This comprehensive dictionary describes all the major religions and belief systems as well as many of the denominations, cults and sects that have stemmed from them. It also addresses religion's debate with and response to secularism and to secular faiths, such as deism, atheism, agnosticism, Utilitarianism, Darwinism, Marxism and many more. The depth and breadth of the work will inspire the reader to reflect on fundamental questions about the nature of religion, its role in the formation of human society, how it has conditioned diverse cultures across the world, and why, since the beginning of human history, it has provided a raison d'etre and a foundation for personal and social ethics. The antithesis to this is how various secular theories have confronted these concepts and offered radically alternative perspectives and explanations.
Gerald Benedict graduated in Divinity from the University of London, and has a postgraduate diploma from the School of Ecumenical Studies, University of Geneva, and a PhD from the Open University. His main academic interest is comparative religious philosophy, and after teaching religious studies and philosophy in colleges and universities in Britain, he moved to France. He has won awards for a novel, several short stories, and radio drama for the BBC World Service.