Talk:List of founders of religious traditions

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George Fox and the Quakers[edit]

Easily one of the most unique strains of Christianity ... but I didn't see it listed here. 76.113.64.124 (talk) 00:36, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Art of Living Foundation[edit]

Does this organization really belong on this page? The article for the organization represents it as a simple charitable foundation, rather than as a spiritual movement (IDing it as a nongovernmental organization, no listing of theological tenets, etc.). Seems like either this page or that one should change.--216.164.44.4 (talk) 20:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

In future, please put new posts at the bottom of discussion pages. According to J. Gordon Melton, the Art of Living Foundation "is the vehicle for the teaching activity of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a Hindu spiritual teacher". That seems to fit the criteria for this list. I've referenced the page covering the Art of Living Foundation in the article text. • Astynax talk 23:26, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

The Founder/Promoter/Figurehead Issue[edit]

This is getting ridiculous, and this page is becoming a mess (and by the looks of this discussion page, has been for some time). The question of course is who do we list as the founder? The first main proponent from a historical perspective? The founder according to the religion itself? The prophet or the apprentice/prophet who wrote everything down and/or started the movement?

I suggest we list both, either in the Abraham/Muhammad format for Islam or Muhammad (Abraham) is some clear and consistent manner. I don't care which is first (religion's own idea of founder vs. outside/historical view), but it should be done consistently. Some example edits: Christianity = Jesus/Paul of Tarsus or Paul of Tarsus (Jesus) Mormanism = Jesus/Joseph Smith Sikhism = (???)/Guru Nanak (forgive my ignorance here on the Sikh view of founder)

Personally, I'd like to suggest the "First Proponant (Figurehead)" approach, akin to Plato (Socrates) and the relationship there, since most reading this page will belong to one religion only, and hence prefer the areligious historical view 90% of the time, and to avoid half the names being Jesus or Abraham. I'll give this a week so others can comment before I change the article. (August 7, 2008). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.85.251.170 (talk) 19:59, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

we'll just list any individual identified as the founder of some religious tradition, what's the problem? Note that a "religious tradition" may well be a denomination or sect, such as Luther for Lutheranism. dab (𒁳) 18:35, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

What about Abraham, the Father of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, & Baha'i?--174.95.63.5 (talk) 04:01, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Rather than "fathers" or ancestors, this article is listing founders of distinctive religious traditions. It really doesn't matter that a new movement incorporates some pre-existing beliefs and traditions, the new movement represents a distinct new direction from what has gone before, even (as is often the case) when a continuation or restoration of something older is claimed. Regardless, I don't believe anyone places Abraham as founder of a religion, though he is looked to as a father/ancestor of various ethnic groups. For religious movements, Judaism would look to Moses, Christianity to Jesus (Christ), Islam to Mohammed and Bahá'ísm to Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri (Bahá'u'lláh). Were the article concerned with an ultimate ancestor figure, then why not just say "Adam" (or "Eve").
If a reader wants information as to who founded Sikhism, they need to know about Guru Nanak; if a reader wants to know who originated the Church Universal and Triumphant, then they should be directed to articles about Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet; if a reader needs to know who is the founder of Islam, then the information is contained in the article on Mohammed. The founders' previous connections to and influences from pre-existing traditions would be mentioned in those articles. But it would be misdirection for a "List of founders of religious traditions" to substitute "influences" rather than the founder of a new movement.
Wikipedia's policy answer to the question "who do we list as the founder?" is simply that the article be verifiable by, reflect and cite what reliable sources already say. • Astynax talk 07:21, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Peter?[edit]

Why is Peter in the list? I understand why Paul is, but Peter (If anything should Peter and Paul not share the same box? Perhaps it could say. Peter and Paul, Paul codified Jesus Teachings along with Peter, the early Church leader.) I say this because Peter's teachings are not any different from Paul's or indeed known in any great detail. Peter did not found Catholicism it was the religion of Paul also- there is no such thing as Petrine Christianity...Gavin (talk) 21:44, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

you have a point, but "Petrine Christianity" is in fact used as a term in respectable literature.[1][2] Here is an author who sees the text of Galatians as reflecting a "severe struggle which took place between Pauline and Petrine Christianity"--dab (𒁳) 11:13, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
The first one lists uses of the term in various books, that in it self doesn't mean that there is a religious tradition distinct from other versions of Christianity. I think what they are getting at is Peter's headship of the Church as opposed to say, James. The other two give hypothesis, not fact- Petrine Christianity is not a religious tradition, it is part and parcel of Pauline Christianity. (Note those sources also mentioned Johnainine Christianity, we don't have that in the list... Jesus founded the religion, Paul codified the religion, Peter Lead the religion. Gavin (talk) 00:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

