Talk:Comparative religion

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"Taoic Religions"[edit]

Is there any consensus of updating the romanization of this? The longer it refers to "Tao" the more people are going to mispronounce it. Also, if that's not acceptable then the article on "De" should be changed to "Te" for consistency's sake. 05:53, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Nah, the spelling with t is too entrenched, unfortunately. Also, people will mispronounce it anyway: the sound transcribed with <d> in Pinyin is pronounced [t], a voiceless unaspirated stop, which doesn't exist in Standard English except allophonically after /s/. If you pronounce it as [d], actually, ur doing it wrong. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)


Religion is an hypothesis designed to find peace-of-mind. When fleetingly found it is called Blessedness, Grace, Bliss, Nirvana, etc; when lost again, anguish.

Descriptions of a Religion are properties of that Religion; not its essence, which for all of them, is seeking to find peace-of-mind.

Yesselman 22:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

This section wsa removed from the article... It's original research, lack encyclopedic-style information, links to an external website inappropriately (yours, I might add, violating the Wikipedia:Spam policy), has lots of improper capitalization, and just really makes no sense for this article... I see from your contribution history that you are trying similar things across a variety of articles... Please go check out the Wikipedia:Community Portal and read up on what this encyclopedia is for, how it works, what its policies are, and so forth. DreamGuy 00:02, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Will do. Yesselman 13:56, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


There are a couple of inaccuracies that I've found in this article, namely in the Islamic column. Most Islamic scholars agree that Christians are 'true believers' led astray to no fault of their own. As such, one would have to think that Islam is not the only way to reach God. Also, Historically, Muslims allowed other religious communities within their states. They were some flourished under Islamic rule, however, they were far from equal. Taxes were imposed upon the communities and the people in these communities were considered second class citizens. One would argue that this is not equal.

Steven Pound 19:17, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

L. Equality for Women[edit]

This part of the comparison is tricky considering the fact that the equality for women and Woman Rights concepts are rather new. In early teachings of both Judaism & Christianity, women weren't considered as equal to men. Until 20th century for both religious views & civil laws, women weren't equal to men in many continents of the world. So this concept is rather related to the civilization level of the culture practicing the religion rather than the religion itself. Any reference or conclusion about Islam can not be fully right without considering the under developed state of the Middle East.

In fact Republic of Turkey is one of the first countries to give women full equal rights (1926) despite the fact that its a mainly Muslim country.

Equality for Women[edit]

As mentioned above, it is difficult to judge a religion that was founded centuries ago, according to the 20th century values, specially on such newborn concepts like Women Equality. However, keynotes in the scriptures of these religions can help you understand the status that women hold in the religion's ideology.

For example, in the Quran of Islam, the equality of Men and Women in their freedom and accountability is highlighted in many verses:

4:124 If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.

16:97 Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.

3:195 And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another".

In this verse God, not only highlights equality of accountability in the Hereafter but also, emphasizes the fact that Men and Women are equal components of the community.

As for social equality and equality of rights, this has also been highlighted:

2:228 And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable.

Furthermore, oppression against women -which was very common among the tribal values, back then- was prohibited in Islam:

4:19 O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.

The prophetic traditions are also a valuable source of highlighting justice to women. In one of the prophetic traditions, Mohammad said: "They [Women] are the equals of Men." Eqaulity and justice to Women, in Islam, is not considered an act of charity or mercy towards a marginalized minority. On the contrary, the rights of Women and their equal status is as sacred as that of Men. The practice of these principles are affected, inevitably, by the community in which they are practiced, as culture surely affects people's interpretation of religious scriptures. In muslim countries nowadays, for example, Women are still fighting for their rights in the patriarchial communities. Ironically enough, they fight for their rights relying on the same verses of the Quran that God has revealed centuries ago. That is: God has liberated Women in Islam, 1400 years before the recent Women Liberation movements.

--Hazem M. Shoirah 08:13, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

".. God has liberated Women in Islam..." Only in words. In practice I have still to see that happen. I think thise issue with women equality is taken up more with Baha'ism than with Islam.

Bob Mar 16, 2007

The table with comparisons[edit]

I strongly disagree with inclusion of the table. This table strikes me as simplistic and original research, because based on personal generalization of practices and personal interpretations of scripture. For example, there are many different sects in Hinduism and it seems impossible to me to say "yes" for all these sects.Andries 20:15, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

I think that re-insertion of the table can only be justified if each cell in the table is made as an attributed opinion with a reference to a good source. Andries 20:23, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Models of Religion[edit]

The section that starts "It should be noted that there are two kinds of religions:" is unattributed and reads like original research. It is interesting, but I couldn't independently validate this dichotomy. It needs citations at the very least, and probably attribution. The final element about the Gnosticism and Christianity seems particularly out of place without citation and attribution of who's research this is.

