A World of Faith: Introducing Spiritual Traditions to Teens.


192 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-1-55145-554-9
DDC 200.835





Reviewed by Lisa Arsenault

Lisa Arsenault is a high-school English teacher who is involved in
several ministry campaigns to increase literacy.


As a way to introduce spiritual traditions to Canadian teenagers, this manual is an excellent tool. Dedicated chapters address the major world religions: “In the Beginning … The Goddess Tradition,” “Aboriginal Spirituality,” “Hinduism,” “Judaism,” “Buddhism,” “Christianity,” “Islam,” “Sikhism,” and “Baha’i Faith,” in chronological order of appearance. A Canadian perspective makes it especially relevant to Canadian educators. Each chapter (with the exception of “The Goddess Tradition”) is prefaced by an interview with a Canadian teenager who practises that religion. They answer a series of questions about their lives in general, and their faith in particular, that would be of interest to their peers.


A similar format is followed with each religion. First, the “Green Rule” is cited. It embodies the religion’s stance on the caretaking and husbandry of the planet. An overview of the history, development, and traditions follows. Sidebars include a “Thumbnail Sketch” that details the salient points and key features of the religion, and “Words to Know,” which lists and defines important words and terms. Unique facts appear in a bar at the top of each page. The “Golden Rule” concludes each chapter. It sums up the believer’s attitude towards ideal relationships between people. The foreword by the president emeritus of Religions for Peace is a fitting gateway to this manual as it reinforces its emphasis on interfaith communication, equality of religions, and the centrality of peace to true spiritual doctrine. Similarly, the concluding appendix features an article by the co-founder of Women’s Interfaith Journeys for Peace. Thumbnail descriptions of several other major religions, a section on cults, a bibliography, and an index complete the book.


This is a handy reference guide. Its layout is particularly reader-friendly and accessible. Colour blocking brightens the pages, and there are numerous photographs and diagrams. It should be noted that the emphasis is on the positive aspects of these religions and the institutions that promote interfaith accord. There is little mention of the negative impact that religious extremism and cultural interpretation (or misinterpretation) can have on society.


Pogue, Carolyn., “A World of Faith: Introducing Spiritual Traditions to Teens.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/26817.