Saturday, June 20, 2009

Illustrated Guide to Religions - Review

I received a copy of Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions: A comprehensive Introduction to the Religions of the World by James A. Beverley.
The book archives over 200 world religions every thing from Buddhism to Witchcraft. Each section chronicles the history, beliefs, and current topics from each religion making it very easy to use read. I particularly liked the question and answer sections found at the end of most chapters. That’s where I ended up learning the most.

I am however disappointed that Beverley was quite opinioned on many religions he obviously didn’t agree with. Riddled through the book are statements such as “While not every aspect of Mormonism is wrong, the basic and central message of Mormonism is false…” Now I’m not a Mormon, nor do I know much about their religious beliefs but I would think a book claiming to be an “introduction to religions of the world” would tend to be more fact based.

And it’s not just Mormon’s Beverley has a problem with; almost every chapter has at least a section where he chronicles how the religion has gone wrong. I’m sure the material would have been more helpful if Beverley could have kept his personal biases out of it and just given us the facts regardless of his religious preferences.