Portal:Religion
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Portal:Religion

Introduction

Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities and/or saints), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.

There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide. About 84% of the world's population is affiliated with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or some form of folk religion. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.

The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief. (Full article...)

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The Itsukushima Shrine torii in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Torii mark the entrance to a Shinto shrine and are recognizable symbols of the religion.
Shinto (Japanese?), also known as kami-no-michi, is a religion originating in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religion by scholars of religion, its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion based on the Gogyo Gogen doctrine. Scholars sometimes call its practitioners Shintoists, although adherents rarely use that term themselves. There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among practitioners. (Full article...)

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Bob Dylan plays a guitar and sings into a microphone.
Dylan at Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, in June 2010
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture. (Full article...)

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