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Surveying the world's religions and providing succinct yet thought-provoking insight into the philosophy and practices of each, The Religions Book is ideal for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the world's religions. With intriguing artwork, flow charts, and diagrams, complex ideas are made accessible in this comprehensive guide. The Religions Book is also pe Surveying the world's religions and providing succinct yet thought-provoking insight into the philosophy and practices of each, The Religions Book is ideal for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the world's religions. With intriguing artwork, flow charts, and diagrams, complex ideas are made accessible in this comprehensive guide. The Religions Book is also perfect for religion and philosophy students.


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Surveying the world's religions and providing succinct yet thought-provoking insight into the philosophy and practices of each, The Religions Book is ideal for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the world's religions. With intriguing artwork, flow charts, and diagrams, complex ideas are made accessible in this comprehensive guide. The Religions Book is also pe Surveying the world's religions and providing succinct yet thought-provoking insight into the philosophy and practices of each, The Religions Book is ideal for anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the world's religions. With intriguing artwork, flow charts, and diagrams, complex ideas are made accessible in this comprehensive guide. The Religions Book is also perfect for religion and philosophy students.

30 review for The Religions Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Priceless book! - ¡Libro invaluable! This review is bilingual. You will find first the review in English and after that, you will find the review in Spanish. Esta crítica es bilingüe. Usted encontrará primero la crítica en Inglés y luego de esta, usted encontrará la crítica en Español. RELIGIOUS(LY) READING The first thing that comes to mind is a quote from the novel Virgin by Mary Elizabeth Murphy (aka F. Paul Wilson): God created Faith to unite us, but Man created Religion to separate u Priceless book! - ¡Libro invaluable! This review is bilingual. You will find first the review in English and after that, you will find the review in Spanish. Esta crítica es bilingüe. Usted encontrará primero la crítica en Inglés y luego de esta, usted encontrará la crítica en Español. RELIGIOUS(LY) READING The first thing that comes to mind is a quote from the novel Virgin by Mary Elizabeth Murphy (aka F. Paul Wilson): God created Faith to unite us, but Man created Religion to separate us. Because even within several of the most popular religions that worship the same God, there are several subgroups that generate separations within the same religion. I was looking for this book for a while and I am very happy to have finally found it, since the book is as good (if not better) as I imagined it. And at an affordable price, thanks to the fact that it is published by DK, which is usually a suitable combination of hardcover, prestige paper in full color, but at a reasonable price. The Book of Religions, as the title indicates, is a book where you can find the origin and the most punctual elements, such as sacred texts, founders and relevant preachers, central ideas, evolution and ramification, key chronology, highlighting geography, average census of adepts, significant divisions, etc... of the majority of the most popular religions in history, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, but also primitive beliefs, as well as modern religions. By having all those beliefs and religions in the same book, it is very practical to see certain similarities between them, and to note relevant coincidences such as the 6th Century B.C., it was a key moment in history where most religions consolidated to start creating their own impacts around the world. This is an essential book for all those interested in knowing about the other religions that exist and/or existed, but also to learn a little more about their own religion, whatever it may be. Definitely it is a lot of overwhelming information to be able to fully understand it in the first read, so I have no doubt that I will be returning to this book many times to read it again. And do not forget that in the end, the most important thing is to have faith in God (no matter what you call the Higher Power in which you believe) and seek to live in peace with your peers. LECTURA RELIGIOSA(MENTE) Lo primero que se me viene a la mente esa una frase de la novela Virgin por Mary Elizabeth Murphy (aka F. Paul Wilson): Dios creó la Fé para unirnos, pero el Hombre creó la Religión para separarnos. . Ya que inclusive dentro de varias de las religiones más populares que adoran al mismo Dios, existen varios sub-grupos que generan separaciones dentro de una misma religión. Anduve detrás de este libro y me alegra mucho haberlo encontrado finalmente, ya