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Types of Religion: Classifications of Different Religious Systems

Defining religion must take into account the fact that there are several different types of religion in the world. They are all similar enough to come together in the category called religion, but they are also different enough that exploring these sub-categories is helpful in understanding religious beliefs and religious phenomena.

What Are Prophetic Religions?
A Prophetic Religion is strongly associated with Revealed Religion and there are times when the two terms may be used interchangeably, but the aren't exactly the same. In a prophetic religion, the role of prophets over and above the actual divine revelations is given a special status. The prophets exist to guide and warn society when it stumbles...

What are Revealed Religions?
Also commonly described as Law-giving Religions, the Revealed Religions are those which find their symbolic center in some set of revelations handed down by a god or gods. These revelations are normally contained in the religion's holy scriptures which, in turn, have been transmitted to the rest of us by specially revered prophets of the god or gods.

What are Salvation Religions?
The category of Salvation Religion seems to be primarily a creation of Christianity because of its emphasis on sin and salvation, something not made nearly as much of in most other human religions. Nevertheless, it is a category which is commonly referred to and, as a result, deserves independent attention.

What are Sacramental Religions?
The word "sacrament" comes from the Latin "sacramentum," which meant "an oath, a sacred thing, a mystery." In ancient Rome, the concept referred to an oath of allegiance which was taken by Roman soldiers when they entered the army. It consisted of a sacred ceremony which was designed to impress upon the new recruits their obligation to Rome.

What are Mystical Religions?
A Mystical Religion is one in which mystical experiences play the most important role in terms of understanding nature, learning about the divine, and becoming a religiously devout person. At its most extreme, it excludes all other concerns with life, society, and fellow believers...

What are Tribal Religions?
A Tribal Religion may be best understood in terms of what it is not: it is not one which claims to have a religious message for all of humanity, it does not offer any means of universal salvation, it does not purport to have a unique insight into the will of any gods, and it does not expect anyone else to care very much about what it has to say.

What are Nature Religions?
Nature religions are considered among the most primitive of religious beliefs. Primitive here means that nature religions were probably the earliest sort of religious system developed by human beings.

Classification of Religion Types
Defining religion must take into account the fact that there are several different types of religion in the world. They are all similar enough to come together in the category called religion, but they are also different enough that exploring these sub-categories is helpful in understanding religious beliefs and religious phenomena.

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