Religion is often used interchangeably with the terms 'faith' and 'belief system' or 'belief structure'. Broadly speaking, it is a set of stories or beliefs that are believed or give meaning to a particular society, in many instances a certain deity or god is worshipped.
St. Oscar's University in the 26th century had a Department of Comparative Religion, headed by Professor Urquhart. (BNA: Dry Pilgrimage) The People had an interest group called Apocalyptic Religions Interest Group. (BNA: Where Angels Fear)
Later in Gallifrey's history another 'religion' formed, a cult known as the Faction Paradox, a voodoo-organisation who reveled in the art of a paradox, something that was practically sacrilegious (if Gallifreyans believed in such thing) on Gallifrey. (EDA: Alien Bodies)
On Earth there have been several instances of a variety of species masquerading within belief structures, Mortimus portrayed himself as a Christian monk while on Earth. (DW: The Time Meddler) Sutekh and his fellow Osirians positioned themselves amongst Egyptian belief structures. (DW: Pyramids of Mars) The Exxilons visited Earth several times affecting civilizations (and their religion) such as the Mayan and Aztec. (NA: The Left-Handed Hummingbird) Cessair of Diplos was worshipped by the Druids for 4000 years (till the mid-1970s); she adopted several identities while maintaining control of the religion around a stone circle comprised of several Ogri. (DW: The Stones of Blood)
Within the Divergent Universe there existed the Multihaven where a large amount of religions could all exist in harmony together. While there, the Doctor and Charley Pollard claimed their religions to be 'tourists'. (BFA: Faith Stealer)
When the All-Gods awoke and took over the planet Dellah, religious practices became sacrosanct, and read to the letter of their beliefs; many people were punished or killed for not following a religion. (BNA: Where Angels Fear)
The devil idea is a form that runs through several religions, the 'horned beast' in particular is an icon that is seen through several worlds and civilizations. Some of this imagery can be credited to the Dæmons of Dæmos. (DW: The Dæmons)
Others can be credited to The Beast. During the 42nd century in particular several religions included The Beast within their belief structures; Arkiphets, Church of the Tin Vagabond, Orkology, Pash Pash, San Klah. (DW: The Satan Pit)
Religion is a system of beliefs held by a group of people involving the practice of certain beliefs and customs. Beliefs vary greatly, the practice of religion can rule over some people's lives while for others it is but a part of everyday life or a belief they uphold.
The numerous religions found throughout the galaxy vary widely, but there are many common themes. Many religions feature a god often held responsible for the creation of and/or guidance of a civilization or the entire universe. Many religions also feature an afterlife, commonly including places for the good and evil, heaven and the underworld, or hell. (TNG comic: Captain's Pleasure, et al.)
It is also common for religions to feature stories of creation and significant figures in the history of religion, often intended to teach a moral. For some, these stories reflect an actual history, whilst for others, those who follow the religion and those who do not, they are sometimes seen more as tales as guidance, not to be taken as the literal truth. For instance, in the Bajoran religion The Prodigal was significant figure, and as such the namesake of one of Bajor's moon, to the many Bajorans this is historic fact and valuable to their religion, but the Tellarite Gann considered it more of a fairy tale whilst Keiko O'Brien interpreted the Bajoran religion more along the lines of a mythology. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)
The Prophets, the gods of Bajoran religion, feature in the religious beliefs of several races, though each race's interpretation of them is quite different. To the Bajorans the Prophets guide and protect Bajor, they are gods to be revered. To the Eav'oq, the Siblings (as they call the prophets), are considered more spiritual equals, whilst to the Ascendants the True are beings to aspire to be, they seek the Fortress of the True in the hope of being judged worthy of joining their gods. (DS9 novel: Rising Son)
Certain artifacts often hold religious significance, sometimes from actual mystical properties of the artefacts, such as the Bajoran Orbs, or for symbolic or historic reasons, such as the Tellarite Scroll of Eternal Feasting. (DS9 episode: Emissary; novel: Devil in the Sky) For the Skorr, it was the Soul of Skorr. A sculpture made of indurite; it acted as a katric ark containing the life energy of their most hallowed prophet, Alar. Lara, a hunter/scout, envoked the "Seven Gods", a pantheon in their religion as to why Tchar took to acts of crusadership over it. (TAS episode: "The Jihad")
A religion is a system of human thought which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices. These give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity or deities, or ultimate truth.
All the basic pre-War religions and belief systems are still active after the Great War. The entire spectrum of Christianity still exists, and has scattered into even more splinter groups, such as the Catholicism-derived Saint Monica's Church on board Rivet City. Mormonism still exists, since it was hard to nuke all of Utah, and Mormons are pretty hardy folk. The Hubologists are active even more than before the war. Followers of Dharma also exist; such as Hindus, Buddists and Sikhs - Aradesh is a prime example.
Of course, many new religions also came into being. Just before the War, and soon after it, many doomsday cults were created, one of which eventually became the Children of the Cathedral who were situated near Los Angeles. The Children of the Atom in Megaton have a warped view of nuclear weapons, viewing them as a sort of deliverance, but are a peaceful group. Some of the post-War factions can also be considered quasi-religious even if they do not worship any deity - the Followers of the Apocalypse worship knowledge, while the Brotherhood of Steel worships technology.
There are also as many tribal religions - some worship fragments of forgotten knowledge about the world before the War; some, like Arroyo or Sulik's tribe, worship their ancestors, and many others deify the Nature, or particular plants or animals (like the Vipers). Some natives of the Pitt worship Ishmael Ashur, Lord of The Pitt. The residents of Oasis in the Capital Wasteland seem to have developed a religious system around the love of nature.
These lists are generated automatically based on the articles in the respective categories.
Religion in Tyria refers to the various beliefs and spiritual practices of the races of the world of Tyria.
