List of founders of religious traditions

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.

Ancient (before AD 500)

See culture hero for legendary founders of doubtful historicity. If you intend to add figures that fall into this category, please add them in the allotted section.
Name Religious tradition founded Ethnicity Life of founder
Akhenaten Atenism Egyptian c. 1353 BC – 1336 BC[1]
Zoroaster Zoroastrianism Central Iranian c. 1000 BC [2]
Parshvanatha The penultimate (23rd) Tirthankara in Jainism Indian 877 BC – 777 BC[3][4][5][6][7]
Nebuchadnezzar II built the Etemenanki, established Marduk as the patron deity of Babylon Amorite c. 634 BC – 562 BC
Ajita Kesakambali Charvaka Indian 6th century BC[8][9][10]
Mahavira The final (24th) tirthankara in Jainism Indian 599 BC – 527 BC[11][12][13]
Siddhartha Gautama Buddhism Indian 563 BC – 483 BC[14][15]
Confucius Confucianism Chinese 551 BC – 479 BC[16][17]
Pythagoras Pythagoreanism Samian fl. 520 BC
Mozi Mohism Chinese 470 BC – 390 BC
Makkhali Gosala Ājīvika Indian 5th century BC[18]
Ezra Second Temple Judaism[19] Levite Judean, Kohen fl. 459 BC[n 1]
Epicurus Epicureanism Samian fl. 307 BC
Zeno of Citium Stoicism possibly Phoenician,[20]
albeit a Greek national
333 BC – 264 BC
Pharnavaz I of Iberia Armazi Georgian 326 BC – 234 BC
Patanjali Rāja yoga Indian 2nd century BC
John the Baptist Mandaeism Galilean-Judean Late 1st century BC - 28/36 BC
Jesus (and the Twelve Apostles) Christianity (Catholic Church) Galilean-Judean c. 4 BC – c. 30/33 AD
Paul the Apostle Pauline Christianity Judean, albeit a Roman citizen c. 33 AD
James the Just Jewish Christianity Judean c. 33 AD
Lakulisha Pashupata Shaivism Indian 1st century AD
Judah the Prince Rabbinic Judaism Judean, Davidic line 2nd century AD
Montanus Montanism Phrygian 2nd century AD
Marcion of Sinope Marcionism Pontic Greek 110–160
Nagarjuna Madhyamaka Indian 150–250
Plotinus Neoplatonism may have been of Roman,[21]
Greek,[22] or Hellenized Egyptian[23]
ancestry; Roman citizen
205–270
Mani Manichaeism Persian Western Iranian/Airya 216–274
Arius[n 2] Arianism[n 3] possibly Berber,
born in Libya; hellenophone
250–336
Pelagius[n 2] Pelagianism[n 4] British,[24] possibly Irish[25] 354–430
Nestorius[n 2] Nestorianism[n 5] Romaniote (Byzantine hellenophone) 386–451
Eutyches Monophysitism[n 6] born in Constantinople 380–456

Medieval to Early Modern (500–1800 AD)

