Hinduism - Aryan migrations

Hinduism is the third largest religion on earth. It is the faith of the most populous and fastest growing major nation. Hundreds of millions of Hindus need to know the Gospel. Knowing more about the Hindu faith will help Christians minister better to Hindus.

By Mark D. Harris

Out of the mists of the ancient past, without a face or a name, the ideas of reincarnation, caste, the cycle of lives, dharma, karma, and all that we know today as Hinduism emerged in the land between the Indus River and the Ganges plain. These concepts were contained in the sruti (revealed) texts such as the Vedas (Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda), and the Upanishads (Vedanta). Alongside these sacred books arose the smrti (remembered) texts, including the Bhagavad Gita.

The above paragraph would suit many Hindu apologists but requires a bit more explanation. Hinduism is, indeed, a historical accretion of ideas that arose, mixed, and developed through the interactions of the native Dasyu peoples and the Indo-European Aryan immigrants in the second and first millennia BC. Scholars bicker about whether the Aryans invaded or migrated from the northwestern plains, but world historical experience from the Bantus in Africa to the Europeans in the New World 2,500 years later proves that invasion and migration often look the same. Hinduism has no known founder, unlike other world religions.

Continue reading “Hinduism”

Fundamentals of Religion

fundamentals of religion

Every society on earth, for all history, has practiced religion. Secularists from East to West wish it were not so, as secularists always have. From Voltaire to Richard Dawkins, some men wish religion would go away. And yet it does not. Keep reading to learn the fundamentals of religion.

By Mark D. Harris

My doctoral dissertation for my PhD in world religions compared the militancy of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam. The research demonstrated a moderate direct effect but large indirect effect of religion on militancy. Far more than just promoting or discouraging militancy, however, religion impacts every part of our lives. Religion impacts the lives even of those who deny having a religion. Knowing the fundamentals of religion, as well as the specifics of each one, explain much about the world we live in.

Continue reading “Fundamentals of Religion”


Buddhism expansion

Discover Buddhism, a major world religion with almost 500 million adherents, especially in southeast Asia, China, and Japan. From its spread through India into China, Japan, and the rest of Asia, notably including World War II, Buddhism has shaped the world.

By Mark D. Harris

The sixth century BC was pivotal in the history of the world. Babylon conquered Jerusalem (597 and 586 BC), thus ending the Israelite monarchy. Mahavira (599-527), also known as Vardhamāna the 24th fordmaker, founded the Jain religion. In India, the Brahminic Vedas began to be replaced by the Upanishads, thus signaling a transition from a ritualist Brahmanism to a philosophical Hinduism. In China, Lao Tzu (604-521 BC) wrote the seminal tome, Tao te Ching (Book of the Way), combining earlier influences into a recognizable Taoism. Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-483 BC) founded Buddhism, one of the most prevalent religions in the world.

Buddhism today boasts almost 500 million adherents worldwide. Many who would not consider themselves Buddhists per se practice Buddhist meditation and hold Buddhist beliefs without self-identifying with the religion. Gautama is variously known as the Sakyamuni (sage of the Sakyas), the Tathagata (enlightened One), and the Buddha (one who is awake). Any student of world religions should know something about the work of the Buddha. Christians should have an idea of what Buddhism is, and how to best minister to the followers of Gautama.

Continue reading “Buddhism”

African Traditional Religions

African religions

Discover the traditional religions of Africa and its variants in the countries in the Caribbean Sea. African traditional religions help explain many issues and actions in the Continent, in the US, and in the world today.

By Mark D. Harris

Students of religion may know something about the Big 4, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and other prominent faiths such as Judaism. But few understand folk or tribal religions. Although these faiths vary throughout the world, they are surprisingly united on key truths. Each religion tries to answer key questions of life, including those of existence and purpose. African religions in the 21st century are heavily mixed with Christianity (in the south) and Islam (in the north). About 75 million people in Africa hold primarily to African traditional religion. [1]

Continue reading “African Traditional Religions”