Gilgamesh and his Love for Enkidu Thanks to discoveries by modern archaeologists it appears that in the past, same-sex relationships were totally accepted and were even the source of great writings. From the old epic poem depicting the love and loyalty between two men to the mastaba (a flat-roofed, rectangular building used for the burial of eminent Egyptians) in Sakkara where two men were buried together after living under the same roof, it can be understood that in ancient civilizations the love between two men or two women was not a scandal and in some situations was even expected and encouraged. Gilgamesh and Enkidu According to an ancient epic poem, the Sumerian king Gilgamesh –who was thought to have ruled in the 27th century BC– and the giant Enkidu developed an intimate friendship that lasted even after Enkidu’s death. This story reflects the character of the Sumerians who gave more importance to art, culture and the development of writing than to warfare. The Brothers Rome and Greece References: Tournier, Paul.
Zoroastrianism Theistic religion founded by Zoroaster With possible roots dating back to the 2nd millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism enters recorded history around the middle of the 6th century BCE. It served as the state religion of the ancient Iranian empires for more than a millennium (approximately from 600 BCE to 650 CE), but declined from the 7th century CE onwards as a direct result of the Arab-Muslim conquest of Persia (633–654 CE), which led to the large-scale persecution of the Zoroastrian people. Recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians in the world at around 110,000–120,000 at most, with the majority of this figure living in India, Iran, and North America; their number has been thought to be declining. Terminology The name Zoroaster (Ζωροάστηρ) is a Greek rendering of the Avestan name Zarathustra. Overview Theology Practices A corpse is considered a host for decay, i.e., of druj. History Classical antiquity Late antiquity Decline in the Middle Ages Conversion Survival
Origins of Judaism This article discusses the historical roots of Judaism throughout the 1st millennium BCE. For the origins of the modern-day religion of Judaism, see Origins of Rabbinic Judaism. From the 5th century BCE until 70 CE, Israelite religion developed into the various theological schools of Second Temple Judaism, besides Hellenistic Judaism in the diaspora. The text of the Hebrew Bible was redacted into its extant form in this period and possibly also canonized as well. Rabbinic Judaism developed during Late Antiquity, during the 3rd to 6th centuries CE; the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible (the addition of vowels to the consonant text) and the Talmud were compiled in this period. Historical background Pre-monarchic (tribal religion) The central founding myth of the Israelite nation is the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt under the guidance of Moses, followed by the conquest of the Promised Land (Canaan). Monarchy (centralized religion) Babylonian exile See also
Jesus Jesus (/ˈdʒiːzəs/; Greek: Ἰησοῦς Iesous; 7–2 BC to 30–33 AD), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah (or "Christ") of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ,[e] a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts. Etymology of names Since early Christianity, Christians have commonly referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ". The word Christ is derived from the Greek Χριστός (Christos), which is a translation of the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Meshiakh), meaning the "anointed" and usually transliterated into English as "Messiah". Christians designate Jesus as Christ because they believe he is the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Chronology A number of approaches have been used to estimate the year of the crucifixion of Jesus. Life and teachings in the New Testament
Judaism 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. Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. Defining character and principles of faith Defining character Glass platter inscribed with the Hebrew word zokhreinu - remember us Core tenets 13 Principles of Faith:
Spirituality 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. According to Waaijman, the traditional meaning of spirituality is a process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man, the image of God. Waaijman points out that "spirituality" is only one term of a range of words which denote the praxis of spirituality. Spirituality can be sought not only through traditional organized religions, but also through movements such as liberalism, feminist theology, and green politics. Etymology The term spirit means "animating or vital principle in man and animals". Development of the meaning of spirituality Classical, medieval and early modern periods In the 11th century this meaning changed.
Christianity 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, and adherents were gained 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. Beliefs Creeds Its main points include: Ten Commandments These are quotes from Deuteronomy 6:4 and Leviticus 19:18.
