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This is really an interesting and informative book, something that everyone needs to stay alert to what is on the horizon, what to stay away from, and what to lean into. Not a hard read, but, very interesting for anyone that is concerned about the differences in varies religions, cults, and faiths.
A amazing quick-reference tutorial to a lot of other religions and cults, describing their scriptures, their view of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and how they achieve salvation/enter heaven/reach nirvana. Printed on massive stock with a glossy [email protected]#$%!& should latest a long time.
Perfect summary of the majority of break-away, alternative "religions" which include curious beliefs that deviate from standard Biblical teachings over the centuries. Although some may include bits of truly crazy ideas, it's amazing to see in a short version. Finished reading in one sitting.
Lots of info in a little amount of space. Handy size to hold in your Bible. Amazing overview of the cults. I found this very helpful while teaching this DVD series. In fact, I thought it was more useful than the participants tutorial or the teacher's guide.
Needs Catholicism (cult section)So much of Catholicism is unscriptural and simply false doctrine (deviation, addition, removal of scripture)Plus they worship and pray to idols (Saints, Virgin Mary, etc.)
in 2009 I wrote a letter to Huston Smith telling him that in my teens I had taken a course on globe religions at Boston University and the professor had used as textbook Smith’s “The Religions of Man” (now titled “The World’s Religions”). I told Smith that I had recently become an adjunct professor of globe religions at FSU and that after examining a dozen textbooks I could not search one that came even close to the beauty and understanding Smith conveys in clear and eloquent prose in “The World’s Religions.” Therefore, I chose to use his book as the textbook for all my comparative religion classes. Smith wrote back that my letter had arrived on his 90th birthday and he said, "I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present!”
“Six aspects of religion surface so regularly as to suggest that their seeds are in the human makeup.” (Chapter III, p. 92 50th Anniversary Edition)I actually found that sentence buried in the chapter on Buddhism, as a short setup for a line of reasoning much less necessary than I thought such a statement merited. There’s so much to unpack in such a short sentence like that one that it’s hard to move past it and hold reading. An assertion like that really needs its own there are two elements to this statement. The first is the six aspects, and that is fairly straight forward (although the author goes on to assert that Buddhism is a rarity in that it doesn’t initially embrace such concepts).These are the six aspects of religion that surface regularly, according to Huston Smith:AuthorityRitualSpeculationTraditionGraceMysteryI’ll accept the six aspects as they are so we can move to the second element of the assertion. These six key aspects “surface so regularly as to suggest that their seeds are in the human makeup.” This second element is where it really gets interesting for me. In other words, the implication is that we come right out of the pack psychologically pre-programmed with these archetypal ideas. This a concept that I’ve been looking into for a number of months now while reading Carl Jung and Jordan B. Peterson and I’ve come to accept it as the truth. In fact, Huston Smith cites Jung several times throughout the book, so it’s not surprising that he’d been reading some of Jung’s work to come to a conclusion like that.Look for other flashes of brilliance like that throughout the book.Just in case you read this in hopes of an actual book review, I guess I can do that, too:The World’s Religions by Huston Smith is considered a classic in the genre by many. It’s such a respected book that it’s often used as a university textbook in Globe Religion classes. But this book does more than show the history and spirit of the major religions as you might expect from the title and some of the reviews. There are some very sophisticated and thoughtful parts of the book, too.I wish to quickly address a criticism I’ve seen while looking through reviews: If you have a ver that includes pictures and only a couple hundred pages, you have the abridged, illustrated ver instead of the full book. I haven’t seen inside of that one but no wonder you have complaints about the sections being too brief. Do yourself a favor and go buy the genuine article. It’s over four-hundred pages and it’s quite say: Overall, I don’t see how you could pass on this book if you’re the least bit interested in religion or Huston SmithBorn: May 31, 1919Died: December 30, 2016
I bought this as a textbook (I'm a professor) but reread it throughout the semester to refresh my memory and obtain excited to teach each fresh chapter. It's not a traditional textbook, so students obtain frustrated with not being able to search a tidy list of facts. However, Smith tries to convey what is truly meaningful and attractive about each religion, and I think he does a amazing job of it. And I think that's more necessary than memorizing history or doctrinal details.
I received a copy from Amazon directly with really not good print quality. Strange issue. The cover was blurry, and the inside text was as well. I also realized once I grabbed another copy locally and looked at lots of copys, the cover's words "The World's Religions" is supposed to be raised / embossed. Mine was totally e book itself (I returned the Amazon copy) is unbelievable though, so not sure if to give 1 or 5 stars.
One of the best, most cohesive books on the world's amazing religions. It is SO well-written! The only beef I have is that the book does not contain Zoroastrianism which has influenced nearly ALL the other religions mentioned in the book. It talks about the supposed (and recently debated) "Aryan Invasion" of India, which was more like a mass migration of Persians during the Persian Empire, but no mention of how close some of Hinduism's beliefs and rituals are to Zoroastrianism. I had to obtain a supplement for my Globe Religions class.
This book was exactly what I was looking for. Mr. Smith doesn't just cover the basics and move on. He goes into amazing depth about each religion discussed. I am leading a study group on globe religions, and this book is so full of info I don't have time to use it all. Well written and very readable.
I love the book, but I struggle why this has not even been turned into an audio book. There is an audiobook that is related in nature, but it does not do the justice that is found in this book. With having a 2 hour drive to work each day, this would be a blessing to have for this book. I have found myself coming back to this book over and over again as it has so much in it. Just [email protected]#$%! would be offered in an audio book format.
