Under Construction

Other spiritual philosophies which are usually not considered religions, but may be by some.
And the Philosophers, Guru's, Swami's, ... who started them.

  • Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC) founded Confucianism
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918-2008) developed the Transcendental Meditation technique.
  • Science Fiction Writer L. Ron Hubbard (19111986) established Scientology in 1952
  • Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects.
  • Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), the founder of The Christian Science movement
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (1956-) Started Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) and International Association for Human Values (IAHV)
  • Pythagoras (570-49 5BC) - Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism, a system of esoteric and metaphysical beliefs which prescribed a highly structured way of life and espoused the doctrine of metempsychosis (transmigration of the soul after death into a new body, human or animal). Plato and other Greek philosophers based much of their thought on Pythagoreanism.
  • Simon Magus (Simon the Magician) a Summaritan, sometimes called the founder of Gnosticism.

    Gnosticism sprung up at the same time as (some say before) Christianity. Gnostics taught that the realisation of Gnosis (esoteric or intuitive knowledge) is the way to salvation.
    He was baptized and supposedly converted to Christianity, but his later confrontation with Peter is recorded in Acts 8:9-24.

  • Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity.
    Pantheism was popularized in the West as both a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza and his book Ethics, which was his answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate.
  • Zen Buddhist priest Kobun Chino Otogawa was the spiritual mentor of Steve Jobs.
  • Yoga - Many modern practitioners of the ancient art of yoga see it as a series of physical exercises designed to give one a better body.
    Others add a spiritual element saying "Yoga cleanses the body and mind of accumulated stress and negative impressions. "
    The word yoga is derived from the root yuj, which means to unite or to join together.
    The ancient history is in the philosophical texts of the Vedas (1500-1000 BCE).
    Legend traces yoga back to Sri Alakh Puriji, the Master of the Himalayas long long ago.
    It is considered a systematic process of spiritual unfolding. The path of yoga teaches how to integrate and heal our personal existence, as well as harmonize our individual consciousness with God.
    See The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Teacher Training | The Chopra Center
There are many other religious leaders or political leaders who can be considered spiritual leaders in their own right. (e.g. Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., St Francis of Assisi, Calvin, Luther, Mother Teresa, the Popes, Swami Vivekananda, ...)
See: World Famous Spiritual & Religious Leaders | TheFamousPeople.com
Also:
Philip Goldberg: Three Gurus Who Changed the Face of Spirituality in the West
Important People

Unitarianism is another movement that falls in the middle between religion and spiritual philosophy.


The New Age movement (NAM) developed in the second half of the 20th century.
It has about 3.5 million followers.
It has many sub-divisions, but it is generally a collection of Eastern-influenced metaphysical thought systems, a conglomeration of theologies, hopes, and expectations held together with an eclectic teaching of salvation, of "correct thinking," and "correct knowledge." It is a theology of "feel-goodism," "universal tolerance," and "moral relativism."

Two entities founded in 1962: the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California and the Findhorn Foundation and Findhorn Foundation near Findhorn, Moray, Scotland--played an instrumental role during the early growth period of the New Age movement.
See:
What is the New Age Movement? | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
New Age Origins, New Age History, New Age Beliefs
List of new religious movements - Wikipedia has over 260 entries.


And there are the Cult's inspired by charismatic leaders. Several of which are well known because of their mass suicides.
There are many ways to define a cult.

Some claim that the Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith Jr), the Jehovah's Witnesses (founded in 1884 by Charles Taze Russell) and The Unification Church (founded in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon) are not truly Christian even though they believe in Jesus Christ. They are sometimes referred to as cults because of their cult-like practice of shunning and casting out any dissidents and/or a submissive and unquestioning acceptance of the teachings or writings of a leader who claims some extra-biblical connection with God. See . See:
How Do I Know if It's a Religious Cult or Healthy Spiritualtiy?
Christian Churches Identifying a Cult at the Cult Awareness & Information Centre
Top 10 Cults - Listverse


Magazines - Books on Spirituality, Mindfulness, Personal Growth...

Links:
List of new religious movements - Wikipedia

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last updated 28 April 2014