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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"The first edition of this work was published to considerable acclaim in 1987. For this revising, all 2,750 entries were reviewed. While a few were eliminated, the remainder were put in one of two categories: retained with few changes (1,800) or significantly revised, either by the original or by a new author. These are identifiable by the date at the end of the article. There are 600 new topics in this edition on healing and medicine with an overview and separate articles from Africa to Australia. There is a new 21-part composite section on gender and religion, a new article on genetics and religion, and even coverage of clerical sexual abuse in the United States. The article on homosexuality has surprisingly not been revised or updated. Overall, the end result is a very satisfying one which should serve a new generation of students in the 21st century."
--Library Journal (Library Journal, Best Reference Sources 2005), April 2006
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