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Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion Paperback – Aug 1 1996

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 870 pages
  • Publisher: Humanity Books; 2nd edition (Aug. 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573926213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573926218
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,065,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

For thorough treatments of Ajivikas and the Apologists, the derivation and meaning of "angst" and "anthropopathism," and profiles of Apollo, Al-Kindi, and Antiochus of Ascalon, William Reese's Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion is the tome of preference. And it does a fine job with B through Z, as well. With more than 4,000 entries, the dictionary delves into Continental and Asian philosophies and religions, and provides biographies of more than 900 ancient, medieval, and modern philosophers. It's erudite, inclusive, accessible, and covers the major philosophers, gods, tenets, and terms of both the Eastern and Western worlds. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"[A] very good book. Probably one of the best of its kind now available."
—Philosophy East and West

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Dec 29 2003
Format: Paperback
When I am bored with everything, this is one of the books I like to pick up and browse through. There's so much material here, I'm bound to find something interesting or even inspiring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9a08f564) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a0b50fc) out of 5 stars Highly Readable and Useful Oct. 6 2006
By Justin Ennis - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most readable books that I own, which seems out of character for a "Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion" but it is very true. I can sit down with this book for hours at any given time. I think a big part of that is the excellent cross-reference system, so you can start anywhere and then see the linkages between different thoughts; which means that every reading of the book is like a journey. Another great feature of the book is that it covers both ideas and the people who forwarded them in the linking system so you can start with a study on epistemology and then end up ranging over half the book because you link to the people with the ideas and then back to the other ideas that the particular philospher had.

The drawbacks to such an approach are clear. After all, the book has to have some limitation to its length and it is covering many authors who wrote many thousands of pages on their own ideas, so the articles have to do quite a bit of summing up. Since it is absurd to expect deeper coverage from such a book anyway, I feel just fine highly recommending it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a0b5150) out of 5 stars An excellent way to cross-reference many basic ideas! July 17 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I haven't read this book for a while, but I can say that it's the most extensively cross-referenced dictionary of philosophical and religious concepts I've personally seen. This makes it very easy to compare disparate sources of opinion on many concepts, including the most basic ideas such as truth, knowledge, reality, etc., as well as very specific ideas that are associated with one person or group. Each entry contains a somewhat limiting, but very convenient, numbered list of different perspectives and ideas on the subject-- and each item on each list usually contains a reference to another section of the dictionary. The commentary isn't always as detailed or perhaps QUITE as professional as, say, The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy... However, the holistic approach of this work probably contributed more to my personal sense of the interconnectedness of human thought than anything I've ever seen.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a0b5324) out of 5 stars A must-have for anyone interested in philosophy/religion Jan. 17 2002
By Stoppinby - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book saw me through many a philosophy course, and 8 years later I still find the need to use it for quick, concise cross-referencing of the major tenets of philosophy and religion. I actually won it in a bet while in college. It was the best bet I ever made, which speaks poorly of my gambling ability, but highly of this book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a0b5948) out of 5 stars shelf-reading at its best June 26 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
my father used to call surfing the dictionary shelf-reading -- you look up one thing and read all the other stuff on the same page and the references. as the first reviewer of this book notes, the cross-referencing in this book is most enlightening to a lay person. i looked up "intentionality", which someone said was the key to sartre, and discovered not only husserl and his world, but brentano, a history of philosophy in one tiny paragraph from avicenna to the theory of types. the clarity with which it is written and defines arcane (new) terms like noema deserves reprinting.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a3bae28) out of 5 stars This has taught me a lot. Aug. 24 2002
By as baby Babylons do SKITS - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have been using this book for years, but I never had to learn anything that is in this book, being so amateur in philosophy that I don't have to trouble myself with the ideas for which most of the people in this book have become famous. I have usually expected things to be much simpler than the information which this book has to offer. It has nice definitions of some Greek and Latin words that I find meaningful, once I know what they are supposed to be about. On the Hebrew source of the word "Gehenna," the place used for "the city dump of Jerusalem" where fires burned constantly, the extra information, "according to tradition, [first-born] children had been sacrificed there to the god Moloch," provides a lot of insight into its use in The New Testament, where the King James Version often uses "hell."
For years, this book was my main source of information on Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). I suspect that it is right about "he was condemned to death, and burned alive in the Campo Dei Fiori on February 17, 1600." I have tried to make sense of a few of Bruno's books, like THE EXPULSION OF THE TRIUMPHANT BEAST, but I'm inclined to accept the list of main ideas in this dictionary as the sum of his accomplishments. Dying for the idea that "The universe is infinite" makes more sense than some of his monads, and "To consider reality in its multiplicity" is an achievement that I can appreciate.
On the other hand, the entry for Paul Tillich (1886-1965) illustrates a theologian's ability to distinguish "between three forms of reasoning~heteronymous, autonomous, and theonomous." I thought heteronymous would be pretty good, but Tillich thought that even "Autonomous reason takes its principles from within, but thereby reveals itself as vacuous and tautological." Being able to accept that Tillich would say that is part of being able to appreciate what this book is all about. I'm not saying that these guys are always right about anything.