Cover

CONTENTS

Image

FOR JORDAN

Wherever we are,

whatever the tune,

we dance in the light

of the very same moon.

FIGURES AND MAPS

Figures

“That’s what they all say, honey”

A temple of Ganesha

Ostara, Goddess of the Dawn

Slave

Pope John Paul II

“Actually, I preferred ‘Heaven’ too, but then the marketing guys got a hold of it”

Luca Signorelli (1450–1523), The Resurrection of the Dead

Victor Vasnetsov, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (War, Famine, Pestilence and Death), 1887

Hammurabi before a god

Prayer for the auto industry

“Theologian? You guys are always fun”

Aristotle

Baruch Spinoza

Max Müller

Edward Burnett Tylor

Cargo cults

Karl Marx

Sigmund Freud

“I had a nice chat with my trainer today about Allah”

Mircea Eliade

Rangda the Witch, mask, Bali

Rats at Karni Mata, “Rat Temple,” in Rajasthan, India

William James

“Couldn’t be a man. Must be a god!”

Caves in Lascaux, France

Face in rock – Mars

Nun Bun, Tennessee 1996

The Makapansgat cobble/pebble

Rock person, Morocco

Venus of Willendorf

Image from a cave in Ariège, France, of a man/stag, painted and engraved about 13,000 BCE

Photo of shaman

Wall carving from the Temple of Horus at Edfu in Egypt

“I’m calling it ‘Genesis.’ It’s part of a five-book contract”

Clay figure of Asherah

Yochanan Ben Zakai Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City

First page of the Babylonian Talmud

Rebbe Menachem Schneerson

Moses Mendelssohn

At his Bar Mitzvah ceremony, a young man holds the Torah Scrolls

Statue of Jesus Christ the Redeemer above Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Woman baptized in the Jordan River

In hoc signo vinces

Greek Orthodox priests, Palm Sunday procession

Indian Muslims praying

A page from a 14th-century Qur’an

Mevlevis, known as Whirling Dervishes for their spinning spiritual dance, are followers of Rumi

Pilgrims walking around the Kaaba in Mecca during the Hajj

Rudolf Bultmann

Sculpture of Romulus and Remus suckling under a wolf

The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky

Farid Esack

Rosemary Radford Ruether

Amina Wadud

“I imagine serenity’s pretty much the same, one season to the next?”

Men conduct ritual for Durga, who is worshipped during Navaratri

Arjuna and Krishna

Woman bending backwards – hatha yoga

Statue of Sarasvati outside music college in Puttaparthi

Shiva as Lord of the Dance

Shaivite with marks on forehead

Vaishnavite with marks on forehead

Dalits, Untouchables, at an anti-government rally, 2006

Carvings on the outside of Khajuraho temple

Students celebrating Holi

Mohandas Gandhi

Sculpture of the Buddha near starvation

The Great Stupa at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh in India

Buddhist laypeople putting food into the bowls of monks

Statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon with blue sky

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the best known representative of Vajrayana Buddhism

“Nothing happens next. This is it”

Help one another, for we are all in the same boat – old Chinese saying

Part of a giant traditional Chinese landscape painting: A Trip to Hills and Lakes in Spring by Chen Minglou

Yin–yang

An oracle bone with writing on it

Lao Tzu, riding his legendary “green” buffalo, Chinese, 18th century

A painting of Confucius, Lao Tzu, and the Buddha together by Kano Masonobu, 1480

Meditating frog, painting by Sengai

Traditional Chinese wedding

Mao Zedong

“Put up with thy neighbor”

Wiccan Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh, spring 2008

Freddie Mercury

A Zoroastrian priest starts a fire as part of Sadeh, the ancient feast celebrating the creation of fire

Kami kaze – “the wind of the kami” or “divine wind”

A Shinto shrine with a torii gate

Dizzy Gillespie

Baha’i temple in Wilmette, Illinois, in the U.S.

