Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A brief history of Religion in 90 seconds

Here is a most interesting map. It largely gets it right. There are a few exceptions / mistakes. Zoorastrianism (the dominant world religion) from the birth of Zaruthustra to the spread of Islam is not mentioned. Neither are the old time religions of Europe: paganism (especially the religions of the Romans and Greeks, animism, wicca, druidism) and the religions of the Nile Valley, Inca and Aztecs. Another small omission is that a Christian blue dot circa 50 AD should have shown up on the Malabar coast of India (to mark the arrival of Christianity in India).

Since it places religion in the context of time it challenges the notion that any one religion has the monopoly on truth. For example, how do you square the Christian belief that only Christains can attain salvation with the fact that Christianity is a relatively new entrant into the world of religion. What happens to the souls of all those Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Zoorastrians who lived before Christianity came along. Are they doomed because they had the bad luck of being born before Christ. Is God unfair? Is He capricious?


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