A Western Interpretation
This book provides an examination of the major religions of today — how they evolved and what they are about — from a Western perspective. Muslims contend that Islam is not a religion; it is a way of life. Similarly, Taoism is considered by many not to be a religion but “The Way.” Buddhism, which does not serve a god, believes in “The Path.” Nevertheless, it would seem that whatever name or designation given to a particular faith or belief, the needs of the adherents do not differ. In that, there is universal agreement.
In the religious calendar, the years prior to Jesus' birth were counted down from year one and designated “Before Christ,” abbreviated
For those readers stimulated by reading this book and seeking more information, I suggest consulting books that specialize in the religion you are interested in. It is not the intention of this book to provide extensive, scholarly data, but to provide accurate information to inform and whet the appetite of an inquiring mind. There is an extensive list of recommended readings in Appendix B.
In this book, the five major religions and their major offshoots (as Jainism is an offshoot of Hinduism) are in chronological order. Thereafter, the book takes up the less well-known religions also chronologically, beginning with Confucianism.