You will be both entertained and enlightened by this book. I was shocked by how quickly I was turning pages and covering the margins with notes and insights. Huston Smith presents the religious info in a digestible and informative manner. He has a method of stating complex ideas in a manner that they are understood by even those fresh to a concept. His tone is respectful of all religious views. I am a religious person, and have studied religion in the past and found this book an perfect review as well as a tome of unbelievable fresh understanding!
This book taught me everything I required to know about the major religions of the world, and more. Huston writes to students, and he does it in a method that makes it simple to follow. My only gripe is that the indigenous, nature, pagan religions was relegated to the back and very small was said. That is just a representation of how they are treated in today's world. Amazing educational read.
Although he is listed as a Phd. here, don't allow William Cully Allen's prior credentials fool you into thinking he is a decent human being. He no longer works as a teacher at Temple University because he was fired for sexual indiscretions with students and excessive drug use. The truth is that Mr. Allen has abused a lot of drugs over the years and, by his own admission, has been using the drug crack cocaine for more than a decade.I strongly implore anyone with a sense of morality to avoid purchasing this book or endorsing William Cully Allen in any way. When I spent time with him in Varanasi, India he similar a lot of private stories about sleeping with prostitutes abroad, some of whom were undoubtedly underage. Considering this along with his known habit of cheating on his wife with students at Temple University and a rather disgusting hero portrait begins to e fact is that William Cully Allen is a predatory and selfish individual who does not care for anything other than gratifying his egoistic and animalistic urges. He is currently on the run in India and we can only hope that his luck (along with his dwindling supply of money) soon runs out and that he forced to accept the consequences of his destructive actions.
Sewa Singh Kalsi's "Simple Tutorial to Sikhism" is beautiful much just what the title says it is. At only 120 pages I breezed through it in a few days. The book covers Sikh history, teachings, traditions, scriptures, worship, festivals, rites of passage, sects and the diaspora. It is beautiful simple reading and no one high school age or over should have any problem with the text. The only issue I had with the book was that there is so much Punjabi (the language of most Sikhs) that I couldn't remember what all the words meant and they would be used later without translation and I had to flip to the glossary or flip back to the original spot a decent bit. Even then, that is largely unavoidable as a lot of religious terms (not just in Sikhism) are difficult to translate and repeatedly translating within the text would have been even more distracting. This definately isn't the put to go for in depth knowledge, but that's not the point of this book. If you wish a general idea of what Sikhism is all about then this is a amazing put to go.
This book covers the history, spread and influence of Buddhism in a concise clear and complete manner. As a Buddhist I can obtain lost in the different beliefs and how they relate to Christianity. This book clearly explains the necessary elements and how they relate to contemporary life. I read every word, and will refer to it when I obtain lost in the deeper teachings- it will re-focus me.
The series “Great Globe Religions: Islam,” is an perfect introduction to the Islamic faith for anyone who is fresh to it, and it is also recommended for anyone who, like me, simply enjoys studying religion and learning about other cultures. The professor, John L. Esposito, is a professor of religion at Georgetown University. I have actually read five of his books: “What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam” (2011 edition), “The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?,” “The Oxford Dictionary of Islam,” “The Oxford History of Islam,” and “Who Speaks For Islam?: What A Billion Muslims Really Think.” In this day and age where we have to confront problems like Muslim extremism, the debate over Muslims’ put in Western societies, and so on, understanding Islam and getting rid of prejudices and misconceptions about this amazing religion---which is the second-largest religion in the globe after Christianity---this course is a amazing method to learn about this amazing religion. This CD series provides a primary overview of the history, beliefs and practices of Islam. The first lecture, “Islam Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” is a general introduction to the course. The next lecture focuses on the Five Pillars of Islam---Shahadah (declaration of faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (almsgiving), Sawm (fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims believe the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was revealed to Muhammad in 610 CE), and Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). Lecture 3 talks about the life of the prophet Muhammad (570-632 CE). Lecture 4 discusses the role that the Quran plays in shaping how Muslims look at the globe and how they live their lives. Lecture 5 discusses the role of both religion and politics in the lives of Muslims throughout history. Lecture 6 focuses simultaneously on Islamic law (Shariah) and on Sufism (a mystical branch of Islam). Lecture 7 talks about the different religious and political movements within Islam. Lecture 8 discusses the contemporary resurgence of Islam, while lecture 9 discusses the debates within Muslim communities regarding how Islam should be interpreted in the contemporary world. Lecture 10 is focused on the role of women in Islam and in Muslim societies and the debates over problems similar to women’s rights in Muslim communities around the world. The lecture after that focuses on Islam and Muslim communities in the West, and lecture 12 is essentially summary of the entire course. I would highly recommend this series of lectures. It is very fascinating.