The Hubbard Professional Mark Super VII E-Meter

Calling the elements (earth, air, fire, water, and aether) – part of a Wiccan ritual of handfasting (marriage)

The Wiccan pentagram

Dancers from the Allegany and Cattaraugus Reservations of the Seneca Nation of Indians perform at St. Bonaventure University’s first Native American Heritage Celebration in 2008

Portrait of Red Jacket by John Lee Mathies, oil on canvas, 1828

“I guess this is where we part ways”

A megachurch service, Katedral Mesias, Jakarta

Pilgrims visiting the grotto at Lourdes, France

A mystic in India

Maps

Map of the Ancient Near East

Map of the Roman Empire – East and West

Spread of Islam in the 1st century

TIMELINE

3000–1500 BCE

Cities are built in the Indus Valley.

c.2100 BCE

Abraham is called by God.

c.2000 BCE

Jacob, a descendant of Abraham through his son Isaac, is born; later he is called Israel. Thus the descendants of Abraham through this line are called the people of Israel (or Israelites).

c.1900 BCE

Joseph, a son of Jacob, is sold into slavery in Egypt. The Israelites eventually become captives there.

c.1766–1046 BCE

The Shang Dynasty.

c.1440 BCE

Led by Moses, the Israelites leave Egypt and after 40 years settle in the land of Canaan. During the trip, the Exodus, God describes himself to Moses as Yahweh.

1200–900 BCE

Early Vedic Period – the first Vedas are compiled.

c.1046–256 BCE

The Zhou Dynasty.

c.1010 BCE

David becomes king of the Israelites, and makes Jerusalem his capital.

c.970 BCE

David’s son Solomon becomes king and later builds a temple in Jerusalem to honor the God of Israel.

930 BCE

After Solomon’s death, his kingdom is divided into a northern kingdom led by the tribes of Israel and a southern kingdom led by the tribe of Judah.

900–600 BCE

Late Vedic period – the religion of the Brahmins emphasizes sacrifice and social obligation.

800–300 BCE

The 11 major Upanishads are written; they include the ideas of reincarnation and karma.

722 BCE

The kingdom of Israel is destroyed by the Assyrians.

612 BCE

The Babylonians conquer the Assyrians.

c.604 BCE

Lao Tzu is born.

586 BCE

The Babylonians defeat the kingdom of Judah, capture Jerusalem, and destroy Solomon’s temple. Many members of the kingdom of Judah are taken into captivity in Babylon (the Exile).

c.566–486 BCE

Siddhartha Gautama is born, becomes enlightened, and preaches in India.

551–479 BCE

Confucius lives.

c.538 BCE

Many of the exiled members of the tribe of Judah return to Jerusalem, and begin the rebuilding of the temple.

c.486 BCE

The first Buddhist council meets.

c.383 BCE

The second Buddhist council meets, leading to divisions in the community.

371–289 BCE

Mencius lives.

369–286 BCE

Zhuang Tzu lives.

c.330 BCE

The Jews (as the descendants of the tribe of Judah are called) are conquered by Alexander the Great. Greek culture – Hellenism – starts to influence Jewish culture.

c.300 BCE

Buddhism spreads to Southeast Asia.

c.269–232 BCE

Indian emperor Ashoka the Great converts to Buddhism and rules over most of the Indian subcontinent. He sends missionaries to Sri Lanka.

c.250 BCE

The work of translating the Bible from Hebrew into Greek begins. This Greek Bible is called the Septuagint.

c.200 BCE–200 CE

The Laws of Manu are compiled.

1st century BCE

Buddhism enters China and Southeast Asia.

c.100 BCE

The Bhagavad Gita is composed.

63 BCE

Roman rulers defeat the Greeks, beginning 700 years of Roman rule of the land they name Palestine.

c.5 BCE

Jesus of Nazareth is born.

c.30 CE

Jesus begins teaching a new interpretation of the law of God to his fellow Jews.

c.32

Jesus is executed by the Roman rulers of Palestine.

c.48

The followers of Jesus hold a meeting in Jerusalem and accept Gentiles (non-Jews) into their community.

70

A Jewish rebellion against the Roman rulers ends with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

c.70

The first Gospel is written – Mark.

c.80–90

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke are written.

c.90–100

The Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John are written.

c.150–250

Nagarjuna develops his Doctrine of Emptiness.

