Home Discussion Forum Good neutral book about the various religions?

Good neutral book about the various religions?

Re-posting: no answer on the Books and Authors section.
I’m looking to get a little more educated about the many religions there are. I have already decided about what my religion/non-religion is so I’m not looking for a book to convert me to one or another religion. I’m NOT having a spiritual crisis here. So please don’t suggest your religion’s holy book.
I’d like to learn a bit of every main religion’s history, without getting too deep – just the social and cultural environment, and whatever impact they had, and why/when they appeared. I don’t want to be a PhD in theology – I just like to know what I talk about and understand why things are the way they are.
The book I’d like to read would have clear language, nothing too technical that usually gets boring after the first chapter.
Remember: I want a neutral objective book. Not conversion of any kind.
And please don’t suggest the bible


  1. Well, this is a reference book. I think it is called either “The Encyclopedia of Living Religions” or “The Handbook of Living Religions”
    It has a section explaining how each religion started and important things that have happened over the course of its existence. Then it also has a section that has such things as womens roles in the religion, etc.
    You could also get a “For Dummies” book. It is somewhat biased toward the religion it is about, but it doesn’t compare one religion to another. “Christianity for Dummies” explains the basics of the religion, it compares the denominations, and talks about special traits of the religion. It was written by a Christian, so it is somewhat biased toward it, but it is easily overlooked.

  2. Religioustolerance.org gives an unbiased outline of all religions.
    sorry didn’t know it was already posted

  3. Huston Smith, “The World’s Religions.” What’s good about it is that he doesn’t just give an “objective” analysis from the (supposedly) “neutral” ground of some Western critical system (which is anything but neutral). He really tries to present them in their own terms, sympathetically. Very worthwhile.


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