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Books and texts on World Religions


Understanding World Religions


Books and texts on Christianity










UWR study aids


World Religions


The purpose of this website is to introduce and supplement Irving Hexham's Understaning World Religions (Zondervan, 2011) which was written to help people understand both their own religion and that of others. The website has three main sections:

The first, this one, introduces the book Understanding World Religions and the academic study of religion.

The second, found under the heading World Religions, deals with specific world religions.

The third, is entitled books and texts on Christianity, this is provided because the majority of readers are likely to be people from Christian cultural backgrounds.

Sections two and three entirely consist of open educational resources in the form of free classic texts that may be read online or downloaded in pdf format.



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.

world religions

Now download a free copy of Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe's Understanding Cults and New Religions. This book examines new religious movements, or cults, and why people join them.

Concise Dictionary of Religion

UWR Book

Understanding Cults and New Religions

To read reviews of Understanding World Religions and academic endorsements click on: reviews and endorsements. To find out why it was written by click here. To read the introduction and first chapter click here. Electronic versions of the book are also avialable from amazon.com and other online sales outlets like Barnes and Noble and Chapters/Indigo/Coles in Canada.


UWR Video Course

Zondearvan has also produced a DVD to accompany the book which 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 than the are found in the book on the relationship of different religions to Christianity and how Christians relate to other religious traditions. You can find out more about it here: UnderstandingWorld Religions Video Lectures.


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

Dave Rutherford



Humboldt University Theology Library


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


Download a free copy of Fred Welbourn's classic work Atoms and Ancestors:
Download a free pdf copy of Tom Paine's The Age of Reason:
Read some academic dictionaries and encyclopedias
atoms and ancestors

Tom Paine Age of Reason


This is a pdf copy of Fred Welbourn's classic work on African religions which is unuppassed.
This is a daunting book but essential reading for anyone wanting to understand modern unbelief.
Although published earlier in the 20th century the academic dictionaries found on this section of t he website contain many articles that remain valuable today.

  Now Visit the Vogelstein Press Website  
Vogelstein Press
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.