World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained, by John Bowker.

This lavishly and colorfully illustrated book (DK Publishing) offers as broad a survey as one could wish of the world’s religious faiths.

Although it gives plenty of space to the history, festivals, customs and practices of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, it also provides an amazing amount of data on faiths that many Westerners regard as obscure, such as, Sikhism, Taoism, and Shamanism.

The “Golden Rule,” the author concludes optimistically, “exists in all religions in some form!”

Christianity: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law of the prophets.” ( Matthew, 7:12)

Judaism:”What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is mere commentary! “ Talmud, Shabbat, 31a

Brahmanism:” This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.” Mahabharata, 5, 1517

Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana-Varga, 5,18

Confucianism: “Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.” Analects, 15,23

Taoism: “Regards your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien

Zoroastrianism: “That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.” Dadistan-i-dinik, 94,5

Islam: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Sunnah

A Dissenter’s View: “Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same as yours.” George Bernard Shaw ( 1903 )

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