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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, January 21, 2021

      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.
      What is the Difference Between Daoism and Confucianism?
      How do China’s two great philosophical and religious traditions compare?
      Demystified / Philosophy & Religion
      Confucius statue at a Confucian Temple in Shanghai, China. Confucianism religion
      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
      Study of religion
      Study of religion, attempt to understand the various aspects of religion, especially through the use of other intellectual...
      Encyclopedia / Philosophy & Religion
      Charles Sprague Pearce: Religion

      Philosophy & Religion Quizzes

      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.
      Diwali holiday lamps or candles, India.  (Indian holiday, oil lamp, flame,  candle, fire)
      Hinduism
      Hinduism is one of the most popular religions on Earth. How much do you know about its philosophy, belief, and ritual? Test...
      Image Gallery
      Philosophy & Religion
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      Philosophy & Religion Subcategories

      Romulus and Remus suckling their wolf foster mother 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
      subcategory placeholder 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
      Roger Bacon Humanities
      The study of humankind with an appreciation of human values and the unique ability of the human spirit to express itself.
      Articles
      Voltaire 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
      Cicero 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
      Abu Darweesh Mosque 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
      Martin Luther Religious Personages & Scholars
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      St. Bernadette of Lourdes 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
      Mahalia Jackson Sacred Art & Music
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
      Chapter 49 of the Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls; in the Shrine of the Book, D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Centre for Biblical Manuscripts, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 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
      Charles Sprague Pearce: Religion Spirituality
      This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
      Articles
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