The World's Greatest Religious Leaders
How Religious Figures Helped Shape World History [2 volumes]
by Scott E. Hendrix and Uchenna Okeja, Editors
March 2018, 797pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4137-8
$208, £160, 181€, A285
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4138-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Religious leaders have shaped history, driven political and social change, and been involved with activities that have affected the lives of millions.

This book provides reliable information about important world religious leaders, correcting the misinformation that can be on the internet.

Religious leaders have shaped the course of history and deeply affected the lives of many individuals. This book offers alphabetically arranged profiles of roughly 160 religious leaders from around the world and across time, carefully chosen for their impact and importance and to maximize inclusiveness of faiths from around the world.

Scholars from around the world, each one an expert in his or her field and all holding advanced degrees, came together to create an essential resource for students and for those with an interest in religion and its history. Every entry has been carefully edited in a two-stage review process, guaranteeing accuracy and readability throughout the work. Not strictly a biographical reference that recounts the facts of religious figures’ lives, the book helps users understand how the selected figures changed history. The entries are accompanied by excerpts of primary source documents and suggestions for further reading, while the book closes with a bibliography of essential print and electronic resources for further research.


  • Examines roughly 160 alphabetically arranged reference entries that detail how religious leaders from different faiths changed the history of the world
  • Provides sidebars that discuss key events, offering background information and excerpts from consequential religious writings
  • Offers suggestions for further reading after each entry, and closes with a bibliography of important print and electronic resources suitable for student research
Scott E. Hendrix is associate professor of history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His previous books include The Impact of the English Colonization of Ireland in the Sixteenth Century (2012), Riot and Resistance in County Norfolk, 1646–1650: The Road to Rebellion (2012), and How Albert the Great's Speculum Astronomiae Was Interpreted and Used by Four Centuries of Readers: A Study in Late Medieval Medicine, Astronomy, and Astrology (2010).

Uchenna Okeja is associate professor of philosophy at Rhodes University, South Africa and a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, South Africa. Okeja's previous books include Normative Justification of a Global Ethic: A Perspective from African Philosophy (2013). Okeja's articles have appeared in such journals as Analyse und Kritik, Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, Philosophical Papers, and South African Journal of Philosophy.


"[L]esser-known leaders abound. This is due, in part, to the impressively diverse scope of the work, with every major world religion represented, along with New Age, Wicca, satanism, and Native American faiths. . . . For college and public libraries."—Booklist, May 15, 2018

"[T]here is little competition on this topic, and postsecondary students of religion will want to spend time with these convenient volumes."—Library Journal, June 1, 2018

"This fresh look at the intersection of religion and society from the view of the personality frames the discussion in a way that will be most useful for introductory students interested in the topic."—ARBAonline, July 1, 2018

"Though many reference works on world religions provide an overview of the development of religious traditions, this title helpfully grounds religious developments in individuals. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, October 1, 2018

2018 Top Community College Resource—Choice, 00/00/00
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