The religious teachings, beliefs and way of life for the 12 major religions practiced by those adherents is thought provoking and challenging to the whole of western civilization. Each religion presents itself with it's own coded language , moral guidance , communal memories , ontological ideas and metaphysical constructs. Who is leading these religious paths? Do we have to conclude that there is a general truth to each religion? What does the West say in response to the multi-religious life styles of humanity? Are we really inherently good? How do we communicate the symbols of goodness , joy, kindness, compassion, gentleness, patience , love, faith, peacefulness and self control to our neighbours? The message of Jesus is universal and true when he told his followers do to others what you would have them do to you.
5.0 out of 5 starsObtain a Basic Understanding of the 12 Major Religions
17 September 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
If you're looking for a basic understanding of some of the different religions of the world, then this is a great place to start. However, if you're already well-versed in the different religions of the world, then this book might seem a bit repetitive, but is still an informative book to add to your collection.
I, personally, felt that the author provided an insightful, unbiased look into these practices.
The book starts off by providing an explanation of ancient foundations for religion; ancient Egypt, ancient Greece/Rome, and the ancient Nordic religion are all mentioned. It includes information on how these ancient people interacted with the world around them and searched for meaning in things that they could not explain (natural disasters, illness, etc.). This section basically defines a basis for believing. It also discusses the major gods and goddesses of these ancient religions, what they thought of death and the afterlife, and includes methods of practice.
Once you've obtained a basic understanding of the earliest religions, the book then moves on to today's most popular religions. This section leads off with a chart for reference. This chart shows the number of people in the world that practice the religion, the number of subdivisions, the largest branches of the religion, when the religion began, their primary text, and the location of most of its followers. The religions in this book include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Judaism, Confucianism, Bahá'í, Shinto, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism. Each religion has it's own chapter that takes a close, comparative look at the religions. Each section explains where the religion began, major figures, primary beliefs, major texts, ceremonial practices, divisions, and the potential future of the religions.
It should be noted that Zoroastrianism, Taoism, and Confucianism have a significantly small number of followers in comparison to the other religions, but they have had a profound impact on the rituals and beliefs of much larger religious systems today.
This is not a book that you have to sit and read in its entirety; it's laid out to make it easy for you to switch back and forth, and to find the specific information you're looking for.
Overall, a good read. I would recommend this to those looking for an introduction into the different religions of the world.
* I received this complimentary book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
This is an absolutely readable book and I quite enjoyed reading it. There were some obscure nuggets of info that I didn't before on some items; all in all I'd recommend the book to someone who is completely ignorant of the subject.
Is it the best work out there? No! However, a book with more meat and substance would be quite scholarly with costs to match. Coming from where I do, the subject of Hinduism, Jainism, and Islam was, in my opinion, somewhat watered down; probably to appeal to it's, assumedly, intended audience, the American Christian reader. For example, the subject of untouchability is not handled at all -- which was a big disappointment. Another case in point, Muharram -- it is a major cause of discontent between Shiites and Sunnis. In essence, the book has steered clear of anything controversial or negative.
The highlight of the book is that, as much as is humanly possible, the subject matters within each religion/sect is arranged evenly. So, whether you are reading about Buddhism, or Judaism, you will encounter a similar flow of content.
3.0 out of 5 starsGood intro to both Eastern and Western religions
2 May 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was a good introduction of common religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, plus several other religions that center around similar themes and founded in the Middle East. Also, contained a summary of ancient polytheistic religions held by Egypt and Greece. Missing though, are Earth-based religions like Native American religions, Wicca and Paganism.
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat overview with some important info missing.
8 October 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Great overview of the major religions. Because Islam and Christianity are of the largest, I wish more information would have been given about the different factions of each, especially Christians since each can believe quite differently. The differences seem most profound in Christianity. Maybe that would be too much material to cover but some religions inside Christianity have a larger membership than some of the lesser major religions such as Jainism or Zoroaster. Never-the-less, it is important information where you can gain a respect for people unlike you all over the earth by understanding how their particular belief shapes their life. Much respect gained.
This is a great, unbiased book of the major religions. There are no obscene pictures. There are pictures that are relevant to the religion but no nudity. I was looking specifically for that on a book to use for class. The only thing I wish was included was pronunciation guides. You have to look up all the words to see how to properly pronounce them.