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A Spectator’s Guide to Worldviews: Ten ways of understanding life

Blue Bottle Books
RRP $24.95

A Spectator’s Guide to Worldviews provides a challenging introduction to various ways of looking at the world.

A worldview is the framework or fundamental belief that shapes how we understand the world around us and the picture of our ideal world.

The guide achieves its aim of presenting a balanced view of each ‘–ism’ that it analyses, including postmodernism, consumerism and feminism, while dedicating space to how each philosophy compares and contrasts with Christianity.

These comparisons, along with the discussion questions at the end of each chapter, make this book a valuable tool for anyone wishing to grapple with how different people approach life.

It also encourages the reader to critically examine their own presuppositions and philosophies.

The questions make A Spectator’s Guide to Worldviews prime material to read alongside someone else and explore your worldviews together.

Another part of this publication that could be used for discussion is the narrative sections and interviews, however these sections are not introduced in any way and have no starter questions, disrupting the flow of the text and bewildering the reader.

Callouts and sidelines are seemingly used with abandon but whether they add or subtract from the text depends on the preference of the reader.

The content of each individual chapter however is well laid out, guiding the reader through the history of each worldview, its main proponents and the influence it has had on the world, leaving any judgement call about the consistency, relevance or accuracy of any particular worldview to the reader.

This scrutiny is encouraged by all the authors.

Overall, A Spectator’s Guide to Worldviews is a thinking person’s summary of the many answers given to the question, “What’s life all about anyway?”

Reviewed by Stephen Rae, secretary of Holland Park St David’s Uniting Church