See also Gods of Tyria
Most Humans in the world of Tyria believe in the five main gods (sometimes referred to as the Old Gods), Balthazar, Melandru, Dwayna, Lyssa, and Grenth. These Gods correspond to five of the original professions of Prophecies campaign; Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Mesmer and Necromancer, with Elementalists as a compilation, who use all four elements and thusly worship all the gods.
These gods may also correspond to deities in the Greco-Roman pantheon; for example, Melandru (the god of Rangers) corresponds to Artemis, while Balthazar (the god of Warriors) corresponds with Ares, the god of war. Like Greek and Roman gods, the Human gods of Tyria have families (such as Balthazar's half-brother Menzies), and are capable of fighting amongst themselves and taking one another's place (such as Grenth and Dhuum).
Within the game, the gods appear as very real entities whose Avatars can appear and speak to players, offering quests or giving instructions. According to game lore, the Old Gods once made their home on Tyria in the city of Arah, but left approximately a thousand years ago in an event known as the Exodus of the Gods.
The status of each of the gods is not static, as evidenced by both Dhuum and Abaddon. Dhuum was once the god of death, but was overthrown by Grenth. This is not expanded upon besides a few minor references in Underworld quests.
Warning: The following text contains spoilers relating to the plot of Nightfall.
Abaddon, however, has a much more detailed descent. He was overthrown due to hostility towards the rest of the pantheon, never truly replaced or defeated, only imprisoned. At the end of Nightfall, the players destroy him and give birth to a new god, Goddess of Truth Kormir.
Warning: The following text contains spoilers relating to the plot of Prophecies.
The Authoritarian religious order known as the White Mantle, founded in Kryta by Saul D'Alessio worship a race of beings they referred to only as the Unseen Ones, which Saul himself first encountered while exiled in the Maguuma Jungle. It is revealed to the player later in the story that the Unseen ones are actually a species of powerful sentient spellcasters known as the Mursaat. The defeat of the Mursaat and their hold on Kryta is foretold in the Flameseeker Prophecies, and as the Mursaat are aware of this, they work towards preventing the prophecies' fulfillment.
Dwarves, at least those of the nation of Deldrimor, seem to follow a simple Abrahamic monotheistic religion, they worship a single God, the "Great Dwarf", who created the Dwarves, the world, and everything in it, and taught the Dwarves how to mine and smith. He currently lives in the Dwarven version of heaven, the Great Forge, which may be based on The Mists. The Great Dwarf's primary adversary is a nameless being known only as the Great Destroyer.
The Asura typical follow a somewhat philosophical belief system known as the Eternal Alchemy, in which all things are part of a greater scheme of existence, and they view the Human's Gods as simply Facets of a greater geometric whole. The Asura Kerrsh explains the Asuran view in "The Path to Revelations". Their beliefs show parallels to those of the Rosicrucians and Hermetic Dawn.
Norn do not believe in Gods, but instead seem to revere a number of Animal Spirits, chief among them the Bear, but also the Wolf, Ox, Wurm, and Raven. Nornish beliefs seem to be primarily Totemistic and animistic, as all things have spirits, even mountains and darkness. According to Egil Fireteller, the Norn battle against hostile spirits (such as those of the Mountains, the Seasons, and Fire) with the help of their animals-spirit allies.
Charr seem to practice a variety of fire worship, possibly a reference to real-world Zoroastrianism, who, like the Charr, build Flame Temples. It is uncertain if the Charr believe in specific gods or spirits (some sources mention the worship of "Gods" that are never named), or simply worship the flame as the divine in physical form. The Charr religion is very ritualized, Flame Temples are lit on a daily basis, and large wooden effigies are built which are then burned through the night.
Warning: The following text contains spoilers relating to the plot of Nightfall.
During the quest A Flickering Flame is is revealed that the Titans appeared to the Charr and invoked them to invade Ascalon, a notion supported by the fact many Charr effigies closely resemble Titans. While it is uncertain what the Charr believed before contact with the Titans, it is likely they still revered the flame.
Warning: The following text contains spoilers relating to the plot of Eye of the North.
After the defeat of the Titans, the Charr Shaman caste (under command of Hierophant Burntsoul) attempts to incorporate the Destroyers as a new form of deity. After the player, with the help of Pyre Fierceshot's warband, defeats the Hierophant and a group of destroyers in Assault on the Stronghold, Pyre loudly proclaims that "there are no gods for the Charr," suggesting that Charr society is taking an atheistic turn.
In Regent Valley, the presence of Grawl Heretics and Grawl Petitioners suggest that among the Grawl there exists an organized religion (which is disputed by other Grawl). The apparently primitive nature of Grawl society makes it difficult to interpret what their beliefs might be. It has been suggested it relates to the worship of Melandru, whose statue is near a Heretic-Petitioner battleground.
Religion in Grand Theft Auto games, for the most part, is a mystery.
The Epsilon Program is a fictional religious cult across a number of GTA games, led by Cris Formage. The cult first emerged as a teaser site for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The cult is an obvious scam, intended to gain money by brainwashing its followers into paying large sums of money. This is similar to real-life cults in the late 20th century.
The first facts about Epsilon cult emerged in late 2005. It is believed that there is a fictional cult in the game with its followers who worship Krant and Kifflom. If the player cracks the mystery of the cult, eventually he will be able to go to a secret location, called Puerto Amarilla Valley.
The mystery of Epsilon was revealed through several means:
The Epsilon Program website includes lots of info about Epsilon, such as the twelve tenets of Kifflom:
The site also features a drawing of a possible descendant of Kraff, bearing a large birthmark on the face.
Their site contains a page about the Tract, which is expected to hold the truth about Epsilon. However, the site states that the tract has not yet been written. There is an address in Grand Canaria to send a cheque to, from which you would supposedly be sent a copy of the Tract. Grand Canaria is well known as a tax haven and offshore location for many dubious companies.
