The Role of Religion in Ancient Civilizations

Select Readings (Second Edition)
Written and edited by Kim Woodring
©2021, 326 pages

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The Role of Religion in Ancient Civilizations

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Summary
    The Role of Religion in Ancient Civilizations: Select Readings addresses the importance of religion in ancient civilizations and encourages readers to evaluate these civilizations both historically and critically. The selected readings help readers understand civilizations as whole systems with not only social and political characteristics, but also religious ones.

    Topics include the establishment of patriarchal civilizations, Mesopotamian and Egyptian religion, and the early civilizations of Northwest India. Students also learn about the religions of ancient China and Japan, traditional African religions and belief systems, religion and burial in Roman Britain, and the great temples of Meso-American religions. The final selections are devoted to early Christianity, the Byzantine Empire, and Islam.

    The second edition features updated material and new articles that address Egyptian religion, early northwest civilizations, goddesses and demonesses in South Asian religion, Christianity during the Roman Empire, and the rise and expansion of Islam.

    Taken as a whole, these carefully curated articles demonstrate both the uniqueness of each religion and the traditions and practices that, over time, became interconnected and fused to form new religions. The Role of Religion in Ancient Civilizations is well suited to survey courses in world and ancient religions, as well as classes on religious history and the history of the ancient world.

    Kim Woodring earned her M.A. in history at East Tennessee State University and her M.L.I.S. in library and information science at the University of Tennessee. She is a faculty member at East Tennessee State University, where she teaches courses in American and world history and digital history. In addition to teaching, Professor Woodring serves as the history department's webpage administrator and social media editor. Her professional writing has appeared in Tennessee Libraries, The Social Science of War Encyclopedia, and Historical Archaeology.
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