Understanding World Religions Reviews

Understanding Buddhism: ISBN 978-1-68282-459-7 / eBook: 978-1-68282-460-3
Understanding Christianity: ISBN 978-1-68282-461-0 / eBook: 978-1-68282-462-7
Understanding Hinduism: ISBN 978-1-68282-463-4 / eBook: 978-1-68282-464-1
Understanding Islam: ISBN 978-1-68282-465-8 / eBook: 978-1-68282-466-5
Understanding Judaism: ISBN 978-1-68282-467-2 / eBook: 978-1-68282-468-9
School Library Connection, Jan/Feb 2019

This series provides comprehensive information on each religion with chapters providing an overview of the faith, origins of the religion, beliefs and practices, as well as the challenges believers face in today’s world. Similar formats between volumes allow readers to easily compare and contrast the belief systems of the various religions, and each title begins with a page of World Religions statistics. The exceptions are the volume on Hinduism, which is missing the chapter on “Rules to Live By”” that can be found in the other volumes, and the Buddhist volume, which contains an additional chapter on artistic expressions of the faith. Various religious rituals are discussed throughout the books, such as Muslim daily prayer, Hindu wedding and funeral rites, and Buddhist meditation and chanting. Full-color, captioned illustrations and photographs throughout the books enhance the text. All works in the series are well written and filled with information for researchers and casual readers alike. Index.
Allison Bernstein, Educational Materials Reviewer, Cortlandt Manor, New York
Recommended


Understanding Buddhism: ISBN 978-1-68282-459-7 / eBook: 978-1-68282-460-3
Understanding Christianity: ISBN 978-1-68282-461-0 / eBook: 978-1-68282-462-7
Understanding Hinduism: ISBN 978-1-68282-463-4 / eBook: 978-1-68282-464-1
Understanding Islam: ISBN 978-1-68282-465-8 / eBook: 978-1-68282-466-5
Understanding Judaism: ISBN 978-1-68282-467-2 / eBook: 978-1-68282-468-9
School Library Journal, November 2018

Gr 8 Up—A well-written and thought-provoking series. Each volume opens with graphs displaying percentages of populations practicing various religions—and the religions’ projected growth. Following an introduction, each title includes chapters covering origins, what the faithful believe, how adherents practice the faith, rules followed, and challenges the religion faces. (Hinduism lacks “Rules to Live By”; Buddhism. adds a chapter on fine arts.) The series reflects on the religions' similarities and notes that each faith will survive and grow. Controversies are handled honestly, but positives are stressed. Each title cites a few recent world events; for instance, in Judaism, the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, and, in Islam, the women’s rights reforms adopted in Saudi Arabia in 2018. The writing is dense, though images and sidebars help to break up the text. However, Judaism is less detailed than the other volumes. VERDICT Aimed at mature students, adherents, and report writers.