This new edition explores the many dimensions of religion as a central reality of human life. It provides a functional definition of religion that suggests that religion is important to everyone because each person's life is shaped by, and all persons are concerned about, occasions in their lives that threaten or promote fulfillment of the individual's basic values and commitments. FEATURES: A broad approach to defining religion in terms of value and commitment--Allows examination of traditional religious issues, beliefs, and patterns. A functional definition of religion--Provides several definitions of religion--with emphasis upon that which gives "pivitol value" to life. A variety of resource materials--Drawn from the Scriptures and classic literature of the world's great religions, as well as from classic and contemporary sources that seek to interpret religion in its various dimensions. NEW TO THIS EDITION: Updated contemporary examples from popular culture--Features poetry, drama, cinema, comics, news stories, and song lyrics. Expanded and revised content throughout--E.g., ecstatic religion, religion and gender, myth, religious understandings of evil, and postmodernism. Examination of recent world events--As they relate to religion. Fuller treatment of religious orientations and movements in simpler and contemporary society.Monk, Robert C. is the author of 'Exploring Religious Meaning', published 2002 under ISBN 9780130923868 and ISBN 0130923869.