Introductory Lectures on Religious Philosophy
by Amir Sabzevary, Ph.D.
MSI Press, LLC

"Because at our very core, we are lonely, isolated human beings who have to figure out what it is that makes us come to life."

Sabzevary’s work is essentially a transcription of lectures he gave over a summer semester in 2017. He delves into questions regarding what education truly means, who is ready to receive education, and who can educate another. These questions are asked and answered within the contexts of different religions, including, but not limited to, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Unlike many collegiate discussions on religion and philosophy, Sabzevary's lectures use everyday language and examples in order to simplify the information being shared and put the complex discussions in a format understandable by all. The lectures were open to anyone, not just those enrolled in the class, and they take the form of a question and answer session reminiscent of ancient dialogues. Sabzevary uses a basic set of principals guiding human wants and needs assigned to the levels of iron, bronze, silver, and gold.

Conversational in style, the lectures are easy to read and comprehend. Tackling the difficult task of taking several Eastern religions and packaging them in a manner understandable to a Western audience, Sabzevary uses a light-hearted style, which, rather naturally, defuses the ethereal quality of religious dialogue and insight. On occasion, Sabzevary’s examples take on odd, slightly off-putting sexual themes, and his illustrative stories can change subjects and go in directions the original discussion wasn’t headed. However, most examples successfully illustrate the concept he is discussing in a manner beneficial to the listener, and thus, in turn, to the reader. Someone who picks up the book with the idea that the answers to life’s big questions will be found within will likely come away disappointed. However, the astute reader will realize that the actual pursuit goes beyond the search for “the answer.” Rather, it is the acceptance of the mystery and the search that matter, and the ability to ask the right questions at the right time of the right person.

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