Fortress Press

Introduction to World Religions, Third Edition

Introduction to World Religions, Third Edition banner image

Exploring the world's religions

This leading textbook for world religion is designed to help students in their study and research of the world's religious traditions. Known and valued for its balanced approach and its respected board of consulting editors, this text addresses ways to study religion, provides broad coverage of diverse religions, and offers an arresting layout with rich illustrations. Introductory sections on understanding religion and the religions of antiquity lay the foundation for the study of the numerous religious traditions highlighted in the volume, including indigenous religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese religions. The user-friendly content is enhanced by charts of religious festivals, historic timelines, updated maps of the world’s religions, and a useful glossary. Both historical overviews and modern perspectives for each religion are included. This third edition has several updates, including a new design, a new section on women and religion, and a newly revised section on religions in today’s world.

What’s New

  • Fresh, easy-to-read page design
  • New section on women and religion
  • Revised section on religions in today's world
  • Also new in 2018: separate “breakout” editions in specific world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. These slim volumes are excerpted from the full textbook and will offer instructors and students an introduction-level treatment of specific religions, allowing for greater flexibility in course focus and design.

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Christopher Partridge is professor of religion at Lancaster University.  His research and writing focus on new religions and alternative spiritualities in the West.
Tim Dowley is author of The Christians: An Illustrated History (2008) and The Student Bible Atlas (1990), among many other titles on history of Christianity and the Bible.

My Teaching Tools

Test and Answer Key

To receive the Premade Test and Answer Key for this textbook contact our Textbook Adoption Consultant

Instructor's Guide: Resources for class

Includes links to articles, videos, interviews, websites, and more for use in your class lectures and discussions!
Download the guide

Sample Syllabi

Sample syllabus from Fortress Press

Syllabi from current users
World Religions, Edison Community College, Loleta Collins
Religions of the World, Flagler College, Bruce Flickinger
Religions of the World, Fresno Pacific University, Darren Duerksen

Free handouts for use in your course!

Each handout explores a personal narrative from a practitioner of a faith explored in the textbook.
Sample Assignment: Have your students read a handout in class, then find someone who practices that corresponding faith on campus. Have your students ask them if they agree or disagree with what's presented in the handout and report back on the differences.

I am a Buddhist
I am a Christian
I am a Hindu
I am a Jain
I am a Jew
I am a Muslim
I am a Rastafarian
I am a Sikh
I am a spiritual seeker

My Study Tools

Student Study Guide

Features study questions from the textbook
Download the study guide


Expert content and section on approaches to the study of religions...

"I chose this text because of its expert content and section on approaches to the study of religions. The text includes pictures, readable text, and short sections, and it provides a wonderful glossary."

Loleta Collins | Edison Community College

My students very much like the personal testimonies of real persons regarding their religious tradition.

"I chose this text because of the quality of the writing and the accompanying photos, charts, maps, and illustrations. The chapter divisions in Introduction to World Religions allow me to assign different sections or divisions of a particular religious tradition and make it easier to pick and choose among passages. My students very much like the personal testimonies of real persons regarding their religious tradition."

Bruce Flickinger | Flagler College

Easily accessible for students and has a fresh feel to it...

Introduction to World Religions is easily accessible for students and has a fresh feel to it. The content in the book makes the study of religions personal and brings a friendly face to each of the religions. The book, while a textbook, has a comfortable feel to it. Students that do not like to read feel that it invites them in. As they start flipping through the pages looking at images they find they are curious and start reading.

Eric Stauffer | Estrella Community College