Cris Formage tells us in his wonderful book, It Happened To Us All, that the TRACT will be written when we are all ready. However, Cris is also very clear on another point - although the TRACT has not yet been written, it can still be read by those that are willing to read it.
The followers of the Epsilon cult are included in, but not limited to, the following list:
One place, "The Farm. Cult location", is shown on the map provided with GTA San Andreas. The farmhouse windows are glowing blue at night, unlike any other window in the game which glow yellow.
Another place associated with cult is located near The Big Ear. When looked at closely, the pattern of light and dark areas of sand form an image very similar to the one featured on the web-site, and indeed looks like a face of Krant's descendant. There are ghost town and abandoned vehicles nearby, which made the theory that Epsilon is somehow connected to this place even stronger.
Many people have claimed seeing a yellow entrance triangle in the sky over the Cluckin' Bell take-away in the desert, which is believed to be the entrance to the Puerta Amarilla Valley, which means Yellow Door Valley in Spanish. However, as can be seen from this video all triangles lead to abandoned houses, which supposedly were made to be used in burglary missions, but later were taken out. (Note: There are two markers visible high above the sky in the desert. These are difficult to see during gameplay as they are above the ceiling limit for aircrafts. These markers lead to nowhere and are thought to be test markers as the names of the markers are S1TEST and OFTEST).
In 1987 film "Dragnet" two cops are involved in investigating a crime. The crime gang is ran by a reverend, who has a voice very familiar to Cris Formage's. All members of the gang are in a cult, and perform a number of weird rituals throughout the movie. In certain scenes a quiet background music can be heard, identical to the one on Epsilon program web-site. The movie is shot in Los Angeles and some scenes are shot near the observatory - which is often linked with Epsilon in the game. The short scene from the movie featuring both reverend's voice and the music can be seen here. Epsilon cult may be an easter egg to this movie because of so many references.
The Epsilon website gives players the opportunity to "become one of the children of Kraff" by visiting a particular location:
Join us in something special and become one of the children of Kraff. Travel through the dawn to the pass pictured in our brochures. Look for a red truck with a dent on the right fender. Raise your left hand and recite the words: "Take me to to my father-father, brother-uncle. Kifflom." We'll do the rest. Because we all know, there is Kifflom and there is Krant, and both be praised. Blindfold required.
Travel through the dawn to the pass pictured in our brochures.
Dawn means that it has to be morning or an evening. As there are no brochures available, many refer to Rockstar's book for San Andreas. The only picture taken at dawn there is the picture of Sherman dam. Apparently, it fits the idea ideally, as it is a "pass" at the same time - it links two islands. Another proof of possible connection to Epsilon is the official GTA: SA trailer. First few seconds feature red truck (Walton, not Sadler) travelling across the dam. This is seen by some as a possible hint to the solution to Epsilon secret. "Pass" could also mean a valley between hills or mountains.
Look for a red truck with a dent on the right fender.
There are a number of Sadler trucks, found around San Andreas which have been smashed. One of them can be found next to the fisherman's hut north from the abandoned airstrip, another in the forests of Back o' Beyond, there are few more in other places. Picking the one near the airstrip makes more sense, as it is located most closely to the dam. Please note, that Sadlers always spawn in different colours, so you may want to come back again to make sure you have got a red one.
Raise your left hand and recite the words: "Take me to to my father-father, brother-uncle. Kifflom."
CJ can raise his hand, if he is aiming his gun and then looks back. In that case the gun will be pointed upwards and so will be his arm. CJ cannot be made to talk, and so no players have managed to make anything happen, nor gain access to the Puerta Amarilla Valley. Also, when using hand-to-hand combat CJ puts his left arm up when he blocks.
There are a number of rumours, most of which are believed don't have any backup. Some popular myths have originated from jblend's blog where he stated a number of things, the most popular being:
If you see the number one, then you're on your way. Only true believers of Kifflom (praise!!!) can enter the portals. So Keep listening to the trees and I am sure that you'll find your path. If you learn the true meaning of Kifflom (praise him!!!) then you can enter the golden portals of Puertas Amarillas Valley.
Although it is not very plausible, the author claimed to be working for Rockstar, thus making many players looking for number 1 in game or looking for the trees with weird shapes in the woods. It was believed that under certain circumstances you will be able to hear the tree talking; or, once you saw the tree ("number one" in the sequence) everything else will be revealed by the game itself without the need for player's interaction. This is often linked with floating tree, walk-through tree and LOD trees which do not have anything to do with Epsilon.
A noticable fact is that jblend's statement appeared a few weeks prior to official release of San Andreas on PS2.
Another famous rumour describes what you have to wear (or to do) in order to trigger the mission start.
- Desert Eagle
- Blue clothes and hat from Didier Sachs
- Blue sneakers from Prolaps
- Night Vision Goggles
- Joke Mask from Binco
- Red Truck (Sadshit)
- Red Haircut
- Cross chain from Didier Sachs
- Cross, R.I.P, and Grave Tattoos (there is only one combined R.I.P. and Grave tatoo in the game though)
- Spend $10,000 at a casino
- Go with 9 prostitutes in a week
The "9 prostitutes" are related to one of the tenets of Epsilon: "Lie with 9 partners a week". In Lazlow's talk show Cris Formage also says: "Lie with 9 partners a week, it explains everything."
Having a cane in weapons slot seems to be based on another Cris's quote: "Touch my cane" which he orders Lazlow to do.
In the teaser video, which can be found on The official GTA SA web-site under Media>Video>First trailer a red Walton can be seen driving across the Sherman Dam. This enforces the speculated theory that the Dam is the pass mentioned on Epsilon web-site and that this is somehow related.
