About the Author Preface Acknowledgments 1. Religious Life in the Global Village Religion and the Globalization of Social Life Religion and the Sociological Tradition Tools of the Trade Three Pillars of Analysis: Beliefs, Rituals, and Institutions Major Themes in the Sociology of Religion 2. A Sociological Tour: Turning East Types of Religious Traditions Hinduism, or Sanatana Dharma Buddhism Sikhism Religious Life in China and East Asia 3. The Tour: Western Religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Prolegomena: The Ancient Greeks Judaism Christianity Islam Kinship Network Continuities in Judaism and Islam The Social Construction of Religious Traditions The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 4. Indigenous Religions Indigenous Beliefs Indigenous Rituals Indigenous Institutions Indigenous Environmentalism 5. The Religious Ethos Constructing a Religious Ethos Religion and Identity Construction Religion and Stratification Religious Taboo Lines and Ethical Systems Religion and Sexuality Religion and Politics The Ethos of the Global Village 6. Modernism and Multiculturalism From Local to Cosmopolitan The Challenge of Modernism Historical Outcomes of the Modernist Crisis The Modernist Crisis and the 21st Century The Crisis of Multiculturalism 7. Religious Movements for a New Century Civil Religion and Nationalism Religious Syncretism and Alternative Religious Movements New Forms of Religiosity Women's Movements Religious Environmental Movements Constructing and Reconstructing Religious Life 8. Religion and Social Conflict A Theory of Religious Conflict Religion and the Problem of Violence Religious Contributions to Nonviolence Islam and Nonviolence Chaos or Community? Notes References Glossary/Index
Lester R. Kurtz is Professor of Public Sociology at George Mason University, where he teaches the comparative sociology of religion, peace and conflict, social movements, globalization, and both Western and non-Western social theory. He has lectured regularly at the European Peace University and was previously Director of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Kurtz holds a Master's in Religion from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He is editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict (Elsevier), coeditor of the two-volume Women, War and Violence (Praeger), Nonviolent Conflict and Civil Resistance (Emerald), Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective (Blackwell), and The Web of Violence: From Interpersonal to Global (University of Illinois Press). He is also the author of numerous books and articles on religion and conflict peace, including The Nuclear Cage: A Sociology of the Arms Race (Prentice Hall) and The Politics of Heresy: The Modernist Crisis in Roman Catholicism (University of California Press), which received the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion's Distinguished Book Award. He is currently working on books titled Gods and Bombs: Religion and the Rhetoric of Violence and another on Fighting Violence. Prof. Kurtz is the past Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association as well as the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section of the American Sociological Association, which awarded him its Robin Williams Distinguished Career Award in 2005. He received the Lester F. Ward Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied and Clinical Sociology in 2014 and has lectured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America and has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Delhi University in India, and Tunghai University in Taiwan.