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Religion 101

Religion 101

Religion 101 Archives

Hindu Demographics & Denominations (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

Much like every other major religion, Hinduism is not one thing, but many — not homogeneous and monolithic, but internally diverse and highly variegated. Within the Hindu religious tradition, God or the Divine can be imaged, visualized, conceptualized or comprehended […]

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Hindu Demographics & Denominations (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

Having already addressed, in previous blog entries, the basic breakdown into wings, branches, sects, movements, denominations and similar sorts of internal subdivisions that is found within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, I’d now like to round out the big picture in […]

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Islamic Demographics & Denominations (Part Three)

posted by Reed Hall

With approximately 1.6 billion followers (about 23% of the global human population), Islam currently ranks as the second largest religion in the world. But Islam, like the rest of the world’s major religions, is not one thing, but many. Islam is […]

Islamic Demographics & Denominations (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

With approximately 1.6 billion followers (about 23% of the total global human population), Islam currently ranks as the second largest religion in the world. But Islam, like the rest of the world’s religions, is not one thing, but many. Islam […]

Islamic Demographics & Denominations (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

With approximately 1.6 billion followers (about 23% of the total human population), Islam currently ranks as the second largest religion in the world. Globally, nearly one in four people are Muslim. There are more Muslims than Catholics on the planet. […]

Christian Demographics & Denominations (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

In my previous blog entry (Part One of this pair of posts), I described and illustrated how Christianity worldwide breaks down, in terms of its various branches, wings, and internal subdivisions: Now, moving from a broadly global perspective to a […]

Christian Demographics & Denominations (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

For those who may not know, Christianity is the single largest religion in the world. Of course, by “Christianity” I do not merely mean, say, evangelical Christianity alone, or any other single subset of the Christian faith (some of whose […]

Religious Demographics & Denominations

posted by Reed Hall

When I was new to religious studies (or “comparative religion”), whenever I initially began the study of any particular religion, I always wondered, “How many of these guys are there, in the world? Is this a really big religion? A […]

Diwali 2012

posted by Reed Hall

Today (November 13, 2012) marks the first day of a major five-day religious festival — in fact, the largest and single most important holiday on the Hindu religious calendar. Observed in India and beyond not only by Hindus but also […]

Religious Diversity in Congress: First Hindu Congresswoman, First Buddhist Senator

posted by Reed Hall

Election Day (November 6, 2012) did more than give Barack Obama a second term in office as the U.S. president. Among other things, it also gave us America’s first Hindu congresswoman, as well as its first Buddhist senator. Tulsi Gabbard, […]

Which Religion is TRUE? (Part Two)

posted by Reed Hall

In my previous blog post, I asked the perennial and fundamental question: Out of all of these many diverse religions, major and minor, which one of them (if any) happens to be, you know, true? In other words, which of […]

Which Religion is TRUE? (Part One)

posted by Reed Hall

Okay, this is it. The $64,000 question. For many people, this one is the really big, bottom-line uber question — the most central and most burning of all questions pertaining to religion. Out of all of these many diverse religions, […]

Are All Religions “Saying the Same Thing”?

posted by Reed Hall

It’s a common enough question, and one that is often posed less as an actual question than as a simple observation, or even as a subtle assertion: “When you get right down to it, aren’t all religions really just saying […]

Previous Posts

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Six)
Specifically Christian newcomers to the study of Judaism frequently puzzle over  why -- as they themselves often put it -- Jews "don't believe in Jesus." The reality is simply that the entire Jewish concept of who and what a Messiah actually is (or does) is just nothing like what Christians them

posted 4:45:00pm Jun. 29, 2013 | read full post »

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Five)
Aside from the several other frequent areas of confusion which sometimes puzzle newcomers to the study of Judaism (areas which I've been discussing in my last several blog entries), there is yet another hazy area that is often uniquely puzzling to specifically Christian newcomers: why, as they thems

posted 10:01:32pm Jun. 27, 2013 | read full post »

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Four)
As discussed in previous blog entries, a fairly sizable percentage of the American public seems to know surprisingly little about many of the basics of Judaism. In my own world religions courses, some students begin the semester with no real knowledge of the Jewish faith, and may even harbor some fa

posted 9:16:07pm Jun. 25, 2013 | read full post »

On Teaching About Judaism (Part Three)
As discussed in previous blog entries, a fairly sizable percentage of the American public seems to know surprisingly little about the basics of Judaism. In my own world religions courses, some students begin the semester with no real knowledge of the Jewish faith, and may even harbor some fairly com

posted 6:27:16pm Jun. 22, 2013 | read full post »

Midsummer (Litha)/Yule 2013
Tomorrow (Friday, June 21, 2013) is the date of the summer solstice within the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, by contrast, tomorrow will be the date of the winter solstice. Solstices have long been observed as important seasonal festivals in many traditional cultures. Accordingl

posted 5:05:38pm Jun. 20, 2013 | read full post »

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