Early Religions


Eastern Religions Paper
Antonio Smith, Andre Malone, Tennille Rainey, Janet Matthews, Summer Grimes
University Of Phoenix
World Religious Traditions
A.J. Merril
October 20, 2009

Eastern Religions Paper
      Shinto and Hinduism are reported to carry approximately 674 million followers.   Hinduism accounts for 670 million (4to40.com, n.d.).   Shinto makes up only 4 million, and it continues to change because anyone practicing any form of Shintoism is considered part of that religion (Wikia, n.d.).   With as many followers as is being professed, these religions are much more than just a slight belief.   They have become a way of life woven into the fabrics of their region.   The definition of religion has taken on many different forms over the centuries.   Throughout history, religion has been used as a tool, which defines culture, establishes spiritual relationships, and guides the moral actions of the people that follow them.   In fact, a formal definition of religion would be described as: “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” (Dictionary, 2009) Based upon these principles, it can be determined that the first forms of religion as we know started in the Far East.   Although, more popular religions such as Christianity and Islam are prevalent throughout the world religions such as Hinduism and Shinto have been instrumental to the development of their respective countries and the beliefs of their people.
      Hinduism is currently recognized as the third largest organized religion in the world behind Christianity and Islam.   Over the years many various forms of this religion has manifested itself such as Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism.   Although these religions have their own...