Off the Shelf: Understanding World Religions

Books that have caught my eye.

Understanding World Religions: An Interdisciplinary Approach

By Irving Hexham

Irving Hexham’s introductory world religions text explores various religions under the broad categories of African Religions, the Yogic Traditions (including Buddhism), and the Abrahamic traditions. He presents an appreciative yet realistic approach, noting both the strengths and inherent problems of various world religions.

This is a survey with some bite and insights, not the boring, politically correct pablum that most religion texts drown in. This approach aims to engage students and encourage critical thinking about religion.

An example: “For Muslims, Islam is a religion of peace because the imposition of Islamic rule brings areas under Muslim control to peace and order in accordance with Islamic teachings about the will of God,” Hexham writes. “Thus, it is a Pax Islamica, which imposes peace by dominating all opponents by force” (pp. 437-438).

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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