Cover image for Illustrated dictionary of religions : rituals, beliefs, and practices from around the world
Illustrated dictionary of religions : rituals, beliefs, and practices from around the world
Wilkinson, Philip.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : DK Pub., 1999.
Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BL31 .W55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In an easy-to-follow, accessible reference format, this book uses over 700 full-color illustrations and clear text to explain, identify, and compare the major religions of the world from Zoroastrianism and ancient Egyptian rituals to Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Author Notes

Philip Wilkinson was educated at Corpus Christi College at Oxford University.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this new DK offering, the photos jump off the page. Following an introductory section that discusses what religion is and what role it plays in society, content is divided into chapters covering the major religious traditions. There are also sections on ancient and primal religions and on new religions. Occultism, the New Age Movement, and the Moonies are mentioned here. Each chapter is divided into a series of two-page spreads that highlight various aspects of the tradition. The chapter on Judaism, for example, includes "The Hebrew Bible," "Writings and History," "Holy Days," "Life and Worship," and "Modern Judaism." Throughout the text, a wealth of illustrations depicts religious practice and artifacts and representations of religion in art. In typical DK style, an explanatory caption accompanies each illustration. Additional features include a bibliography and an index with the major reference in bold type. Expanded coverage of sacred festivals, a popular school research topic, and of the Middle East as sacred ground with major religions vying for dominance would have been useful. Still, this work would be an attractive choice for school and public libraries as a complement to more in-depth resources such as Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions [RBB D 15 99]. Libraries that already own Facts On File's Religions of the World: The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, and Festivals [RBB D 1 97] may not need another nicely illustrated introduction to the topic.

Library Journal Review

Illustrated it is. A dictionary, not exactly. Only the glossary, index, and bibliography are alphabetically arranged. Instead, much like Religions of the World (Facts on File, 1997), this is an illustrated guide. The introduction defines religion, identifies common themes (foundational stories, ethics) and concepts (sacred places, ritual), and discusses the general relationship between religion and society. Aside from two chapters on ancient and primal religions and one on "new religions," the bulk of the book covers major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each chapter provides brief entries on important aspects of each tradition. The entries are cross-referenced by bold-faced words in the text and a See Also box on almost every other page. Well researched and written, this guide may be an alternative for school, public, and academic libraries that don't have Religions of the World.--Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
What is Religion?p. 8
Myth and Doctrinep. 10
Sacred Places and Ritualp. 12
Religion and Societyp. 14
Ancient Religionsp. 16
Ancient Egyptp. 18
Western Asiap. 20
Greece and Romep. 22
Norse and Celticp. 24
Primal Religionsp. 26
The Spirit Worldp. 28
Rituals and Practicep. 30
Hinduismp. 32
Three Gods in Onep. 34
Gods and Goddessesp. 36
Beliefs and Writingsp. 38
Life and Societyp. 40
Festivals and Worshipp. 42
Jainism and Sikhismp. 44
Jain History and Beliefsp. 46
Life and Worshipp. 48
Sikh History and Ideasp. 50
Life and Worshipp. 52
Buddhismp. 54
The Buddhap. 56
Origins and Textsp. 58
Teachingsp. 60
Worship and Festivalsp. 62
China, Japan, and Tibetp. 64
Chinese and Japanese Religionsp. 66
Confucianismp. 68
Taoismp. 70
Shintop. 72
Judaismp. 74
The Hebrew Biblep. 76
Writings and Historyp. 78
Holy Daysp. 80
Life and Worshipp. 82
Modern Judaismp. 84
Christianityp. 86
Jesus Christp. 88
History and Scripturep. 90
Beliefs and Practicesp. 92
Festivals and Holy Daysp. 94
Worship and Ritualsp. 96
Christianity Todayp. 98
Islamp. 100
History of Islamp. 102
Teachings and Scripturep. 104
Rituals and Festivalsp. 106
Worshipp. 108
Knowledge and Artp. 110
Modern Movementsp. 112
New Religionsp. 114
Baha'ismp. 116
Other Religious Movementsp. 118
General Termsp. 120
Indexp. 122
Further Readingp. 127
Acknowledgmentsp. 128