List of religions and spiritual traditions

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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".[1] A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category".[2] 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 in the world.[3]

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized 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. 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, 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 phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation.[4][5]

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.[6] 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,[7] and thus 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.

Contents

Abrahamic religions[edit]

Main article: Abrahamic religions

A group of monotheistic traditions sometimes grouped with one another for comparative purposes, because all refer to a patriarch named Abraham.

Bábism[edit]

Main article: Bábism

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

Main article: Bahá'í Faith

Christianity[edit]

Main article: Christianity
Western Christianity
Main article: Roman Catholic Church
Main article: Protestantism
Eastern Christianity

Other groups related to Christianity[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.

Mormonism[edit]

Main article: Mormonism

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.[8]

Main article: Gnosticism

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]

Main article: Islam
Kalam Schools
Main article: Kalam
Kharijite
Main article: Kharijite
Shia Islam
Main article: Shia Islam
Sufism
Main article: Sufism
Sunni Islam
Main article: Sunni Islam
Quraniyoon
Main article: Quranism
Black Muslims
Main article: Black Muslims
Ahmadiyya
Main article: 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]

Main article: Druze

Judaism and related religions[edit]

Main article: Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism
Main article: Rabbinic Judaism
Karaite Judaism
Main article: 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.[9]

Main article: Samaritanism
Falasha or Beta Israel
Modern Non-Rabbinic Judaism
Historical groups

Second Temple Judaism

Black Hebrew Israelites[edit]

Rastafari movement[edit]

Main article: Rastafari movement

Mandaeans and Sabians[edit]

Main articles: Mandaeism and Sabians

Shabakism[edit]

Main article: Shabak people

Indian religions[edit]

Main article: Indian religions

Indian religions 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]

Main article: Ayyavazhi

Bhakti movement[edit]

Main article: Bhakti movement

Buddhism[edit]

Main article: Schools of Buddhism

Din-i-Ilahi[edit]

Hinduism[edit]

Major schools and movements of Hindu philosophy
Main article: Hindu philosophy

Jainism[edit]

Main article: Jainism

Meivazhi[edit]

Sikhism[edit]

Main article: Sikhism

Iranian religions[edit]

Main article: Iranian religions

Zoroastrianism[edit]

Main article: Zoroastrianism

Gnostic religions[edit]

Bábí movement[edit]

Yazdânism[edit]

Main article: Yazdânism
  • Alevi (this is contested; most Alevi consider themselves to be Shia or Sufi Muslims, but a minority adhere to the Yazdani interpretation)
  • Yarsani
  • Yazidi

East Asian religions[edit]

Main article: East Asian religions

Confucianism[edit]

Main article: Confucianism

Shinto[edit]

Main articles: Shinto and Shinto sects and schools

Shinto-inspired religions[edit]

Taoism[edit]

Main article: Taoism

Contemporary Taoism-inspired religions[edit]

Other[edit]

Chinese[edit]

Korean[edit]

Vietnamese[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]

See also: Paganism and Folk religion

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]

Main article: Cargo cults

Historical polytheism[edit]

Further information: Prehistoric religion and History of religion

Ancient Near Eastern[edit]

Indo-European[edit]

Hellenistic[edit]

Main article: Hellenistic religion

Uralic[edit]

Mysticism and occult[edit]

Esotericism and mysticism[edit]

Main articles: Esotericism and Mysticism

Western mystery tradition[edit]

Thelema[edit]
Main article: Thelema

Christian mysticism and esotericism[edit]

Occult and magic[edit]

Main articles: Occultism and Magic (paranormal)

Modern Paganism[edit]

Syncretic[edit]

Ethnic[edit]

New religious movements[edit]

New Thought[edit]

Main article: New Thought

Shinshukyo[edit]

Left-hand path religions[edit]

Post-theistic and naturalistic religions[edit]

Fictional religions[edit]

Parody or mock religions[edit]

Others[edit]

Other categorisations[edit]

By demographics[edit]

By area[edit]

Further information: Religion geography

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System, 1973)
  2. ^ (Talal Asad, The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category, 1982.)
  3. ^ http://www.adherents.com
  4. ^ http://www.parapsych.org/base/about.aspx
  5. ^ http://iands.org/about-ndes/key-nde-facts.html
  6. ^ Harvey, Graham (2000). Indigenous Religions: A Companion. (Ed: Graham Harvey). London and New York: Cassell. Page 06.
  7. ^ Vergote, Antoine, Religion, belief and unbelief: a psychological study, Leuven University Press, 1997, p. 89
  8. ^ http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/irenaeus.html
  9. ^ http://www.livius.org/saa-san/samaria/samaritans.htm
  10. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1112. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  11. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1001. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  12. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 997. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  13. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1004. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Smith, Christian; Joshua Prokopy (1999). Latin American Religion in Motion. New York: Routledge, pp. 279-280. ISBN 978-0-415-92106-0
  16. ^ 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]