Religion pic

Religion 101

  • Period: 3000 BCE to 2001 BCE

    Beginning of Polytheistic Logic

    This was first found within ancient Mesopotamia
  • 2100 BCE

    "Epic of Gilgamesh" was published

    This provided the standard for the plotline of hero myths, another type of myth used within certain religions
  • Period: 2000 BCE to 1001 BCE

    Polytheistic logic begins to further spread

    It expands to the ancient near east of Mesopotamia
  • Period: 1332 BCE to 1323 BCE

    King Tut's reign

    This shows the first major shift away from polytheism, as King Tut banished monotheism
  • 1000 BCE

    Zoroaster founded Zoroastrianism

    This new religion focused on worshiping the God of light and truth, Ahura Mazda, the creator of the universe.
  • Period: 800 BCE to 200 BCE

    Axial Age

    human civilizations around the world developed new religious orientations
  • Period: 570 BCE to 475 BCE


    Introduced the universal tendency of human beings to imagine their deities in human form; written by the Greek writer Xenophanes of Colophon
  • Period: 500 BCE to 401 BCE

    Buddhism Arose

    This occurred in northern India
  • Period: 356 BCE to 223 BCE

    Alexander the Great was divinized

    This is a clear example of Euhemerism
  • Period: 330 BCE to 260 BCE


    he advanced the theory that these gods in polytheism were once humans who were worshiped in their earthly lives because of their many accomplishments
  • Period: 270 BCE to 205 BCE


    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”)
  • Period: 206 BCE to 220 BCE

    The Han Dynasty

    Th yin-yang system was a major role; This system was created around the ideas of super sexuality
  • Period: 354 to 430

    Augustine of Hippo cites Varro on the three types of theology

    This made new categories of religion: mythical, natural, and civil
  • Period: 401 to 500

    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
  • Period: 495 to 570

    Neoplatonist Olympiodorous

    Described symbols as "little myths", emphasizing how symbols are directly related to myths in religion.
  • Period: 1100 to 1500

    Sufism is established as a formal religion

    This helped the cause or personal religious experiences
  • Period: 1155 to 1191

    Beginning of Mysticism

    Muslim mystic named Suhrawardi had studied literal belief and rational speculation.
  • Period: 1300 to 1400

    Early Renaissance

    Switches to an emphasis on humanism
  • Period: 1324 to 1384

    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.
  • Period: 1368 to

    The Ming Dynasty

    This rule emphasized Daoist belief
  • Period: 1400 to

    Late Renaissance

    A continuation of humanism beliefs
  • Period: 1469 to 1539

    Guru Nank established a new community

    This community was among Hindus, Jains, and Muslims. It taught that one God wanted equality for all.
  • 1486

    "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
  • Period: 1500 to

    Early Modern Period

    This time was a period if many religious conflicts and an emphasis on Reformation
  • Period: 1517 to

    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.
  • 1526

    First English Translation of the New Testament

    William Tyndale published this, making a massive shift towards the access of scripture to the common person
  • 1540

    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
  • Period: 1552 to

    Comparative Practices in China

    Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci started the comparative practice within China, teaching European religions, challenging their previous religious understanding.
  • Period: to

    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.
  • Period: to

    Age of Reason or Enlightenment

    This time period valued reason and scientific conclusions. This was a shift away from religious understanding for truth
  • Period: to

    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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Period: to

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    A strong voice behind the Romantic belief of idealism (values the mind in regard to our reality)
  • 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
  • Period: to


    Focused on religion as an individual experience; Key ideas were humanism and idealism.
  • Period: to

    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.
  • "Book of Mormon" as published

    Written by Joseph Smith, this book became the sacred text for Mormonism.
  • Period: to

    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.
  • 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.
  • First moment of levitation according to Lamont

    This is one of the earliest recordings of "mediums" in the academic world of religion
  • Period: to

    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.
  • Period: to

    Max Weber

    He gave us our understanding of charisma as a religious function.
  • The word telepathy was coined

    Coined by Frederic Myers, explaining the relationship between communications with loved ones when in extreme emotional or dangerous situations
  • Period: to

    "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.
  • "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)
  • "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 Idea of the Holy" was published

    In his work, Rudolf Otto defined the word "sacred"
  • "The Gift" written by Marcel Mauss

    This book advanced the model of gift or exchange as a form of ritual sacrifice
  • "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.
  • Period: to

    Edward Said

    His ideas of empire and orientalism helped shape the newer post-colonial approach of study to religion.
  • Period: to

    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.
  • Hierophany

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

    She wrote about the impact of purity codes within religion, concluding that human body is a container.
  • Mothman sightings

    (this was for 13 months which led into 1967) This monster, mothman, was seen and discussed in Point Pleasant WV.
  • "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.
  • Period: to

    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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • "Life after Life" was published

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

    His work started the new genre (similar to NDE literature), discussing evidence of reincarnation