Talk:List of religions and spiritual traditions

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What about UFO Religions?[edit]

There is probably a good reason why they aren't included, but what is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Order of religious groups and naming[edit]

There appears to be a lack of a neutral system that forms the basis of how elements are named and listed here. Date, founder, origins should be applied consistently as to be neutral to all entities on the list. It need to be done from a rather neutral point of view and with a consistency. Wikidās ॐ 07:52, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

African Traditional Religions[edit]

While I realize the pages themselves are not all well done, in fact, many are mere stubs, they should still be listed here.

From the African traditional religion page:

West Africa

Central Africa

East Africa

Southern Africa

- IanCheesman (talk) 20:04, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Quick Problem...[edit]

I just noticed that there is some repetition on the list. You might wanna take a took at it. Thanks. Malomaboy06 (talk) 22:01, 9 November 2008 (UTC)


I said it on the Talk:List_of_fictional_religions and I'll say it again: where is Pastafarianism?:

I don't think Pastafarianism classes as a fictional religion. While it has a certain notability on this List of fictional religions page, on the official website it is neither explicitly stated nor implied that the religion is a parody, joke or fictional religion. Naming it as 'fictional' due to the subjective absurdity of a Flying Spaghetti Monster cannot satisfy the neuturality of wikipedia. As with one of the foremost comments, all religion is 'ficitional' by even the most lax of criteria. Thus, Pastafarian should be considered for removal, perhaps to a page on 'Minor religions'?
Oliverbeatson (talk) 01:29, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I hereby request its inclusion on this list of religions. Oliverbeatson (not logged in) (talk) 00:55, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

That's an alias for The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which is in the list now. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 14:24, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Section merge[edit]

Should the "Historical polytheism" section be merged into "Indigenous traditional religions"? I vote yes.--Editor2020 (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


A post in claims that Discordianism is not a mock religion, and that its believers take it seriously. Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley clearly intended it as a parody. Robert Anton Wilson (a.k.a Mordicai the Foul) asked, Is Discordianism a religion disguised as a joke, or a joke disguised as a religion? Whichever way you interpret it, it's still a joke and any true believers are the punchline. Discordianism needs to be moved to Parody Religions. --Elmyr (talk) 14:38, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Salvador Dali once said that to produce modern art you had to make sure the viewer couldn't tell whether you were producing serious art or just having a joke at their expense. And that you yourself couldn't tell, either. Peter jackson (talk) 11:28, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Discordism is real, and there is a Discordian Humanism that is different from Discordianism. It is a more modernized version for modern times, and updated, and believes in equal rights for all. Check out Reddit at /r/discordianhumanism and /r/discordianism for more information and to find articles to cite for your research. Enemies of Eris Discordia and Discordians mock us by saying our religion is a joke, etc. It is a form of oppression from the other religions. Eris Blastar (talk) 02:10, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Confucianism - Legalism[edit]

Are Confucianism and Legalism religions? (talk) 04:57, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Christianity section[edit]

There has been some to-and-fro about where non-RC Western brands of Catholicism belong. I think what we actually might want to do is let List of Christian denominations do its job, and have what's here be just the top level or two of that. Tb (talk) 18:34, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Your latest revision appears to be an acceptable compromise. I would like to comment however on what to do with Anglicanism. In some respects I agree with it remaining in the Catholic section as it's spiritual tradition is Catholic. But it's spiritual tradition is also Protestant. I've known Anglicans that put themselves in one or the other or sometimes both camps. Since you're Anglican, perhaps you know which group it fits better in, but my opinion on a somewhat unbiased level is that it belongs in it's own category. My personal POV is that they are Protestant, but that's coming from a Roman Catholic. Stylteralmaldo (talk) 19:01, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not really true to say that its spiritual tradition is Protestant; in fact it simply lands in both camps. The position in List of Christian denominations has been to use a "filter" rule, where each group is listed under the first heading that it matches (since there are many groups with multiple sensible categorizations) and to take "Catholicism" specifically as involving a claim of continuity with the pre-schism Church based on apostolic succession of bishops--which is essentially the only definition which makes the term refer to more than only the RCC, or every church. The RC notion that it must be Protestant is based upon the fact that it used to be much more strongly identified as such, and a general RC idea that whatever is not RC must be Protestant. Once we all become aware of the Old Catholics, for example, not to mention the Orthodox, the "not-RC equals Protestant" thinking tends to fall. Tb (talk) 20:46, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
In any case, it has been discussed at various times at List of Christian denominations, with varying changes in consensus over time. My view here is that this page should simply mirror that one. Tb (talk) 20:47, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Spiritual Traditions[edit]

