Portal:Religion

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

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A painting by the American Edward Hicks (1780–1849), showing the animals boarding Noah's Ark two by two.
According to Abrahamic tradition, Noah's Ark was a vessel built at God's command to save Noah, his family, and a core stock of the world's animals from the Great Flood. The story is contained in the Hebrew Bible, Christian Old Testament's Book of Genesis, chapters 6 to 9 and in the Quran.

According to the documentary hypothesis, the Ark story told in Genesis may represent several originally quasi-independent sources, and the process of composition over many centuries may help to explain apparent confusion and repetition in the text. Many Orthodox Jews and Christians reject this hypothesis, holding that the Ark story is true, that it has a single author, and that any perceived inadequacies can be explained rationally.

The Ark story told in Genesis has parallels in the Sumerian myth of Ziusudra, which tells how Ziusudra was warned by the gods to build a vessel in which to escape a flood which would destroy mankind. Less exact parallels are found in other cultures from around the world. Indeed, the deluge story is one of the most common folk stories throughout the world.

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Credit: Hans Holbein the Younger

Sir Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers and statesmen, coined the word "utopia", a name he gave to an ideal, imaginary island nation.

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Joseph Smith, Jr. profile by Bathsheba Smith circa 1843
Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader who founded the Latter Day Saint movement, a restorationist movement giving rise to Mormonism. Smith's followers declared him to be the first latter-day prophet, whose mission was to restore original Christianity, said to have been lost after a Great Apostasy. This restoration included publication of the Book of Mormon and other new scripture in addition to the Bible, and the establishment of the Church of Christ. As a leader of his religion, he was also an important political and military leader in the American West. Although Smith's early Christian restorationist teachings were similar in many ways to other movements of his time, Smith was and remains a controversial and polarizing figure, both because of his collection of religious and social innovations, and as a result of his large and devoted following, which has continued to grow to the present day.

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the Chinese character dao (tao) in Taoism
During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream.

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The Norse gods were mortal, and only through Iðunn's apples could they hope to live until Ragnarök. Image by J. Penrose, 1890.
The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. Along with Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda the Poetic Edda is the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.

Codex Regius was written in the 13th century but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643 when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson, then Bishop of Skálholt. At that time versions of Snorri's Edda were well known in Iceland but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda—an Elder Edda—which contained the pagan poems which Snorri quotes in his book. When Codex Regius was discovered it seemed that this speculation had proven correct. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr the Learned, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest. While this attribution is rejected by modern scholars the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes encountered.

Bishop Brynjólfur sent Codex Regius as a present to the Danish king, hence the name. For centuries it was stored in the Royal Library in Copenhagen but in 1971 it was returned to Iceland.

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