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A World Religions Reader Paperback – 18 Dec 1995

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Paperback, 18 Dec 1995
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; annotated edition edition (18 Dec. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 063118242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631182429
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,678,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"This is the Reader I have long been looking for. Markham has gathered an assembly of texts and voices that will facilitate and invigorate the exploration of other religious words. In the way he has selected, balance, and contextualized these readings, he offers students an engaging view of what these religious communities hold to be true, how they celebrate and remember, and the way they live their beliefs in world and society. This Reader will enhance and enliven and standard textbook by enabling students not just to understand but to feel, not just to study but to pass over to, what these religious communities have been and what they offer our contemporary world." Paul Knitter, Xavier University, Ohio

"This will be an invaluable source or those in Religious Studies who need access to some central texts in translation. The commentaries, lists of data and questions for reflection will be particularly useful for those beginning a study of religions." Professor J. S. K. Ward, University of Oxford

From the Back Cover

This Reader brings together primary material from the major religions of the world. It combines passages from the scriptures with classic statements from major thinkers and institutions and includes the words of John Lennon and Martin Luther King. To enable cross–religious comparison, each chapter is organized around five headings: The Religious Mind, World Views, Institutions and Rituals, Ethical Expression (with a special emphasis on the role of women), and Modern Outlook (including a text that describes a conversion, or defense of the tradition.)
The Reader is written for students who are coming to the study of world religions for the first time. At the end of each chapter, fact sheets are provided to give a clear summary of major beliefs, significant historical events and festivals, and a glossary. The volume also includes an annotated bibliography, summary statistics, and discussion and essay questions.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
Each chapter of this book details individual religions. The author not only draws upon his own knowledge but also fellow Theologians. Written in an easily understood manner, this author manages at times to display his obviously humerous nature, whilst presenting extremely informative information. The contents do not only explain the need for ritual within certain cultures, but the reasons why they exist. Such a detailed piece of work can only lead to a much greater tollerance by all of world religions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ladislav Simko on 27 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Great book, really provides the underlying concepts of all major world religions. If you want to deepen your knowledge, you immediately know which books to read as excerpts from the most influential books to every religion are provided.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
egalitarian overview 21 Aug. 2006
By Joshua D. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A World Religions Reader is a very positive look at the major world beliefs ranging from Atheism and Buddhism to Islam and Judaism. Markham presents all these world views decked up like prom queens. One begins to wonder while reading the book how the world could be such a jacked up place with all these beautiful and enlightened belief systems all around us.

The book is very egalitarian in that each different world view is presented by people who hold fast to them as being absolutely true. Every view gets its fair shot to persuade you. The book makes no attempts to show that one belief system may be more correct than another, that one may be more coherent than another or that one may have more harmful effects than another. It seems that, above all; the editor was trying to be fair and inoffensive to everyone. The book is really a World Religions 101 in that many major views are presented but none in great depth. If the goal of the book was to create a platform for each major belief system to present itself, then I suppose the book was successful in accomplishing its goal. If it was to critically show them "warts and all" then it failed like a bat taking an eye exam.

The book is informative to a point and is therefore worth a read for those approaching interfaith dialogues or for those trying to figure out why in the world someone would actually want to convert to Shintoism. I felt that Judaism was the most beautifully presented. Half way through I felt like joining a synagogue but then thought that they might have some policy against taking Pentecostal missionaries.

Personally I found it very interesting that so many of the writers used Christianity as its point of comparison. Many of the writers would point out that a certain belief or practise in their faith was either like or unlike a belief or practise in Christianity. I also found it a bit odd that so much attention was given to liberal theology in the chapter on Christianity as throughout history and even into the present such groups only tend to make up a small, white quibbling minority which is often viewed as heretical by the rest of the world body.
Love the subject but was a bit difficult to follow... 26 Dec. 2013
By AC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE learning about world religion. However this book was not easy to sit down and read. This was a required book for a course I was taking however about a month in the teacher stopped using it because she wasn't a fan of how wordy it is. There are better books out there. Religion can be hard to understand and it's important to have a good grasp on them if you plan on using the knowledge, I think a book should try to make the learning experience a little less difficult.
Needed for Class 17 Dec. 2013
By jj - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed this book for my Religion class and it was very informative. It was not at all boring (and I find textbooks extremely boring), very informative, and covered a great many different religions.
Five Stars 20 July 2014
By john - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book on religion
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