Religion pic

Religion 101

  • 1000 BCE

    Zoroaster founded Zoroastrianism

    This new religion focused on worshiping the God of light and truth, Ahura Mazda, the creator of the universe.
  • Cosmotheism

    Mordechai Nessyahu coined this phrase to explain how any model of the divine that understands the physical universe to be an actual manifestation of god and understands the other divine characters as a kind of interface between the physical universe and its animating force
  • "Oration on the Dignity of Man" is published

    Pico della Mirandola published this writing on the power and significance of the human, an important idea found within humanism
  • First English Translation of the New Testament

    William Tyndale published this, making a massive shift towards the access of scripture to the common person
  • "The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle"

    Albert Schweitzer writes this, pointing out the mythical elements within the New Testament, showing again a new reading of scripture.
  • Freidrich Schleiermacher published "On Religion: Speeches to the Cultured Despisers

    His book tried to reverse the Enlightenment reason and bring back the value of religious experience.
  • "The Idea of the Holy" was published

    In his work, Rudolf Otto defined the word "sacred"
  • The first mention of the word "myth" in a positive light

    Gottleib Heyne turned the word myth into a Latin word, which gave it a more religion positive definition, reversing some negative connotations
  • "The Gift" written by Marcel Mauss

    This book advanced the model of gift or exchange as a form of ritual sacrifice
  • "Epic of Gilgamesh" was published

    This provided the standard for the plotline of hero myths, another type of myth used within certain religions
  • Civil Religion was introduced

    Robert N. Bellah first introduced this idea of religion that shows some kind of connection or relationship with a political group
  • Hierophany

    Mircea Eliade coined this phrase to explain the manifestations of "the sacred" within the natural world
  • Mary Douglas published "Purity and Danger"

    She wrote about the impact of purity codes within religion, concluding that human body is a container.
  • Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

    This book, written by Mircea Eliade, was monumental to our understanding of neo-shamanism, as well as general scholarly studies on shamans
  • The term "Entheogen" was created

    A group of scholars coined this new term in order to show the religious relevance of psychedelics, reversing the unfair prejudice toward the use of these drugs.
  • Mother Ann Lee had her open vision

    This vision was of a couple having sex, similar to Adam and Eve. This vision helped led to her eventual founding of the American Shaker Community, which focused on celibacy as the way to salvation.
  • Franklin Jones reached enlightenment

    This led to his understanding that everything is God, yet God is more than that "everything". He is a prime example of charisma, as many people followed him from his teachings
  • "The Social Teachings of the Christian Church" was published

    Written by Ernst Troeltsch, this work was heavily responsible for our current understanding of religious institutions and how they are separated (Church, sect, mysticism)
  • First moment of levitation according to Lamont

    This is one of the earliest recordings of "mediums" in the academic world of religion
  • The word telepathy was coined

    Coined by Frederic Myers, explaining the relationship between communications with loved ones when in extreme emotional or dangerous situations
  • Alva Keel's UFO studies

    Keel expressed his belief that UFO's were not actual things, but rather the product of human imagination. This lies in the middle ground understanding of UFOs.
  • Mothman sightings

    (this was for 13 months which led into 1967) This monster, mothman, was seen and discussed in Point Pleasant WV.
  • "On Having No Head" was published

    Written by Douglas Harding, he described his realization that he "Had no head", emphasizing his understanding that he was more than a body, but explored his belief of the "self"
  • "Life after Life" was published

    Raymond Moody's work was the beginning of "near death experiences" within literature (aka NDE literature)
  • Ian Stevenson gathered records related to CORT

    His work started the new genre (similar to NDE literature), discussing evidence of reincarnation
  • "Book of Mormon" as published

    Written by Joseph Smith, this book became the sacred text for Mormonism.
  • Turning point in feminist theology

    Scholars and writers began to acknowledge the variations of the female experience in religion, as different races were addressed and not just white women.
  • "Christianity, Tolerance and Homosexuality" was published

    This book, written by John Boswell, was on of the founding texts within LGBT theology, which took the perspective of those socially marginalized sexual identities.
  • "The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life" was published

    In this work, Emile Durkeim highlighted her belief that a totem is central to our understanding of religion; She takes the sociological viewpoint when studying religion, explaining how communities place their religion around various totems. She also believed that religion is society worshiping itself.
  • "The Sacred Canopy" was published

    In this now classic work within the academic study of religion, Peter Berger highlights how humans have a tendency to create their own worlds and societies, as well as religions.
  • Agostino Steuco began perennial philosophy

