Book Description

From Booklist This encyclopedia positions itself as part of the scholarship aimed at fostering understanding of religion and spirituality in a pluralistic global society with a focus on the development of religiosity and spirituality. The editors have academic backgrounds in child development and developmental psychology. Scarlett has published extensively on religious and spiritual development. One hundred and thirty other contributors have written some 265 entries on topics as varied as Thomas Aquinas; the Gaia hypothesis; Mysticism, Jewish; and Teen Challenge (Assemblies of God). The signed entries vary in length, but many are substantial, such as Christian spirituality, Meditation, and Stage-structural approach to religious development. A list for further reading is generally included. The detailed index and the topical guide in the fore matter are essential because, although the titles of many of the entries are straightforward, some are certainly not intuitive--for example, Coping in youth and Healing the children of war. Frequent see also references in the index are helpful. The index has some drawbacks--huge lists of page numbers under topics such as evil or God offer no idea about the context. The subject headings assigned by the Library of Congress to this work are 'Youth--Religious life,' 'Faith development,' and 'Youth psychology.' Indeed, the most interesting articles are ones, such as Child's God, Differences between religion and spirituality in children and adolescents, and Outcomes, adolescent, that deal with these themes directly; in more general articles, such as those on specific religious traditions or on basic concepts such as Forgiveness, the developmental aspect or the dimension for youth is worked in after basic information is laid out.On the whole, however, although the information on development of spirituality or religion in children and youth is interesting, many of the other articles seem unnecessary (three pages on Angels, for example). The articles that are very directly focused on spiritual development in youth are academic in tone, but many of the other entries are rather popular and superficial. There is certainly material here for someone looking for research on the topic of spiritual or religious development, but as a reference encyclopedia, it seems of limited interest. Margaret PowerCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more Review '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 CHOICE 2006-04-28)'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 2006-05-15)'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 2006-10-09) Read more See all Editorial Reviews