The Religions of Mankind

By Edmund Davison Soper | Go to book overview

PREFACE TO REVISED EDITION

IN the seventeen years since the appearance of the first edition much has taken place. A flood of books and articles has appeared which shed much light and make necessary changes and corrections in many places. During this period the living religions themselves have been subjected to powerful influences and have changed, sometimes to a surprising degree. The attempt has been made to bring this work into harmony with what the best scholarship has shown to be a reasonable attitude to the many questions with which it deals.

In addition to this every sentence has been scrutinized to determine whether the intended meaning has been conveyed and whether an amplification was necessary to bring out that meaning and let it be seen in its true light. This has necessitated many changes and additions, short and long. Very few pages in the volume remain just as they were in the earlier edition. The additions might have been longer and more numerous. Only considerations of space in an introductory manual have prevented an enlargement which would have resulted in a bulky volume.

And yet with all this the structure of the book and the viewpoint remain the same. Chapter I in the first edition has been divided into two chapters, and sub-sections in the last two chapters have been altered. The "Suggestions for Further Study" have been altered considerably. A number of the older books have been dropped and new ones added, and in almost every case the number of books listed has been increased. Here the temptation had to be resisted to add many volumes of value which advanced students should know. These lists are still very limited, but it is hoped they will be of value to the reader and student.

It is with a profound sense of gratitude that this new edition is sent out. To a surprising degree the demand for the book has continued almost unabated since the day it was first pub-

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The Religions of Mankind
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface to Revised Edition 11
  • Preface to First Edition 13
  • Chapter I - The Study of Religion 15
  • Chapter II - The Origin and Growth of Religion 35
  • Chapter III - Animistic Religion 55
  • Chapter IV - Egypt and Mesopotamia 91
  • Chapter V - Greece and Rome 117
  • Chapter VI - The Religion of Zoroaster 145
  • Chapter VII - Hinduism 163
  • Chapter VIII - Buddhism 192
  • Chapter IX - The Religion of the Chinese 224
  • Chapter X - The Religions of Japan 246
  • Chapter XI - Judaism 267
  • Chapter XII Mohammedanism 286
  • Chapter XIII - Christianity 318
  • Index 351
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