What I have done is merge Peter and Paul as they both followed Pauline Christianity (inclusion of the gentiles, end of circumcision etc) so if anything they are co-founders of the Pauline school of thought which has largely become modern Christianity. I have also added James the Just who is the one who opposed Peter and Paul on certain issues and led the Jewish Christians movement. Gavin (talk) 01:36, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

this makes good sense. We need to accept that some religious traditions aren't founded by individuals but by groups of individuals working in concert. --dab (𒁳) 09:26, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Pastafarianism?[edit]

Surely the inclusion of Pastafarianism is not a valid entry, as it is a satirical/spoof religion designed to draw attention to flaws in other faiths? Isn't the defining factor that Pastafarianism is not designed to be followed sincerely - nobody actually REALLY believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, do they? If it's not a religion, it's (at best) a philosophy, and therefore should it be here? Any thoughts? User:JulesVerne (User talk:JulesVerne) 10:55, 18 December 2008 (GMT)

No? I'm removing it, in that case. User:JulesVerne (User talk:JulesVerne) 11:14, 27 December 2008 (GMT)

List order[edit]

The founders have been listed in historical, date of birth order. Please help keep it that way when adding new entries, both for consistency and to make it easier for readers. • Astynax talk 18:50, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Eastern Orthodoxy[edit]

Eastern Orthodoxy was not founded by any one person. It is a religious tradition inseparable from early Christianity. It is as absurd as proposing a "founder" for Roman Catholicism. Both Christian traditions have their ultimate foundations in the teachings of Jesus.

Ilion301 (talk) 01:27, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

it isn't "absurd", it is exactly the sort of thing listed in this article, as explained in the lead. Or do you suppose that Lutheranism, Anglicanism, or any of the other Christian traditions listed do somehow not have "their ultimate foundations in the teachings of Jesus"? --dab (𒁳) 09:25, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

-- None of you has a clue what Jesus of Nazareth actually said or did. But there's no question that Eastern Orthodox is just as old as Roman Catholicism. They were the same thing until the Great Schism of 1064. Look it up. 76.113.64.124 (talk) 00:35, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

LDS[edit]

Latter Day Saints aren't included in this list, or am I mistaken. Lilaac (talk) 22:31, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

it is listed as Joseph Smith, Jr./ Latter Day Saint movement / 1805 - 1844--dab (𒁳) 09:23, 22 September 2009 (UTC)


Moses?[edit]

if there is zoroaster we must include moses and zoroaster's historicity is much less than solomansIshmaelblues (talk) 14:17, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

if you read the Zoroaster and the Moses article, you will realize that this isn't the case.

The Old Avestan Gathas are composed by Zoroaster, making him exactly as historical as Homer: historical as the identity of the composer of an extant text. There are no texts by "Moses". The Pentateuch was compiled from oral tradition many centuries after the putative date of a potentially historical Moses. --dab (𒁳) 14:47, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

both are mixed with legend if we include zoroaster we must include moses. Ishmaelblues (talk) 18:25, 25 October 2009 (UTC) there are also portions of the bible supposedly composed by moses so again they are both semi legendary Ishmaelblues (talk) 18:26, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

no, you don't understand. Please (please) read the Mosaic authorship and the Zoroaster articles. It is immaterial whether Zoroaster was "mixed with legend". Jesus, Buddha and hell even Luther and John Smith, were "mixed with legend". That is not the question. The question is, was there a tangible historical individual that later could be "mixed with legend" in the first place. --dab (𒁳) 11:50, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Exactly what is the criteria for "Existence of a person."? Is the composition of extant texts the sole criteria? Is there any scholarly consensus on the same? Moses does seems to be a historical person. Only his date and aspects of his biography is doubtful. On the other hand, various Rishis seems to be quite farfetched.--Indian Chronicles (talk) 06:47, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Abraham?[edit]

