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Spirituality Bookshelf


Buddhism for Dummies
Buddhism for Dummies

Christianity for Dummies
Christianity for Dummies

Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism

Islam for Dummies
Islam for Dummies

Judaism for Dummies
Judaism for Dummies

God Speaks Again: An Introduction to the Baha'I Faith
God Speaks Again:
An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith

Shinto: Origins, Rituals, Festivals, Spirits, Sacred Places
Shinto: Origins, Rituals, Festivals, Spirits, Sacred Places

The Sikhs
The Sikhs

Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance
Simple Taoism:
A Guide to
Living in Balance

Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Theology & Religions Educational Posters, Charts, Maps
for classrooms, home schoolers, offices & theme decor.

social studies > THEOLOGY | World's Religions | Religions of the World | theologians < peace < health

International Religion Symbols
International Religion Symbols

There are five major religions, or philosophies: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism; around which a majority of the Earth's nearly 7 billion people organize their beliefs about

  • the origins of humanity,
  • rules for living, and
  • expressions of faith.

Other notable religions included are Bahá'í, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Native American, and Zoroastrianism.

• “Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” ~ Hannah Arendt
• “Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.” ~ Hannna Arendt
• “The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one's self. All sin is easy after that.” ~ Pearl Bailey
• “Hungry people cannot be good at learning or producing anything, except perhaps violence.” ~ Pearl Bailey
• “The chief difficulty which prevents men of science from believing in divine as well as in nature Spirits is their materialism.” Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
• “There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.” ~ Wendell Berry
• “Persecution is a bad and indirect way to plant Religion.” ~ Sir Thomas Browne
• “Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all - that has been my religion.” ~ John Burroughs
• “I don't have to have faith, I have experience.” ~ Joseph Campbell
• “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
• “So I should say that civilizations begin with religion and stoicism: they end with scepticism and unbelief, and the undisciplined pursuit of individual pleasure. A civilization is born stoic and dies epicurean.” ~ Will Durant
• “All religions must be tolerated ... for every man must get to heaven in his own way.” ~ Epictetus
• “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it’s a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” ~ Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780
• “Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion's eleventh commandment is ‘Thou shalt not question’.” ~ Sigmund Freud
• “Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.” ~ Khalil Gibran
• “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ~ Khalil Gibran
• “Work is love made visible.” ~ Khalil Gibran
• “A radical inner transformation and rise to a new level of consciousness might be the only real hope we have in the current global crisis brought on by the dominance of the Western mechanistic paradigm.” ~ Stanislav Grof
• “There is no fundamental difference between the preparation for death and the practice of dying, and spiritual practice leading to enlightenment.” ~ Stanislav Grof
• “Christianity has functioned for the normative self-understanding of modernity as more than a mere precursor or a catalyst. Egalitarian universalism, from which sprang the ideas of freedom and social solidarity, of an antonomous conduct of life and emancipation, of the individual morality of conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct heir to the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in the light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.” ~ Conversation about God and the World. Time of transitions. Cambridge: Polity Press 2006, p. 150-151 ~ Jurgen Habermas
• “Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.” ~ Edith Hamilton
• “History, is a conscious, self-meditating process — Spirit emptied out into Time.” ~ G. W. F. Hegel
• “Philosophy will not be able to effect an immediate transformation of the present condition of the world. This is not only true of philosophy, but of all merely human thought and endeavor. Only a god can save us. The sole possibility that is left for us is to prepare a sort of readiness, through thinking and poeticizing, for the appearance of the god or for the absence of the god in the time of foundering [Untergang] for in the face of the god who is absent, we founder. Only a God Can Save Us.” ~ Martin Heidegger
• “Christianity is an idea, and as such is indestructible and immortal, like every idea.” ~ Heinrich Heine
• “The creationist is a sham religious person who, curiously, has no true sense of religion. In the language of religion, it is the facts we observe in the world around us that must be seen to constitute the words of God. Documents, whether the Bible, Qur'an or those writings that held such force for Velikovsky, are only the words of men. To prefer the words of men to those of God is what one can mean by blasphemy. This, we think, is the instinctive point of view of most scientists who, curiously again, have a deeper understanding of the real nature of religion than have the many who delude themselves into a frenzied belief in the words, often the meaningless words, of men. Indeed, the lesser the meaning, the greater the frenzy, in something like inverse proportion.” ~ Sir Fred Hoyle
• “Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.” ~ David Hume
• “No word in our language — not even ‘Socialism’— has been employed more loosely than ‘Mysticism’. … The history of the word begins in close connexion with the Greek mysteries. A mystic is one who has been, or is being, initiated into some esoteric knowledge of Divine things, about which he must keep his mouth shut… ” ~ William R. Inge
• “Among all my patients in the second half of life ... there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung
• “To this day I do not know whether the power which has inspired my works is something related to religion, or is indeed religion itself.” ~ Käthe Kollwitz
• “When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis
• “We can never know for certain where our prayers are likely to go, nor from whom the answers will come. Just when we think we are at our nearest to God, we could be assisting the Devil.” ~ Norman Mailer
• “I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance.” ~ Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, Prologue
• “Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.” ~ Guy de Maupassant
• “Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.” ~ Herman Melville
• “If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.” ~ Thomas Merton
• “Love beauty; it is the shadow of God on the universe.” ~ Gabriela Mistral
• “It is not Christianity, but priestcraft that has subjected woman as we find her.” ~ Lucretia Mott
• “Anything that we can destroy, but are unable to make is, in a sense, sacred, and all our ‘explanations’ of it do not explain anything.” ~ E.F. Schumacher
• “There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham.” ~ Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
• “Faith and doubt both are needed - not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve.” ~ Lillian Smith
• “Volumes might be written upon the impiety of the pious.” ~ Herbert Spencer
• “Men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude ... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits…” ~ Baruch Spinoza
• “I make this chief distinction between religion and superstition, that the latter is founded on ignorance, the former on knowledge ...” ~ Baruch Spinoza
• “The very nature of the objective universe turns any spiritual faith and ideals into courageous acts of subjectivity, constantly vulnerable to intellectual negation.” ~ Richard Tarnas
• “The equation of religion with belief is rather recent.” ~ Arnold J. Toynbee
• “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”~ Voltaire
• “Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.” ~ Alice Walker
• “True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others. It is not obedience to authority, and while it is often consistent with and reinforced by religious belief, it is not piety.” ~ E. O. Wilson

