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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

Confucian temple in Jiading district, Shanghai.
Confucianism (simplified Chinese: 儒学; traditional Chinese: 儒學; pinyin: Rúxué [ About this sound Listen  ], literally "The School of the Scholars"; or 孔教 Kŏng jiào, "The Teachings of Confucius") is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius. It is a complex system of moral, social, political, and religious thought which has had tremendous influence on the history of Chinese civilization up to the 21st century. Some people in the West have considered it to have been the "state religion" of imperial China because of the Chinese government's promotion of Confucianist values.

Confucianism as passed down to the 19th and 20th centuries derives primarily from the school of the Neo-Confucians, led by Zhu Xi, who gave Confucianism renewed vigor in the Song and later dynasties. Neo-Confucianism combined Taoist and Buddhist ideas with existing Confucian ideas to create a more complete metaphysics than had ever existed before. At the same time, many forms of Confucianism have historically declared themselves opposed to the Buddhist and Taoist belief systems.

Selected picture

Battle at Lanka, Ramayana, Udaipur, 1649-53.jpg
Credit: User:TheMandarin

Battle at Lanka, Ramayana by Sahibdin. It depicts monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon-king of the king of Lanka, Ravana in order to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The painting depicts multiple events in the battle against the three-headed demon general Trisiras, in bottom left - Trisiras is beheaded by the monkey-companion of Rama - Hanuman.

Selected religious figure or deity

Depiction of Aravan, worshiped at Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore
Iravan (Aravan) is a minor character from the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. The son of Pandava prince Arjuna (one of the main heroes of the Mahabharata) and the Naga princess Ulupi, Iravan is the central god of the cult of Kuttantavar and plays a major role in the cult of Draupadi. Both these cults are of South Indian origin, from a region of the country where he is worshipped as a village deity. The Mahabharata portrays Iravan as dying a heroic death in the 18-day Kurukshetra War, the epic's main subject. However, the South Indian cults have a supplementary tradition of honouring Iravan's self-sacrifice to the goddess Kali to ensure her favour and the victory of the Pandavas in the war. The South Indian cult focus on three boons granted to Iravan by the god Krishna in honour of this self-sacrifice. Iravan is also a patron god of well-known Indian transgender communities called Ali. In Koovagam, Tamil Nadu, an 18-day festival holds a ceremonial marriage of Iravan to Alis and male villagers and followed then by their "widowhood" after ritual re-enactment of Iravan's sacrifice. Iravan is also known in Indonesia. Independent Javanese traditions present a dramatic marriage of Irawan to Titisari, daughter of Krishna, and a death resulting from a case of mistaken identity.

Did you know...

  • ...that cosmology is the study of the universe in its totality and by extension humanity's place in it?

On this day...

June 22:

Selected quote

Gutenberg Bible
1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Bible, Psalm 23

Selected scripture

This 1768 parchment (612x502 mm) by Jekuthiel Sofer emulated the 1675 Decalogue at Amsterdam Esnoga synagogue.
The Ten Commandments, or "Decalogue", are a list of religious and moral imperatives which, according to the Hebrew Bible, were written by God and given to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of two stone tablets. They feature prominently in Judaism and Christianity.

The phrase "Ten Commandments" generally refers to the broadly identical passages in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

In Biblical Hebrew language, the commandments are termed עשרת הדברים (translit. Aseret ha-Dvarîm) and in Rabbinical Hebrew עשרת הדברות (translit. Aseret ha-Dibrot), both translatable as "the ten statements." The name "Decalogue" is derived from the Greek name δεκάλογος or "dekalogos" ("ten statements") found in the Septuagint (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 10:4), which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name.

According to Biblical text, the commandments represent the utterances of God on Mount Sinai. God inscribed them into "tables of stone", also referred to as "tables of testimony" or "tables of the covenant", which he gave to Moses. Moses then gave them to the people of Israel in the third month after their Exodus from Egypt. Israel's receipt of the commandments occurred on the third day of preparations at the foot of the mount.

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