Where did the great world religions come from?

Over Christmas, I bought “The Times Concise History Of The World” which is a wonderful book to browse, full of colour maps and fascinating facts.

It is interesting – and no coincidence – that the great religions of humankind originated in the same part of the world and a number of them were either established or radically reformulated around the same time.

  • All the great world religions originated in Asia and three of them – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – developed in the same small region.
  • The outstanding prophets and reformers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism and┬áTaoism all lived in the 6th century.

It seems that rising empires needed more universal creeds than local deities could provide which underlines the central fact that – in my view – religion is man-made (I use the gender deliberately) rather than God-made.


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