World Religions Map & Timeline
Religions Around
the World
Map & Timeline

World Religions Map & Timeline
Buddhism, Christianity, Hindusim, Islam, Judaism, Indigenous Beliefs

map posters

Religions of the World - Christianity Poster
Religions of
the World
Poster Series

Religions of the World Poster Series

Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism

World's Religions Poster Series
World's Religions
Poster Series

World's Religions Poster Series

Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism

Holy Land Poster
Holy Land Poster

Holy Land Map


JUDAISM - Bereft of their Temple in Jerusalem–first built by Solomon as a permanent shrine for the Ark of the covenant–Jews created synagogues as centers of community worship. After A.D. 70 these houses of prayer and study came to replace the Temple cult with its sacrificial rites.

CHRISTIANITY - Persecution drove early Christian worship underground–to caves and private homes–bt the Byantine era brought much church building, including mosaic-filled basilicas that accommodated the hordes of pilgrims. Crusaders fused styles of East and West in the rebuilt church of the Holy Sepulchre and a line of mountaintop fortresses.

ISLAM - The mosque, or “place of prostration,” with its minarets from which to summon the faithful to prayer, is the most visible manifestation of Islamic architecture. Religious prohibition against human images produced highly developed decorative art.


• STONE AND BRONZE AGES (ca 500,000 to 1200 BC.) The layering of settlements at tells, or mounds, marks ancient sites in the Holy Land dating back to the Stone Age. By 3000BC walled towns were common; 15 centuries later, Canaanite city-states were controlled by Egypt's pharaohs.

• ISRAELITE & PERSIAN PERIODS (ca 1200 to 332 B.C.) Seminomadic Israelite tribes united as a monarch to challenge local Philistines and Canaanites. Solomon's grandiose kingdom split and later fell to Assyrians and Babylonians. Exiled Israelites returned under Persian rule.

• HELLENISTIC & ROMAN PERIODS (332 B.C. to A.D. 324) Alexander's military successors carved up the lands he took from Persia. Jews struggled for independence. Roman conquerors at times imposed their own worship at the sites sacred to Judaism and budding Christianity.

