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essay on india as a secular state

essay on india as a secular stateEssay on india as a secular state -This document is divided into the following sections: Minnesota State University's "Religions of the World" website lists the "world's six major religions" as: Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Animism, Christianity and Hinduism.One can not directly compare, for example, the local beliefs of the Polynesian islands of Kiribati during the 1500s to the organizational, political, literary and philosophical sophistication of Chinese Taoism during the same period.But this list accounts for the religions of over 98% of the world's population.A major source for these estimates is the detailed country-by-country analysis done by David B.Such governmental endeavors are interested primarily in physical population demographics, such as how many people live in a household and how many telephones there are per person. They merely classify Hindus as all people who call themselves Hindu, Muslims as all people who call themselves Muslim, Christians as all people who call themselves Christian.There are five main methods for determining the number of adherents in a faith group: Organizational reporting: Religious bodies (such as churches or denominations) are asked how many adherents or members they have.But one could certainly question whether Japanese Shintoism, as an official "world religion", was theologically or spiritually more "advanced" than African Yoruba religion, which was classified simply as animism or paganism.Groups such as Rastafarians, Mandeans, Tenrikyo, and the Church of Scientology are too small, too new or too unimportant in world history to be included in most surveys of "major world religions." Thus, in including such groups in this listing it is not always possible to appeal to a consensus within comparative religion literature.After many centuries, with the increased Western awareness of Eastern history and philosophy, and the development of Islam, other religions were added to the list.Many writers will classify newer movements as NRMs ("New Religious Movements"), and reserve the label of "world religion" for "long established" religions.In the following list the classical world religions are listed with the most cohesive/unified groups first, and the religions with the most internal religious diversity last.This is not an absolutely exhaustive compilation of all such data, but it is by far the largest compilation available on the Internet.There are many distinct religions or religious movements which have more adherents than some of the classical world religions, but which are not part of the classical list for various reasons.Gatewood's Intracultural Variability and Problem-Solving, which repeats the Kluckhohn-Murray aphorism (1953): When referring to the "size" of a religion, what is usually meant is its number of adherents.A detailed description of what an adherent is, and the different types/levels of adherents can be found on the FAQ page.We recognize that within many religious traditions there are deeply felt arguments for excluding certain groups from their description of their religion.In other words academics are happy to study other academics regardless of what is actually happening in everyday life. I believe that the founder of [the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], Joseph Smith, is a far more influential figure and deserves as much attention as the father of modern theology, Freidrich Schleiermacher, yet current textbooks and course offerings invariably mention Schleiermacher but rarely pay any attention to Joseph Smith.A listing of doctrinally and organizationally meaningful divisions or denominational "branches" (such as Catholic, Eastern/Orthodox Christian, Sunni Islam, Shiite Islam, Evangelical Christian, Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, etc.) would clearly be useful, but that is the subject of a list: Major Branches of Major World Religions.Thus, Tenrikyo was classified by the Japanese ministry of religion as a Shinto sect for about one hundred years.Originally, three religions were recognized: Christians, Jews and pagans (i.e., everybody else).essay on india as a secular stateMany of the most recent movements, such as Seicho-No-Ie, Ananaikyo, Ch'ondogyo and other Asian new religious movements are overtly syncretistic or universalist, similar in some ways to but originating many years later than the Baha'i faith.Where classification is unclear, we've used two criteria: , the faith group is a division within the larger religion (and thus not a world religion, but a division of a world religion).While most comparative religion textbooks produced during this century either ignore them or group them as a Muslim sect, the most recent books give them separate status and often their own chapter.Scientology, is one of the few movements of the 20th century that has grown large enough and escaped its predecessor religious matrix thoroughly enough to be considered a distinct world religion.All adherents of a single religion usually share at least some commonalities, such as a common historical heritage and some shared doctrines or practices.By recognizing the importance of living religions, popular piety and sociological studies I hope more balance will enter Religious Studies.To manage this question we have chosen once again to use the most commonly-recognized divisions in comparative religion texts.Various academic researchers and religious representatives regularly share documented adherent statistics with so that their information can be available in a centralized database.Sikhs, if mentioned at all, had been classified as a sect of Hinduism during the first three hundred years of their history.Five smaller or more localized religions/philosophies brought the list of world religions to ten: Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, Shinto and Zoroastrianism.On the other hand, some Hindu writers are so inclusive that they claim as Hindus adherents of any religion that arose in a Hindu environment, including Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.Buddhism, for example, if viewed as a whole, can be understood to have a large amount of internal variation, including the Theravada and Mahayana branches, all of their sub-schools, various revivalist sects, as well as Tibetan and modern Western forms.In a practical sense, most people actually practice only one form of whatever religion they belong to.Many of the movements that seem like distinct new religions may die out within a few generations.Statistics and geography citations for religions on this list, as well as subgroups within these religions (such as Catholics, Protestants, Karaites, Wiccans, Shiites, etc.) can be found in the main database.The "Major Religions" list presented on this web page differs from classical lists because it draws more from an extremely large body of contemporary affiliation data, rather than relying heavily on the lists and texts of past commentators (Hudson Smith, Noss, Barrett, etc.).With these sociological (non-theological) definitions we could include in this list schools of thought which aren't always considered "religions," such as atheism, humanism, Communism/Marxism/Maoism, and Confucianism.Baha'is