Understanding Major World Religions

As promised, I am breaking free of the typical topics here on Cofebuz.com to share with you some of what I have been discovering over the past several years.  I wanted to start by sharing with you some research I did on understanding major world religions.  When I started the process of understanding the differences between major world religions many years ago it began as a simple desire to understand other people’s perspectives.  What I found was much more interesting (and simpler) than I would have thought.  I have added links to Wikipedia so that you can dive more into each of these topics if you are so inclined, and if you are reading this is a format that does not have indents, I would recommend clicking on the link so you can see the indents as they create hierarchy.  Which best defines your belief structure?

Theism – God made all

Theism – the belief that at least one god exists. In a more specific sense, theism is a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God’s relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe.

Monotheism – the belief in the existence of one God or in the oneness of God. Monotheism is characteristic of Christianity, Bahá’í Faith, Islam, Ravidassia, Judaism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism

Polytheism – the belief in the existence of multiple gods. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally. Greek Mythology, Mormonism

Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshipped.

Kathenotheism is the worship of one god at a time or worshiping different gods at different times.

Deism – the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a creator, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge.

Pantheism – God is all

Pantheism – the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the Universe (or Nature) is identical with divinity. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal god, but differ in exact interpretation of the term. Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age

Atheism – No god at all

Atheism (secular humanism) – the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Atheism is the position that there are no gods and the absence of belief that any exist.

A gnostic atheist not only believes there are no gods, he also claims to know there are no gods.

An agnostic atheist doesn’t believe in gods, but doesn’t claim to know there are no gods. The existence or non-existence of any god is unknown and unknowable. Agnosticism is apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or disbelief in a god.

Non-God Religious Belief Systems

Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown and unknowable. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. An agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively

Ignosticism – the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism and atheism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. It is the view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed.

Transtheistic – A belief system that neither accepts nor rejects the idea of the existence of God(s). God is an impersonal “necessary being” if he exists at all.

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