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Friday, January 04, 2013

Being on the Same Page

Since many of my posts in the past (and the future) often discuss matters that are religious, I thought I'd add a list of stuff that people should know before they enter into those posts.

Most of the descriptions have been taken from the Dictionary that came with my Apple Computer. There may be other (slightly different) interpretations but I'll stick to these.

the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion.

• a particular system of faith and worship: the world's great religions.

belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.

• The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.

(Many current scientists are beginning to 'revive' Deism in their essays.)

the belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.

disbelief in the existence of God or gods.

• ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, froma- ‘without’ + theos ‘god.’

Someone who is categorically against the Theistic Beliefs

from Agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

A Hebrew patriarch (from whom all Jews trace their descent.)

• Jews, Christians, and Muslims have many common beliefs that are all Abrahamic in their origins, although variations exist within some of them.

the monotheistic religion of the Jews.

• For its origins Judaism looks to the biblical covenant made by God with Abraham, and to the laws revealed to Moses and recorded in the Torah (supplemented by the rabbinical Talmud), which established the Jewish people's special relationship with God. Since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, the rituals of Judaism have centered on the home and the synagogue.

a member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham.

of, relating to, or professing Christianity or its teachings

a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah.

• Founded in the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century AD, Islam is now the professed faith of more than a billion people worldwide, particularly in North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The ritual observances and moral code of Islam were said to have been given to Muhammad as a series of revelations, which were codified in the Koran. Islam is regarded by its adherents as the last of the revealed religions, and Muhammad is seen as the last of the prophets (by almost all Muslims), building on and perfecting the examples and teachings of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.

• ORIGIN from Arabic 'islām ‘submission,’ from 'aslama ‘submit (to God).’

Old Testament
the first part of the Christian Bible, comprising thirty-nine books and corresponding approximately to the Hebrew Bible. Most of the books were originally written in Hebrew, some in Aramaic, between about 1200 and 100 BC. They comprise the chief texts of the law, history, prophecy, and wisdom literature of the ancient people of Israel.

New Testament
the second part of the Christian Bible, written originally in Greek and recording the life and teachings of Jesus and his earliest followers. It includes the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one epistles by St. Paul and others, and the book of Revelation.

Koran (also Qur'an or Quran )
the Islamic sacred book, believed to be the word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel and written down in Arabic. The Koran consists of 114 units of varying lengths, known as suras. These touch upon all aspects of human existence, including matters of doctrine, social organization, and legislation.

• ORIGIN from Arabic qur'ān ‘recitation,’ from qara'a ‘recite.’


There are other religions and faith-based beliefs that have been part of human development. A lot of them have different Creation stories that we will discuss in some of my new blog posts.

Many of these religions were used by Romans, Greeks, Norwegians, Incas, Chinese, Japanese, Iranians, Africans, Easter Islanders, Maoris, Indians, and many more people.

Newer religions, like Sikhism and others, were added in comparatively recent years. Each of the known religions have several versions within them, followed by sects and sub-sects. One of the Muslim sects, the Ahmadis (which has two sub-sects within it) are considered non-Muslim in Pakistan, and a couple of Muslim countries, but are considered a Muslim Sect in other parts of the world.

Two religions that we may discuss at some point - particularly because of the way Muslims in Pakistan follow parts of Islam, are these:

A major religious and cultural tradition of South Asia, developed from Vedic religion.

• Hinduism is practiced primarily in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal and other countries. It is a diverse family of devotional and ascetic cults and philosophical schools, all sharing a belief in reincarnation and involving the worship of one or more of a large pantheon of gods and goddesses, including Mithra (an Indo-Aryan god), Shiva and Vishnu (incarnate as Rama and Krishna), Kali, Durga, Parvati, and Ganesh. Hindu society was traditionally based on a caste system.

founded by Siddartha Gautama. Born an Indian prince in what is now Nepal, he renounced wealth and family to become an ascetic, and after achieving enlightenment while meditating, taught all who came to learn from him. Gautama did not mention God or gods in his work or teachings.

• ORIGIN Sanskrit, literally ‘enlightened,’ past-participle of budh ‘know.’



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