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Religion: The Social Context
This theory-based book is purposefully selective rather than comprehensive and takes an integrated, global approach to examining religion in various cultures. Readers learn to identify both the complex interactions between religion and societal context and the ways in which these interactions shape individuals, communities, national politics, and the world society.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 9th 2001 by Wadsworth Publishing Company
(first published January 1981)
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I read the 3rd edition from 1992, so cannot really give an honest review. That edition was, of course, outdated, and some of the ideas I'm sure would be presented differently today. But overall, very clear, beginner-level introduction that has the added virtue of using examples from around the world--a rare feature in textbooks (or any academic books, for that matter) targeted at an American audience.