Best religion encyclopedias according to redditors

We found 203 Reddit comments discussing the best religion encyclopedias. We ranked the 92 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Religion Encyclopedias:

u/pein_sama · 72 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

> since the Council at Trent

No, Latin was always a liturgical language of the western rite, also before Trent and after Vatican II.

> it was required knowledge for Catholics

It was never required. You can attend Latin Mass without knowing Latin and still understand everything because there are constant parts which you've memorized and form variable parts you can always read the translation in a daily missal, a very popular book before Vatican II. It is also worth noting, that literal understanding is not THAT much important as post-Vatican II generation tend to think, Mass attendance can be more contemplative.

> Tridentine Mass

It's a commonly used name but it carries a misconception that it was created at the Council of Trent. No, it existed long before, gaining it mature form around VI century. What the Council of Trent did was quite the opposite of creation - it banned various younger rites leaving only this ancient one and forbade modifying it.

> until 1962

Latin Mass still exists today and is regaining popularity.

> decided you could be a good Catholic without speaking Latin

No such things was said at Vatican II. What the Sacrosantcum Concillium constitution did was allowing more extensive use of vernacular languages in the liturgy.

u/rang-rig · 30 pointsr/Buddhism

Yes. The difference between your situation and most others' might quantitative, not qualitative: we all are in the same boat. Best place to start will be to read What the Buddha taught. If you are not ready to invest in reading that short book, then start with the 4 Noble Truths and then consider exploring Impermanence, suffering and Egolessness , 12 links of Dependent Co-arising, the 8 fold path, and a lot of r/Buddhism -- e.g. These and these.

u/rainer511 · 26 pointsr/Christianity

tldr; There are millions of us that feel the same way. I hope you don't forsake Christ in name in response to those around you who are forsaking Christ in deed.


I'm writing this during a break at work. Since I have to make it quick, I'll be recommending a lot of books. There is really too much here anyway to do justice to all of the questions you've put up, so even if I were to give a real, detailed response, I would probably have to resort to suggesting books anyway.

> 1.) I don't think that all of the Bible can be taken literally. I strongly believe in the sciences, so I think that Genesis was written either metaphorically or simply just to provide an explanation for creation. Are there others here that believe that or something similar? How do others respond to your beliefs?

There are many, many, many others who believe similarly. And not just recent people responding to evolution, there has long been a tradition of taking Genesis metaphorically. For a good group of scholars and prominent Christians that take a stand for a reading of Genesis that respects the way that science currently understands origins, see the Biologos Forum.

For a good book that shows the error of inerrancy, how it stunts your growth as a Christian and a moral agent, and how inerrancy limits either human free will or God's sovereignty see Thom Stark's excellent new book The Human Faces of God.

> 2.) Why does it seem that Christianity is such a hateful religion? I am very disappointed in many Christians because they spew hatred towards other instead of spreading love. I think that the energy that is going into the hatred that many spew could be used for good. Why aren't we putting these resources towards helping others? This would help bring people in instead of deter them away.

Again, millions of us feel the same way. It makes me sick as well. However, I don't think the answer is forsaking Christ in name in response to others forsaking Christ in deed.

There are many strands of the Christian faith that have strongly opposed violence of any sort. Look into the Anabaptists, the Mennonites. Podcasts from Trinity Mennonite are pretty good.

For a good book about Jesus and nonviolence see Jesus and Nonviolence by Walter Wink.

> 3.) How can people be against gay rights still? This is clearly religious issue and not an issue of morality. If you choose to follow the parts of the Bible that are against homosexuality, then why do you not feel the need to follow many of the other ridiculous laws that are in the Old Testament?

I'd like to stress that, again, there are millions of us that feel the same way. And many, many of those who still believe it's a sin think that we have no place emphasizing that in a world where LGBT teenagers are killing themselves from the humiliation. There are many, many of us that think that whether their lifestyle is "sinful" or not the only thing we should show them is love.

For more about interpreting the Bible in light of today's social issues, see Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William J. Webb and Sex and the Single Savior by Dale B. Martin.

> Do you believe that the government has the right to say who can and cannot get married? Why can't this just be left up to each individual church?

I'm actually strongly in favor of civil unions for everyone. I wholeheartedly agree that I don't want the government defining marriage... and the only way for the government not to define marriage is for the government to take its hands off marriage altogether; whatever the sexual orientation of those getting married.

> 4.) This was a question that I was asked in my other post that I was unable to answer.

Yes, the penal satisfaction view of atonement has its shortcomings. It's not a completely bankrupt idea, but it takes a lot of nuance to convey it in a way that isn't altogether abhorrent and senseless.

The first Christians believed something similar to what we call today "Christus Victor" atonement.

For a picture of the varied atonement theories available for understanding what Jesus did on the cross, see A Community Called Atonement by Scot McKnight. For a list of ways to understand atonement in a contemporary context, see Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross by Mark D. Baker. For more on a view of God that is consistent with the love of God as revealed in Jesus, see Rob Bell's Love Wins: A book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person that ever lived.

> 5.) I asked this in the other post, so I feel that I should ask it here. How many of you do or will teach your children about other religions? Will you present them as options or will you completely write them off?

I'd be wholeheartedly open to exposing them to other religions. And I'd want to do it in a way that does them justice. Most Christian "worldviews" books frustrate me due to the way they portray other's religions. In the long run if you don't accurately portray the rest of the world and you try to shelter your children from it, they'll simply feel betrayed when they grow up and finally learn what's out there.

I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I actually believe this. Why wouldn't I try to raise my children as Christians?

But again, I wouldn't want to misrepresent the other religions and I certainly wouldn't want to shelter my children from them. For a book that I feel shows the good from many of the world's most prominent religions, see Huston Smith's The World's Religions.

u/ACanadianGuy1967 · 9 pointsr/witchcraft
u/distantocean · 9 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

No, of course not. There are a multitude (hundreds or thousands) of gods being actively worshiped somewhere in the world today. Do you believe in all of them? If not, you're effectively an "atheist" with regard to all the ones you don't believe in (or more accurately, you're an atheist with regard to all the ones in which you lack belief). For lack of a better term, you're a "relative" or "partial" atheist with regard to most of the deities that people worship. And that applies both to deities you've heard of or learned about and ones that you haven't.

People who identify simply as atheists (without the "relative" or "partial" qualifier) simply lack belief in all gods.

u/AvaDeer · 8 pointsr/exmormon

Has "The Miracle of Forgiveness" done anything but made people feel bad about themselves? Love the first review about it on amazon:

u/Nocodeyv · 7 pointsr/pagan

Be careful going down this road, as grouping deities by superficial similarities often ignores the more complex nuances that make each of them unique, and can lead to erroneous comparisons. If you're going to do so though, a book like Michael Jordan's Encyclopedia of Gods has an index where you can search for deities by "subject," such as agriculture, funerary, war, youth, etc.

u/US_Hiker · 7 pointsr/Christianity

Then question, search, and (hopefully) find. That doesn't mean discard.