A religion is a set of tenets and practices, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature, and often codified as prayer, ritual, or religious law. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and religious experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy significant variation in beliefs among its adherents. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, sometimes known simply as "The Buddha", who lived during the fifth century B.C.E. in what is now Nepal and the Indian states of Uttar, Pradesh and Bihar located in the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent. All traditions recognize Gautama Buddha as an enlightened teacher who shared his insights in order to help sentient beings end their suffering in accordance with the laws of Karma by understanding the Four Noble Truths; realizing the true nature of phenomena and thereby escaping the cycle of suffering and rebirth known to Buddhists as Saṃsāra. Among the methods Buddhist schools apply towards that goal are ethical conduct, the cultivation of wisdom, the training of one's mind through learning and meditation, altruistic behavior, renunciation of worldy matters, devotional practices and, in some branches, the invocation of holy beings to seek their help in achieving Nirvana. A Buddhist is one who takes refuge in The Three Jewels: Buddha; one who is Awakened, Dharma; The Teaching (of Buddha), and Sangha; The Community (of Buddhists).
Zen is a form of Buddhism that became popular in China and Japan and that lays special emphasis on meditation. According to Charles S. Prebish: "Although a variety of Zen 'schools' developed in Japan, they all emphasize Zen as a teaching that does not depend on sacred texts, that provides the potential for direct realization, that the realization attained is none other than the Buddha nature possessed by each sentient being ..." Zen places less emphasis on scriptures than some other forms of Buddhism and prefers to focus on direct spiritual breakthroughs to truth.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Its followers, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the begotten Son of God and the Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament. To Christians, Jesus Christ is a teacher, the model of a virtuous life, the revealer and son of God, and most importantly the savior of humanity who suffered, died, and was resurrected to bring about salvation from sin. Christians maintain that Jesus ascended into heaven, and most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, granting everlasting life to his followers.
The Covenant (later Covenant Loyalist) religion, given no specific name, is a polytheistic religion that centers around the belief that godhood is a state attainable by mortals and that the Forerunner attained such a state through activation of the Halo, which sent them on their Great Journey to salvation. Originating as the belief system of the San'Shyuum, it was eventually adopted and, to an extent, modified by the various races that would later join the Covenant, with the most devoted new members being the Sangheili and the Jiralhanae. It would continue even after the end of the Covenant as the Sangheili faith, although modified by recent revelations concerning the true purpose of the Halo Array.
The Forerunner religion, its name unknown, was a polytheistic religion based on the belief in Precursors, god-like creatures with the power to travel intergalactically and accelerate the evolution of intelligent life. It is implied that the Forerunners believed the Precursors had given them the Mantle, a source of Forerunner authority, and believed they gave it to Humanity.
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There are numerous references and allusions to religions and ideologies in Lost. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Mysticsim are among the religions in Lost. Because of the mysterious occurrences on the Island, and the varied predispositions of its inhabitants, many different religions and ideologies are explored in Lost.
Out of all of the main and minor characters in Lost who have been revealed to be a follower of a certain religion, Christianity is the most prevalent.
Throughout the show, Christianity is referred to the most among other religions and ideologies. Some explicit references are made through the characters own practices, and other implicit references are found in the storyline, mostly to reflect the general concept of "Faith" more than the specific religion.
Most of the explicit references to Christianity, both general or specific, were made through Mr. Eko's thread, given his assumed priesthood. After killing two of the Others in self defense, Eko takes a redeeming vow for 40 days and nights, reminiscent of Lent tradition (or Israel's 40 years in the wilderness, Moses' 40 days on the mountain, Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness) during which he abstains from talking. In the 40 days, Eko sculpts a staff from a tree branch, carving into it a cross and various Bible scriptures which he continued to add after his vow ended. The last carving is revealed by Locke to be: "Lift up your eyes and look north." John 3.05, though actually a reference to Ezekiel 8:5. John 3:5 is actually "Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.'" (NIV) ("The Cost of Living")
On the way to the Beechcraft, Eko obtains a cross from the dead body of his brother, Yemi, which becomes another personal item of his. Eko loses his cross during the Swan's implosion, before getting it back from Locke in a kind of symbolic exchange of faith. The survivors use crosses to mark the graves of Shannon, Boone, and other deceased fuselage passengers. Their use of Christian burials distinguishes them from the Others, who use rituals inspired by Hinduism in their funerals. ("The 23rd Psalm") ("The Cost of Living")
Before Eko joins the Middle section survivors, Rose, a devout Christian, played a key role in helping her peers come to terms with their faith and cope with their suffering. Among those she helped was Charlie, whom she comforted over Claire's kidnap by Ethan by praying for him. Later, she helped Locke in restoring his faith in the Island, before it was shattered by his visit to the Pearl. ("Lockdown")
Eko enlists Charlie's help in building a Church. Eko never finishes building the church. Locke later used this site when he built his sweat lodge, in which he is visited by a vision of Boone. This juxtaposition suggests a similarity between the prophetic visions of Christianity and the visionary traditions of Native American faiths. ("Fire + Water") ("Further Instructions")
Locke's mother, Emily Annabeth Locke, claims that Locke was immaculately conceived, although she misuses the term, implying that Locke did not have a human father. ("Deus Ex Machina") When the fuselage survivors put Benjamin Linus into the Swan's armory, he hangs on the wall in a manner which is reminiscent of the crucifixion. ("Dave")
In This Place is Death when Locke is injured, Christian Shepherd speaks to him about the meaning of sacrifice and as Locke approached the wheel with is torn and battered body shows major symbolism to Christ and the cross.
Locke's sacrifice to save the Island and subsequent ressurection could be analogous to Christ's sacrificial death and ressurection.
