Accessible Religious Texts

Forlong was career British military - yet a prolific author. A few of his works -

I did a bit of browsing, and some free samples popped up. Bits I read seemed very well written and more importantly, neutral. He had a long alphabetical listing of groups. I assume he was a well travelled military man with a keen interest in the natives of every place he visited.
I think you are correct Senthil - Forlong rose through the military ranks and attained the rank of general. He spent 33 years in India during active career studying native customs, beliefs and philosophy. He also spent time in Egypt, Palestine, Greece, Italy and Spain continuing his study. He spoke seven languages. As an author his wish was to present to his fellow countrymen facts from which they might be able to draw more intelligent conclusions than the natural conclusions of the ill informed.
In the conclusion of Clarke's book ....
"As long as a tree or an animal lives it continues to grow. An arrest of growth is the first symptom of the decline of life. Fulness of life, therefore, as the essential character of Christianity, should produce a constant development and progress; and this we find to be the case. Other religions have their rise, progress, decline, and fall, or else are arrested and become stationary. The religions of Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Scandinavia, have come to an end. As ethnic religions, they shared the fortunes of the race or nation with which they were associated. The systems of Confucius, of the Buddha, of Brahmanism, of Judæa, of Mohammed, are arrested. They remain stationary. But, thus far, Christianity and Christendom advance together. Christianity has developed; out of its primitive faith, several great theologies, the mediæval Papacy, Protestantism, and is now evidently advancing into new and larger forms of religious, moral, and social activity."

Decide for yourself if the tone and content are biased or not.
Thanks, Nicholas. I think my colleague might really like Ellwood's work as it falls in the more traditional textbook vein that she's used to.
One caveat concerning Judaism: if you have ten men, you have a shul; if you have eleven men, you have two shuls ; if you have twelve men, you have thirty shuls .

It's a shame that I don't have bananabrain's contact info anymore. He is/was the halachic (sp?) expert/my "go to" person for questions about Judaism. *shrug*

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
Ninian Smart: The World's Religions.

Useful textbook for teenagers. Very wordy, but a few nice diagrams. The updated version contains info on African religions and includes women priests, too.
I had a department meeting yesterday and learned that my colleague chose Many Peoples, Many Faiths. So, she was of the same thinking as Nicholas, although she seemed confused when I asked if she chose the book based on my (his) recommendation. She apparently either forgot we talked or didn't want to make it look like she was unsure of the topic in front of the other teachers. In all honesty, I'm shocked she selected a book that was published within the last decade. The real question will be how effectively she uses that textbook or if she just teaches her antiquated views. I'm sure I'll have updates as the term progresses and she frustrates me with how little interfaith discussions she's including.

Thanks to everyone who responded with book/article/website/project suggestions!
I say she is gonna step upto the plate and impress ya!!

I would love for that to be the case, wil. It would make me less bitter about not being selected to teach the class and I'll feel a lot better that the students are actually being taught about the history, functionality, beliefs, and integration of religious systems, not just what this woman learned 50 years ago at her evangelical school.
I just had to look that book up on Amazon....after all I am in the book is quite expensive and only has 3 ratings....hmm..I am sure there are some books that are more widely known and better read and written, not to mention, cheaper!