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Editorial Reviews of Perspectives of Religious Criticism – the Challenge of Globalization

Editorial Reviews of Perspectives on Religious Criticism – the Challenge of Globalization

An insightful text on religion and dogma, gender, and science for the global-minded student.

In this textbook, Christianity and Islam are studied closely in terms of dogma, gender, and science combining history with contemporary and evolving perspectives on the Trinity, the Quran, and both Christian and Muslim mystics followed by an analysis of controversial contemporary gender roles such as same-sex marriage. The textbook is structured to expand student knowledge in a clear, linear approach that incorporates premodern, modern, and postmodern perspectives of both internal and external religious criticism to develop students’ worldview literacy enabling students to engage in this turbulent, controversial, and evolving religious discussion.

The complex idea of an emerging and globalizing world and its effects on finding isolation within one’s own culture, society, and religion is studied. The goal is both a difficult and necessary one that challenges students to engage in a dialogue within evolving religious perspectives and globalization. The conflicting positions of the global world require people to re-evaluate their religious beliefs from both an historical context and a modern evolution. Here, religious criticism uses discernment to define and discuss, rather than reduce. The challenge for students is to become worldview literate in order to properly assess and contribute to the turbulent religious perspectives by way of empathy, understanding, and dialogue.

This book presents intriguing and accessible examples to deepen analysis by incorporating influential and inspirational material from the 15th Century like Andrej Rubljev’s Icon of the Trinity, and Pedro Berruguete’s St. Dominic Presiding Over an Auto-da-fé to contemporary works in film such as Monty Python’s  Life of Brian, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and asks students to consider how the representation of Christ might appeal to “postmodern, gnostically-inspired practitioners.”

By the end of this textbook, students have achieved a solid foundation into the study of religious criticism in terms of historical and textual roots of Christianity and Islam as well as contemporary viewpoints, beliefs, and controversies. Further, students have gained the ability to understand dissention and engage in discussion, using an informed and empathetic manner, in the ever-evolving and highly controversial discussion of religious criticism in a modern world.

LeAnne Kline Christiansen
Adjunct Lecturer, Aalborg University
CEO, The South Gate Society School of Creative Writing

Congratulations to Dorthe Enger for crafting a powerful examination of religious criticsm. Perspectives on Religious Criticism – the Challenge of Globalization is a superb work. She has pulled together challenging and disparate ideas into a concise study of religion and dogma, religion and gender, and religion and science. Ms. Enger presents excerpts from scientific, literary, and spiritual writings from the world’s great thinkers from all walks of life, time, and experience. She allows the reader to discover a nuanced and dynamic avenue forward through these evocative readings. Her subtle and straightforward discussions of practical and complex issues touch all our lives and relationships. This volume will be especially useful to those engaged in theological, social, and spiritual inquiry.

Isaac Willis Larison, Ph.D. Marshall University, USA

This is an extremely insightful book for ‘globalized’ people, who travel around in a world where religious discernment and understanding become more and more important both in the West and the East. The book has an emphasis on Christianity and also Islam, but without ignoring other religions and worldviews.  Without understanding religion, including atheism, one cannot begin to understand the cultural profiles in the world today. This book should be read by students and others who travel internationally professionally. A special recommendation goes to non-European students all over the world.  It is an extremely well written and easy accessible book on an important topic, covering premodern, modern, and post-modern worldviews and with pedagogical questions in each chapter. Read it!

Professor Verner Worm
Copenhagen Business School