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Open Educational Resources for the study of World Religions
About Articles Audio Books Courses Internet Journals Methods Statistics UWR study aids Videos World Religions

The purpose of this website is to help people understand the beliefs and practices of different world religions. It provides free learning resources for anyone interested in studying religion.

Here are free books, audio and video talks and lectures, Power Point slides, study guides and other resources to help you understand world religions. There is also a bookstore to help you find good books that are currently in print
Begin your exploration of world religions by downloading a free pdf copy of The Concise Dictionary of Religion:

Download a free pdf copy of Frederic Spieglberg's Living Religions of the World:

Download a free copy of Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe's Understanding Cults and New Religions:
concise dictionary of religion living religions understadign cults
This book provides the reader with basic information and technical terms about various world religions.
This work provides a basic overview of world religions.
Here Hexham and Poewe discuss how to approach and understand new religions and religious movements.
Download a free copy of Fred Welbourn's classic work Atoms and Ancestors:
Download a free pdf copy of Tom Paine's The Age of Reason:
Read some academic dictionaries and encyclopedias
atoms and ancestors

Tom Paine Age of Reason


This is a pdf copy of Fred Welbourn's classic work on African religions which is unuppassed.
This is a daunting book but essential reading for anyone wanting to understand modern unbelief.
Although published earlier in the 20th century most contain many articles that remain valuable today.
Hear Irving Hexham discuss Understanding World Religions with Dave Rutherford by clicking here or on the photo below:

To read the introduction and first chapter of Irving Hexham's Understanding World Religions click here or on the image above. To buy the book click here. To read some reviews and endorsements click here.

Dave Rutherford

understanding world religions

This book is the only text, apart from those mentioned in the commercial bookstore, that is recommended on this site. It provides a basic introduction to the major world religions in a readable format. If you click on these links you can read some reviews and recommendations. You can read some reviews of the books and academic endorsements by clicking on: reviews and endorsements. You can also read about the book and why it was written by clicking here.

Watch our video of the month as Irving Hexham discusses his book Understanding World ReligionsTo here this click on the photo below:
Irving Hexham
Explore some other Open Educational Resources (OEDs) on a variety of topics and subject area:

Alberta OER

Western Canadian OER OER Commons
BC OER - Open textbooks OER Foundation UNESCO OER
Bookstore for non-OED works
  Humboldt University Religion and theology Library  
This website was first created in 2011 as a basic website. It was extensively revised to the extent that it became a new website in 2014. At that time new sections of various world religions, links to classic texts, the sections on worldviews and the extended sections on Christianity were added. All texts and graphics on Understanding World Religions are protected by copyright, 1995, 199, 2011, 2014.Permission to reproduce material found on this Web Site must be obtained from the appropriate copyright owner. World religions graphic by Christopher Tobias from Irving Hexham's Understanding World Religions, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Concise Dictionary of Religion, InterVarsity Press, Carol Stream, 1994.