I'd suggest starting with this book by Huston Smith which is a sympathetic overview of what the major religions are striving for. Just as an introduction, before you start delving into too much frustrating and often misrepresented material from each. Then, for Christianity, this book is a good read for an overview. Namer98 may be able to provide similar for Judaism, and somebody else for Islam?

Then decide if it matters. I'm of the mind that it doesn't matter that much, for various reasons.

Good luck!

u/genuineindividual · 7 pointsr/Judaism

Jewish Literacy, by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin: I believe it's the best selling Jewish book of all time, right after the Bible (maybe).

u/ohokyeah · 7 pointsr/exmormon

Mormon youth who have "sinned," usually in a sexual nature, used to be somewhat frequently encouraged to read it. It is available to purchase through (and at really low prices).

u/raoulraoul153 · 6 pointsr/DebateReligion

ITT: /r/DebateReligion sucks.

I'm not trying to defend bad philosophy or poor debating in general, nor am I trying to excuse any specific instance, but this is an open subreddit, not a philosophy journal. If you come here expecting anything even approaching a similar level of debate, you're going to have a bad time. Additionally, there seems to be several comments here taking atheists, specifically, to task for poor form. There's certainly a lot more of them here (and on reddit in general), but I've not found the average level of discourse here to be poorer for atheists as opposed to theists.

That all being said, I do have vague memories that this place used to be a bit more rigorous.

Personally, I'd say one of the largest changes to my own beliefs as a result of this sub has been to start emphasising the secular, humanist & sceptic labels over the atheist one - atheism being more a conclusion of scepticism than the other way round, secularism/humanism being more practical applications of this kind of position etc. Another specific change would be that I'm leaning towards gnosticism on 3O Gods (don't find any satisfactory solutions to the PoE), which wasn't the case before.

Generally, as the OP says, I feel better-informed about religion and religious topics in general (that is, specific religious positions as well as non-religious arguments and so on) and - probably like the vast majority of people here - my time on /r/DebateReligion has served to better sculpt and refine my positions, rather than to radically change them.

EDIT: whoops. 3O like three-oh, not 30 like thirty. I guess I lack belief in closer to 3,000.

u/Arguss · 6 pointsr/AskAnAmerican

Yeah and the Constitution is just a piece of paper, physically speaking. But it's also the embodiment of an idea and ideal of what our society should be.

In political terms, a red rose represents the Labour Party and all it stands for.

In religious terms, the cross is just two sticks of wood perpendicular to each other. But Christianity has suffused it with meaning, to the point where it is a direct symbol for Christianity itself.

A symbol is

>a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.

Symbols occur throughout human history. There are whole books about it.

They don't necessarily have to be super significant, either. For example, using an anvil to represent a blacksmith. Happened in medieval times. Or two stick figures to represent a bathroom. Or using the letter M in a certain manner to represent a fast-food company. Humans use symbols all over the place.

So yeah, the US flag is just a piece of fabric. But it's also a symbol.

u/thetwobecomeone · 6 pointsr/Buddhism

What The Buddha Taught. Intro to Buddhism, gives historical setting and explains the fundamental concepts really well.

Eight Steps to happiness Practice of loving kindness; how to transform selfishness into love in a very practical way.

Mindfulness in Plain English Great guide to the nuts and bolts of insight meditation.

Everyday Zen Very short chapters on "living in the moment". Zen presented in a straightforward, everyday way.

u/quay42 · 6 pointsr/religion

Do you want to become a theist (start believing in one or more gods) or just find a community and set of rituals? I think you can have either one without the other, depending on what your goals are. There are things like the Unitarian church as well as Sunday Assembly (essentially church for atheists).

For me personally, I didn't feel like I had found purpose in life until after I became an atheist and had to discover for myself what I found important in life. Having a family also helps provide purpose :)

That all said, I really enjoyed the textbook we used in my World Religions course in college (note, I linked to the "smile" version of the Amazon link, which is a small way you can have 'purpose' by having Amazon contribute a portion of a purchase price to a charity of your choice)

u/186394 · 5 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/KamtzaBarKamtza · 5 pointsr/Judaism

I'm not a big fan of the transliteration used in these siddur but they do have English, Hebrew with vowels, and transliteration - as you requested:

Siddur Transliterated Linear - Sabbath and Festivals - Seif Edition - Nusach Ashkenaz (English and Hebrew Edition)

And also:
Siddur: Transliterated Linear, Weekday

u/ricks23 · 4 pointsr/occult

This one is really nice. I bought my copy at the PRS bookstore in Los Feliz (if you are in Los Angeles I encourage a visit) and it is beautiful. The $10 copy isn't going to have the same large format or great illustrations.

u/troglozyte · 4 pointsr/TrueAtheism

A very good book on this (has been the most popular introduction to comparative religions for over 50 years now) is The World's Religions, by Huston Smith

u/azi-buki-vedi · 4 pointsr/FeMRADebates

> There's the notion that younger people have been moving from the notion of becoming powerful to doing something they can be proud of. This has been a much larger movement for men...

I linked to this in my other comment here, but would like to point your attention to this article appropriately titled "A new masculinity". It argues that in lieu of traditional routes of initiation into manhood, a personalised search for self-actualisation is needed. It's an interesting read and I recommend it.

Following that, if anyone knows or is interested, what rights of passage are there for women? The article quotes Camille Paglia as saying: “A woman simply is, but a man must become...” Are women missing out on something by being assumed to be ready for adulthood? Research into ancient religions, the Hellenistic mysteries and medieval occultism show that culturally, rights of passage are seen as doors to higher levels of being, both socially and spiritually/emotionally. What's missing for women?

u/theriverrat · 4 pointsr/Christianity

>Or a book that compares religions thoroughly.

I'd suggest The World's Religions by Huston Smith.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Get a quote taken from Miracle of Forgiveness and frame it for him. If you need help, the first review of the book from Amazon might help you :)

u/washcapsfan37 · 4 pointsr/

I think the only irony here is the fact that this book was designed to enlighten people about their religion and about common misconceptions people have. It looks like the "idiots" here are the rabid anti-Christian Redditors showing their religious intolerance.

I wonder if the submitter was purposeful in choosing this specific book about evangelical Christianity as opposed to a more generic book like "Religion for Dummies".

Poking fun at all religions is more humorous (or at least your own religion in parody). Attacking a single religion is spiteful and intolerant.

For the record, I'm an agnostic.

u/PhineasGraycloak · 3 pointsr/magick

Looks like there are a couple books with that title. Which one are you referring to, the one by Frater Albertus, or the one by John Randolph Price?

u/jonikanerva · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Very good book is Huston Smith's The World’s Religions.

