A spate of recent books encourages Bible enthusiasts to read Scripture alongside the sacred texts of other world religions, to compare Jesus and Moses with eastern leaders, and to contrast the Judeo-Christian belief systems with, well, just about anything under the sun.—Ed.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World ReligionsEdited by John Bowker (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2000) 700 pp., $15.95 (paperback) To order, contact the press at 800–451-7556 or www.oup.com.
Anyone who feels daunted by the broad field of religion will appreciate this handy reference book, newly published in paperback. From A (a symbol of emptiness in Zen Buddhism) to Zwingli (the 16th-century Swiss reformer), the 8,000-plus entries describe the world’s religions, movements, sects and cults, as well as the individuals, sacred sites, ethics, texts and beliefs associated with them. The variety and depth of the listings are immediately apparent: One page alone covers the Aqedah, Aqsa Mosque, Age of Aquarius, Aquila, Aquinas, Arabi, Aradhana, Arai Hakuseki and more. The listing on gardens mentions Eden, the Zen gardens of Kyoto and the symmetrically planned plots of Muslim Granada.
The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders