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The World's Religions [Paperback]

Ninian Smart
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Jun 1998
This book is a revised and updated edition of a popular work, which looks at the world's religions in terms of world history, and as constantly developing systems of belief. Part I traces the development of religions, as they evolved from the traditions of the ancient world. Part II examines the changes to faiths and cultures following the Renaissance and the voyages of conquest and discovery, and asks how, why, and with what effect religions have been refashioned over the ages up to today. In this richly illustrated new edition, religions are described through their symbols, rituals, followers, architecture and art. References, statistics, maps and pictures have been updated and added, illuminating the true nature of each religion. The text has been thoroughly revised to highlight recent developments, such as the spread of Islam, African-American and Hispanic-American religious experience, and women priests.

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The World's Religions + The Compact Guide to the World's Religions (Compact Encyclopedia) (Compact Guides)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (28 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521637481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521637480
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19.1 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Richly illustrated, religions are described through their symbols, rituals, architecture and art. Full of maps and statistics, this popular title is a must for anyone exploring this field, and is [] up-to-date.' Publishing News

Book Description

In this richly illustrated new edition, religions are described through their symbols, rituals, followers and art. References, maps and pictures have been updated and the text thoroughly revised to highlight recent developments, e.g. Islam's spread, African-American religious experience, and women priests.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It is most likely that the first humans came from Africa. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought for Universtity 12 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback
This was on the reading list for University, so I bought it before I started. Smart writes a work that is easily absorbed while providing enough detail to engage. As a review of the worlds major religions and what it is that constitutes a religion this work has been a valuable asset throughout my first year.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the definitive book on this subject. 4 Jun 2006
By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic. It is probably the most in depth book on this topic i've ever read. It focuses on the main world religions, as well as some of the more obscure faiths/beliefs from around the world. It has beautiful photographs and a clear, engaging style. You could just as easily read it in one go, or dip into it as the mood takes you. Unsurpassed reading.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitive text 10 July 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is a masterpiece; well researched and comprehensive which shows unparalleled knowledge of the 'big six' religions whilst not ignoring the depth of minority religions and belief systems out there. In particular, I really enjoyed the sections on communism which I found incredibly insightful. So why did I give it four stars instead of five?
First of all, through no fault of it's own,it's quite outdated. I can't help thinking this would have been a different book if it had been written 3/4 years later.
Secondly, Smart has a tendency to jump around in his explanations which can confuse the reader's perception of chronology and his approach, unsurprisingly, emphasises the phenomenological and historical aspects of religion. I would often find myself unclear as to what a particular group actually believed in.
Third, in terms of content, I would have preferred more of an emphasis on some of the minority religions.
Overall, this book to me is a perfect reference text, for especially talented a-level students, undergraduates and interested adults. Yes, it's dry and yes, it has the faults listed above, but if you want to start the study of religion, I honestly don't think their is a better place to start... assuming you can get through Smart's prose!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed book 14 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
This covers world religions from different country's viewpoints and it goes into great depth. It does not cover each religion in turn, but most religions will be found in the various country reviews. An interesting read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 5 Nov 2008
By EW KING
Format:Paperback
This book is most certainly a must have for those interested in the study of religion.
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51 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is probably one of the best books around ont his subject. It takes every Religion from around the world looks at what they beleive, where they like how many are around the world, where ti all started and so much more. A must for any one remotely interested in this subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five star for OU Religion Courses 29 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very useful to have on hand for reference for any religious study. Very learned and interesting. It looks at the worlds religions and discusses a seven dimensional model to understand them that I found invaluable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who is interested in comparative religion
Ninian Smart was the world's leading comparative religionist. I bought this book for few cents. It was used and in very good condition. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ioannis
5.0 out of 5 stars The cover alone makes you want to read this book
What I very like on this book is he it make a big travel journey with you around our lovely planet anf focusses on the world religions. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ruud Wagenaar
4.0 out of 5 stars happy with purchase
as described on listing it is mad this world has so many different religions ill be looking forward to learning more
Published 14 months ago by Diane Monteith
5.0 out of 5 stars Common ground
Great, if not exactly succinct, overview of the development of the world's religions. The tone and scope are unbiased, although Smart does stress the commonalities between them. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by Rindert
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant look at the world of religion
This is possibly the best book on Religion I've ever read. It covers not only the major and some minor religions, but it looks at how they interacted, and how they influenced each... Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2011 by Andrew Donaldson
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Very good. Gives a good overview and more of all the Religons in the world. Interesting read. Ninian Smart is well known in this field.
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by Lady Isabelle
2.0 out of 5 stars world religions
So stodgy! Has rather dampened my enthusiasm to do religion as my final OU subject. Very good if you want to know every minute religion there has ever - ever - ever been! Read more
Published on 26 April 2009 by Mrs Enid M Holgate
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