Is there any hope that the various "Spiritual Traditions" can be separated from "Religions" on the basis of religions being curriculum based, i.e based on agreed written rules and principles), while spiritual traditions (voudou, rastafarianism, and obeah, for example) are folk-based with no written or recorded methodology? They're not really related. Santamoly (talk) 21:10, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I think this is tendentious. There is a continuum between; it seems odd in the extreme to say they are not related. Tb (talk) 17:54, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not in the least tendentious. The one is an organized, repeatable curriculum of instruction with written academic texts and workbooks with the aim of propagating a uniform result. The other is a folk-based belief, inconsistent and variable from one village to the next. That is a big difference. If you think otherwise, can you give us some insight into your reasoning? Perhaps you are thinking that Religion and Faith are the same (they're not), or that Tradition and Faith are the same (they, also, are not)? Santamoly (talk) 05:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm saying that any definition under which Greco-Roman religion is not religion is incorrect. Christianity did not become a religion sometime in the sixteenth century ("academic texts and workbooks"? When do you think workbooks were invented?). Hinduism is unquestionably a religion--or a cluster of religious traditions--as is Shinto, and yet, they are not "curriculum based" in any plausible sense. Tb (talk) 17:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
You're bouncing all over the place. What, pray, is a "Greco-Roman religion"? And what do you think Christianity was before printed Bibles existed? How can you say that "Hinduism is a religion" in one breath, and then a "cluster of traditions" in the next? Doesn't that support my suggestion? Santamoly (talk) 05:53, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Your suggest cannot even make sense of the concept of "folk religion". The Romans--who invented the word "religion", by the way--had a pagan religion, which did not involve any of your invented requirements for a religion. Can we find a source which makes the distinction you are arguing for, please? Tb (talk) 17:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Tb is correct. "Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values." That is the definition of religion from our very own religion page. Nowhere does it say that a religion needs to be curriculum based. Basically what you are saying is that only the Abrahamic religions are proper religions. This is biased and not acceptable on Wikipedia. Canada10wi (talk) 19:56, 9 September 2011 (UTC)


According to the wikipedia article at it is recognized as a religion by the United States government. I realize that there is dispute about whether it is a religion, but if some consider it a religion, perhaps it could be added with a notation that it is disputed. Nightkey (talk) 17:59, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Parody or mock religions[edit]

There are many more than can be added to start off you can add The Church Of Emacs, a "church" named after the Emacs text editor And the Cult Of Vi named after the Vi text editor see

note: I am sorry if I have done something wrong. Other than this I have only once ever edited a Wikipedia page

I'm thinking the whole section could be cut as neither a religion nor a spiritual practice if these seem just some form of humor (Church of Trek) or comment of strongly held view conflicts on the level of 'religious wars' (DOS vs Unix wars). Do need to be careful as there are nontheistic religions and nontheistic spiritual beliefs, to where have Atheists or Jedism that seems not a religion but is officially recognized in some countries as such and able to conduct marriages and other functions associated to more common religions. And have some obviously mainstream religions that have do not form by a building -- traveling ministry, cafe church or internet church or pub church) but are definately holding a particular spitirual belief or spiritual seekers versus non-spiritual critic or vandal or humorist.. Markbassett (talk) 00:04, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Greek/Roman Mythology?[edit]

Where it be at, broski? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Greek and Roman religions still exist to this day, but are mocked and insulted by other religions in refusing to acknowledge that they are real, and that they deserve mention. When we try to get articles about them on Religion lists, it gets deleted by intolerant people who claim they are 'joke religions' and 'not real' and 'everyone who followed them is now dead'. But I challenge you to look at all of the statues in federal court buildings. They are from the greek and roman myths that our laws and type of government 'republic' are based upon. Lady Justice is one example, Liberty (goddess) for another. Eris for example represents 'change', 'evolution', and 'progress' because without discord and chaos you would just have the same thing over and over again. Eris Blastar (talk) 02:19, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Christian Science is not New Thought[edit]

