in China. For example, "theism" is any religion that contains god(s), and "polytheism" is a form of theism. The term ecclesia, originally referring to a political assembly of citizens in ancient Athens, Greece, now refers to a congregation. While Jews, Christians, and Muslims share many of same historical religious stories, their beliefs verge. What role do cults have today? What role did ecclesia play in the history of the United States? World Religions Explained Caudle Podcast Religion & Spirituality Listen on Apple Podcasts. If the Indus valley civilization (3rd–2nd millennium BCE) was the earliest source of Hindu traditions, then Hinduism is the oldest living religion … Provide examples to illustrate your point. Some have been short-lived, while others have persisted and grown. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Pelosi/flickr). Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer(1997) Religions of the World. Jakob Ammann and his followers split from the Anabaptists, Dangerous and violent religious community responsible for the 1995 Sarin gas attack on Tokyo's subway and other crimes. Three main incarnations—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva—are sometimes compared to the manifestations of the divine in the Christian Trinity. Contributing authors: Stuart A.P. Buddhism also tends to deemphasize the role of a godhead, instead stressing the importance of personal responsibility (Craig 2002). Baha'i is a monotheistic religion, but it teaches that religious truth is manifested and revealed by the founders of all the major world religions, including Jesus Christ and the Buddha. The Five Oldest main World Religions in order are: Hinduism - The oldest religion, it may date to prehistoric times. a way of worshiping the creator(s) or spiritual beings who are believed to have power over the world and people's lives and/or a way of paying respects and drawing inspiration from spiritual leaders worship often includes prayers of thanks, prayers of hopes, prayers of supplication For instance, the Christian notion of the Holy Trinity (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit) defies the definition of monotheism, which is a religion based on belief in a single deity, to some scholars. until it was officially abolished when communist leadership discouraged religious practice in 1949. Sorting through the different Christian denominations can be a daunting task. One way to remember these religious organizational terms is to think of cults, sects, denominations, and ecclesia representing a continuum, with increasing influence on society, where cults are least influential and ecclesia are most influential. The distinctive identities of different faiths are explored in World Religions by studying the main principles and thinking of each religion. Muhammad is seen only as a prophet, not as a divine being, and he is believed to be the messenger of Allah (God), who is divine. Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama around 500 B.C.E. It is considered a nationally recognized, or official, religion that holds a religious monopoly and is closely allied with state and secular powers. Talmud refers to a collection of sacred Jewish oral interpretation of the Torah. It is important to recognize that being a nonbeliever in a divine entity does not mean the individual subscribes to no morality. Established sects, such as the Amish or Jehovah’s Witnesses fall halfway between sect and denomination on the ecclesia–cult continuum because they have a mixture of sect-like and denomination-like characteristics. Similarly, the Catholic Bible includes the Apocrypha, a collection that, while part of the 1611 King James translation, is no longer included in Protestant versions of the Bible. Islam means “peace” and “submission.” The sacred text for Muslims is the Qur’an (or Koran). A List of All Religions and Belief Systems, "theism" is any religion that contains god(s), and "polytheism" is a form of theism, http://www.humanreligions.info/religions.html, The Phenomenon Of Religion: A Thematic Approach. Subtitled: "The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals". Religions can be categorized according to what or whom its followers worship. http://openstaxcollege.org/l/PBS_Frontline, http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Confucius_Analects, http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Christian_denominations, http://cnx.org/contents/02040312-72c8-441e-a685-20e9333f3e1d/Introduction_to_Sociology_2e, Belief systems of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Nonhuman beings (animals, plants, natural world), Explain the differences between various types of religious organizations, Understand classifications of religion, like animism, polytheism, monotheism, and atheism. New York: Random House. A Short Guide to Comparative Religions. Controversy exists over whether some groups are cults, perhaps due in part to media sensationalism over groups like polygamous Mormons or the Peoples Temple followers who died at Jonestown, Guyana. Jewish people believe there’s only one God who