Why is it in Abraham's category, Baha'ism keeps being deleted? Baha'ism is an Abrahamic religion also. Baha'is trace their lineage to Abraham, via his children by Keturah. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Splashen (talkcontribs) 03:01, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I assume that it was removed because someone hadn't heard of that claim and there was no WP:RS source given. You may want to include a tertiary reference to back the addition. There are very many areas of this article which still lack sources, but WP:V Policy requires references. • Astynax talk 06:16, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I already did provide a reference.--Splashen (talk) 14:05, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Please see WP:CITE for information about how to format a citation. Someone may still challenge your source, see WP:V. • Astynax talk 19:09, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Judaism is the only religion that can actually be attributed to Abraham, though even that is a theological stretch. Nowhere in the Pentateuch is any claim made with regards to Abraham starting a new religion, rather it was Moses who set forth the law, which is the difference between Judaism and Islam. Christianity was founded By Jesus (Messiah) ben Joseph properly so. A religion is Founded by a person, irregardless of the claim to history. Moses founded Judaism, Christ founded Christianity, Muhammad founded Islam and Bahá'u'lláh founded Baha'i.

Acreditation again goes to the following: In Judaism the founding of the law is the founding of the Religion, thus Moses is the founder, though Abraham is the father of Isaac the father of Jacob who was named Israel. Baha'i traces it's origin to Abraham through lineage but sites no true founder beyond Bahá'u'lláh as Bahá'u'lláh claims to be of the blood line of Abraham. This claim is not that Abraham started the movement but that Bahá'u'lláh has a claim to his inheritance as a possible Messiah (forgetting about the Messiah coming from the house of David ben Jesse). On these grounds I will be Moving Judaism to Moses, and Baha'i to Bahá'u'lláh. Daniellis89 (talk) 19:22, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

A call for more references[edit]

Rather than discussing various syntheses as to who founded what, this article would be better served by providing citations for the founders claimed for each of the religious traditions listed. The article must reflect sources. Existing articles and lists already have sources for most everything here, although this list isn't entirely consistent with those other articles. To get things rolling, I've put in a few citations for founders. • Astynax talk 08:09, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

of course all items listed need to be substantiated by the content of the article linked. As long as this is ensured, inserting references is just a matter of a copy-paste job from the linked article. Please feel free to (a) insert references for valid entres and (b) remove entries that are unsubstantiated. --dab (𒁳) 11:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Removal[edit]

I removed two "founders" from the article. Enheduana was not the founder of the cult of Inanna, the cult was well established by the time she was appointed as priestess. She could be included in an article "first known followers of religious traditions", but this article is about founders.

Also, Pharaoh Ahmose did not found anything, the ancient Egyptian religion changed continually, with different gods gaining prominence in different periods. Ahmose was from Thebes, that city's god was Amun, that's why this god gradually became more important than others, but it was a long process, and his worship did not begin with Ahmose. "Quasi-monotheistic worship of Amun" is definitely incorrect. Apart from the Atenist reform, which didn't succeed, ancient Egypt was never monotheistic. – Alensha talk 20:26, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

I am suggesting the removal of "Haile Selassie" as the founder of Rastafarianism. I am basing this suggestion on the following.

[] Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie to be God. They chose him as their representation of God, however, he has never aligned himself with the Rastafarian religion. I believe that until his death, Haile Selassie claimed to be a Christian. Not to be daunted, Rastafarians continued in their claim that Haile Selassie is their God. An enlightening piece can be viewed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdAXGmYRSlY.

[] It is said that the first person to suggest that Haile Selassie was God was Mortimer Planner (spelling errors possible). He has been credited as being the originator of Rastafarianism by many. However, discussing the founder of Rastafarianism may itself spark a "religious deabate".

There are quite a few books on the subject of Rastafarianism that may shed some light on this interesting religion. It is quite possible that Rastafarianism may be a class unto itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.252.220.90 (talk) 09:54, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

I've removed Haile Selassie, as this entry is without support. Reliable sources point to Marcus Garvey as being the instigator, with Archibald Dunkley, Robert Hines, Joseph Hibbert and Leonard Howell being the first to take up the torch and develop the religion. • Astynax talk 17:44, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Definition of "religious tradition"[edit]

This article is a bit of a mess. That is honestly understandable, given the rather required vagueness of the defining parameter. How exactly do we define "religious tradition" for the purposes of this article? For instance, would Handsome Lake qualify as the founder of his tradition, even if that tradition is, more or less, dead today? For that matter, what about Homer, who is thought to have perhaps founded the tradition of the Olympian gods? And, for that matter, what about Anthony of Egypt, the founder of the monastic movement in Christianity? Or Saint Dominic, founder of the tradition of the Dominican orders?

