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Author Topic: Recommendations for comparative religion books  (Read 2853 times)
sailor_tech
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« Topic Start: July 28, 2007, 10:53:41 am »

Some of you may have seen my question about a specific compartive religions book a few months back. I asked about "Bruce and Stan's Guide to Cults, Religions and Spiritual Beliefs."

The religious school has tasked me, after my complaints, to provide a better comparitive religion book for the course. Requirements:

 - I'm to provide 3 titiles that I approve of and the teacher will choose one for me to buy.

 - I only have to buy one copy, so price is not a major concern. It's not issue to spend $30 or $50 on a single book vs having to buy copies for all 10 students.

 - It would be really helpful if I could look at a copy before buying it. Pluses if my local public libaries have a copy, or at least part of the book is on line such as Amazon does (usually poorly though). Public libaries in my area are Virginia Beach, Chesapeake VA. Both have catalogs on line.

 - I don't think the teacher will actually do much reading, but I might be able to get in as guest lecturer. Therefore the book should be simple on the level of popular reading level instead an academic upper level text.

If I can get in as guest lecturer I can at least offer up the academic definition of a cult as opposed to the teachers version.  The teacher's version, from memory, was I think "anything new". 
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Seekingwater
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« Reply #1: July 28, 2007, 11:46:37 am »

The religious school has tasked me, after my complaints, to provide a better comparitive religion book for the course. Requirements

I'm not sure if your looking for something along these lines, it's more of a formal look at religions.  He was developing this work while I was in his class (I helped him with a few multimedia aspects of it for the section on Ancient Egyptian religions).  It's a non Christian-centric look at religions (Christianity is treated just as any other religion, which pisses off most Christians). 

http://www.hypernav.com/

I had the honor of taking all his classes at UCC.  Dr. Stelzer in a single word is brilliant.  And, if anyone is into herbs, check out his herb book!
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sailor_tech
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« Reply #2: July 28, 2007, 12:06:41 pm »

I'm not sure if your looking for something along these lines, it's more of a formal look at religions.  He was developing this work while I was in his class (I helped him with a few multimedia aspects of it for the section on Ancient Egyptian religions).  It's a non Christian-centric look at religions (Christianity is treated just as any other religion, which pisses off most Christians). 

http://www.hypernav.com/

I had the honor of taking all his classes at UCC.  Dr. Stelzer in a single word is brilliant.  And, if anyone is into herbs, check out his herb book!

Needs to be an actual book that the teacher can refer to while teaching the 9th and 10th graders.

The non-Christain-centric is a plus since it's not for a Christian group.
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« Reply #3: July 28, 2007, 03:10:00 pm »

Needs to be an actual book that the teacher can refer to while teaching the 9th and 10th graders.

The non-Christain-centric is a plus since it's not for a Christian group.


Ah, well it is a text book, he wrote and is using for his classes, it's for college level classes however.  You might run a search for "world religions text book" and look for something that works for the grade level.  The problem is in finding a guide that is not biased (good luck) and simplifies the philosophies enough for high school aged folks comprehend.  Also, it cannot be too dry so as to disinterest the students.

If your teacher is just looking for additional supplemental sources, then I would point out this CD-book to him.  The teacher can just hook up a projector and lead the class through some of the topics as well.
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sailor_tech
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« Reply #4: July 28, 2007, 03:24:27 pm »

Ah, well it is a text book, he wrote and is using for his classes, it's for college level classes however.  You might run a search for "world religions text book" and look for something that works for the grade level.  The problem is in finding a guide that is not biased (good luck) and simplifies the philosophies enough for high school aged folks comprehend.  Also, it cannot be too dry so as to disinterest the students.

If your teacher is just looking for additional supplemental sources, then I would point out this CD-book to him.  The teacher can just hook up a projector and lead the class through some of the topics as well.

The kids won't be reading the book, only the teacher. Of course the teacher isn't so hot and I'm not sure she'd bother to read any text book that is tough.
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« Reply #5: July 28, 2007, 05:09:30 pm »

Some of you may have seen my question about a specific compartive religions book a few months back. I asked about "Bruce and Stan's Guide to Cults, Religions and Spiritual Beliefs."

Have you considered looking at "The Joy of Sects" - popular work, not a whole lot of detail on any one path, but overall, both pretty solid and really fun reading. It does a good job of introducing terms and phrases and all that.

(It also got really good reviews in a number of the library publications.)
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« Reply #6: July 28, 2007, 05:13:39 pm »

Have you considered looking at "The Joy of Sects" - popular work, not a whole lot of detail on any one path, but overall, both pretty solid and really fun reading. It does a good job of introducing terms and phrases and all that.

I've read it and will second the recommendation. It's not deep, but then from what Peter said, deep apparently isn't what this teacher wants.
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