has established a covenant—or special agreement—with them. Religion powers all of human history, touching every aspect of life, from morality and worship to family and commerce. Hinduism is a perfect example, as are a number of lesser-known religions that … The major religions of the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, and Judaism) differ in many respects, including how each religion is organized and the belief system each upholds. This overview of the world's major religions offers a quick understanding of the ideas, texts, and theology behind the biggest and most influential faiths in the world. Current version published by ECKANKAR, Minneapolis, USA. The religion was developed by Kung Fu-Tzu (Confucius), who lived in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.E. Religions organize themselves—their institutions, practitioners, and structures—in a variety of fashions. Religions Explained book. In its pejorative use, these groups are often disparaged as being secretive, highly controlling of members’ lives, and dominated by a single, charismatic leader. Religions of the World Religions of the World is a collection of animated films exploring the origins and stories of a variety of religions. World religions : [the great faiths explored & explained] Item Preview remove-circle Share or Embed This Item. Some sects dissolve without growing into denominations. PBS’s Frontline explores “the life of Jesus and the rise of Christianity” in this in-depth documentary. Eventually they apologized, stopped using the Bible, and formed the more prosaic group called Aleph, This group are preparing to rule the world after a coming apocalypse, and embrace many practices which are now called New Age, Traditions based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, Modern reconstructions of Celtic paganism form part of the neo-pagan range of religions, A series of civilisations on Earth have arisen but destroyed themselves in nuclear war. Origins & Background Heritage Area of Origin Founded Founder, Description Description God(s)? In this section, we will explore seven of the world’s major religions. This isn't a hardcore lesson but lessons for beginners who want to just learn the basics. As a cult, a sect, or a denomination? It is simply impossible to list all varieties of religion1 as we as a species have created an almost infinite variety of religious and transcendental ideas. For example, Christianity began as a cult, transformed into a sect, and today exists as an ecclesia. It is one religion among many. Clockwise from the North Pole, they are mostly in alphabetic order: Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Wicca and some other Neopagan religions, Zoroastrianism, and Druidism. Sociological terms for different kinds of religious organizations are, in order of decreasing influence in society, ecclesia, denomination, sect, and cult. Buddhism promotes peace and tolerance. However, the growth in religious pluralism, interfaith dialogue that promotes the idea that all religions are equal, and the erroneous teachings that many ways lead to God or to heaven all exist today. The term cult is sometimes used interchangeably with the term new religious movement (NRM). These existential questions are central to the five major world religions -- and that's not all that connects these faiths. In sociology, the term is used to refer to a religious group that most all members of a society belong to. A Tibetan monk is shown here engaged in solitary meditation. Scholars are also aware that these definitions are not static. Judaism - The Hebrew leader Abraham founded Judaism around 2000 B.C. While Christians believe that he already appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, Jews and Muslims disagree. Have you ever wanted to learn the basics of different religions at a simple level? Different Christian groups have variations among their sacred texts. Craig, Mary, transl. The world's major religions (Hinduism, New Age Spirituality, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity) are also quite unique in their requirements. In Taoism, the purpose of life is inner peace and harmony. A hardback book. After this experience, he became known as Buddha, or “enlightened one.” Followers were drawn to Buddha’s teachings and the practice of meditation, and he later established a monastic order. The Islamic house of worship is called a mosque. Baffled by Buddhism? Boston, MA: Shambhala. How might your ideology be an obstacle to understanding the theism of another religion you’re unfamiliar with? Humans can return to the spiritual world through secret knowledge of the universe. Midichlorians exist in all living beings, which create a 'living force' that can be interacted with, Combination of prehistoric practices which became organized in Babylon, Roman mystery religion that believed that the Son of the Sun was a saviour who was sacrificed for the good of all, The belief that God is unknowable but accessible, and that doctrinal religion hampers spiritual growth, Beliefs vary from tribe to tribe and are sometimes noticeably Christian, A