Name Religious tradition founded Ethnicity Life of founder
Mazdak Mazdakism Central Iranian/Airya died c. 526
Bodhidharma Zen Indian 5th or 6th century
Muhammad Islam Arabian c. 570–632
Songtsen Gampo Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan 7th century
En no Gyōja Shugendō Japanese late 7th century
Huineng East Asian Zen Buddhism Chinese (Tang dynasty) 638–713
Padmasambhava Nyingma Indian 8th century
Han Yu Neo-Confucianism Chinese 8th or 9th century
Saichō Tendai (descended from Tiantai) Japanese 767–822
Kūkai Shingon Buddhism Japanese 774–835
Adi Shankara Advaita Vedanta Indian 788–820
Ibn Nusayr Nusayrism Persian late 9th century
Matsyendranath Nath Indian 10th century
Ramanuja Vishishtadvaita Indian 1017–1137
Great Peacemaker Great Law of Peace Huron Between the 10th and 15th centuries
Hamza ibn ‘Alī ibn Aḥmad Druze Persian 11th century
Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir Yazidism Yazidi 12th century
Basava Lingayatism Indian 12th century
Hōnen Jōdo-shū (descended from Pure Land Buddhism) Japanese 1131–1212
Eisai Rinzai Zen (descended from the Linji school) Japanese 1141–1215
Shinran Jōdo Shinshū (descended from Jōdo-shū) Japanese 1173–1263
Dōgen Sōtō Zen (descended from the Caodong school) Japanese 1200–1253
Haji Bektash Veli Bektashi Order of Sufism Turkish (Ottoman) or Persian 1209–1271
Nichiren Nichiren Buddhism Japanese 1222–1282
Dyaneshwar Varkari Indian 1275–1296
Madhvacharya Dvaita Indian 1238–1317
Sant Mat Bhakti movement Numerous groups in India[n 7] 13th to 15th centuries
John Wycliffe Lollardy British (English) 1320s–1384
Nāimī - Fażlu l-Lāh Astar-Ābādī Hurufism Iranian 14th century
Mahmoud Pasikhani Nuqṭawism Iranian (Persian) late 14th century
Jan Hus Hussitism Frankish (Czech) 1372–1415
Tlacaelel Cult of Huitzilopochtli Aztec 1397–1487
Ramananda Vaishnavism Indian 15th century
Pachacuti Cult of Inti Incan 1418–1472
Sankardev Ekasarana Dharma Assamese (Indian) 1449–1568
Guru Nanak Sikhism Punjabi (Indian) 1469–1539
Sri Chand Udasi Punjabi (Indian) 1494–1629
Vallabha Acharya Shuddhadvaita Telugu (Indian) 1479–1531
Martin Luther Lutheranism and Protestantism in general Frankish (Saxon) 1483–1546
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Achintya Bheda Abheda Bengali (Indian) 1486–1534
Thomas Cranmer Anglicanism (Church of England) British (English) 1489–1556
Menno Simons Mennonite Dutch 1496–1561
Conrad Grebel Swiss Brethren, Anabaptists Swiss 1498–1526
Jacob Hutter Hutterite Tyrolean (Bavarian) 1500–1536
Sultan Sahak Yarsanism Kurdish early 15th century
John Calvin Calvinism[26] French 1509–1564
Michael Servetus[27] Unitarianism Aragonese 1511?–1553
John Knox[28] Presbyterianism Scottish 1510–1572
Akbar Din-i Ilahi Indian (Mughal) 1542–1605
Jacobus Arminius Arminianism Dutch 1560–1609
John Smyth[29] Baptists English 1570–1612
Avvakum Old Believers of Russian Orthodox Church Russian 1620–1682
George Fox[30] Quakers English 1624–1691
Philipp Spener[31] Pietism Alsatian (German) 1635–1705
Jakob Ammann Amish Swiss 1656–1730
Emanuel Swedenborg The New Church Swedish 1688–1772
Yisroel ben Eliezer "Baal Shem Tov"[32] Hasidic Judaism Polish (Ukrainian) 1698–1760
John Wesley,[33] Charles Wesley, George Whitefield Methodism English 1703–1791
Ann Lee[34] Shakers English 1736–1784

New religious movements (post-1800)