The terms 'social' and 'mind' models are not widely used, I cannot find them cited in scholarly papers and I haven't come across them before (although it is some years since my academic studies in comparative religion).

I suggest this section be removed soon unless suitable support can be provided.

Idmillington (talk) 21:40, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Edit: After doing more research I have decided to remove this section for the time being. It was written by an unregistered user, the bulk of who's contributions relate to Gnosticism (hence the gnostic emphasis in the final non-NPOV paragraph). According to the Wikipedia guidelines an unreferenced and seemingly sprious section can be removed to the talk page to await citation unless this is likely to annoy an existing editor who merely forgot to cite the work.

The temporarily removed section is as follows:

It should be noted that there are two kinds of religions:
The first kind is a Society Model Religion which assumes that everything that happens on earth happens in said divine, otherworldly or invisible realm, therefore, God is maker and father of all. God rewards and punishes through messengers and various judgments handed down by laws. God loves and hates certain people in his creation, he is depicted as a human being. This is founded in human social interactions. According to the social model, God is Lord and as lord wants praise and worship. What matters is the interpersonal relationships among those he has created, both with each other and with the creator. These ideas are the basis of the western religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Because of adherence to a dogmatic style of thinking, adherents of society model religions often assume their scriptures are based on a historical point in time when in fact, like many religions and sects before them, the scriptures used myth and allegory within the narrative.
The second kind of religion is a Mind Model religion which assumes that the universe, whole reality and divine are thought to be like a mind, mental terms are formed in metaphor. In this model, the nature of reality can only be known through introspection and unlike the society model of religious adherence, salvation does not come from proper behavior, obedience and submission to the word of law. Rather, salvation comes from knowledge (e.g. Gnosis or Enlightenment), insight and meditation. It should be noted however that through meditation and insight self-discipline can be achieved. Mind Model religions are common in the eastern world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, and in esoteric western traditions such as Kabbalah and Gnosticism. There writings include myths and allegories; however they also have transformative properties that affect the reader who understands what is written.
It is dangerous to try and interpret a mind model religion into a society model religion as it will lead to misunderstanding. A great example would be the dispute between Gnosticism and Christianity where people believe that Gnosticism is an off-shoot of Christianity, when in fact it came before Christianity and was founded, in part, by a sect of Hellenized Jews who borrowed from even earlier traditions, therefore much misunderstanding has erupted over the nature and roots of Gnosticism.

Idmillington (talk) 21:54, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Indian vs. Dharmic[edit]

I feel as though referring to the collective religions of Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism as "Indian" religions is a bit of misnomer. It fails to take into account the foothold that these religions have in half of Asia. Further, and more importantly, it sounds (to the average passerby) to mean that they are bound together by a simple location (of which you can say the same thing to Abrahamic religions, at least in origin, calling them Middle Eastern or Canaanite, and have already referred to the Taoic as such (i.e. East Asian)), rather than being noted for having some distinctly similar principles (i.e. Dharma). It's hard to make neutral arguments when you refer to different groups of the same category when you are not using the same standards.

Furthermore, I've noticed that, as recent as a few weeks ago (I think), the names have been systematically changed from Dharmic to Indian for some reason.

Is there any reason why this is happening, and why it is being classified as "Indian" other than the reasons I've stated? Brokenwit (talk) 06:20, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

This has been discussed in detail at Indian religions. There is nothing wrong with the term "Dharmic" as far as I am concerned, but it turned out that it does not in fact see any academic use. Per WP:NAME we need to stick to the term that is already most commonly used: there is a very real danger of Wikipedia being abused for increasing the notability of certain terminology: what with Wikipedia coming up at the top for most google searches.

