I have had this book for a while and have referenced it many times. The book is: Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: A Comprehensive Introduction...moreI have had this book for a while and have referenced it many times. The book is: Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: A Comprehensive Introduction to the Religions of the World by James A. Beverley.
This is no lightweight book but a detailed, thorough examination of the world's leading religions. The book is set up alphabetically to make it very easy to use and includes Baha'i to Witchcraft. Each chapter begins with a little bit about the religion then makes its way to a chronology that highlights various important dates with either the religion itself or the "founder" or important members. Numerous chapters included extended information about the religion, how it compares to Christianity, points at which the author sees areas of dialogue between Christ-followers and those who choose to follow other religions. Also included is various splinter groups within or coming out of each religion, what they hold to and also a informative insert that gives websites and resources for further investigation into each religion or sect.
I absolutely love this book. It is complete, well-researched, fair, balanced and unafraid to make strong statements (and the author does this when he tells of some unfortunate events that have happened within his own religious path (Protestantism). Many resources like this have come and gone but I believe Dr. Beverley's will be around for a long, long time. His style, for being a reference/non-fiction work,is engaging and pleasant to read. The chapters are not long or dry but made me, actually, want to read the book from start to finish in one sitting. Obviously that did not happen as the book is well over 700 pages. The book, however, doesn't seem like a tome but given all the detailed information given it seems that when you have this book you have several well-documented encyclopedias in your library. And that is a beautiful point about this book: this book can replace numerous volumes you may already have on world religions. If you don't have this book.....get it now! You won't be disappointed. Given all the issues that are going on not only in our own country but in our world....it is time that people start actually learning what religions believe rather than just listening to tv personalities that generate fear and terror about things they really don't know. Become informed. I am not there yet, but with this book I feel that I am on a better path of understanding and true dialogue. (less)
The author has another book out called Linked, which i have and plan on reading and I also hear is a much better book. In fact, one of the reasons I p...moreThe author has another book out called Linked, which i have and plan on reading and I also hear is a much better book. In fact, one of the reasons I picked this book up was because Linked looks really good and this book has the subtitle: The Hidden Power Behind Everything We Do. Given that subtitle, how could one not have any interest at all in reading it?
Having read it...i wish i hadn't picked it up. He intertwines history with science and doesn't accomplish either one particularly well. Especially the science part. It takes until page 100 for him to finally get around, somewhat, to what the book revolves around. And even after that the point is not all that easy to follow, to see the "great" scientific value of it (though i am sure there is), or to apply to every day life.
We do things in bursts followed by periods of rest or silence. Those bursts make us quite predictable, as compared to random, or possessing absolute free will.
The premise of the book is interesting and as this theory gets developed and proven it's applications may prove themselves to be relevant to our everyday lives.
If you liked Linked (and a lot of people did, and i look forward to reading that book)...don't be fooled by this book. It's long on story, short on science and relevance and, at least for me, doesn't tie the two together in any meaningful way. (less)