List of Religions and Spiritual Traditions
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List of Religions and Spiritual Traditions

While the word religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion used in religious studies courses defines it as a

[...] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.[1]

Many religions have 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, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, which at some point in the future will be countless.[2]

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with the words "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, 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) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a God or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.[3][4]

Some academics 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.[5] One modern academic theory of religion, 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,[6] and thus believes that religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Eastern religions

East Asian religions

Religions that originated in East Asia, also known as Taoic religions; namely Taoism, Confucianism, Shenism and Shintoism, and religions and traditions related to, and descended from them.

Confucianism

Shinto

Taoism

Other

Chinese
Japanese
Korean
Vietnamese

Indian religions

The three main religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism and religions and traditions related to, and descended from them.

Buddhism

Neo-Buddhism

Hinduism

Bhakti movements
Hindu philosophy schools
Yoga
Neo Vedanta Movements

Jainism

Sikhism

Middle Eastern religions

Religions that originated in the Middle East; namely Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and religions and traditions related to, and descended from them.

Abrahamic religions

Bábism

Christianity

Eastern Christianity
Western Christianity
Other

Certain Christian groups are difficult to classify as "Eastern" or "Western." Many Gnostic groups were closely related to early Christianity, for example, Valentinism. Irenaeus wrote polemics against them from the standpoint of the then-unified Catholic Church.[16]

Druze

Islam

Khawarij
Shia Islam
Sufism
Sunni Islam
Other

Judaism

Kabbalah
Non-Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism
Others
Historical Judaism

Mandaeism

Heathenism

Iranian religions

Yazdânism

Zoroastrianism

Indigenous (ethnic, folk) religions

Religions that consist of the traditional customs and beliefs of particular ethnic groups, refined and expanded upon for thousands of years, often lacking formal doctrine.

Note: Some adherents do not consider their ways to be "religion," preferring other cultural terms.

African

Traditional African

Diasporic African

Altaic

American

Austroasiatic

Austronesian

Indo-European

Tai and Miao

Tibeto-Burmese

Uralic

Other indigenous

New religious movements

Religions that cannot be classed as either world religions or traditional folk religions, and are usually recent in their inception.

Cargo cults

New ethnic religions

Black

Rastafari

Black Hebrew Israelites

White

Native American

New Hindu derived religions

Japanese new religions

Modern Paganism

Ethnic neopaganism

Syncretic neopaganism

Entheogenic religions

New Age Movement

New Thought

Parody religions and fiction-based religions

Post-theistic and naturalistic religions

UFO religions

Western esotericism

Other new

Historical religions

Bronze Age

Classical antiquity

Other historical

Other categorisations

By demographics

By area

See also

References

  1. ^ (Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System, 1973)
  2. ^ "World Religions Religion Statistics Geography Church Statistics". Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ http://www.parapsych.org/base/about.aspx
  4. ^ "Key Facts about Near-Death Experiences". Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ Harvey, Graham (2000). Indigenous Religions: A Companion. (Ed: Graham Harvey). London and New York: Cassell. Page 06.
  6. ^ Vergote, Antoine, Religion, belief and unbelief: a psychological study, Leuven University Press, 1997, p. 89
  7. ^ Melton 2003, p. 1112.
  8. ^ a b c Tattwananda, Swami (1984). Vaisnava Sects, Saiva Sects, Mother Worship (1st rev. ed.). Calcutta: Firma KLM Private Ltd.
  9. ^ Dandekar, R. N. (1987). "Vaiavism: An Overview". In Eliade, Mircea (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Religion. 14. New York: MacMillan.
  10. ^ Melton 2003, p. 997.
  11. ^ Lorenzen, David N. (1995). Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2025-6.
  12. ^ Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli. Vol. 1-2. Indian Philosophy (1923) Vol. 1, 738 p. (1927) Vol. 2, 807 p. Oxford University Press.
  13. ^ Melton 2003, p. 1001.
  14. ^ Melton 2003, p. 1004.
  15. ^ a b "Welcome to Jainworld - Jain Sects - tirthankaras, jina, sadhus, sadhvis, 24 tirthankaras, digambara sect, svetambar sect, Shraman Dharma, Nirgranth Dharma". Jainworld.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Irenaeus of Lyons". Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ Laycock, Joseph P. Reitman (2012). "We Are Spirits of Another Sort". Nova Religio. 15 (3): 65-90. doi:10.1525/nr.2012.15.3.65. JSTOR 10.1525/nr.2012.15.3.65.
  18. ^ "Eeshan Religion and Church of Metta Spirituality and School of Enlightenment". The Eeshan Religion. Retrieved .

Sources

External links


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