Before moving house, I throw away all the old brooms. But this is just an antiquated superstition.
Inscription in the Asclepion at Epidayuros in Greece, imploring the god of Health for healing
There is, at the outset of any serious pursuit of understanding religion and the history of religion, the need to isolate and redeploy the use of the term ‘superstition’ as routinely applied in contemporary English.
The objective of my categories is to orient the student once and for all into religion as a topic of study.
The seven categories are:
- Prehistoric Religion
- Indigenous Religion
- Ancient Religion
- The Hindi Religions
- Religions of China
- The Abrahamic (or Revealed Religions, if you like)
- Modern Religion
It is very important to note that, in my system of categories, I ignore the claims made by any one religion. Many of the modern religions, for example, consider themselves to be a continuation of – or, often, a singularly orthodox expression of – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or one of the ancient religions. Continue reading
I had often wished for an improved system of categories when I began my study of the world religions. The categories offered were frequently unhelpful due to oversimplification, or they were difficult to remember, or simply excluded some religions all together.