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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, July 10, 2021

The Social Contract and Philosophy
Why should the state exist, and how much power should it have? The social contract may provide the answer.
Companion / Philosophy & Religion
John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher, regarded as the father of British empiricism  of Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). His political philosophy exerted considerable influence on the American revolution and French revolution.
What is the Difference Between Daoism and Confucianism?
How do China’s two great philosophical and religious traditions compare?
Demystified / Philosophy & Religion
Confucius statue at a Confucian Temple in Shanghai, China. Confucianism religion
The Axial Age: 5 Fast Facts
Enlighten yourself about a period of enlightenment.
List / Philosophy & Religion
The Chinese philosopher Confucius (Koshi) in conversation with a little boy in front of him. Artist: Yashima Gakutei. 1829
Epistemology
Epistemology, the philosophical study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge. The term is derived from the...
Encyclopedia / Philosophy & Religion
optical illusion: refraction of light

Philosophy & Religion Quizzes

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?
Holy week. Easter. Valladolid. Procession of Nazarenos carry a cross during the Semana Santa (Holy week before Easter) in Valladolid, Spain. Good Friday
Christianity Quiz
What country was the first to adopt Christianity as its national religion? What is the Parousia? Test your knowledge of Christianity...
Statue of Confucius in Beijing, China
Confucianism
How much do you know about the teachings of Confucius? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Saint Thomas Aquinas. Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas, altarpiece by Francesco Traini, 1363; in Santa Caterina, Pisa, Italy. St. Thomas Aquinas (c1225-1274) Italian philosopher and theologian. Dominican order of monks (black friars).
Saints
We can’t promise you a sainthood, but improve your saintly knowledge with this quiz.
Diwali holiday lamps or candles, India.  (Indian holiday, oil lamp, flame,  candle, fire)
Hinduism
Hinduism is one of the most popular religions on Earth. How much do you know about its philosophy, belief, and ritual? Test...
indonesia bee country map
Islam
How much do you know about the Prophet Muhammad? How about holy cities? Test your knowledge of Islam with this quiz.
Plant. Flower. Nymphaea. Water lily. Lotus. Aquatic plant. Close-up of three pink water lilies.
Plants with Religious Meaning
Test your knowledge of sacred plants with this quiz.
Christmas tree, holiday, pine
How To Celebrate Christmas Quiz
Okay, so you know how you celebrate Christmas. But what about everyone else? Take this quiz and find out how Christmas...
Hypatia. Hypatia (b. c355-415) Egyptian Neoplatonist philosopher who was the first notable woman in mathematics. She was murdered by followers of Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria.
Odd Facts About Philosophers
Who says philosophers don’t lead interesting lives? Test your knowledge of a few things you probably didn’t learn in Philosophy...
Pages of the Qur'an also spelled Quran and Koran the sacred scripture of Islam. Muslim holy book Arabic religion
The Qurʾān
How much do you know about Islam’s holy book?
Image Gallery
Philosophy & Religion
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Philosophy & Religion Subcategories

Romulus and Remus suckling their wolf foster mother 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
subcategory placeholder 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
Roger Bacon Humanities
The study of humankind with an appreciation of human values and the unique ability of the human spirit to express itself.
Articles
Voltaire 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
Cicero 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
Abu Darweesh Mosque 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
Martin Luther Religious Personages & Scholars
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
St. Bernadette of Lourdes 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
Mahalia Jackson Sacred Art & Music
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
Chapter 49 of the Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls; in the Shrine of the Book, D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Centre for Biblical Manuscripts, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 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
Charles Sprague Pearce: Religion Spirituality
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
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