Philosophy & Religion

Humans have long pondered not only how we came to be but also why we came to be. The earliest Greek philosophers focused their attention upon the origin and nature of the physical world; later philosophers have theorized about the nature of knowledge, truth, good and evil, love, friendship, and much more. Thus, philosophy involves a methodical assessment of any and all aspects of human existence and experience. The realms of philosophy and religion have sometimes intersected in conducting inquiries such as these. As with philosophy, the study of religion underscores how humankind has long speculated about its origins. The possibility of a higher being (or beings) to which livings things owe their existence has long captived human thought. Many religions also offer their own views on the nature of good and evil, and they may prescribe guidelines and judgment on different kinds of human behavior.
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Featured content, October 28, 2020

Why Is Christmas in December?
No one knows when Jesus was born, so why celebrate his birth on December 25?
Demystified / Philosophy & Religion
Nativity Scene, Adoration of the Magi, Church of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, Montenegro
Murder Most Horrid: The Grisliest Deaths of Roman Catholic Saints
Methods of martyrdom you may not have heard of.
List / Philosophy & Religion
Mechelen - Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian pain in cathedra
How did St. Francis Xavier shape Catholicism?
Learn about his missionary legacy.
Companion / Philosophy & Religion
Saint Francis Xavier baptizing the infidels by an unknown painter, 18th century; in the collection of the Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico.
Islam
Islam, major world religion promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century ce. The Arabic term islām, literally...
Encyclopedia / Philosophy & Religion
Abu Darweesh Mosque

Philosophy & Religion Quizzes

Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
World Religions & Traditions
Do you believe you know all there is to know about faith around the globe? From temples to festivals, this quiz explores...
Buddha. Temple mural in Thailand of the Buddha founder of a major religions and philosophical system Buddhism.
Buddha and Buddhism
Founded by one man, this religion now inspires millions. Test your "enlightenment" in this quiz about Buddha and Buddhism.
Crowds reach for beads as the Jester float in the traditional Rex parade rolls down Canal Street on Mardi Gras March 8, 2011, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fat Tuesday aka Shrove Tuesday final day of Carnival, day before Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent.
World Religions Quiz
What holiday comes before Lent? Where is the holiest Islamic city located? Sort out world religions in this quiz that will...
Old Bible. Antique Bible, the bible, Christianity education literature manuscript religion text language words biblical, arts and entertainment, history and society, text philosophy, text wisdom, homepage 2010
Religion: High and Mighty Quiz
Can you name the first book of the Hebrew Bible? What Indian festival celebrates the goddess Durga? Test your knowledge of...
Drum. Buddhist monk in Luang Prabang, Laos, hitting temple drum. (Buddhism, religion, percussion)
Religion Across the Globe
Who freed the slaves in Egypt? Where is the holiest city in Islam? Sort out these geographical facts about religion.
Domes of a mosque (muslim, islam) silhouetted against the sky, Malaysia.
A Study of Religion: Fact or Fiction?
Do Sikh texts contain many images of God? Do Muslims always face north in prayer? Sort fact from fiction in this study of...
Matsya avatar of Vishnu, 19th-century lithograph. Vishnu in his avatar of Matsya, a fish. Lithograph from L'Inde Francaise, Paris, 1828. Hindu trinity, Hinduism.
World Religions: Fact or Fiction?
Is Sikhism a branch of Buddhism? Are the first five books of the Hebrew Bible called the Torah? Sort out the facts in this...
(close-up, head) The Birth of Venus, oil on canvas by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1485; in the Uffizi, Florence.
This or That?: Greek Gods vs. Roman Gods
Greek and Roman mythology borrowed heavily from each other. Match these infamous gods with their country of origin.
David Hume in the background St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland. Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism.
What’s In a Name? Philosopher Edition
Philosophers are often referred to by their surnames only. Do you remember the given names of these famous philosophers?
Ramadan. Little boy with sparklers. During the holy month of Ramadan Muslims break their fast each evening with prayer followed by festive nighttime meals called iftars. Islam
Holidays and Festivals: Which Religion?
You may know your own religion’s traditions, but do you know who celebrates these holidays and festivals?
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Philosophy & Religion
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Philosophy & Religion Subcategories