Christian Science should be removed from under New Thought, it is a forerunner to the movement, but is its self not part of it. Or maybe the headline could read, "Christian Science and New Thought" ? Anthony maybury (talk) 13:02, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Use of the term "mythology"[edit]

My congratulations to the author(s) for this very comprehensive list. I don't understand, though, why the term "mythology" (with its negative connotations) has been used to label any of the religions. It also seems inappropriate that virtually all of the "Indigenous traditional religions" (and virtually none of the religions in the other categories) use this term. Thank you for your consideration. --ContentOfTheirCharacter (talk) 03:12, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Please read Mythology, especially the section "Terminology". Academia does not use it with any negative connotation, it simply refers to collections of stories that have a sacred value to a particular community. In many cases, there simply isn't an "-ism" name for certain groups of beliefs (indeed, some scholars have come to question if attempting to view many culture's spiritual beliefs as "-isms" is not ultimately a western attempt to force other spiritual beliefs into a model resembling the Abrahamic religions). Ian.thomson (talk) 03:48, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi - I agree that "myth" is a neutral term meaning "story". But the general perception of the term is negative - and conveys the message that this religion is either "ancient" and has been superseded by a "true" religion or that this religion has been discredited. All religions are a collection of "stories": creation stories, founder stories, stories about the acts of the major personalities. Also, all religions include codes of conduct and philosophies and values - which are not stories (although they may use stories to illustrate these concepts). Many religions include assertions - about the afterlife, about what the deity/deities expects of us, etc - these are not stories either (although they may use stories to explain how to attain the rewards of the afterlife). So, while calling a belief system a "mythology" is defensible based on the dictionary definition of mythology, I suspect that if we told a devote Jew, Christian, Muslim, etc that his world view was "the Jewish mythology", "the Christian mythology", or "the Muslim mythology" then I think he would be shocked (and offended) at our terminology. Thus, I think that removing the term would take away the negative connotation (without in any way diminishing the quality of the article). ContentOfTheirCharacter (talk) 04:19, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Over 80% of Americans support mandatory labels on foods containing DNA -- DNA being the base component for non-virus life (and thus all food) on earth. I bring this up to partially illustrate why we only care what academic sources mean and not common perception. Also, we already have articles on Christian mythology, Islamic mythology, and Jewish mythology. C.S. Lewis (the guy who wrote Narnia, and pretty into writing about a traditional but otherwise universal Christianity) described Jesus as a myth that was also true -- in other words one of the more popular theologians of the 20th century used "myth" to refer to a religion's sacred story for which the true/false value is independent of it being a myth. Ian.thomson (talk) 13:11, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for your thoughts on this. I'm not certain (and I certainly mean no disrespect) that the 2 examples you raise are relevant to this situation. I can't comment on the DNA point because I haven't heard of this labeling outcry (I totally agree that any such label would be ludicrous). As to the other articles about Christian / Jewish / Islamic mythology: first they are different articles than this one (and so not relevant to how THIS article is written - ie, we can't "average" the 2 articles to somehow make Wikipedia right on an "overall" basis), and second those articles DON'T say "Christianity is mythical but Buddhism is a religion" - whereas this article DOES say "Christianity is a religion but this indigenous traditional belief is a myth". So my concern isn't so much in the use (or not use) of the word "myth", it is in the selective use of the word "myth". Now, let me add a new twist into our discussion (which I am enjoying and I appreciate your participation in it). I am an atheist - with absolutely no faith in any religion. I believe that EVERY religion is mythical (and in this context I AM using the popular meaning of "myth" as a false belief). I am not at all against the application of the word "myth" to the indigenous traditional religions - I totally agree with that characterization. My argument is that "myth" shouldn't be applied selectively to some religions but not to others. They are ALL mythical - but they ALL have some people who devotedly believe them (however wrong I believe those people's beliefs to be). So, to be absolutely clear, my point is that either the word "religion" should be applied to ALL of these belief systems, or the word "mythology" should be applied to ALL of these belief systems - because ALL of these belief systems have equal status (or equal validity - or equal lack of validity). If we apply the word "religion" (or the suffix "-ism") to some of them and we apply the word "mythology" (or even "folk religion") to others, then we are overlaying our personal Point Of View by selecting which belief system gets this word and which belief system gets that word. ContentOfTheirCharacter (talk) 03:55, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

