Religion encompasses different worldviews, values and perspectives. It is always based on a supernatural power, characterised by supernatural and sacred forces. What religions have in common is that they strive for something supernatural.

There are different interpretations within religions, with some seeking self-discovery and personal development. It is not possible to say exactly how many religions there are in the world, especially as there is no single definition or definition of religion.

The major world religions include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, as they have the largest number of followers worldwide.

Religion is a subject of interest to many people. The oldest ‘monotheistic’ religion known to mankind is Judaism. The Yezidis are one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world. Hinduism is at least as old. However, religions known only through artefacts and mythology, or natural or ethnic religions, are much older. The development of abstract thought is seen as a prerequisite for the emergence of religion. Cave paintings point to the oldest known cults.


It is unclear how many religions and worldviews there are in the world, especially as there is no standard definition or demarcation of religion. There are historical, mythological, Indian, Abrahamic, Christian, Islamic, ethnic, Gnostic, esoteric and pagan religions and worldviews.

However, Christianity has the most adherents with over 2 billion people calling themselves Christians. Christianity is not a single religion, as there are various splinter groups, dogmas and schools of thought within Christianity (e.g. Protestants, Catholics, etc.). However, they are all united by the monotheistic belief in the New Testament of the Bible.

Spirituality describes our relationship with higher reality and infinity. The term describes an attitude that focuses on a deeper religious meaning. Living spiritually means broadening one’s worldview and seeing beyond the boundaries of limited external reality.

Through various methods, such as meditation or prayer, everyday problems can be solved and a new perspective on the inner and outer world can be learned. This religious worldview is central to personal development.

Material, mundane reality has certain limits that can be expanded or transformed through mindful living. Learn more about religion, Christian and Jewish mysticism, and the power of symbols and rituals in Dr Elias Rubenstein’s video.

Spirituality explores the question of human existence, origin, meaning and personal development. Spiritual practices, such as those taught at the Hermetic Academy, can facilitate an opening to a higher spiritual reality. This helps to overcome the illusion that only material goods can bring happiness.

In this way, people can also consciously turn to their inner selves, which helps them to better understand their purpose in life and themselves. One’s full potential can be realised, which in turn paves the way for self-actualisation.