God Is Not One and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.99
  • Save: $9.58 (35%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Completely clean, crisp copy with light wear to covers. Impeccable feedback rating PLUS this product ships directly to you from Amazon's warehouse - fast, secure and FREE w/AZ PRIME!
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter Hardcover – April 20, 2010


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$17.41
$10.00 $2.97
12%20Days%20of%20Deals%20in%20Books


Frequently Bought Together

God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter + The World's Religions (Plus) + The World's Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World's Religions
Price for all three: $40.90

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006157127X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061571275
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Stephen Prothero

On my last visit to Jerusalem, I struck up a conversation with an elderly man in the Muslim Quarter. As a shopkeeper, he seemed keen to sell me jewelry. As a Sufi mystic, he seemed even keener to engage me in matters of the spirit. He told me that religions are human inventions, so we must avoid the temptation of worshipping Islam rather than Allah. What matters is opening yourself up to the mystery that goes by the word God, and that can be done in any religion. As he tempted me with more turquoise and silver, he asked me what I was doing in Jerusalem. When I told him I was researching a book on the world’s religions, he put down the jewelry, looked at me intently, and, placing a finger on my chest for emphasis, said, "Do not write false things about the religions."

As I wrote God is Is Not One, I came back repeatedly to this conversation. I never wavered from trying to write true things, but I knew that some of the things I was writing he would consider false.

Mystics often claim that the great religions differ only in the inessentials. They may be different paths but they are ascending the same mountain and they converge at the peak. Throughout this book I give voice to these mystics: the Daoist sage Laozi, who wrote his classic the Daodejing just before disappearing forever into the mountains; the Sufi poet Rumi, who instructs us to "gamble everything for love"; and the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, who revels in the feminine aspects of God. But my focus is not on these spiritual superstars. It is on ordinary religious folk—the stories they tell, the doctrines they affirm, and the rituals they practice. And these stories, doctrines, and rituals could not be more different. Christians do not go on the hajj to Mecca; Jews do not affirm the doctrine of the Trinity; and neither Buddhists nor Hindus trouble themselves about sin or salvation.

Of course, religious differences trouble us, since they seem to portend, if not war itself, then at least rumors thereof. But as I researched and wrote this book I came to appreciate how opening our eyes to religious differences can help us appreciate the unique beauty of each of the great religions--the radical freedom of the Daoist wanderer, the contemplative way into death of the Buddhist monk, and the joy in the face of the divine life of the Sufi shopkeeper.

I plan to send my Sufi shopkeeper a copy of this book. I have no doubt he will disagree with parts of it. But I hope he will recognize my effort to avoid writing "false things," even when I disagree with friends. --Stephen Prothero


From Publishers Weekly

Expressing his astonishment, Prothero (Religious Literacy) arrives late at the party that has been celebrating for years the diversity and plurality of the world's religions. Although he is correct in asserting that an entire generation of scholars, teachers, and interested readers have claimed in the interest of religious tolerance that the world's religions were simply different paths to the same one God, such a claim functions as little more than a red herring in what is otherwise a useful introduction to the world's religions. Once past that assertion, Prothero sets up a helpful model for examining each religion on its own terms: he explores a problem that dominates the religion, the religion's solution to the problem, the technique the religion uses to move from problem to solution, and the exemplar who charts a path from problem to solution. For example, in Buddhism the problem is suffering; the solution is nirvana; the technique is the Noble Eightfold Path; and the exemplars are the arhats, bodhisattvas, and lamas. Despite his naïveté about contemporary interreligious dialogue, Prothero's survey is a useful introduction to eight of the world's great religions.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Stephen Prothero is the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and chair of the religion department at Boston University. His work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, Oprah, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, National Public Radio, and other top national media outlets. He writes and reviews for The New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and other publications. He holds degrees in American Religion from Harvard and Yale.

