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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Look at Major World Religions (and more)
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...
Published on October 4, 2002 by 81simmons

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69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A difficult subject
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...
Published on September 14, 2004 by Seeker


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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Look at Major World Religions (and more), October 4, 2002
By 
"81simmons" (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Religion For Dummies (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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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading - in my humble opinion, July 10, 2003
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This review is from: Religion For Dummies (Paperback)
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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69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A difficult subject, September 14, 2004
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This review is from: Religion For Dummies (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.

As I was aware from my own studies of several spectacular errors and a lot of small misunderstandings (which I accept are inevitable on such a subject) I became doubtful of the veracity of a lot of this book and did not feel that it expanded my knowledge of religion one iota. Why was the book not written by persons of the various faiths and then edited to match the 'Dummies' format rather than wholly written by a Rabbi and a Catholic Priest? The different faiths are not dealt with in separate chapters but mixed up all together: following a thread to get an overall picture of one religion is not particularly easy or obvious.

This book has made a brave attempt to cover a huge subject but the accuracy, detail and layout fail. Still, it would give someone with no knowledge of any faith to get a vague idea of what is what.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really clarifies tedious and fundamentals, Read SB:1 or God, September 16, 2002
This review is from: Religion For Dummies (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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48 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Handy Reference, November 28, 2002
By 
M. A HERBST (Mt. Vernon, Wa USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Religion For Dummies (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Usefull, December 20, 2012
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I'm happy to have this book in mobi format as well. I bought it after having read it in paperback format. I use it in my teaching at the university for BA students. Good structured and well written.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I'm using this to study for a Clep test, March 7, 2014
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This review is from: Religion For Dummies (Paperback)
It's a good book.
Was in more used condition than I thought but for the price it is fine.
I think I would have been just as good using just the clep study guide but have already had a family member ask to borrow the book when I am done with it so worth the purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Religion for Dummies book, September 7, 2013
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This review is from: Religion For Dummies (Paperback)
I really like these books and wanted them to start a set....would recommend them for anyone interested in reading about religion
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good timing, July 23, 2012
This review is from: Religion For Dummies (Paperback)
This book came in a good time period. So far this has been a very good book. Thanks to the one who sent it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Effort and in Error, May 22, 2012
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This review is from: Religion For Dummies (Paperback)
I agree with "Seeker" and others. Not only is Protestantism poorly represented, so also is the ancient Eastern Orthodox Church - and, each of the 5 references is in error. If you are looking for a "reference" source to refer to and recommend to others: do NOT consider this book (even cheapest price, like I did), unless your desire is to pass along their errors and bias. TV Fame doesn't make experts.
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Religion For Dummies
Religion For Dummies by Marc Gellman (Paperback - August 16, 2002)
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