Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day  -     By: Garry R. Morgan
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Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day

Bethany House / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

What once seemed like the religions of exotic faraway lands are now practiced by families next door. Understanding World Religions: in 15 Minutes a Day provides easily digestible readings that give an overview of the beliefs, histories, and practices of dozens of religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and many more.

Garry Morgan blends the knowledge of a college professor with real-world experience and an accessible style. Broken into forty brief chapters, this book can be used as a reference for those who need quick and clear answers or read straight through by curious readers

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 173
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764210033
ISBN-13: 9780764210037
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

User-Friendly Beginner's Guide to World Religions

The world is becoming more integrated. What once seemed like the religions of exotic faraway lands are now practiced by families next door. These short, easily digestible readings give an overview of the beliefs, histories, and practices of dozens of religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and many more. Garry Morgan blends the knowledge of a college professor with real-world experience and an accessible style. Broken into forty brief chapters, this book can be used as a reference for those who need quick and clear answers or read straight through by curious readers.

Author Bio

Garry R. Morgan is Professor of Intercultural Studies at Northwestern College. He served with World Venture from 1974-1976 and 1982-1999 in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. Garry is married, has a grown daughter, and lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 17
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Understanding World Religions
    November 2, 2014
    Leon
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The short concise format impresses me most. Am enjoying learning something new.
  2. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Promising Title but Content Falls Short
    February 12, 2013
    theLadyLeigh
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I have high standards for the books I read. Whether fiction or non-fiction a great book is one that shows understanding and respect of the craft itself and one that gives the reader something in return for the time they have invested in reading. All too often today I find that even though I read a lot and a wide variety that even the best looking books have some serious shortcomings.

    When I first saw this book as an option on the blogggers review list I was really excited! The subject of world religions is an interesting one to me and I have done a little reading on some of the prominent ones but I really liked the idea of having a guidebook that would give me short overviews of many different ones and could be an easy reference book anytime I encountered something 'new'.

    This book is divided into 40 brief chapters that cover about the same number of religions from around the world. The chapters are uncomplicated and entirely readable within the advertised 15 minute window. The chapters are largely historical in nature and provide the background story for the beginnings of each religion. In this context the book does live up to it's informational promise.

    What I found lacking in the chapters was more information on the specific beliefs and tenants of the specific religion. I really hoped to find in these short chapters more info and discussion on the human side of things, what people believed and what their motivations (be it cultural or other) are for their belief and this book just didn't deliver on that. While in some context it is helpful to know the historical background I think it really would have been more practically useful to include more of each religion's dogma.

    Something that I came to suddenly realize after getting several chapters into the book was that there are no footnotes in this book. I flipped through the pages looking for some reference, or at the very least- bibliography that would allow the reader to verify the content or do further study on their own and there is none. This fact was extremely disappointing to me. As far as I am concerned a non-fiction 'study' book with no footnotes or reference to original source documentation/content is as good as fiction, or at the very least, opinion. As the book is not billed as opinion I am given no choice but to question the accuracy of the material it contains. One glaring example of the un-sourceable material was on page 83 where the categorization of the Islamic branches being described is noted as being derived " from a conversation with Samer Abdulraman" with no information as to who this person is or why he is an authority on the subject being discussed.

    I had two other real issues with this book. One being that I assumed coming from a Christian publisher that this book would be written from a Christian perspective- I really didn't feel that was true. I wanted to hear a good explanation of these other religions with the starting point of a Christian worldview. What else would you expect from a Christian book- right? Part two of my disappointment was that throughout the book the author uses God with a capitol G in describing all of the gods of the world. I don't remember ever seeing this type of usage before. As far as I was aware the capitalization of God refers specifically to the singular Christian God where as the lowercase usage of god referred to the wide multitude of pagan deities. To put all "God's" on the same plane is not consistent with Christian beliefs.

    In the end the concept of this format- that one could get a lot of info in a short-read time commitment- is a great one. While much of the information contained in this book seems to be accurate (from my admittedly limited knowledge) I have no way of confirming that without footnotes. A book that I hoped to be a great reference for my library and something that I could turn to over and over again has not completely measured up and that's the most disappointing thing of all because I think that with just a little more work this could have been a great reference book- even if I didn't completely agree with the author's perspective.

    I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a honest review and opinion of the product.
  3. United States
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great information
    October 15, 2012
    Irene
    United States
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book and will be keeping it on my bookshelf for later use. It was easy to follow, well written and a must read for all students interested in world religions.

    There are forty chapters that include information on the religion listed in the title of the chapter. The chapters are actually only a few pages long which help make this book a great devotional. Some of the religions written about are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. There are even chapters on Mormons, New Age and Judaism.

    The author gives a background for how each religion was first introduced. I liked the historical aspect of each section. I also liked how the book goes into detail about the differences within each religion. Reading how the religions have transformed over the years was especially enlightening. I gave this book 5/5 stars. I thought it was easy to understand, filled with great information and a must read for any Christian interested in the religions of the world.

    I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
  4. PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A ONE OF A KIND RESOURCE!
    October 10, 2012
    Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The title is telling the truth! You really can understand the religions of the world in 15 minutes a day and even less. As a Christian, I desire to be able to share my faith in Christ with all people. To do so I need to understand where they base their faith and what their beliefs are. I also want to respect their beliefs as I share mine.

    I was able to get a basic over all view and not have to wade through lengthy books. The author has done all the hard work and research! Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism are covered in more than one chapter as their belief systems are much more complex to understand. I appreciate how understandable and easy to read the information is.

    This book has common religions I was most familiar with and many I had never heard of. I did not even know that Jainism and Zoroastrianism existed! I even learned some interesting information about some of the ones thought I already knew about! From a Christian viewpoint, I was given not only their beliefs, but also their history, and how their faith is practiced. This book such a great resource! I only wish Mr. Morgan had written it years ago!

    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
  5. Baker City, OR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Easy to Read, Concise and Informative
    October 5, 2012
    Josi
    Baker City, OR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The concept behind this book is great. It offers readers a concise overview of contemporary world religions and expounds on doctrines, practices, and beliefs in easy-to-read terms, without dumbing things down. This would be the perfect book to put into the hands of someone who is interested in comparative religion but who would be daunted by a large, exhaustive compilation on the topic. Author Gary Morgan is respectful in his treatment of each religion, and he aptly conveys a lot of information in just a few pages. That's really the brilliance of this "15 minutes a day" format- anyone can handle reading a few pages a day on a subject, and you'll be glad you did.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Chosen Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
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