It's "the definitive classic for introducing the essential elements and teachings of the world's predominant faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as regional native traditions".

u/LtKije · 3 pointsr/latterdaysaints

First off, reddit is probably the wrong place to ask if your wondering whether or not you need to repent. Your salvation is between you and the Lord, so if you are unsure, just James 1:5 it and pray.

I doubt that the fact you did it on the BYU-I campus makes a difference. I imagine much worse things happen on a regular basis.

As far as demons / evil spirits go, there's very little in official cannon about them other than that they do exist. D&C 129 and Alma 30:52-53 come to mind of the top of my head. There may also be something about this in the Handbook of Instructions - but you'd have to ask your bishop about that. Beyond that though, there's just folklore and speculation.

From your other comments it seems as though you're a convert. One thing I've experience growing up in the church is that mormons love to tell each other scary stories about evil spirits possessing their cousin's young women president's friend's niece and leaving when rebuked by proper priesthood authority. Because of this I suspect your roommate may have been faking it just to mess with you.

It would actually be really interesting to collect these stories, because I image almost every mormon has heard some story via their seminary teacher or scoutmaster that they could relate. I've heard of home teachers visiting less active members and finding them possessed, and I've heard of boy scout troops accidentally summoning Cain/Bigfoot (who incidentally shows up in [Spencer W. Kimball's The Miracle of Forgiveness.] (

Personally, I've never met an evil spirit. But I had a Brazilian companion on my mission who related to me the following experience. His family was heavily involved in Caribbean Voodoo and after he joined the church an evil spirit apparently attempted to murder him several times before he was ordained to the priesthood and rebuked it. Normally I'd be skeptical of a story like this, but he was a simple and honest missionary, and I can't come up with any reason why he would lie to me. Ultimately, I've had to follow the Professors chain of logic from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - I know he wasn't crazy, and I know he wasn't lying, so the only other option is that he was telling me the truth.

u/Donkey_of_Balaam · 3 pointsr/Noachide

That was my first impression when reading The Book of Beliefs and Opinions. But they have interesting differences on reward and punishment, and other things.

Reasoned Belief (Great site!)

Biography as History

An Indiana Jones-like odyssey is underway to find a PDF of The Book of Beliefs and Opinions. Why is there no Kindle edition? The Wiki entry. It's as if Saadia Gaon has been obscured by subsequent giants, the way no one knows as much about the pre-Socratic philosophers.

u/Jennyreviews1 · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

The World's Religions (Plus)
This is one of the better books of religions of the world. I have an older copy..... somewhere. This explains well and has great reviews. Check it out.

u/adonis786 · 3 pointsr/realwitchcraft

There is no such thing as authentic Wiccan spells. There are just magical spells that people who have studied Wicca or Witchcraft create based on magical correspondences and need. They can’t all be found in one place either. There are numerous spell books on the market and numerous websites online.

Here is one book on spells which is popular that you can order/purchase:

u/AlmostGrad100 · 3 pointsr/UIUC

May I ask why use that book, and not the older and more popular one by Huston Smith? Your flair says you are a TA, so I suppose you just use whatever book the department instructs you to use, but would you know why they prefer that book?

u/fschmidt · 3 pointsr/AltBuddhism

The two topics here are Buddhism and Islam. Before responding, I want to know how well you understand each.

Have you visited the East? I lived in Japan for a year and spent a week in Tibet. I also read What the Buddha Taught which I think gave me a basic understanding of Buddhist ideas.

Have you read the Quran? Have you visited a mosque and discussed Islam with the leaders there? The Muslims on Reddit are all morons. Intelligent Muslims are not active in English forums. I attend mosque twice a week and often discuss religion with people there. And of course I read the Quran.

u/juden-shikker · 3 pointsr/Judaism

I would contact Chabad in Richmond

also if you're interested in basically the basics You can't go wrong with Jewish Literacy by Telushkin (and there are copies for five dollars!)

u/mywordswillgowithyou · 3 pointsr/alchemy

Frater Albertus

The Alchemists Handbook: Manual for Practical Laboratory Alchemy

u/greatjasoni · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Reading a bunch of Nietzsche and then psychology. He can be interpreted in support of that position too, so you have to be careful how you read him. Find some secondary sources and check them after coming up with your own interpretations so you're not too off base. Fundamentally he hated nihilism and saw it everywhere, and was trying to find ways around it. If you struggle with it at all, he's the go to guy. He gets the fundamental problem down really well. His solutions are a bit untenable, as he had this idea of creating your own values. That's pretty much impossible because you're biologically and culturally programmed to have specific arbitrary values and there's nothing you can do about it. That's where the psychology comes in, as you learn what they are and what to do with them. Specific books that helped a lot:

Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil, Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of Idols

I'd also read some Kierkegaard for good measure. The west of western philosophy builds up to and later refutes Nietzsche's ideas. Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Aquinas and Hegel are probably the biggest people I can think of that he is responding to, so you'd want to be familiar with the gist of what they were saying or Nietzsche won't make much sense. After him you can go to Heidegger who expanded on a lot of his ideas. There are tons of good overviews of this stuff online if you don't feel like wading through primary texts for months. You just need to know enough to get the references.

Psychology books:

Interpretation of Dreams Freud;
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker;
Man and His Symbols, and Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious by Jung; Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson

Also a book I really liked was Saving the Appearances by Owen Barfield. It's mostly psychology with a little christian apologetics tacked on, but it lays out a phenomenological case for what is real and what isn't in a way that's simple and unique. I think about that book pretty much all the time.

Also check out this book on religion. This book is dense and cuts right into the philosophy of each religion. A grounding in all the major religious philosophies does wonders for this kind of thinking. Buddhism only goes so far. Assuming you're a westerner I'd learn as much about Christian philosophy as possible, since most of your values (probably) come from there. It's a very dark religion and people have been thinking about these exact problems for a very long time. The book of Ecclesiastes and the book of Job in particular are insightful. The meditation practice of Christian monks also comes to the same conclusions as the Buddhists but with a little more philosophical sophistication. Read "The Cloud of Unknowing" if you're interested in that.

I think the gist of the position is just to take your own values seriously, since they're the fundamental makeup of reality. Your reaction against them is just a language game. The rest of the philosophical construct is just a way of refuting that language game. Eventually you get to the point where the thought process seems a bit absurd to you (since you spent hundreds of hours painstakingly figuring out why), and you wonder why you had any issue in the first place.

u/Byzantium · 3 pointsr/exmuslim

> The book above is a testament to that fact.

You mean this one that you linked and then edited out of your post?

