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Encyclopedia of Islam pdf download

  • Book Title: 
 Encyclopedia Of Islam
  • Book Author: 
Juan E Campo
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  • Book Size: 
135 Mb
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Preface of the Encyclopedia of lslam


The Encyclopedia of World Religions series has been designed to provide con1prehensive coverage of six major global religious traditions-Buddhism, Hinduism, lslam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Protestant Christianity .

The volumes have been constructed in an A-to-Z format to provide a handy guide to the major terms, concepts, people, events, and organizations that have, i11 each case, transf ormed the religion from its usually modest beginnings to the global force that it has become.

Each of these religions began as the faith of a relatively small group of closely related eth­nic peoples. Each has, in the modern world, become a global community, and, with one nota­ble exception, each has transcended its beginning to become an international n1ultiethnic com­munity.


 Judaism, of course, largely defines itself by its common heritage and ancestry and has an alter11ative but equally fascinating story . Surviving long af ter most similar cultures from the ancient past have turned to dust, Judaism has, within the last century, regathered.

its scattered people into a homeland while simultaneously watching a new diaspora carry Jews into most of the contempo­rary world’s countries.

Each of the major traditions has also, in the modern world, become amazingly diverse. Bud­dl1ism, for exaınple, spread from its original home in lndia across southern Asia and then through Tibet and China to Korea and Japan.

Each time it crossed a language barrier, something was lost, but something seemed equally to be gained, and an array of forms of Buddhism emerged. ln Japan alone, Buddhism exists in hundreds of different sect groupings. Protestantism, the newest of the six traditions, began with at least four different and competing forn1s of the rehgious life and. has since splintered into thousands of denominations.

six religious traditions


At the beginning of the 19th century, the six religious traditions selected for coverage in this series were largely confined to a relatively small part of the world. Since that time, the world has changed dramatically, with each of the traditions moving from its geographical center to become a global tradition.

While the traditional religions of many countries retain the allegiance of a majority of the population, they do so in the presence of the other traditions as growing minorities. Other coun­tries-China being a prominent example-have no religious majority, only a number of minorities that must periodically interface with one another.

The religiously pluralistic world created by the global diffusion of the world’s religions has made knowledge of religions, especially religions practiced by one’s neighbors, a vital resource in the continuing task of building a good society, a world in which all may live freely and pursue visions of the highest values the cosmos provides.

In creating these encyclopedias


In creating these encyclopedias, the attempt has been made to be comprehensive if not exhaus­tive. As space allows, in approximately 800 entries, each author has attempted to define and explain the basic terms used in talking about the religion, make note of definitive events, introduce the ınost prominent figures, and highlight the major organizations.

The coverage is designed to result in both a handy reference tool for the religious scholar/specialist and an understandable work that can be used fruitfully by anyone-a student, an informed lay person, or a reader simply want­ing to look up a particular person or idea.

Each volume from “Encyclopedia of lslam”

Each volume includes several features. They begin with an essay that introduces the particular tradition and provides a quick overview of its his­torical development, the major events and trends that have pushed it toward its present state, and the mega-problems that have shaped it in the con­temporary world.

A chronology lists the major events that have punctuated the religion’s history from its origin to the present.

The chronologies differ somewhat in reemphasis, given that they treat two very ancient faiths that both originated in prehistoric time, sev­eral ınore recent faiths that emerged during the last few millennia, and the most recent, Protestantism, that has yet to celebrate its 500-year anniversary.

The main body of each encyclopedia is consti­tuted of the approximately 800 entries, arranged alphabetically.

These entries include some 200 biographical entries covering religious figures of note in the traditioı1, with a distinct bias to the 19th and 20th centuries and some emphasis on leaders from different parts of the world.

Special attention from the book “Encyclopedia of lslam”


Special attention has been given to highlighting female contributions to the tradition, a factor often overlooked, as religion in all traditions has until recently been largely a male-dominated affair.

Geographical entries cover tl1e development of the inovement in those countries and parts of the world where the tradition has come to dominate or form an important minority voice, where it has developed a particularly distinct style (often signaled by doctrinal differences), or where it has a unique cultural or social presence.

While religious statistics are amazingly difficult to assemble and evaluate, some attempt has been ınade to estimate the effect of the tradition on the selected countries.

In some cases, particular events have had a determining effect on the development of the different religious traditions. Entries on events such as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (for Protestantism) or the conversion of King Asoka (for Buddhism) place the spotlight on the fac­tors precipitating the event and the consequences fiowing from it.

Each tradition has a different way of organization


The various traditions have taken forın as coınn1unities of believers have organized struc­tures to promote their particular way of belief and practice vvithin the tradition. Each tradition has a different way of organizing and recognizing the distinct groups within it. Buddhism, for example, has organized around national subtraditions.

The encyclopedias give coverage to the major group­ings within each tradition.

Each tradition has developed a way of encoun­tering and introducing individuals to spiritual reality as well as a vocabulary for it. it has also developed a set of concepts and a language to discuss the spiritual world and humanity’s place within it.

In each voluıne, the largest number of entries explore the concepts, the beliefs that flow from then1, and the practices tl1at they have engendered. The authors have attempted to explain these key religious concepts in a nontech­nical language and to comınunicate their meaning and logic to a person otherwise unfamiliar with the religion as a whole.

Finally, each volume is thoroughly cross­indexed using small caps to guide the reader to related entries. A bibliography and comprehen­sive index round out each volun1e.

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