Customer Reviews

This book is a very interesting and informative read.
Stephen T. Morley
From this section it seems that he takes personal offense at the very existence of atheism, and so uses this chapter to vilify and caricature atheists.
Anonymous
Prothero's book is a great primer on the eight "great religions" that currently influence the world.
Stepan Riha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

484 of 547 people found the following review helpful By Ravi on May 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm feeling a little bit conflicted on this. On one hand, I've had Steve Prothero as a professor. He's extremely intelligent and completely engaging - more so than any other college professor I've come across. Great human being in person too. I found the book to be fair and well-researched, definitely a clear and worthy introduction to many major world religions. His unique method of introducing the problem/ solution that each religion offers is fantastic. Christianity addresses sin through salvation, Islam addresses pride through submission, etc. For its content, I think this should be the standard introduction to world religions for any high school or undergraduate course. There is never a dull moment and he draws fascinating parallels and brings in interesting anecdotes. Further, the Professor makes a very valid point. In our politically correct world, people try to underplay important differences in doctrine, ritual, and worldview and paint all religions as one. Forget about disparity between religions, huge differences exist within religions: the God of Abraham is very unlike the God of Moses or the God of Second Isaiah. This is where the Professor makes a valid and important point - these religions are not the same, so we need to stop pretending they are! Not only is it false, but it's intellectually demeaning.

Now, here's where the conflict comes in. I completely disagree with the entire premise of the book, that "God is not one." In fact, the unity of Godhead is the one thing that all religions seem to share. The very definition of God itself presupposes an all-inclusiveness; if there is a God, God MUST be one.
Read more ›
48 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
194 of 218 people found the following review helpful By Tom Mott on June 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The initial premise is intriguing: Prothero want to disabuse us from the notion that all great religions are essentially the same--i.e., that Allah/God/Yahweh are just different names for the same deity, and "believers" are simply ascending different sides of the same mountain, but with the same ultimate goal).

The book does give a reasonably good overview of eight major religions, and I am thankful for some of his insights. For example, he discusses why a "Godless" religion (like Confucianism) deserves to be thought of as a religion and not just a systems of ethics. He also points out that someone can be deeply religious but in a quiet manner: A fire-and-brimstome evangelical preacher isn't necessarily *more* religious than, say, a quietly devoted Methodist.

But the book feels superficial. It reads like a professor giving an overview of religions for college freshmen, and wanting to keep it fun and fast paced: hoping to become their favorite professor. After each chapter, I found myself needing to turn to the Internet to read up on each religion for more information on the basic beliefs and practices of each.

Prothero writes in a chatty, "witty" tone which some may find charming, but I found annoying: as if he's worried the material will be too dry or too impenetrable for his audiences, so he funs-it-up and dumbs-it-down. Here are the first two sentences of the chapter on Buddhism:

"Buddhism begins with a fairy tale. Unlike Cinderella or Rocky, however, this is no underdog fantasy of someone who has nothing and gains the whole world."

Really? That's how we're going to begin an overview of Buddhism? And does he mean that Buddhism themselves think of the story of The Buddha as a fairy tale, or is that just his opinion?
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Devon J. Stanko on August 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In my opinion, the introduction is the best chapter in the book. I was glad to have a book written by a professor of religion, for (during some parts) it felt like I was actually in his class.

In the intro Mr. Prothero outlines four basic criteria for a religion: a problem (addressed), a solution, techniques (for achieving that solution), and exemplars (to use as guides). Every other book on religion that I had read had focused mainly on descriptions and explanations; this book begins with the premise that religions are not all the same in the end because they address different topics, see completely different "ultimate problems", and instruct their followers to do things to fix the problem that often clash with other religions. It gives you an easy to understand formula to apply to religion, and promises that based off this formula all religions are very different.

So far so good.

The chapters in this book cover:
1- Islam
2- Christianity
3- Confucianism
4- Hinduism
5- Buddhism
6- Yoruba
7- Judaism
8- Daoism
9- Atheism

After the first chapter I was left with a feeling of disappointment. Sadly, that feeling never really went away. Although the author refutes the "perennial philosophy" of prominent authors (to include Karen Armstrong and Huston Smith)that all religions are basically the same, he does little to include and prove his argument in each chapter. The topics he does cover are communicated brilliantly, but they offer little more that what is covered in books by authors he disagrees with.

I fully expected the author to apply his four point formula to the eight religions covered, and through the use of that formula prove to us that religions are NOT all different paths up the same mountain.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?