A History of the World's Religions bridges the interval between the founding of religions and their present state, and gives students an accurate look at the religions of the world by including descriptive and interpretive details from original source materials. Refined by over forty years of dialogue and correspondence with religious experts and practitioners around the world, A History of the World's Religions is widely regarded as the hallmark of scholarship, fairness, and accuracy in its field. It is also the most thorough yet manageable history of world religion available in a single volume. A History of the World’s Religions examines the following topics:


  • Some Primal and Bygone Religions
  • The Religions of South Asia
  • The Religions of East Asia

  • The Religions of the Middle East


This fourteenth edition is fully updated throughout with new images and inset text boxes to help guide students and instructors. Complete with figures, timelines and maps, this is an ideal resource for anyone wanting an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the world’s religions.

part 1|79 pages

Some Primal and Bygone Religions

part 2|174 pages

The Religions of South Asia

chapter 3|27 pages

Early Hinduism

The Passage from Ritual Sacrifice to Mystical Union

chapter 4|44 pages

Later Hinduism

Religion as the Determinant of Social Behavior

chapter 5|13 pages


A Study in Asceticism

chapter 6|23 pages

Buddhism in Its First Phase

Moderation in World Renunciation

chapter 7|54 pages

The Religious Development of Buddhism

Diversity in Paths to Nirvana

chapter 8|12 pages

Sikhism *

A Study in Syncretism

part 3|109 pages

The Religions of East Asia

chapter 9|37 pages

Native Chinese Religion and Daoism

chapter 10|44 pages

Confucius and Confucianism

A Study in Optimistic Humanism

chapter 11|27 pages


The Native Contribution to Japanese Religion

part 4|261 pages

The Religions of the Middle East

chapter 12|22 pages


A Religion Based on Ethical Dualism

chapter 13|38 pages

Judaism in Its Early Phases

From Hebrew Origins to the Exile

chapter 14|36 pages

The Religious Development of Judaism

chapter 15|32 pages

Christianity in Its Opening Phase

The Words and Work of Jesus in Apostolic Perspective

chapter 16|61 pages

The Religious Development of Christianity

chapter 17|40 pages


The Religion of Submission to God Beginnings