Name Religious tradition founded Ethnicity Life of founder
Ram Mohan Roy Brahmo Samaj Indian, Bengali 1772–1833
Swaminarayan Swaminarayan Sampraday Indian 1781–1830
Auguste Comte Religion of Humanity French 1798–1857
Nakayama Miki Tenrikyo Japanese 1798–1887
Ignaz von Döllinger Old Catholic Church German 1799–1890
Phineas Quimby New Thought American 1802–1866
Allan Kardec Spiritism French 1804–1869
Joseph Smith Mormonism, also known as the Latter Day Saint movement Anglo-American 1805–1844
John Thomas Christadelphians British 1805–1871
Abraham Geiger Reform Judaism Ashkenazi Jewish 1810–1874
Jamgon Kongtrul Rimé movement Tibetan 1813–1899
Hong Xiuquan Taiping Christianity Han Chinese (Hakka) 1814–1864
Bahá'u'lláh[35] Bahá'í Faith Persian (Ottoman Turk) 1817–1892
Báb Bábism, precursor of the Bahá'í Faith Persian (Ottoman Turk) 1819–1850
James Springer White Seventh-day Adventist Church American 1821–1881
Wang Jueyi Yiguandao Chinese (Qing dynasty) 1821–1884
Mary Baker Eddy[36] Christian Science American 1821–1910
Ramalinga Swamigal Samarasa Sutha Sanmarga Sangam Tamil (Indian) 1823–1874
Dayananda Saraswati Arya Samaj Gujarati (Indian) 1824–1883
Ellen G. White[37] Seventh-day Adventist Church American 1827–1915
John Ballou Newbrough Faithism American 1828–1891
Subh-i-Azal Azali Bábism Persian 1831–1912
Helena Blavatsky Theosophy Russian (Ukrainian) 1831–1891
Ayya Vaikundar Ayyavazhi Indian 1833–1851
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Ahmadiyya Indian (Mughal) 1835–1908
Guido von List Armanism (Germanic mysticism) Austrian 1848–1919
Charles Taze Russell[38] Bible Student movement American 1852–1916
Wovoka Ghost Dance Paiute (Native American) 1856–1932
Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy Austrian 1861–1925
Swami Vivekananda Ramakrishna Mission Indian 1863–1902
William Irvine[39] Two by Twos and Cooneyites Scottish 1863–1947
Max Heindel The Rosicrucian Fellowship Danish 1865–1919
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi Soka Gakkai Japanese 1871–1944
Sri Aurobindo Integral yoga Indian 1872–1950
Mason Remey Orthodox Bahá'í Faith American 1874–1974
Aleister Crowley Thelema English 1875–1947
Charles Fox Parham Pentecostalism American 1873–1929
"Father Divine" International Peace Mission movement American c. 1876–1965
Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment American 1877–1945
Ngô Văn Chiêu Caodaism Viet 1878–1926
Guy Ballard "I AM" Activity American 1878–1939
Frank Buchman Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament American 1878–1961
Alfred G. Moses Jewish Science American 1878–1956
John Slocum Indian Shaker Church Squaxin Island Tribe, Coast Salish, (Native American) 1881
Mordecai Kaplan Reconstructionist Judaism Russian (Lithuanian) 1881–1983
Gerald Gardner Wicca British 1884–1964
Felix Manalo Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) Filipino 1886–1963
Frank B. Robinson Psychiana American 1886–1948
Noble Drew Ali Moorish Science Temple of America American, possibly Cherokee or Moroccan 1886–1929
Marcus Garvey Rastafari Jamaican 1887–1940
Ernest Holmes Religious Science American 1887–1960
Sadafaldeo Vihangamyoga Indian 1888–1954
Aimee Semple McPherson[40] Foursquare Church Canadian 1890–1944
Zélio Fernandino de Moraes[41] Umbanda Brazilian 1891–1975
Ida B. Robinson Mount Sinai Holy Church of America American 1891–1946
B. R. Ambedkar Navayana Buddhism Indian 1891 – 1956
Wallace Fard Muhammad Nation of Islam American 1891 – 1934 (absentia)
Paramahansa Yogananda Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, Self-Realization Fellowship Indian 1893–1952
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada International Society for Krishna Consciousness Indian 1896–1977
Ruth Norman Unarius American 1900–1993
Swami Muktananda Siddha Yoga Indian 1908–1982
Paul Twitchell Eckankar American 1908–1971
Ikurō Teshima Makuya Japanese 1910–1973
L. Ron Hubbard Dianetics and later Scientology American 1911–1986
Kim Il-sung Juche[42] (North) Korean 1912–1994
Chinmayananda Saraswati Chinmaya Mission Indian 1916–1993
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Transcendental Meditation Indian 1917–2008
Samael Aun Weor Universal Christian Gnostic Movement Colombian 1917–1977
Mark L. Prophet The Summit Lighthouse American 1918–1973
Ben Klassen Creativity Ukrainian 1918–1993
Ahn Sahng-hong World Mission Society Church of God Korean 1918-1985
Huỳnh Phú Sổ Hòa Hảo Viet 1919–1947
Yong (Sun) Myung Moon[43] Unification Church Korean 1920–2012
Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar Ananda Marga Indian 1921–1990
Clarence 13X Five-Percent Nation American 1922–1969
Mestre Gabriel União do Vegetal Brazilian 1922–1971
Nirmala Srivastava Sahaja Yoga Indian 1923–2011
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson Ásatrú Icelander 1924–1993
Sathya Sai Baba Sathya Sai Organization Indian 1926–2011
Anton LaVey Church of Satan (LaVeyan Satanism) American 1930–1997
Rajneesh[44] Rajneesh movement Indian 1931–1990
Mark L. Prophet;
Elizabeth Clare Prophet[45]
Church Universal and Triumphant American 1918–1973;
1939–2009
Adi Da Adidam American 1939–2008
Claude Vorilhon Raëlism French 1946–
Marshall Vian Summers New Message from God American 1949–
Li Hongzhi Falun Gong Chinese 1951–
Ravi Shankar[46] Art of Living foundation Indian 1956–
Ryuho Okawa Happy Science Japanese 1956-
Vissarion Church of the Last Testament Russian 1961–
Chris Korda Church of Euthanasia American 1962-
Tamara Siuda Kemetic Orthodoxy American 1969–
Olumba Olumba Obu Brotherhood of the Cross and Star Nigerian 1918–
Isak Gerson Missionary Church of Kopimism Swedish 1993-
Erdoğan Çınar Ishikism Turkish 21st century

