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Religion and Spirituality Go to Dutch version of this page

Western Religions

The Bible | Christianity |
Islam | Judaism

Eastern Religions

Buddhism | Hinduism | Confucianism |
Taoism | Jainism | Sikhism |
Bahá'í Faith | Zoroastrianism

Alternative Religions

Paganism | Shamanism |
New Age Spirituality | Secular Sources

General Religious Studies

General References |
Miscellaneous

Religion in the Lowlands

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Western Religions

The Bible

Index


Christianity

Index


Islam

The most recent of the world's major religions was founded in 622 C.E. in Medina in the Arabian Peninsula by the prophet Muhammad. It has over one billion adherents worldwide. The majority of Muslims live in Africa and Asia, but there are significant numbers in Europe and North America. There are two major sects in Islam: Sunni (83% of Muslims) and Shia (16% of Muslims). The sacred texts of Islam are the Qur’an (regarded as the true word of Allah/God as revealed to the prophet Muhammad) and the Hadith (sayings and actions of the prophet Muhammad).
 


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Judaism


Index Eastern Religions

Buddhism


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Confucianism

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Taoism

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Hinduism


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Jainism

Jainism is both a philosophy and a religion. Along with Hinduism and Buddhism, Jainism is one of the three major religions that developed within the Indian civilization. The name Jainism derives from the term Jina (‘conqueror’ or ‘victor’) — applied to the 24 great religious figures around whose examples the religion is centred; its followers are known as Jainas or Jains. There are two principal sects: Svetambaras and Digambaras. Both Jainism and Buddhism arose in about the 6th century B.C. E. in protest against the orthodox Vedic (early Hindu) ritualistic cult of the period. Jainism teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul.

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Sikhism

The religion of an Indian group founded in the Punjab around the late 15th century C.E. by Guru Nanak. It was a development of the Hindu Vaisnava Bhakti movement (a devotional movement among followers of the god Vishnu) that began in Tami l country and was introduced to the north by Ramanuja. The word Sikh is derived from the Pali ‘sikkha’ or Sanskrit ‘sisya’ (disciple). Sikhs are disciples of their ten Gurus (religious teachers), beginning with Nanak (b. 1469) and ending with Go bind Singh (d. 1708.)

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Bahá'í Faith


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Zoroastrianism

This ancient Iranian religion of fire, light, and wisdom still lives today. It is the first monotheistic religion, founded by the prophet Zarathushtra. Zarathustra was believed to have lived during 600 B.C. in Persia (the region covered by modern-day Iran and Iraq). Current estimates have revised this date to anywhere between 1500 B.C. and 1000 B.C. This would make Zoaroastrianism the second oldest world religion, next only to Hinduism. It has had a profound influence on Judaism, Christianity, and Western culture.

Index Alternative Religions

Paganism, Wicca, Magic


Index

Shamanism

Index


New Age Spirituality

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Secular Sources: The Non-Believers


Index General Religious Studies Resources

General References


Index

Miscellaneous Resources


Index Religion in the Low Countries

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Editor dr. Albert Benschop
Social & Behavioral Studies
University of Amsterdam
Created July, 1996
Last modified 18th September, 2013