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Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Preeminent Scholars from Each Tradition Paperback – August 5, 1994


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Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Preeminent Scholars from Each Tradition + The World's Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World's Religions + The World's Religions (Plus)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 7.6.1994 edition (August 5, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060677007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060677008
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A coherent and literate compendium and a valuable addition to any library." -- Brain/Mind Bulletin

"I never thought that I would live to see an introductory text on [the world's religions] that I would (almost) be content to see retire my own. . . . It seems splendid in every respect." -- Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

"It is a distinctive feature of the book that each of the great world religions is described by someone who is committed to that religion and lives within it, but who is at the same time fully at home in the modern Western academic study of religion . . . insiders who can speak to outsiders on the common wavelength of our contemporary academic culture." -- John Hick, author of An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent

"Sharma has not only created a book of a new kind but . . . has, with his collaborators, brought it off brilliantly. . . . Thought-provoking and soul-stretching." -- The Gazette, Montreal

"Viewpoints enough to keep the reader alert and engrossed." -- Christian Century

From the Publisher

Leading experts in the great living religions present their own faith traditions.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is an excellent book written by knowledgeable experts.
D. Foster
A good starting point if one is interested in trying to understand the views of different Religions.
Ebonygypsybear
I perused many dozens of books and read several dozens in their entirety.
Fred Dings

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By D. Foster on June 16, 2009
I've been trying to get a better understanding of Taoism. I was reading articles by Russell Kirkland at the University of Georgia and I came across a transcript of a speech he gave. In the speech he basically says that almost all western perceptions of Taoism are incorrect and spent a good deal of the speech tearing down different translations of ancient texts (such as Stephen Mitchell's translation of the "Tao Te Ching") and westernized interpretations that little resemble real Taoism (such as Benjamin Hoff's "Tao of Pooh"). He did, however, mention the chapter in this book by Liu Xiaogan as being a pretty good treatment of Taoism. He was right. It was most excellent.

As well, I have recently been studying the concept of Zen. This led me to read the chapter in this book on Buddhism and once again I was not disappointed. So I decided just to read the whole book.

This is an excellent book written by knowledgeable experts. It manages to avoid the pitfall of cultural bias that afflicts so many other works on religion. If you want to begin understanding the "whys" and "hows" of the world's major religions, I strongly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ebonygypsybear on March 23, 2010
I found this book an interesting resource it gave a very good general idea of the concepts with in the Religions described in the text. A good starting point if one is interested in trying to understand the views of different Religions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rockets Red Glare on September 7, 2011
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There is a great benefit to hearing about a religious tradition from a scholar who has chosen that tradition as his own. This is the novel approach taken in "Our Religions". All too often, a person writes a comparative book only to shake fingers at other people's faiths. I now have a new respect for Hinduism's tolerance of other religions. I have a new respect for Islam and Judaism. Each section devotes a good amount of history to the religion being covered.

Personally, I have chosen Deism for my own religious view, so I wasn't swayed by any of the writers. Although, I am most curious about Confucianism now. I am grateful to Sharma for bringing together these different traditions in a scholarly and respectful way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Blais on September 15, 2012
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Regardless of your religious propensity or affiliation, you need to read books like this to gain a perspective of what other people believe in. Unfortunately, most members of an organized religion don't even know the tenets of their own religion, never mind the others. Just because you were born into a religion shouldn't make you afraid to question some of its ideologies and educate yourself as to what's out there beside yours. A good book for agnostics.
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This book is must reading for anyone interested in the religions of the world but it is very long and detailed and not for the faint of heart. It requires serious commitment to this topic. This book should not be attempted before one has read a couple of more elementary comparative religion books of which I would recommend the classic Huston Smith's The World's Religions and Prothero's God Is Not One. Having been written by multiple authors, Our Religions reads unevenly although Dr. Sharma (the editor and author of the Hinduism chapter) does a nice job of making the topics covered in each section consistent although he cannot make the writing style consistent. The real standouts are Hinduism by Dr. Sharma, Christianity and Islam (although the author of the latter seems to have a chip on his shoulder regarding the West's "distortion" of Islam). I was caught off guard by Dr. Sharma's admission in the conclusion that he was tempted to convert to the religion that he was reading about as he was reading each of the chapters. Does this suggest that he doesn't have a conviction deep in his soul of the truth of Hinduism? (How could he since there are so many different "truths" of Hinduism?). I had the exact opposite reaction to Dr. Sharma's. I am convicted of the truth of Biblical Christ-centered Christianity and as I was reading, I was either bewildered or repulsed by the crazy things that the human mind and soul can believe in with the exception of course being the chapter on Christianity. Just a note on the Kindle edition. As other reviewers have noted, it is replete with typos and the use of characters from Sanskrit, Chinese and Arabic which detract from the enjoyment of what is otherwise a very worthy book.
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