have achieved this status partially through their worldwide geographical spread and increasing numbers, and partially by constantly insisting that they are indeed the "newest world religion." The classical set of twelve is not necessarily the most accurate reflection of the present, real-world religious situation.Further details and sources are available below and in the main database.But most actual Buddhists are not actually involved in all of these; rather they practice one, internally cohesive, fairly unified form, such as the Geluk order of Tibetan Buddhism, or Japanese Amida-Buddha worship. essay on india as a secular state Even fairly contemporary and progressive writers have a "youth cut-off" requirement for their listings of major world religions.It is important to note that data for the size of various religions within a given country often come from government census figures or official estimates.Many Evangelical Protestants churches exclude all non-Evangelical or non-Protestant groups from their definitions of Christianity.Beginning around 1900 comparative religion writers in England began to take note of the Sikhs which had begun to immigrate there from India (part of the British Empire at the time).So broad is this religious "umbrella" that it includes clearly polytheistic, tritheistic, monotheistic, pantheistic, nontheistic, and atheistic traditions.Useful information about cultures can also be found in John B.Should Sikhism be listed as a Hindu sect (as in many older textbooks), or a world religion in its own right?How is classification done for official government figures?None of these world religions is a single, unified, monolithic organization. Hinduism is often described as a collection very different traditions, bound by a geographical and national identity.(Obviously these classifications include both majority manifestations of these religions, as well as subgroups which larger branches sometimes label "heterodox.") No "value judgement" is implied by this list.Below are listed some religions which are not in this listing (Mandeans, PL Kyodan, Ch'ondogyo, Vodoun, New Age, Seicho-No-Ie, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, Taoism, Roma), along with explanations for why they do not qualify as "major world religions" on this list.Valid arguments can be made for different figures, but if the same criteria are used for all groups, the relative order should be the same.The Babi & Baha'i tradition, on the other hand, is probably the most unified of the classical world religions.This listing is not a comprehensive list of all religions, only the "major" ones (as defined below).Others groups count all who have been baptized as infants and are thus on the church records, even though some of those people may have joined other faith groups as adults.The list was created by the same people who collected and organized this database, in consultation with university professors of comparative religions and scholars from different religions. The collection of religious adherent statistics now has over 43,000 adherent statistic citations, for over 4,300 different faith groups, covering all countries of the world.Each of these "world religions" is actually a classification of multiple distinct movements, sects, divisions, denominations, etc.During the 1800s comparative religion scholars increasingly recognized Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as the most significant "world religions." Even today, these are considered the "Big Five" and are the religions most likely to be covered in world religion books.Baha'is are the most recent entrant to the "Classical" list. On their official website, Baha'is claim 5 million adherents worldwide, established in 235 countries and territories throughout the world.It is almost entirely contained within one very organized, hierarchical denomination, the Bahai Faith, based in Haifa, Israel. essay on india as a secular state For example, councils of Muslim leaders have voted to no longer accept Ahmadis as valid Muslims, although Ahmadis consider themselves orthodox Muslims.(This fact is briefly addressed below.) We agree with the prominent comparative religion scholar Irving Hexham (an Evangelical Christian, and a professor at the University of Calgary) who wrote: ...there is an overemphasis on certain narrowly defined academic traditions in Religious Studies to the neglect of studies dealing with religion as it actually occurs in the world.These definitions are theological in nature and of little use in this statistical context.There are distinct religions other than the ones listed above.This is the simplest and least expensive method, but it can be highly unreliable."Major religions", for the purposes of this list, are: There are countless definitions of religion. We are using the groupings most described used in contemporary comparative religion literature (listed above).For example, Tenrikyo arose in the 1830s in Japan in a Shinto context.Outsiders would agree that Tenrikyo has emerged as something identifiably distinct from traditional Shinto religion, although many world religion writers include Tenrikyo in chapters on Shinto or Japanese religion for simplicity's sake.But after the influential British writers began to classify Sikhism as a distinct, major world religion, the rest of the world soon followed their example.If the answer to only one of the questions is yes, there is a judgment call to be made, but of course we give more weight to a group's self-concept.This world religions listing is derived from the statistics data in the database.Some groups over-report membership and others under-report membership.Other new religious movements of this century have primarily remained within established world religions, such as new Buddhist (Western Buddhist Order), Hindu (Hare Krishna), Muslim (Nation of Islam), Jewish (Reconstructionism), and Christian (Pentecostalism, neo-Evangelicalism, Calvary Chapel) movements and denominations.(Given the content of these lists, one must assume "long established" means "at least as old as the Babi & Baha'i faiths.") This is a valid criterion, although for the most part we are not using it here.But these rules can't be pushed too far before being overburdened by exceptions.There are adjectives with both positive and negative connotations which describe both ends of this spectrum.Different faith groups measure membership differently. Some count as members only those who are actively attending services or who have passed through a lengthy initiation process.(These books can only have a limited number of chapters.) Based on these facts (and because we have no limit on the number of religions we can include on this list), we include Tenrikyo as a distinct religion.Barrett's religious statistics organization, whose data are published in the (the latest edition of which - published in 2001 - has been consulted).But Ahmadiyya (a recent offshoot of Islam), is not included on this list as a separate religion because its adherents claim to be Muslim, view themselves as completely Muslim, and wish to be classified as part of Islam. essay on india as a secular state But this list accounts for the religions of over 98% of the world's population. essay on india as a secular state




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