As a youth minister, I have used a variety of resources to gather information on different religions. I just found the one book I will go to first, Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions. With over 700 pages, this reference book will cover just about any religious group you will encounter. Nineteen main religious groups are covered, with hundreds more discussed under these main categories.
The breadth of its coverage is not what sets this book apart from other guides to religion. What gives it the edge is the extra material placed throughout the pages. Many sections conclude with a glossary of terms – a huge help when trying to understand the basics of other religions. Also included throughout the book are time lines mapping out significant events in the history of the religious group or religious leader. Each section ends with a brief summary of the religious group; including, the founder, the headquarters, main website, other sites dealing with the group, and recommended reading.
The ability to find information quickly, easily and understandably make Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions a must have for anyone in the church. If you find yourself teaching a class on religions or are involved in a conversation with someone about a particular religion, there is one other part of the book you will want to read – “A Christian response to….” You will be glad you have this book on your shelf.
My advice (rating) – go out and buy it (4 out of 5)