uiwr University of Calgary

Open educational and other resources for the study of World Religions










UWR Study Aids


World Religions

Read some reviews and endorsements of Irving Hexham's Understanding World Religions (Zondervan, 2011)


Zondearvan has produced a DVD to accompany Irving Hexham's world religions textbook Understanding World Religions. Like the book it encourages people to see different world religions as they are seen by members of a particular faith. The DVD was intended for use in churches as well as colleges and universities. Therefore, it involves more comments on the relationship of different religions to Christianity and how Christians relate to other religious traditions.

Zondervan is offering the DVD at as a special promotional price of 55% off the normal price from April 18-20, 2017.On those dates you will be able to find out about it at: UnderstandingWorld Religions Video Lectures

They are selling the lectures in two different formats. People can purchase them digitally (download + streaming) from Vimeo or as a DVD through ChurchSource.com (free shipping is included in this option).


Begin your exploration of world religions by downloading a free pdf copy of The Concise Dictionary of Religion. This book provides the reader with basic information and technical terms about various world religions. On this website there are sections on the varous world religions listed above plus information on the study of religon.

The purpose of this website and the related book Understaning World Religions is it to help people understand both their own religion and that of others. religion, a separate section on tools for the study of religion, and advice about where to study religion. For information about the website itself see: about this website.

On this website are a large number of free books, audio, and video talks, lectures, by various authors plus Power Point slides, study guides, and other resources to help you understand world religions. For example below this note you can download a free copy of Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe's Understanding Cults and New Religions

concise dictionary of religion

understanding world religions

:understadign cults

To download a free copy of the Concise Dictionary of Religion in pdf format eitehr click on the image of the book or on its title.

You can buy a copy of Understanding World Religions from the publisher by clicking here and read some reviews and endorsements. To read the introduction and first chapter click here.

To download a free copy of Understanding Cults and New Religionsin pdf format either click on the image of the book or on its title.

Because the majority of readers are likely to be Christians, or people who come from Christian cultural backgrounds, there is a special section with various sub-sections, devoted to Christianity. You can find them here.


Hear Irving Hexham discuss Understanding World Religions with Dave Rutherford by clicking here or on the photo below:

Dave Rutherford

Humboldt LIbrary

Watch a video where Irving Hexham discusses his book Understanding World Religions.

Download a copy of Fred Welbourn's classic Atoms and Ancestors:
Download a copy of Tom Paine's The Age of Reason
Read some academic dictionaries and encyclopedias
Atoms and Ancestory

Age of Reason


This is a pdf copy of Fred Welbourn's classic work on African religions which is unuppassed.
This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand modern unbelief.
Although published earlier in the 20th century these works contain many articles that remain valuable today.
Explore some other Open Educational Resources (OEDs) on a variety of topics and subject areas:

Alberta OER

Western Canadian OER OER Commons
BC OER - Open textbooks OER Foundation UNESCO OER
This website was first created in 2011 as a basic website. It was extensively revised to the extent that it became a new website in 2014. At that time new sections of various world religions, links to classic texts, the sections on worldviews and the extended sections on Christianity were added. All texts and graphics on Understanding World Religions are protected by copyright, 1995, 199, 2011, 2014.Permission to reproduce material found on this Web Site must be obtained from the appropriate copyright owner. World religions graphic by Christopher Tobias from Irving Hexham's Understanding World Religions, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Concise Dictionary of Religion, InterVarsity Press, Carol Stream, 1994.