Edit: No he didn't delete the link. I looked in the wrong place.

u/shinew123 · 3 pointsr/literature
u/thelukinat0r · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

For the old TLM, I have this Missal, which goes in some depth on many of the scriptural symbolisms/allusions. Many of the prayers are different between the TLM and the Novus Ordo, but even if you only go to Novus Ordos (the modern mass in vernacular languages, probably 90+% of the masses offered in the United States), this can still help to understand the scriptural significance of parts of the Mass.

u/ShamanSTK · 3 pointsr/Judaism

Probably the "easiest" book to get into for this saadia gaon's beliefs and opinions. The purpose of that book is a brief overview of the logic behind jewish theology, a refutation of broad categories of opposing theologies, and the answer to some attempted refutations. This book is pretty encompassing, but there is a highly abridged, very simplified version of the argument for G-d in Gate 1 of duties of the heart, which is available in our sidebar. The better book to read is Guide for the Perplexed, which is quite possibly the most challenging book Judaism has to offer. It is doctorate level philosophy guide which assumes a base familiarity with the writings of Aristotle, some of the commentaries available in Arabic at the time, and a basic understanding of at least the areas of science referenced in the book as they were understood at the time. If you aren't familiar with the methods of Aristotelean logics and metaphysics, it'll be unintelligible. It is not the place to start, but it is exhaustive in scope and remains essentially unchallenged.

u/kimballthenom · 3 pointsr/exmormon

All you need to know about that book can be found in this review.

u/SrslyJosh · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Check out Huston Smith's The World's Religions.

Smith is not a Dawkins or a Hitchens. He's probably not even an atheist. What he is (as I remember the book anyway) is objective and fair.

The World's Religions is exactly that--a (light) history of major world religions with a more in-depth look at the tenets and practice of each. He's not out to convince anyone of anything, and for some people that's a very good thing.

When I read it (going on 10 years ago), it really gave me a lot of perspective and helped me step outside the bubble of christianity that I'd been raised in.

u/MuddledMuppet · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

"edgy atheist" is a disparaging term used only by theists.

>Most atheist I know try to be optimistic despite their own awareness of the meaningless of life

Because no meaning of life is ascribed to us, doesn't mean we cannot ascribe our own.

so these gods are the different faces f your god?

so now we don't have to just disprove one god, we have to disprove every god that ever existed.

2,500 in this book.

u/Taome · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula (1974) and Buddhism: A Concise Introduction by Huston Smith and Philip Novak are the classic introductory texts to Buddhism and still used in colleges. In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi (2005) is a newer introductory book and more text based.

u/milaha · 2 pointsr/Judaism

So, I think these are the sources he is citing. I personally have no inclination to read them, as I highly doubt that some ancient texts have profound and irrefutable arguments that have somehow been forgotten by all the modern people who constantly debate this topic. Further, when the guy pointing me to them can not bother to get the citations right it brings that expectation even lower. Nevertheless, I figured since I looked them up I would link them for others.

Duties of the Heart by Bahya ibn Paquda - Free English translation of gates 1-10

The Book of Beliefs and Opinions by Saadia Gaon - Amazon link. I was unable to find a free English version.

The Guide for the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides - Free English Full Text

u/mariox19 · 2 pointsr/books

The World's Religions, by Huston Smith. It covers: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confusianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and various aboriginal religions. It comes in at under 400 pages for 11 bucks at Amazon.

u/Calico_Dick_Fringe · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

>For instance, fire brings change, water brings healing, you have probably heard of those connections before.

Have a look at the origins of the elemental theory, and their changing use in practical Alchemy from 600 C.E. to 1600 C.E. There are a couple good beginning books on the topic - this one, this one, and this one - will totally deepen your understanding of the principles.

u/VividLotus · 2 pointsr/Judaism

Are you looking to go to a Reform synagogue? From your use of the word "Temple", this is what I assumed. In any case: yes, you can definitely just show up, in most cases-- though not on the High Holidays. Friday night would be a good one to start with. Different congregations have different standards, but a good rule of thumb would be to wear something at least business-casual if you're a man, and a modest skirt and 3/4 length or longer sleeves if you're a woman. Modest dress may not be the standard at a given congregation, but better safe than sorry for your first time.

One thing to know is that if it's your father who is Jewish rather than your mother, you may have to formally convert, depending on which branch of Judaism appeals to you. However, I believe this is not the case in Reform Judaism. And in any case, you can most certainly participate in many aspects of religious life without converting, so there's no reason to worry about that yet.

As for books: Essential Judaism might be a great one to start with.

One final thing: if you feel comfortable saying, what city are you in? Perhaps someone in this sub-reddit can invite you along with him/her:).

u/Torvien · 2 pointsr/witchcraft

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes is a really good book. There are tons of spells from various traditions including but not limited to Santeria, Stregheria, Voodoo, Hoodoo Spiritism, Brujeria, Shamanism, and traditional Witchcraft. It's a good read because the beginning goes into some of the history of witchcraft, flavors of witchcraft (working with plants, crystals, spirits, candles, elements, etc.), and basic instructions on how to cast spells.

u/r271answers · 2 pointsr/religion

You might also like reading The World's Religions by Huston Smith. It's used as a textbook in many university comparative religion classes and should help you understand the similarities and differences in the major world religions. (the good news is that its only $10 too :-) )

u/hammiesink · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

First thing that comes to mind is this:

But I'm sure there are other recommendations that other people could make.

u/Bhikkhu_Jayasara · 2 pointsr/JordanPeterson

If you are looking for Buddhism related books, I'm not sure I would recommend Alan watts, as he is not, nor ever claimed to be, a Buddhist, he mixes and matches a lot with a variety of traditions and i'm not sure you will not come away from him with any clarity regarding Buddhist teaching.

I'd recommend the classic " what the buddha taught" , which you can find pretty cheap on amazon -

or in pdf form :

u/PlimsollPunk · 2 pointsr/religion

Exploring the world's many religions is a fun and enriching activity. I'll tell you what I tell everyone who makes this post here:

First, you should start out by perusing one or both of the following websites - [BBC Religions] ( and [Harvard University's Pluralism Project] ( Both of these sites offer high-quality, scholarly yet accessible introductions to most of the world's major traditions. These sites alone can keep you occupied for days.

Once you're ready to jump into books, you have two options. Your first option is to find a book that offers an overview of what's called "comparative religions." The classic is Huston Smith's [The World's Religions] ( There are others that are newer and probably more up-to-date, but this is a beloved book for a reason, and won't disappoint.

Your other option is to dig into one particular tradition that you've identified as of special interest from your internet search. If you go that route, which has its advantages and disadvantages, I'd encourage you to do some research online (including on the tradition's individual subreddit) to see what books are recommended. If you have specific questions on this, I may be able to help as well.

Hope this was helpful - good luck!

u/eccehomo999 · 2 pointsr/witchcraft
u/TaxJenkins · 2 pointsr/Catholicism

imho, i was raised catholic and started going to a parish that offers latin mass and saw everyone using a 1962 roman daily missal. so i bought one-- and i feel as if i learned more reading the missal in a couple of weeks than i did in 13 years of catholic schooling.

u/spirithound · 2 pointsr/mythology

I own this book. Has a lot of obscure gods from all over the world. Hard cover looks good on a shelf. There is also Manual of Mythology. If you can find a hard cover it is a simple but classic design.

u/wholesomeusername26 · 2 pointsr/ifyoulikeblank
u/iasonaki · 2 pointsr/religion

For about five years, I ran a group in NYC called the Religion Tourbus. It was for people who were looking for a new religion, curious about religions, etc. We'd pick a new tradition about once a month, and read up about it. Then we'd go en masse to a service.

