List of religions and spiritual traditions

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While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."[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 behaviours, 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) or religious texts. 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, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, 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, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.[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

East Asian religions[edit]

Religions that originated in East Asia; namely Taoism, Confucianism and Shintoism, and religions and traditions related to, and descended from them.

Confucianism[edit]

Shinto[edit]

Shinto-inspired religions[edit]

Taoism[edit]

Other[edit]

Chinese[edit]

Korean[edit]

Manchu[edit]

Vietnamese[edit]

Indian religions[edit]

Religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, and religions and traditions related to, and descended from them.

Ajivika (Historical)[edit]

Ajñana (Historical)[edit]

Buddhism[edit]

New Buddhist movements[edit]

Global variants of Buddhism[edit]

Charvaka (Historical)[edit]

Din-I Ilahi (Historical)[edit]

Hinduism[edit]

Hindu reform movements[edit]

Major schools and movements of Hindu philosophy

Bhakti movement[edit]

Jainism[edit]

Meivazhi[edit]

Sikhism[edit]

Middle Eastern religions[edit]

Religions that originated in the Middle East; namely Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and religions and traditions related to, and descended from them.

Bábism[edit]

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

Christianity[edit]

Eastern Christianity[edit]

Western Christianity[edit]

Other[edit]

Certain Christian groups are difficult to classify as "Eastern" or "Western." Many Gnostic groups were closely related to early Christianity, for example, Valentinism. Irenaeus wrote polemics against them from the standpoint of the then-unified Catholic Church.[13]

Druze[edit]

Islam[edit]

Khawarij
Shia Islam
Sufism
Sunni Islam
Other

Judaism[edit]

Beta Israel[edit]

Black Hebrew Israelites[edit]

Karaite Judaism[edit]

Kabbalah[edit]

Noahidism[edit]

Rabbinic Judaism[edit]

Samaritans[edit]

Second Temple Judaism (Historical)[edit]

Mandaeism[edit]

Manichaeism[edit]

Rastafari[edit]

Shabakism[edit]

Yazdânism[edit]

Zoroastrianism[edit]

New religious movements[edit]

Religions that cannot be classed as either world religions nor traditional folk religions, and are usually recent in their inception.

Cargo cults[edit]

Ethnic religions[edit]

Black[edit]

White[edit]

Native American[edit]

Modern paganism[edit]

Ethnic neopaganism[edit]

Syncretic neopaganism[edit]

New Thought[edit]

Parody religions[edit]

Post-theistic and naturalistic religions[edit]

Western esotericism[edit]

Other[edit]

Traditional, indigenous, and folk religions[edit]

Religions that consist of the traditional customs and beliefs of particular ethnic groups, refined and expanded upon for thousands of years, often lacking formal doctrine.

Note: Some adherents do not consider their ways to be "religion," preferring other cultural terms.

African[edit]

African diasporic religions[edit]

Central African
East African
North African
West African
South African

American[edit]

Mesoamerican[edit]

North American
South American

Eurasian[edit]

East Asian[edit]

European[edit]

West Asian[edit]

Oceania[edit]

Other categorisations[edit]

By demographics[edit]

By area[edit]

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. ^ "World Religions Religion Statistics Geography Church Statistics". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  4. ^ http://www.parapsych.org/base/about.aspx
  5. ^ "Key Facts about Near-Death Experiences". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  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. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1112. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  9. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1001. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  10. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 997. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  11. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1004. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Irenaeus of Lyons". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  14. ^ Smith, Christian; Joshua Prokopy (1999). Latin American Religion in Motion. New York: Routledge, pp. 279-280. ISBN 978-0-415-92106-0

External links[edit]