Portal:Religion

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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

A torii at Itsukushima Shrine.
Shinto(神道) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. It involves the worship of kami (), gods. Some kami are local and can be regarded as the spiritual being/spirit or genius of a particular place, but others represent major natural objects and processes: for example, Amaterasu, the Sun goddess, or Mount Fuji. Shinto is an animistic belief system. The word "Shinto" was created by combining two kanji: "" (shin), meaning gods or spirits (when read alone, it is pronounced "kami"), and "" (tō), meaning a philosophical way or path (the same character is used for the Chinese word Tao). 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 picture

Artist's impression of one of en:Xenu's space planes.
Credit: ChrisO, Foobaz

In Scientology doctrine, Xenu (also Xemu) was the alien dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of aliens to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls then clustered together and stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to wreak chaos and havoc today.

Selected religious figure or deity

Patañjali as an incarnation of Adi Sesha
Patañjali (Devanāgarī पतञ्जलि) is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the philosophical aspects of mind and consciousness, and also the author of a major commentary on Panini's Ashtadhyayi, although many scholars do not consider these two texts to have been written by the same individual. In recent decades the Yoga Sutra has become quite popular worldwide for the precepts regarding practice of Raja Yoga and the philosophical basis of the Yoga movement for health and harmonizing bodymind. "Yoga" in traditional Hinduism involves inner contemplation, a rigorous system of meditation practice, ethics, metaphysics, and devotion to the one common soul, God, or Brahman.

Desiring to teach yoga to the world, he is said to have fallen (pat-) from heaven into the open palms (-añjali) of a woman, hence the name Patañjali.

Did you know...

  • ...that the Book of Mormon is claimed to be another Testament of Jesus Christ?
  • ...that Wicca was previously an Old English word (pronounced: 'witcha'), meaning a male witch or wizard and 'wicce' was a female witch?

On this day...

Selected quote

Gutenberg Bible
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Bible, John 3:16

Selected scripture

The Kebra Nagast (var. Kebra Negast', Ge'ez ,ክብረ ነገሥት, kəbrä nägäst), or the Book of the Glory of Kings, is an account written in Ge'ez of the origins of the Solomonic line of the Emperors of Ethiopia. The text, in its existing form, is at least seven hundred years old, and is considered by many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians to be an inspired and a reliable account. Not only does it contain an account of how the Queen of Sheba met Solomon, and about how the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia with Menelik I, but contains an account of the conversion of the Ethiopians from the worship of the sun, moon, and stars to that of the "Lord God of Israel".

The Kebra Nagast is divided into 117 chapters, and even after a single reading it is clearly a composite work. The document is presented in the form of a debate by the 318 "orthodox fathers" of the Council of Nicaea. These fathers pose the question, "Of what doth the Glory of Kings consist?" One Gregory answers with a speech (chapters 3-17) which ends with the statement that a copy of the Glory of God was made by Moses and kept in the Ark of the Covenant. After this, the archbishop Domitius reads from a book he had found in the church of "Sophia" (possibly Hagia Sophia), which introduces what Hubbard calls "the centerpiece" of this work, the story of Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon, Menelik I, and how the Ark came to Ethiopia (chapters 19-94).

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