Symbols of various religions of the world.
Religion may be defined as a
cultural system of designated
behaviors and practices,
organizations, that relates humanity to
spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.
Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the
faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include
sermons, commemoration or veneration (of
public service, or other aspects of human
culture. Religions have
sacred histories and
narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and
holy places, that aim mostly to give a
meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the
origin of life, the
universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of
There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely
Buddhism or forms of
folk religion. The
religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion,
agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.
study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including
comparative religion and social scientific studies.
Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious
) is the
and was once its
. It involves the worship of
), gods. Some kami
are local and can be regarded as the spiritual being/spirit or
of a particular place, but others represent major natural objects and processes: for example,
. Shinto is an
belief system. The word "Shinto" was created by combining two
" (shin), meaning gods or spirits (when read alone, it is pronounced "kami"), and "道
" (tō), meaning a philosophical way or path (the same character is used for the Chinese word
). As such, Shinto is commonly translated as "the Way of the Gods".
After World War II, Shinto lost its status as the state religion of
Japan; some Shinto practices and teachings, once given a great deal of prominence during the war, are no longer taught or practiced today, and others exist today as commonplace activities such as
omikuji (a form of fortune-telling) and
Japanese New Year that few give religious connotations.
Selected religious figure or deity
, राम in
or Śrī Rāma (श्रीराम in Devanagari), was a king of ancient India whose grand story is portrayed in the epic
, one of the two great
of India. In
, he is also considered to be the Seventh
and one of the most important manifestations of
. He is one of the most popular heroes of
and folktales in
. Born as the eldest son of
, king of
, he is the embodiment of the Supreme
. Rama is Maryada Purushottama
, literally The Perfect Man
. He is the hero of the ancient
, The Journey of Rama
). Rama is the husband of
, who is also considered the Avatara of
and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.
Did you know...
- ...that the word,
Christian, only appears three times in the Bible?
- ...that according to the
Moses lived to be 120 years old?
The Urantia Book
, philosophy, and
. Sometimes it is referred to as "The Urantia Papers", or the "
Fifth Epochal Revelation
" or by the abbreviation of "TUB". The book originated in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. sometime between 1924 and 1955, but its authorship is considered to be a mystery. (See
The authors of The Urantia Book state their intent is to "present enlarged concepts and advanced truth" in an "endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception". Among many other topics, it expands on the
meaning of life, describes humankind's place in
creation, discusses the relationship between God and man, and presents a detailed biography of
Jesus. The book is 2,097 pages long, and consists of a
Foreword and 196 papers, divided into four parts.