This book is first of all very well organized. In my experience, the people who write about world religions seldom imagine that someone might actually try to compare them point for point. Constantino’s book does exactly that. While none of the religions is explored in a deep or nuanced fashion, the history, core beliefs, and the unique traits of each religion are presented in such an orderly fashion that one could easily make a chart or spreadsheet for comparison if the text of the book seems to cumbersome. If your objective is a deep study of these religions, then this book will be a great tool to double-check that all your other books have covered all the important points.
This book has a serious purpose, however, that transcends most other books about religions. Constantino’s goal is to ask a very important question, a question that the adherents of every religion regard as important. After you understand the question, it will drive your attention to the many points of similarity and difference among the six religions he discusses.
Finally, this book will almost certainly drive you to further study. The question is such an important one that it is hard to imagine you could put the book away without answering the question and never think of it again. I believe that if you don’t find the answer to the question in this book, you will be compelled to do further research to find the answer. The author makes that part easy, too, by providing helpful links in each chapter to additional materials about each of the religions.
You may already be a believer in one of these religions, or you many believe that all religions are fairy tales. No matter. Nobody can live in the human family without encountering religious experience, and this book is a great high level guide to the six largest religions on earth. It is worth your time. Every educated person needs a working knowledge of his own language, his own history, basic mathematics and so forth. A working knowledge of the world’s great religions belongs on the list of basic things every human being should know. Tor Constantino has written a great introduction to the world’s religions while posing for his readers the fundamental question every person faces with regard to those religions. You should read this book. I recommend it.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This review is my opinion written in my own words.