161–180

Under the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, there is widespread persecution of Christians.

175

The Five Classics, carved in stone, are displayed in China’s capital.

c.200

The Mishnah is compiled and committed to writing.

c.250

The third Buddhist council leads to split between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.

312

The Roman emperor Constantine defeats his rival, Maxentius, after having his soldiers paint a Christian symbol on their equipment.

313

Constantine issues the Edict of Milan, making Christianity legal in the Roman empire.

325

Constantine holds a meeting of Christian leaders (“ecumenical council”), at Nicea, to overcome disagreement in their interpretations. They agree on a list of beliefs known as the Nicene Creed.

350–650

The Gupta Dynasty rules in India. Buddhist philosophy and art flourish.

367

Saint Athanasius compiles a list of the 27 books now known as the New Testament.

381

At an ecumenical council at Constantinople, Christian leaders continue their debates and revise the Nicene creed to its current form.

4th century

Vajrayana Buddhism begins.

c.400

The Palestinian Talmud is completed.

Buddhism enters Korea.

431

Christian leaders meet at Chalcedon, and declare Mary, the mother of Jesus, to be Theotokos, “God-bearer,” “Mother of God.”

449

Pope Leo asserts the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome over other bishops.

520

The Buddhist missionary Bodhidharma arrives in China.

527

Korea accepts Buddhism.

552

Buddhism enters Japan from Korea.

c.570

Muhammad is born in Mecca.

572–621

Prince Shotoku sponsors Buddhism in Japan.

c.589

Chinese Buddhist commentaries are written.

6th century

Burma accepts Theravada Buddhism.

600

The Babylonian Talmud is completed.

600s

Mahayana Buddhism is adopted in Indonesia.

c.600–650

Buddhism enters and spreads in Tibet.

c.600–1600

Devotional Hinduism becomes popular.

610

Muhammad receives his first revelation from God and begins to teach a new interpretation of the will of God.

618–907

T’ang Dynasty, the golden age of Buddhism in China.

Pure Land and Chan Buddhism develop.

622

Muhammad and his followers complete their emigration (hijra) from Mecca to Medina, marked as the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

630

Muhammad gains control over Mecca, and rededicates its shrine – the Kaaba – to the one God/Allah.

632

Muhammad dies. His close companion Abu Bakr is recognized by the majority as “Leader of the Believers.”

Muhammad’s companion Umar succeeds Abu Bakr as Leader of the Believers, and begins the process of expanding Muslim rule throughout the region.

638

Muslim forces defeat the Romans and take control of Jerusalem.

644

Muslims complete their defeat of Persian forces.

c.650

God’s revelation through Muhammad, known as the Qur’an, is committed to writing.

661

The Ummayads take control of the Islamic empire, establishing their capital at Damascus and continuing expansion of Islamic sovereignty.

700s

Buddhism becomes the state religion of Japan.

711

The Umayyads establish control of part of Spain.

732

Muslim westward expansion is halted at the Battle of Tours.

740

Mahayana Buddhism is established in Tibet.

750

The Umayyad dynasty (“caliphate”) is replaced by the Abbasids, who will establish Baghdad as their capital.

c.792–794

Indian Mahayana Buddhism is chosen as the form of Buddhism for Tibet.

800

Charlemagne is crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III.

845

Chinese emperor Wu Tsang persecutes Buddhists.

early 900s

Korea institutes a Buddhist constitution.

1054

The Eastern Orthodox and the Western Catholic churches split.

1095

Pope Urban II authorizes the first Crusade to recover the “Holy Land” from Muslims.

1099

European Christian “Crusaders” capture Jerusalem.

c.1150

Buddhism is almost extinct in India.

1185–1333

Kamakura period in Japan.

Rinzai, Soto Zen, Pure Land, True Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhism.

1187

Jerusalem is recaptured by a Muslim army led by Salah al-Din (Saladin).

1231–1259

Mongols invade Korea and destroy Buddhist scriptures.

1253

Mongolian leader Kublai Khan accepts Tibetan Buddhism.

