The great transformation : the beginning of our religious traditions, by Karen Armstrong, examines the growth of religious practices in four regions of Europe and Asia: Greece, Israel, India, and China.
The book is dense, and no wonder. She's moving through 1000 years of history, philosophy, religion, and cultural anthropology for four separate regions of the world. But the book is so well-written that it makes it very accessible. This is a book that is simply overflowing with information, and I learned something new on every page.
It makes for a fascinating read. The last chapter is absolutely fantastic, and pulls it all together, and puts it in context for the modern age.