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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

Artist's impression of one of en:Xenu's space planes.
Credit: ChrisO, Foobaz

In Scientology doctrine, Xenu (also Xemu) was the alien dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of aliens to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls then clustered together and stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to wreak chaos and havoc today.

Selected religious figure or deity

Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh
Mírzá Husayn-`Alí (Persian: میرزا حسینعلی‎) (b: 1817 - d: 1892), who later took the title of Bahá'u'lláh (Arabic: بهاءالله‎ "Glory of God") was the founder-prophet of the Bahá'í Faith.

He claimed to fulfill the Bábí prophecy of "He whom God shall make manifest", but in a broader sense he also claimed to be the "supreme Manifestation of God" referring to the fulfillment of the eschatological expectations of a prophetic cycle beginning with Adam, and including Abrahamic religions, as well as Zoroastrianism, the great Dharmic religions, and others. Bahá'ís see Bahá'u'lláh as the initiator of a new religion, as Jesus or Muhammad — but also the initiator of a new cycle, like that attributed to Adam.

During his lifetime, Bahá'u'lláh left a large volume of writings. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and the Book of Certitude are recognized as primary Bahá'í theological works, and the Hidden Words and the Seven Valleys as primary mystical treatises.

Did you know...

  • ...that the Ugaritic Yam is in many ways the mythic predecessor to the Abrahamic Satan?

News

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On this day...

Selected quote

Gutenberg Bible
1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Bible, Psalm 23
More quotes...

Selected scripture

The Norse gods were mortal, and only through Iðunn's apples could they hope to live until Ragnarök. Image by J. Penrose, 1890.
The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. Along with Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda the Poetic Edda is the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.

Codex Regius was written in the 13th century but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643 when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson, then Bishop of Skálholt. At that time versions of Snorri's Edda were well known in Iceland but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda—an Elder Edda—which contained the pagan poems which Snorri quotes in his book. When Codex Regius was discovered it seemed that this speculation had proven correct. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr the Learned, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest. While this attribution is rejected by modern scholars the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes encountered.

Bishop Brynjólfur sent Codex Regius as a present to the Danish king, hence the name. For centuries it was stored in the Royal Library in Copenhagen but in 1971 it was returned to Iceland.

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