Legendary/semi-historical

Traditional founder Religious tradition founded Historical founder(s) Ethnicity Life of historical founder
Saptarishi Hinduism Vedic Rishis Indian 16th to 11th century BC[47]
Abraham Judaism Yahwists[n 8] Levantine c. 13th[48][49][50] to 8th century BC[n 9]
Laozi Taoism Zhuang Zhou Chinese 369 BC – 286 BC
Sabians Arabic 1st to 3rd century AD
Queen of Sheba Haymanot Ezana of Axum Ethiopian 320 AD – 360 AD

See also

Notes

  1. ^ historicity disputed but widely considered plausible. Gosta W. Ahlstrom argues the inconsistencies of the biblical tradition are insufficient to say that Ezra, with his central position as the 'father of Judaism' in the Jewish tradition, has been a later literary invention. (The History of Ancient Palestine, Fortress Press, p.888)
  2. ^ a b c The teaching of the traditional "founding father" of a "heresy" is may well have differed greatly from the contents of the heresy as generally understood. For references see following notes.
  3. ^ Acc. to Rowan Williams, 'Arianism' was essentially a polemical creation of Athanasius in an attempt to show that the different alternatives to the Nicene Creed collapsed back into some form of Arius' teaching. (Arius, SCM (2001) p.247)
  4. ^ Pelagius' thought was one sided and an inadequate interpretation of Christianity, but his disciples, Celestius and, to a greater extent, Julian of Eclanum pushed his ideas to extremes.(Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines A & C. Black (1965) p.361) Pelagius himself was declared orthodox by the synod of Diospolis in 415, after repudiating some of Celestius' opinions. (Frend, W.H.C. Saints and Sinners in the Early Church DLT (1985) p.133)
  5. ^ Nestorius specifically endorsed the repudiation of "Nestorianism" reached at Chalcedon in 451 (Prestige, G.L. Fathers and Heretics SPCK (1963) p.130)
  6. ^ Monophysitism represents an advanced type of Alexandrian Theology; it emerged in a distinctive form in 433 as a result of the agreement between John of Antioch and Cyril of Alexandria. The exaggerated form held by Eutyches was condemned in 451 by the Council of Chalcedon. In its moderate forms the divergence from orthodoxy may be simply terminological. Alexandrian Theology stressed both divine transcendence and a marked dualism between the material and the spiritual and so tended to nullify the humanity of Christ.(Cross & Livingstone. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (1974) arts. Monophysitism, Alexandrian Theology)
  7. ^ Includes the Punjabis, Rajasthanis, Marathis
  8. ^ The religion of the Israelites of Iron Age I was based on a cult of ancestors and worship of family gods, the "gods of the fathers". With the emergence of the monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II the kings promoted their family god, YHWH (Yahweh), as the god of the kingdom, but beyond the royal court, religion continued to be both polytheistic and family-centered. As such, this founding group is referred to as "Yahwists" as they were neither truly Israelites nor truly Jews.
  9. ^ Israel emerges into the historical record in the last decades of the 13th century BCE, at the very end of the Late Bronze Age, as the Canaanite city-state system was ending. In the words of archaeologist William Dever, "most of those who came to call themselves Israelites … were or had been indigenous Canaanites". The worship of YHWH (Yahweh) alone began at the earliest with Elijah in the 9th century BCE, but more likely with the prophet Hosea in the 8th; even then it remained the concern of a small party before gaining ascendancy in the exilic and early post-exilic period.

