Introduction to the World's Major Religions
by Lee W. Bailey, General Editor
December 2005, 1640pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
6 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-33634-8
$179, £133, 150€, A256

World religions and religious diversity are increasingly being taught in schools. This trend reflects the changing religious landscape of the United States with significant new immigrant groups who worship outside the dominant Judeo-Christian traditions. The purpose of these six narrative volumes, each covering a major world religion, is to provide high school students on up and general readers with a clear, objective, detailed overview on the religion’s history of foundation, text and major tenets, branches, practice worldwide, rituals and holidays, and major figures. The set fills a niche between the available sophisticated adult offerings and those for a middle school audience, and offers up-to-date information and perspectives. Little knowledge of the religion and only an intellectual interest in the subject are assumed.

The six titles in the set are:
; Judaism
; Confucianism and Taoism
; Buddhism
; Christianity
; Islam
; Hinduism
Each volume contains the following elements:
; Introduction
; Chronology
; Timeline
; Narrative chapters on history of foundation, texts and major tenets, branches, practice worldwide (including demographics), rituals and holidays, and major figures
; Glossary
; Bibliography
; Set index
; Illustrations .


"This set is designed to provide a basic reference for high school and lower-division undergraduate students. Each volume covers one religion and is divided into the following sections: Timeline, History of Foundation, Text and Major Tenets, Branches, Practice Worldwide (includes demographic statistics and weekly worship traditions), Rituals and Holidays, Major Figures, Glossary, and Bibliography. An index for the entire set is provided....Lower-level undergraduates and high school students."—Choice, July 1, 2006

"Because of its focus on the six major religious movements, Introduction to the World's Major Religions will be of interest particularly to high school, public, junior college, and undergraduate libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, December 1, 2006

"This work can confidently be recommended to libraries and teachers....I would buy it without hesitation for the school and small college library, and regard it as a useful series of summaries of six highly complex (and often obscurely and controversially explained) faith/belief/ideology systems....Neatly and strongly bound and generally good paper, subtly distilled for those starting out on their studies and for readers keen to remind themselves about faith essentials, alert to modern changes and challenges, and providing sound reading at the intended level, this introduction is recommended."—Reference Reviews, September 1, 2006

"For a comprehensive overview which reaches into general-interest and public library collections, Introduction to the World's Major Religions is a 'must': it packs in six volumes by different authors: each of which provides an introduction, timeline of events, history and religious foundation analysis, and provides details on branches, major tenets, and rituals....[c]entral to a strong collection....The books cover all major events, issues, and religious practices under each heading and pack in source material references suitable for further, in-depth research; yet retain an accessibility which lends to general reading browsing....[c]ompetes well with other multivolume coverages, blending scholarly with general-interest approaches."—Midwest Book Review - Internet Bookwatch, October 1, 2006

"[T]his is an excellent series. It is up to date in both language and presentation, and would be valuable in any library both as a reference work and as a comprehensive introduction to the field."—Catholic Library World, September 1, 2006

"The volumes include a time line, an introduction, discussions of texts and tenets, branches, practice, rituals and holidays, and major figures, as well as a bibliography and a glossary."—School Library Journal, June 1, 2006

"Describing a major world religion in one volume of less than 200 pages of text (not counting fore and end matter) is a daunting task, nobly achieved by the six authors of this set. According to its publicity material and set preface, the set is intended for high-school students and the general reader, and it is true to its audience. The text is fluid, fluent, and as uncomplicated as possible. Each volume contains an introduction by the author, time line, and narrative chapters on the history, texts and tenets, branches, practice worldwide (including demographics), rituals and holidays, and major figures....Most school and public libraries will find this set very useful for locating the important information students and the general public are looking for when studying religions. The volumes are straightforward and well structured to help locate the answers to most questions asked about beliefs, practices, holidays, and definitions of the major religions people encounter."—Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin, May 1, 2006

"[I]deal for high school students and a recommended purchase for public and school libraries....The set is a must for libraries serving older teens or early college age students where there has been a demonstrated need for materials on religious diversity."—VOYA, April 1, 2006

"Intended as an introductory reference for a high school level or general readership, this set comprises six volumes, one each on Judaism, Confucianism and Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. A tremendous amount of information has been distilled into accessible language and a uniform format; students writing comparative papers will find this consistency useful. In each separately edited volume, a timeline and introduction are followed by narrative chapters on the history of the religion's foundation; texts and major tenets; branches of the religion and their distinctive doctrines and structure; practice worldwide - including demographic statistics; rituals and holidays; and notable people in the history of each religion."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2006
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.