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    Philosophy & Religion

    Humans have long pondered not only how we came to be but also why we came to be. The earliest Greek philosophers focused their attention upon the origin and nature of the physical world; later philosophers have theorized about the nature of knowledge, truth, good and evil, love, friendship, and much more. Thus, philosophy involves a methodical assessment of any and all aspects of human existence and experience. The realms of philosophy and religion have sometimes intersected in conducting inquiries such as these. As with philosophy, the study of religion underscores how humankind has long speculated about its origins. The possibility of a higher being (or beings) to which livings things owe their existence has long captived human thought. Many religions also offer their own views on the nature of good and evil, and they may prescribe guidelines and judgment on different kinds of human behavior.
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    Featured content, July 15, 2020

    The Social Contract and Philosophy
    Why should the state exist, and how much power should it have? The social contract may provide the answer.
    Companion / Philosophy & Religion
    John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher, regarded as the father of British empiricism author of Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). His political philosophy exerted considerable influence on the American revolution and French revolution.
    The Axial Age: 5 Fast Facts
    Enlighten yourself about a period of enlightenment.
    List / Philosophy & Religion
    The Chinese philosopher Confucius (Koshi) in conversation with a little boy in front of him. Artist: Yashima Gakutei. 1829
    What Do Eggs Have to Do with Easter?
    Easter or not, bunnies don’t lay eggs
    Demystified / Philosophy & Religion
    Red eggs, which symbolize happiness and the renewal of life. Commonly consumed at Easter in the Orthodox Christian faith, symbolizing Christ's blood.
    Historiography
    Historiography, the writing of history, especially the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the...
    Encyclopedia / Philosophy & Religion
    Oracle bone inscriptions

    Philosophy & Religion Quizzes

    Old Bible. Antique Bible, the bible, Christianity education literature manuscript religion text language words biblical, arts and entertainment, history and society, text philosophy, text wisdom, homepage 2010
    Religion: High and Mighty Quiz
    Can you name the first book of the Hebrew Bible? What Indian festival celebrates the goddess Durga? Test your knowledge of...
    Drum. Buddhist monk in Luang Prabang, Laos, hitting temple drum. (Buddhism, religion, percussion)
    Religion Across the Globe
    Who freed the slaves in Egypt? Where is the holiest city in Islam? Sort out these geographical facts about religion.
    Domes of a mosque (muslim, islam) silhouetted against the sky, Malaysia.
    A Study of Religion: Fact or Fiction?
    Do Sikh texts contain many images of God? Do Muslims always face north in prayer? Sort fact from fiction in this study of...
    Matsya avatar of Vishnu, 19th-century lithograph. Vishnu in his avatar of Matsya, a fish. Lithograph from L'Inde Francaise, Paris, 1828. Hindu trinity, Hinduism.
    World Religions: Fact or Fiction?
    Is Sikhism a branch of Buddhism? Are the first five books of the Hebrew Bible called the Torah? Sort out the facts in this...
    (close-up, head) The Birth of Venus, oil on canvas by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1485; in the Uffizi, Florence.
    This or That?: Greek Gods vs. Roman Gods
    Greek and Roman mythology borrowed heavily from each other. Match these infamous gods with their country of origin.
    David Hume in the background St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland. Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism.
    What’s In a Name? Philosopher Edition
    Philosophers are often referred to by their surnames only. Do you remember the given names of these famous philosophers?
    Ramadan. Little boy with sparklers. During the holy month of Ramadan Muslims break their fast each evening with prayer followed by festive nighttime meals called iftars. Islam
    Holidays and Festivals: Which Religion?
    You may know your own religion’s traditions, but do you know who celebrates these holidays and festivals?
    Holy week. Easter. Valladolid. Procession of Nazarenos carry a cross during the Semana Santa (Holy week before Easter) in Valladolid, Spain. Good Friday
    Christianity Quiz
    What country was the first to adopt Christianity as its national religion? What is the Parousia? Test your knowledge of Christianity...
    Statue of Confucius in Beijing, China
    Confucianism
    How much do you know about the teachings of Confucius? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Saint Thomas Aquinas. Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas, altarpiece by Francesco Traini, 1363; in Santa Caterina, Pisa, Italy. St. Thomas Aquinas (c1225-1274) Italian philosopher and theologian. Dominican order of monks (black friars).
    Saints
    We can’t promise you a sainthood, but improve your saintly knowledge with this quiz.

    Philosophy & Religion Videos

    Top Questions: Muhammad
    Khmer Rouge: suppression of religion
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    Middle Ages: religion
    Benedict XVI: early life
    Avignon papacy
    Top Questions: Isis
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    Philosophy & Religion
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    Philosophy & Religion Subcategories

    Thor Ancient Religions & Mythology
    What did our ancestors believe in? What myths and stories did they use to explain the world around them and find meaning in it? How have their beliefs influenced modern religion and spirituality? Explore these questions and more while discovering notable traditions, figures, and legends that figured prominently in ancient religion and mythology.
    Articles
    Immanuel Kant Ethical Issues
    What moral precepts guide us through tricky situations that may arise in relation to friendships, family, communities, and the work environment? Right and wrong are not always defined in the same way across different cultures.
    Articles
    forensic anthropology: examining skull Humanities
    The study of humankind with an appreciation of human values and the unique ability of the human spirit to express itself.
    Articles
    Immanuel Kant Philosophers
    Here you'll find the thinkers and theorists who have expressed their own ideas about such topics as the nature of humankind's relationship with the metaphysical world, the definitions of truth and knowledge, and the conditions of existence. From ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle to later notable philosophers such as René Descartes and Immanuel Kant, philosophy's great thinkers have approached sensitive ethical and existential issues from a variety of different angles. Their ideas have influenced the way we look at our world and the way we relate to one another as human beings.
    Articles
    Laozi Philosophical Issues
    Are you ready to delve into the myriad possible answers to such complex questions as "What makes an action virtuous?" or "What is the nature of consciousness?" Do you embrace weighty topics such as the relative merits of empiricism and rationalism? An inquisitive spirit is all but a prerequisite for many of the topics listed here, which deal with the different approaches to and ideas about the big questions of life.
    Articles
    reclining Buddha Religious Beliefs
    Our religious beliefs, such as they are, can affect our lifestyle, our perceptions, and the manner in which we relate to fellow human beings. Is there a higher power (or powers) that governs the universe and judges all of us? Can committing a mortal sin mean the death of a soul, or is there a chance for forgiveness? The answers to such questions differ widely across different religions.
    Articles
    Pope Gregory VII, after his expulsion from Rome, laying a ban of excommunication on the clergy “together with the raging king” (Henry IV of Germany), drawing from the 12th-century chronicle of Otto of Freising; in the library of the University of Jena, Germany. Religious Personages & Scholars
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
    subcategory placeholder Religious Places
    Human beings tend to relate to their religious beliefs through symbolism. Religious and sacred places—common destinations for pilgrims—represent a physical connection that helps believers express their devotion.
    Articles
    Igor Stravinsky Sacred Art & Music
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
    Krishna; Arjuna Scriptures
    Sacred scriptures of all religions, viewed as the word of God or inspired by God, have influenced the moral and ethical standards of countries, peoples, and religious groups. Their interpretation has always been a subject of discussion and, at times, controversy.
    Articles
    Christ as Ruler, with the Apostles and Evangelists (represented by the beasts). The female figures are believed to be either Santa Pudenziana and Santa Praxedes or symbols of the Jewish and Gentile churches. Mosaic in the apse of Santa Pudenziana, Rome, AD 401–417. Spirituality
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
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