Book Review: A Doubter’s Guide to World Religions by John Dickson

We have a fraught relationship, religion and I.

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We have a fraught relationship, religion and I.

About the Book

Title: A Doubter’s Guide to World Religions: A Fair and Friendly Introduction to the History, Beliefs, and Practices of the Big Five

Author: John Dickson

Published: 2022

Series: (standalone)

Genre: nonfiction

My Rating: 4/5 stars

The Premise

Synopsis (from Goodreads) (truncated):

The world is a very religious place. Wherever you look, people are worshipping, praying, believing, following, even dying for their faith. But what does it mean to be religious? Are all religions the same? Do they all call on the same God simply using different names? Are their beliefs and practices simply cultural expressions of the same spiritual longings?

My Thoughts

We have a fraught relationship, religion and I.

On one hand, I don’t like religion. I don’t like how it stunts progress and oppresses women and spurs war and discrimination. I don’t like how I was indoctrinated as a child to think that if I don’t have blind faith in Catholicism then God will send me to hell to be tortured for all eternity– childhood indoctrination that has left a lingering residue which will never cease to haunt me no matter how much it is debunked.

However, on the other hand, I think religion is very interesting. Though I don’t subscribe to one myself, I love to read about it and how it has influenced culture and history. I like to learn about different life philosophies and moral codes different religions have created, and how these things are intertwined with human psychology. I have friends of many different religious backgrounds, and I like to learn about their cultures.

So I enjoyed reading this book. It is a brief overview of five major world religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, and talks about all of their histories, beliefs, and practices. I learned a lot of things, and I appreciated how the author put effort into making the book as unbiased as possible. I’d definitely recommend this if you’d like a quick guide to the major religious faiths.

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1 comments on “Book Review: A Doubter’s Guide to World Religions by John Dickson”

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