The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to religion:
Religion – organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.
The definition of religion is a controversial subject in religious studies with scholars failing to agree on any one definition. Oxford Dictionary defines religion as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Others such as Wilfred Cantwell Smith, have tried to correct a perceived Judeo-Christian and Western bias in the definition and study of religion. Thinkers such as Daniel Dubuisson have doubted that the term religion has any meaning outside of western cultures, while others, such as Ernst Feil even doubt that it has any specific, universal meaning even there.
Buddhism (Pali/Sanskrit: बौद्ध धर्म Buddha Dharma) is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha, "the awakened one".
The following outline is provided as an overview of, and topical guide to, Buddhism.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Christianity:
Christianity – monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. The Christian faith is essentially faith in Jesus as the Christ (or Messiah), the Son of God, the Savior, and, according to Trinitarianism, God the Son, part of the Trinity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the life and influence of Jesus:
Jesus – central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah (or "Christ") of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ, a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts. Also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Protestantism:
Protestantism – form of Christian faith and practice which arose out of the Protestant Reformation, a movement against what the Protestants considered to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the major denominations of Christendom, together with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to spirituality:
Spirituality may refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being, or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and a topical guide to the Bahá'í Faith.
Bahá'í Faith – monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. In the Bahá'í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.
Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief.
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