There are a lot of great and admirable religious leaders. Gandhi. Some other guys.

But there are also a lot of bad ones.

Did you ever want to have a place to look up who these dudes are (and most, but not all, are dudes)? This may be especially helpful if you find yourself in conversations with people about the role of religion in moral guidance. No matter how valuable religion might be, for some, in this area (and it is a rather questionable assertion to begin with) if the leaders of various religions are responsible for grand acts of malice, hatred, social disruption, genocide, and more, it should be noted.

From the Inquisition to the Christian Coalition, many notable personalities have graced, as it were, society with their not very Christian behavior. In “God-Awful: The worst religious leaders of the Western World,” Roger Bauman has compiled a short list of just over 50 famous religious leaders who give humans a bad name. For each he supplies ample biographical information and makes the case for their disdain. Popes, Kings, explorers, advisors to Popes and Kings, and TV Evangelicals are all sampled. The nearly 400 page volume is detailed, well written, and in its own way, a very fun read.

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