is the adherence to codified beliefs
that generally involve a faith
in a spiritual nature
and a study of inherited ancestral traditions
related to understanding human life
. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.
In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief—typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.
The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures. "Organized religion" generally refers to an organization of people supporting the exercise of some religion with a prescribed set of beliefs, often taking the form of a legal entity (see religion-supporting organization). Other religions believe in personal revelation and responsibility. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system," but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions.
According to Abrahamic tradition
, Noah's Ark
was a vessel
built at God
's command to save Noah
, his family, and a core stock of the world's animals
from the Great Flood
. The story is contained in the Hebrew Bible
, Christian Old Testament
's Book of Genesis
, chapters 6 to 9 and in the Quran
According to the documentary hypothesis, the Ark story told in Genesis may represent several originally quasi-independent sources, and the process of composition over many centuries may help to explain apparent confusion and repetition in the text. Many Orthodox Jews and Christians reject this hypothesis, holding that the Ark story is true, that it has a single author, and that any perceived inadequacies can be explained rationally.
The Ark story told in Genesis has parallels in the Sumerian myth of Ziusudra, which tells how Ziusudra was warned by the gods to build a vessel in which to escape a flood which would destroy mankind. Less exact parallels are found in other cultures from around the world. Indeed, the deluge story is one of the most common folk stories throughout the world.
Selected religious figure or deity
) is a minor character from the Hindu epic
. The son of Pandava
(one of the main heroes of the Mahabharata) and the Naga
, Iravan is the central god of the cult of Kuttantavar and plays a major role in the cult of Draupadi
. Both these cults are of South Indian
origin, from a region of the country where he is worshipped as a village deity
, the Mahabharata portrays Iravan as dying a heroic death in the 18-day Kurukshetra War
, the epic's main subject. However, the South Indian cults have a supplementary tradition of honouring Iravan's self-sacrifice to the goddess Kali
to ensure her favour and the victory of the Pandavas in the war, the South Indian cult focus on three boons granted to Iravan by the god Krishna
in honour of this self-sacrifice. Iravan is also a patron god of well-known Indian transgender
communities called Ali
; in Koovagam
, Tamil Nadu
, an 18-day festival holds a ceremonial marriage of Iravan to Ali
s and male villagers and followed then by their "widowhood" after ritual re-enactment of Iravan's sacrifice. Iravan is also known in Indonesia. Independent Javanese
traditions present a dramatic marriage of Irawan to Titisari, daughter of Krishna, and a death resulting from a case of mistaken identity.
- ...that according to the Torah, Moses lived to be 120 years old?
- ...that the Ugaritic Yam is in many ways the mythic predecessor to the Abrahamic Satan?
- ...that Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed religions, and was the state religion of three great Iranian empires?
The Urantia Book
is a spiritual
and philosophical tome
that discusses God
, philosophy, and destiny
. Sometimes it is referred to as "The Urantia Papers", or the "Fifth Epochal Revelation
" or by the abbreviation of "TUB", the book originated in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. sometime between 1924 and 1955, but its authorship is considered to be a mystery. (See Mysterious origin
The authors of The Urantia Book state their intent is to "present enlarged concepts and advanced truth" in an "endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception", among many other topics, it expands on the origin and meaning of life, describes humankind's place in creation, discusses the relationship between God and man, and presents a detailed biography of Jesus. The book is 2,097 pages long, and consists of a Foreword and 196 papers, divided into four parts.