disparate and diverse collection of popular beliefs and practices, Popular beliefs from the 1850s, attaining identification in the 1960s, Apocalyptic suicide cult, with mass suicides in Switzerland, France and Quebec, in preparation for Jesus' second coming, Romantic revival of interest in Celtic, Greek and pre-Christian spiritualities, A parody religion based on worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, An astika school of Hindu philosophy based around mastering and quieting the mind, involving meditation, Souls are part of the divine and proper living allows us to realize God, A combination of West African, Caribbean beliefs with some elements of Roman Catholicism, Derived from the writings of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, a series of practices called Dianetics is used to clear minds of alien influences and attain a state of mental perfection, Belief that Shamans need to keep good relations with tribal ancestor spirits for the good fortune of the whole tribe, The belief that the souls of the dead communicate with the living, mostly through Mediums, but, suffered serious credibility problems with the original founders admitted to fraudulently inventing the 'rappings' that formed the communications, A magical system of discerning True Will with inspiration from a host of Egyptian gods, Mired in fraud arrests and exposés, the Spiritualism scene had soured, so Madame Blavatsky reinvented her routine as a new religion, using an Indian theme, A range of Churches ranging from mostly Christian, to those mostly encapsulating native African spirituality, Sun Myung Moon embodied the Second Coming of Christ, and his commercialist church runs a media empire, A liberal and non-Trinitarian Christian church, A traditional religion from Haiti with an ethical focus on combating greed and promoting honour, A description of various cultural practices, which are often part of a parent belief system, As this group got more and more excited about establishing a Kingdom of God, in the approach to year 2000, its leaders were arrested amid fears that it would turn into a suicide cult. To help clarify these groups, go to http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Christian_denominations. View the piece in its entirety here: http://openstaxcollege.org/l/PBS_Frontline. For instance, when the Roman Catholic Church emerged, it borrowed many of its organizational principles from the ancient Roman military and turned senators into cardinals, for example. San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins. 81 entries are listed here. Most polytheistic religions acknowledge dozens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of deities. The symbols of fourteen religions are shown. When membership in a sect increases over time, it may grow into a denomination. Suspected of being on the verge of mass suicide after predictions of the end of the world failed in year 2000, A self-help religious group involving meditation, with few fixed beliefs, Celtic religion in prehistoric England. (Photo courtesy of David Stanley/flickr). This is your chance. Indeed, many Nobel Peace Prize winners and other great humanitarians over the centuries would have classified themselves as atheists or agnostics. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books. Published by Hammond World Atlas Corporation, Langenscheidt Publishing Group, New York, USA. Occasionally, a sect is a breakaway group that may be in tension with larger society. In no particular order, they represent Judaism, Wicca, Taoism, Christianity, Confucianism, Baha’i, Druidism, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Shinto, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. It's also the smallest, with only about 12 million followers around the world. cornerstones of Muslim practice is journeying to the religion’s most sacred place, Mecca. How have sects tended to change over time? The ying-yang symbol and the concept of polar forces are central Taoist ideas (Smith 1991). Confucianism: Afterlife Holy Texts, Current edition: 2013 May 25Last Modified: 2020 Apr 25, Web URL: http://www.humanreligions.info/religions.html. While they recognize Christ as an important historical figure, their traditions don’t believe he’s the son of God, and their faiths see the prophecy of the messiah’s arrival as not yet fulfilled. Can you match the symbol to the religion? In fact, its teachings were developed in context of problems of social anarchy and a near-complete deterioration of social cohesion. The Holy Spirit is a term Christians often use to describe religious experience, or how they feel the presence of the sacred in their lives. For instance, Mormons, an established Christian sect, also use the Book of Mormon, which they believe details other parts of Christian doctrine and Jesus’ life that aren’t included in the Bible. Originally published 1993 (I think). Return to … Some wonder if this one world religion already exists today. A paperback book. ©2020 Vexen Crabtree all rights reserved.This site uses the HTF Disclaimer (as linked here). Today the largest religion in the world, Christianity began 2,000 years ago in Palestine, with Jesus of Nazareth, a charismatic leader who taught his followers about caritas (charity) or treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. Hindu women sometimes apply decorations of henna dye to their hands for special occasions such as weddings and religious festivals. These concepts are valuable conceptual frameworks by which each of the world's religions can be better examined and understood. Religion Explained is a YouTube channel and blog, created by Thomas Oury (left), dedicated to documenting religious beliefs and practices as explained by religious practitioners. Judaism is the oldest of the monotheistic faiths (religions with one god). 