Hinduism Hinduism is the dominant religion, or way of life,[note 1] in South Asia, most notably India. It includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism among numerous other traditions, and a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a categorisation of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs. Hinduism, with about one billion followers[web 1] is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" in the world,[note 2] and some practitioners refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal law" or the "eternal way" beyond human origins. Etymology The word Hindu is derived (through Persian) from the Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit word Sindhu, the Indo-Aryan name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent (modern day Pakistan and Northern India). Definitions Colonial influences Sanātana Dharma Moksha
Nondualism Nondualism, also called non-duality, "points to the idea that the universe and all its multiplicity are ultimately expressions or appearances of one essential reality." It is a term and concept used to define various strands of religious and spiritual thought. Its origins are situated within the Buddhist tradition with its teaching of the two truths doctrine, the nonduality of the absolute and the relative, and the Yogacara notion of "pure consciousness" or "representation-only" (vijñapti-mātra). The term has more commonly become associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Adi Shankara, which took over the Buddhis notion of pure consciousness and provided an orthodox hermeneutical basis for heterodox Buddhist phenomology. Advaita Vedanta states that there is no difference between Brahman and Ātman, a stance which is also reflected in other Indian traditions, such as Shiva Advaita and Kashmir Shaivism. Definitions Dictionary definitions of "nondualism" are scarce. Tantra 1.
Buddhism Religion or philosophy based on Buddha's teachings Buddhism, (, ) also known as Dharmavinaya — "doctrines and disciplines" — and Buddha Dharma, is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha. It originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. It is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on the Buddha's teachings (born Siddhārtha Gautama in the 5th or 4th century BCE) and resulting interpreted philosophies. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravāda (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahāyāna (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle"). Life of the Buddha Worldview Four Noble Truths – dukkha and its ending Saṃsāra Rebirth
Taoism Taoist rite at the Qingyanggong (Bronze Ram Temple) in Chengdu, Sichuan. Taoism, or Daoism, is a philosophical, ethical, and religious tradition of Chinese origin that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (also romanized as Dao). The term Tao means "way", "path" or "principle", and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes something that is both the source and the driving force behind everything that exists. While Taoism drew its cosmological notions from the tenets of the School of Yin Yang, the Tao Te Ching, a compact and ambiguous book containing teachings attributed to Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade–Giles: Lao Tzu), is widely considered its keystone work. After Laozi and Zhuangzi, the literature of Taoism grew steadily and was compiled in form of a canon—the Daozang—which was published at the behest of the emperor. Spelling and pronunciation Categorization Origins and development
Religion Religious activities around the world 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 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. Etymology Religion (from O.Fr. religion "religious community," from L. religionem (nom. religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods," "obligation, the bond between man and the gods") is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure. Many languages have words that can be translated as "religion", but they may use them in a very different way, and some have no word for religion at all. Definitions Theories Origins and development
Chinese folk religion Altar to the Five Officials worshipped inside the Temple of the Five Lords in Haikou, Hainan. The Chinese folk religion has a variety of sources, localised worship forms, ritual and philosophical traditions. Among the ritual traditions, notable examples includes Wuism and Nuoism. Chinese folk religion is sometimes categorized inadequately as "Taoism", since over the centuries institutional Taoism has been assimilating or administering local religions. Overview Communal ceremony at the Temple of Shennong-Yandi in Suizhou, Hubei. The Temple of the Town God of Beijing. The Chinese folk religion is a grassroots, pervasive factor in all aspects of the social life, contributing to the very fabric of Chinese society. It is deeply embedded in family and civic life, rather than expressed in a separate organisational structure like a "church". Philosophical framework Divine efficacy
Chinese spiritual world concepts Chinese spiritual world concepts are cultural practices or methods found in Chinese culture. Some fit in the realms of a particular religion, others do not. In general these concepts were uniquely evolved from the Chinese values of filial piety, tacit acknowledgment of the co-existence of the living and the deceased, and the belief in causality and reincarnation, with or without religious overtones. Practices and Beliefs Modes of Communication Figures Gwai ren (貴人) - Someone who can help you. Objects Peach wood sword (桃木劍) - the definitive weapon used for demon exorcism during Taoist exorcism. The ones from Long Mountain in Jiangxi province are particularly valued as the premium quality peach wood swords.Stone tablets (石敢當) - the tablets are placed at main doors, junctions of small avenues, three-way junctions, river banks or ponds to gather positive energy and ward off evil spirit. Finance See also Notes