See and hear my commentary on chapter 1 in the video and search my notes on the rest of the course on my YouTube channel and Blog.Lecture 1: Islam Yesterday, Today and TomorrowThis is just an introductory lecture so most if it centers on the question of "what exactly is this course about?" As it turns out, it's about the primary fundamental questions that people tend to have about Islam and aims most keenly to clear up a lot of misconceptions that people have about the religion which is described by a lot of as "THE misunderstood religion."Scope and practice of the religion: Worldwide it is the 2nd most practiced religion and arguably the fastest growing. It is the 3rd most practiced in the U.S. behind Christianity and Judaism. While we tend to associate it with Arab countries, only 20% of Muslims are Arabs. Most Muslims are from Asian : More on this later but the high level is that Islam has its roots in the Old Testament. Those of a Christian bent may recall that Sarah and Abraham could not bear a kid so Abraham bedded his servant Hagar (this was common practice in the day). Hagar bore a son named Ishmael. Unfortunately for Ishmael, not long after, Sarah conceived on her own and sent Hagar and Ishmael away to "Arabia." Those of Muslim faith are said to be descendants of y similarities between Islam and Christian religions: In Islam, God is seen as having given the Earth to man as a trust. Christian thoughts on the subject aren't far off, at least as I understand them. Both have the concepts of angels, Satan, Prophets, judgment, Heaven and Hell. Also, like Christianity, the writings of the prophet are interpreted by Ulamas or religious scholars rather than taken verbatim. Finally, Islam is a vast and complex religion with a dozens of local practices and variations just like y differences between Islam and Christianity: In Islam, religion, government and private lives are much more tied together. Christians seem to take their faith much less seriously as a general rule. Muslims observe Islamic law in every facet of their everyday lives and while they recognize Jesus as one prophet among a lot of they do not give him unique divine status.Western view of Islam: During the professor's youth in the 60s Islam was a bit of an unknown and unstudied backwater, lumped in with Eastern religions despite its clear associations with Christianity. Now, the West views Islam through the lens of the Iranian Revolution and sees every Muslim as an extremist. From the other side, Muslims look at the Christianity and have some rightful historical misgivings dating from the Crusades to the current day in what is referred to as American Neo-Colonialism. Add to this the American tendency to side with Israel and the help of the British colonial occupation of Pakistan (which is almost entirely Muslim) and ... well, you obtain the picture.A few key terms:Islam - In Arabic, "Submission to God's will"Muslim - Also in Arabic, "One who submits"Salaam - peaceUmmah - term for the transnational Muslim nation.Ulama- a Muslim religious scholar
As much as I love most of the Teaching Company courses, this one was a disappointment. The presenter is engaging, but wastes far too much of the course's time reiterating and emphasizing that terrorism is the acts of a few fanatics rather than the product of mainstream Islam. I was hoping for something informative regarding the different sects and schools of jurisprudence within Islam. Not here, other than a few mentions of the schism between Sunni and Shia. No mention of Alawites or Druze. No explanations of the doctrinal differences or backgrounds between twelvers, Ismailis, or Zaidis, for example. The only revelatory portions of these lectures for me were his discussions of varying customs/laws regarding the treatment of women in various Islamic countries. Bottom line - this course is more an apologia for tolerance of Islam rather than an informative academic course.
The lecturer basically said the same things every lecture. Essentially: Islam is varied, has various factions like Christianity and Judaism, is largely nonviolent. It's growing quickly; it's concentrated in southeast Asia and the Himalaya's. Women's rights in Muslim countries are varied from being Prime Ministers to always not voting or always veiled. A veil is sometimes seen as freedom from judgement of a women's beauty. Privileges like driving don't exist in some Islamic countries for women, while driving is not restricted in others. It's an Abrahamic religion. These points were listed over and over...The interesting parts were scattered throughout--like the Kaaba used to house multiple gods of polytheistic religions of the region and Mohamed chased the other gods away, recognizing the one real god. I didn't learn anything profound listening to the course.
The lecturer seems to assume that the listener is going to keep certain stereotypes about Islam, and the vast majority of his comments appear to be aimed at challenging those stereotypes. Thus, the section on Islam and women/gender is full of very general statements with a few quotes from the Quran. What I would have preferred is an overview of Islamic views of men and women (both in terms of innate differences and their social roles), Islamic exegetical traditions' perspectives of gender-relevant content in the Quran, and so forth. Instead I got some very simplistic statements informing me that Islam is all about the equality of the sexes, and that sexist views found in Islamic cultures are due primarily to cultural values of the cultures in question. (Nevermind that religion is a product of culture.) This may very well be true, but the lecturer's comments were so vague that the listener finishes without having much of an idea as to where—in the Quran, in Islamic cultures, in Islamic exegetical traditions—these views come from, and, perhaps more importantly, how an Islamic idea of equality of the sexes might be various from a related idea of equality between the sexes found in other cultures in which such an idea is found.I felt that reading a amazing Wikipedia article on Islam or some aspect of Islam would have given me a far better understanding of what Islam says, what Muslims have believed, thought, and done throughout history, and so latest complaint: the author often conflates what a scriptural source says and the religion itself. One cannot say that Islam as a whole views, e.g., other religions in such-and-such a manner just because it's in the Quran. The Quran is not the whole of Islam. Sometimes the lecturer falls into this trap, though, which he certainly shouldn't since he's apparently trained in Religious Studies. What the Old Testament says about slavery, for example, and what some British Christians of the eighteenth century thought about slavery are quite different. And yet the latter can still be seen as a product of Christian social and intellectual history. The entire tradition has to be addressed, not just the foundational texts. While the author is at pains to remind the listener about the diversity of Islam (which on the one hand I appreciated, but which on the other hand I found annoying since most people listening to this are probably already aware that such is the case and don't treat Islam as some monolithic, homogenous, standardized tradition), he also at times conflates the Quran (and hadiths) with Islam. He doesn't always do this, but there are a lot of instances of this mistake (or at least that's how I view it).I know almost nothing about Islam, and unfortunately after listening to this I don't feel that I know a amazing deal more. I would suggest that prospective listeners first test a few short introductions (e.g., OUP Very Short Introduction series), as they may prove to be more concise, more informative, and unmarred by the defensive tone taken by the lecturer. (I am sympathetic to the defensive tone, as there are certainly a lot of misconceptions about Islam, but I would have thought most people purchasing this lecture series are relatively 1) begin to fresh ideas, and 2) not married to the stereotypes that the lecturer is trying to challenge, and therefore not in need of the simplistic correctives that form the bulk of these lectures.)
