Parliament, and the more critical and theoretical approach to many of these same issues within our own academic field of comparative religious ethics. This book is an effort to help bridge that gap for the mutual benefit of both the interfaith movement and the field of comparative religious ethics.
Bruce Grelle and David A. Krueger, eds., Christianity and Capitalism: Perspectives on Religion, Liberalism, and the Economy (Center for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1986)
This book presents a range of diverse perspectives on the relationship between Christianity and capitalism. Among the contributors are Cornel West and Douglas Sturm, who provide a theological and moral critique of capitalism and the liberal assumptions about human nature and society that underlie this form of economic life. Others, such as Robert Benne and W. Widick Schroeder, argue for the compatibility between Christian moral principles and liberal capitalism. John T. Pawlikowski and David A. Krueger provide overviews of classic Catholic and Protestant approaches to the ethics of economic life. Franklin I. Gamwell and Daniel Rush Finn explore the intersections between ethical theory and economic theory. Kay Warren provides an anthropologist's perspective on capitalist expansion into the Third World, and my own essay assesses the role of Max Weber and other social theorists in shaping contemporary discussions of Christianity and capitalism.
Julie Hilton Danan,The Jewish Parents' Almanac (Jason Aronson, 1997)
The Jewish Parents' Almanac is a comprehensive how-to guide for Jewish family living. I wrote this book to provide Jewish parents (or anyone who wants to learn more about Judaism) with the knowledge, information and practical tools with which to create a rich and vibrant Jewish home life. The book goes beyond simple "how-tos" and also provides philosophical and psychological perspectives on Judaism and parenting.
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Andrew Flescher, Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality (Georgetown, 2003)
Andrew Flescher and Daniel Worthen, The Benevolent Species: An Interdisciplinary Account of Human Altruism (Templeton Foundation Press, 2008)
Jean Graybeal, Language and the Feminine in Nietzsche and Heidegger
Donald Heinz, Christmas: A Celebration of Christian Culture (Yale, 2006), The Last Passage: Recovering A Death of Our Own
Laura Hobgood-Oster, The Sabbath Journal of Judith Lomax, editor and introduction, Atlanta
Derek Jeffreys, Defending Human Dignity: John Paul II
Loren Lybarger, Between Sacred and Secular: Religion, Generations, and the Transformation of Palestinian Political Identities in the Post-Oslo Era (Princeton University Press, 2006)
Sarah K. Pinnock, The Theology of Dorothee Soelle
George Williams, Shinto; Handbook of Hindu Mythology; Liberal Religious Reformation in Japan Jiyu Shukyo: Including Call for International Association for Religious Freedom from Rev. Shininchiro Imaoka; The Quest for Meaning of Svami Vivekananda, a Study of Religious Change
Charles E Winquist, Archaeology of the Imagination; Critical Concepts: Postmodernism; The Transcendental Imagination: An Essay in Philosophical Theology; The Surface of the Deep (Contemporary Religious Thought); Homecoming Interpretation Transformation and Individuation; Epiphanies of Darkness: Deconstruction in Theology; The Communion of Possibility; Practical Hermeneutics; Desiring Theology (Religion and Postmodernism); and Encyclopedia of Postmodernism