que el libro es tan bueno (sino es que mejor) como me lo imaginaba. Y además a un precio accesible, gracias a que es publicado por DK, que usualmente es una combinación idónea de pasta dura, papel prestige a todo color, pero a un precio razonable. El Libro de las Religiones como el título lo indica, es un libro donde puedes encontrar el origen y los elementos más puntuales, tales como textos sagrados, fundadores y predicadores relevantes, ideas centrales, evolución y ramificación, cronología clave, geografía resaltante, censo promedio de adeptos, divisiones significantes, etc… de la mayoría de las religiones más populares en la historia, tales como Cristianismo, Judaísmo, Islamismo, Budismo, Hinduismo, pero también creencias primitivas, así como religiones modernas. Al tener todas esas creencias y religiones en el mismo libro, es muy práctico ver ciertas similitudes entre ellas, y notar coincidencias relevantes como que el Siglo VI A.C. fue un momento clave en la historia donde la mayoría de las religiones se consolidaron para empezar a crear sus propios impactos alrededor del mundo. Este es un libro esencial para todos aquellos interesados en conocer sobre las otras religiones que existen y/o existieron, pero también aprender un poco más de su propia religión sea cual sea. Definitivamente es una cantidad de información abrumante como para poder entenderla totalmente en la primera leída, por lo que no dudo que estaré regresando a este libro muchas veces para volver a leerlo. Y no olviden que al final, lo más importante es tener fé en Dios (no importa cómo le llamen al Poder Superior en el cual crean) y busquen vivir en paz con sus semejantes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    When some nomads started staying put and growing some taters & turnips around 10,000 BCE they became acutely aware of the weather and they needed to contact whoever was in charge of rain and sunshine and get a little co-operation going. They figured just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. So, for instance, the wind. These invisible things – let’s call them spirits – were just everywhere, and they were running wild. But some people could talk to them, and make deals. You When some nomads started staying put and growing some taters & turnips around 10,000 BCE they became acutely aware of the weather and they needed to contact whoever was in charge of rain and sunshine and get a little co-operation going. They figured just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. So, for instance, the wind. These invisible things – let’s call them spirits – were just everywhere, and they were running wild. But some people could talk to them, and make deals. You do this for us, we’ll do that for you. So that was the concept of sacrifice. Here’s a goat, now give me a wife. Alright, two goats. Arm-twister! Hey, don’t snow all over my cabbage patch, here’s a donkey. Some of it wasn’t no donkeys neither. It turns out that the grisly heads rolling down the ziggurat scenes in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto movie were factually correct. Ugh! Some bold types called shamen took strong medicine and went across to the spirit world and returned with very specific knowledge (the necklace you lost is behind front door of your neighbour’s hut – not saying how it could possibly have got there). Oh, humans have spirits too, and the good news is, they’re immortal. Actually, the land and the spirits and the creatures and the humans are all part of each other, it’s like that crazy novel The City and the City by China Mieville, these different worlds all co-terminous in the same place and interweaving and all. Well, several thousand years passed and spirits in some places became gods and got specific powers and tights and capes to wear too, and city states grew up all over, their kings were divine or divinely chosen, and the people believed that tosh because the priests told them it was true. That happened in the USSR under Stalin too, so it’s an idea which took a long time to die out. This excellent book then moves on to the oldest living religion, Hinduism, followed by Buddhism (which might not be a religion, it’s much more a philosophy), Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the three great monotheisms. Finally we get a miscellaneous section which tears through Sikhs, Santeria, Mormons, Baha’I, Tenrikyo, Cargo Cults (which have now disappeared), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Rastafari, Cai Dai, Scientology, Unification Church, Wicca, TM, UUA, Krishna Consciousness and Falun Dafa. They all go by so rapidly that I’m not sure the subtleties of each faith are adequately explained - the Unification Church appears just to believe that everyone should get married, for instance. I think there must be more to it than that. But mainly the nine authors of this classy compendium can cheerfully collect compliments and congratulations for their collectively crisp, cool, calm compression of these copious complex, confusing and contrary concepts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Rogers