The most obvious thing to me is that if the article that's being linked does not use "mythology" then it is editorial bias to use "mythology" in this list. BashBrannigan (talk) 01:47, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

I agree, Bash, that this is a good criteria. I would consider using the neutral term "belief system" for every religion. This would even be appropriate for atheism and agnosticism. (If these latter two are not included, then "faith" would also be an acceptable neutral term.)ContentOfTheirCharacter (talk) 03:16, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Our practice of not using Wikipedia as a reliable source for content verification is long standing and editorially sound. We therefor should not consider what an article says, to determine the neutrality of our verbiage nor as a tool for verification. Instead, we should continue using independent reliable sources that readers can use to verify the accuracy and neutrality of the information our articles convey.--John Cline (talk) 12:35, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi John. I’m not certain I correctly understand your meaning: “We … should not consider what an article says to determine [its] neutrality nor … for verification. We should [use] independent reliable sources to verify the accuracy and neutrality …” If I do understand your intent then Wikipedia shouldn’t be considered reliable (or neutral) – it should only pique our interest and provide a really good bibliography so everyone can do their own research. I’m having a hard time coming to grips with that. I have found many excellent articles on Wikipedia. Even the article we’re discussing seems to me a very thorough list of the many religious beliefs in the world. I’ve read very informative articles on physics, history, and biology. I hate to think that the authors of all those articles (or the author of this article) had no intention of either accuracy or neutrality when they created their articles. I hate to think that all the people who give their time and knowledge to reviewing and improving articles have no intention of either accuracy or neutrality. And I don't believe that all the people who refer to Wikipedia for information have no expectation of either accuracy or neutrality. I believe an article should be as accurate, and as neutral, as possible. (And I'm certain that this is also the intent of the authors.) And that its accuracy and neutrality can be judged ONLY by what it says. Again, if I misconstrued your intended meaning, I apologize for that – and please do me the favour of correcting my misunderstanding. ContentOfTheirCharacter (talk) 21:27, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for requesting these clarifications. It is entirely my error which unintentionally introduced the ambiguities of my previous comment. That you found understanding at all speaks well of your "power of reason". To achieve a thoroughly accurate understanding, as you have done, speaks remarkably well of the total person who edits Wikipedia as ContentOfTheirCharacter. I am glad that we met here today; that I've been blessed once again in my life – undeserving; once again.
I meant to imply that we rightfully do not use one Wikipedia article as a reliable source for verification of some other Wikipedia article's content. You are absolutely correct that we invariably must "consider what an article says" to determine how well it adheres to the same areas of required compliance. It is true that "Wikipedia is not a reliable source"; a fact that should not cause a measure of lament. The informative articles you mentioned having read are the collaborative results of thoughtful editors who deserve admiration for the selfless service they voluntarily gave. I did not mean to cast any aspersions, or to suggest a nefarious thing, and I am sorry that sentiments like that were minced in my prose. I hope I have clarified this matter well enough, and ask that you tell me if anything else needs to be done to remove any "ill effects" that remain, or to restore the peace that was known; or the confidence lost as a result of the comment posted by me. Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 02:09, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi John - thanks for your clarification, and your kind words. Believe me, I never had any ill feelings. I also enjoy having these sorts of discussions with people such as yourself who put a lot of thought into questions of this nature and are willing to share and articulate their ideas.
As I look back over the entire thread of this conversation and all its participants (Ian.thomson, BashBrannigan, and now you as well) I remind myself that the initial comment I made was that in a list of the many religions of the world, I felt that it was not appropriate that many of those were labeled as "religions" - and that some were labeled as "mythology". And I noted that virtually all and virtually only the "Indigenous Traditional Religions" were called "mythologies".
Although several (interesting and enjoyable) tangents from this original concern have been travelled, I still feel that this gives an unnecessary bias to the list. I think that if the word "religion" or "belief" or "faith" (or even the word "mythology") was applied equally to each of the entries in the list (ie, EVERY entry in the list had the same label), then the article would be better balanced and more respectful of all belief systems - and this change would not at all diminish the quality of the article or the amount of information conveyed.
Best regards ContentOfTheirCharacter (talk) 03:09, 5 April 2015 (UTC)