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World Religions 101

With these titles you will be guided through the worlds varied and rich religious belief systems so that you might better learn where they differ and perhaps more importantly, where they agree.

Authors on this Topic

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has long stood as one of the world's foremost advocators of peace. The Dalai Lama's embrace of the world and continuous search for peaceful understanding between nations have served as an inspiration for generations.
Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong is a former Catholic nun, historian, and English author best known for her non-fiction books on comparative religion. Armstrong became disillusioned with her faith after a visit to Jerusalem in 1984 and subsequently changed her beliefs to reflect the idea that all the the main religions are fundamentally the same.
Alan Watts
Alan Watts

Born in 1915, Alan Watts is known all over the world as a philosopher, writer, speaker and authority on comparative religion. He is now considered one of the most popular modern philosophers and his bibliography is considered by many to be some of the most important texts on the Tao, Zen and Eastern Religion in general.
Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias is an evangelical Christian apologist and the best-selling author of many Christian books. Born in India, Zacharias was an atheist until, at the age of 17, a local Christian encouraged his mother to read him New Testament scripture after a failed suicide attempt.

Publishers on this Topic

christianaudio

christianaudio (also know as Hovel Audio) is a publisher of classic Christian audio books that are thoughtful, devotional, and inspiring.
Shambhala Publications

Shambhala Publications publishes audio programs from teachers like Pema Chodron, Ken Wilber, Sakyong Mipham, and Thich Nhat Hanh along with superb translations of classic spiritual works such as The Art of War, Siddhartha, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and The Way of the Bodhisattva.

Titles on this Topic

African and African-American Religions
African and African-American Religions
by Victor Anderson

Some thirty to forty percent of Africans practice traditional religions, many of which survived transportation into the West with the slave trade by combining with elements of Christianity.
Alan Watts Podcast
Alan Watts Podcast
by Alan Watts

Alan Watts is one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. In addition to his 28 books, Alan Watts delivered hundreds of public lectures and seminars...
America's Changing Religious Landscape
 
America's Changing Religious Landscape
by Martin Marty

A great public theologian and historian, Martin Marty offers personal and historical perspective on religion in modern life — including the nature of fundamentalism, and the decline of America's mainline Protestant majority as Evangelical Christianity gains in influence.
American Religious History
American Religious History
by Patrick N. Allitt

This course explores the particularly rich history of religion in the U.S.

APM: On Being with Krista Tippett Podcast
APM: On Being with Krista Tippett Podcast
by Krista Tippett

On Being is a spacious conversation — and an evolving media space — about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit.
Aquinas for Armchair Theologians
 
Aquinas for Armchair Theologians
by Timothy Renick

Thomas Aquinas was one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity and in western civilization. Yet his theological views are complex and presume acquaintance with technical philosophical language.
Autobiography of a Yogi
Autobiography of a Yogi
by Paramahansa Yogananda

This is not an ordinary audiobook. It is a spiritual treasure. To hear its message of hope to all truthseekers is to begin a great adventure.
The Bahai Revelation
The Bahai Revelation
by Thornton Chase

Thornton Chase (1847 – 1912) is commonly recognized as the first convert to the Bahá'í Faith of Occidental background. During his life he organized many Bahá'í activities in Chicago and Los Angeles and was considered a prominent Bahá'í.
Basic Christianity
 
Basic Christianity
by John Stott

In this book, John Stott embarks on a compelling course of study that first defends the fundamental claims of Christianity and then defines the proper outworkings of these basic beliefs in the daily lives of believers.
Becoming Enlightened
Becoming Enlightened
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, Nobel Prize winner, and bestselling author helps listeners begin the path to enlightenment in this special audiobook.
Beginner's Guide to Kabbalah
Beginner's Guide to Kabbalah
by Rabbi David A. Cooper

Guarded for centuries, its secrets once passed by word of mouth only, the Kabbalah remains one of our oldest mystical paths for union with the divine.
The Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita
by Mohandas Gandhi

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the primary sacred Hindu religious texts and has been cherished for generations as a guide for proper living.
Bruce Feiler - Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
 