I honestly think that, while the list here is not a bad idea, it would be extremely helpful if we were able to come up with some set definition of terms of inclusion, otherwise it will basically always be subject to real and potential argument. John Carter (talk) 18:51, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

The opening of the lead section gives us a fair start: "This article lists historical figures credited with founding religions or religious philosophies or people who first codified older known religious traditions. It also lists those who have founded a specific major denomination within a larger religion." The first statement is valid and good. The second is more questionable. If it is retained, full weight needs to be given to the word "major" and the term "denomination" may not be the best choice. Its strength is that it requires the existence of a structured social group with a particular sense of its own identity. Its weakness lies partly in the fact that in some cases what grew out of the founder's initiative was not a single denomination but a family of denominations and mainly in the equating of "tradition" with denomination. I suggest that in this context tradition should be assimilated to "distinctive ethos" and that we should put a good deal of emphasis on the theoretical component implicit in the phrase "or religious philosophies" and require some very distinctive, original and innovative contribution to the new denomination.
So far as Handsome Lake, Homer and Anthony of Egypt are concerned, I would exclude Anthony of Egypt on the grounds that his example and influence were highly significant, but he was not the earliest monk and his contribution was mainly to provide a certain amount of coordination and a good deal of individual spiritual direction to groups of hermits who lived in the same neighbourhood. I would exclude the other two as well, in my opinion Handsome Lake does not meet the major denomination requirement and Homer neither founded nor codified a religious tradition (he seems to have been someone who passed on basic concepts even if he did so in an extremely attractive package).
Perhaps the best way forward is for me to comment on some entries in the list that I consider should be eliminated:
  1. Paul, Peter and James the Just should be removed because the concept of Jewish and Pauline Christianity is largely a theoretical enlightenment construct. I fully admit that the tendencies existed but they were never true denominations within the religion founded by Christ and Paul rejected the concept of a Pauline Christianity.
  2. Arianism and Pelagianism were attempts to (re?)define the theology of the early Christian Church which failed to gain general acceptance. Similar concepts have re-emerged from time to time, but there is no real line of transmitted tradition as such.
  3. Eutyches never codified anything: Kelly describes him as the "aged and muddle-headed archimandrite". The Monophysite Churches became a separate tradition as a reaction against the Chalcedonian Definition of 451 which "codified" the doctrine of the two natures in a way they felt was unacceptable.
  4. Aimee McPherson was not enough of an innovator to have founded a distinct religious ethos; she might also fail the "major denomination test". [Note: These comments are illustrative of my main position: any discussion of them as proposals for elimination would be better placed in a separate section.]
Could we work along the following lines?
To be included in this list, the founder must be be a historical person who is reliably credited with either
  1. Having founded a religion or religious philosophy, or
  2. Having first codified and systematized an existing religious tradition.
  3. Having innovated within an existing religion in such a way as to produce a major new denomination or family of denominations with a distinctive ethos and underlying philosophy.
