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Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development
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Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development

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© 2006 | 552 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development is the first reference work to focus on the developmental process of religion and spirituality across the human life span. Spiritual development is an important part of human development that has links to identity development, moral development, and civic engagement. This innovative Encyclopedia offers insight into the characteristics of people and their contexts that interact to influence religious and spiritual development over time. Editors Elizabeth M. Dowling and W. George Scarlett provide readers with glimpses into the religious and spiritual developmental trajectories of people from all over the world, from many different religious and spiritual backgrounds.  

Key Features
  • Includes short, accessible entries written by leading specialists and theorists from a wide range of disciplines and professions, both within the United States and internationally, to provide a broad, multidisciplinary scope
  • Offers entries that are unrelated to religion and religious experiences in order to examine spirituality in the broadest sense that encompasses religion as just one path toward spiritual development
  • Explores community-based programs that focus on enhancing spiritual development, as well as the links between spiritual development and positive personal and social development in youth
  • Offers reference lists for each entry that enable readers to gain further information related to the topic  

Key Themes

  • Leading Religious and Spiritual Figures
  • Traditions
  • Texts
  • Places, Religious and Spiritual
  • Practices, Religious and Spiritual Concepts
  • Religious and Spiritual Theory
  • Supports/Contexts
  • Nature
  • Health
  • Art
  • Organizations

The Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development makes a significant contribution to the research and scholarship looking at the similarities and differences in religiousness and spirituality. It is a welcome addition to any academic library or religious reference collection.  

"This is the product of an ambitious project: to bring within a single volume many different facets of religion and spirituality. These two terms are intertwined. Every religion has a spiritual dimension, but it is possible to be spiritual without being affiliated to a religion, and not all religious people are necessarily spiritual. Notwithstanding all the controversies associated with the notions and practices of religion and spirituality, they both permeate practically every sphere of human culture, from literature and music to health and scholarship. Concepts associated with them are ubiquitous in the language; religious names and symbols enrich and inspire human culture and societies.

This compendium of brief essays on some of the major topics associated with religion and spirituality is informative and erudite, but by no means exhaustive in its selection of topics or complete in their treatment. Practically all the scholars included are of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The list of leading religious and spiritual figures consists only of those associated with the Abrahamic faiths and Buddha. Not all Christian denominations have an entry. On the other hand, there are articles on some major organizations, such as the Sierra Club and UNICEF; places of religious significance; and key concepts and practices, like rituals, yoga, and prayer. This book deserves a place in every library because it is a rich source of insight and information on topics of growing relevance and interest. Perhaps it may be taken as the prototype of a multivolume encyclopedia on this very vast subject."

V.V. Raman
Rochester Institute of Technology
CHOICE

"Written to highlight current research on understanding the similarities and differences among world religions and spiritualities by editors Dowling and Scarlett, this work addresses the complexity of factors involved in religious and spiritual development. . . . Though the work is not suppose to serve as an exhaustive catalog of its subject, it does provide a broad overview of more traditional topics as well as newer trends and themes."

LIBRARY JOURNAL
LIBRARY JOURNAL

"While the weighty price tag of Encyclopedia of Religious & spiritual Development may limit this volume to serious spiritual collections, reference libraries- especially at the college lever- will find it absorbing. Key short entries written by leading specialists from a range of disciplines and professions examine spiritual development within communities at traditions . . . A bibliography for further reading enhances each entry. A "must" for any serious religious collection."

Diane Donovan
Key features
  • Short entries in accessible terminology are written by specialists that include leading theorists and thinkers from a wide range of disciplines and professions, both within the U.S. and internationally, providing broad, multidisciplinary scope.
  • While many entries stem from various religious traditions, others are unrelated to religion and religious experience, looking at spirituality in the broadest sense that encompasses religion as just one path toward spiritual development.
  • The encyclopedia includes community-based programs that focus on enhancing spiritual development and on the links between spiritual development and positive personal and social development in youth.
  • Reference lists for each entry enable readers to gain further information related to the topic.
  • An Advisory Board consists of academics from multiple disciplines whose work focuses on spiritual development, theologians, university librarians, and leaders of organizations nationally and internationally recognized for work in promoting the healthy, positive development of youth.

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ISBN: 9780761928836
$215.00

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.