List of founders of religious traditions


List of founders of religious traditions

This article lists:

* historical figures believed to have founded or inspired religions, religious philosophies; or:
* people who first codified older known religious traditions.

It also lists those who have founded specific churches or denominations within a larger religion.

In many cases, one can regard a religion as a continuous tradition extending to prehistoric times, without a specific founder, or with legendary founding-figures whose historicity cannot be established (such as Abraham or Lord Rishabha). This notwithstanding, the various historical sub-denominations of such religions will still have founders, such as St. Peter and St. Paul (who formed what is now known as Pauline Christianity), Nestorius (who codified Nestorianism), or Martin Luther (who taught Lutheranism) — all exemplifying sub-denominations of Christianity. Religion often develops by means of schism and reform (motivated either by revelation or by theological speculation), and it becomes a matter of subjective judgement at what point such a schism or reform assumes the quality of a "foundation" of a new religion.

Chronologically, foundations of religious traditions may sub-divide into:

# the Axial Age, with the earliest known major founding figures such as Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius and Socrates (via Plato);
# Hellenism to Late Antiquity, with foundations of classical religious traditions and schools such as various sects of Early Christianity, Stoicism, Gnosticism, Upanishadic Hinduism
# the medieval to early modern period, with the rise of Islam, classical (Pauranic) Hinduism, the Bhakti movement and the Protestant Reformation.
# new religious movements, since ca. 1800.

Ancient (before 500 CE)

Medieval to Early Modern (500-1800 AD)

New religious movements (post-1800)

{| class="wikitable"! Name ! Religious tradition founded! Date
-
Raja Ram Mohan Roy || Brahmo Samaj || 1772 - 1833
-
Ghanshyam Pande || Swaminarayan || 1781 - 1830
-
Nakayama Miki || Tenrikyo || 1798 - 1887
-
Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger || Old Catholics || 1799 - 1890
-
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby || New Thought || 1802 - 1866
-
Allan Kardec || Spiritism || 1804 - 1869
-
Joseph Smith, Jr. || Latter Day Saint movement || 1805 - 1844
-
Ayya Vaikundar || Ayyavazhi || 1833 - 1851
-
James Springer White || Seventh-day Adventist Church || 1821 - 1881
-
Jamgon Kongtrul || Rime movement || 1813 - 1899
-
Báb || Bábí Faith|| 1819 - 1850
-
Bahá'u'lláh || Bahá'í Faith || 1817 - 1892
-
Vallalar || Samarasa Sutha Sanmarga Sangam || 1823 - 1874
-
Ellen G. White || Seventh-day Adventist Church || 1827 - 1915
-
Charles Taze Russell || Jehovah's Witnesses || 1852 - 1916
-
Madame Blavatsky || Theosophy || 1831 - 1891
-
Rudolf Steiner || Anthroposophy || 1861 - 1925
-
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad || Ahmadiyya Muslim Community || 1835 - 1908
-
Swami Vivekananda || Ramakrishna Mission || 1863 - 1902
-
Aleister Crowley || Thelema || 1875 - 1947
-
Gerald Gardner || Wicca || 1884 - 1964
-
Mary Baker Eddy || Christian Science || 1821 - 1910
-
Swami Dayananda Saraswati || Arya Samaj || 1824 - 1883
-
Guido von List || Armanism (Germanic mysticism) || 1848 - 1919
-
Sri Aurobindo || Integral yoga || 1872 - 1950
-
Charles Fox Parham || Pentecostalism || 1873 - 1929
-
Ngô Văn Chiêu || Cao Dai || 1878 - 1926
-
Guy Ballard || I AM || 1878 - 1939
-
Frank Buchman || Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament || 1878 - 1961
-
"Father Divine" || International Peace Mission movement || ca. 1880 - 1965
-
Frank Bruce Robinson || Psychiana || 1886 - 1948
-
Marcus Garvey || Rastafarianism || 1887 - 1940
-
Ernest Holmes || Religious Science || 1887 - 1960
-
Aimee Semple McPherson || Foursquare Church || 1890 - 1944
-
Wallace Fard Muhammad || Nation of Islam || 1891 - ca 1934
-
Zélio Fernandino de Moraes || Umbanda || Early 20th century
-
Paramahansa Yogananda || Self-Realization Fellowship || 1893 - 1952
-
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada || International Society for Krishna Consciousness || 1896 - 1977
-
Ikuro Teshima || Makuya Sect] || 1910 - 1973
-
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi || Transcendental Meditation || 1917 - 2008
-
Sun Myung Moon || Unification Church || 1920 -
-
Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar || Ananda Marga || 1921 - 1990
-
L. Ron Hubbard || Church of Scientology || 1911 - 1986
-
Clarence 13X || The Nation of Gods and Earths || 1922 - 1969
-
Mestre Gabriel || União do Vegetal || 1922 - 1971
-
Nirmala Srivastava || Sahaja Yoga || 1923
-
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson || Ásatrú || 1924 - 1993
-
Sathya Sai Baba || Sathya Sai Organization || 1926 -
-
Anton Szandor LaVey || Church of Satan || 1930 - 1997
-
Osho || Osho movement || 1931 - 1990
-
Franklin Jones || Adidam || 1939 -
-
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar || Art of Living Foundation || 1956 -
-
Vissarion || Church of the Last Testament || 1961 -
-
Tamara Siuda || Kemetic Orthodoxy || 1969 -
- Daryush Shokof Yekishim 1990 -

ee also

* Messiah claimants
* Buddha claimants
* List of charismatic leaders as defined by Max Weber's classification of authority
* Religious leaders by year
* List of deified individuals
* List of religions
* Claims to the oldest religion


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