Jpacobb (talk) 02:39, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I think we have to go back to policy here. There shouldn't be some test that we decide to impose, but rather what should determine inclusion is that reliable sources say that a person is a "founder" (or equivalent term) of a religious tradition. That said, the term "religious traditions" seems to be vague to the point of being nearly invisible to readers doing searches (why not "Founders of religious movements" or "Religious innovators" or ???). I see one of the main obstacles being that the current structure of the table is just a chronological list, which doesn't afford any way to group, and thus show any continuity between, various threads within faiths. To me, it would be far easier to grasp the interrelationships of various movements if the table were subdivided into hierarchical sub-groupings (dictionaries and encyclopedias of religion are often organized in this way). Thus, and only as an example, Dominic as founder of the Dominican order might be an entry under Monasticism, which might be an entry under Catholicism, which in turn might be an entry under Christianity. Tables are not my forte, but I believe such a table might even be sortable (e.g., alphabetically by movement, by derivative movement, on date, alphabetically on name). I agree that some of the current entries are very questionable, though the bases for challenging and removal should be because of a lack of broad support in reliable sources. • Astynax talk 06:25, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I think we can start with concrete borders here. First, both the founder and the tradition should be sufficiently notable. For our purposes, and since this is a list article, we can mandate that they have an associated Wikipedia article. Not a subsection in an article, or only a redirect, but an actual article documenting the person's biography and the religious tradition he founded. Also, we can require a reliable source. It can be debated whether this can be any secondary source, or if we should require a scholarly publication, or merely prefer that over say, a People Magazine article. Let's make a narrow list of well-defined terms that we can accept from that reliable secondary source. Religious tradition, religious movement, Christian denomination, religious sect, religious philosophy. Comments? Elizium23 (talk) 06:57, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Elizium has a good point. So too do Jpacobb, about including only "major" groups, and Astynax, about maybe grouping them by related articles rather than chronologically. My biggest reservation is about the possible/probable OR in declaring something "major". Would for instance groups which have existed for a long time in an isolated area count, like maybe some Oceanian traditions, or would we want those which have had some global impact, or maybe would groups whose significance as religions is not particularly impressive but which have been significant players in major historical developments be included. Any thoughts? John Carter (talk) 20:00, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
The word "traditions" in the title is part of the confusion, at least for me. The lead doesn't help eliminate the fuzziness inherited from the title. Something more on the lines of "movement" (in place of "traditions") in the title and lead would at least give more definite boundaries to what is eligible to be listed. I concur with Elizium23 that each movement should at least have an article in which appears referenced material verifying that it IS a religious movement and WHO founded it. Not all founders have enough source material available on which to construct much of an article, and some stubs and short articles on founders have been merged into the article on their movements, so requiring a separate article for a founder seems too limiting, provided that the article on the movement contains a referenced mention of the founder. I also agree that we don't want to create a situation where edit warriors seek to finesse notablility for the list (the notibility rationale for the article for the movement should be enough to get it on the list). Finally, I wonder if it wouldn't be more effective to merge this list with List of religions and spiritual traditions, using a table structure that would allow readers to sort on the header of their choice (thread of religious tradition, date, founder). List of new religious movements is set up to do that by clicking on the arrows in the headers, and might offer an example of how to reorganize the list here. • Astynax talk 18:54, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I really like the idea of merging this article into List of religions and spiritual traditions, including a new column for the founders. Other opinions? John Carter (talk) 20:11, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
It's a fine idea, there is too much duplication and overlap not to consider it. Elizium23 (talk) 20:45, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Various comments

