Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to the World Religion Challenge!

After weighing the input of fellow readers and bloggers, I've decided to go ahead and host the World Religion Challenge in 2010.  

The Challenge will run from Jan 1st 2010 to Dec 31st 2010.  There are four categories to the Challenge:

I decided to lift a note from Taoism by calling these Paths (Tao means "way" or "path") to Reading Challenge Enlightenment:

1. The Bare Bones Path (Also Know As: The *Technically* There's Only Three Path): Read something about what are *technically* the only world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.  (These are considered, by some scholars, to be the only World Religions because while Judaism and Hinduism have the numbers, they don't proselytize or really invite other people to join, making it more of an ethnicity).

2. The Penthouse Path (Also Known As: The Five Biggies Path): Read something about the five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

3. The Universalist Path (Also Known As: The Above and Beyond Path): Read something by all five of the major world religions PLUS more books about any or all of the following: Shintoism, Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wicca, Mythology, Atheism, Occult, Tribal Religions, Voodoo, Unitarianism, Baha'i, Cults, Scientology, Mysticism, Rastafarianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Satanism, Manichaeism, Deism, Comparative Religion, Religious Philosophy, Jungiansim,  Symbolism, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., etc. etc. (you may also read about another aspect of one of the 5 Biggies)

4. The Unshepherded Path (Also Known As: The Don't Tell Me What to Do Path): Read as many books as you would like about whatever religions you want.

What to read?  

religious texts

and if your eyeballs are ready to fall out of your skull: 
watch a movie
see a play
listen to some music 
attend a service
celebrate a holiday 
perform a ritual
open the door when Jehovah's Witnesses come to call

Need some inspiration?  Do the following:

Go to this post on my blog, and see where it is tagged "religion?" Click on the tag and it will take you to all of the myriad books I've tagged as "religion".  In the next month and a half, I'm going to try to review a lot of other books I've previously read so as to add to the list.

Go to the bookstore, and browse around

Look up religions on Wikipedia

Ask me for advice

Steal from other participants' lists

Audio books and cross-overs from other challenges are encouraged.  

Do you have to have a blog to join?  Of course not!  I'd be happy to post on here for you...or you can just leave a comment with the book you read.

Soo...Go make your lists!


  1. Definitely count me in. Will look around for books for my list.

  2. Given my two Religious Studies degrees, I shouldn't even have to go to a library to find lots of books relating to this. So hurray! If I can possibly manage it, I'm in.

    Phyl from Bookishgal (since this blog won't let me actually sign this comment with that blog ID)

  3. Oh, J.T.! You know my heart! You know I wanted The Unsheparded Path didn't you? You just rock, my friend. I am SO going to do this one. I love it.

  4. I haven't made my list yet, but I'm going for the Unsheperded Path, so I guess I don't have to!

  5. This looks like a great challenge, I haven't made my list as yet, I am trying to decide whether to go the Penthouse or the Universalist Path.

  6. J.T.
    What a great challenge. I am so looking forward to everyone's input.

    I have signed up for the unshepherded path...and its now live on my blog. Hopefully it will entice some others to do the same.

  7. What a great idea! I love learning about this stuff. I'm doing the unshepherded path.

  8. Thanks for this - I am currently traveling in India and am very aware of how little I know about World Religions! This came at a perfect time for me. I will be unsheparded through this one!

  9. Totally unsheparded and completely enthusiastic.

  10. I FINALLY got my sign up post done! I'm in Mr. Linky!

    Thanks for this great challenge =O)

  11. Not sure if we are supposed to post links to our reviews here but here is my review of Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks

  12. Since I always have a bookmark in at least one and often many on this this theme I can't pass this up. And since I've been reading in comparative Religion/Mythology for two decades I'm already well traveled on the first three paths so will choose to be Unshepherded.

  13. My name above (#47) links to my reviews on New York Journal of Books.
    David Cooper