    This book was very informative and easy to digest, while also being respectful of all the different religions and branches of those religions included. I noticed early on that for each section, the language was such that the tenants or stories of each of the belief systems was fact. Not a whole lot of qualifiers (i.e. According to this myth, the god supposedly did xyz.) just straightforward telling. With so many different religions to cover, this saves time and makes the whole book easier to rea This book was very informative and easy to digest, while also being respectful of all the different religions and branches of those religions included. I noticed early on that for each section, the language was such that the tenants or stories of each of the belief systems was fact. Not a whole lot of qualifiers (i.e. According to this myth, the god supposedly did xyz.) just straightforward telling. With so many different religions to cover, this saves time and makes the whole book easier to read. And comes across very respectful as well. As a believer in one of the included religions myself, I appreciated that very much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This was an interesting book. Sort of an encyclopedia of religion, the book presents basic religious ideas, from many different traditions, in easily digestible articles. There are major sections on the five major religions of humanity (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and several section with articles based on beliefs of other religious traditions. Based on my seminary background, I was surprised at the breadth and depth of coverage of Christianity from both a doctrinal and This was an interesting book. Sort of an encyclopedia of religion, the book presents basic religious ideas, from many different traditions, in easily digestible articles. There are major sections on the five major religions of humanity (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and several section with articles based on beliefs of other religious traditions. Based on my seminary background, I was surprised at the breadth and depth of coverage of Christianity from both a doctrinal and historical perspective. I can only assume the coverage of the other religions is similar. I was amused when about Moses Maimonides' position that God has no attributes (essentially that God is incomprehensible) kept referring to God as "he". Wouldn't that imply that God has gender, which would be an attribute? In any case, this book is a decent source of information on many religious traditions and beliefs. Not an in depth treatment of any, but a good overview/survey source.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scout Collins

    3.5 stars Informative book about different major religions. This book was hard for me to get through for a few reasons. I'm not really interested in the very specific details of religion, so the textbook-style type paragraphs were boring and hard to finish. I have also mentioned this in my reviews of the other books in this series, but I'm not a fan of the format; it's not organized enough for me (yes, I'm that Type A). For some topics the format works very well (e.g. for the Politics one) but for 3.5 stars Informative book about different major religions. This book was hard for me to get through for a few reasons. I'm not really interested in the very specific details of religion, so the textbook-style type paragraphs were boring and hard to finish. I have also mentioned this in my reviews of the other books in this series, but I'm not a fan of the format; it's not organized enough for me (yes, I'm that Type A). For some topics the format works very well (e.g. for the Politics one) but for religion it seemed choppy and lacking of important aspects of the religions. The main 2 sections are Christianity and Islam, which have short 'chapters'/articles titled with things like "God Guides Us with Shari'a"--if you don't know what Shari'a is, those types of titles are unhelpful and you can't find what you're looking for. I also wish the book clearly looked at different religions' stances on social issues like women's rights (e.g. abortion, divorces, etc.), LGTBQ rights, etc. and compared them. I also was unhappy with the book's minimization of certain requirements of faiths. Example (this is the only one I remember, but there were others too): "Jihad is Our Religious Duty ...He argued that in the first stage, jihad towards others should be peaceful and passive. In the second stage, Islam should be defended with peaceful argument. The third stage allowed for followers to defend the Muslim community against injustice. In the fourth stage, Muslims are called on to engage in armed conflict, within specific legal guidelines and Qu'ranic guidelines, when the Islamic faith is under threat." (Ambalu, 278). In other books, this would have been written like "To defend Islam, Muslims are encouraged to engage in violence." Overall if you're interested in religion and interested in an introduction this is a decent book to start with.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alex Kartelias

    A very good introduction to religion. What's special about it is that it focuses on certain themes of each religion, while giving a general summary of its history at the beginning of each religion. I think the book accomplishes it's goal by picking out the distinct characteristics of these religions- while occasionally illuminating the similarities they share. Does not serve as a complete source of information, but due to its recency and enjoyable format, this book does serve as a excellent entr A very good introduction to religion. What's special about it is that it focuses on certain themes of each religion, while giving a general summary of its history at the beginning of each religion. I think the book accomplishes it's goal by picking out the distinct characteristics of these religions- while occasionally illuminating the similarities they share. Does not serve as a complete source of information, but due to its recency and enjoyable format, this book does serve as a excellent entrance into the fascinating study of religion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rick Sam

