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A Comparative View of Religions   By: (1811-1885)

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A Comparative View of Religions by Johannes Henricus Scholten is an insightful and comprehensive exploration of various religious traditions. Scholten's work is a testament to his deep knowledge and understanding of different cultures, beliefs, and practices.

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in its ability to present a balanced and fair assessment of major religions. Scholten avoids biases and prejudices, allowing readers to perceive each religion in its authentic form. His scholarly approach is evident throughout the book, with well-researched information and clear explanations.

Moreover, Scholten's dedication to providing a comparative view adds immense value to this work. The author successfully highlights similarities, differences, and shared concepts across various religions. This approach not only promotes interfaith understanding but also fosters a greater appreciation for each religious tradition's unique contributions.

The book is organized thematically, making it easy for readers to navigate different sections of interest. Scholten covers a wide range of topics, including the origin and history of religions, theological doctrines, moral teachings, rituals, and the role of religious leaders. Each chapter is structured logically and builds upon previous information, guiding readers through a comprehensive exploration.

One notable aspect of this book is the author's engaging writing style. Despite dealing with complex subject matter, Scholten successfully makes the text accessible to both scholars and general readers. His prose is clear, concise, and devoid of unnecessary jargon, allowing readers to grasp concepts without feeling overwhelmed.

Furthermore, Scholten's inclusion of primary source material adds depth and authenticity to the book. He frequently quotes from religious texts, allowing readers to directly engage with the source material of different religions. This approach not only strengthens the author's arguments but also enables readers to further their own understanding of specific doctrines and beliefs.

If there is a limitation to this book, it is the vastness of the topic it attempts to cover. While Scholten does an admirable job in presenting an overview of religions, a more in-depth exploration of specific traditions would have been beneficial. However, this limitation is understandable given the scope of the subject matter.

In conclusion, A Comparative View of Religions by Johannes Henricus Scholten is an excellent resource for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of major religions. Its fair and balanced approach, along with the author's engaging writing style, make it a valuable addition to any library. Scholten's work stands as a testament to the importance of interfaith dialogue and the common threads that connect humanity's religious traditions.

First Page:

Note: Images of the original pages are available through the Making of America collection of the University of Michigan Libraries. See idx?c=moa;idno=AJF2939.0001.001


Translated from the Dutch of

J. H. SCHOLTEN, Professor at Leyden,

by Francis T. Washburn.

Reprinted by permission from "The Religious Magazine and Monthly Review." Boston: Crosby & Damrell, 100 Washington St. 1870.



The conception of religion presupposes, a , God as object; b , man as subject; c , the mutual relation existing between them. According to the various stages of development which men have reached, religious belief manifests itself either in the form of a passive feeling of dependence, where the subject, not yet conscious of his independence, feels himself wholly overmastered by the deity, or the object of worship, as by a power outside of and opposed to himself; or, when the feeling of independence has awakened, in a one sided elevation of the human, whereby man in worshiping a deity deifies himself. In the highest stage of religious development, the most entire feeling of dependence is united in religion with the strongest consciousness of personal independence... Continue reading book >>

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