Life Quality Project
The term "spirituality" lacks a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration. Definition There is no single, widely-agreed definition of spirituality.[note 1] Social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for the sacred, for that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration, "a transcendent dimension within human experience...discovered in moments in which the individual questions the meaning of personal existence and attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context."
Many religions may have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration of a deity, gods or goddesses, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religions may also contain mythology. Religious activities around the world
Islam (/ˈɪslɑːm/;[note 1] Arabic: الإسلام, al-ʾIslām IPA: [ælʔɪsˈlæːm] ( )[note 2]) is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله Allāh) and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.
Judaism (from the Latin Iudaismus, derived from the Greek Ἰουδαϊσμός, and ultimately from the Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, "Judah"; in Hebrew: יהדות, Yahadut, the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos) is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. Judaism is a monotheistic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text (part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible), and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Mishnah and the Talmud. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism includes a wide corpus of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel Map showing an interpretation of the borders of the Land of Israel, based on scriptural verses found in Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47. The Land of Israel (Hebrew: אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל ʼÉreṣ Yiśrāʼēl, Eretz Yisrael) is a biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine.
History of Zionism Zionism as an organized movement is generally considered to have been fathered by Theodor Herzl in 1897; however the history of Zionism began earlier and related to Judaism and Jewish history. The Hovevei Zion, or the Lovers of Zion, were responsible for the creation of 20 new Jewish settlements in Palestine between 1870 and 1897. Before the Holocaust the movement's central aims were the creation of a Jewish National Home and cultural centre in Palestine by facilitating Jewish migration. After the Holocaust, the movement focussed on creation of a "Jewish state" (usually defined as a secular state with a Jewish majority), attaining its goal in 1948 with the creation of Israel.
Theodor Herzl is considered the founder of the Zionist movement. In his 1896 book Der Judenstaat, he envisioned the founding of a future independent Jewish state during the 20th century. Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת, translit. Tsiyonut) is the national movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel. A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority in their own nation, and to be liberated from antisemitic discrimination, exclusion, and persecution that had historically occurred in the diaspora.
The return to Zion (Hebrew: שִׁיבָת צִיּוֹן, Shivat Tzion, or שבי ציון, Shavei Tzion, lit. Zion returnees) is a term that refers to the event written in the biblical books of Ezra-Nehemiah in which the Jews returned to the land of Israel from the Babylonian exile following the decree by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great, the conqueror of the Babylonian empire in 538 BC, also known as Cyrus's Declaration. Although the term was first coined after the destruction of the Second Temple (mentioned in the Song of Degrees Psalms 126:1), it was attributed to the event of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile to the land of Israel after the destruction of the first temple, following the decree of Cyrus. The biblical meaning of "the return to Zion", Aliyah, was borrowed later from the ancient event and was adopted as the definition of all the immigrations of Jews to the land of Israel and the State of Israel in modern times. The Return to Zion
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion that began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century. Originating in the Levant region of the Middle East, it quickly spread to Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and Egypt. It grew in size and influence over a few centuries, and by the end of the 4th century had become the official state church of the Roman Empire, replacing other forms of religion practiced under Roman rule. During the Middle Ages, most of the remainder of Europe was Christianized, with Christians also being a sometimes large religious minority in the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia and parts of India. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity spread to the Americas, Australasia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization.
Prehistoric religion is a general term for the religious beliefs and practices of prehistoric peoples. More specifically it encompasses Paleolithic religion, Mesolithic religion, Neolithic religion and Bronze Age religion. Paleolithic Intentional burial, particularly with grave goods may be one of the earliest detectable forms of religious practice (the onset of burial itself being a canonical indicator of behavioral modernity) since, as Philip Lieberman suggests, it may signify a "concern for the dead that transcends daily life. Prehistoric religion
Statue of Hathor – Luxor Museum The winged sun was an ancient (3rd millennium BC) symbol of Horus, later identified with Ra A solar deity (also sun god/dess) is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms. Hence, many beliefs have formed around this worship, such as the "missing sun" found in many cultures. Overview Solar deity
Religions of the Ancient Near East The religions of the ancient Near East were mostly polytheistic, with some early examples of primitive monolatry (Mardukites), Ashurism and Monism (Atenism). Some scholars believe that the similarities between these religions indicate that the religions are related, a belief known as patternism. Especially the Luwian pantheon exerted a strong influence on the ancient Greek religion, while Assyro-Babylonian religion influenced Achaemenid-era Zoroastrianism and Judaism.
Mesopotamian religion refers to the religious beliefs and practices followed by the Sumerian and East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Chaldeans living in Mesopotamia (a region encompassing modern Iraq, south east Turkey and north east Syria) that dominated the region for a period of 4,200 years from the fourth millennium BCE throughout Mesopotamia to approximately the 10th century CE in Assyria. Mesopotamian Polytheism was the only religion in ancient Mesopotamia for thousands of years before entering a period of gradual decline beginning between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE.
The irrigated farming together with annual replenishment of soil fertility and the surplus of storable food in temple granaries created by this economy allowed the population of this region to rise to levels never before seen, unlike those found in earlier cultures of shifting cultivators. This much greater population density in turn created and required an extensive labour force and division of labour with many specialised arts and crafts. At the same time, historic overuse of the irrigated soils led to progressive salinisation, and a Malthusian crisis which led to depopulation of the Sumerian region over time, leading to its progressive eclipse by the Akkadians of middle Mesopotamia. Sumer was also the site of early development of writing, progressing from a stage of proto-writing in the mid 4th millennium BC to writing proper in the 3rd millennium BC (see Jemdet Nasr period).
Worship Written Cuneiform Sumerian myths were passed down through the oral tradition until the invention of writing.