Garry R. Morgan is Professor of Intercultural Studies at Northwestern College. He served with World Venture from 1974-1976 and 1982-1999 in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. Garry is married, has a grown daughter, and lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day: Learn the basics of: Islam Buddhism Hinduism Mormonism Christianity And many more?by Garry R. Morgan
User-Friendly Beginner's Guide to World Religions
The world is becoming more integrated. What once seemed like the religions of exotic faraway lands are now practiced by families next door. These short, easily digestible readings give an overview of the beliefs, histories, and practices of dozens of religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity,… See more details below
User-Friendly Beginner's Guide to World Religions
The world is becoming more integrated. What once seemed like the religions of exotic faraway lands are now practiced by families next door. These short, easily digestible readings give an overview of the beliefs, histories, and practices of dozens of religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and many more. Garry Morgan blends the knowledge of a college professor with real-world experience and an accessible style. Broken into forty brief chapters, this book can be used as a reference for those who need quick and clear answers or read straight through by curious readers.
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I found Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day" by Garry R. Morgan to be a fascinating read. True to its title it is broken up into informative, bite size chapters. The writing style is clear and the content is very understandable. It covers many religions, some of which I knew of and some that I didn't even know existed. This small book answers a lot of questions. I was amazed at how much of our modern culture is influenced by some of these religions and how naive I was to it. I feel like I at least have some basic insight now that I previously lacked. This book is a wonderful introduction to world religions. While it is very much an overview, it is perfect for someone who wants to be better informed but doesn't have a lot of time or desire to read volumes on the topic. I highly recommend it. I recieved a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House publishing.
In today's world, religions that might once have been considered regional are now crossing geographical, ethnic, and political borders. In the workplace, schools, and in the community at large, we encounter people of many different religions each day. Garry R. Morgan has written a book giving an overview of some of the more predominant religions in the world today. According to Mr. Morgan, a religion is defined by three components: (1) has an organized system of beliefs; (2) mandates or at least commends certain behaviors and actions that are related to the belief system; (3) answers questions about the unknown. With this definition in mind, he has identified several religions and explains each one in a separate chapter. He begins with Christianity, defining it in one chapter, and then breaking it down into types he explains Roman Catholic Christianity, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Protestant Christianity, and Evangelical Christianity. He then moves on to Anismism and folk religions, Native American religions, and African religions. After that, he explains Judaism in two chapters, the first being the historical development of Judaism, and the second discusses Judaism today. He takes six chapters to explain Islam, which at first seemed like overkill until I read all six chapters and realized just how complex a religion it really is. With the impact this religion has on the world today, these chapters only make the book a must-read. He also goes on to explain New Age, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others. The book is clear and concise, with each chapter giving just enough background and detail for the average reader. This would be excellent for anyone wanting to understand the beliefs of others, or it could even be used as a study guide for a classroom setting. All in all, a very interesting book and I enjoyed reading it. 5 stars
Understanding World Religion in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan This book would be great for anyone that is taking a religion class. The book goes through all different religions and tells you the basics. The basics include their origins, their basic beliefs, and what they practice. It also includes some differences between religions and also simularities. I never realiized how many religions also share some facts from the Bible. I also learned the differences between the different Bibles. I also learned a lot about Islam and Hinduism. I never really knew the differences between these religions before. There is so much in this book. It is very informative and I learned a lot about culture. I also liked the layout of the book. The chapters were short and to the point. I found myself taking less then 15 minutes a day. At the end of eacs chapter there is also "an extra minute" paragragh that tells you something else about the religion. These were cool because it sometimes talked about the religions in todays society, or it talked about random trivia. I also think that people should read this book before they go on Jeopardy. I also liked the layout of the book. The chapters were short and to the point. I found myself taking less then 15 minutes a day. At the end of eacs chapter there is also "an extra minute" paragragh that tells you something else about the religion. These were cool because it sometimes talked about the religions in todays society, or it talked about random trivia. I also think that people should read this book before they go on Jeopardy. Keep an eye out for my review of Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day! This book was gien to me by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Garry A. Morgan defines religion as "an organized system of beliefs that answers ultimate questions and commends certain actions or behaviors based on the answers to those questions (p. 16).” In this book, he makes a short, but accurate description of different religions or beliefs, which he selected based on the previous definition; he provides answers to life questions from the different viewpoints. Each chapter is dedicated to one religion or sets of beliefs. When skimming the index, I was a bit surprised that some chapters refer to more than one religion, or that there were several chapters for one, like Christianity or Islam. Please bear with me in this respect. It may seem obvious that the largest religions nowadays get some sort of special treatment. However, Mr. Morgan also considers the different groups within a religion, which became to be unique whether by historical, doctrinal or even geographical reasons, like Evangelical or Protestant Christianity. In other cases, he describes the changes the same religion has had with time. In other words, I was amazed at how informative this little book is, despite a simple – but challenging format; it is a taxing quest to concise and accurate with this topic. I personally learned a lot from this book, and what I liked the best is that I can find in it the right information not only to use it myself (apologetically), but also to develop a better understanding about some movements or cultural products, like movies or pop music. In this sense, this book is not exhaustive, but a sort of compass. For instance, Mr. Morgan describes the political and historical context within which the Catholic church came to be, but he does not mention the worship of Mary or the saints in this chapter; he makes a reference to it in another part of the book. I personally think that this fact would be more relevant in the chapter of the Catholic church. However, it does not make the information Mr. Morgan provides less explicit or meaningful. I would definitely recommend this book as an introductory guide for someone who would like to become familiar with the main religious movements our time. It will also aid in identifying the different ideas that these beliefs have introduced in our schools, culture, institutions and even business enterprises. As I said, it is not exhaustive, but it is definitely informative and contemporary. It would be the first step in understanding the great kaleidoscope that has been formed due to immigration and social interaction. Personally, this book made me want to know more about some of the details the author describes; I had to go to the internet and research more on some topics – this makes it a good book for me. With the overwhelmingly vast web sources, it definitely made it easier to refine searches. Only a vast experience and deep understanding could make a book like this so simple in format, yet so meaningful. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this bias my opinion on the book or on the author.
Considering how slim this book is, I was wondering if it could hold up to the claim it makes on its cover. Surprisingly, it did. Now, with the swarms of religions in the world, this book obviously can't cover them ALL. However, it covers the main ones. What was great was that the book has different chapters for different "types" of certain religions. There are different types of Islam expounded upon. There is historical Judaism separated from modern Judaism with different chapters. I was also happy how a paragraph on Messianic Judaism was thrown in. Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodox, and Evangelical Christianity all had different chapters. The author did a good job of saying that the different "flavors" of Christianity hold the same tenets of basic faith even if they have certain differences. However, when it came to "Christian" cults like JW's, Christian Science, Mormonism, etc, the author did specify that these steer far away from standard Christian theology as laid out in the Bible. The book also covers tribal religions of Africa and Native Americans, which was interesting to read about. Hinduism and some other Asian religions are also covered. There is even a chunk of chapters on the New Age Movement and similar religions. This book holds up to its cover claim. Great for questioning teens and young adults. Would make a great gift to accompany a Bible.