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Reviews and Endorsements ofUnderstanding World Religions
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understanding world religions In 2012 Understanding World Religions won a book award from Christianity Today

To read the introduction and first chapter of this book click here or on the image of the book on the left.

Errata - known typos in Understanding World Religions.

CT Award

Academic reviews:

Terry Muck's review from the Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 124-126. (Reprinted with permission. For 50 years, the EMQ has pioneered the study of missions. Visit the journal: EMQ)

Karla Poewe's translation of
Patrick Ehmann's review from Interkulturelle Theologie

The original German review:
Interkulturelle Theologie (2012). Leipzig, 39:3, 353-355). Visit the journal: Interkulturelle Theologie

Ulrich van der Heyden's review from the Zeitschift für Religions-Wissenschaft

Discussions by the author:

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

Dave Rutherford

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

Christian Web reviews:

Read: Understanding World Religions is outstanding by British Religious Studies Scholar and theologian Robin A Brace

Read other web reviews by:
Dayton Hartman; Rob Haskel;Koinonia; Ben Nasmith;
Mark Howel; and Conrade Yap

Read the CT Exchange interview with Ed Stetzer and Irving Hexham




Endorsements of Understanding World Religions by prominnt scholars:


BRUCE WALTKE, former Professor of Old Testament, Knox Theological Seminary, and Regent College:

My former colleague from Regent College days, and long-time friend, Irving Hexham has written an absolutely fascinating book on world religions which reflects a balance and level of scholarship rarely found in introductory works. Therefore, I enthusiastically endorse this book.


OS GUINNESS, author of The Case for Civility:

Crisp, comprehensive, packed with unusual insights, and refreshing in style, Hexham's book is invaluable for anyone wishing to understand the recent religious resurgence that has caught so many educated people by surprise, and shown up their tone deafness about all that is happening.

JIM (J. I.) PACKER, Professor of Theology, Regent College:

This textbook-type tour of world religions, spiced with personal close-ups, fully merits a place on thoughtful Christians' bookshelves. Informal and informative, learned, wise, chatty, and sometimes provocative, it is a very impressive performance.



LARRY HURTADO, former Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, The University of Edinburgh:

An impressive multicultural knowledge of various religious traditions, written
in a style that is readable and engaging. Not another boring catalogue of religious beliefs and practices looked at from a pseudosophisticated afar, the book conveys something of the diversity and controversies involved in the academic study of religions.

Now read Larry's blog: https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/

HENRY SREBRNIK, Professor of Political Studies, University of Prince Edward:

A book that goes beyond mere description to engage real, and often controversial, issues. All university teachers grappling with these issues will find it of great use. Unlike most texts of this nature, it has an extensive section on African traditions that ought to interest scholars teaching African politics. It is a highly commendable piece of work.

MICHAEL HAHN, former Professor of Indology and Tibetology, Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany:

An ideal, clear, and lively introduction to world religions for North American students that also briefly deals with their modern developments, e.g. in the field of Buddhism


GARY R. HABERMAS, Distinguished Research Professor and Chair
of the Department of Philosophy and Theology, Liberty University:

Irving Hexham is well known to his many readers through his publications on religious studies, both as a general field of research, as well as represented in various movements, both local and worldwide. In Understanding World Religions, his provocative work, especially on African and also Indian religious views, is worth the price of the volume. We need to examine these often neglected areas of study.
Now visit Gary's Online Resource Website


TERRY C. MUCK, former Dean and Professor of Mission and World Religion, E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism, Asbury Theological Seminary:

Irving Hexham writes that "bland approaches [to the study of religion] produce bland students." Irving Hexham is not bland, and by combining authoritative knowledge of the world's religions with a keen eye for current events, he has given us a textbook that will not produce bland students. Instead it will produce students who know about religion and who know how religious people the world over relate to the crucial issues of the day.

CARSON PUE, Execative Assistant to the President of Trinity Western University and former President of Arrow Leadership:

Often it is just scholars who take real interest in world religions and new religious movements. The only time most of us lift our heads is when we hear of some tragic event that shows us other people believe differently than we do. But this is the world we live in and Irving Hexham's book is a resource that brings clarity to this vast world of religious beliefs. This book needs to be read and kept available on the bookshelf of every Christian leader.


GERALD J. PILLAY, Professor, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Liverpool Hope University:

This is not the conventional or predictable textbook on world religions. As a good teacher, Irving Hexham is not afraid to offer the kind of opinion or insight that is bound to provoke discussion and debate. This book is the fruit of many years of trying to encourage university students to engage meaningfully with the study of religion and is borne out of great experience

BILL WARDEN, Former Canadian Ambassador to Pakistan (1981-1983) and High Commissioner to India (1983-1986):

I enjoyed the chapters on Indian religions enormously. They are enlightening and fascinating for anyone who has brushed the surface of India and its religious traditions. The author has produced a work that is very readable and thought-provoking, but more importantly, one that brings the religions to life in a practical way.

GORDON NICKEL, author of Narratives of Tampering in the Earliest Commentaries on the Qur'an and Peaceable Witness Among Muslims:

Many Western presentations of Islam merely pass on selected remarks from unreliable tertiary sources. Irving Hexham's chapters on Islam are unique in that they reach beyond library versions, Muslim polemic, and Western politically correct advocacy to the actual discourse of devoted Muslims around the world today. Hexham takes seriously the sourcebooks through which Muslims understand their faith and practice, and the perspectives of recent authors whose influence shapes modern Muslim views. He rightly relies on some of the strongest scholarly studies of Islam for his analysis and evaluation, which sheds light on a subject that remains confusing for many Westerners.


HENRY ROSENBAUM, SAC Former Director of Education for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary:

As Pope Benedict constantly reminded us, Christians today face a new situation where other religious traditions once more challenge Christian belief just as they did in the days of the apostles. This book helps us understand our non-Christian neighbours and as such is a valuable tool for all Catholic educators.



You can buy a copy of Understanding World Religions from the publisher by clicking here or from Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Christian Book * iBooks

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.