Zoroastrian New Year

WEB VIDEO Bahai and Zoroastrian New Year is called Norooz and occurs at the spring equinox. The Zoroastrian faith began in ancient Persia, now Iran. Zoroastrians live mostly in India, Iran, Europe, and North America. Zoroastrianism teaches that people should do good to help the one God in his cosmic struggle with the power of evil.

Jainism Global Resource Center

WEB RESOURCE This is a well-organized religious site that describes basic ideas about Jainism in a manner that is comprehensible to the layman.

A Brief Introduction to Jainism

WEB RESOURCE Jainism is an ancient religion, which originates from Eastern India. Its advent in the 6th century BC was expected as many people were beginning to oppose the hierarchical organization and formalized rituals of Hinduism, the dominant religion in India. This is a nonacademic site but it recommended by a number of university schools of religion.

Jain Perspectives on the Performing and Visual Arts

WEB RESOURCE The Faith and the Arts website commissioned Dr Atul K Shah and Sobhag Shah to undertake two pieces of research to explore creative arts practice within the Jain community both from a performing and visual arts perspective. The research marks the first attempt to document the relationship between the Jain faith and the arts.

The Gnostic World View: A Brief Summary of Gnosticism

WEB RESOURCE This scholarly article by Stephan A. Hoeller provides a description of the gnostic worldview and how it contrasts with most creator God religious worldviews.


WEB VIDEO This six and a half minute You Tube video by religious studies students Jessica Wang and Stephen Cook was recommended by several religious studies scholars. It provides an academic overview of Shinto beliefs in a visual format with a clear narration.

Religions of the World Shinto Pt 2

WEB VIDEO This second part of the Religions of the World Series on Shintoism is narrated Ben Kingsley. It features a discussion of how Shinto related to and blended with other traditions such as Buddhism and Confucianism.

Religions of the World Shinto Pt 1

WEB VIDEO Part of the Religion's of the World series, narrated by Ben Kingsley, this video focuses on the origins of the ancient Japanese religious practices known as Shintoism. The differences between Shinto and Buddhist, Daoist, Confucian, and Christian beliefs and practice are described in some depth.

Zoroastrian Scripture

RELIGIOUS TEXT These Selections of Ervad Zadspram translated by W. E. West represent a ninth century Pahlavi compilation of excerpts from the Avesta and Zand that reflect basic elements of the Zoroastrian faith. It contains both orthodox and heterodox doctrines. There is a glossary of Zoroastrian terms provided by Joseph Peterson.

Zoroastrian Heritage

WEB RESOURCE This highly recommended site has a rich collection of articles about Zoroastrian beliefs, way of like, and history


WEB RESOURCE Zoroastrianism,one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago. For 1000 years Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world. Now it has a very small following but nonetheless is important to understand because Zoroastrianism influenced the religions of the ancient Middle East.

Early Belief Systems: Shinto

ONLINE VIDEO This video segment explores early Japanese animistic beliefs that came to be known as Shinto, their effects on the development of Japanese society, and their continuing influence in modern Japan.

Internet Sacred Text Archive - African Religions

SACRED & TRADITIONAL TEXTS This section of the Sacred Text Archive has texts on the traditional spirituality of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as their descendants in the New World. These books have a great amount of useful information on this topic, some of it written before colonialism destroyed or greatly modified aspects of traditional culture. The problem with these works is that they were for the large part written by Europeans with their particular biases and agendas. For this reason, we encourage you to 'read between the lines.'

Global Religious Landscape: Other Religions

WEB RESOURCE Worldwide, there are an estimated 58 million members of "other religions," accounting for nearly 1% of the global population. This category is diverse and comprises followers of religions that are not specifically measured in surveys and censuses in most countries: the Baha‚??i faith, Taoism, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Tenrikyo, Wicca, Zoroastrianism and many others.

Religion Library: Paganism

WEB RESOURCE This (Neo) Patheos Library website has information about Pagan beliefs, history, origins, and sacred texts. Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices. Some modern forms of Paganism have their roots in 19th century C.E. European nationalism (including the British Order of Druids), but most contemporary Pagan groups trace their immediate organizational roots to the 1960s, and have an emphasis on archetypal psychology and a spiritual interest in nature.

Ancient African Religion Finds Roots In America

WEB RESOURCE This National Public Radio interview by Christopher Johnson includes both and audio file and a transcript. It features an often ignored issue of religious expression, in this case the flowering of the ancient Yoruba faith from West Africa in modern Seattle.

Religion Library: Jainism

WEB RESOURCE This fairy extensive encyclopedic entry on Jainism includes information about the beliefs, history, founders, sacred texts, schisms and sects, and major beliefs.

Maui and the Creation of the Islands

WEB RESOURCE This video, adapted from material provided by the ECHO partners, presents the telling of the story, "Maui and the Creation of the Islands" by Tom Cummings of Hawai‚??i's Bishop Museum. It features storyteller Kealoha Kelekolio, and is illustrated with images and graphics of the Hawaiian Islands. A related site to support this resources is Oral Traditions http://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/echo07.lan.stories.totem/oral-traditions/

Thomas Paine:Of the Religion of Deism Compared with the Christian Religion

PRIMARY SOURCE Thomas Paine defines deism as the beief of a God. He argues against an understanding of God based on sacred texts, and church teaching and rituals. He instead argues that 'creation' is the true evidence of God. Deism "honors reason as the choicest gift of God to man, and the faculty by which he is enabled to contemplate the power, wisdom and goodness of the Creator displayed in the creation based on rational interpretation of the laws of nature."

Deism vs. Atheism and Christianity by Bob Johnson

WEB RESOURCE This article on the World Union of Deists site compares Deism to both Christianity and Atheism. The article makes special effort to critique revealed religions of all kinds. Johnson's argument against atheism is that everything has a creator including nature. Therefore, the creator of nature is God.

The Obscure Religion that Shaped the WEst

WEB RESOURCE It is generally believed by scholars that the ancient Iranian prophet Zarathustra (known in Persian as Zartosht and Greek as Zoroaster) lived sometime between 1500 and 1000 BC. The idea of a single god was not the only essentially Zoroastrian tenet to find its way into other major faiths such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The concepts of Heaven and Hell, Judgment Day, and angels and demons all originated in the teachings of Zarathustra. Even the idea of Satan is a fundamentally Zoroastrian one.