    This idea stated that wisdom is confined to the past, but is available to the gifted wise man in any age
  • American Academy of Religion was founded

    This was started as a way to look at religion critically; It broke away from only looking at religious text for answers and made sure to look at the lesser known religions within these studies.
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    Polytheistic logic begins to further spread

    It expands to the ancient near east of Mesopotamia
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    King Tut's reign

    This shows the first major shift away from polytheism, as King Tut banished monotheism
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    Axial Age

    human civilizations around the world developed new religious orientations
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    Beginning of Polytheistic Logic

    This was first found within ancient Mesopotamia
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    Introduced the universal tendency of human beings to imagine their deities in human form; written by the Greek writer Xenophanes of Colophon
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    Alexander the Great was divinized

    This is a clear example of Euhemerism
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    he advanced the theory that these gods in polytheism were once humans who were worshiped in their earthly lives because of their many accomplishments
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    He was a Greek philosopher who shared his ideas on platonic orientalism (reverence to Plato and location of this earlier idea that would founded in the east or in “oriental areas”)
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    Buddhism Arose

    This occurred in northern India
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    Beginning of Mysticism

    Muslim mystic named Suhrawardi had studied literal belief and rational speculation.
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    Early Renaissance

    Switches to an emphasis on humanism
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    Late Renaissance

    A continuation of humanism beliefs
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    John Wycliffe

    The first person to try and translate the Bible out of Latin into a language that could be read by a common man.
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    The Ming Dynasty

    This rule emphasized Daoist belief
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    Guru Nank established a new community

    This community was among Hindus, Jains, and Muslims. It taught that one God wanted equality for all.
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    Early Modern Period

    This time was a period if many religious conflicts and an emphasis on Reformation
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    Age of Reason or Enlightenment

    This time period valued reason and scientific conclusions. This was a shift away from religious understanding for truth
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    Comparative Practices in China

    Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci started the comparative practice within China, teaching European religions, challenging their previous religious understanding.
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    Focused on religion as an individual experience; Key ideas were humanism and idealism.
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    William Blake

    One of the most radical supporters of religion in relation to the human imagination; Wrote "All Religions are One", emphasizing that human nature lies behind the idea of religion
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    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    A strong voice behind the Romantic belief of idealism (values the mind in regard to our reality)
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    Cornelis Tiele

    A Dutch scholar who was most likely the first to introduce the category of world religions, which was based on colonialism in relation to religion.
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    The Han Dynasty

    Th yin-yang system was a major role; This system was created around the ideas of super sexuality
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    Max Weber

    He gave us our understanding of charisma as a religious function.
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    Neoplatonist Olympiodorous

    Described symbols as "little myths", emphasizing how symbols are directly related to myths in religion.
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    Liberation Theology arose

    This began due to a few Latin American scholars, who saw issue with the Catholic church only aligning with the wealthy class. This began the religious re-reading through the eyes of the impoverished.
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    James Cone published two works on Black Theology

    His two works, "Black Theology and Black Power" and "A Black Theology of Liberation", making him one of the academic founders of Black theology. These texts formed the theology and its understandings
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    "The Woman's Bible" was published

    Elizabeth Stanton wrote this, helping the beginning ideas behind feminist theology. She wrote this book to highlight various books from the bible from the female perspective.
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    Protestant Reformation

    The breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church; Scripture was put in higher regard toward religion, instead of a focus on the Catholic interpretation of the text.
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    The Age of Colonialism

    At this time, European states sought to control more of the world economically, politically, and culturally; Colonizers held the belief that other different religions needed christian salvation.
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    Darwin's "On Origin of the Species" was used in comparative practices

    His ideas countered the previously accepted belief that only God was responsible for the creation of humans. His studies brought views against these creationist views.
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    Sigmund Freud

    Freud's work, although extreme and heavily rejected in many ways, still provided us today with many valuable work to explain the "other" or "unconsciousness", as it is an essential aspect to religious experience.
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    Edward Said

    His ideas of empire and orientalism helped shape the newer post-colonial approach of study to religion.
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    Augustine of Hippo cites Varro on the three types of theology

    This made new categories of religion: mythical, natural, and civil
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    Herodotus shares his Diffusion Theory

    The idea that a religious complex in one place came from another place and that religious ideas and practices tend to spread out through migration, war, trade, empire, and other human activities about travel
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    Sufism is established as a formal religion

    This helped the cause or personal religious experiences