Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The foremost ultimate question is “What is the ultimate reality?” For theists… the answer is God. Buddhists say the answer is Nothing… Secular Humanists say it’s the material universe, beyond which nothing else exists.
In this collection of forty 15-minute segments, the author attempts to characterize the main religious (and religious-like) groups of the world in a way that is accessible to anyone. Starting with Christianity and working through folk religions, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Secular Humanism, cults, and contemporary religious movements, and all of these major groups’ offshoots, the author explains the basic origins of the religion, outlines their basic beliefs, and includes pertinent information into the culture and heritage of each group.
The author was certainly zealous in trying to condense all of the information contained in this book into forty short chapters. Oftentimes I found myself having to re-read sections in order to get a better grasp of what was being said, particularly when religious terminology/jargon was involved. The author often compares other religions to Christianity, as is obviously his bias and will likely be the majority of his readership, but it’s done in a way that is respectful to other religions. After completing the book, I don’t feel that I know a whole lot more about world religions — since there were so many covered, it had a tendency to all meld together after awhile — BUT I do now know I have a tool to use if I’m looking for a short bit of information on any particular religious group.
Overall: A great reference tool to keep around for a short summary of religious beliefs of various groups.