    I received criticisms, remarks from a friend on this topic. He is friendly, often writes in newspapers on this topic. As he is writing for general public; I expect him to bring more content. I wanted this person to give a more serious, thoughtful understanding of religion. Apparently, he gave usual popular internet arguments or opinions on Religion. I mean, I wanted him to put more effort in educating himself, having a thoughtful response. He's on his way to get a PhD. It would be beneficial for I received criticisms, remarks from a friend on this topic. He is friendly, often writes in newspapers on this topic. As he is writing for general public; I expect him to bring more content. I wanted this person to give a more serious, thoughtful understanding of religion. Apparently, he gave usual popular internet arguments or opinions on Religion. I mean, I wanted him to put more effort in educating himself, having a thoughtful response. He's on his way to get a PhD. It would be beneficial for a discussion, rather than saying, "Religion is a tool, used to control people." This does not discredit the idea of God (genetic fallacy). I shared this book, so he can go through different religions and be more informed. Hinduism was most interesting to me. I wish more people would talk about religion openly, rather than cower. The Book is a survey of religious ideas. I think, this would be have much better if Religious ideas were more systematized or hierarchical. I was thinking, a lot of religious groups treat each other with disdain. Wish, there was a book that would give how each religion view each other throughout centuries. I would recommend this to anyone, who wants to go through a concise description of religions of humanity Deus Vult, Gottfried

  8. 4 out of 5

    Johann

    This book provided a fantastic synopsis of the world’s religions. It was well-written, expansive, and informative, taking one on a trip from the ancient to the modern religions of the world. Each religion was presented tastefully and respectfully. I wanted a book to help me understand where my own religious history (Mormonism) fit in with the development of religious thought. This was the only book on world religions I found that even included a section on the topic. What I learned was how many This book provided a fantastic synopsis of the world’s religions. It was well-written, expansive, and informative, taking one on a trip from the ancient to the modern religions of the world. Each religion was presented tastefully and respectfully. I wanted a book to help me understand where my own religious history (Mormonism) fit in with the development of religious thought. This was the only book on world religions I found that even included a section on the topic. What I learned was how many similarities in theology and origin there are amongst the various religions. I came away with a strong feeling that any religion claiming exclusive monopoly to absolute truth is a dangerous endeavor. I found comfort in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, that all faith essentially comes from the same source and all paths eventually lead back to that source. My next religious undertaking will be to read a book examining the historical Jesus versus the Christ of the New Testament. You can tell each section was written by various different contributors, based on the number of typographical errors present. Some sections had quite a few, while others included none that I noticed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nada

    I've been looking for a book like this for a long time and I'm glad I found this book. This book cover a major sections and introduced me to a new beliefs and myths and its easy to read with nice diagrams and illustration. I've been looking for a book like this for a long time and I'm glad I found this book. This book cover a major sections and introduced me to a new beliefs and myths and its easy to read with nice diagrams and illustration.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    I’ve felt cheated out of my religious education for years when my old and weird eccentric religious education teacher was never never there for lectures and when he was he smelt of mothballs, cigarette smoke and he believed putting on the Simpsons was justified as education failed me in my GCSE. It was a true shame because actually my best friend and I were the rarity of the class and we did enjoy learning. Surprise surprise when we and the rest of our class failed our exam. Everything I know ab I’ve felt cheated out of my religious education for years when my old and weird eccentric religious education teacher was never never there for lectures and when he was he smelt of mothballs, cigarette smoke and he believed putting on the Simpsons was justified as education failed me in my GCSE. It was a true shame because actually my best friend and I were the rarity of the class and we did enjoy learning. Surprise surprise when we and the rest of our class failed our exam. Everything I know about religion before reading this book has been either biased or going off other people’s experiences of religion and history. And I felt it was time to do my own research. I can say that after reading this book I am certainly more aware of the worlds religions, their history’s and their influences. But in actual terms of how detailed religion influences people’s lives day to day, not so much. I get the overall gist of it but a bit more information in that aspect would have been nice. Information wise it can be a lot to handle and read therefore it’s taken me about four months to complete because reading it in big sections is a no go. Small sections are definitely doable.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gail Thompson