A glance at the voluminous publications on Islam by the author would seem to create this an ideal person to learn from. But Googling raises some troubling questions about what he tends to leave in and out of his works. There is a reason he's been written up several times on Jihad Watch. At any rate, I thought his lecture series would be an interesting to compare to several other works on the history of Islam and the Middle East I have finished. That list is at the bottom of this post.Let's obtain the issues out of the method first:It is a poor sign with Esposito states that 9/11 interrupted writing his book The Future of Islam, in which 9/11 did not match up with his narrative, only to return to the book later and finish predicting the future of a stronger reformist Islam...which looks nothing like the future we have now in which (according to surveys on clothing according to Mona Eltahawy) the veil is more prominent on women in the Middle East, Mecca is more gender segregated, Turkey's Islamic-leaning government has become less democratic, Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting two proxy battles versus one another, ISIL has run amok among a Sunni-Shi'ia divide and inter-Sunni tribal conflicts, and the Taliban is poised to dominate Afghanistan once again. I'm writing this review a week after the shooting in Orlando, the same town to which just two months prior a conservative cleric known internationally for preaching that "death is the sentence" and that "we should obtain rid of" all homosexuals was invited to preach at a mosque which may have helped inspire the alleged shooter. Do a find for the source of Esposito's funding at the different conferences he speaks at-- always follow the money.While Esposito is encouraging of reforms, he does not acknowledge the imprisonment and persecution of a lot of who are actively trying to push for them. He wants his audience to be respectful of the theocratic nature of Islam, but does not acknowledge its implications. He does not acknowledge that he has much greater freedoms in American than any academic counterpart in any country with Islamic-based governance. While he highlights increasingly educated women with stronger voices in Islamic countries, he does not state the context from which they've come from, such as cultures of polygamy, female circumcision, kid brides, etc. justified by clerics citing the Quran. You'll hear no mention of Ayan Hirsi Ali or others, these are more of a issue than a solution to Esposito. Reformers that Esposito does single out tend to have been on record advocating violence versus Israel. Where is the example of begin debate between conservatives and reformers that we can tune in to watch?One large contrast with other works on the history of Islam is that when Esposito gets to the 1950s and the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, he does not even mention Sayyid Qutb, and his works calling for violence that are still influential today. Esposito goes so far as to praise the Muslim Brotherhood without even a "by the way," that it's considered a terrorist organizations by a lot of countries. He completely ignores the Qutb-inspired groups who seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979 and where the terrorists who "hijack" Islam obtain their ideology. It's not clear what Esposito considers orthodox Islam, but whatever definition he has no paradigm for why his ver is rejected by so a lot of r the most part, this series is well-worded and has a coherent narrative. I did not search it boring. The author begins with explaining the root "slm" in Arabic, meaning both "submit" and "peace"-- the Islamic ideal. Esposito gives an overview of the beliefs, the Five Pillars, and the key rituals such as fasting in Ramadan. He explains things largely as they are accepted without comment-- his goal is to explain the religion and not critique or analyze it in-depth. Next is a brief overview of the life of Muhammad. He explains the tribal polytheistic context but doesn't seem to recognize how a lot of rituals already existed around the kabaa in Mecca that still exist today under Islam. You will not search any hypotheses on the composition of the Koran from the Nestorian Christian and Jewish inhabitants of the Middle East that Tom Holland gives in his work. Esposito does not acknowledge, unlike Reza Aslan, that Zayd ibn Amr preached monotheism in Mecca about the time of Muhammad's youth. He accepts at face value that Muhammad was illiterate, despite being a man of commerce (Aslan claims Muhammad was a profit "for the illiterate" rather than "of the illiterate," for example).Contra Tamim Ansary, who chronicles the early use of the word "jihad" in offensive context, Esposito states that "jihad" was only defensive and had specific limits and specifications in the Koran. Hence, Osama bin Laden's use of "jihad" is in error because he "rejects the rules regarding jihad." (Funny that we don't see a lot of fatwas disagreeing with bin Laden and others' interpretation?) Esposito cites Surra 2: "God loves not the aggressor." He does not bother to examine the claims of bin Laden and al Baghdadi that Islam is under attack, hence they are always on the defensive. Esposito states that Islam is the "oldest of the faiths" because the Quran is eternal. Esposito's lack of reconciling these points for the audience is troubling. During Lecture Four, while he acknowledges the various context between the "Meccan verses" and "Medina verses," he never deals with the logical contradiction of historical context and a document that he tells us is considered to be eternal and un-created according to orthodoxy. In Sura Nine, he examines the "sword verses," showing that if one reads the entire paragraph he can see death was contingent on not paying the needed head morization for the purpose of recitation is important. There is no doctrine of original sin, so no "vicarious atonement" such as is found in Christianity, in Islam each person is held accountable for his own sin. He cites surras that present "no compulsion in religion" and states that one evidence of the empowerment of women in Islam is that they are needed to perform the five pillars as well as men. Muslims believe the Christian trinity is "idolotry" but Esposito does not recognize the contradiction of "idolotry" or "heresy" and the respect in the Quran for the "people of the book." How can we reconcile the need and justification to eliminate the idoloters and yet respect/tolerate them as a "protected class" provided they pay a head tax? Esposito's mind never works that hard in these posito's history of rapid expansion and conquest roughly matches that found in Hoyland's book on the first century after the Prophet. He chronicles the rise of the Ummayads, the appearance of the Harijites (a forerunner of Salafis and Al Qaeda today), and chronicles the greatness of the Abbasids at their peak. In 1258, the Middle East faces being