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Each of the founders lived in an era and place of social and spiritual turmoil, an age and situation having much in common with ours today.

Religions can be investigated in many ways—through their doctrines, their rites, the testimonies and lives of their adherents, and through the extent and pattern of their advance.
      Another way is to look at the lives and accomplishments of their founders. This five-part series, Fathers of Faith, will do just that, examining five of the world's major religions by focusing on the lives of Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad.
      Each lived in an era and place of social and spiritual turmoil, times much in common with ours today. Each sought reform and attempted to change at least some aspect of the society as he found it. 
      The preeminent contributors to this collection discuss the life and times of these visionary figures and explore why the central insights of these men have endured and continue to profoundly influence human society to the present day.

        ----The Editor
 

 
I. Moses: In His Time and Ours
by Jonathan Kirsch
Moses, the single most decisive figure in Jewish history, was a complex figure, confrontational in dealing with both God and the Israelites.
     
II. Buddha: In His Time and Ours
by Charles Hallisey
Siddartha Gautama taught a program of self-cultivation that was to culminate in a state of peace, happiness, and freedom from the sufferings of life. And unlike most of his contemporaries, he was able to establish a community of followers that endured after his death.
III. Confucius: The Embodiment of Faith in Humanity
by Tu Weiming
Confucius, revered as the ultimate sage and the foremost teacher throughout Chinese and East Asian history, created a new mode of thinking and a new form of life.
IV. Jesus: `Who Do You Say That I Am?'
by Paula Fredriksen
To regard Jesus historically requires releasing him from service to our modern concerns or confessional identity. When we renounce the false familiarity proffered us by the dark angels of Relevance and Anachronism, we can begin to see Jesus.
by Paula Fredriksen
V. Muhammad: The Universal Man of All Times
by Sulayman S. Nyang
What is distinctive about Muhammad is that he is held to be not a savior, but the final messenger who brought the last direct connection to God.
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