Eloise Hawking sacrificially sends her son Daniel Faraday to the island with foreknowledge of his death. This corresponds with the Christian concept of God intentionally sending his son Jesus Christ to die as an atoning sacrifice. ("The Variable")
The end of the season 5 finale scene with Jacob, Ben, and Jacob's enemy strongly paralleled the story from the Book of Job.
Other general references to Judaism and Christianity are also made, predominantly through the names of the characters:
Hell is mentioned in a mythological sense. Hell is also a place of judgment in the Christian religion where one goes if they have not accepted Christ as their savior and atonement for their sins. Hell and Heaven are generally associated as opposites.
Hell comes from Middle English from Old English from Norse (hel) The Norse concept of the underworld is usually the source listed for our concept of Hell. The word means covered or hidden. It is related to the Greek Hades or underworld. The Hebrews believed in Sheol – an existence to which all were sent. Today most people of the Jewish faith tend to emphasis life in the present and do not put much emphasis on the afterlife. The Bible uses the word 'Gehenna', from the valley of Ge-Hinnom, a valley near Jerusalem used as a garbage dump – where refuse was burned. The early Christian teaching was that the damned would be burned in the valley just as the garbage was. The image of the Devil decked out with the pitchfork has no Biblical basis. The Book of Revelation in the Bible talks about a "Lake of Fire.”
As revealed in his flashbacks, Charlie Pace is raised a devout Catholic, and was an altar boy. Charlie detaches from his religious roots for a while, when introduced to the world of drugs and fame in his music career. However, in the events of Claire's kidnap and influenced by Rose's strong faith, the traumatized Charlie finds remedy in turning to his faith and asking God for help, although he regresses again shortly when he comes to the heroin-filled Virgin Mary statues, at the Nigerian Beechcraft. Temporarily, the statues are interpreted by Claire as a sign of Charlie's religious tendencies, before the truth unfolds. After his arrival at the survivors' camp, Eko also played a critical role in influencing Charlie's faith attachment. Charlie soon approaches and befriends Eko, and helps him in building the first known church on the Island, out of wood that Eko marked as "good". Later, Charlie is visited by vivid dreams of a constantly endangered Aaron, with his mother and Claire appearing as angels and Hurley as John the Baptist in variations on Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ, asking him to save Aaron. When Charlie confides in Eko, he guides him to the possible relation of saving Aaron and baptism. Influenced by Charlie's urges, Claire approaches Eko who baptizes her and Aaron upon her request, making them both, accordingly, Catholic. As a final testament to his faith, Charlie does the sign of the Cross right before he dies.
Catholicism is further referenced through Eko's own Flashbacks, which introduces his Catholic priest brother, Yemi. Both Eko and Yemi were raised in a devout catholic faith, before Eko strays to the life of crime to save his brother. After Yemi is later kidnapped by Eko's accomplices in the Beechcraft, Eko takes his place in church posing as a Catholic priest, before truthfully embracing his new role through an overseas internship that Yemi was signed for. Later, the reluctant Eko is sent to Australia by the Monsignor to investigate the claim of Joyce Malkin, a devout Catholic, that her daughter, Charlotte, miraculously rose from the dead. In spite of his disbelief, Eko is stopped by Charlotte at the airport, to deliver him a message from the dead Yemi, asking him to strengthen his faith. Honoring Yemi was the motivation for Eko's attempt in building the Church, which also served as his means of Redemption, before Yemi visits him in a dream, after which he embraces the pushing of the button as his new redeeming task. In his final moments, Eko is confronted by several images of characters (presumably generated by the Monster) from his past, including Yemi, who repeatedly ask him to "Confess" the traditional Catholic step toward Redemption. When Eko refuses, he is soon attacked by the Monster which ends his life.
Desmond Hume was a Novice in a monastery in Eddington, Scotland and is under Brother Campbell. The monastery's source of income is producing wine under the Moriah Vineyard label. He was once engaged to Ruth whom he left when he felt a higher calling after meeting Brother Campbell. Ruth wears a Rosary and has a prominent Crucifix on her wall. ("Catch-22")
Other Island survivors with a Catholic background include Hurley, who is raised by a devout Catholic mother for whom he buys a large gold Jesus statue, and who strongly denounces the idea of curses before a series of unfortunate events strikes her whole world after her son wins the lottery. Hurley also prays when trying to fix the DHARMA Van showing that at least some of his mother's belief has rubbed off on him.
Catholicism is mentioned very briefly in one of Kate's flashbacks as well. As revealed by Marshal Edward Mars in their short call, it was the Catholic Feast of the Assumption (Celebrated on August 15th (8/15)). He then goes on to say, "How many holy days have come and gone since you last called?" She also mentions that she went to Sunday School as a girl and that her alias, "Lucy" was inspired by St. Lucy. A greater significance to Kate's choice is indicated because the feast Sawyer throws for the castaways occurs on Dec. 19, the Feast of St. Lucy. ("Left Behind")
Among the significant references, there is the notation, "Sursum corda", found on the blast door map, meaning "Lift up your hearts", which holds a notable explicit reference, since it is the phrase often used in addressing the Catholic mass in the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Locke's anger management meeting was in the meeting room of a Christian church, as stained glass is visible. This church may be Catholic, as identified by the church exterior which includes a white statue of the Virgin Mary.
The memorial service for Christian Shepherd was held in a Catholic church.
Ms. Hawking and Ben Linus meet in what appears, from the candles and statues, to be a Catholic church or chapel. ("The Lie"). Later after appearing to pray and lighting a votive candle Benn tells Jack the story of St. Thomas.
Several references to The Seven Deadly Sins have been theorized.
