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For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of religion


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The Chinese character 道 (pinyin Dào, Wade-Giles Tao4) "Way".
Taoism (sometimes written as and actually pronounced as Daoism (dow-ism)) is the English name for: Dao Jia (philosophical tao) philosophical school based on the texts the Tao Te Ching (ascribed to Laozi (Lao Tzu) and alternately spelled Dào Dé Jīng) and the Zhuangzi; a family of organized Chinese religious movements such as the Zhengyi ("Orthodoxy") or Quanzhen ("complete reality") sects, which collectively trace back to Zhang Daoling in the late Han Dynasty; and a Chinese folk religion.

The English word "Taoism" is used to translate the Chinese terms Daojiao (道教 "teachings/religion of the Dao") and Daojia (道家 "school of the Dao"). The character Tao 道 (or Dao, depending on the romanisation scheme) means "path" or "way", but in Chinese religion and philosophy it has taken on more abstract meanings. The compound Daojiao refers to Daoism as a religion; Daojia refers to the activity of scholars in their studies. It must be noted that this distinction is itself controversial and fraught with hermeneutic difficulty. Many scholars believe that there is no distinction between Daojia and Daojiao, and that the distinction is propagated by people who are not familiar with Taoism.

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Endless knot
Credit: Rickjpelleg

The Endless (or Eternal) Knot is a symbolic knot used in Tibetan Buddhism. The motif may also be found in Chinese art as one of the Eight auspicious symbols.

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Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt
Moses or Mosheh (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה Standard Mošé Tiberian Mōšeh; Arabic: موسى, Mūsā; Ge'ez: ሙሴ Musse) was an early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. Moses is traditionally considered the transcriber of the Torah, or the first five books of the Bible, and is also an important prophet in Islam and the Bahá'í Faith.

According to the Bible, he was born to a Hebrew mother who protected him during a genocide of all boys born, and was adopted into the Egyptian royal family. After killing a slave master he fled and became a shepherd, and was commanded by God to deliver the Hebrews from slavery. After the Ten Plagues were unleashed upon Egypt, he led the Hebrew slaves through the Red Sea and in the desert for 40 years. Despite living to 120, he did not enter the Holy Land.

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Albert Einstein
Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the Old One. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.
Albert Einstein, in a 1926 letter to Max Born

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A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service.
Torah (תּוֹרָה) is a Hebrew word meaning "teaching," "instruction," or "law". It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. It is also very important to Christians, as it constitutes part of their bibles. It is written in Hebrew, the oldest Jewish language. It is also called the Law of Moses (Torat Moshe תּוֹרַת־מֹשֶׁה). Torah primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Tanach. The term is sometimes also used in the general sense to also include both Judaism's written law and oral law, encompassing the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash, and more.

The five books and their names and pronunciations in the original Hebrew are as follows:

  • Genesis (בראשית, Bereshit: "In the beginning...")
  • Exodus (שמות, Shemot: "Names")
  • Leviticus (ויקרא, Vayyiqra: "And he called...")
  • Numbers (במדבר, Bammidbar: "In the desert...")
  • Deuteronomy (דברים, Devarim: "Words", or "Discourses")

The Hebrew names are taken from initial words within the first verse of each book. See, for example, Genesis 1:1.

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