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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 October 2006
Nesbitt's book has all the positive qualities one associates with the VSI series: it is clear, well-presented, readable and accurate. Just the sort of book Sikhs might think about giving to their non-Sikh friends and colleagues. There's a bit of theology, a touch of culture; politics makes an appearance, as does sociology. All the boxes seem to have been ticked.

But there's the rub: reading it feels like a box-ticking exercise. Nowhere does the author try to capture the allure of Sikhism. Why would anyone want to be a Sikh? What is it about the faith that its believers find so attractive? What does Sikhi feel like from the inside?

Of course the author can't answer those questions - she is not a Sikh. But she can ask them, both in her capacity as an ethnographer and, as she puts it, an intellectual questioner. One for the second edition perhaps?
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on 9 August 2006
This book is titled "A Very Short Introduction to Sikhism" yet manages to cover all of the main points about Sikhism in an interesting and readable manner. A great strength is its contemporary feel, and its up-to-date references ensure that it becomes more than just another book about religion. Dr Nesbitt demonstrates her detailed knowledge about Sikhism describing the evolution of Sikhism from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to the modern day, making this book extremely readable by describing the `story' of Sikhism, with each chapter building on information presented in the previous one. I can recommend this book to anyone who requires a concise yet lively and well informed text on the Sikh Religion & Sikh History. A very welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone who is interested in Religion in general, and Sikhism in particular.
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My interest in Religion stems primarily from the desire to learn about faith and beliefs, and their metaphysical underpinnings. So when I pick up a book in order to learn about a religion that is different from my own, I have an expectation that the major part of that book will deal with the subject matter of those beliefs. Regrettably, that is not the case with this very short introduction. The Sikh beliefs are dealt with briefly and in a very superficial way. Most of the book deals with Sikhism as a social and ethnic category. Of course, those considerations should not be neglected either, but this was not why I decided to pick up and read this book. If, on the other hand, you are interested in those "demographic" aspects of Sikhism, this very short introduction will provide you with plenty of information. This, however, makes for a very boring read.
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on 12 May 2013
Really easy to read and the author made the topic very accessible. Currently doing a religion OU course and this has helped so much. Clear and understandable and included so much I never knew. Goes right from the beginning of Sikhism to contemporary issues and diaspora. Really would recommend.
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on 4 February 2010
I couldn't agree more with the review entitled "accurate but insipid"- the book reminded me a little of the drab and uninspiring textbooks handed out in RE lessons, though thankfully questions and written exercises didn't punctuate the text! While there is nothing wrong with the information given, you wonder whether the author set about writing and researching the book as a factual rather than spiritual exercise- and religion is not required in the case of the latter, just a genuine curiosity and interest. I also don't remember reading about the Gora Sikh movement in America in the 60s under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan either, which is a shame because he made a great contribution.
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on 11 April 2014
As the author of "How the Sikh Gurus Can Change Your Life" I know what it's like to aim to provide a short introduction to the absolutely massive wealth of insight that Sikhism can provide!

I agree with reviewers who thought this introduction feels very much like a survey, looking at Sikhism from the outside and touching on everything a little bit. But if you just want quick short information on history, religious context and main tenets of Sikhs this is a good place to start.
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This book was a great relief to find. Tackling an essay on world religions I needed books that were intelligently written but concise, and believe me, they're not that easy to find. This fills the bill exactly. It gives what I imagine is a brief overview of a complex religion without being patronising to that religion or dumbing down too much for the reader. It's a good mix of history, spread of the faith and the nuts and bolts of that faith in practice and mind set. It's by no means definitive, and freely acknowledges it, but as a place to start study it's perfect.
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on 18 November 2012
Like the many others in this wide-ranging series, it is a good introduction to the topic. It answered almost all of my questions. Recommended.
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on 29 September 2015
A clear and ordered presentation - very helpful to the enquiringly spirit. Informative without proselytising
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on 5 November 2015
great product well packed prompt delivery Thanks!
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