Pride (Jack), Envy (Jin), Wrath (Locke), Sloth (Shannon), Greed (Sawyer), Gluttony (Hugo), Lust (Boone). As well several of the symbolic animal equivalents have been seen: Pride - Horse (Kate's Horse); Envy - Dog (Vincent); Wrath - Bear (Polar Bears); Sloth - Goat (Nigerian goats); Greed - Frog (Sawyer's Tree Frog); Gluttony - Pig (Wild boars); and Lust - Cow (Mikhail Bakunin's cows at The Flame).
Several references to The Seven Holy Virtues, have also been theorized.
Chasity (Juliet), Temperance (John Locke), Charity (Charlie), Diligence (Ben), Patience (Rose), Kindness (Claire), Humility (Richard).
Elements from Judaism factor into the show's mythology and symbolism as well. It should be noted, though, that no single character has explicitly acknowledged Judaism as their professed religion as of the end of Season 5 . Also, many of the references to Judaism are taken from the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, which is also used by Christians as the Old Testament. Often, these references are made by characters with Christian backgrounds.
The writers occasionally make explicit references to Judaism in the titles of the episodes. For instance, the names of both Season 1 finale episodes, Exodus I and Exodus II, are named after the second book of the Torah. It tells the story of the Hebrews' departure from Egypt, under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. In the finale, the survivors are also forced to consider departing their camp and heading to the Swan station, after hearing Rousseau claim that the Others are coming. Later, the writers refer again to Exodus in the finale of Season 3, when the castaways journey to the radio tower. In this episode, Naomi refers to Jack as "Moses." Another such reference is the name of the Season 2 episode, which refers to the the 23rd Psalm in the Bible, also known as the Shepherd Psalm. In this episode, Eko and Charlie recite this Psalm together. Eko recites it again in his final confrontation with the Monster. Claire tells Eko that her baby's name is Aaron, and they discuss how the name was also that of Moses's elder brother (the spokesman of Moses to his own people, and also to the Pharaoh). ("The Cost of Living") ("The 23rd Psalm")
The writers' use of the Pillar of Smoke is another reference to Judaism. According to Exodus, a pillar of smoke led the Hebrews through the desert in their journey to the Promised Land. In the Bible, the pillar of smoke is a manifestation of God. On the Island, however, pillars of smoke appear to be malevolent rather than divine. One pillar of smoke seems to constitute the body of the Monster. Another column of smoke signaled the presence of the Others (according to Rousseau). In a more neutral sense, Jack and Sayid agree to use black smoke as a signal before heading to the Other's decoy village.
The scene where Ben tries to get Locke to kill his father has been cited by fans as a backwards version of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. The wine made by the monks at the abbey Desmond attends, Mount Moriah, is named for the site of the sacrifice.
Islam is introduced in the storyline by a leading character; Sayid, who is of Muslim faith. Like many other characters, Sayid can be considered to have undergone a transition towards faith and spirituality, which in his case became a strong factor in helping him atone for his past. Given the nature of Islam as a wide range system of beliefs, overlapping the fate and free will dilemma, as well as views on redemption, a number of Sayid's actions and emotional struggles on the Island can be explained in the light of its inspirations. During the past seasons, Sayid was seen practicing a number of Islamic rituals, as well as making faith-inspired decisions, referencing his faith at both explicit and implicit levels.
Among the main explicit references, comes Praying (Salat), which Sayid was seen practicing on and off the Island with different mindsets. Hence, comes its importance in portraying his Faith Journey. Prior to the crash, a flashback of Sayid revealed his employment of praying as a means of approaching Essam, to fulfill the task he was blackmailed into by the CIA. His desire to claim Essam's body to provide a proper Islamic burial delayed his flight, causing him to board the fated Flight 815. Furthermore, during his time on the Island, Sayid was seen on the Sailboat praying again, this time, however, as a means of connecting to God, to strengthen his faith and attain a spiritual support, before what could be a deadly confrontation with the Others. Another reference to praying was made, when Sayid visited Shannon's grave, and left his praying breads at the cross, in what also seemed to be a symbol of bridging between religions. ("The Greater Good")
Position on burials. Sayid suggested the burial of the deceased bodies from The middle section and opposed Jack's practical decision to burn them along with the fuselage. He felt that neither he nor Jack had the right to make such a decision which may disregard the wishes and religious beliefs of the deceased. ("Walkabout")
After the death of Essam in Sydney, the Australian government prepared to cremate his body, having no one to claim the body. Sayid was compelled to claim the body of Essam in order to avoid the cremation of his Muslim friend. ("The Greater Good")
Testimony of faith. While hanging up in Rousseau's trap and thinking he would die, he is heard saying the Islamic testimony of Faith (Shahadah), which are the last words a Muslim says before his death, if able to. ("Solitary")
Although it is not certain, Sayid is most likely a Sunni. Evidence for this includes that he is from Tikrit (per "House of the Rising Sun"). Tikrit is part of the predominantly Sunni area of Iraq. In "Solitary", while he tortures a prisoner named Falah, he refers to Shiites in a manner that implies he is Sunni: "You want me to stop, Falah? … Your Shiite friends have already implicated you in the bombing. You planted the device in the Bathist headquarters, didn't you?" He was a member of the Republican Guard, a force made up of primarily Sunni Muslims. Although Qadr is a doctrine common throughout Islam, it is emphasized in Sunni Islam as one of the six articles of belief. Sayid refers to fate in a way that implies he at least partially believes in it: "On the way to the funeral I told you that Michael had been compromised by the Others, and then you asked me how we might take advantage of that. I believe fate has given us our answer—the boat." In general, however, Sayid speaks and acts as if his words and actions can have a direct effect on events, which implies a practical belief in free will. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
In Season 4, a Qur’ān, the religious text of Islam, is seen on Ben's bookshelf as is a book titled Kings of Love: The Poetry and History of the Ni'Matullah Sufi Order and Caravan of Dreams by Idries Shah, a Sufi writer. ("The Economist")
Other New Age References
Locke's descent into the Well to the frozen wheel is similar to many stories about a hero's descent into the underworld such as Dante's in the Inferno, Innanna's in Sumerian mythology or any number of Greco-Roman heroes, including Christian as a spirit guide such as Virgil in the Inferno or the Sybyl in the Aeniad.
