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Religions of a Single God

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In some ways, this book fits into the long tradition of textbooks on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It seeks to teach the basics both of the study of religion and the study of the religions themselves. For each religion, it presents the trajectories of development over time, the main theological debates and claims, the sacred writings, and the common practices and holy days. Yet, in other ways, this book is like no other introductory textbook on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Rather than claim to show the “essence” of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, this book shows the diversity within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic experience, theological dispute, and practice. Rather than rely solely on the traditional theorists of religion, the “giants,” this book updates the approach, relying also on the newest critical thinkers on defining, classifying, and studying religion. Rather than present Latter-Day Saints and Baha’i Religion as among the New Religious Movements, this book treats them as part of the continuing history of religion, growing out of and within Christianity and Islam respectively. Religion, in other words, is not a thing of the past. It’s happening right now, all around us.

Published: Mar 1, 2019

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
Towards a General Theory of Religion Zeba Crook
Part One: Histories
Chapter 2: History of Judaism Zeba Crook
Chapter 3: History of Christianity Zeba Crook
Chapter 4: History of Islam Zeba Crook
Part Two: Orthodoxies
Chapter 5: Jewish Theology and Theological Writings Zeba Crook
Chapter 6: Christian Theology and Theological Writings Zeba Crook
Chapter 7: Islamic Theology and Theological Writings Zeba Crook
Part Three: Orthopraxies
Chapter 8: Jewish Practice and Holy Days Zeba Crook
Chapter 9: Christian Practice and Holy Days Zeba Crook
Chapter 10: Islamic Practice and Holy Days Zeba Crook
Part Four: The Continuing History of Religions
Chapter 11: Latter-Day Saints and Baha’i Religion Zeba Crook


Crook provides a theoretically sophisticated and pedagogically useful introduction to monotheistic religions. These are but two of the many features that will distinguish this book from the competition.
Aaron W. Hughes, University of Rochester

It’s a challenge to integrate theoretical advances in any field with introductory-level teaching, with some concluding that it just can’t be done. Religions of a Single God nicely proves them wrong; for it takes the common descriptive information of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and rethinks it in light of work now being done by scholars at some of the field’s most interesting cutting edges. From the distinction between insiders and outsiders and the importance of avoiding anachronism when writing history to the need to see the people that we study as anything but uniform or locked in amber—such that there are differences and disagreements, with new groups always forming from the old—Zeba Crook offers readers a survey that satisfies their interest in the descriptive details while getting them thinking far more critically about how scholars go about their work.
Russell T. McCutcheon, University Research Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of Alabama