    This book is really useful as a research tool. It covers religions from prehistory through to the modern day. Each religion is in a separate section that is clearly demarcated and often colour coded so that you can see a change from one to the other. There are pictures, diagrams and even time lines to help in understanding the basics of the religion in question. The text is broken into easily digestible chunks to help comprehension. Over all, this is a great starting point for anyone who wants t This book is really useful as a research tool. It covers religions from prehistory through to the modern day. Each religion is in a separate section that is clearly demarcated and often colour coded so that you can see a change from one to the other. There are pictures, diagrams and even time lines to help in understanding the basics of the religion in question. The text is broken into easily digestible chunks to help comprehension. Over all, this is a great starting point for anyone who wants to know more about religion and has been useful in my own research.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Jones

    Perfect book for anyone looking to read about all of the world's religions. I had been looking for a book like this for a long time and this gave me everything I was looking for. Great book. Perfect book for anyone looking to read about all of the world's religions. I had been looking for a book like this for a long time and this gave me everything I was looking for. Great book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ammar

    Interesting book, more like encyclopaedia, nicely illustrated and organised. I could turn back to, and get some info about certain religion if needed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    The Time Traveler

    Sides of a Die This is a collection of the world’s most common and historical religions. Reading the encyclopedic text shows us that from the beginning of humankind there has been a belief in the spiritual and supernatural. By analyzing different cultures and geographic regions a picture that when compartmentalized appears conflicting; but, when put on display all at once shows how similar the spiritual beliefs are to one another. Religions fit like different puzzle pieces to the same puzzle or d Sides of a Die This is a collection of the world’s most common and historical religions. Reading the encyclopedic text shows us that from the beginning of humankind there has been a belief in the spiritual and supernatural. By analyzing different cultures and geographic regions a picture that when compartmentalized appears conflicting; but, when put on display all at once shows how similar the spiritual beliefs are to one another. Religions fit like different puzzle pieces to the same puzzle or different sides of the same dice. Most lead to the divine (usually a Creator) and include beliefs in a continuance of life after death; whether eternal life or reincarnation. The path of leading a moral (one of self improvement) is similar in the differing religions: to practice peace, to love one another despite differences, to help the unfortunate, and to play a role in creating a compassionate society seems to be the collective goal. By living simply, fairly, and in awareness that there is more meaning to life than individualism and materialism, as secular culture leads many to believe, shows us that there is truly one path that arises above all. As a Christ follower I share the following passage despite an evil agenda to divide brother from brother, despite ideological or theological differences; the day will come when we face death. A day that no matter belief is scientific recognition. So live a life of betterment. A favorite passage is found in Matthew 25: (I believe that by accepting this way of life a moral way is without prejudice despite differences that whether known in words but through actions God will judge and not by religious belief. “Blessed are the peacemakers) 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I want to start off this review by saying that I did not finish this book! There are a lot of subjects that I don't know about that I want to know more about. Top among those subjects is religion. I've never been a religious person. Spiritual, perhaps, but never overly religious. My parents never forced me to go to church, they never really forced their religion upon me, and I've always been free to explore that area if I wanted to so I could ensure that my beliefs are what I want or envision the I want to start off this review by saying that I did not finish this book! There are a lot of subjects that I don't know about that I want to know more about. Top among those subjects is religion. I've never been a religious person. Spiritual, perhaps, but never overly religious. My parents never forced me to go to church, they never really forced their religion upon me, and I've always been free to explore that area if I wanted to so I could ensure that my beliefs are what I want or envision them to be. I never really wanted to go exploring in that direction until recently, but I didn't want to go take a class at the local college because that's a chunk of change to spend with a chance that I'll still walk away potentially confused. Instead, I scoured the internet for books that may be of assistance to me. When I came upon this book, I thought it seemed like it would be a good fit. It's not! The book is beautifully laid out but, to my brain, it just adds to my confusion as I was trying to learn and absorb the material. The charts and pictures really don't add anything for me, they weren't helpful. The actual text itself? It was very, very repetitive and that's not how I learn. You can tell me something over and over again and I might never get it even after the fifteenth time! I was expecting a far more in depth look at each religion, prepared to be exposed to the beauty of each of them, and get sucked into the material in some sort of cohesive way. This was just repetitive and felt, to me, like it was all over the place. I'm not saying that this book would be bad for all individuals! No, it's just not how I learn. I would recommend this if a wall of text is far too much (and it can be, absolutely!) for you and you need to have the visuals and the repetitiveness to absorb the material. My brain just wasn't equipped for this particular style.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Wragg