We covered the lot - Hindu festivals, Buddhist sangha gatherings, Muslim khutbah services, various flavors of Judaism (Reform, conservative) and Christianity (Orthodox, Catholic, Pentecostal, Mormon, Quaker, etc), Wiccan parties as well as some of those kooky one-offs that make NYC great. (My favorite was a "hip-hop Taoist" church.)

Almost a third of Americans change religions in their lifetimes (according to one study). So the act of "spiritual shopping" is absolutely part of a modern tradition. We just don't happen to have many institutionalized ways of doing it.

If you're still looking — if anyone's still looking — good luck! I used to refer people to the "Belief-o-Matic" on BeliefNet, which appears to still be a thing. It tells you what tradition your belief system matches most closely.

You can also make your own "Religion Tourbus." It's not hard! If you're concerned about walking into a strange tradition, don't be. Almost all modern traditions welcome walk-ins, and those traditions with a closed membership (Zoroastrians, Druze) often have people who can be on point to talk to you, if you're interested. If you feel awkward about offending someone, there's a great book, [How to Be a Perfect Stranger] ( which teaches you religious etiquette for tons of traditions.

Best of luck! Agree with other posts about chasing your truth. I found that Quakers, low-mystic Buddhists and intellectual esoterics like Gurdjieff held the most answers for me. It's okay to be a patchwork.

And you can also just be one of the great undecided.

u/Monkeyhalevi · 2 pointsr/Judaism

Not exactly, see below. The short answer is the ten commandments.

If you want a REALLY good primer on Jewish values, beliefs, and thoughts, take a look at the following:

Jewish Wisdom

Jewish Literacy

Jewish Values

A Code of Jewish Ethics

Chaim Halevi Donin's books

Between R. Telushkin and R. Donin you will get a very comprehensive intro to Judaism. I have personally read at least 6 of the 9 or so books posted here, and have found both to be exceptionally well written and informative. R. Telushkin is a personal favorite of mine, and I think he nails it every time, not only in terms of accuracy and quality of writing, but in making it actually enjoyable to read. Aka, when I sit down with one of his books, I will clear easily 600 to 800 pages a day.

Hope that helps!

u/haphapablap · 2 pointsr/occult

Manly P Hall the writer of Secret Teachings of All Ages which is his magnum opus. Seems like such a lovely gentlemen too.

u/entropy_police · 2 pointsr/WTF

These connections you speak of stem from some of the people that study occult symbolism and look for this sort of thing everywhere, because of a belief that the "Illuminati", or whatever you want to call the supposed "hidden hand", have a duty to "subconsciously inform" their sacrificial livestock of the plan before the plan is executed, by using subliminal messages and occult symbolism in the media where they wield creative influence.

The thing is, most anyone can pick up something like The Secret Teachings of All Ages and read about esoteric symbolism and philosophies, take a liking to the symbols, artwork, ect and use them, without knowingly being part of a monolithic global conspiracy if one even exists, which can explain why people see this stuff everywhere, in your corporate logos, music videos, big screen movies, TV shows of all kinds, commercials, architecture and everything else in between.

Since it seems so ubiquitous, people leave their sunglasses on and I think, forget they have them on.

u/wanderingtroglodyte · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

We don't really proselytize, so you wouldn't be "sold" necessarily. Also, are you thinking of an academic primer or something more basic?

There's the [Idiot's Guide to Jewish History and Culture] ( and Essential Judaism. Those are both pretty good books. Also, Chabad has an excellent and very informative website, though in person they're a bit too much for me.

On a tangential note, I highly recommend From Beirut to Jerusalem and Orientalism if you're interested in the Middle East.

NB: While I'm expecting to catch some flack for the idiot's guide link, it is basically an "Explain Like I'm Five" book series.

u/smokesteam · 2 pointsr/Judaism

Dont feel bad about not knowing. I spent more than a year doing research before I even first approached a Rabbi. For us learning is a life long process.


  • Jews, God and History will give you a good understanding of our history as a people. Many major empires have tried to destroy us, by all rights we should not be here any more but our oppressors end up consigned to museums and history books.

  • Basic Judaism seems to be good

  • To Be a Jew is highly recommend by many.

  • Becoming A Jew also popular regarding Orthodox conversion.

  • Essential Judaism seems to be Reform oriented but may contain a more broad oversight than just that viewpoint.

  • Being Jewish was one I read that I thought offered lots of good information overall.

    Possibly most importantly I'd say you need a Jewish bible with commentary. I'd recommend the Stone Chumash. I also keep a JPS Hebrew/English Tanakh on my desk. The "chumash" (AKA the Torah) is the five books of Moses. The "Tanakh" is the Torah, Prophets and Writings, the entire Hebrew bible .I say a "Jewish Bible" because 1) the translation is more direct from Hebrew, without the distortions of the KJV/NIV/etc. 2) you also get commentary on the text from key Jewish scholars throughout the ages to help you understand the meaning of the text, this part is very important.

    All above book links are to Amazon but I am not an affiliate and do not gain in any way. You can probably find all those and more at a specialty Judaica shop like or another similar site.

    BTW you probably want to go over this site entirely It is written by an Orthodox guy so is slanted that way but the information is all good.
u/amoris313 · 2 pointsr/alchemy

You may find Robert Bartlett's information on the topic useful. He's worked as a professional chemist for years and is also a modern day alchemist. This is his first book. This is his 2nd. He also gives classes online and in Washington State, north of Seattle.

His teacher wrote this book.

You may also be interested in searching for the alchemy course published by Jean Dubuis. There was a torrent available if you go looking.

u/JimeDorje · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

It was suggested I post here. I have to say it's pretty outside of my location and timeframe. Most of my reading is centered around Buddhism and what I know about India that's not political in nature is mostly centered around Buddhism. Even the concepts I know of Hinduism are usually through a Buddhist lens.

What I do know about the development I also can't provide a source. I studied at the Royal Thimphu College and once sat down with a Bengali professor who explained her own dissertation to me about the development of the Varna system in India, which ended up being a primer on "Brahmanism." (Which then led to a long discussion on the inaccuracy of the term "Hinduism" which was developed post-independence as a response to the development of Pakistan for Muslims, India for Hindus. When I presented the irony that "India" and "Hindu" both stem from the "Indus River" which is currently in Pakistan, Runa, aforementioned professor, winked at me and said "Exactly. Hindus are political, Brahmanists are religious." The logic being that Brahmanists derive religious authority from the Brahmin Varna, just as Christians derive religious authority from Christ, and Muslims from submission to God.)