References

  1. ^ Hornung, Erik (1999). Akhenaten and the Religion of Light. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-8725-5.
  2. ^ Melton 2003, p. 191.
  3. ^ Zimmer 1953, p. 183.
  4. ^ Fisher, Mary Pat (1997). Living Religions: An Encyclopedia of the World's Faiths. London: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-86064-148-0. p. 115
  5. ^ "Parshvanatha". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  6. ^ Bowker, John (2000). "Parsva". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192800947. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  7. ^ Charpentier, Jarl (1922). "The History of the Jains". The Cambridge History of India. 1. Cambridge. p. 153.
  8. ^ Radhakrishnan & Moore 1957, pp. 227–249
  9. ^ John M. Koller (1977), Skepticism in Early Indian Thought, Philosophy East and West, 27(2): 155-164
  10. ^ Dale Riepe (1996), Naturalistic Tradition in Indian Thought, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812932, pages 53-58
  11. ^ Upinder Singh 2016, p. 313.
  12. ^ Zimmer 1953, p. 222.
  13. ^ "Mahavira." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2006. Answers.com 28 Nov. 2009. http://www.answers.com/topic/mahavira
  14. ^ Cousins 1996, pp. 57–63.
  15. ^ Schumann 2003, pp. 10–13.
  16. ^ Hugan, Yong (2013). Confucius: A Guide for the Perplexed. A&C Black. p. 3. ISBN 9781441196538. Archived from the original on 2017-04-16.
  17. ^ Riegel 2002.
  18. ^ James Lochtefeld, "Ajivika", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 978-0823931798, page 22
  19. ^ Brueggemann 2002, pp. 75, 144.
  20. ^ Bevan, Edwyn (1 January 1999). Stoics and Sceptics: Four Lectures Delivered in Oxford During Hilary Term 1913 for the Common University Fund. Adegi Graphics LLC. ISBN 978-0-543-98288-9.
  21. ^ "Plotinus." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press, 2003.
  22. ^ "Plotinus." The Concise Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford University Press, 1993, 2003.
  23. ^ Bilolo, M.: La notion de « l’Un » dans les Ennéades de Plotin et dans les Hymnes thébains. Contribution à l’étude des sources égyptiennes du néo-platonisme. In: D. Kessler, R. Schulz (Eds.), "Gedenkschrift für Winfried Barta ḥtp dj n ḥzj" (Münchner Ägyptologische Untersuchungen, Bd. 4), Frankfurt; Berlin; Bern; New York; Paris; Wien: Peter Lang, 1995, pp. 67–91.
  24. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  25. ^ Daibhi O Croinin, Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200 (2013), p. 206.
  26. ^ Melton 2003, p. 67.
  27. ^ Melton 2003, p. 128.
  28. ^ Melton 2003, p. 69.
  29. ^ Melton 2003, p. 102.
  30. ^ Melton 2003, p. 95.
  31. ^ Melton 2003, p. 73.
  32. ^ Melton 2003, p. 183.
  33. ^ Melton 2003, p. 75.
  34. ^ Melton 2003, p. 724.
  35. ^ Melton 2003, p. 992.
  36. ^ Melton 2003, p. 741.
  37. ^ Melton 2003, p. 621.
  38. ^ Melton 2003, p. 637.
  39. ^ Chryssides 2001, p. 330.
  40. ^ Melton 2003, p. 451.
  41. ^ Smith and Prokopy 2003, p. 279-280.
  42. ^ See:
    • "Discussion of why Juche is classified as a major world religion". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2008-10-25. Its promoters describe Juche as simply a secular, ethical philosophy and not a religion. But, from a sociological viewpoint Juche is clearly a religion;
    • Baker, Donald L. (2008). Korean Spirituality. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8248-3257-5.;
    • Temperman, Jeroen (2005). State-Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance. 8. Leiden: BRILL. p. 145. ISBN 978-90-04-18148-9..
  43. ^ Beit-Hallahmi 1998, p. 365.
  44. ^ Melton 2003, p. 1051.
  45. ^ Beit-Hallahmi 1998, p. 97.
  46. ^ Melton 2003, p. 1004.
  47. ^ Barbara A. Holdrege (2012). Veda and Torah: Transcending the Textuality of Scripture. State University of New York Press. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-1-4384-0695-4.
  48. ^ Albertz 1994, p. 61.
  49. ^ Grabbe 2008, pp. 225–6.
  50. ^ Killebrew, Ann E. (2005). Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Early Israel, 1300–1100 B.C.E. Society of Biblical Literature. ISBN 978-1-58983-097-4.

