Headquarters of Reiyū-kai.

Japanese New Religions

Japanese New Religions Japanese new religions are new religious movements established in Japan. In Japanese, they are called shinshūkyō (新宗教) or shinkō shūkyō (新興宗教). Japanese scholars classify all religious organizations founded since the middle of the 19th century as “new religions”; thus, the term refers to a great diversity and number of organizations. Most came into being in the...

world religions by percentage

World Religions

World Religions World religions is a category used in the study of religion to demarcate the five—and in some cases six—largest and most internationally widespread religious movements. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are always included in the list, being known as the “Big Five”. Some scholars also include another religion, such as Taoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, or the...

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Paganism

Paganism Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning “a country dweller or rustic”) is a term that has been used from antiquity to derogatorily denote polytheistic faiths. Since the term was typically used as a blanket statement to circumscribe all non-Christian (or, more broadly, non-monotheistic) faiths, it served the same pejorative purpose as the Jewish term gentile, the...

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New Religious Movement

New Religious Movement A new religious movement (NRM), also known as a new religion or alternative spirituality, is a religious or spiritual group that has modern origins and is peripheral to its society’s dominant religious culture. NRMs can be novel in origin or part of a wider religion, in which case they...

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Western Religions

Western Religions The Western religions refers to religions that originated within Western culture, and are thus historically, culturally, and theologically distinct from the Eastern religions. The term Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) is often used instead of using the East and West terminology. Western culture itself was significantly influenced by the emergence of Christianity and its adoption as the state church...

Modern Paganism

Modern Paganism Modern Paganism, also known as Contemporary Paganism and Neopaganism, is a collective term for new religious movements influenced by or derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Although they do share similarities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse, and no single set...

Pantheism

What is Pantheism? Pantheism is the belief that reality is identical with divinity, or that all-things compose an all-encompassing, immanent god. Pantheist belief does not recognize a distinct personal anthropomorphic god and instead characterizes a broad range of doctrines differing in forms of relationships between reality and divinity. Pantheistic concepts date back thousands of years, and pantheistic elements...

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Spiritualism

Spiritualism Spiritualism is the belief that the spirits of the dead can be contacted by mediums. The afterlife is seen by Spiritualists, not as a static place, but as one in which spirits continue to evolve. These two beliefs: that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits are more...

Spiritism and Spiritualism

Spiritism

Spiritism Spiritism is a religion, self-described as a spiritualistic philosophy, that started in the 19th century by the French educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail, who, under the pen name Allan Kardec, wrote books on “the nature, origin, and destiny of spirits, and their relation with the corporeal world”. Spiritists refer to Kardec...

Sociological Classifications of Religious Movements

Sociological Classifications of Religious Movements Various sociological classifications of religious movements have been proposed by scholars. In the sociology of religion, the most widely used classification is the church-sect typology. The typology states that churches, ecclesia, denominations and sects form a continuum with decreasing influence on society. Sects are break-away groups from more...

Popular Culture

New Religious Movements and Cults in Popular Culture

New Religious Movements and Cults in Popular Culture New religious movements and cults have appeared as themes or subjects in literature and popular culture, while notable representatives of such groups have themselves produced a large body of literary works. Beginning in the 1700s authors in the English-speaking world began introducing members of...

What is a Cult

Cult

Cult The term cult has come to usually refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of...

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