Anyway, I'll just point out some of the books that have helped me in understanding this complex religion and maybe you can go on with your search from there.

Originally I was interested in Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History but found out it was full of selective information and skewed perspectives. I was more interested in a general history of India and fell upon John Keay's India: A History which he describes as "A historiography of India as well as a history." And he does go over developments of Brahmanism threaded with the rise and fall of conquerors through the region.

My introduction to Brahmanism (though he DOES refer to it as Hinduism) was Huston Smith's The World's Religions which doesn't go over the history as much of any of the religions, but is a nice starting point, especially when comparing say Buddhism with Brahmanism, which most people regularly do. It's also a good outliner for the different Brahmanist traditions (or at least the major trends in Brahmanism).

Finally, probably the most accurate to your original question though it has a broader focus and a point to make, Karen Armstrong's *The Great Transformation remains one of my favorite books on the Axial Age in which she covers the religious shifts that occurred more or less simultaneously in Greece, the Levant, India, and China. Of interest to you would be the Vedic response to the growth of Buddhism and Jainism, the development of the Mahabharata, and the changing understandings of the Vedas and Upanishads. It's a pretty great book, and Karen Armstrong can of course lead you further down the path of Indian religious history.

Hope that helps at all.

u/SsurebreC · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

I have this one and it's great if you don't know about other religions:

u/DaisyJuice · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

May I recommend this book to you?

Edit: more recent edition

u/WitchDruid · 2 pointsr/witchcraft

The Following list is taken from the Witches & Warlocks FB page. (This is Christian Day's group)

Witches and Warlocks Recommended Reading List
This is a collection of books recommended by our admins and participants in the group. Books must be approved by the admins so if you'd like to see one added to the last, please post it in the comments at the bottom of this list and, if it's something we think is appropriate, we'll add it! We provide links to Amazon so folks can read more about the book but we encourage you to shop at your local occult shop whenever possible! :)


Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
by Raymond Buckland

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America
by Margot Adler

Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery
by Raven Grimassi

The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development
by Christopher Penczak

The Kybalion: The Definitive Edition
by William Walker Atkinson (Three Initiates)

Lid Off the Cauldron: A Wicca Handbook
by Patricia Crowther

Mastering Witchcraft
by Paul Huson

Natural Magic
by Doreen Valiente

Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
by Ellen Dugan

Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days
by Raven Grimassi

The Outer Temple of Witchcraft: Circles, Spells and Rituals
by Christopher Penczak

Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment
by Laurie Cabot

Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation
by Silver RavenWolf

Spirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft
by Raven Grimassi

Witch: A Magickal Journey
by Fiona Horne

Witchcraft for Tomorrow
by Doreen Valiente

Witchcraft Today
by Gerald Gardner
The Witches' Craft: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation
by Raven Grimassi
The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill
by Robin Artisson


Aradia or The Gospel of the Witches
by Charles Godfrey Leland

Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints & Sages: A Guide to Asking for Protection, Wealth, Happiness, and Everything Else!
by Judika Illes

The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Etruscan Roman Remains
by Charles Godfrey Leland

The God of the Witches
by Margaret Murray

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, The: From Hexes to Hermione Granger, From Salem to the Land of Oz
by Judika Illes


Blood Sorcery Bible Volume 1: Rituals in Necromancy
by Sorceress Cagliastro

The Deep Heart of Witchcraft: Expanding the Core of Magickal Practice
by David Salisbury

Teen Spirit Wicca
by David Salisbury

Enchantment: The Witch's Art of Manipulation by Gesture, Gaze and Glamour
by Peter Paddon

Initiation into Hermetics
by Franz Bardon

Letters from the Devil's Forest: An Anthology of Writings on Traditional Witchcraft, Spiritual Ecology and Provenance Traditionalism
by Robin Artisson

Magical Use of Thought Forms: A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment
by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowick and J.H. Brennan

Magick in Theory and Practice
by Aleister Crowley

The Plant Spirit Familiar
by Christopher Penczak

Protection and Reversal Magick
by Jason Miller
Psychic Self-Defense
by Dion Fortune
The Ritual Magic Workbook: A Practical Course of Self-Initiation
by Dolores Ashcroft-Norwicki
The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of the Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition
by Evan John Jones, Robert Cochrane and Michael Howard

The Satanic Witch
by Anton Szandor LaVey
Shadow Magick Compendium: Exploring Darker Aspects of Magickal Spirituality
by Raven Digitalis
The Tree of Enchantment: Ancient Wisdom and Magic Practices of the Faery Tradition
by Orion Foxwood
The Underworld Initiation: A journey towards psychic transformation
by R.J. Stewart


A Compendium of Herbal Magic
by Paul Beyerl

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
by Scott Cunningham

The Enchanted Candle: Crafting and Casting Magickal Light
by Lady Rhea

The Enchanted Formulary: Blending Magickal Oils for Love, Prosperity, and Healing
by Lady Maeve Rhea

Incense: Crafting and Use of Magickal Scents
by Carl F. Neal

Magickal Formulary Spellbook Book 1
by Herman Slater

Magickal Formulary Spellbook: Book II
by Herman Slater

Crone's Book of Charms & Spells
by Valerie Worth

Crone's Book of Magical Words
by Valerie Worth

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells
by Judika Illes

Everyday Magic: Spells & Rituals for Modern Living
by Dorothy Morrison

Pure Magic: A Complete Course in Spellcasting
by Judika Illes
Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions
by Dorothy Morrison
The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook
by Denise Alvarado

The Voodoo Doll Spellbook: A Compendium of Ancient and Contemporary Spells and Rituals
by Denise Alvarado

The Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Knowledge & Wisdom
by Raven Grimassi

The Mighty Dead
by Christopher Penczak

Speak with the Dead: Seven Methods for Spirit Communication
by Konstantinos
The Witches' Book of the Dead
by Christian Day

78 Degrees of Wisdom
by Rachel Pollack

u/CricketPinata · 1 pointr/milliondollarextreme

If you want to just know buzzwords to throw around, spend a bunch of time clicking around on Wikipedia, and watch stuff like Crash Course on YouTube. It's easy to absorb, and you'll learn stuff, even if it's biased, but at least you'll be learning.

If you want to become SMARTER, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to either carry a notebook with you, or find a good note taking app you like on your phone. When someone makes a statement you don't understand, write it down and parse it up.

So for instance, write down "Social Democracy", and write down "The New Deal", and go look them up on (Put's all of it in simplest language possible), it's a great starting point for learning about any topic, and provides you a jumping board to look more deeply into it.

If you are really curious about starting an education, and you absolutely aren't a reader, some good books to start on are probably:

"Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words" by Randall Munroe

"A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson

"Philosophy 101" by Paul Kleinman, in fact the ____ 101 books are all pretty good "starter" books for people that want an overview of a topic they are unfamiliar with.

