The so-called Atheist is often a widely read, pious, and thoughtful man, who has cast aside as absurd the so-called "Religions," and even the theory of the Theist, as untenable. He sees no solution in terms of human consciousness for any questions as to god-worship; and he finds even a statement of the problem of god-hood quite beyond utterance, or thought. It seems to him a setting out to find what you know not, through a process that you cannot grasp...
This 1906 classic of comparative literature, hard to find in print today, was the first English-language project to approach the world's religions from an anthropological perspective. The work of thirty years for Scottish author JAMES G. R. FORLONG (1824-1904), it was originally published under the now-antiquated title A Cyclopedia of Religions and produced at the author's own expense, so strongly did he feel about the need for it despite the reluctance of the publishing houses of the day to produce it.
A road engineer by trade, Forlong traveled the world, learning seven languages and becoming an avid amateur student of native culture-his labor of love was gathering, in this three-volume set, a comprehensive, academic knowledge of the totality of human religious belief.
Volume I: A-D includes entries on such gods, peoples, places, practices, symbols, and concepts as:
. Adamites, ambrosia, and Aphrodite
. baptism, Bast, and bean
. China, Christmas, and conscience
. Dagon, dead, and Dhamma-pada
. and much more.