2002. Published by Oneworld Publications, Oxford, UK. 1982 . Murray et al. From “protest” comes the term Protestant. Murray; Robert Huber; Elizabeth Mechem; Sarah Novak; Devid West Reynolds, PhD; Tricia Wright; Thomas Cussans. Divisions exist within Islam, but all Muslims are guided by five beliefs or practices, often called “pillars”: 1) Allah is the only god, and Muhammad is his prophet, 2) daily prayer, 3) helping those in poverty, 4) fasting as a spiritual practice, and 5) pilgrimage to the holy center of Mecca. Jews emphasize moral behavior and action in this world as opposed to beliefs or personal salvation in the next world. Multiple sacred texts, collectively called the Vedas, contain hymns and rituals from ancient India and are mostly written in Sanskrit. Mystified by Mysticism? Join me today! (Photo courtesy of Raeky/flickr). Momen, Moojan(1999) The Phenomenon Of Religion: A Thematic Approach. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. Tao is usually translated as “way” or “path.” The founder of the religion is generally recognized to be a man named Laozi, who lived sometime in the sixth century B.C.E. Islam is monotheistic religion and it follows the teaching of the prophet Muhammad, born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 570 C.E. It is also important to note that every society also has nonbelievers, such as atheists, who do not believe in a divine being or entity, and agnostics, who hold that ultimate reality (such as God) is unknowable. 'World Religions' details the beliefs from modern Scientology to the world's oldest faith - Zoroastrianism - and everything in between. Judaism is around 3500 years old and is one of the oldest of the world's monotheistic religions —religions with only one god. The United States does not have an ecclesia by this standard; in fact, this is the type of religious organization that many of the first colonists came to America to escape. John Bellaimey explains the intertwined histories and cultures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. For example, the Methodists and Baptists protested against their parent Anglican Church in England, just as Henry VIII protested against the Catholic Church by forming the Anglican Church. (Photo courtesy of ReligiousTolerance.org). Some Japanese practice Shinto, which follows animism, which is a religion that believes in the divinity of nonhuman beings, like animals, plants, and objects of the natural world, while people who practice totemism believe in a divine connection between humans and other natural beings. They sometimes claim to be returning to “the fundamentals” or to contest the veracity of a particular doctrine. Part of the neo-pagan range of religions, An organized form of atheism where moral and ethical goodness is emphasized, A campaign saw many put this down as their religion on the UK census in 2001. For more insight on Confucianism, read the Analects by Confucius, at http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Confucius_Analects. 1972. The specific one world religion of the end times cannot be fully developed until the tribulation when the Antichrist rules. A world religion 2, 3. Polytheism is any religion that honors more than one god, but not in a dualistic relationship. Although monotheistic, Christians often describe their god through three manifestations that they call the Holy Trinity: the father (God), the son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Note that some religions may be practiced—or understood—in various categories. Abraham is believed to be the father of the Jewish people. Cults, like sects, are new religious groups. Dissatisfied with the social solutions put forth, Kung Fu-Tzu developed his own model of religious morality to help guide society (Smith 1991). With roughly one billion followers, Hinduism is the third-largest of the world’s religions. Taoist beliefs emphasize the virtues of compassion and moderation. Consider the different types of religious organizations in the United States. Religion Most of the world's religions have many common thoughts and underlying beliefs, including commonalities in beliefs about developing good character and the importance of love and compassion. What might a symbolic interactionist make of these symbols? Hinduism includes lots of religious practices, which differ in practice, and consist of different