Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day

For the past couple months, I've been reading a fabulous book.  Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan teaches the basics of all the world's major religions in nice little bite-sized pieces.

Clearly, since it is in "15 minutes a day" we are not talking hugely comprehensive here.  This isn't a seminary-level comparative religions course or anything.  But Morgan packs a lot of information into a few pages.

From the publisher:
What religions are represented in your neighborhood, your workplace, and your children's school? Things seem to be changing every day, and it can be hard to keep up.  You may know a little about some of these religions. Others are new to you. You'd like to learn about them and how they differ from your beliefs, but who has time to do all the research? 

In Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day, cross-cultural expert and professor Garry Morgan explains the key beliefs, histories, and practices of more than twenty religions, including the familiar--Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism--and some of the lesser known--Baha'i, Sikhism, and New Age religions. Broken into forty short readings, each chapter is engaging and easy to understand. In just minutes a day you'll soon have a better understanding of the world's beliefs.
Forty readings, fifteen-ish minutes a day (none took me that long) and you can have a basic background in world religion.  Many religions have a single chapter, including Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Taoism, and Shinto.

Other religions include multiple chapters. Judaism, for instance, has two:  Historical Development, and Today.  Buddhism has three chapters for three different types: Theravada, Mahayana and Tibetan.  Islam is by far the largest with six chapters.

A few years ago, we studied a lot of these religions as part of our Eastern Hemisphere studies.  I was working primarily with my 6th and 4th grade students on the religion part of that.  I really do wish I had this book in my hands at that point.  It is concise, and the tone is respectful.  I think this is something I could have used with my kids at that point.

You can read the first two chapters (What Is Religion? and Why Learn About Other Religions) below:
Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day

Disclosure:  Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

No comments: