Audiobook Review: A Little History of Religion by

A Little History of ReligionA Little History of Religion by Richard Holloway
Publisher: Audible Studios
Release Date: August 15, 2016
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

In an era of hardening religious attitudes and explosive religious violence, this book offers a welcome antidote. Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion—from the dawn of religious belief to the twenty-first century—with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy. Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young readers, he encourages curiosity and tolerance, accentuates nuance and mystery, and calmly restores a sense of the value of faith.
Ranging far beyond the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, Holloway also examines where religious belief comes from, the search for meaning throughout history, today’s fascinations with Scientology and creationism, religiously motivated violence, hostilities between religious people and secularists, and more. Holloway proves an empathic yet discerning guide to the enduring significance of faith and its power from ancient times to our own.

I found A Little History of Religion to be a pretty comprehensive guide to the world’s religions. Understandably, the three major religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – get more attention in the book. However, Holloway includes smaller religions as well, for example Jainism and Scientology.

The book isn’t organized by religion or chronologically exactly but the method Holloway uses makes perfect sense. He will write about one religion and then go into the spin-offs and evolutions of that religion. Then he’ll put that aside and move to another area of the world and what was going on there for a while before catching up with the first religion. I really liked this, especially since I listened to the audiobook. It kept it interesting to switch it up instead of having one long section for each religion.

Holloway writes in a conversational tone and even injects some dry humor throughout. The book contains great information without being too academic or dry. Holloway is Scottish and so is the narrator, James Bryce. I like it when the narrator has the same accent as the author. I’m not sure why – it makes it seem more authentic for some reason. Bryce’s delivery for the humorous lines was great.

This book was educational and entertaining. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to know more about the world’s religions and especially about how they have intersected with one another throughout history.

(I received a complementary copy of this book for review.)





  • S.G. Wright

    This sounds like a helpful book in understanding more about the various religions. I for one could improve my knowledge of the world’s religions. I took a class in college with a book like this, but now it’s sort of foggy. Thanks for the review.