    Almost brilliant. The descriptions are fantastic, and the author does a great job of explaining complex religious ideas in a simple fashion. If I were to review the book on the quality of the writing and explanations alone then this would certainly get 5 stars. However, the book is unevenly balanced in its subject matter. The book gives 30 pages of information on Judaism, a religion with only 14 million adherents worldwide. I accept that understanding Judaism is important for the understanding of Almost brilliant. The descriptions are fantastic, and the author does a great job of explaining complex religious ideas in a simple fashion. If I were to review the book on the quality of the writing and explanations alone then this would certainly get 5 stars. However, the book is unevenly balanced in its subject matter. The book gives 30 pages of information on Judaism, a religion with only 14 million adherents worldwide. I accept that understanding Judaism is important for the understanding of Christianity, and to a lesser extent Islam. However, when religions like Taoism get only 2 pages of coverage for a religion with 20+ million adherents, and Sikhism only gets 6 pages despite having 23 million adherents, I feel Judaism is undeservedly taking up the spotlight at the expense of broader and deeper explanations of larger religions. This takes away from the overall as it feels noncomprehensive. Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam get an appropriate amount of coverage given their size, with excellent scope provided for each. However, I can’t help feeling how much better the book would have been if Judaism took more of a backseat and Taoism and Sikhism were given much more attention. That said, the book’s breadth in general is excellent. Many interesting examples of indigenous faiths and modern religions are given, and it doesn’t feel as if the book has any glaring omissions (besides the appropriate level of depth for some larger religions).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Bapitie Bramwell

    I picked up this book to gain an introduction into the origins of religion and was pleasantly surprised. I found an incredibly compact and informative book which explains the origins, development and history of the major and minor religions. What I love most is you aren't bombarded with superficial information (I. E. Going too deep into detail about religious practices and rituals) but gives you enough information to do your own research. The foundation offered by this book is aided by the direc I picked up this book to gain an introduction into the origins of religion and was pleasantly surprised. I found an incredibly compact and informative book which explains the origins, development and history of the major and minor religions. What I love most is you aren't bombarded with superficial information (I. E. Going too deep into detail about religious practices and rituals) but gives you enough information to do your own research. The foundation offered by this book is aided by the directory, a bitesized version of each mentioned religion - I'd argue to read the directory and use it to guide your own study! I appreciated how the branches of particular religions were given sufficient detail as to why they occurred. However, some of these sections were long winded and could have been included in the directory instead for cohesion. I found these sections, while informative, were short and disrupted an otherwise progressive flow detailing each religion. Again, if you're looking for a book to introduce you into the origin of religions around the world then I strongly recommend this book. May you enjoy your time reading!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ahdom

    I love the Big Ideas Simply Explained as they do a great job at presenting insightful information with useful infographics. I have had the privilege of reading The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained and The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained, as well as currently reading The Bible Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained along with my Bible reading. These books break down each subject into a digestible and understandable format, compete with useful timelines and frames it within context I love the Big Ideas Simply Explained as they do a great job at presenting insightful information with useful infographics. I have had the privilege of reading The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained and The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained, as well as currently reading The Bible Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained along with my Bible reading. These books break down each subject into a digestible and understandable format, compete with useful timelines and frames it within context of the larger related world. Over time I am sure I will read these all, but so many will correlate to my religious/myth/history reading that will line up to supplement what else I plan to read, so many will have to wait. The Religions book is a great reference book to have on your shelf, similar to The Eliade Guide to World Religions. It's easy to pick up and find what you are looking for and get a good rundown on it. I can't recommend this series enough.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Irene Y Bruno

