Encyclopedia of religion, Volume 7
Among Library Journal's picks of the most important reference works of the millennium - with the Encyclopedia Judaica and the New Catholic Encyclopedia - Mircea Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion won the American Library Associations' Dartmouth Medal in 1988 and is widely regarded as the standard reference work in the field. This second edition, which is intended to reflect both changes in academia and in the world since 1987, includes almost all of the 2,750 original entries - many heavily updated - as well as approximately 600 entirely new articles. Preserving the best of Eliade's cross-cultural approach, while emphasizing religion's role within everyday life and as a unique experience from culture to culture, this new edition is the definitive work in the field for the 21st century. An international team of scholars and contributors have reviewed, revised and added to every word of the classic work, making it relevant to the questions and interests of all researchers. The result is an essential purchase for libraries of all kinds.
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Encyclopedia of religionUser Review - Book Verdict
Jones (comparative studies, Ohio State Univ.; Hermeneutics of Sacred Architecture ) and her team of 13 associate editors and two dozen consultants have seriously reworked this second edition. Though there are now 15 rather than 16 volumes, the total number of pages has increased by 20 percent, and, according to the preface, the collection now has 1.5 million more words. Roughly two thirds of the 2750 entries from the first edition were retained, some with minor revisions, supplemental articles by other scholars, or added bibliographies. Approximately 300 original articles were jettisoned, though many of the topics and titles remain the same. The 600-odd new entries include more detailed information about medicine and healing; women, sexuality, and gender; ecology; and the study of religion in non-Western cultures. Of particular interest are a totally new composite topic about literary fiction and religion in ten different cultures as well as a new topic called "Transculturation and Religion," with five studies of religion and a look at the formation of modern Canada, Japan, India, Oceania, and the Caribbean. The 14 new "visual essays," grouped around themes of time, space, the structuring of social relations, the shaping of the mind and body, and the imaging of sacred text, are evocative and creative but hard to find because they are missing from the index and list of articles and contributors; however, there is a two-page "rationale" explaining and listing them in Volume 1. Bottom Line This update of the 18-year-old original, which looks to the future with more contemporary and less opinionated articles and gives both scholars and general readers an important reference tool, is an essential resource for all libraries, regardless of whether they have the first edition. [An electronic version of the set is available through Gale Virtual Reference Library .--Ed.]--Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA