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3.0 out of 5 starsShort overview which could inspire further study.
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2018
Religion is a very complex topic which inspired many volumes of books with great detail. This book is useful as an overview to introduce the reader to the variations as well as the commonality of many religions. However, it doesn't provide sufficient detail to give the reader anything but a superficial view. The editing was poor in many places, e.g. King Cyrus was written as Cyprus as one example. Other misspellings were also distractions. On balance, however, the author's work is commendable since it does introduce the reader to the topic.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Exceptionally Well Written Guide to World Religions!
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2017
"The History of Religion" by Michael Stewart is in my opinion one of the most important books you will have the opportunity to read. I am not saying that simply because I am a history fan (some say geek) and that is the very best written, understandable, organized, and the quality and quantity of history of religion information is the best I ever read! While this book is all of that and I know as a trained historian that if you want to understand a group of people or a nation, be it ancient or modern or any where in between you need to understand mythology and/or religion. However, your motivation to read this book is much more important, than that of a historian. America and the western world are in the midst of a war on terror and we in the west are reminded almost daily via death and destruction delivered by radicalized Islamic Fundementalist, who are waging a war based on terror on western civilization. I'll not say why, I am not sure I know or understand all the why, but I see no quick fixes or end in sight. According to this book Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and by 2050 the Islamic population will equal the number of Christians world-wide (well over 2.2 Billion adherents each).’ Because this book provides infornation and possible solutions, it ought to move up the que of your summer reading list! I have already ran on a bit with this review, but I need to summerize the key infornation delivered in this book, as further encouragement to read it. A cwntral tenant of this book is that every organized group of people in human history from city, to city- state, nation, empire has had a religion, thus understanding our cultural past and predominate religious beliefs as a people, is essential to understanding how we arrived at our current understanding of the world and how we approach the meaning of life itself. Religion and spirituality will, therefore, be an ongoing area of study for many years to come. It will also continue to play a role in global politics, especially if the world population in places with diverging religions continues to grow. The author uses this thesis to aid in analyzing religious history and determining the content of his narrative. After defining religion and mythology in general, and its place and purpose within any given social group the author than describe the mythologies/religions, along provides key information about its history (from inception to Present, unless no loger practiced) doctrine, scriptures (if possible), tenants, rituals and practices for the various najor peoples from earliest man all the way through to modern times. No easy task considering that the level of detail is perfect, and the elegant, progressive, respectful style used to meet the readers information expectations. Among the groups included the following is not complete, but it includes: Neanderthals; early Homo Saipians; the Mayans, Inca, and Aztecs; North America Native Peoples; Ancient Greeks, Romans, Norse and Egyptians; Ancient Jews; Early Christian pre Constantine; Roman Catholics; Eastern Orthodox, Mosiac Juduism; Anglican Church of England, Henry the VIIiI; Protestantism after Martun Luther, including at least 15-20 different denomination;, Hinduism; Sikism; Budausm; and Islam. The information on each is nothung short of remarkable. The pay off, the major lesson learned is that despite the differences in religious beliefs you will learn that we are all still human, and we can see commonalities between religions and indeed cultures. The study of religion should help you better understand those around you who are different.
4.0 out of 5 starsand I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the subject
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2016
This book is dedicated to anyone interested in gaining some basic knowledge about the most important ancient and contemporary religions. The book presents the evolution of religion and its impact on some of the most important civilizations, as well as the differences and similarities between the various belief systems. Despite being rather short, the book is quite informative, and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
5.0 out of 5 starsDivine conceptions, religious tolerance and considerations.
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020
This is a controversial subject.It gives understanding that religion has been as a result of man's relation to what is beyond his comprehension.i think this work will enable the reader to consider the diversities of religion and tolerate other religion he may be antagonistic to
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2019
I'm not much of a reader, I get bored quickly. I gained interest in the history of the world's religions shortly after more of my Jewish heritage was introduced to me. I never realized how many religions were connected
5.0 out of 5 starsA great resource about history of religion. Very well-written.
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2016
This is such a great book about history, or should I say part of the history. It’s quite a long read but it’s undoubtedly very enjoyable to read. I learned a lot of things and it does gives me wide understanding of how life before was. I have to say that for some, they might find the book boring for it’s really a long one but it gives a lot. It can be a great resource if someone has to work with histories. A lot of myths and Christian stories inside and I even known many personalities before that contributed a lot with the history. This is very well written and I like it.
5.0 out of 5 starsTruly informative book for all people...
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2016
This is great book about religion history and the biography of the most important people of religion, after read the entire book I feel very happy to have such a great book. I get much information important information about religion from this book it’s not only informative about religion it’s also informative about our humanity. I love this book it’s really great.