Also, fwiiw, the only one of the "Indian religions" that saw significant spread beyond India is Buddhism, which is a special case anyway. --dab (𒁳) 08:20, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I had to look around for the proper references: the history of this thing is somewhat complicated, because as always with questions touching Indian religion, it was accompanied with much wikidrama. This happened in September 2007, the relevant deletion discussion is here. and the full archive of the drama is tucked away here. --dab (𒁳) 08:26, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Islam and comparative religious studies[edit]

Perhaps something specific should be mentioned? [1] Faro0485 (talk) 07:58, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

"Shamanism and Animism"[edit]

Shamanism and Animism are recurring types of woldview and ritual components that are studied within comparative religion. Why would they be excluded from this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

i agree — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


Why isn't someone who is considered a pioneer of comparative religion not mentioned here? [2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Faro0485 (talkcontribs) 08:00, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I, for one, have never heard of it, not even in my freshman course in the history of the sciences of religion. (talk) 21:16, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Neither have I. The reason might be that he isn't considered a "scientist" per se - if we were to take into account all people comparing religions, we might end up with quite an article. One might argue that Sextus Empiricus (c. AD200) was just as instrumental in the founding of the comparative study of religions, as his "Outlines of Pyrrhonism" (trans: Grant 1953) brings some significant thoughts of the possibility of comparison. The first phenomenologist of religion may be Sallustius (c. AD350), and as such we may continue... The thing is, the comparative study of religion isn't delimited by it's object (comparing religions) but rather by the methodology it employs in such comparisons and the scope of the comparative study. As such, one may argue that Fr. Max Müller was the first comparative historian of religion; although his results have been shown to be flawed, he is generally introduced as a founding father in classes on the history of the sciences of religion. For further clarification, refer to "Comparative Studies in History of Religions", Erik Reenberg Sand & Jørgen Podemann Sørensen (red.), Copenhagen 1999, which contains excellent discussions on comparative studies, their aim, scope and validity. (talk) 11:10, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Comparative as in comparing and finding similarities. Rather than suspension of judgment as in the case of Outlines of Pyrrhonism as it is of philosophy not religion. And that goes for Sallustius as well as it criticisms other religion. Of course you two not hearing about that is a sure sign of the bigotry in some universities about anything Islamic, don't you think so? But either way, Al Biruni needs to be mentioned. Faro0485 (talk) 15:22, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Prof Sharma's website[edit]

Hello there,

I am writing on behalf of Prof Arvind Sharma of McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. Prof. Sharma keeps a website focused specifically on comparative religions and religious tolerance, and he is very much a specialist in the field. Is there any way a link to his website could be posted on on the Wikipedia Comparative religion page? The site could potentially be an excellent resource.

You'll find his site at (talk) 13:30, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Should be about methodology[edit]

Two comments:
1. When I first came to this topic, I expected to find a description of an academic discipline, aka religious studies. But these basic questions are un-addressed: how are religions compared? What are the dimensions or common characteristics of religions upon which comparisons can be made? I'm not one to propose these, but I'd think that all religions have beliefs, practices, and the basis for their authority. And many more characteristics, I'm sure.
2. In the book The End and Meaning of Religion, we are warned against reifying religions -- treating them as objects of study. A discussion of comparative religion as a discipline should include critical commentary about the entire enterprise. And if the author cautions us in using terms like "Hinduism" because of the false impression that there exists a thing with that name that can be studied, how much more careful we should be about using higher level abstractions like "Taoic" and etc.
In short, the current article has not enough about the discipline itself, the methodology and approach, motivation and criticism, of comparative religious studies, and yet offers the results of such comparison without foundation. --Tedlau (talk) 21:35, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree. This page, as it is, is about religion, not comparative religion. There is already a page for Religion, and Major Religious Groups. If this page is to give anything new, it shouldn't be about religion, but about Comparative Religion. It should cover the history of the field, methodology, impacts, etc. For a page about religion, and similarities and major divisions of religion, it doesn't do a good job anyway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree. The page needs a rewrite. Adding template. JohnChrysostom (talk) 07:41, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

These search results are interesting....[edit]

-- (talk) 09:18, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Comparative theology = comparative religion??[edit]

Hello all,

I search an article 'Comparative theology' and I found this article. I think Comparative theology and comparative religion is different. Comparative theology is a terminology in theological studies which trying to learn deeply about another religion and then see our religion with new eyes. Comparative religion is a terminology in studies of religions that learn about many religions and usually not to deep. The purpose are different to: comparative theology means to deepening faith of person who learning it from her/his faith perspectives. Comparative religion means to know another religions and beliefs, same as fenomenology religions.

Sorry if I couldn't speak it well, maybe y'all could know it more from Francis X Clooney who is one of the founder of comparative theology school. And I need that two separate because there is an article about comparative theology in Wikipedia Bahasa Indonesia that need an interwiki (Comparative theology in Indonesian languange). Thank you for your attention. Hope I give my message well.

