History And Developyment Of Religion – Term Paper Example
History and Development of Religion Religion first appeared 10,000 years ago with farmers in the Mesopotamia region Religion These people were nomadic and required a certain amount of sunshine and rain to produce crops. It is logical to assume that farmers felt connected with nature and would ask a greater being for favor (“Religion”). Religion can be separated into three fundamental groups: polytheistic, pantheistic, and monotheistic.
Polytheism is a belief in many gods and came out of Hinduism, which began in roughly 2,500 BC. Also, it was the religion of other kingdoms such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans (“Origin”). Polytheists believed that the gods were responsible for natural occurrences such as rainfall, harvests, and fertility. Typically, polytheistic cultures believed in sacrifices in order to placate their gods.
On the other hand, pantheism is the belief that god is in everything. Pantheistic religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism believe that god is part of nature (“Origin”). The main principle to this belief is that humans are no different from animals, and we must live in harmony with them. The most famous pantheist was the Buddha, Siddharta Gautama, who founded Buddhism in 543 BC.
In contrast, monotheism is a belief in only one God, and can be seen in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The forefather of these religions was a man named Abraham, who lived around 2,000 BC (“Origin”). Over a period of 1,500 years, the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament of the Bible) were written to inform the Jews about God and His commandments. Christianity began when Jesus Christ died and subsequently rose to heaven in 32 AD (“Origin”). It was after this that the New Testament was written and the Christian church formed out of this. Six-hundred years later, a man called Muhammad starting to preach in Mecca. He believed that he was God’s prophet on earth, and his teachings formed what is known today as the Qur’an (“Origin”).
“Origin of Religion.” All about Religion. (n.d.) Web. 25 Jun. 2011.
“Religion – when, why and how did it begin.” Garvandwane (n.d.) Web. 25 Jun. 2011. < http://www.garvandwane.com/religion/religion1.html>