Primary Source Archives
Gale Primary Sources contains full-text religion journals that provide researchers with firsthand content, including historical documents, printed works, and news articles.
Examine the topic of religion and mythology, both of which focus on belief and a way to explain the world. The difference between religion and mythology is subtle. The term religion defines a system of formally organized beliefs and practices typically centered around the worship of supernatural forces or beings, whereas mythology is a collection of myths, or stories, belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition used to explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. While myths are frequently associated with a religious tradition, they can also have purely cultural associations, such as the folklore of Johnny Appleseed.
The association of myths with persons or things that have only an imaginary or unverifiable existence (e.g., Bigfoot) or ancient belief systems that no longer have adherents (such as classical Greek and Roman mythology based on a pantheon of gods and goddesses) can lead to the erroneous belief that myths are inherently fictional. For this reason, many religious adherents object to having the stories associated with their religion described as myths.
There are over 4,000 religions that are currently practiced in the world. Some of the most prominent include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. These religions are further divided into denominations and sects that differ from each other in doctrine, theology, and/or style of worship while retaining core beliefs. Religions that are based on belief in a single God are known as monotheistic; religions that are based on belief in many gods are known as polytheistic.
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