• BYZANTINE PERIOD (A.D. 324 to 640) Constantine's conversion made Christianity secure for three centuries under the Byzantine Empire, with Jerusalem the spiritual center. Churches and monasteries proliferated, and the surge of pilgrims boosted development.

• ISLAMIC PERIOD (A.D. 640 to 1917) Muslim Arabs swept the region, stamping it with their new faith. The 200-year crusader campaign to retake and hold the holy places left a legacy of castles and abbeys–many leveled by Egypt's Mamluks, the predecessors of the Ottoman Turks.

• more Middle East posters
• more maps posters

Baha'i House of Worship (Lotus Temple), Delhi, India Photographic Print
Baha'i House of Worship
(Lotus Temple), Delhi, India
Photographic Print

Bahá'í House of Worship (Lotus Temple), Delhi, India

Mark Tobey

A Shinto Priest Offering Sake to The Kami, 1880 Giclee Print
A Shinto Priest Offering Sake to
the Kami, 1880
Giclee Print

A Shinto Priest Offering Sake to The Kami, 1880

India's Sikhs are recognized by a steel bangle worn on their wrist Photographic Print
India's Sikhs are recognized by a steel bangle worn on their wrist
Photographic Print

India's Sikhs are recognized by a steel bangle worn on their wrist.

Sikhism poster

Taoism, Yin Yang Poster
Taoism, Yin Yang Poster

Taoism, Yin Yang

Yin and Yang are the Chinese names referring to the active and passive principles of the universe. Yin refers to the female or inactive negative force, Yang refers to the male or active force. The image illustrates how the two polar forces continually interplay and are contained within each other.

Ahura Mazda, Supreme God in Zoroastrianism, Persepolis, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iran, Photographic Print
A 'faravahar', (guardian angel) of Ahura Mazda, at Persepolis, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iran,
Photographic Print

Zoroastrianism, an ancient Middle Eastern faith whose first basic belief is there is one universal and transcendental God (named Ahura Mazda), gave shape to the beginning of the Christian era, the Medieval period, and the European Enlightenment.

The prophet Zoroaster wrote the purpose of humankind is active participation in life and the exercise of good thoughts, words and deeds.

Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi (guardian spirit)

In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas That Changed the World

A Sioux Medicine Man Offers a Ritual Prayer to the Buffalo, Photographic Print
A Sioux Medicine Man Offers a Ritual Prayer
to the Buffalo,
Photographic Print

A Sioux Medicine Man Offers a Ritual Prayer to the Buffalo

Figure of Isis, Seated on a Throne, Holding the Child Horus in Her Lap, Egyptian, 26th Dynasty, Giclee Print
Figure of Isis, Seated on a Throne, Holding the Child Horus in Her Lap, Egyptian, 26th Dynasty,
Giclee Print

Figure of Isis, Seated on a Throne, Holding the Child Horus in Her Lap, Egyptian, 26th Dynasty

Goddess posters
Egypt posters

Adam and Eve Take the Apple Offered by the Serpent, Giclee Print
Adam and Eve Take the Apple Offered
by the Serpent,
Giclee Print

Adam and Eve Take the Apple Offered by the Serpent

apple posters
Apple computer logo

Voices of Reason Poster
Voices of Reason

Voices of Reason

Quotes and images ~

• “Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” ~ Douglas Adams
• “The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.” ~ Ayaan Hirsi Ali
• “I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.” ~ Issac Asimov
• “Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day.” ~ Geroge Carlin
• “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars or that a cat should play with mice... ” ~ Charles Darwin
• “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied without understanding the world.” ~ Richard Dawkins
• “If only we could transfer all that respect, loyalty and intense devotion from an imaginary being - God - to something real: the wonderful world of goodness we and our ancestors have made, and of which we are now the stewards.” ~ Daniel Dennett
• “I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.” ~ Thomas Edison
• “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” ~ Albert Einstein
• “Religion belonged to the infancy of Humanity. Now that humanity had come of age, it should be left behind.” ~ Sigmund Freud
• “I turned to speak to God About the world's despair; But to make bad matters worse I found God wasn't there.” ~ Robert Frost
• “All thinking men are atheists” ~ Ernest Hemingway
• “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.” ~ Christopher Hitchens
• “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” ~ Gene Roddenberry
• “Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.” ~ Carl Sagan
• “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ~ Mark Twain
• “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.” ~ Steven Weinberg

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last updated 11/17/13