Are you looking for a new book to teach world religions and the comparative study of religions? Then I recommend checking out Jeffrey Kripal's new textbook just published by Wiley. Comparing Religions is not the usual presentation of the world's religions in their own trenches, chapter by chapter, although Professor Kripal does cover the main dimensions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Sikhism, and Confucianism.
Rather this book breaks out of the trenches and begins with a serious discussion of what the comparative process is (or should be). Then it proceeds to talk about the stuff of religion that really makes up religion but which we rarely talk about. Think stories and mythic performances, the Super Natural in a scientific world, charisma and miracle, consciousness and soul bodies, the religious imagination and the paranormal, sex and transgression, exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism, reductionism, religion and violence, religion and human evolution. And you can begin to imagine this book.
Professor Kripal is at his very best in this exceptional introduction to the study of religion. After a self-reflexive journey through the religious realms of myth, ritual, nature, science, sex, charisma, soul, salvation, and the imagination and its paranormal powers, we are guided to put it all back together with an eye to religious tolerance, freedom, and pluralism. This book is the red pill. Ingest it and you will be enlightened.