1258

The Mongols destroy Baghdad and end Abbasid rule.

1360

Theravada Buddhism becomes the state religion of Thailand.

1392

Confucianism is made the state religion of Korea.

14th century

Theravada Buddhism comes into Laos.

1453

The Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople and change its name to Istanbul.

1492

The king and queen of Spain expel Muslims and Jews.

1498

Europeans enter southern Asia with the arrival of Vasco da Gama.

15th century

Theravada Buddhism spreads in Cambodia.

1517

Martin Luther writes his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, Germany, beginning the Protestant Reformation.

The Ottomans claim leadership of the Muslim world.

1526

The Mughal Empire begins in India.

1534

The Act of Supremacy is passed – King Henry VIII becomes head of the English Church.

1536

John Calvin publishes his Institutes of the Christian Religion.

1545–1563

The Catholic Council of Trent meets to respond to the Protestant Reformation.

1578

The first Dalai Lama is recognized.

1617–1682

Dalai Lamas begin to rule Tibet.

1618–1648

Protestants and Catholics fight the Thirty Years War in Germany.

c.1700

The British East India Company is formed.

1722

The Saffavid Dynasty is established in Persia.

1730–1760

The “Great Awakening” – a revival movement among Protestants in the United States.

1757

British rule is established in Calcutta.

1828

The French take control of Algeria.

1844

The first Buddhist text is published in the United States, translated by Henry David Thoreau.

1857

The British take control of India.

The unsuccessful National War of Independence is launched by Indians against the British.

1876

Queen Victoria of England is declared Empress of India.

1895

The Vedanta Society is founded by Vivekananda, to promote Hinduism as a world religion and India as a single nation.

1897

The World Zionist Organization is formed in Basel, Switzerland, advocating emigration to Palestine and creation of a homeland for Jews in response to ongoing discrimination and persistent persecution of Jews in Europe.

1882

The British take control of Egypt.

1910–1945

Reformations of Korean and Chinese Buddhism.

1919

The British take control of Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq), and the French take control of Syria and Lebanon, betraying promises of independence made to Arabs in return for their assistance in defeating Turkey and Germany in World War I.

1920

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi starts non-violent campaign against British rule of India.

1931

Zen Buddhist Society is formed in New York.

1939–1945

World War II; culmination of persecution of Jews in Europe in the Holocaust/Shoah, leading to rapid escalation of emigration of European Jews to Palestine and, in turn, conflict with local inhabitants of Palestine.

1945

Religious freedom introduced in Japan.

1947

Britain partitions India into independent states for Hindus and Muslims. The Muslim sections are named East and West Pakistan, separated by over 1,000 miles. Both India and Pakistan are declared independent of Britain.

1948

The World Council of Churches is formed.

1949

The Chinese communist government begins suppressing religions.

1950

Tenzin Gyatso becomes the 14th Dalai Lama.

China invades Tibet and suppresses Buddhism.

1959

The Dalai Lama goes into exile.

1960–1965

The Roman Catholic Church is modernized by the Second Vatican Council.

1966–1976

The Cultural Revolution suppresses religion, traditional culture in China.

1971

Civil war results in the separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan. East Pakistan becomes the independent country of Bangladesh.

1976

Death of Mao Zedong.

1989

The International Network of Engaged Buddhists is founded.

1995

The U.K. Association of Buddhist Studies is formed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR COLLEAGUES RAVI GUPTA AND KEVIN VOSE for their careful reading and valuable advice concerning our treatment of Hinduism and Buddhism. Continued gratitude, too, to friends and mentors John Esposito and John Voll for their unfailing inspiration and guidance.

We would also like to express deep appreciation for our William & Mary students; they demand and deserve nothing but the best from their teachers.

Most importantly, our publisher Rebecca Harkin deserves credit for this unique book. It was her idea and she encouraged us every step in the process of giving it life. Any blame due belongs to us alone.

JM
TS

CREDITS

The authors and publisher gratefully acknowledge the permission granted to reproduce the copyright material in this book.

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THE RELIGION TOOLKIT