Chambers Dictionary of Beliefs and Religions

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More About This Title Chambers Dictionary of Beliefs and Religions


Billions of people continue to place their faith in a god or gods, in spirits, or in some form of divinity. Many others adhere to alternative beliefs outside the major faith traditions, while for others science and secular modernity provide the basis for a meaningful life. This illustrated reference includes more than 3,200 entries ranging from Catholicism to sharia law, doomsday cults to eco-paganism, and yogic flying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It looks at what followers of the world’s major religions believe, at the origins of these faiths, and at how belief shapes our daily lives. It examines what happens when ancient faiths and the modern world collide, as in stem cell research or the teaching of creationism in schools.


Mark Vernon is the author of several books, including After Atheism, The Philosophy of Friendship, and Wellbeing. He also writes for such newspapers as the Financial Times, the Guardian, and Times Literary Supplement, and is a former priest.