Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Franklin, Stephen (Professor of English)

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Religion had its inception in man's ignorance and fear of the world around him. It was a path toward satisfying man's quest for the signifance of life. As this path was pursued, the meaning and value humans ascribed to the world evolved, forming the various religions of the world. During the greatest of all religious eras, 800 to 500 BCE, India, China, Persia and Israel all imparted into human thought and practice a new god-concept, a fundamental conception of benevolent good will, and accompanying this new god-concept were changes in the religious rules that determined human conduct. This research outlines the brief history and basic tenets of six world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. From this research it has been found that definite elements exist that permeate all or at least significant parts of these religions. Because of the time frame in history, as well as the geographic locations of the origins of these religions, it can be seen how certain ideas and myths have carried over from one religion to another. The rules of these religions were encompassed in the fundamental concept of benevolent good will and the evidence of these "good will" concepts can be traced from one religion to another.


Includes bibliographical references.


22 pages




Northern Illinois University

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