Bruce Feiler - Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
by Bruce Feiler

Bruce Feiler, best-selling author of six books including Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land through the Five Books of Moses, delivers a lecture based on his latest book, Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths.
Buddha
Buddha
by Karen Armstrong

This rich, timely, and highly original portrait of the Buddha explores both the archetypal religious icon and Buddha the man....
Buddha, Man, and Jesus
 
Buddha, Man, and Jesus
by Robert Thurman

In this panel discussion Robert Thurman (preeminent Buddhist scholar), Phillip Kitcher (Professor of Philosophy of Science), and Finny Kuruvilla (Medical Doctor) comprise a learned and religiously diverse panel that speak frankly about their own core beliefs...
Buddhism for Beginners
Buddhism for Beginners
by Jack Kornfield

At the heart of all Buddhist wisdom lies one astonishing truth: that a way out of suffering and into a more deeply fulfilling life is not a myth, but a reality available to you the moment you open your eyes through the power of skillful inquiry.
Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?
 
Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?
by Gerald McDermott

Arguably, the church's greatest challenge in the next century will be the problem of the scandal of particularity. More than ever before, Christians will need to explain why they follow Jesus and not the Buddha or Confucius or Krishna or Muhammed.
The Catholic Church in the Modern Age
The Catholic Church in the Modern Age
by Thomas F. Madden

As the world entered the modern age, the Catholic Church faced new challenges to its authority, both from without and within.
The Christian World: A Global History
The Christian World: A Global History
by Martin Marty

A National Book Award winner, Martin E. Marty is a University of Chicago Professor Emeritus, Lutheran minister, and prolific writer on history, culture, and theology. In his comprehensive yet concise The Christian World, Marty outlines the life and teachings of Christ and details how his followers spread the gospel to the world.
Comparative Religion
Comparative Religion
by Charles Kimball

What, exactly, is religion? And why does one religious tradition often differ so markedly from another, even when you might not expect it to?
The Confucian Analects
The Confucian Analects
by Confucius

The Confucian Analects (literally translated as "discussion over Confucius' words") collects a record of the philosophy, discussions and day to day life of the great chinese scholar Confucius (551-479 BCE).
Confucianism and Taoism
Confucianism and Taoism
by Julia Ching

Confucius (551-479 BCE) taught a moral wisdom that would become a predominant social force in China from the second century BCE until the mid-20th century.
Crash Course on Jewish History
 
Crash Course on Jewish History
by Rabbi Ken Spiro

Journey through the pages of time—from the Jewish perspective. Vivid, illuminating, and always entertaining, Rabbi Ken Spiro presents a "Crash Course in Jewish History"...
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls
by Lawrence H. Schiffman

In this course, Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman presents the real Dead Sea Scrolls. In so doing, this widely published authority on Judaic studies imparts a clear understanding of what the Scrolls are, and even more importantly, what they are not.
The Dhammapada
The Dhammapada
by Buddha

In our latest exploration of the Eastern world and its spiritual practices, LearnOutLoud.com presents The Dhammapada. This ancient Buddhist scripture is traditionally understood as a collection of answers that the Buddha gave to important spiritual and ethical questions.
Don't Know Much about the Bible
 
Don't Know Much about the Bible
by Kenneth C. Davis

Bringing to life the world of the Old and New Testaments, the acclaimed creator of the bestselling Don’t Know Much About® series transforms dry, difficult reading into colorful and realistic accounts.
The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda

Rarely in a lifetime does a new spiritual classic appear that has the power to change people's lives and transform future generations. This is such a book.
The Essential Kamasutra
The Essential Kamasutra
by Wendy Doniger

The cultivation of pleasure was brought to its height with the Kamasutra...
The Future of God
 
The Future of God
by Karen Armstrong

What does tomorrow hold for the way we worship God? On The Future of God, Karen Armstrong guides us through a bewildering landscape, over many centuries and civilizations...
The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough
by James Frazer

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). It offered a modernist approach, discussing religion dispassionately as a cultural phenomenon, rather than from a theological perspective.
Great Lives: Moses
Great Lives: Moses
by Chuck Swindoll

Swindoll's candid portrait of Moses, a man who overcame his doubts about his leadership abilities when he surrendered to the Lord, will show you that God can work through you, too---in spite of your insecurities!
Great World Religions: Hinduism
Great World Religions: Hinduism
by Mark W. Muesse

Terms such as "religion", "Hinduism", and "India" are Western creations that for much of history have not accurately reflected the thinking of those who practice this most ancient of faiths.

The Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible
by Lawrence H. Schiffman

The Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanakh and to Christians as the Old Testament, is the basis for the West's tradition of monotheism, as well as our civilization's ethics and mores.
Hinduism
Hinduism
by Gregory Kozlowski

Hinduism is a very broad term for the religious practices and doctrines of the Indian people. This tradition is believed to have begun in about 1800 BCE with religious poems known as the Vedas
The History of Ancient Israel
The History of Ancient Israel
by Eric H. Cline

Israel conjures up myriad associations for peoples of all cultures and religious backgrounds. Inextricably associated with the world's three most prominent religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), Israel is steeped in history and conflict...
The History of God
 
The History of God
by Karen Armstrong

Strange as it may seem, the idea of 'God' developed in a market economy in a spirit of aggressive capitalism, Karen Armstrong asserts in her fascinating work "A History of God."
The Holy Bible - New Testament
The Holy Bible - New Testament

The New English Standard Version translation is founded on the belief that the words of the Bible are the very words of God.
Introduction to the Study of Religion
Introduction to the Study of Religion
by Charles B. Jones

Religion undoubtedly plays an important part in the lives of people around the world. As Professor Charles B. Jones notes, many people "would say [religion] is the most important part" of their lives...
The Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible
The Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible
by Eugene H. Peterson

Readers will encounter a profound overview of the Bible that invites them to delve deeper into God's Word.
Islam
Islam
by Malise Ruthven

Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam....
Islam and the West
Islam and the West
by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Islam and Christianity share both remarkable similarities and remarkable differences. In the grand scheme, both are relatively recent religions, with Christianity taking hold in Northern Europe at about the same time that Islam took hold in the Persian world (although Christianity appeared on the scene six centuries before Islam).
Islam, A Short History
Islam, A Short History
by Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith...
Judaism
Judaism
by Norman Solomon

This Very Short Introduction discusses Judaism as a living religion in all its contemporary richness and variety....
Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Judaism, Christianity and Islam
by F.E. Peters

Attempting to understand religion in all its forms has forever been a source of frustration. In this course, Professor F.E. Peters defines Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as three faith communities of believers, each with its own ideology, history, traditions, and members—past and present.
The King James Version Bible
 
The King James Version Bible

The AudioTreasure site exist to offer audio Bible files for download in as many languages as legally possible.
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Living Buddha, Living Christ
by Thich Nhat Hanh

World-renowned thinker and scholar Thich Nhat Hanh, considered by many to be a "Living Buddah," explores the spiritual crossroads where the traditions of Christianity and Buddhism meet.
The Lotus and the Cross
 
The Lotus and the Cross
by Ravi Zacharias

Jesus and Buddha agreed that Truth could withstand scrutiny. Listen in as the Soul of Truth speaks with the Heart of Compassion. It could change your life.
The Meaning of the Glorious Koran
The Meaning of the Glorious Koran
by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall

The Koran (Qur'an) is regarded by Muslims as the word of God (Allah) as revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is divided into 114 chapters (surahs), arranged roughly by length.
Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity
by C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity brings together what Lewis sees as the fundamental truths of the religion.
The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism
The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism
by Jinananda

General interest in Buddism has never been higher. The story and teachings of a man who lived 2,500 years ago have a special resonance for us today...
Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time
 
Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time
by Karen Armstrong

In Karen Armstrong's biography of the Prophet of Islam she describes Muhammad as a respectful man who lived a decent life.
Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness
Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness
by Evelyn Underhill

The book provides an introduction to the subject of mysticism, presenting it from the point of view of metaphysics, psychology, and symbolism. It examines the different stages of development a mystic typically experiences.
Native Religions of the Americas
Native Religions of the Americas
by Ake Hultkrantz