Further Greek References
In Chapter I of his book, Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud discusses a letter he received from his friend, the French novelist and mystic Romain Rolland. In this letter, Rolland describes what he calls the "Oceanic" feeling—a feeling of eternity, a deep and innate connection with all things, a "oneness" with the world. Rolland, a "man of faith," sees this oceanic feeling as being the primal source of all religion, but itself independent of any particular religion. Freud, an atheist and avowed "man of science," disagrees. While he admits that many people may experience this oceanic feeling, he locates its source not in some mystical feeling of connection, but in an infantile helplessness experienced when confronted with a hostile world and the subsequent longing for the protection and guidance of the father. For Freud, this oceanic feeling is "sustained by fear of the superior power of fate."
Religion is a system of beliefs--a set of collective convictions on matters of spirituality that give meaning to the adherent's life choices and experiences. It is often the collective element that distinguishes religion from personal faith or spirituality; that said, many religions speak of a personal experience or encounter that occurs within the individual frame of reference that cannot be conveyed strictly from the outside. These may take the form of visions, dreams, feelings, thoughts, or even interpersonal experiences that, when seen through the frame of belief, take on a transcendent significance in the believer's life.
Deity is a common feature of religion, although not universal (see Earth's Taoism for an example) and in some cases life forces or truth may be regarded as sacred in a more impersonal fashion. In the case of religions where belief in a deity is present, these can usually be classified as monotheistic (belief in one god) or polytheistic (belief in many gods). For example, the Cardassian Oralian Way centers upon the worship of the deity Oralius and is monotheistic. (A Stitch in Time) The human religion of Hinduism explicitly lays out a belief in many deities and is therefore polytheistic. Certain systems, however, may be more complex: while named plurally, for instance, the Bajoran Prophets are worshipped collectively, never as separate entities. Most denominations of Earth's Christianity espouse a belief in the Trinity, in which a single deity is expressed in three Persons which appear distinctly and are yet a single force. Hydrans were known to possess a collection of gods but they were free to worship any god separately.
The tenets of a religion are generally codified in some fashion, ranging from oral tradition to holy texts like the Bible (human--Christian), the Prophecies of Bajor (Bajoran), or the Hebitian Records (Cardassian). These traditions and texts are often considered to be, to varying degrees, inspired by or even directly authored by the deities or supernatural forces in question. Rituals, meditation, and prayer are often inspired by or directly prescribed by these traditions and texts, and are usually considered by believers as a way to draw closer to their god or motive force. Ritual objects or even drugs are sometimes involved in these practices, such as the Bajoran Orbs or Oralian recitation masks and the akoonah used by Chakotay, whereas other believers may conduct their prayers without any such aids.
Most believers also say that their beliefs entail that they should live and relate to their fellow beings in a certain manner, and that this affects them in manners that cannot be scientifically observed. Such systems of positive and negative consequences include the Hindu idea of karma or the Abrahamic notions of Heaven and Hell. Analogous beliefs to these, and others yet, have been found in many places throughout the known galaxy.
In some cases, entire societies may organize themselves along religious lines as everything from timekeeping to social institutions to law to leadership may have their roots in religious belief. Bajor may be one of the most well-known examples of this, though an alternate version of Cardassia exhibits a somewhat similar arrangement though differing slightly in degree. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions Catacombs of Oralius) Others maintain a strict separation between religious and other sociopolitical institutions. Some societies, such as Cardassia in the prime universe, have actively attempted to suppress religious belief and persecute the believers. (Terok Nor trilogy)
While majorities in some societies, such as 24th-century Earth, have rejected religion, it should be noted that each society's relationship to its religion differs. For instance, while on Earth and Voth religion was often seen as being in conflict with science, Cardassian believers in the Oralian Way perceived no such difficulty. (VOY: "Distant Origin", Star Trek: Sigils and Unions Catacombs of Oralius--"The Desolate Vigil") Some worlds have experienced violent conflict on religious grounds or inspired by religion--such as the Dominion, which went as far as to genetically program religious beliefs into its servant races, whereas others, such as the Ferengi, have had little in the way of war on religious grounds. Religion could serve as the impetus for oppression or be abused by the unscrupulous, as befell the Ventaxians and Xindi, or as a catalyst for positive social change such as in the Earth nonviolent protest movements led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
As in human cultures, in many continuities the Transformers have possessed religion to help them explain and cope with their place in the universe. In continuities where they exist, Transformer spiritual and religious beliefs are usually specifically illustrated to be truth rather than legend or superstition.
In the original Generation One Cartoon, despite their witnessing supernatural occurrences such as magic and ghosts on a number of occasions without any apparent amazement or surprise there is little direct evidence for general Transformer spiritual or religious beliefs. Kup recommends praying before battle, but does not specify to whom.
It is known that the spirits of Autobot leaders past dwell within the Matrix of Leadership even after their deaths, but the mechanism of this is unknown. A living Autobot leader can journey within the Matrix to commune with them and receive visions of the past. (Rodimus needed to be near death to achieve this, but Optimus could instigate it at will.) It is unknown how spiritual or how mechanical this whole process is.
The best, if not only, other evidence we have comes from The Transformers: The Movie with the apparent prophecy that "one day an Autobot shall rise from our ranks, and use the power of the Matrix to light our darkest hour" and the repetition, prayer-like, of the phrase "'Til all are one."
