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A Little History of Religion Audiobook

A Little History of Religion

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Publisher's Summary

In an era of hardening religious attitudes and explosive religious violence, this book offers a welcome antidote. Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion - from the dawn of religious belief to the 21st century - with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy.

Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young listeners, he encourages curiosity and tolerance, accentuates nuance and mystery and calmly restores a sense of the value of faith.

Ranging far beyond the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, Holloway also examines where religious belief comes from, the search for meaning throughout history, today's fascinations with Scientology and creationism, religiously motivated violence, hostilities between religious people and secularists and more.

Holloway proves an empathic yet discerning guide to the enduring significance of faith and its power from ancient times to our own.

©2016 Richard Holloway (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (104 )
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4.4 (89 )
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4.6 (89 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Derek 08-30-16
    Derek 08-30-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, and I'm an atheist."

    there was little-to-no apologetics. It really broke down how all the religions came to be.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre 10-11-16
    Andre 10-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "excellent"

    loved it....understood the origin of religion. ..both author and reader was excellent...i loved it...thanks much

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lkising 09-20-16
    lkising 09-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "essential study"

    A must for anyone who has ever wondered about the many different religions and why.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Little Las Vegas, NV USA 09-12-16
    Gary Little Las Vegas, NV USA 09-12-16 Member Since 2011

    Gary

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    "Worth rewinding"

    I found it a fascinating listen. I was aware of the commonality of many religions ... the ten commandments were practiced, minus the silliness about god and the sabboth, long before Moses struck them in stone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry 08-27-16
    Larry 08-27-16
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    "Excellent "in a nutshell" book!"

    This is a great book for all ages and gives you a well rounded view of religions of the world, views of God and where we started all the thinking from. Great narration, great info, great book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 05-29-17
    Josh 05-29-17
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    "Good summary of religion"

    As the title suggests, this book is a short history of religion, but it has just enough information to cover the basis of most religions. It doesn't get very deep into specific events or details, but I feel like i can have a more insightful conversation with people of all religions. Good for beginners with no understanding of other religions.

    More people should read this book to understand the similarities between everyone's beliefs.

    The narrator is a little hard to understand with his accent and sounds like he whispers occasionally, but wasnt too bad once I got uses to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Dearing 05-09-17
    Tim Dearing 05-09-17
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    3
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    "Vey informative, educational and entertaining."

    The author never seems to take sides or push the reader just gives the facts. A great book which I will listen to again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Pendragon 02-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Fascinating, Clear, & Refreshingly Succinct"
    What does James Bryce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Loved the succinctness of the material.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the most clearly and one of the most beautifully written non-fiction books I have read. The information is succinct and absolutely fascinating. I highly recommend reading this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-06-17
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    "Very informational and timely"

    on todays world of rising intolerance and hatred it is worth knowing religions place in it and this book helps put it in perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen R Hansen 12-12-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Succinct history"
    What made the experience of listening to A Little History of Religion the most enjoyable?

    This is a great way to learn about all religions and understand the conflicts in the world based on various beliefs.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr. Paul M. Quirk
    Reading, UK
    1/5/17
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    Story
    "Fascinating book"

    I very much enjoyed listening to this book but was concerned about the way Richard Holloway chose to interpret parts of the Bible. (But then, according to Richard, I would.)

    He takes us on a journey through the development of the idea of "God", why this would have been important and how the idea was maintained and changed through time. He addresses the big questions of life such as what happens after we die and why there is evil in the world.

    His approach to various holy writings is that the authors of each had some sort of revelation which they believed to come from God and then wrote for there. However their understanding was probably muddled or incomplete, hence the various religions. These revelations may or may not have come from an external source. In any case they could have no knowledge of the future so all apparent prophetic writings must have been written after the event. Thus the biblical book of Daniel must have been written during the second century BCE despite evidence to the contrary.

    I have the impression the book was written by someone who used to be a Christian but has now transferred his faith to humanity. A kindly soul nonetheless.

    The walk through of the many faiths of the world and their origins was very helpful and, I can only hope, fairly accurate.

    Overall I found this a fascinating listen even where I disagreed with the author and would recommend it to anyone seeking such an overview.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Grace
    1/1/17
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    "Really enjoyable!"

    I loved this book. An excellent summary of world religion throughout the ages. Also a thought-provoking snapshot into understanding our own human mind! The tone of the book was perfectly pitched as well. A very entertaining listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • caroline
    12/25/16
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    "Informative and entertaining wry humour"

    easy to finish and great narrator. Brillisnt without an agenda and lots of informations providing a broad history and pleasurable journey through time. Narration fabukous and brought it to life with a sprinkle of humour.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • MS F
    UK
    1/2/17
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    "Really enjoyable"

    This is a warm, and accessing romp through the different religions which can be enjoyed be people of all ages and faiths.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David J. Carpenter
    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire United Kingdom
    9/12/16
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    "Highly Recommended."

    Well written and narrated. A panoramic, but a little more than a whistle stop tour of the world's religions. Highly recommended for the enquirer, also a good refresher

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/24/17
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    "Not Sure What Religion You Are? Read This!"

    A must read for everyone. If I was an 'unsure atheist' before reading this book, then I certainly am one now!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    1/11/17
    Overall
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    "Unbiased, educational and interesting"

    I was attracted to this book when I saw who had written it. I’ve heard Richard Holloway speak and am impressed by his open-minded attitude to religion and humane approach to those that the more bigoted denigrate such as gays, lesbians and transgender people and applaud his criticism of how most religions exclude women from any important role. Views all the more courageous as he was the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Scotland.

    I found this book very interesting and learned a lot about the different religions as he explains the tenets of various faiths so clearly. He enumerates the similarities among them and describes how small differences in beliefs have led to so much conflict, persecution and bloodshed throughout history.

    I started the book with the opinion that the world would be a better place without religions and leave with that opinion reinforced. I don’t know if it was the intention of the author but for me he provides convincing arguments that religions are created out of the human mind and are an understandable attempt to make sense of the vagaries of life and a world that is difficult to comprehend. That would be fine if this comforts people, but, although most religions start with good intentions, the majority get corrupted over time by the men in power. It’s sad that even in our modern world religion is causing so much suffering and in some cases tries to stifle scientific progress and personal freedom.

    The final chapter gives a hint to a shift in the author's own beliefs as he describes non-secular humanism, which certainly seems benign compared with much of the history of religions!

    The writing style is well suited to being read as it feels as if the author is speaking to the listener: helped by the narrator’s warm and friendly voice.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sue Rourke
    1/10/17
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    Story
    "Absolutely awesome"

    This book answered so many questions I had about religion. It answered questions I didn't actually realise I had too.
    Brilliantly expressed, brilliantly read and completely engaging.
    I've listened to literally hundreds of books on audible and this is one of about 3 that I've reviewed.
    5 stars, because I can't give it 10!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J. Smith
    UK
    1/9/17
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    Story
    "cracking little book."

    beautifully delivered and informative. I walked away feeling that I had skimmed the surface. gives a nice concise insight into the history of the world's major faiths

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • polly
    1/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First class!"

    What a very very good book this is. Richard Holloway is a fair and wise critic of the religions of the world and this book should be a compulsory read for young people and adults alike. Very interesting, much to learn and think about. Beautifully read. I shall look forward to listening to him read his autobiography "Leaving Alexandria". He is an honest, brave voice in the muddled and too often hypocritical world of religion and I am grateful to him for standing by his principles and speaking out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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