    The World of Religions I have been hearing so much about religions recently with all of the craziness going on in America's current political insanity. I was looking for a reference that could objectively give an overview and history of the World's religions. This book is perfect. Easy to read, simply laid out. Gives enough backround for a basiic understanding which is a good starting point. I think it's important to know the truth and not just believe what someone says especially when they give The World of Religions I have been hearing so much about religions recently with all of the craziness going on in America's current political insanity. I was looking for a reference that could objectively give an overview and history of the World's religions. This book is perfect. Easy to read, simply laid out. Gives enough backround for a basiic understanding which is a good starting point. I think it's important to know the truth and not just believe what someone says especially when they give a distorted view to suit their own purposes. Also of note , I bought the kindle version and it was perfect. Some of the reviews said the kindle version was badly laid out and very hard to read but mine was great. The pages were full size and everything worked just fine. I would recommend this book as a basic reference.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Min

    I borrowed this book from the library mostly for its opening sections for Primal, Ancient, and Classical Beliefs as those are nearly never covered in a tome that also modern religions. The entries are, for the most part, a half page of text, and a half page graphic that places the belief In Context, as the section is named. For the religions most represented in the West, there are longer discussions regarding the broadest doctrines. A section for New Religious Movements offers a page for the more I borrowed this book from the library mostly for its opening sections for Primal, Ancient, and Classical Beliefs as those are nearly never covered in a tome that also modern religions. The entries are, for the most part, a half page of text, and a half page graphic that places the belief In Context, as the section is named. For the religions most represented in the West, there are longer discussions regarding the broadest doctrines. A section for New Religious Movements offers a page for the more well-represented groups in the United States, although, it barely amounts to what would be considered a footnote in any other book. With such a brief attempt at description, a clear picture is impossible to obtain. This would be great for a young reader to gain a bare-bones framework from which to build deeper knowledge. The article for Sikhism is one of the stronger ones.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christiane

    A very interesting overview of the major and minor religions, sects and cults past and present. The first sentence in the “Directory” states that “despite the apparent prevalence of atheism in the West, the number of people professing some kind of religious belief is increasing worldwide.” While this may or may not be true, I think it would have been interesting if the book had included a chapter on those who through the ages have rejected religion and given a voice to the champions of atheism i A very interesting overview of the major and minor religions, sects and cults past and present. The first sentence in the “Directory” states that “despite the apparent prevalence of atheism in the West, the number of people professing some kind of religious belief is increasing worldwide.” While this may or may not be true, I think it would have been interesting if the book had included a chapter on those who through the ages have rejected religion and given a voice to the champions of atheism in the West today (Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Stephen Hawking, etc.). P.S. As is the case with all the books in this series, reading it on a Kindle is not ideal as the page layout gets lots and the graphics are too small.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Garret Macko

    I'm starting to really enjoy these DK books. Someone once told me that James Holzhauer, Jeopardy! extraordinaire, read through mountains of kids books to prepare for his matches—while I wouldn't necessarily term these DK books as 'kids books', they're set up in a very similar fashion. And whether or not the Holzhauer bit is true is unimportant here because I think it highlights an important idea, one that only sort of relates to gaining eternal Jeopardy! stardom (which, by the way, is likely a l I'm starting to really enjoy these DK books. Someone once told me that James Holzhauer, Jeopardy! extraordinaire, read through mountains of kids books to prepare for his matches—while I wouldn't necessarily term these DK books as 'kids books', they're set up in a very similar fashion. And whether or not the Holzhauer bit is true is unimportant here because I think it highlights an important idea, one that only sort of relates to gaining eternal Jeopardy! stardom (which, by the way, is likely a little bit outside of my reach): building a rich and expansive knowledge starts with a foundation. This is the essence, among other things, of good pedagogy. In this regard, these books are excellent: perfect as a jumping off point or to just gather the main ideas of a subject.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fadillah

