Illustrated Dictionary of Religions

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9780789447111: Illustrated Dictionary of Religions

In an easy to follow, accessible reference format, Illustrated Dictionary of Religions uses over 700 full-color illustrations and clear text to explain, identify, and compare the major religions of the world from Zoroastrianism and ancient Egyptian rituals to Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The dictionary contains more than 1,000 entries and features double-page spreads on major figures and key events. Also, related entries are cross-referenced to show connections among religious concepts.

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From Booklist:

In this new DK offering, the photos jump off the page. Following an introductory section that discusses what religion is and what role it plays in society, content is divided into chapters covering the major religious traditions. There are also sections on ancient and primal religions and on new religions. Occultism, the New Age Movement, and the Moonies are mentioned here.

Each chapter is divided into a series of two-page spreads that highlight various aspects of the tradition. The chapter on Judaism, for example, includes "The Hebrew Bible," "Writings and History," "Holy Days," "Life and Worship," and "Modern Judaism." Throughout the text, a wealth of illustrations depicts religious practice and artifacts and representations of religion in art. In typical DK style, an explanatory caption accompanies each illustration. Additional features include a bibliography and an index with the major reference in bold type.

Expanded coverage of sacred festivals, a popular school research topic, and of the Middle East as sacred ground with major religions vying for dominance would have been useful. Still, this work would be an attractive choice for school and public libraries as a complement to more in-depth resources such as Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions [RBB D 15 99]. Libraries that already own Facts On File's Religions of the World: The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, and Festivals [RBB D 1 97] may not need another nicely illustrated introduction to the topic.

From Library Journal:

Illustrated it is. A dictionary, not exactly. Only the glossary, index, and bibliography are alphabetically arranged. Instead, much like Religions of the World (Facts on File, 1997), this is an illustrated guide. The introduction defines religion, identifies common themes (foundational stories, ethics) and concepts (sacred places, ritual), and discusses the general relationship between religion and society. Aside from two chapters on ancient and primal religions and one on "new religions," the bulk of the book covers major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each chapter provides brief entries on important aspects of each tradition. The entries are cross-referenced by bold-faced words in the text and a See Also box on almost every other page. Well researched and written, this guide may be an alternative for school, public, and academic libraries that don't have Religions of the World.
-Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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