Bibliography

  • Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (1998). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects, and Cults (Revised Edition). Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8239-2586-5.
  • Brueggemann, Walter (2002). Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22231-4.
  • Chryssides, George D. (2001). Historical dictionary of new religious movements. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-4095-9.
  • Cousins, LS (1996), "The dating of the historical Buddha: a review article", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 3, 6 (1): 57–63, doi:10.1017/s1356186300014760
  • Jestice, Phyllis G. (2004). Holy People of the World: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia (Volume 3). ABC-CLIO, Inc. ISBN 978-1-57607-355-1.
  • Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7876-6384-1.
  • Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli; Moore, Charles (1957). A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-01958-1.
  • Riegel, J (3 July 2002). "Confucius". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  • Schumann, Hans Wolfgang (2003), The Historical Buddha: The Times, Life, and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120818170
  • Smith, Christian; Joshua Prokopy (1999). Latin American Religion in Motion. New York, New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-92106-0.
  • Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6
  • Zimmer, Heinrich (1953) [April 1952], Campbell, Joseph (ed.), Philosophies Of India, London, E.C. 4: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, ISBN 978-81-208-0739-6
Bahá'í Faith and the unity of religion

Unity of religion is a core teaching of the Bahá'í Faith which states that there is a fundamental unity in many of the world's religions. The principle states that the teachings of the major religions are part of a single plan directed from the same God. It is one of the core teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, alongside the unity of God, and the unity of humanity.The Bahá'í teachings state that there is but one religion which is progressively revealed by God, through prophets/messengers, to mankind as humanity matures and its capacity to understand also grows. The outward differences in the religions, the Bahá'í writings state, are due to the exigencies of the time and place the religion was revealed.

The Bahá'í writings state that the essential nature of the messengers is twofold: they are at once human and divine. They are divine in that they all come from the same God and expound his teachings. In this light they are seen as one and the same. At the same time they are separate individuals (their human reality) and known by different names. Each fulfills a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular revelation.

Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, claimed to be the most recent, but not the last, in a series of divine educators which include Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and others.

Comparative religion

Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions. In general the comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophical concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics, and the nature and forms of salvation. Studying such material is meant to give one a broadened and more sophisticated understanding of human beliefs and practices regarding the sacred, numinous, spiritual, and divine.In the field of comparative religion, a common geographical classification of the main world religions includes Middle Eastern religions (including Iranian religions), Indian religions, East Asian religions, African religions, American religions, Oceanic religions, and

classical Hellenistic religions.

Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha (c. 563/480 – c. 483/400 BCE), also known as Siddhārtha Gautama (सिद्धार्थ गौतम) in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama (शिद्धत्थ गोतम) in Pali , Shakyamuni (i.e. "Sage of the Shakyas") Buddha, or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk (śramaṇa), mendicant, sage, philosopher, teacher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala.Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life, discourses and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.

George David Cummins

George David Cummins (December 11, 1822 – June 26, 1876) was an American Anglican Bishop and founder of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

History of religion

The history of religion refers to the written record of human religious experiences and ideas. This period of religious history begins with the invention of writing about 5,200 years ago (3200 BCE). The prehistory of religion involves the study of religious beliefs that existed prior to the advent of written records. One can also study comparative religious chronology through a timeline of religion. Writing played a major role in standardizing religious texts regardless of time or location, and making easier the memorization of prayers and divine rules. The case of the Bible involves the collation of multiple oral texts handed down over the centuries.The concept of "religion" was formed in the 16th and 17th centuries, despite the fact that ancient sacred texts like the Bible, the Quran, and others did not have a word or even a concept of religion in the original languages and neither did the people or the cultures in which these sacred texts were written.The word "religion" as used in the 21st century does not have an obvious pre-colonial translation into non-European languages. The anthropologist Daniel Dubuisson writes that "what the West and the history of religions in its wake have objectified under the name 'religion' is ... something quite unique, which could be appropriate only to itself and its own history". The history of other cultures' interaction with the "religious" category is therefore their interaction with an idea that first developed in Europe under the influence of Christianity.

