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Dr. Marvin Olasky

Author of The Religions Next Door:

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Dr. Marvin Olasky's Bio:
During his nearly six years of teaching comparative religion at the University of Texas at Austin, Professor Marvin Olasky noticed an alarming trend: he couldnít find a book that accurately and reliably studied Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.

So he decided to write one himself.

In November, Broadman & Holman published Olaskyís "The Religions Next Door: What we need to know about Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam - and what reporters are missing."

The book, written for journalists, students and general readers alike, takes an in-depth look at the foundational beliefs of four major religions and presents Olaskyís own encounters and evaluations of them. The journalism professorís perceptions are unique in that he, himself, has experienced the appeal and specifics of three very different religions.

"My experience in Judaism, atheism and Christianity means I have some sense of how people consciously change religions," Olasky explained. "Learning about religion as an adult is something I have personal experience in."

The author grew up in a Jewish household, became an atheist and member of the Communist party as a young adult, and then embraced Christianity after a quiet three-year process that included study of a Russian New Testament and old Puritan sermons.

His life experience helped Olasky write his latest book, but more importantly, he said, he was able to write the book because he takes the topic seriously. It is a trait he works to instill in his students, and one he fears many religion reporters do not possess.

-- LifeWay Christian Resources

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