There are a number of solid evangelical books on world religions. However, there are few volumes that explore the history, beliefs and folk-level practices of major religious systems. That is where Irving Hexham’s Understanding World Religionscomes in.
Hexham’s effort is notable for a few reasons. First, Hexham clearly has done his research and his expertise as a professor of world religions is evident throughout the text. This blend of research and experience as a professor leads Understanding World Religions being a nice blend of academic information and easily consumable writing. Second, Understanding World Religions goes into detail regarding African tribal religions. This is a routinely neglected area of study. Simply put, Hexham does more for engaging African tribal religions than any other evangelical expert to date. Third, Hexham’s work is beautifully illustrated with numerous photos, charts, and maps.
I was impressed enough with Understanding World Religions that I am considering using it as my primary text for a college course I am teaching. In conclusion, Irving Hexham provides a breath of fresh air into the evangelical approach to world religions. If this topic interests you, then Hexham’s book is a must-have text.