overrun by Mongols, and the Abbasids break down as three sultanates emerge-- In Turkey, Egypt, and Iran.Lecture Six introduces Islamic law and mysticism (Sufism) and explains some of the pressure between reformist movements. There are the four schools of Sunni ejtihad. Muslim family is one of the central and unchanged aspects of Islamic law since the time of Muhammad. I appreciated the explanation of the origins of Sufism. Ahmad Ghazali, considered the founder or at least the first prominent author, tapped into Muslim's emotions while also passing muster with the Umma in regards to his doctrine. Sufism spread widely and had a lot of aspects of Christianity-- monastic orders, poetry, reflection and meditation on the attributes of God, veneration of saints ("pirs"), etc. Rumi is perhaps the most well-remembered Sufi poet (died in 1273) and Sufi ideas carry on today clerics such as Fetullah Gülen, about whom Espisito has edited a book. Islamic reform movements later target Sufi practices. (I've personally witnessed a revival of this attack in the 21st century in Azerbaijan where Wahabbist groups burned down Sufi pirs.)More on "revival and reform" comes in Lecture Seven when we see different revivalists and ejtihad. Esposito moves quickly to the 19th and 20th centuries where we search ibn Wahhab and ibn Saud in an alliance versus the rival Shi'ia in Iran. Esposito touches on the Mahdi movement in Sudan, Muhammad Iqbal in India/Pakistan, and al-Afghani in Persia. (Some of these strains are the same by Ansary in his book.) Unfortunately, Esposito does not provide the context from which to create sense of Muslim reformers. He does not mention the much earlier info about ibn Hanbal and others in the Abbasid period who rejected Greek ideas of logic, reason, and rhetoric and how such ideas became rejected as anti-Islamic. He notes that modernists have criticized both the mystic Sufis and conservatives who take the Quran literally. He praises the "reform vision" of the Muslim Brotherhood without once mentioning Qutb and his contributions to to the violence that Esposito later claims has "hijacked" the faith. He also praises the Jammat al Islam in Pakistan and explains that these two groups' ideas spread and propogated (without mentioning the accompanying violence such as the seizing of the Grand Mosque).In Esposito's narrative, both modernists and conservatives have become disillusioned with western institutions via colonialism. He blaims colonialism on the lack of democracy. While he acknowledges that some revolutions had their violent aspects, most of the reformers he hails are from the 1980s' "new elite"-- educated and skilled Islamists. He notes that Islamic-oriented parties in Algeria and Turkey engaged in democratic elections (how has that worked out when they eventually gained power in Turkey and Egypt?). Esposito apparently believes that "religious reform is catching up to political reform." He cites evidence of fresh Quranic studies and contextual analysis. He does not note, however, that a lot of who have pioneered these efforts have had to hide or flee for their lives, or spend time in jail. Esposito purports that Islam simply hasn't had the time that Christianity had to obtain to the Reformation and the 30 Years War. He conveniently ignores the latest spread of Wahhabism and the most conservative strains of Islam worldwide, how thousands of educated Europeans have left Europe to join ISIL in Syria, how the 9/11 hijackers were well-educated themselves. Esposito claims that women are gaining ground in terms of scholarship and Quranic interpretation-- without naming examples and flatly contradicting those like Hirsi Ali who have been persecuted for their calls for scholastic reforms. He ignores the increasing use of the hijab and the increased segregation of Mecca, which he claims is desegregated (read The Land of Invisible Women by Qanta Ahmed).Esposito looks at the under-chronicled (IMO) history of the Nation of Islam in America from its foundation to reforms under Louis Farrakhan. It strikes me as odd that the Sunni globe can be concerned about orthodoxy in the Middle East but accept the Nation of Islam, which claims the American Elijah Muhammad was the latest prophet, as its own. Esposito describes "what assimilation looks like" in Europe and the US while ignoring the thornier problems like whether wearing a burka is a violation of women's rights in France or honor killings and such. Esposito states that since Islam "grew up in a merchant culture" (the Ummayad dynasty) it is therefore compatible with capitalism. The experience of the AKP and parties in Algeria present it is compatible with democracy. Esposito states this without dealing with the fact that Islam was founded as a theocracy, the only legitimate state in the Quran is an overtly religious one based on Islam. There is no obvious chance for a firewall of church and state-- the church is the r more critiques of Esposito:[...]His troubling statements: [...]"Here the Esposito way was laid bare: thanks to his sponsorship, Saudi cash subsidized a U.S. academic product intended to ameliorate the photo of Wahhabism, the most extreme fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in modern times, and the inspirer of so-called "Salafi" radicals, from the Muslim Brotherhood through the South Asian jihadist movement founded by Abul Ala Mawdudi to al-Qaeda. In the mind of DeLong-Bas, Wahhabism could be considered, as noted in a review of the book, "peaceful, traditional, spiritual, and even feminist."For other books I have reviewed on the history of Islam:Tamim Ansary - Destiny Disrupted: A History of the Globe Through Islamic Eyes (4.5 stars)Reza Aslan - No god but God - The Origins and Future of Islam (2.5 stars)Tom Holland - In the The Shadow of the Sword (4 stars)Michael Cook - A Very Short Introduction to the Koran (4.5)Malise Ruthven - A Very Short Introduction to Islam (3 stars)Robert G. Hoyland - In God's Path - The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire (4 stars)Albert Hourani - History of the Arab Peoples (4.5 stars)Peter Mansfield - Brief History of the Middle East (3.5 stars)Salim Yuqub - The United States and the Middle East 1914-2001 (The Amazing Courses)Islam Unveiled - Robert Spencer (1.5 stars)The Cambridge History of Turkey vols. 1 and so useful in critiquing the part of Esposito's course covering the 1970s and onward is The Seige of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov (5 stars). There are several other books (particularly those by women authors) which detail the complexities of life on the ground in Islamic countries that are worth contrasting to the picture that Esposito paints.
My review is basically the same as Brian J's review...these lectures have a lack of cohesion, very small in terms of the history/development of Islam from its inception, and the presenter seems to blame all the modern issues concerning modern Islam on "others".
