Discusses the notion of a spiritual master and looks at examples in a variety of world religions.
What is a spiritual master? Spiritual Masters of the World's Religions offers an important contribution to religious studies by addressing that question in the context of such themes as charismatic authority, role models, symbolism, and categories of religious perception. The book contains essays by scholar-practitioners on the topic of spiritual masters in Judaic, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist traditions. It provides a full spectrum of exemplars, including founders, spiritual masters who highlight cultural themes, and problematic figures of modern times. To define spiritual master, the work of Max Weber, Mircea Eliade, Daniel Gold, and Bruce Lincoln is referenced to provide a balanced notion that includes both religionist and reductionist perspectives. This book takes readers from the past spiritual masters to the future of masters of any sort, posing food for thought about the future of master-disciple relationships in an emerging age of egalitarian sentiments.
Victoria Kennick is Professor of Humanities at the University of Maryland University College and the author of Introducing World Religions. Arvind Sharma is Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University. His many books include Hinduism as a Missionary Religion; One Religion Too Many: The Religiously Comparative Reflections of a Comparatively Religious Hindu; and Religious Studies and Comparative Methodology: The Case for Reciprocal Illumination, all published by SUNY Press.
"…an excellent work addressing an important topic in a novel way … Highly recommended." — CHOICE