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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.

Assembly of twenty gods, predominantly the Twelve Olympians, as they receive Psyche (Loggia di Psiche, 1518–19, by Raphael and his school, at the Villa Farnesina).

Disbelieve it or Not, Ancient History Suggests That Atheism is as Natural to Humans as Religion

People in the ancient world did not always believe in the gods, a new study suggests – casting doubt on the idea that religious belief is a “default setting” for humans. “Early societies were far...
The Great Deluge, a global flood. (1869).

Evidence of The Great Flood – Real or a Myth? Part I

The story of a “Great Flood” sent by God (or gods according to much earlier testimony) to destroy humanity for its sins is a widespread account shared by many religions and cultures around the world...
Hellenistic culture in the Indian subcontinent: Greek clothes, amphoras, win,e and music. Detail from Chakhil-i-Ghoundi Stupa, Hadda, Gandhara, 1st century AD.

What Does Alexander the Great Have to Do with Buddhist Imagery?

When Alexander the Great arrived in Pakistan and India two very different civilizations confronted and were influenced by each other. The first anthropomorphic representations of Buddha were...
Akhenaten, relief of the pylons of the house of Panehsy, Chief Servitor of the Aten. It depicts Akhenaten making offerings to the Aten.

Pharaoh Akhenaten: A Different View of the Heretic King

Amenhotep IV, also known as the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was destined to be remembered for his attempt at a religious conversion of ancient Egypt; one that saw the old gods put aside and replaced by a...
Artist’s interpretation of the holy grail.

The Truth About the Holy Grail: Magical Chalices Around the World

Most people identify one special chalice as the only Holy Grail. Others point out that the Holy Grail legends composed in Europe during the 12 th to 15 th centuries enumerate more than ten different...
Two varying depictions of the same figure, Jesus. (Deriv)

Reconstructing Jesus: Using Science to Flesh out the Face of Religion

For being one of the most widely recognized men in the last 2,000 years, the true appearance of Jesus of Nazareth remains a mystery. Traditionally portrayed in western art as a be-robed, light-...
Ogdoad - The Place of Truth. Relief at Deir el Medina.

The Infinite Ogdoad: The Creation Pantheon of Ancient Egypt and Predecessor Gods of the Old Kingdom

The Ogdoad, also called the Hehu or Infinites, were the celestial rulers of a cosmic age. Considered to have come long before the Egyptian religious system currently recognized, the Ogdoad were...
Shinto painting from manuscript of Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Purification as the Core of the Ancient Shinto Faith

A ritual based religion, Shintoism is defined as "the way of the gods" in Japan, from the Chinese Shendao. It is the indigenous religion of the country, and survives today as the state religion,...
Matsya protecting Svayambhuva Manu and the seven sages at the time of Deluge

Startling Similarity between Hindu Flood Legend of Manu and the Biblical Account of Noah

In 1872, the amateur Assyriologist, George Smith, made a discovery that would shock the world. Whilst studying a particular tablet from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nineveh, he comes across a...
Abstract image depicting creation of the universe and mankind

The awesome, terrible, and unknowable creator gods through history

All throughout history people have invoked gods of various kinds, including incomprehensibly strange creators. Crediting an almighty god as the creator of the universe is an acknowledgement that the...
The Roman god Bacchus

The Roman god Bacchus as a Christian icon

Before the acceptance of Christianity, Roman polytheism was dominant in the western world. Rome's borders extended as far west as Britain and as far east as modern day Greece and Turkey. To help ease...
Marduk and the king of Babylon

The Ancient Akitu Festival and the Humbling of the King

The Akitu festival was one of the oldest Mesopotamian festivals, dating back to the middle of the third millennium BC. It was during this twelve day ceremonial event, which began at the first New...
Ancient Siddhars

The Incredible Powers of the Ancient Siddhars

Siddhars are a type of saint in India who are said to have had many powers and achieved a ‘god-like’ state through specific secret practices that were known only to them. These powers spanned from...
Ancient Concubines

The secret life of an ancient concubine

In many ancient cultures and religious traditions, rulers and elite members of society not only had wives, they also had concubines. Concubines normally served a dual purpose – to increase a man’s...
Noah's Ark

Hollywood resurrects Noah's Ark, but did they get it right?

The new film Noah starring Russell Crowe as the man chosen by God to collect pairs of animals on Earth and gather them into a massive ark has just hit cinemas around the world. But has Hollywood got...
Flower of Life

What Ancient Secrets Lie Within the Flower of Life?

The Flower of Life is a name for a geometrical figure composed of seven or more evenly-spaced, overlapping circles. This figure, used as a decorative motif since ancient times, forms a flower-like...

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