55hans (talk) 02:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Abrahamic religion[edit]

This section needs to be rewritten. It has a very high Muslim bias now, and an almost exclusive focus on Islamic topics. "Tahrif" (a fine point of Islamic doctrine) is discussed, but "Incarnation" and Crucifixion (of vital importance in comparative Abrahamic religion and the source of much historical animosity between) or "Redemption" (varying views between the religions, or "salvation" in general), or the Two Temples (focus of ancient Judaism, holy ground for Muslims/Dome of the Rock) are not. JohnChrysostom (talk) 14:04, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

'The original belief in the One God of Abraham eventually became present-day Rabbinic Judaism. Christians believe that Christianity is the fulfillment and continuation of the Jewish Old Testament.' - This assumes that Christianity is not the continuation of belief in God (as opposed to a god or gods); it would follow also that Christinity is not the continuation of the Covenant with Him. It is assumed tacitly that modern rabbinic 'Judaism' (and presumably also Jewry) constitutes the continuation of that original belief. It is the belief of Orthodox-Catholic-Apostolic Christians that the Church is the continuation of the Covenant and that Orthodoxy / Catholicism / the Apostolic Creed is the continuation of that original belief. The wording of this section ought to be considered. 25022014a (talk) 20:04, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


Why is china almost 100% Dharmic? And why is French Guiana black when the rest of France is not? Bgagaga (talk) 21:08, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Lists of religions[edit]

There are lists and spaces for lists in the footers, and also space in the box at the right. This should not be an article of lists. We should find a place for the lists, make sure everything is in its place, and delete them from the article.Botteville (talk) 08:31, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

The Key Of Knowledge[edit]

Copied from User talk:Joshua Jonathan#Comparative religion

Hello, you recently removed one of the further readings calling it undue. I would like to ask you, that whether you've read the book. And, how can you call it outdated. The religions discussed on the page aren't new either. This is clear bias on your side. The book is one of the best book written on the subject "comparative religion". Nobody owns Wikipedia. If a book is good, it can be added in "Further readings". Thank you,- जैन (talk) 11:40, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

@जैन: the question is: what is "good"? Jain, Champat Rai (1928). The Key Of Knowledge (Third ed.). Today and Tomorrow's Printer.  is from 1919, which is definitely outdated. Google scholars gives only 6 citations, which is a clear sign that the book is hardly relevant for comparative religions. The article on Champat Rai Jain is very short, which is also a sign that he's not a relevant source for the field of comparative religions. And the publisher is an obscure publisher. I think that you can easily find recent books from established publishers which are more relevant for a general public, not just Jains. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 12:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
@Joshua Jonathan: All your points except one are valid. The point that "it's relevant to only Jains" is invalid. I can understand that because the author was a Jain, people would judge him from this point of view only. Nevertheless, we are living beings with mind and can judge "What is Good?". I have read the book and know how important it is for a scholar of comparative religions. Also, if you haven't read the book how can you judge, whether it's good or bad? Also, please have a look on other books in the "further readings" section. Thank you.-जैन (talk) 12:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, the 3rd edition book of the book was published in 1928 at the INDIAN PRESS LTD., Allahabad. And the fourth edition was published in 1975 by TODAY & TOMORROW'S PRINTERS PUBLISHERS, NEW DELHI. It was most recently published in 2008. We don't see many old books getting republished. This shows that it's no doubt a valuable gem. - जैन (talk) 12:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Valuable for whom? You wrote: "I have read the book and know how important it is for a scholar of comparative religions." Can you provide references which establish the imprortance of this book for the field of comparative religion? Six references by other sources at Google scholar does not give the impression that is is a relevant book. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:56, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I quote from the preface itself (Italics are mine):

"A 'key,' with the aid of which all the locked doors of wisdom might be unlocked, enabling its possessor to enter into them and to see for himself the priceless treasures which have remained hidden from common view so long. Its chief value will be found to lie in its power of reconciling the numerous religious doctrines which have hitherto been regarded as irreconcilable.

Also, in the fifth chapter "The Fall", the author explains the allegory of "The Fall" and wonderfully relates two mythological accounts: (1) The marriage of Brahman and consequent fall. (2) The Story of Esher in the Old Testament of The Holy Bible. Apart from this, he also explains significance of various mythological figures found in Hinduism.-जैन (talk) 17:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Comparative religion/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Who studies comparative religion and what is the essence of their research? These are the questions I was asking when I came to this page but the answers are sorely lacking.Tripend (talk) 03:23, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Last edited at 03:23, 18 September 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 12:07, 29 April 2016 (UTC)