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Religious symbols in clock-wise order:
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who simply called it a "cultural system". A critique of Geertz's model by [1 ] Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category". Many religions have [2 ] narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.
religion is sometimes used interchangeably with or faith , but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized belief system behaviors, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomina such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation. [3 ] [4 ]
studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, [5 ] social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been [6 ] applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct. Abrahamic religions [edit ]
A group of
monotheistic traditions sometimes grouped with one another for comparative purposes, because all refer to a patriarch named Abraham. Babism [edit ] Bahá'í Faith [edit ]
Bahá'í Faith Christianity [edit ]
Christianity Western Christianity
Protestantism Eastern Christianity Eastern Orthodox Church (Includes the Greek Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, and several other autocephalous churches and Patriarchates) Russian Orthodox Old Believers Eastern Orthodox Old Calendarists Oriental Orthodox (Includes the Armenian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox, as well as a portion of the St. Thomas Christians) Assyrian Church of the East Ancient Church of the East Eastern Catholics (In full communion with Rome, but retaining a diverse array of Eastern liturgical rites; including the Maronites and Chaldean Catholics) [edit ]
Some of these groups consider themselves to be Christian, or to be derived from Christianity, but they are considered heterodox or heretical by mainstream Christianity. Some of them are no longer extant.
Gnosticism [edit ]
Many Gnostic groups were closely related to early Christianity, for example, Valentinism.
Irenaeus of Lyons wrote polemics against them from the standpoint of the then-unified Catholic Church. [7 ]
The Yazidis are a syncretic Kurdish religion with a Gnostic influence:
Persian Gnosticism Syrian-Egyptic Gnosticism
None of these religions are still extant.
Neo-Gnostic Groups Islam [edit ] Kalam Schools Kharijite Shia Islam Sufism Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam Quraniyoon Black Muslims Ahmadiyya Other Islamic Groups Religions Related to Islam [edit ]
These religions are either descended from Sufi Islam, or consider themselves Islamic, but are regarded as heretical or heterodox by other Muslims.
Sufi and Shia Sects [edit ] Druze [edit ] Judaism and Related Religions [edit ] Rabbinic Judaism Karaite Judaism Samaritanism
Samaritans use a slightly different version of the
Pentateuch as their Torah, worshiping at Mount Gerizim instead of Jerusalem, and are possibly the descendants of the lost Northern Kingdom. They are definitely of ancient Israelite origin, but their status as Jews is disputed. [8 ]
Samaritanism Falasha or Beta Israel Modern Non-Rabbinic Judaism Historical groups Black Hebrew Israelites [edit ] Rastafari movement [edit ] Mandaeans and Sabians [edit ]
Sabians Shabakism [edit ]
Shabak people Indian religions [edit ]
Indian religions, also known as
Dharmic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism and religions and traditions related to, and descended from, them. Ayyavazhi [edit ] Bhakti movement [edit ] Buddhism [edit ] Din-i-Ilahi [edit ] Hinduism [edit ] Major schools and movements of Hindu philosophy Jainism [edit ] Meivazhi [edit ] Sikhi [edit ] Iranian religions [edit ] Manichaeism [edit ] Mazdakism [edit ] Mithraism [edit ] Yazdânism [edit ] Alevi (this is contested; most Alevi consider themselves to be Shia or Sufi Muslims, but a minority adhere to the Yazdani interpretation) Yarsani Yazidi Zoroastrianism / Parsi [edit ]
Zoroastrianism East Asian religions [edit ] Confucianism [edit ]
Confucianism Shinto [edit ] Taoism [edit ] Other [edit ] African diasporic religions [edit ]
African diasporic religions are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas among African slaves and their descendants in various countries of the Caribbean Islands and Latin America, as well as parts of the southern United States. They derive from
African traditional religions, especially of West and Central Africa, showing similarities to the Yoruba religion in particular. Indigenous traditional religions [edit ]
Traditionally, these faiths have all been classified "Pagan", but scholars prefer the terms "indigenous/primal/folk/ethnic religions".
African [edit ] West Africa Central Africa East Africa Southern Africa American [edit ] Eurasian [edit ] Asian European Oceania/Pacific [edit ] Cargo cults [edit ]
Cargo cults Historical polytheism [edit ] Ancient Near Eastern [edit ] Indo-European [edit ] Hellenistic [edit ] Uralic [edit ] Mysticism and Occult [edit ] Esotericism and mysticism [edit ]
Mysticism Occult and magic [edit ] Neopaganism [edit ] Syncretic [edit ] Ethnic [edit ] New religious movements [edit ] Creativity [edit ] New Thought [edit ]
New Thought Shinshukyo [edit ] Left-hand path religions [edit ] Fictional religions [edit ] Parody or mock religions [edit ] Others [edit ] Other categorisations [edit ] By demographics [edit ] By area [edit ] See also [edit ] References [edit ] ^ (Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System, 1973) ^ (Talal Asad, The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category, 1982.) ^ http://www.parapsych.org/base/about.aspx ^ http://iands.org/about-ndes/key-nde-facts.html ^ Harvey, Graham (2000). Indigenous Religions: A Companion. (Ed: Graham Harvey). London and New York: Cassell. Page 06. ^ Vergote, Antoine, Religion, belief and unbelief: a psychological study, Leuven University Press, 1997, p. 89 ^ http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/irenaeus.html ^ http://www.livius.org/saa-san/samaria/samaritans.htm ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1112. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0 ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1001. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0 ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 997. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0 ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1004. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0 ^ a b "Welcome to Jainworld - Jain Sects - tirthankaras, jina, sadhus, sadhvis, 24 tirthankaras, digambara sect, svetambar sect, Shraman Dharma, Nirgranth Dharma". Jainworld.com . Retrieved 2012-04-24. ^ Smith, Christian; Joshua Prokopy (1999). Latin American Religion in Motion. New York: Routledge, pp. 279–280. ISBN 978-0-415-92106-0 ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 841. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0 External links [edit ]