Thor Ancient Religions & Mythology
What did our ancestors believe in? What myths and stories did they use to explain the world around them and find meaning in it? How have their beliefs influenced modern religion and spirituality? Explore these questions and more while discovering notable traditions, figures, and legends that figured prominently in ancient religion and mythology.
Articles
Immanuel Kant Ethical Issues
What moral precepts guide us through tricky situations that may arise in relation to friendships, family, communities, and the work environment? Right and wrong are not always defined in the same way across different cultures.
Articles
  • Primitivism
    philosophy
  • Bioethics
  • Normative ethics
    philosophy
  • forensic anthropology: examining skull Humanities
    The study of humankind with an appreciation of human values and the unique ability of the human spirit to express itself.
    Articles
    Immanuel Kant Philosophers
    Here you'll find the thinkers and theorists who have expressed their own ideas about such topics as the nature of humankind's relationship with the metaphysical world, the definitions of truth and knowledge, and the conditions of existence. From ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle to later notable philosophers such as René Descartes and Immanuel Kant, philosophy's great thinkers have approached sensitive ethical and existential issues from a variety of different angles. Their ideas have influenced the way we look at our world and the way we relate to one another as human beings.
    Articles
  • Karl Marx
    German philosopher
  • John Locke
    English philosopher
  • Niccolò Machiavelli
    Italian statesman and writer
  • Laozi Philosophical Issues
    Are you ready to delve into the myriad possible answers to such complex questions as "What makes an action virtuous?" or "What is the nature of consciousness?" Do you embrace weighty topics such as the relative merits of empiricism and rationalism? An inquisitive spirit is all but a prerequisite for many of the topics listed here, which deal with the different approaches to and ideas about the big questions of life.
    Articles
    reclining Buddha Religious Beliefs
    Our religious beliefs, such as they are, can affect our lifestyle, our perceptions, and the manner in which we relate to fellow human beings. Is there a higher power (or powers) that governs the universe and judges all of us? Can committing a mortal sin mean the death of a soul, or is there a chance for forgiveness? The answers to such questions differ widely across different religions.
    Articles
    Pope Gregory VII, after his expulsion from Rome, laying a ban of excommunication on the clergy “together with the raging king” (Henry IV of Germany), drawing from the 12th-century chronicle of Otto of Freising; in the library of the University of Jena, Germany. Religious Personages & Scholars
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
  • St. John Paul II
    pope
  • Absalom
    biblical figure
  • Martin Luther
    German religious leader
  • subcategory placeholder Religious Places
    Human beings tend to relate to their religious beliefs through symbolism. Religious and sacred places—common destinations for pilgrims—represent a physical connection that helps believers express their devotion.
    Articles
  • Lumbini
    grove, Nepal
  • Mahabodhi Temple
    temple, Bodh Gaya, India
  • Western Wall
    pilgrimage site, Jerusalem
  • Igor Stravinsky Sacred Art & Music
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
  • Anton Bruckner
    Austrian composer
  • Oratorio
    music
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    German composer
  • Krishna; Arjuna Scriptures
    Sacred scriptures of all religions, viewed as the word of God or inspired by God, have influenced the moral and ethical standards of countries, peoples, and religious groups. Their interpretation has always been a subject of discussion and, at times, controversy.
    Articles
  • Bible
    sacred text
  • Qurʾān
    sacred text
  • Yiddish literature
  • Christ as Ruler, with the Apostles and Evangelists (represented by the beasts). The female figures are believed to be either Santa Pudenziana and Santa Praxedes or symbols of the Jewish and Gentile churches. Mosaic in the apse of Santa Pudenziana, Rome, AD 401–417. Spirituality
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
  • Worship
    religion
  • Liji
    Chinese literature
  • Rite of passage
  • Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids!
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