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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.

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A blue 'e-meter', a ritual device used by the Church of Scientology.
Scientology is a body of teachings and related techniques developed by American science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. It began in 1952 as a self-help philosophy, an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics, and later described itself as a new religion. It claims to offer "an exact methodology" to help humans achieve awareness of their spiritual existence across many lifetimes and, simultaneously, to become more effective in the physical world. The name "Scientology" is also used to refer to the often controversial Church of Scientology, the largest organization promoting the practice of Scientology, which is itself part of a network of affiliated corporations that claim ownership and sole authority to disseminate Dianetics and Scientology.

A stated goal of Scientology is to "rehabilitate" the thetan (roughly equivalent to the soul) to regain its native state of "total freedom." Church spokesmen and practitioners claim that Hubbard's teachings (called "Technology" or "Tech" in Scientology terminology) have saved them from a plethora of problems and enabled them to better realize their highest potential in business and in their personal lives. However, outside observers—including journalists, lawmakers, and national governing bodies of several countries—have alleged that the Church is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members.

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Paul of Tarsus
Paul of Tarsus, the Apostle to the Gentiles was, together with Simon Peter, the most notable of Early Christian missionaries. Unlike the Twelve Apostles, Paul did not know Jesus in life; he came to faith through a vision of the resurrected Jesus. As he wrote, he "received it (the Gospel) by revelation from Jesus Christ"; according to Acts, his conversion was on the Road to Damascus.

Paul's influence on Christian thinking has, arguably, been more significant than any other single New Testament author. His influence on the main strands of Christian thought have been massive, from St. Augustine of Hippo to the controversies between Gottschalk and Hincmar of Reims, between Thomism and Molinism, Martin Luther, Calvin and the Arminians, Jansenism and the Jesuit theologians and even to the German church of the twentieth century through the writings of the scholar Karl Barth, whose commentary on the Letter to the Romans had a political as well theological impact.

Did you know...

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The Meister Eckhart portal of the Erfurt Church
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "Thank You", that would suffice.
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The Bhagvad Gita is Lord Krishna's counsel to Arjuna on the battlefield of the Kurukshetra.
The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: भगवद्‌गीता - Bhagavad Gītā, "Song of God" or "Divine Song") is an ancient Sanskrit text composed of 700 verses from the Mahabharata (Bhishma Parva chapters 25 – 42. Krishna, as the speaker of the Bhagavad Gita is referred to within as Bhagavan (the divine one), and the verses themselves, using the range and style of Sanskrit meter (chandas) with similes and metaphors, are written in a poetic form that is traditionally chanted; hence the title, which translates to "the Song of the Divine One". The Bhagavad Gita is revered as sacred by the majority of Hindu traditions, and especially so by followers of Krishna. In general speech it is commonly referred to as The Gita

The content of the text is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna taking place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra just prior to the start of a climactic war. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a famous warrior and Prince and elaborates on a number of different Yogic[1] and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu philosophy and also as a practical, self-contained guide to life. During the discourse, Krishna reveals his identity as the Supreme Being Himself (Bhagavan), blessing Arjuna with an awe-inspiring glimpse of His divine absolute form.

The Bhagavad Gita is also called Gītopaniṣad as well as Yogupaniṣad, implying its status as an 'Upanishad'. While technically it is considered a Smṛti text, it has singularly achieved a status comparable to that of śruti, or revealed knowledge.


  1. ^ Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita

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