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Experiencing the World's Religions Paperback – October 29, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0073407500 ISBN-10: 007340750X Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 5 edition (October 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007340750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073407500
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The Book is very informative and easy reading.
Da Tools
Each chapter is between 25 and 80 pages long (average is about 50 pages), and is loaded with attractive pictures and interesting sidebars.
Dr. B
Had all the pages, and it was the book required for my class.
Jacob Loflin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. B on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I use Molloy's book for the college course I teach on world religions (along with Van Voorst, Anthology of World Scriptures, Wadsworth: 2011). He begins with an insightful chapter on various approaches to the study of religion, then explores indigenous religions. The rest of the book walks students through the origins, beliefs, and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, Daoism and Confucianism, Shinto, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Alternative Paths (e.g. contemporary Paganism, Baha'i), and The Modern Search (including women's issues, environmentalism, and spirituality). Each chapter is between 25 and 80 pages long (average is about 50 pages), and is loaded with attractive pictures and interesting sidebars. Personally, I think it's one of the best books out there for those wanting a solid overview of key world religions. It treats each religion appreciatively and fairly and is written in a reader/student friendly fashion. The "Personal Experience" section at the end of each chapter is either "corny" or "interesting," depending on which student you ask. My suggestion: Take students to various places of worship and have guest lectures from those who practice the various religions. This will allow them to have a bit of first-hand "experience" as they read this textbook and passages from the various scriptures.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Most "reviews" so far remark briefly on its delivery, condition, or the student's course. A couple criticized doctrinal points, and a few praised its tone and scope. I've been assigned (note the verb--we don't always have a choice!) this text to teach a Comparative Religions course, so I've prepared by studying it cover to cover.

"Understanding Religions" opens, then indigenous varieties, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism & Sikhism, Daoism & Confucianism, and Shintoism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam follow. Alternative religions and "The Modern Search" wrap it up.

Michael Molloy's updated this all for its fifth edition. He takes his task seriously, but he adds insight and verve. That is, he integrates personal encounters into the beginning of his chapters as well as within them, keeping the pace snappier than a chronological structure (each religious tradition's evolution) and geographical one (first ancients everywhere, then Asian, then Middle Eastern, then Western, New Age, earth-based, alternative, and "new religious movements") might portend. His own Hawaiian orientation allows him to use this logical East-West portal as a place for contemplating the island's indigenous and syncretic faiths and outlooks, and his Californian upbringing enriches this with another fitting place from which to scan the varieties of belief and ritual and outlook.

I kept an eye out for how contemporary scholarship, often not matching the mindset of many believers in the pew or temple, entered his treatment of issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BewareOfOranges on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this for a religions class at my college, and while my copy is gently loved, I love all the brand new info I'm learning through this book. Would like it if the chapters didn't have the long anecdotal introductions as well, but overall a great textbook for class!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ronald D. Bruner Jr. on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had to buy this book as required reading for a religious studies class. The material covers some pretty obscure and outdated topics, but hit on most of the main topics in class. This book is the best of the 3 religious studies books I have used thus far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wilson Appleton on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in an easy to read manner, comprehensive information on the world's religions and cultural surroundings. I am not trading this book in as I do with other course materials, but keeping it for my personal library. This book makes you feel like you are right in the heart of the religion you are reading about. Well Done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Da Tools on October 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received book in a few days. Excellent condition. The Book is very informative and easy reading. I am Catholic and I learned more in the one chapter then I did going to church and religious classes. It really explained a lot about other religions and how it pertains to today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By suesel on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a refreshing read for a textbook. This book provides the information needed without putting the reader to sleep. As an introductory for the study of world regligions, the author has left the door open to the readers to want to pursue furthering their knowledge with simple and easy to comprehend presentation of each religion. Thank you for paring down to the essential basics without all the fluff!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doug Erlandson TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Experiencing the World's Religions," by Michael Malloy, is a fairly comprehensive introductory text that describes the major religions of the world. It is well-written and easy to read. However, there are times when Malloy's presuppositions stand in the way of an objective presentation of the data. For example, on the inside front cover, on Judaism's timeline, Abraham is called "legendary." Certainly from the perspective of the skeptic, Abraham is a legendary figure. But not from the perspective of those who believe the account in Genesis is historically accurate. Yet, Abraham's legendary nature is assumed as an established fact. On p. 358 there is a chart noting the dates of the writing of the books of the Christian New Testament. Malloy assumes the dates that the most skeptical of scholars assigned to them. The reality is that even many scholars who reject the divine inspiration of the Bible have come to the conclusion that the books were written at a much earlier date than some have assumed. Nevertheless, Malloy simply assigns these late dates to the New Testament books as though these dates were an established fact. On the other hand, in the same chart he lists "Hebrews" as one of the Pauline Epistles, even though almost every scholar (whether conservative or liberal) rejects the Pauline authorship of the book. This is simply sloppy scholarship.

These are just a couple of the instances of bias or sloppy scholarship that I have come across in Malloy's discussion of Judaism and Christianity, the two religions with which I possess the greatest acquaintance. It makes me wonder as to the accuracy of his analysis of the other religions he considers. (There is a lengthy but very helpful review in this collection of reviews that discusses Malloy's inaccurate and misleading statements about Islam.)
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