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Portal:Religion

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Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom 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.

More about religion...


Selected article

A painting by the American Edward Hicks (1780–1849), showing the animals boarding Noah's Ark two by two.
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 picture

Four-armed Tibetan Chenrezig form of Avalokiteśvara
Credit: ShahJahan

Avalokiteśvara or Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit, lit. "Lord who looks down") is the bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is the most widely revered bodhisattva in Buddhism.

Selected religious figure or deity

Depiction of Aravan, worshiped at Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore
Iravan (Aravan) is a minor character from the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. The son of Pandava prince Arjuna (one of the main heroes of the Mahabharata) and the Naga princess Ulupi, 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 Alis 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.

Did you know...

  • ...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?

On this day...

September 19:

Selected quote

the Chinese character dao (tao) in Taoism
During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream.

Selected scripture

Urantia
The Urantia Book is a spiritual and philosophical tome that discusses God, science, religion, history, 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.

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