This is where the concept of Transformer religion and spiritual beliefs really took form and spread. Nearly all subsequent uses of Transformer religion derive from the foundation laid in these stories.
The story of the gods Primus and Unicron went through several iterations as they were retold by different speakers over the course of the US and UK comic run. The most distinct difference across these revisions was the fading out of their respective pantheons. When first told, by Unicron, Primus and Unicron were each merely part of a whole pantheon of other light and dark gods respectively. In the next version, by the Keeper, they were the last of their pantheons, the others already having been destroyed or passed on to the Omniversal Matrix. Finally, in the version told by Primus, they were each unique beings with the existence of other gods ignored or refuted. This final version is the most frequently borrowed by later material. (The Botcon "Reaching the Omega Point" story being the notable exception, see below.)
One legend surrounding Primus is that of the Last Autobot, Primus' final guardian who would come after the god's passing and the defeat of Unicron.
The Creation Matrix is the living essence of Primus' life force and considered a sacred artifact. The bearer of it is gifted with the power to create new Transformer life. Each Matrix bearer, known as a Prime, takes a derivation of the name Primus as part of his own. Five have existed: Prima, Prime Nova, Sentinel Prime, Optimus Prime, and Rodimus Prime. Though its existence was well known, the manifest physical nature of the Matrix was not, thus it was ignored by Shockwave when he captured Optimus and, following his death, was launched into space with Optimus' body by his fellow Autobots.
The Matrix Flame on Cybertron is set in a golden blazer on a green altar, and tended by a red tabard clad acolyte. It is the living embodiment of the sacred Creation Matrix. Its status indicates that of the Matrix and its bearer.
Several scriptual texts were recorded in the Covenant of Primus, believed to be prophetic. Only two copies existed.
After millennia of war, many Transformers regarded Primus and Unicron as mere legends or disregarded them entirely. On hearing the name Primus spoken Bumblebee claims to have almost forgotten the Transformers ever had a God. Even when confronted with a giant head at the center of their planet Grimlock does not at first accept the myth of Primus and Unicron as true.
On the other hand, Emirate Xaaron appears to have believed, and Optimus Prime, likely due to his being Prime, was quick to accept Primus and Unicron. Interestingly, though he is bearer of Primus's life force, Optimus was not one to unthinkingly and zealously follow his god, harboring, at times, serious misgivings and distrust about the use to which Primus was putting his children.
There were likely still some number of true believers, even prior to Primus' reemergence, as the tender of the Matrix Flame and the purple cloaked monk-like elders who aid Prime in the Generation 2 comics attest.
The only other Transformer God, aside from Primus and Unicron, to appear in any story shows up here: The Chronarchitect. He is presumably of Primus' pantheon (see Marvel Comics above) given his alliance. He is the god of time.
While exploring Cybertron's interior Dr. Brian Jones was transported to an long-abandoned temple where offerings of energon had been left for the legendary "guardian of energon" who had protected Cybertron long before the current generation of Transformers was created. Prior to witnessing Ancient Guardian's reactivation, Jones believed these stories were just myths. The Japanese version of this episode describes the Energon offerings as happening 'tens of thousands of years ago.'
Beginning around the time of Transformers: Armada a new version of the Primus/Unicron story began to take shape. This new mythos was most notable for its multiversal nature: it applied not just to the new Unicron Trilogy continuity family but also to the new iterations of Generation One being created by Dreamwave and to the multiversal Beast Machines spin-off Transformers: Universe. In fact, by its very nature the new Multiversal Mythos attempted to apply itself to everything, even retroactively to past continuity where it was often a not-so-easy fit.
The basics of this new version of the myth are that both Primus and Unicron were created by "The One," an original God-being, and sent out into the universe as emissaries/explorers. Unicron goes bad and Primus must stop him. For some unexplained reason Primus exists in all possible continuities simultaneously (picture a single string stretching through many rooms) and his destruction in any one of them would destroy all creation, while Unicron, on the other hand, exists in only one Universe at a time ever. There are no "alternate reality" multiversal versions of Unicron, he's just one single God who leaps between universes (picture a ball of yarn thrown from room to room).
Needless to say this is a tricky bit of retconning that is hard to mesh with the original Cartoon (where there was no Primus and Unicron was only a robot made by Primacron) or the Marvel Comic where Primus is stated to have died and the multiverse doesn't implode.
Some Transformers have willingly (or unwillingly) come to serve the dark god Unicron. The Fallen was the first of these.
In the Marvel Comic, before their long sleep Unicron was able to bury a powerful compulsion in the minds of a number of Transformers causing them to form a secret cult of Unicron, which attempted to slay Optimus Prime upon his being named the leader of Primus' forces.
The Decepticon myth of the Ultimate Warrior appears to be a corruption of the Last Autobot story. In the Marvel Comic the mystically inclined Decepticon Bludgeon dedicated his life to the "teachings" of the Ultimate Warrior, a path that may be taken as a possible alternate Cybertronian religion.
In Dreamwave's second War Within miniseries Bludgeon and other like-minded Decepticon mystics are shown to commune with and worship "dark" mystical forces in attempt to gain power.
The Japanese Generation One series present two characters that might also factor in to a Decepticon religion. Devil Z is described alternately as 'the god of the Destrons' and a guardian angel who's looked after/been worshiped by them. After Devil Z's destruction a new supernatural being arises to lead the Decepticons: Violen Jygar. A demon-like being said to be born from many angry Decepticon sparks, V.J. possessed the supernatural ability to raise the dead.
It has also been speculated that Megatron took his name from a verse from the Covenant of Primus.
Jetfire is often portrayed as being a Transformer atheist due to his scientific worldview. In IDW's comic series he swears by Primacron rather than Primus (Although what that implies about said continuity beyond being a cute in-joke is unknown. Scoop swears by him later on in the same issue).