As a Muslim living in a western oriented society, this book addresses a lot of the misconceptions about Islam and serves as a amazing well researched and succinct introduction to Islam, it's origins, history and current and future challenges. Highly recommended to non Muslims seeking to gain a more educated and insightful view of the others living in their midst.
This is an excellent, comprehensive study of the ways globe religions view death and have made funeral practices that reflect their beliefs. Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, as well as Protestantism and Catholicism, are covered, followed by an intriguing section on contemporary, non-sectarian rites and practices. The fourteen essays are extensively documented, making this a highly valuable reference book for researchers, as well as textbook for religious studies, ethnic studies and sociology courses.
The adage claims that you can only depend on death and taxes. Yet the understanding of death continues to shift in contemporary societies. This is a effect of developments in science, medicine, technology, and sociology. Not surprisingly, our religions have influenced the changes in the experience of death and they have been forced to answer to these changes. This book does an perfect job examining these issues. It is a must read for practitioners and scholars.
As a theologian and lay minister who has performed in memorial services, I believe that this is the most comprehensive and captivating book on religious approaches to death currently available. I appreciate the genuine voice that is presented in each of the special chapters, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in globe religions and the problems sensitive to various cultures' ways of dealing with death.
Dear Librarian 10 March 2010As a service for readers residing beyond metropolitan Adelaide my wife and I as representatives of the Bahá'ís of South Australia have recently provided a lot of libraries in regional locations with a complimentary copy of THE BAHA'I FAITH by Paula ease consider accepting it for your shelves. These points may help your decision:* The Rudd government and the Howard government in latest years have issued several official requests from the Australian Senate calling on Tehran to end the persecution of Iran's biggest religious minority - the Bahá'ís.* Bahá'í Education in State Schools (BESS) has received governmental approval in excess of a decade now. For those parents who wish their kids to keep spiritual education based on the Bahá'í model BESS is an ongoing fait accompli in hundreds of basic and high schools in Australia. This service is also without charge. (The Bahá'í Faith accepts donations from no source other than our own avowed members. No coercion is involved. There is no registering of the donors.)* The book we ask you to contain in your library, showcasing the award winning Shrine of the Báb in Haifa, is not a Bahá'í publication per se, nor was its author a member of our faith. The work emanates via from Fresh York's `Chelsea House' and forms just one in a popular series describing in detail different religions: Baha'i Faith - Globe Religions 3rd edition. 2009. Paula R Hartz. ISBN: 978-1-60413-104-8We hope to visit libraries in your zone in the next couple of weeks to hand over with your permission this superb addition to your range of ncerely yoursPaul and Velanta Desailly50 Bevan cresWhyalla 5608AustraliaTEL: 0448515234
A decent overview of globe religions, but definitely skewed towards western (Christian/Jewish) religions and traditions. The very obvious overlook of Native American religions and small coverage of non-western religions were significant drawbacks. I was expecting a relatively equal, solid overview of the major existing religions, and this book did not deliver. I did however like the overview of what religion is and the map of where specific religions are primarily an aside, which is clearly not relevant to what the author intended, a brief introduction to historic religions (Aztec, Egyptian, Greek, Nortic, etc) would have been ideal.
This is such a amazing book for adults to share with their curious children. We are not church-goers, nor super religious. However, we are very spiritual and always test to do things with love and respect for all people, races, and religions. I strongly feel this is an enlightening book to test to support children understand family and friends' holidays and gatherings that we may not necessarily follow in exactly the same way.
My son wanted to understand other religions (he's 7) and so we bought this. We are about 1/2 method through it at this point and we really love the illustrations and the explanations of these religions. If I don't watch out, I'll learn something too.
If I had to guess, this was written by a Christian. The book favors Christianity. I understand this was meant for Kids but it would have been nice if the book touched on the negative divisive impacts of religion rather than merely skimming over the primary facts of certain r instance- shamanism gets barely one lam is page 9 and ristianity is page 9 and 36-43.Buddhism has several nice pages as do several Asian holidays (some of which aren’t religious at all but cultural days of celebration).
This was one of a couple of related books purchased recently for my niece, a first-grader who's already reading above grade level and who has a habit of asking questions that leave the adults in the family wondering how to search the answer. She's not asking as a lot of religion questions as she had been, but already corrected one classmate's comment with info I'm sure she got from this book. An added gift has been that all her grownups have also been learning from this book! It's a small general (to be expected) but does a fairly amazing job of covering the basics of the world's major religions. Even more important, it does so with no obvious bias.
None of the religions included are fully covered in this little book. And, if you know one well, there will be points of disagreement. The book does give an overview and some basis for comparison. However, no one should choose a religion to follow based on this book alone!
The Dalai Lama does a unbelievable book distinguishing ethics, morality, hero and spiritualness in a method not tied to religion. How could such a prominent figure in the Buddhist faith not mention any swaying ideology to his faith and practice? Could the Pope right a book on how to be a amazing person outside of the realm of Catholicism? Regardless, he does it. A excellent distinction on living life related to that of water (character/values) and tea (religion). One element you absolutely need to survive as a human, I'll allow you guess which one it is ;) Overall, a amazing back that is also a fast read straight from the mouth of the Dalai Lama, himself. Although, I don wonder how royalties on this book deal or purchases work for him? I'm sure they go to the monastery -anyways that's another topic. Amazing read here!
This is a simplified route to respect and coexisting with attractive diversity. We are one people- HUMAN. Peace & understanding and easy tolerance could be achieved in our lifetime. Listen to this man. Read and head his words. If you don't search him brilliant, I'm thinking you need an attitude adjustment. Unbelievable collection of invaluable thoughts...
