Religion

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# [[Buddhism]] (376 million)
 
# [[Buddhism]] (376 million)
 
# Primal indigenous or "[[pagan]]" (300 million)
 
# Primal indigenous or "[[pagan]]" (300 million)
# [[African traditional]] and diasporic (100 million)
+
# [[African traditional religion|African traditional]] and diasporic religion (100 million)
 
# [[Sikhism]] (23 million)
 
# [[Sikhism]] (23 million)
 
# [[Juche]] (19 million)
 
# [[Juche]] (19 million)
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# [[Judaism]] (14 million)
 
# [[Judaism]] (14 million)
 
# [[Bahá'í Faith]] (7 million)
 
# [[Bahá'í Faith]] (7 million)
# [[Jehovah's Witnesses]] (6.5 million)
+
# [[Jehovah's Witness]]es (6.5 million)
 
# [[Jainism]] (4.2 million)
 
# [[Jainism]] (4.2 million)
 
# [[Shinto]] {4 million)
 
# [[Shinto]] {4 million)
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# [[Neo-Paganism]] (1 million)
 
# [[Neo-Paganism]] (1 million)
 
# [[Unitarian Universalism]] (800,000)
 
# [[Unitarian Universalism]] (800,000)
# [[Rastafari movement]] (600,000)
+
# [[Rasta]]fari movement (600,000)
  
 
==Major approaches to religion==
 
==Major approaches to religion==
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** [[Agnosticism]] — lack of knowledge about God
 
** [[Agnosticism]] — lack of knowledge about God
 
** [[Atheism]] — lack of belief in God; belief in the nonexistence of God
 
** [[Atheism]] — lack of belief in God; belief in the nonexistence of God
** [[Humanism]] — supports reason and ethics; rejects superstition and the supernatural; humans have to solve their own problems
 
 
** [[Antitheism]] — opposition to belief in God; belief in God seen as harmful
 
** [[Antitheism]] — opposition to belief in God; belief in God seen as harmful
 +
** [[Humanism]] — supports reason and ethics; rejects superstition and the supernatural; humans have to solve their own problems
 
* Forms of deism
 
* Forms of deism
 
** [[Deism]] — God created the universe but is not presently active in it; typically rejects miracles and other supernatural events
 
** [[Deism]] — God created the universe but is not presently active in it; typically rejects miracles and other supernatural events
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** [[Polydeism]] — multiple gods created the universe and are not presently active in it
 
** [[Polydeism]] — multiple gods created the universe and are not presently active in it
 
* Forms of theism
 
* Forms of theism
** [[Theism]] — belief in one or more gods
+
** [[Theism]] — belief in one or more gods who are generally active in the universe and in human lives
 
** number of gods
 
** number of gods
 +
*** [[Nontheism]] — no gods; encompasses atheism and agnosticism, but also religions having no gods (e.g., many [[Eastern religion]]s)
 
*** [[Monotheism]] — belief in one god
 
*** [[Monotheism]] — belief in one god
 
*** [[Monolatrism]] — worship of one god among many, the others of which are not worthy of worship
 
*** [[Monolatrism]] — worship of one god among many, the others of which are not worthy of worship
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*** [[Pantheism]] — God is the universe
 
*** [[Pantheism]] — God is the universe
 
*** [[Panentheism]] — God is "immanent" in the universe but transcends it
 
*** [[Panentheism]] — God is "immanent" in the universe but transcends it
----
+
*** [[Transtheism]] — One or more gods are "immanent" in the universe but transcend it
** [[Nontheism]] —  
+
*** [[Transcendentalism]] — God transcends the physical universe and/or human understanding
** [[Natural theology]] —  
+
* (other) ways of understanding/knowing God or the divine
** [[Omnitheism]] —  
+
** [[Theology]] — "reasoned discourse" concerning religion, spirituality and god(s)
** [[Theology]] —  
+
** [[Natural theology]] — approach to knowledge of God stressing reason and rejecting the supernatural
** [[Transtheism]] —  
+
** [[Gnosticism]] — knowledge of God; more specifically, a diverse religious tradition in the first few centuries A.D. which stressed knowledge of the divine origins of the universe and human beings
* [[Spiritualism]] —  
+
** [[Esotericism]] — knowledge of the divine is available to only a few enlightened individuals
 +
** [[Omnitheism]] — all religions have some appreciation of the inherent spirituality of existence; stresses reconciliation of different religious traditions and of religions with scientific understanding
 +
** [[Theosophy]] — a purported "body of truth" that forms the basis of all religions
 +
** [[Spiritualism]] — religious movement popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries centered around the possibility of contacting spirits of the dead
 
** [[Mysticism]] —  
 
** [[Mysticism]] —  
** [[New Age]] —  
+
** [[New Age]] — diverse religious movement beginning in the late 20th century involving  "an eclectic and individual approach to spiritual exploration" ([[Wikipedia:New Age]])
** [[Transcendentalism]] —
+
  
 
===Other belief systems===
 
===Other belief systems===
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* [[Animism]] — unification of matter and spirit; all material things have souls or spirits
 
* [[Animism]] — unification of matter and spirit; all material things have souls or spirits
 
* [[Determinism]] — everything follows causally from prior events; there is only one completely determined future (as opposed to many possible futures)
 
* [[Determinism]] — everything follows causally from prior events; there is only one completely determined future (as opposed to many possible futures)
* [[Esotericism]] — knowledge of the divine is available to only a few enlightened individuals
 
* [[Gnosticism]] — knowledge of God
 
 
* [[Monism]] —  
 
* [[Monism]] —  
 
* [[Nondualism]] —  
 
* [[Nondualism]] —  

Revision as of 18:31, 29 March 2007

Wikipedia-logo-en.png
For more information, see the Wikipedia article:

A religion is a system of beliefs that asserts the existence of at least one of:

  1. a human soul or spirit,
  2. a deity or "higher being", or
  3. the continuation of the self after the death of one's body.