    This is well written book. Every religion is sorted according to time of their emergence. Every page is so colorful and comprises with side notes, pictures and illustrations. I do think everybody should read it. This is an excellent book to understand every religion in every angle and aspect of it. Correction on the page 265 : *every Muslim baby will be recited prayer call (Azan for male, Iqamat for female) not shahadah as stated in the book . (Please correct me if the practices is vary in other c This is well written book. Every religion is sorted according to time of their emergence. Every page is so colorful and comprises with side notes, pictures and illustrations. I do think everybody should read it. This is an excellent book to understand every religion in every angle and aspect of it. Correction on the page 265 : *every Muslim baby will be recited prayer call (Azan for male, Iqamat for female) not shahadah as stated in the book . (Please correct me if the practices is vary in other country).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Very good to gain general knowledge on religion. I’ve larned so much and it gave me many philosophical questions to think about. Any religious or non-religious person would benefit a lot from this book. And the tone is very respectful. I feel like some religions should’ve gotten a bit more pages (for example I expected some information about chakras and maybe even the law of attraction) but there are always more books to read if you feel interested. One thing though: Cronus isn’t Rhea’s father, Very good to gain general knowledge on religion. I’ve larned so much and it gave me many philosophical questions to think about. Any religious or non-religious person would benefit a lot from this book. And the tone is very respectful. I feel like some religions should’ve gotten a bit more pages (for example I expected some information about chakras and maybe even the law of attraction) but there are always more books to read if you feel interested. One thing though: Cronus isn’t Rhea’s father, he is her brother and husband.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    This is a wonderful book for learning of the many different religions world wide. It is in an easy to read format. Each chapter has to do with a different religion or a different branch of a religion. Easy to stop and pick it back up. I did not realize how diverse Buddhism and Hinduism were. India's religious history was fascinating. I found this book enlightening and interesting. I recommend it for anyone interested in the diversity of the world's religions. This is a wonderful book for learning of the many different religions world wide. It is in an easy to read format. Each chapter has to do with a different religion or a different branch of a religion. Easy to stop and pick it back up. I did not realize how diverse Buddhism and Hinduism were. India's religious history was fascinating. I found this book enlightening and interesting. I recommend it for anyone interested in the diversity of the world's religions.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    This, and others in the same series, have been sat on my bookshelf for a couple of years and I thought it was time to read one. Although it did lose me in a couple of places, on the whole the book was interesting and definitely a valuable reading experience. I feel I have a clearer understanding of the world’s religions now and a better appreciation of the causes of some of today’s conflicts and issues.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daniyal Khan

    This text is like an encyclopedia of world religions and cults. It beautifully provides an overview of each religion- its origin, the reforms it imbibed, various streams that emerged from it and its contemporary status. The use of flowcharts, tables and pictures are an aid to remember the important facts. It would have been better if the holy scriptures/rituals/prayers etc were briefly described under separate headings.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Simon M.

    There is no way this is supposed to be read straight through lol. This did a great deal to give me a basis on the many of the worlds religions in a very easy way. I feel an insane amount smarter about so many topics (all religious) after reading this! Also the Beatles are mentioned directly twice as apart of the ‘Modern Religions’ section, which is funny to think they have some tangible affect on religion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Forhad Juwain Sumon

    From primal beliefs to the world's great faiths and the continuing quest for spiritual meaning in our complex world, This Book gets to the heart of what it means to believe in God and religion's place in society. clearly and simply explains all of the important information about the world's major, and many minor, religions, in an easy-to-access format. Loved it. From primal beliefs to the world's great faiths and the continuing quest for spiritual meaning in our complex world, This Book gets to the heart of what it means to believe in God and religion's place in society. clearly and simply explains all of the important information about the world's major, and many minor, religions, in an easy-to-access format. Loved it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed Hamdey

    This is definitely a very nice book that is “well-informative” in a very nice and easy way of explanation. However, I didn’t feel that I gained that much of knowledge after finishing it because around 80% of the book contents were things that I am already familiar with. I wish there was more depth to it, but it is a very nice book for people who don’t have that much info on religions.

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