Book: The Complete Idiot Guide To World Religions by Brandon ToropovMy one fear with the Dummies and Complete Idiot's Guide series is that these are sometimes seen as endpoints rather than beginnings. As Hillel said when giving his answer to the question `What is Judaism?' while standing on one foot, there are some basic truths to any religion, and the rest is commentary, but one should read that commentary!
More than at any other time in history, ordinary people are reading up on the world's major religions. Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam often seem at odds with each other, and as readers struggle to understand, The Complete Idiot's Guide to World Religions, Third Edition, provides expanded and updated coverage to answer their questions. Here, comparative theologists Toropov and Buckles provide many answers to today's questions about both major and lesser-known religions and beliefs. Each of five parts, one for every major religion, discusses history, rituals, celebrations, holy documents, deities, and structure. Included are Asian paths of belief, non-scriptural religions, ancient creeds, and the earth-based religions practiced in parts of Asia, Africa, South America, island nations, Europe, and North America.
For adolescents in high school, for college undergraduates, and for those who have little to no exposure with religions of the world, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the World's Religions by Brandon Toropov and Fr. Luke Buckles provides a good if brief overview of the major religions and sects in the world today. This is not a history text per se, and the book does not go into ancient religions that are no longer practiced, nor does it spend much time on small groups and religious communities that dot the religious landscape of the world today. This is religion painted with broad brush strokes, and the limitations of such an approach should be noted accordingly.
That being said, it is a wonderfully readable text, and a great tool for organising presentations or further self-study, as well as a sort of Cliff's Notes to the religions of the world. There is an Introductory section, a section on each of the major religions or religious groupings (more on this later), and a concluding section on recent trends and scriptures.
Brandon Toropov is a Boston-based writer who has written a variety of nonfiction titles including The I Ching for Beginners and The Art and Skill of Dealing with People. He has appeared on more than 100 local and national broadcast programs. He is the author of several Complete Idiot's Guides on religious topics.
Books in PDF format to read:Raym - Spirit Guide A New Life Guide
Aleister Crowley - The Cephaledium Working
Denise Zimmermann - Complete Idiots Guide To Wicca And Witchcraft
Robert Ellwood - The Encyclopedia Of World Religions