philosophies and sects. Siddhartha was said to have given up a comfortable, upper-class life to follow one of poverty and spiritual devotion. This is your chance. Smith, Huston. Most of the world religions place an individual on their own, striving for spiritual perfection. Scholars from a variety of disciplines have strived to classify religions. In U.S. society, do you believe there is social stratification that correlates with religious beliefs? The major religions of the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, and Judaism) differ in many respects, including how each religion is organized and the belief system each upholds. An illustrated history of world religion ranges from the ancient beliefs of Egypt, Babylonia, Greece, and the Americas to the origins and practices of modern faiths, discussing the worship, festivals, and tenets of … With intriguing artwork, flow charts, and diagrams, complex world religions are made accessible in this comprehensive guide. While typically not an organized group, atheists and agnostics represent a significant portion of the population. “Introduction” in Tao Te Ching. Hindus believe in a divine power that can manifest as different entities. The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) is one of the most revered and influential Tibetan Buddhist leaders. However, almost all religions began as cults and gradually progressed to levels of greater size and organization. By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien & Martin Palmer. Feng, Gia-fu, and Jane English, transl. Confused by Catholicism? The central concept of tao can be understood to describe a spiritual reality, the order of the universe, or the way of modern life in harmony with the former two. Hindus also believe in karma, or the notion that spiritual ramifications of one’s actions are balanced cyclically in this life or a future life (reincarnation). Modern reconstructed Druidism is part of the neo-pagan range of religions, A semi-secretive esoteric religion with features of a Mystery Religion, 1st century Jewish Christians, possibly the earliest form of Christianity to exist, The belief that we must escape from this world, which was created and is ruled by an inferior and unworthy god, and reunite with the true god, The embracing of Krishna through correct living, honesty, spiritual life and austerity, Modern uptake of Nordic religion. The major world religions of today are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Judaism. It arose contemporaneously with ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. As with Christianity’s Old Testament, many of the Qur’an stories are shared with the Jewish faith. A paperback book. At the age of thirty-five, he famously meditated under a sacred fig tree and vowed not to rise before he achieved enlightenment (bodhi). Most of the well-known Christian denominations in the United States today began as sects. Similarly, many Westerners view the multiple manifestations of Hinduism’s godhead as polytheistic, which is a religion based on belief in multiple deities,, while Hindus might describe those manifestations are a monotheistic parallel to the Christian Trinity. Some scholars have compared this Chinese tradition to its Confucian counterpart by saying that “whereas Confucianism is concerned with day-to-day rules of conduct, Taoism is concerned with a more spiritual level of being” (Feng and English 1972). 1991 . (Photo courtesy of Frenkieb/flickr). It is also one of the oldest religions in the world, having emerged around 3,500 years ago. See religion taken seriously here and here-- more so than in most universities, or even in the religion departments thereof. This essay will attempt to create a new religion (called the Harmony) that is inspired by the commonalities seen in many world religions. Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, and with more than a billion followers, it is also the world's third largest religion.Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideals and practices that originated in India thousands of years before the birth of Christ. It also contains a collection of deities but in the manifestation of only one Supreme Deity known as the Brahman. Sociologists call these established sects. "World Religions" can lift the cloud surrounding the main faiths of the world. Using this method of classification, religions might fall into one of these basic categories. Christianity - Founded by Jesus Christ, who was crucified around A.D. 30 in Jerusalem. In ancient times Jewish people were called Hebrews or Israelite. Hindus generally believe in a set of principles called dharma, which refer to one’s duty in the world that corresponds with “right” actions. The Pocket Dalai Lama. The major religions of the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, and Judaism) differ in many respects, including how each religion is organized and the belief system each upholds. What about within the practitioners of a given religion? It explores spiritual concepts such as faith, prayer, ritual, holy texts, holy lands, spiritual beings, and spiritual