  1. Merge: I have no objection in principle, but careful negotiation may be necessary since the suggested page covers rather different ground. Also, merging does not solve the major problem which is what should be on the page rather than where the page should be found.
  2. Tradition v Movement v Denomination: There are no standard definitions of these terms, therefore 'RS' is unlikely to solve the problem. (Is Methodism a denomination, or a tradition/movement covering at one time several denominations, e.g. in England historically the Methodist church, the New Connection, Independent Methodists, Primitive Methodists, Bible Christians, Wesleyan Reformers? Movement is an elastic term: in Catholic Pentecostalism, René Laurentin uses it of the large-scale charismatic movement, the Franciscans and the Jesuits, and the much smaller "Tower of David movement". Tradition for all its vagueness, has in some contexts seems to be used as a functional equivalent for a "large-scale movement".
  3. Notability and RS: given the apparent tendency to set the criteria for notability on the low side and the probable variations among RS, including the shades of meaning given to 'founder', I would say that the existence of Wikipedia articles as suggested above should be a necessary, but not in itself a sufficient, requirement.

Sri Chinmoy: Discuss[edit]

I have questioned the inclusion in this listing of Sri Chinmoy because (i) the tradition does not figure as an article – the link to 'x' is to the article on the 24th letter of the alphabet –, (ii) having read the article on Sri Chinmoy, I consider that, whatever his impact as a person, he did not found or codify anything that could be considered a specific 'tradition' for the purposes of this article. Jpacobb (talk) 00:13, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, until we have a RS tying him to a specific sect or tradition. Melton lists Chinmoy, but only as an influence on Frederick Lenz in forming the Disciples of Rama. Beit-Hallahmi doesn't seem to mention him. • Astynax talk 02:34, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Sri Chinmoy is founder of different modern parts of religion tradition. How meditation -> meditation centers ( worldwide), sport popular trough Challenging Impossibility a disciple from him Ashrita Furman or the World Harmony Run. --Richard Reinhardt (talk) 14:04, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

I understand the above to mean that Sri Chinmoy is a notable 'influence'; but this is not enough to meet the requirements of the opening paragraph of the lead section. Until there is proper well-documented article on the tradition or movement he founded, I consider there can be no reasonable case for his figuring in this particular list. Jpacobb (talk) 15:39, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Or the founder of Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. --Richard Reinhardt (talk) 17:10, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Vedic Religion and Hinduism[edit]

This article tries to make a distinction between Vedic Religion and Classical Hinduism as being two separate religions. Further, in the tables there is no row for both Vedic Religion and Classical Hinduism.

Hinduism is a learning and evolving religion that has foundations in Vedas and draws from the Puranas. It it is incorrect to break Hinduism into two separate religions Vedic Religion and Classic Hinduism as this article purports.

Unlike western religion Hinduism is not bound by a single leader nor by a specific set of rules. It was and continues to be a tradition of beliefs that is evolving with the times. The term Hindu was applied in more recent times but the nomenclature has not disrupted the continuation of its tradition.

Hinduism is the foundation of Dharmic Religion and has significantly influenced Buddhist and Jain Religions and has also learnt from them and gone through several reformations in its long history.

It cannot be truly classified with religions that have a Single Spiritual Leader and specific written rules book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tellasitis (talkcontribs) 05:10, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

That's some great information. Do you have some documentation, in the form of reliable secondary sources? Scholarly published books would be a good start here. Elizium23 (talk) 05:27, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Will add secondary sources as requested. Please allow some time. Also, see section below. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tellasitis (talkcontribs) 04:17, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Dates of Vedas and Puranas, and the Authors[edit]

VEDAS : The Vedas are among the oldest sacred texts. The Samhitas date to roughly 1500–1000 BCE, and the "circum-Vedic" texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, date to c. 1000-500 BCE, resulting in a Vedic period, spanning the mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BCE, or the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age.[1]

Michael Witzel gives a time span of c. 1500 BCE to c. 500-400 BCE. Witzel makes special reference to the Near Eastern Mitanni material of the 14th c. BCE the only epigraphic record of Indo-Aryan contemporary to the Rigvedic period. He gives 150 BCE (Patañjali) as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature, and 1200 BCE (the early Iron Age) as terminus post quem for the Atharvaveda.[2]

Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition alone, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques. A literary tradition set in only in post-Vedic times, after the rise of Buddhism in the Maurya period, perhaps earliest in the Kanva recension of the Yajurveda about the 1st century BCE; however oral tradition predominated until c. 1000 CE.[3]

Rig Veda manuscripts have been selected for inscription in UNESCO's "Memory of the World" Register 2007.[4]

PURANAS : Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is traditionally considered the compiler of the Puranas.[5] However, the earliest written versions date from the time of the Gupta Empire (third-fifth century CE) and much material may be dated, through historical references and other means, to this period and the succeeding centuries.

The date of the production of the written texts does not define the date of origin of the Puranas.[6] On one hand, they existed in some oral form before being written[6] while at the same time, they have been incrementally modified well into the 16th century.[6][7]


  1. ^ Gavin Flood sums up mainstream estimates, according to which the Rigveda was compiled from as early as 1500 BCE over a period of several centuries. Flood 1996, p. 37
  2. ^ Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 68
  3. ^ For the possibility of written texts during the first century BCE see: Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 69; For oral composition and oral transmission for "many hundreds of years" before being written down, see: Avari 2007, p. 76.
  4. ^ http://hinduism.about.com/od/scripturesepics/a/rigveda.htm
  5. ^ The Puranas by Swami Sivananda
  6. ^ a b c Johnson 2009, p. 247
  7. ^ Singh 1997, p. 2324

Polishing lead section[edit]