Index of religion-related articles

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List of Mahdi claimants

In Muslim eschatology, the Mahdi is a Messianic figure who, it is believed, will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment, and will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. People claiming to be the Mahdi have appeared across the Muslim world – in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East – and throughout history since the birth of Islam (AD 610).

A claimant Mahdi can wield great temporal, as well as spiritual, power: claimant Mahdis have founded states (e.g. the late 19th-century Mahdiyah in Sudan), as well as religions and sects (e.g. Bábism, or the Ahmadiyya movement). The continued relevance of the Mahdi doctrine in the Muslim world was most recently emphasised during the 1979 seizing of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by at least 200 militants led by Juhayman al-Otaibi, who had declared his brother-in-law, Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani, the Mahdi.

List of people claimed to be Jesus

This is a partial list of notable people who have been claimed, either by themselves or by their followers, in some way to be the reincarnation or incarnation of Jesus, or the Second Coming of Christ.

List of purported relics of major figures of religious traditions

This article lists the purported relics of major figures of religious traditions. If there is no burial place or relics, the place of death is mentioned.

List of timelines

This is a list of timelines currently on Wikipedia.

Lists of religious leaders by century

This is a list of the lists of leaders of major religions in any given century.

List of 21st-century religious leadersList of 20th-century religious leadersList of 19th-century religious leadersList of 18th-century religious leadersList of 17th-century religious leadersList of 16th-century religious leadersList of 15th-century religious leadersList of 14th-century religious leadersList of 13th-century religious leadersList of 12th-century religious leadersList of 11th-century religious leadersList of 10th-century religious leadersList of 9th-century religious leadersList of 8th-century religious leadersList of 7th-century religious leadersList of 6th-century religious leadersList of 5th-century religious leaders

Manifestation of God

The Manifestation of God (Persian: مظهرإِلٰهِيّ) is a concept in the Bahá'í Faith that refers to what are commonly called prophets. The Manifestations of God are appearances of the Divine Spirit or Holy Spirit in a series of personages, and as such, they perfectly reflect the attributes of the divine into the human world for the progress and advancement of human morals and civilization through the agency of that same Spirit. In the Baha'i Faith, it is believed that the Manifestations of God are the only channel for humanity to know about God because contact with the Spirit is what transforms the heart and mind, creating a living relationship between the soul and God. They act as perfect mirrors reflecting the attributes of God into the physical world. Bahá'í teachings hold that the motive force in all human development is due to the coming of the Manifestations of God. The Manifestations of God are directly linked with the Bahá'í concept of progressive revelation.

Precursor (religion)

In religion, a precursor, also known as forerunner, predecessor, harbinger or herald, is a holy person who announced the approaching appearance of a prophet or who identified a prophet during the latter’s childhood.

Progressive revelation (Bahá'í)

Progressive revelation is a core teaching in the Bahá'í Faith that suggests that religious truth is revealed by God progressively and cyclically over time through a series of divine Messengers, and that the teachings are tailored to suit the needs of the time and place of their appearance. Thus, the Bahá'í teachings recognize the divine origin of several world religions as different stages in the history of one religion, while believing that the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent (though not the last—that there will never be a last), and therefore the most relevant to modern society.This teaching is an interaction of simpler teachings and their implications. The basic concept relates closely to Bahá'í views on God's essential unity, and the nature of prophets, termed Manifestations of God. It also ties into Bahá'í views of the purpose and nature of religion, laws, belief, culture and history. Hence revelation is seen as both progressive and continuous, and therefore never ceases.

Table of prophets of Abrahamic religions

This is a table containing prophets of the modern Abrahamic religions.

The Jesus I Never Knew

The Jesus I Never Knew is a popular 1995 Christological book by the American Christian author Philip Yancey. It won the Gold Medallion Book Award and ECPA Christian Book of the Year 1996: it is a book that appeals to the wider Christian public for its personal approach to the figure of Jesus, with a fresh and vivid portrayal extracted from a dynamic reading of the four canonical gospels.

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