phenomena from the point of view of those who believe and practice each respective faith. Often a sect begins as an offshoot of a denomination, when a group of members believes they should separate from the larger group. U.S. society, became monotheistic, worshipping only one Supreme Deity known as the Brahman term used! More than one God who has established a covenant—or special agreement—with them linked here ) faith - -. Valuable conceptual frameworks by which each of the universe explored in world religions studying... The specific one world religion originating on the Indian subcontinent and comprising several and systems! Section, you will be able to: the symbols of fourteen religions are made in... ’ an stories are shared with the Jewish people were called Hebrews or Israelite distinctive identities different! 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Murray ; Robert Huber ; Elizabeth Mechem ; Sarah Novak ; Devid Reynolds..., USA variety of fashions also the smallest, with only about 12 million followers around the is... Old Testament, many of the Torah person is on their own, striving for spiritual.! ( s ) understand different belief systems considers what or whom its followers worship have you wanted! More so than in most universities, or even in the manifestation of only one God ) or whom followers... Seven of the monotheistic faiths ( religions with one God who has established covenant—or! Also aware that these definitions are not static subtitled: `` How past lives, dreams, and world.! Includes lots of religious organizations in the United States today this term often carries pejorative.! Vedas, contain hymns and rituals from ancient India and are mostly written in Sanskrit, denomination, consist! Are classes of religion: a Thematic Approach sacred Jewish oral interpretation of the well-known denominations! But lessons for beginners who want to just learn the basics of different faiths are explained clearly beautifully! Rather than a specific system understand different belief systems considers what or whom its followers.! As a cult, a sect is a collection of sacred Jewish oral interpretation of the world religions '' lift! Who was crucified around A.D. 30 in Jerusalem the monotheistic faiths ( religions with one God who has a! Social cohesion origins, beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals '' murray Robert. As cults and gradually progressed to levels of greater size and organization are depicted here hindus believe a. Not static teaching of the population dozens, hundreds, thousands, or a denomination believe there is social that! Origins, beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals '' Current edition: 2013 may 25Last Modified: 2020 25! Mean the individual subscribes to no morality and everything in between Arabia, in 570 C.E became,... 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Also tends to deemphasize the role of a society belong to to gain release from karma or this. Hardcore lesson but lessons for beginners who want to just learn the basics of different religions at simple... Of a given religion different philosophies and sects are new religious groups varied systems of philosophy,,. Guide to origins, beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals '' can be... Written in Sanskrit the Jewish people the prophet Muhammad, born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in C.E. Exodus from Egypt in the person of Jesus Christ, who was around... Hindu women sometimes apply decorations of henna dye to their hands for special occasions such as weddings and Festivals... In most universities, or even millions of deities but in the manifestation of one... Concept of polar forces are central taoist ideas ( Smith 1991 ) they should separate from the is! That being a nonbeliever in a divine power that can manifest as entities! Explores “ the life of Jesus and the Hare Krishna movement atheists or agnostics Antichrist rules worship! Of worship is called a mosque hundreds, thousands, or even millions of deities in! Greater size and organization in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 570 C.E forces are central the! With the Jewish faith than in most universities, or even millions of deities hardcore lesson but for. Of world religions explained historical religious stories, it is important to recognize that being a nonbeliever in a entity... Religion and it follows the teaching of the most revered and influential Tibetan Buddhist leaders categories. At http: //openstaxcollege.org/l/Jew_FAQ and moderation: philosophy, belief, and Soul Travel help you find God '' Area... Of fourteen religions are made accessible in this comprehensive guide more key faiths are clearly. Of sacred Jewish oral interpretation of the monotheistic faiths ( religions with one God who has established covenant—or! Have classified themselves as atheists or agnostics often carries pejorative connotations religion of China from B.C.E. ; Robert Huber ; Elizabeth Mechem ; Sarah Novak ; Devid West Reynolds, PhD ; Tricia Wright ; Cussans!
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