The wording of this paragraph seemed confusing and it contained a number of errors, including the following: Abraham was not a "founder" in the sense defined in this article (see Pico's edit); Lutheranism is a family of denominations, that is of specific ecclesial bodies (churches = denominations), each of which has its own shades of doctrine and practice and is self governing; Nestorius was not a "nestorian" and did not codify "Nestorianism" (see note to that effect in article). I have tried to put the essential main points without making statements which could well be questioned such as the inclusion in the list of "Pauline Christianity". Jpacobb (talk) 01:05, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Recent Edits[edit]

User:Splashen has made recent edits which can be seen here These changes fall into three groups and I will comment them in turn, but first I want to ensure we are clear as to the meaning of "religious tradition". The lead section uses the word "denomination" which I take to be a synonym for tradition and to refer to a group of people with a specific religious identity and recognised at the time as such and identified by the founder's name by either the group itself or outsiders in general.

  1. These edits reintroduce four names: Abraham, Moses, Solomon and John the Baptist as founders of Blood-right of inheritance; Judaism; Builder of 1st Temple; and Mandaeism + proto-founder of Christianity, respectively. The first and third (Abraham and Solomon) are not founders of denominations. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Judaism arose from the situation produced by the exile in 586 BC, which is in line what the entry in the list for Ezra states and Edwin Yamauchi states that "most recent studies ... relegate John the Baptist to a later stage of the Mandaean traditions" and goes on to give examples.(Pre-Christian Gnosticism, 1971, pp 124,125, see also Mandaeism#Chief prophets) The fact that Abraham and Moses are influential and important religious figures does not in itself justify their inclusion in a list of founders.
  2. The edits also remove a series of foot-notes (mine) warning the reader that the relationship between the historical person and what is understood by the religious tradition with which their name is associated is in some cases highly questionable if not certainly mistaken, as in the case of Nestorius. The edit also confuses notes on Ezra and Zoroaster with bibliographical references after I had separated them into a separate listing.
  3. The lead section has been altered in a way which is incompatible with the assertions made above (for example, Nestorius did not codify Nestorianism – see eliminated note and Lau comments that the "evangelical, Lutheran humanist Melanchthon to a large degree gave Lutheranism its peculiar stamp – Luther SCM 1963 p.26) but perhaps it would be advisable to leave this until there is agreement on the preceding two points.Jpacobb (talk) 21:25, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

What qualifies as a "religious tradition"?[edit]

I fear that the post-1800 section of this article might become inflated by the inclusion of ephemeral movements. Here are a few initial thoughts as to how this might be avoided. The term "tradition" implies persistence in time, possibly second, third, and fourth generations. However, it would be an oversimplification to make duration the only criterion for inclusion: the Unification Church (Moonies) is a relatively recent but a widely diffused phenomenon and has been the subject of serious academic study. I suggest that the basic requirement for inclusion should be that of notability properly understood as having been the subject of academic attention. Some criteria which might normally be very relevant are questionable in this situation: (i) recognition by governments may simply be a right that any miniscule group can obtain on demand; (ii) mention in the media can be the consequence of the need for headlines. (ii) a string of web-sites as sources may simply be multiple sources related to the subject (?as in the case of Marshall Vian Summers?). Another entry which might be worth evaluating is Missionary Church of Kopimism. Jpacobb (talk) 23:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Super Mega Church Of The New God[edit]

Three different anonymous IPs have recently inserted this organisation at the end of the listing of "Founders of religious traditions", one of which has since been blocked. The entry has been removed by three different experienced editors (see here for details). The grounds for my action were and are "No evidence of notability". If this is reinserted I suggest as suitable protection for the page (¿no access for IPs, registered editors only?) Jpacobb (talk) 18:26, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

The entry was reinserted again by anonymous IP 82.3.162.127. This IP has already been reverted once by User:Dougweller. The entry appears to be idle vandalism in that no evidence of notability is forthcoming, neither the alleged founder nor the Church are linked to articles in Wikipedia and the date of birth given for the founder is 2009. I am not prepared to get into a cycle of repeated reverts, whoever justified and some sort of administrative action seems to be needed. Jpacobb (talk) 22:27, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I've also found no hint of such an organization in any reference, so it is not notable and almost certainly deserves a rollback. • Astynax talk 23:44, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Just revert it, I don't think it's something that at the moment requires protection. Dougweller (talk) 15:48, 19 September 2014 (UTC)