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World Religions, 3rd Edition

A Guide to the Essentials

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This masterful survey of world religions presents a clear and concise portrait of the history, beliefs, and practices of Eastern and Western religions. The authors, both respected scholars of world religions, have over 50 years of combined teaching experience. Their book is accessibly written for introductory classes, can be easily adapted for one- or two-semester courses, and employs a neutral approach for broad classroom use.

The third edition has been revised throughout, with updated material on the history and contemporary configurations of each tradition and new sections addressing gender, sexuality, and the environment. It also includes effective sidebars, photographs, timelines, charts, calendars, glossaries, and a spelling guide.

Online resources through Baker Academic's Textbook eSources include Powerpoint/Keynote slides, new maps and videos, and a large question bank of multiple-choice test questions (available to professors upon request).


Maps and Illustrations
1. Studying World Religions
2. Ancient Religions
Western Religions
3. Judaism
4. Christianity
5. Islam
Eastern Religions
6. Hinduism
7. Buddhism
8. Jainism
9. Sikhism
10. Chinese Religions
11. Japanese Religions
12. Other Religions and Major Religious Subgroups
Spelling Guide


"This new edition of World Religions: A Guide to the Essentials provides an accessible, engaging, and thought-provoking exploration of the role of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Chinese religions, and Japanese religions in human life and society as understood, lived, and experienced by insiders of these traditions. It invites students to think about their own values, beliefs, and practices and about those of people who authentically hold ones that are different from theirs as they prepare to find their way through the world. A masterpiece, indeed!"

Sushil Mittal, Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University

"In World Religions: A Guide to the Essentials, Robinson and Rodrigues provide a rich, nuanced introduction to world religions. This textbook includes lively and lucid text that is written in a straightforward and thought-provoking style. The text is accompanied by illuminating images and sidebars that help students work their way through difficult subject matter. This textbook is certain to be a class favorite."

Caleb Simmons, distinguished fellow, Center for University Education Scholarship; faculty director, Interdisciplinary Studies Program; associate professor of religious studies, The University of Arizona

"This third edition of World Religions: A Guide to the Essentials once again delivers its concise-yet-comprehensive introduction to religious traditions and is extremely well suited to a twelve-week junior-level university or college course. With nine chapters focused on major religions and two chapters on groups of traditions (Ancient religions, Indigenous American Religions, 'New' Religions), the authors employ a structure that enhances accessibility for students: each religion is presented through the categories of history, belief, and practice. Yet, these categories are sufficiently broad that each religion's unique features emerge to engage the reader. Concision and complexity, nuance and clarity are well-balanced here: in only 321 pages, we have clear and highly detailed portraits of each religion that address complex developments and structures. On the whole, the book offers a model for highly disciplined but still accessible academic writing. Students and instructors will appreciate the many supports provided throughout (and enhanced in this third edition): maps and timelines, graphic and photographic images, and lists of suggested readings. Text boxes and mini-glossaries appropriate for each chapter give convenient overviews of key texts, historical figures, symbols, concepts, and practices. An outstanding introduction to religions of the world and to the academic study of them!"

Patricia Dold, associate professor, Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Authors

  1. Thomas A. Robinson

    Thomas A. Robinson

    Thomas A. Robinson (PhD, McMaster University) is emeritus professor of religious studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, and has written numerous books. He specializes in the relationship between Christianity and Judaism and the...

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  2. Hillary P. Rodrigues

    Hillary P. Rodrigues

    Hillary P. Rodrigues (PhD, McMaster University) is professor of religious studies at the University of Lethbridge. He specializes in Eastern religions and is the author of several books, including Introduction to the Study of Religion and...

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