"The World's Religions" by Huston Smith

"An Incomplete Education" by Judy Jones and Will Wilson

Those are all good jumping off points, but great books that I think everyone should read... "A History of Western Philosophy" by Bertrand Russell, "Western Canon" by Harold Bloom, "Education For Freedom" by Robert Hutchins, The Norton Anthology of English Literature; The Major Authors, The Bible.

Read anything you find critically, don't just swallow what someone else says, read into it and find out what their sources were, otherwise you'll find yourself quoting from Howard Zinn verbatim and thinking you're clever and original when you're just an asshole.

u/Dinosaur_Boner · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

I just read a digital version, but reviews on Amazon point to this one being the best.

u/GrepZen · 1 pointr/atheism

Religion for dummies is a good start.

u/phxer · 1 pointr/exmormon
  • What is the deal with the Apostle John?

    You'll need to be more specific.

  • Why do you claim there are hundreds of millions of members world wide, but the official reports claim there are only 15 million or so?

    I am unaware of any claim by the LDS church of "hundreds of millions of members." Their claim of membership is 15 Million. In this forum, we observe that only about 1/3 of that number even identify themselves as Mormon, but that doesn't stop the LDS church, or any other church, from counting those who were once affiliated as members.

  • Why does Paul claim it is better for a man not to be married, but marriage is required for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom?

    I assume you are talking about 1 Cor. Ch.7. ( 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.)

    The typical LDS response to that biblical contradiction with LDS doctrine is 1) ignore this passage, 2) claim Paul was a widower, and 3) point to Ephesians 5:21–6:4 and Colossians 3:8–21. read p.289 of this manual for more detail and p.64 of The Miracle of Forgiveness

  • How do you explain the the lack of Apostolic succession? Did the Apostles just suck at their jobs Christ empowered them to do?

    Yup. The LDS faith relies up the doctrine of Apostasy and while the church teachings are usually quite general, there is quite a bit of work done to try and legitimize this theory. Mormons wouldn't say that the Apostles failed, but that Satan won that battle, but it was God's plan to restore His church later. Mormon scholars point to the existence of bad popes to illustrate that godly authority was gone.

  • "Joseph Smith was either telling the truth or an evil man and no evil man could have written the book of Mormon."
    Please explain to me this thinking...

    This one makes sense to me. Much like one who believes that the four gospels are God's word must logically believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Christianity (in one form or another) is the gathering of God's people and Christ is the way to salvation. Similarly, if someone believes that the Book of Mormon also contains God's word, then the translator, Joseph Smith, must have been divinely called. Personally, I think the inconsistencies and falibilities in both texts make the conclusions improbable. But that's just my opinion.
u/vweltin · 1 pointr/WTF

In case anyone is wondering this is from Huston Smith's "The World's Religions" in the section about Religious Taoism

u/_FallentoReason · 1 pointr/Christianity

We're going in circles now.

God has the means and the will to reach out to the world, yet he doesn't. I have on my own reached out to -him- and even then he -still- doesn't show himself.

This isn't the stuff of reality. The world does not look like how the Bible describes it. The only reasonable thing to conclude is that maybe the Christian god isn't real, just like the rest of the 2 500+ gods humanity has believed in.

> He does not want to force you to believe.

Apparently he does not want me to have a shred of evidence of his existence. That's the real problem. Adam and Eve had direct evidence, so did Lucifer. They weren't forced to believe because they all went against God, but they at least had direct evidence of his existence. We don't have any of that, even though God -can- give us that.

u/kaci3po · 1 pointr/witchcraft

I wasn't worried about them being against your religion. I was trying to narrow down what kind of resources to recommend. If you were pagan, I wouldn't send you resources on Jewish magic, for example.

If you're just looking for a standard book of spells, here's a starting point. Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells

u/Stoobiedoobiedo · 1 pointr/blackmagicfuckery

The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy

u/m0rd3c4i · 1 pointr/philosophy

My "Philosophy of Asian Thought" class used this. The professor might've just been a fan of Smith, but it's a good book for your collection, regardless.

u/sblinn · 1 pointr/atheism

> If someone asks you if you believe something, and you don't know if you do, then that means you don't believe it, because you would know if you did.

This does not follow biologically, as there are (per Sam Harris' research) distinct biological states which correspond to belief, disbelief, and yes uncertainty. (Belief and disbelief are very, very biologically related.) If someone asks you if the 497th prime number is 3547, this "uncertainty" region will likely be going apeshit, unless you happen to have this list memorized quite well. If someone asks you if the 497th prime number is 5, the disbelief center will be all "hells no". If someone asks you if 5 is prime, the magnetic resonance image of your brain will be consistent with the "belief" of this truth.

It is indeed perfectly valid to say that one is uncertain as to whether God exists. This may mean that the person has not considered the issue very much and thus has a de-facto apatheistic sort of disbelief, but that's not disbelief*.

*) meaning a positive belief that a proposition is not true, as differentiated from unbelief which is a suspension of judgement about a proposition, also differentiated from uncertainty.


> It's practically like someone asking you if you're a cannibal, and you answer 'I don't know'...if you don't know if you are, then you're not.

Why would you answer "I don't know" unless you didn't know what the term meant in precise enough terms to answer (or perhaps you have a faulty memory, or have just woken from a coma and don't remember yet)? Maybe you don't know the term at all; maybe you've accidentally eaten human meat and at the time thought it was tasty, but later found out the awful truth; maybe you don't think you could claim positively that you've never eaten meat that contained human flesh and liked it, and don't really have a firm grasp on this definition of cannibalism to know whether it means you knowingly seek out this human meat or not; etc.

Similarly, "do you believe in God" does require definitions of belief and God, and further answering "no" doesn't necessarily imply disbelief but perhaps simply unbelief or skepticism. An answer of "I don't know" could mean "I don't know if I do, I have memory problems", "I don't know, I haven't though much about it", or "What do you mean 'believe'? Do I act as if it were true? Do I think it's true? Do I think it's likely?", or "What do you mean, 'God'?"

edit2: I don't know WTF I am saying here as I don't seem to be directly contradicting anything you've said. You didn't bring up disbelief. Oops.

u/lemonpjb · 1 pointr/Christianity

Huston Smith. He was the biggest influence in my walk back to faith. He was so passionate about teaching the world about religion; it was truly inspiring. His book, The World's Religions, is a wonderful primer for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of their own faith and the faiths of the world.

u/Saxarba · 1 pointr/offmychest

I'm stalking you just briefly out of interest.

It really does sound like you've come a long way!

If you're interested in zen, r/zen may get kinda crazy about the Buddhism/not-Buddhism debate but knowing some stuff about it is helpful and out of books I've encountered I'd recommend the book What the Buddha Taught for a basic rundown of general concepts/terminology if you're brand new to it.