As an uncountable noun, religion is a "way of living" or the set of customs or rituals that follows from such beliefs.

Wiktionary-logo-en.png
For more information, see the Wiktionary article:


It is notoriously difficult to define what does and does not constitute a religion, due to the sheer variety of human religious beliefs and practices. Taoism and Confucianism, for instance, are sometimes described as philosophies rather than religions.

Contents

Classification

Many religions are subdivided into sects or denominations, resulting in a huge number of labels for the religious to choose from. The major world religions are typically, however, divided into three large groups:

  1. Abrahamic religions
  2. Dharmic religions
  3. Taoic religions

Largest world religions

According to 2005 data collected by Adherents.com, the religious traditions with the most "adherents" around the world (including traditions outside of the three major divisions listed above) are:

  1. Christianity (2.1 billion)
  2. Islam (1.3 billion)
  3. Non-religious, including secularism, atheism, agnosticism and nontheism (1.1 billion)
  4. Hinduism (900 million)
  5. Chinese folk religion (394 million)
  6. Buddhism (376 million)
  7. Primal indigenous or "pagan" (300 million)
  8. African traditional and diasporic religion (100 million)
  9. Sikhism (23 million)
  10. Juche (19 million)
  11. Spiritism (15 million)
  12. Judaism (14 million)
  13. Bahá'í Faith (7 million)
  14. Jehovah's Witnesses (6.5 million)
  15. Jainism (4.2 million)
  16. Shinto {4 million)
  17. Cao Dai (4 million)
  18. Zoroastrianism (2.6 million)
  19. Tenrikyo (2 million)
  20. Neo-Paganism (1 million)
  21. Unitarian Universalism (800,000)
  22. Rastafari movement (600,000)

Major approaches to religion

Note that statements below about "God" can also generally be made about "gods".

  • Lack of (belief in / certainty about / support for) religion
    • Ignosticism — statements about God are ill-defined or meaningless
    • Agnosticism — lack of knowledge about God
    • Atheism — lack of belief in God; belief in the nonexistence of God
    • Antitheism — opposition to belief in God; belief in God seen as harmful
    • Humanism — supports reason and ethics; rejects superstition and the supernatural; humans have to solve their own problems
  • Forms of deism
    • Deism — God created the universe but is not presently active in it; typically rejects miracles and other supernatural events
    • Pandeism — the universe is God
    • Panendeism — the universe is part of God
    • Polydeism — multiple gods created the universe and are not presently active in it
  • Forms of theism
    • Theism — belief in one or more gods who are generally active in the universe and in human lives
    • number of gods
      • Nontheism — no gods; encompasses atheism and agnosticism, but also religions having no gods (e.g., many Eastern religions)
      • Monotheism — belief in one god
      • Monolatrism — worship of one god among many, the others of which are not worthy of worship
      • Henotheism — worship of one god among many, some of whom may also be worthy of worship
      • Kathenotheism — worship of "one god at a time" from among many
      • Duotheism — two complementary (often male and female) gods
      • Polytheism — worship of many Gods
    • number of aspects of a single god
    • nature of God
      • Dystheism — God is partly or wholly evil
      • Pantheism — God is the universe
      • Panentheism — God is "immanent" in the universe but transcends it
      • Transtheism — One or more gods are "immanent" in the universe but transcend it
      • Transcendentalism — God transcends the physical universe and/or human understanding
  • (other) ways of understanding/knowing God or the divine
    • Theology — "reasoned discourse" concerning religion, spirituality and god(s)
    • Natural theology — approach to knowledge of God stressing reason and rejecting the supernatural
    • Gnosticism — knowledge of God; more specifically, a diverse religious tradition in the first few centuries A.D. which stressed knowledge of the divine origins of the universe and human beings
    • Esotericism — knowledge of the divine is available to only a few enlightened individuals
    • Omnitheism — all religions have some appreciation of the inherent spirituality of existence; stresses reconciliation of different religious traditions and of religions with scientific understanding
    • Theosophy — a purported "body of truth" that forms the basis of all religions
    • Spiritualism — religious movement popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries centered around the possibility of contacting spirits of the dead
    • Mysticism
    • New Age — diverse religious movement beginning in the late 20th century involving "an eclectic and individual approach to spiritual exploration" (Wikipedia:New Age)

Other belief systems

(This list is being merged into the one above. Stand By...)

  • Acosmism — the observable world is an illusion
  • Animism — unification of matter and spirit; all material things have souls or spirits
  • Determinism — everything follows causally from prior events; there is only one completely determined future (as opposed to many possible futures)
  • Monism
  • Nondualism
  • Thelema
  • Theopanism
  • Theosophy

External links

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