North, Central, and South American Indians have a rich religious heritage, though much has been lost since these peoples were conquered by Europeans.
The Nature of Religion
The Nature of Religion
by Stephen Prothero

In this lecture Professor Stephen Prothero discusses what religion is and why it still matters in the modern age.
Poems of Rumi
Poems of Rumi
by Rumi

Rumi (1207-1273) was one of the world’s most profound and influential spiritual masters.
The Quest: The Historians Search for Jesus and Muhammad
The Quest: The Historians Search for Jesus and Muhammad
by F.E. Peters

Esteemed professor emeritus F.E. Peters compares the similarities and differences in the dual searches for the historical Jesus and the historical Muhammad.
Quick History of Christianity from Jesus to the Crusades
Quick History of Christianity from Jesus to the Crusades
by Thomas F. Madden

If you're curious about the Crusades, this lecture from professor Thomas F. Madden sets the stage for what became a 400 year war between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land and between competing sects within these religious ideologies.
The Reformation
The Reformation
by Patrick Collinson

Renowned scholar Patrick Collinson is Regius Professor of Modern History, Emeritus, Cambridge. He states, “The Reformation (and Counter Reformation) was the blast furnace in which the modern state was forged.”
Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - PBS Podcast
Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - PBS Podcast
by Thirteen - WNET

The only national TV news program devoted to religious and ethical issues.
Religion, Myth, and Magic
Religion, Myth, and Magic
by Susan A. Johnston

Anthropologist Susan Johnston turns a scholarly eye on one of humankind's primary interests throughout history: the spiritual belief system.
Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Podcast
Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Podcast
by Philip Harland

The Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast explores social and religious life in the Greco-Roman world, especially early Christianity.
Religions of the East: Paths to Enlightenment
Religions of the East: Paths to Enlightenment
by Stephen Prothero

The main aim of this course is to cultivate basic literacy in the principal religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism.
Revealing World Religions Podcast
Revealing World Religions Podcast
by Cynthia Eller

The narrated text of Revealing World Religions, by Cynthia Eller. A compelling look at the principles and practice of the world's major religions.
Robert Wright on The Evolution of God
 
Robert Wright on The Evolution of God
by Robert Wright

Journalist and Author Richard Wright explains his analysis of the "evolution of God", for which he uses game theory.
The Seven Storey Mountain
The Seven Storey Mountain
by Thomas Merton

From one of the 20th century's best-loved Christian writers comes this extraordinary spiritual testament. Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is a man who experienced life to its fullest "in the world" before entering a Trappist monastery.
Spiritual Classics Podcast
Spiritual Classics Podcast

LearnOutLoud.com's Spiritual Classics Podcast collects key texts from a wide range of religious traditions throughout human history...
Taoism
Taoism
by Ken Cohen

Over 2,000 years ago, the great sage Lao-Tzu was disillusioned that others were unwilling to learn...
Toward a True Kinship of Faiths
Toward a True Kinship of Faiths
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

No person today is untouched by what happens in the rest of the world. With this historic development, the Dalai Lama understands that the essential task of humanity is to cultivate peaceful coexistence.
UCTV: Religion and Spirituality
 
UCTV: Religion and Spirituality

Compelling programs advance discussion of issues related to ethics, values, religion and public life. Presented by the University of California.
Understanding Islam
 
Understanding Islam
by Huston Smith

The story of Islam is one we urgently need to hear.
What Is Religion?
What Is Religion?
by Peter Kreeft

In this lecture Professor Kreeft explores what religion is and what questions it tries to answer. He goes over a brief history of philosophical definitions of religion.
You're It!: On Hiding, Seeking, and Being Found
 
You're It!: On Hiding, Seeking, and Being Found
by Alan Watts

Life is the ultimate game of hide and seek … and the good news is that you’re it!
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

Shunryu Suzuki (1905-1971) was a direct spiritual descendant of the renowned 13th-century Zen...
Zencast Podcast
Zencast Podcast
by Gil Fronsdal

Zencast is a soothing transmission of peaceful music combined with inspiring Buddhist Dharma talks.

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