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Religion For Dummies Paperback – August 16, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Gain a deeper understanding of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other faiths!

A wise and witty road map for exploring life’s big questions

Why are we here? How should we live? What happens after we die? Why does evil exist? This lively and informative reference explains how the world’s great religions answer these questions – and shows how religious beliefs and rituals give meaning to life and help us cope with conflict, adversity, marriage, and much more!

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

About the Author

Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman host cable TV's The God Squad and appear frequently on Good Morning America and Imus in the Morning. They have written several children's books on religion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley Publishing; 1 edition (August 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764552643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764552649
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

TV Fame doesn't make experts.
T. Tyler
I believe to compare each of the religions inside the books intensely, you need enough time to seriously delve into the subject.
mieke-maus
I'm happy to have this book in mobi format as well.
Andras Mate-Toth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By "81simmons" on October 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found "Religion For Dummies" to provide a comprehensive overview of the world's major religions and was glad to see that it also touched on lesser-known religions (e.g., Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Sikhism). I liked that it doesn't focus on political differences. You get to see how people of other faiths pray, celebrate life and death, and view moral issues -- which can only help us humans see our similarities. The book is slightly weighted toward the Judeo-Christian tradition (but consider that the authors are a rabbi and priest); however, it doesn't skimp on coverage of the other major religions. "Religion For Dummies" is a good foundation for the titles in what seems to be an expanding lineup in the Dummies' religion/spirituality series. My final word: Worth the money -- you gain a broad understanding of the major religions and get a chance to discover the lesser-known ones.
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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stanley M. Schmidt on July 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I'm not a reader, but I was compelled to purchase and read this book after "The God Squad" appeared on Imus in the Morning on WFAN/MSNBC. I'm glad I purchased the book and here's why: This book breaks the major religeons down to fundamental basics that the layperson can understand. After reading this book, I'm surprised there isn't more religeous strife going on in the world due to the sheer differences in beliefs and theological structures.
I've always been fascinated by religeon, especially since I am of the scientific/realist wing. I am, however, glad I spent the hours I did digesting this material. For the few bucks it costs - not a bad bargain.
I know other reviews are much more eloquent than this, but I wanted to toss my two cents in and give this book a "thumbs up"!
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70 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Seeker on September 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is taking on an enormous subject and has made a brave effort at giving a brief explanation of many religions and more details on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

BUT! and it is a big but... in trying to give more information on just a couple of faiths it fails to give a proper, balanced, realistic picture. For example: the Christianity side heavily emphasises the Roman Catholic beliefs - the different Protestant beliefs are but lightly touched on and Anglicanism (Church of England - which is one of the world's biggest Protestant churches) is not mentioned at all. Some of the information is rather odd: for example it is claimed that Protestant Christians rarely celebrate the Eucharist. Well, not in my experience: in the UK most churches celebrate it several times a week!

The same criticism can be levelled at the description of Judaism: reading this book one would never guess how radically different the various Jewish groups are (and how much they are often daggers drawn too). And ditto Islam.

I accept that I am going to see this book differently from an American reader but I could not see why the other religions were so lightly touched on. In the UK there is a substantial population of Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs: I had expected this book to give more information about these faiths and to expand my knowledge of them. It didn't. This book is too heavily orientated towards 'The Big Three' and there are other, better books that cover these.

I was pleased to see that Native American faiths were lightly touched on and a hint was given about Australian Aboriginal beliefs.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By C. Grant on September 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I want first to say don't think this is on the traditional line of the for dummies series. This is a serious look at the details of certain parts of religion I always had doubts and misunderstandings, which I care not to comment on here, but for example the trinity. The book is easy to read, follows a designed plan and yes it will bring a smile. The group of personalities bringing this book together show their colors and belief in the best and easiest way to understand. I found it very rewarding in my misconceptions and unawareness. I want to turn others on to a book that actually is similar but did much more for me, SB: 1 or God by Karl Maddox.
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49 of 66 people found the following review helpful By M. A HERBST on November 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a theology course, you'll be disappointed but if you have questions about the world's major religions, Rabbi Gellman and Monsigneur Hartman have done a fine job providing the answers. Those reviewers critical of the authors' Judeo-Christian viewpoint are forgetting something - these guys are a Jew and a Christian. You expected them to write from the perspective of a frog worshiper?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mieke-maus on March 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I had to write an essay about a religious theme of my choice and simply could not decide on which due to this great book, so I simply took all of them.

I believe to compare each of the religions inside the books intensely, you need enough time to seriously delve into the subject. And in the end, you might just find out that the major religions in this world are of course very different, but it is easy to get interested in all of them at once.

The layout of the book is very helpful, a guide to the different styles of writing or design is found at the beginning of the book. The pages provided here on amazon display exactly what is in the rest of the book as well, just with a different content *haha*, so you get a good overview to decide if this book is really what you're looking for.

Have fun with it if you buy it!
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