GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Just the facts on religion

with 3 comments

Why do Hindus use a swastika? Why is the Cross of St. Peter upside down? And why do Scientologists weave an “S” through two triangles?

Those and more answers are on Religion Facts, which fittingly has the slogan, “Religion is interesting; knowledge is good.” The anonymous religion student behind this site has kept his promise: straight facts, no manipulation.

And the 37 featured groups go beyond the usual world religions. It’s also Aladura of west Nigeria and Cao Dai from Vietnam. It’s the Druze of the Middle East and Zoroastrianism, which has one of its fire temples in Yazd, Iran (pictured here).

Each section has a short intro, then bulleted Fast Facts. Then comes a history of the religion, then beliefs and practices. Footnotes are plentiful and often lead to offline articles.

Better yet are the comparisons. A “Big Religion Chart” gives a quick rundown on each group. Other charts parse out differences among various types of Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.

Although the information is generally objective, the very choices inevitably raise questions. Is Deepak Chopra’s center a distinct religion? Are ancient Greek Stoicism and Epicureanism religious? And should you put atheists, who attack the very idea of faith, on a list of faiths?

The author does urge us to continue our own studies. For those, he provides glossaries and book lists, some of them linking to eBay or Amazon.

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Written by Jim Davis

November 15, 2008 at 6:04 am

3 Responses

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  1. James,

    Sounds like a wonderful resource.

    Whilst there seems to be a great deal of commentary about religion these days, there also appears to be precious little explanation about the core tenants of the different religions and what each religion is actually about.

    What is needed is a resource which describes the key features and beliefs of each religion in a concise fashion. From what you say, it sounds as though this is exactly what this book does.

    Like

    Andrew

    November 16, 2008 at 1:33 am

  2. Thanks, Andrew. Your observations amount to a sad commentary on religious discourse: more opinions than facts.

    Like

    James Davis

    December 11, 2008 at 4:33 am

  3. there is just too much about what we believe.what about some simple facts that will prove that god exist

    Like

    hillel

    January 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm


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