This is one of my favorite books of all times. Dalai Lama's approach to ethics as a system of values beyond any religion, for every human being, is something that resonates with me strongly. I had the honor of attending a public lecture by Dalai Lama on a closely similar subject - ethics in education, and the book is a very nice continuation and expansion of that conversation. Highly recommend it to everyone.
The intention of this book is to cultivate human principles that are highly required nowadays, and from my opinion the author created them clear and enjoyable to understand. I think everyone should check for themselves whether it makes sense or ain, we can search that mindfulness and meditation are the basic tools for human beings to remove delusions and misconceptions in our mind.
"So long as people give priority to material values, then injustice, corruption, inequity, intolerance, and greed—all the outward manifestations of neglect of inner values—will persist."The book quote suggests that we cannot sit by idly and must invest our love and care.
Finally someone has said the obvious: You don't need religion to do amazing deeds and love other other people. BRAVE Dalai Lama. Maybe it takes real enlightenment to state the obvious truth that the time for "religion" may have passed and humans may be ready to do amazing things simply because they support others to be successful and happy! This is a truly enlightened man who can realize even his own faith is no longer needed, but yet he has the wisdom to hold the wonderful, useful and sustaining knowledge behind it intact for the benefit of mankind.
This book cuts through all the us versus them in our globe and talks about how it is possible to agree on a universal set of ethics that is not contradictory to any religion but also not important to have a religion. My favorite quote is when the Dalai Lama compares the relationship of ethics and religion to water and tea. Water is the primary essential component of tea and the various varieties of tea add various flavors. In the same way, ethics, is the basis of all religions and the various traditions are like the flavored tea.I am using this book in a summer curriculum I have written for my teenage son. The curriculum focuses on coming of age but the goal is not for him to tell me 'what' he wants to be when he grows up, but 'WHO' he wants to be. This book is helping him understand the importance of the inner globe rather than the outer.
I want all religious leaders were like the Dali Lama in that they are more concerned about the general state of the world, than with pushing their own religion. This book does not push for Buddhism, but for a more human (or humanistic) approach to live to better the globe for everyone. I guess the fact that he doesn't have a grand office or a gold throne to sit on makes it easier for him to espouse humanity over promoting his own cause. It also seems that he is more well-traveled and had interacted with a larger slice of humanity than a lot of other religious leaders.Worth the read.
I bought this book for an Ethics class I am taking. It arrived in perfect condition and on time. I am only on the second chapter but it is proving to be an enjoyable and simple to read book. The Dalai Lama writes in a language we can all understand. If we all strove to reach his understanding of our fellow man there would be no more war. I plan to order his first book and read it too.
This is the third book I have read by the Dalai Lama. Each time, I'm kinda thinking... will this book really have anything fresh that I haven't read in the previous books? And then I explore that the respond is unequivocally... yes. This Dalai Lama is a thinker and spiritual leader who has added greatly to my understanding and appreciation of life.
This book could be so useful. And instead of feeling excited i feel totally frustrated because when you buy the kindle edition there is no method to access the pages of the book other than by chronological order.......so if i wish something under V, say for vishnu i have to go page by page by page until i obtain to V. this would take hours. it is wonderful to me that someone would sell an encyclopedia when i have to read all the A's before i obtain to the B's., page by page fingering each one in anticipation of, for example the is is a phenomenal error on the part of the publisher because for my needs it is relatively useless and very annoying!!!!! who reads an encyclopedia chronologically through the english alphabet?!i search this unbelievable...and although i rarely write reviews if i can support someone else not have this frustration then it is amazing that i write.Unbelievable.....at least they could order topics chronologically. My i ching books have at least one chapter for each of the 64 categories...so it can be done. what an unfortunate oversight....and sad for the authors because the distribution of such necessary work gets eclipsed for so a lot of people.
I had high expectations of this book, which sadly did not deliver. Comprehensive info on a dozens of subjects but it seemed a bit dated and not in touch with current Hindu culture. There were a lot of entries that were omitted and I feel would have been useful, but since I bought used and at a rock bottom price, I'm not disappointedl
For scholars and writers like myself, or just folks with curious minds, there is nothing quit like an simple to access and reasonably thorough encyclopedia of info on a subject of interest. Constance Jones and James Ryan have given us just that, in detail and with a reliability that we can depend on. If you have a question about Hinduism and wish search a reliable respond quickly, don't go to Wikipedia: search it quickly in this single-volume authoritative lan Combs, essor of Transformative StudiesCalifornia Institute of Integral Studies
This is an immensely necessary book for WesternersAs a Westerner who became interested in Eastern spiritual teachings thirty years ago, I was appalled to explore then, my own ignorance and the ignorance of others in the West about Hinduism and its spinoff, Buddhism, the principal Eastern ere is even today in the West, thirty years later, a vacuum of knowledge about Hinduism. The Encyclopedia of Hinduism by professors Jones and Ryan helps to fill this vacuum in a simple, straightforwsrd e entries are arranged alphabetically, and one can search info on the key concepts in Hinduism along with biographical and other info about the key historical and contemporary figures in this amazing globe religion.Of even more importance for the Westerner, in my view, is the ten page introduction explaining Hinduism's origins, its sacred texts, its contemporary situation, and its esoteric aspects sometimes known as Vedanta or Advaita which carry their own entries and typify the thorough nature of this Encyclopedic will not regret owning this book. Highly recommended.
This is a very necessary book.A concise explanation of Hinduism in an easily understood format that is not an ordeal to is Encyclopedia takes the reader through the historical origins of Hinduism and its evolution to the show has a comprehensive index of all the saints,sages and personalities associated with the topic and a unbelievable bibliography.If people read this book there will be greater understanding between peoples of various religious beliefs and consequently greater is book should be on all shelves along with the others in the series.
This book is a must for anyone who is interested in Hinduism. Finally, there is a put to go for answers about who, what, and when in the Hindu world, as one makes one method through different Hindu writings. Having a reference like this is extremely valuable for the western reader. It covers everything!
Very detailed and descriptive on some demons while others barely obtain a 3 sentence paragraph. A bit inconsistent and a bit of a allow down for the price when other much cheaper books have provided more information on the same demons that this book falls short on...
This book contains a lot of detail. Names a lot of more of these demons these entities then I though. Lot of info. Amazing price for the size. Off the top of my head I say other huge volumes are more costly. Amazing on E book.
I am of two minds about this book. The depths of the author's research is obvious, and the entries are vast. My issues are two-fold, however. First, there are no charts, appendices or lists categorizing the entries by faith or geography, making it a very difficult source for anyone searching for info about demons of a specific country or religion without already being familiar with their names. Also, there is not a single illustration anywhere in the book! This seems a not good missed opportunity. Certainly every one of the entry could not possibly be illustrated, but a few per page would be nice, or even a block of illustrated plates in the center of the book would be helpful. These two shortcomings seriously hinder the usefulness of this book, especially for such a very high price!
One of my basic questions going into this book was, "What exactly is a demon?"Bane's definition of demon appears to be "anything anyone has ever called a demon". Fallen angels, pagan gods, Japanese youkai, goetic demons and different mythological figures all create appearances. The Encyclopedia of Demons in Globe Religions and cultures has thousands of entries that span several various cultures.Entries contain the name (and variations) of the demon and some mention of where it comes from (its culture, religion, grimoire, et cetera). Where possible, physical descriptions of the demon, and info on its behavior are also included. Some demons, especially those from goetic grimoires, also have info on what they might be summoned for or how they interact with people. Unfortunately, there are no pictures or illustrations.Each entry is individually sourced (often including the relevant page numbers), which I really liked. I'm not very familiar with demons and demonology, and so I can't say with any authority how accurate these entries are. I can, however, check the sources given, both in the entries and in the extensive bibliography.I wouldn't suggest this book as the only reference one would need (I'd be hesitant to suggest any single book for that), but I do think it's a amazing put to start. It's very helpful if you need to obtain a brief overview of a demon, and an idea of where to look for further te: I received a free copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. This has no bearing on the content of my review.
A amazing reference for those interested in such things. Just thenother day I was reading a novel and came across a name that I was able to look up and obtain satisfactory info about. There are two things in particular I like about this book -- the straightforward writing and the sources added to each entry. There's also a lengthy bibliography, which I always enjoy. One criticism, however, is that this reads more like a dictionary than an encyclopedia. The author was deliberately brief in order to cover a huge number of entries, so each entry is concise and introductory. Still, this will be a useful addition to my reference materials. Just remember, though, that this book is a first stop in research, not the last.
Marilyn McFarlane’s collection of short stories from the major globe religions is nothing short of charming. She’s collected “sacred wisdom” from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American, and Sacred Earth traditions (which contains Wiccan) and reveals it through delightful stories of pilgrimages, odysseys, family struggles, wars versus evil, and, inevitably, lessons learned. Used with parental or teacher guidance, the 35 stories are equally appropriate for children. Sacred Stories offers a truly entertaining method to learn about the world's religions, and illustrates the differences and similarities among them. A highly enjoyable read!
Very easy to understand and simple to read, seemingly geared especially towards beginners and in a method that is well understood. I'm very happy with this buy. Not a large book, but the 170 pages are filled with amazing information. I got it b/c I'm wanting to teach my young kids that there is more to the globe we live in than just what is taught for the most part in little town, USA where we live. I wish them to be begin minded and to accept what others believe to be their truth. This book I think will come in very handy when the time comes to teach them about various religions, for they a small too young at the moment, but I went ahead and purchased it now b/c I too was wanting to learn a small bit more. It doesn't obtain too into detail to the point of losing the reader in over-description, but describes just enough to obtain a primary understanding of each belief system. I like the religions the author chose to contain in this book; Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American, and Sacred Earth. Although the globe doesn't end with just these religions, it is amazing primary overview and the major beliefs.
This book is a unbelievable method to introduce kids to various belief systems. With tales from all the major religions of the world, while managing to hold them at a child's level and to treat each religion with respect. These are not just randomly selected stories, but were chosen to reflect necessary aspects of each religions teachings. These tales also support to demonstrate the commonality in each culture. With tales from Buddhism to Sacred Earth, Marilyn has done a unbelievable job both in the introductions to explain the most necessary tenets of each religion and in the selection of the stories reflect these teachings. As a folklorist I would be willing to use this book as part of my curriculum for the children's classes and would as a painless introduction for adults.
I loved this book! I found it to be a book that required to be written and am grateful that the author has done it so well. Without bias for any religion, the author has told foundational stories that—in the end—make it clear that the Golden Rule exists everywhere, and in each religion at its core. To sit with a kid and read these stories, is to give that kid a fundamental bonus that they will need to navigate our complex world. Each story told is necessary to the heart and soul of a religion, and they are told in such a way, that kids and adults alike will start to recognize and remember these stories. Is there any better method to learn than this? I admire what this author has done: she has told profound truths without scaring anybody off. By the time you finish the book, the outlines of all the major globe religions are alive for you.
This book is a staple in our home and has been since I was a small girl. I remember sitting on my mom's and nana's laps with them reading this book to me and I'm thrilled to be able to pass on these experiences to my children as well. The stories are thrilling and captivating and the illustrations are beautiful. This book means a lot to my family and our family time.