You don't actually need to memorize the eightfold path, six whatevers, four whatevers, and so on and so on, but having a working idea of how Buddhists talk about consciousness is a good thing to have.

You may already know that but I wanted to let you know just in case!

u/Kirkayak · 1 pointr/atheism

You might say something like this to them:

"I still have goodness and love in my heart. I just do not think that I have a good enough reason to believe in a God that I cannot see, hear, smell, taste, touch, or feel. This is true for me, even though all of you have "decided" to believe in that kind of God. If I am wrong, and God is truly good, he will understand the reasons for my unbelief very well, I am sure, and will not hold it against me."

If they are sort of erudite, you might want to lay this on them:

"The bloom is valued per its scent, not per the tawdriness of the taxonomist's trade."

If you can afford a copy, the New Encyclopedia Of Unbelief might be worth attaining. I have not read any of this, but am familiar with the first Encyclopedia Of Unbelief, also by Prometheus Books (1985), which is excellent.

u/EvilCam · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The Secret Teaching of All Ages by Manley P. Hall

u/ChristianityBot · 1 pointr/ChristianityBot

Logged comment posted by /u/Genesisbook1 at 01/31/15 03:51:22:

> I believe in god not that kike Jesus was a savior

... in response to comment posted by /u/US_Hiker at 01/31/15 03:04:15:

> > Still love god though
> Jesus is God is a Jew. Still love God?


Removed comment posted by /u/Genesisbook1 at 01/31/15 06:35:37:

> I don't know. I'm still going to go you church because I love church even though I don't fit in or talk to anybody but I don't know. I have to talk to god tonight. Appreciate it brother

... in response to comment posted by /u/US_Hiker at 01/31/15 04:54:23:

> >What do you mean by fringe beliefs?
> Well, anti-semitism isn't that rare, but it's not mainstream. It's less common yet to talk to somebody who unapologetically identifies with it, much less is willing to leave a religion for it.
> I suggest you get this book:
> A local library should have it if you can't afford it. It's a good, scholarly but sympathetic look at the major religions in the world.
> Many religions may give you solace for this personal hell of yours, but do remember that each demands much of you, often quite similar things.
> I'm off to bed for the night. I'd welcome any more details you're willing to share, by PM or otherwise. Cheers.

u/razzertto · 1 pointr/AskReddit

There's a pretty great book called "World Religions" by Houston Smith (not an affiliate link) that goes over all of the major faiths with a great deal of fairness. His empahsis is on foundational beliefs and not on 'church institutions'. I found it to be one of the most well-written books on the subject, ever.

u/Optimal_Joy · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

Love is the single most important Universal Truth that is common to all of humanity. Everybody is born innocent and pure, with the capacity to Love. We are NOT born as sinners. We only become sinners once we develop an ego. Children are NOT sinners. The whole purpose in life is to learn to suppress the Ego and become like an innocent child again. This is the whole point of the example that Jesus gave us. The new testament presents God as Love.

The most important thing in the Bible, the main message of the Bible is this:

Matthew 22:36-40
New International Version (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The very fact that I'm writing this message to you and you are reading this message of Love, is all the proof you need that God exists and is real. "God" wants you to know, that all that matters is Love. Keep Love in your heart, make every decision in your life based on Love. Agnosticism is based upon fear, the polar opposite of Love. Choose Love, man, just choose Love!!! This message of Love, has been brought to you directly for you, from God. This is not a joke. In this very moment, as you are reading this, God has touched you and wants you to know that God is within your heart at this very moment, with you, right now and always is there, no matter what, all you have to do is remember that God is Love. So any time you feel Love for another person, be it your parents, relatives, friends or anybody, that is God shining through YOU. Any time you receive Love from another person, that is God. That is all that God is, it's very simple and pure. This is the basis of Christianity, if you have Love in your heart, then you are being like Jesus Christ. Don't let other people over-complicate it for you with religious dogma, traditions and other fundamentalist nonsense.

Just as you have no doubt that Love is Truth, believe that God is Truth, because they are One and the same exact thing. If you have Love in your heart, then you have God in your heart. "God" is just another word for "Love". Don't get stuck on the semantics.

What is the absolute proof of Love? Can science detect Love? If so, then it can detect God.

Alcohol is only "evil" if used to an excess. Lots of things can be evil. Ethanol has lots of valuable and useful purposes. You can use it to disinfect a wound (painful, but effective), mouthwash, gargle, soothes a sore throat, in small, infrequent quantities there are health benefits. "Evil" is merely an intention to do harm. Anything can be used for "evil". A screwdriver is just a tool, you can use it for good or you can stab someone in the neck with it, if the intention is to be evil, then it's evil, if you are defending your life, then even killing another person isn't evil. So you need to be aware of the context, and the intention behind things and actions.

Why Christianity? Because Jesus gave us a perfect example of how we should live our lives, full of Love and compassion towards others. That is not to say that all other religions are wrong. In fact, there is much spiritual Truth, knowledge, and wisdom to be learned from other religions. For an intelligent person such as yourself, you can find a lot of valuable answers from the teachings of Buddhism, for example, which is NOT in any way in conflict with being a Christian. Buddha was a very enlightened master and you will find great peace in reading about him.

The Old Testament is loaded with crap, throw most of it out if you want. That's not at all representative of what God is according to Jesus Christ.

As a Biomedical Engineering major it is CRUCIAL that you read this book:

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins
If you don't know who the author is, check this out:

Francis Sellers Collins (born April 14, 1950), is an American physician-geneticist, noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP). He currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to being appointed Director, he founded and was president of the BioLogos Foundation.

Here is another book:

The God Theory: Universes, Zero-point Fields, And What's Behind It All

[Video] The God Theory

Now do you believe that if you ask God for answers, they will be given to you? Is this not the proof you wanted? How can you deny that you've asked and now you've received? You can't deny it. You asked God to prove that he is real to you and this is it, right here, right NOW.

u/jsomby · -1 pointsr/funny

For every believer I recommend this so they can choose better god that drivers their agenda

u/ohamid234 · -1 pointsr/exmuslim

>When people were collecting ahadith, what would keep just about anyone from fabricating something and making up a solid chain of transmission?

>There really wouldn't be any way to verify any of the links in a chain of oral transmission, would there?

The first time I took a science class that included a lab in college, I remember the TA (teaching assistant) and Professors telling everyone point blank, "Don't falsify data we always know". And they do, I saw many people getting caught for it. The scholars who know Hadith know when a Hadith has been fabricated. I would recommend the book by Mulla Ali al Qari which was recently translated by a Muhhadith, Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad: Encyclopedia of Hadith Forgeries: Sayings Misattributed to the Prophet Muhammad. Historically speaking, in Iraq, people began forging Hadith's to backup their political affiliations, but once the science of Hadith came into its own, people were able to know, the book linked above is a fruition of that.