What is Religion?

What is Religion?

Defining religion can be a difficult task. Often, our definition of religion is shaped by our family, experiences, traditions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and many other factors. Understanding these influences in your life can be helpful as you compare and contrast the five major religions in this book. Ask a group of friends or classmates to help you explore the definition of religion and discover how different your answers are.
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A Different Kind of BattleField

A Different Kind of BattleField

From World War I

In the early years of WWI, army recruiters mined soccer games and rugby matches for recruits. According to historian Adam Hochschild, soccer games “proved the single best venue for recruiters.” Arriving spectators would see recruiters wearing sandwich boards bearing the message, “Your Country Needs You.” The game would start with a patriotic speech. Players often stepped forward to enlist, and fans quickly followed their lead.

My World

My World

From Global Citizenship

Through the “My World” Survey, people can identify which of the 17 SDGs matter most to them. At www.myworld2030.org, you can take the survey and select six SDG priority areas. You can also view results by country to see what people care about across the globe.

Make Your Own Gordian Knot

Make Your Own Gordian Knot

From The Silk Road

One legend says Alexander conquered Asia by solving the puzzle of the Gordian Knot. According to a prophecy, whoever untied this endless knot would rule the continent. Alexander took the direct approach—he cut the knot open with his sword. Today, a “Gordian knot” means an unsolvable problem. No one knows exactly what the Gordian Knot looked like. But you can make a knot called a Turk’s Head appear “endless” by joining the ends after it’s...

Make a Culture Collage

Make a Culture Collage

From The Renaissance Thinkers

We use the term Renaissance to define the years in Europe from the 1300s through the 1600s. Is there one word or phrase that defines the era we live in right now? Let’s make a Culture Collage and see if we can find one.



"The abstractions of religion make it a tricky topic for objective and clear middle-level resources, but this dynamic book manages to be both informative and accessible . . . By examining complex beliefs and doctrine in an accessible and reader-friendly format, Mooney effectively teases out the commonalities among major world religions."

Kate Oxx, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Saint Joseph's University
"Comparative Religions presents the basic elements of five religious traditions to help readers become familiar with and reflect on those faiths. Most importantly, it attends to ways the major faiths have shaped and are shaping their world, and cues them to note how tremendously significant the impact of religion is."

Daniel Veidlinger, Professor, Department of Comparative Religion and Humanities, California State University, Chico
"This book is a very well executed, readable and accurate portrayal of the world's major religions. Helpful website references allow students to learn more about the religions on the Internet, and a nicely illustrated cast of characters bring the issues to life. This book challenges students to really engage with the philosophy, history, and culture of the religions and it introduces them to a lot of new terms without overloading them."


Detailed Book Description

Over 7 billion people live on the earth, and 84 percent of them describe themselves as being religious. What does that mean? Few topics incite such passion as religion. Why are humans invested in ideas that may never be proved? Why has religion played such an important role in history?

In Comparative Religion: Investigate the World through Religious Tradition, readers seek answers to these questions by comparing and contrasting the cultural, spiritual, and geographical underpinnings of five different religions. By developing a better understanding of the differences and similarities among religions of the world, readers gain a strong foothold in a dialogue that has continued for thousands of years.

Combining hands-on activities with theology, history, geography, world cultures, art, and architecture, Comparative Religions encourages deeper understanding of the world's religions. Entertaining graphic art, fascinating sidebars, and links to primary sources illuminate the topic and bring it to life, while key questions reaffirm foundational concepts.

Available In:
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Charts | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: World History



What Is Religion?

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6
Many Religions, One World