A knowledgeable and appreciative study of the major religions and their minor but not negligible offshoots which in its thoroughness is unique for young adult readers. Part One considers the religious originating in the Far East--Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, Shinto; Part Two, those which began in the Near East--Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Very roughly, each section covers origin, fundamental beliefs, doctrinal formulations and divergences, history, and present situation. Within each, the emphasis and the effect varies--and whereas Dr. Voss is a dependable guide along the ways, paths and steps of Eastern mysticism, and particularly acute on the political/national character of Japanese Shinto, he is an impressive interpreter of Judaism and Christianity; these chapters could stand alone for their sensitivity to a coalescing creed and their forthrightness about current conditions. A final summing-up acknowledges the influence of existentialism and the ""Death of God"" movement. For serious students, there's an extensive, up-to-date adult reading list that librarians may find useful apart from the text. Far more mature than Gaer or Ansley and also more valid, this both complements and supplements Katharine Savage's Story of World Religions (1966, 1187, J-405), which is essentially a history rather than a study, and inherently less attuned to nuances.