Portal:Religion

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The Religion Portal

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Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.

In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief—typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.

The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures. "Organized religion" generally refers to an organization of people supporting the exercise of some religion with a prescribed set of beliefs, often taking the form of a legal entity (see religion-supporting organization). Other religions believe in personal revelation and responsibility. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system," but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions.

More about religion...

Selected article

The Qur'an
About this sound Islam  (Arabic: الإسلام al- islām) "the submission to God" is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the world's second largest religion.

Followers of Islam, known as Muslims (from the Arabic word, muslimeen, meaning those who submit to God's will), believe that God (or, in Arabic, Allāh; also in Aramaic Alaha) revealed his direct word for mankind to the prophet Muhammad (c. 570632).

These revelations are recorded in the Torah (Old Testament), the Injeel (revelation to Isa) and the Qur'an (Arabic - meaning Recitation) which Muslims believe to be the final revelation from God to humanity.

Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last or the seal of the Prophets. His preachings for humankind will last until qiyamah (Arabic - meaning The Day of Resurrection, aka The Day of Judgement).

Selected picture

Tibetan Bhavacakra in Sera, Lhasa.
Credit: Philipp Roelli

The Bhavacakra (Sanskrit, भवचक्र) or Wheel of becoming (Tibetan srid.pa'i 'khor.lo) is a complex symbolic representation of saṃsāra in the form of a circle (mandala), used primarily in Tibetan Buddhism. Saṃsāra is the continuous cycle of birth, life, and death from which one liberates oneself through enlightenment.

Selected religious figure or deity

Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, kṛṣṇa in IAST ), according to various Hindu traditions, is the eighth avatar of Vishnu. In the Bhagavad Gita (e.g., 10.15 and 15.19), he is seen as the Supreme Person and the highest God. Thus, according to traditions such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, he is the origin of all other incarnations.

Krishna and the stories associated with him appear across the spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions. Though they sometimes differ in details reflecting the concerns of a particular tradition, some core features are shared by all. These include a divine incarnation, a pastoral childhood and youth, and life as a heroic warrior and teacher. The immense popularity of Krishna in India also meant that various non-Hindu religions that originated in India had their own versions of him.

Did you know...

  • ...that in Shinto, the family is seen as the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved? Their main celebrations relate to birth and marriage.
  • ...that Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed religions, and was the state religion of three great Iranian empires?

On this day...

December 22:

Selected quote

the Chinese character dao (tao) in Taoism
Knowing others is wisdom;

Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

Laozi, Tao Te Ching, chap. 33, (tr. Feng and English)

Selected scripture

A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service.
Torah (תּוֹרָה) is a Hebrew word meaning "teaching," "instruction," or "law". It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. It is also very important to Christians, as it constitutes part of their bibles. It is written in Hebrew, the oldest Jewish language. It is also called the Law of Moses (Torat Moshe תּוֹרַת־מֹשֶׁה). Torah primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Tanach. The term is sometimes also used in the general sense to also include both Judaism's written law and oral law, encompassing the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash, and more.

The five books and their names and pronunciations in the original Hebrew are as follows:

  • Genesis (בראשית, Bereshit: "In the beginning...")
  • Exodus (שמות, Shemot: "Names")
  • Leviticus (ויקרא, Vayyiqra: "And he called...")
  • Numbers (במדבר, Bammidbar: "In the desert...")
  • Deuteronomy (דברים, Devarim: "Words", or "Discourses")

The Hebrew names are taken from initial words within the first verse of each book. See, for example, Genesis 1:1.

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