Religions

Every major world religion has an account of the creation of the Universe, Earth, and the living beings within it. Some religions have isolated these creation stories and collected them in completely separate sections of their religious literature (like Genesis for Christians), while in other religions the information is scattered among different holy texts.

In this section we will investigate the creation beliefs of the major world religions. We will present each account as related by the religion, then address the controversies surrounding the account.

Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/CC BY-SA 2.0), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent

The Viking Serpent: Serpent Worship, Sacred Geometry, and Secrets of the Celtic Church in Norway

Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code, inspired by Henry Lincoln and his two co-authors’ The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail . The Norwegian researcher Harald Boehlke was inspired by the same book. Lincoln...
Rembrandt - Christ with Hands Folded (Public Domain), and Nivedita, Sister - the Departure of Siddhartha

The Christ And The Buddha: How Can You Explain the Uncanny Similarities?

Buddhism and Christianity arose independently of each other, separated as they were by almost 3,000 miles and at least 500 years. In terms of religious belief systems they are even farther apart...
Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

How plentiful it is, what you have made, Although they are hidden from view, Sole god, without another beside you; You created the earth as you wished, When you were by yourself, Mankind, all cattle...
A painting entitled ‘White Lotus Society’

The White Lotus Society and the Demise of Mongol Rule in China

The White Lotus Society / Sect (written in Chinese as 白莲教, and Romanised as ‘Bai Lian Jiao’) was a millenarian movement that existed in imperial China. As a religious movement, the teachings of the...
Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.

Is the Universe Only 6,000 years old? Young Earth Creationists Say Yes!

Although most mainstream scientists and most of the developed world now accept the theory of evolution and the scientifically established age of Earth and the universe, there is still a group of...
God the Father (represented by an old patriarch with white hair) by Cima da Conegliano, c. 1515

Arguments Why God (Very Probably) Exists

The question of whether a god exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percent of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “...
Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Over the past two centuries, Europe has become increasingly secular. Scholars in fact no longer talk of the Christian West when they speak of Modern Europe and North America, but of the Secular West...
Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
Detail of The Adda Seal. The figures can be identified as gods by their pointed hats with multiple horns. The figure with streams of water and fish flowing from his shoulders is Ea (Sumerian Enki), god of subterranean waters and of wisdom. Behind him stands Usimu, his two-faced vizier (chief minister). At the centre of the scene is the sun-god, Shamash (Sumerian Utu), with rays rising from his shoulders. He is cutting his way through the mountains in order to rise at dawn. To his left is a winged goddess, I

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

A deity with as many attributes as arms, Saraswati (or Sarasvati) is the Hindu goddess of aesthetics. These include music, the arts, wisdom and learning. She can be compared, in many ways, to the...
Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout...
Viva La Muerte! Santa Muerte, Folk Saint and Holy Personification of Death, Healer and Protector

Viva La Muerte! Santa Muerte, Folk Saint and Holy Personification of Death, Healer and Protector

Some people become devotees on their own initiative, actively seeking out Santa Muerte upon the recommendation of friends or family members. Others receive an unexpected call or visit from the Skinny...
Mithra slaying the bull. Royal Ontario Museum

The Cult of Mithra: Sacred Temples, and Vedic Legends, and Ancient Armenian Understanding

Mithra was the god of light, purity, goodness, truth and occupied an important place in the faith of the ancient Aryans. The Spread of Mithra There are various opinions on the spread of the Mithra (...
Introduction of Christianity in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1888–89, National Museum, Warsaw.

Faith or Economy? Why Pagan Religions Lost Their Position in Europe

Even though there are hundreds of thousands of followers of pagan religions, the old beliefs haven't survived enough to be included in the group of the five major religions of the world. Officially,...
Solar deity bronze relief, Deriv.

Those Who Once Reigned: Experts Name Famous and Forgotten Ancient Gods

Ancient Origins asked experts to weigh in on the topic of ancient deities. Some ancient gods get all the attention - but which gods are largely forgotten… and why? The following is their views on...
Folio 7v contains an image of theVirgin and Child.

The Golden Age of the Christian Picts: Evidence for Religious Production at Portmahomack- Part 2

(Read Part I) The "Golden Age" of artisan efforts at the Tarbat monastery did not last nearly as long as the monastery of Iona; the industrial locations were burned in a site wide fire in the eighth...

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Ancient Technology

The Norimitsu Odachi.
The Norimitsu Odachi is a huge sword from Japan. It is so large, in fact, that it was said to have been wielded by a giant. Apart from the basic knowledge of it having been forged in the 15th century AD, measuring 3.77 meters (12.37 ft.) in length, and weighing as much as 14.5 kg (31.97 lbs.), this impressive sword is shrouded in mystery.

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)