List of founders of religious traditions

My goodness, that’s an awfully large number of religious traditions. I wonder which of these is the one true faith? TGO

Refer to information below. Source: Wikipedia

Ancient (before AD 500)

Name Religious tradition founded Date
Naram-Sin of Akkad first known ruler to impose an imperial cult 22nd century BC (short chronology)
Ur-Nammu built the Ziggurat of Ur to Nanna 21st century BC (short chronology)
Abraham Blood-right of inheritance for Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and more recently Baha’i approx. 2000 – 1800 BC
Akhenaten Atenism 14th century BC (conventional Egyptian chronology)
Moses Judaism approx. 12 century BC
Various Rishis composed the hymns of the Rigveda foundational to historical Vedic religion second half of 2nd millennium BC
Solomon Israelite king who built the first Temple in Jerusalem to the God of Israel. 10th century BC (For Solomon’s historicity, see Tel Dan Stele)
Parshva The penultimate (23rd) Tirthankara in Jainism 9th c. BC
Zoroaster composed the gathas foundational to Zoroastrianism c. 11th to 9th c. BC
Numa Pompilius Roman king who codified and organized the Roman religion 717 BC – 673 BC
Laozi Taoism 7th c. BC
Nebuchadnezzar II built the Etemenanki, established Marduk as the patron deity of Babylon 6th c. BC
Mahavira The final Tirthankara in Jainism 6th c. BC
Siddhārtha Gautama Buddhism ca. 5th c. BC
Confucius Confucianism 551 BC – 479 BC
Pythagoras Pythagoreanism fl. 520 BC
Mozi Mohism 470 BC – 390 BC
Ezra established Second Temple Judaism fl. 459 BC
Leucippus Atomism fl.440 BC
Plato Platonic realism 427 BC – 347 BC
Epicurus Epicureanism fl. 307 BC
Zeno of Citium Stoicism 333 BC – 264 BC
Patanjali Raja Yoga 2nd century BC
St. John the Baptist Mandeanism; Proto Founder of Christianity ca. 6 – 5BC – ca. 27 AD
Jesus of Nazareth Christianity ca. 5 – 4BC – ca. 30 AD,
Paul of Tarsus and Simon Peter Pauline Christianity, Roman Catholic succession 1st century
James the Just Jewish Christianity 1st century
Judah haNasi Talmudic Rabbinical Judaism 2nd century AD
Nagarjuna Madhyamaka 150–250
Plotinus Neoplatonism 205–270
Marcion of Sinope Marcionism 110–160
Mani Manichaeism 210–276
Arius Arianism 250–336
Pelagius Pelagianism 354–430
Nestorius Nestorianism 386–451
Eutyches Monophysitism 380–456

Medieval to Early Modern (500–1800 AD)

Name Religious tradition founded Date
Mazdak Mazdakism 520s
Bodhidharma Zen 6th century
Muhammad Islam early 7th century
Songtsän Gampo Tibetan Buddhism 7th century
Padmasambhava Nyingma 8th century
Han Yu Neo-Confucianism 8th or 9th century
Adi Shankara Advaita Vedanta 9th century
Kūkai Shingon 9th century
Michael I Cerularius Eastern Orthodoxy 11th century
Ad-Darazi Druze 11th century
Basava Lingayatism 12th century
Madhvacharya Dvaita 1238–1317
Sant Mat (group of saints) Bhakti movement 13th to 15th centuries
En no Ozunu Shugendō 634 – 706
John Wyclif Lollardry 1320s – 1384
Jan Hus Hussitism 1372–1415
Ramananda Sant Mat Vaishnavism 15th century
Srimanta Sankardeva Mahapuruxiya Dharma 1449–1568
Guru Nanak Dev Sikhism 1469–1539
Baba Sri Chand Udasi 1494–1629
Vallabha Acharya Shuddhadvaita 1479–1531
Martin Luther Lutheranism and Protestantism in general. 1483–1546
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Achintya Bheda Abheda 1486–1534
Henry VIII of England Anglicanism 1491–1547
Conrad Grebel Swiss Brethren, Anabaptism 1498–1526
John Calvin Calvinism 1509–1564
Michael Servetus Unitarianism 1511? – 1553
John Knox Presbyterianism 1510–1572
Akbar the Great Din-i-Ilahi 1542–1605
John Smyth Baptist 1570–1612
Russian Orthodox Old Believers 1620–1682
George Fox Religious Society of Friends 1624–1691
Philipp Jakob Spener Pietism 1635–1705
Baal Shem Tov Hasidic Judaism 1698–1760
John Wesley Methodism 1703–1791
Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab Wahhabi 1703–1792
Ann Lee Shakers 1736–1784

New religious movements (post-1800)

Name Religious tradition founded Life of founder
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. Mormonism, also known as the Latter Day Saint movement 1805–1844
John Thomas Christadelphians 1805-1871
Jamgon Kongtrul Rime movement 1813–1899
Hong Xiuquan Taiping Christianity 1814-1864
Bahá’u’lláh Bahá’í Faith 1817–1892
Báb Bábí Faith, predecessor of Bahá’í Faith 1819–1850
James Springer White Seventh-day Adventist Church 1821–1881
Mary Baker Eddy Christian Science 1821–1910
Rabbi Alfred G. Moses Jewish Science
Vallalar Samarasa Sutha Sanmarga Sangam 1823–1874
Swami Dayananda Saraswati Arya Samaj 1824–1883
Ellen G. White Seventh-day Adventist Church 1827–1915
Madame Blavatsky Theosophy 1831–1891
Ayya Vaikundar Ayyavazhi 1833–1851
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Ahmadiyya 1835–1908
Guido von List Armanism (Germanic mysticism) 1848–1919
Charles Taze Russell Jehovah’s Witnesses 1852–1916
Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy 1861–1925
Swami Vivekananda Ramakrishna Mission 1863–1902
William Irvine Two by Twos and Cooneyites 1863–1947
Sri Aurobindo Integral yoga 1872–1950
Mason Remey Orthodox Baha’i Faith 1874 – 1974
Aleister Crowley Thelema 1875–1947
Charles Fox Parham Pentecostalism 1873–1929
Father Divine International Peace Mission movement ca. 1876–1965
Ngô Văn Chiêu Cao Dai 1878–1926
Guy Ballard I AM 1878–1939
Frank Buchman Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament 1878–1961
Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan Reconstructionist Judaism 1881–1983
Gerald Gardner Wicca 1884–1964
Felix Y. Manalo Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) 1886–1963
Frank Bruce Robinson Psychiana 1886–1948
Noble Drew Ali Moorish Science Temple 1886–1929
Marcus Garvey Rastafari movement 1887–1940
Ernest Holmes Religious Science 1887–1960
H.H. Sadguru Sadafaldeo Ji Maharaj Vihangam Yoga 1888–1902
Aimee Semple McPherson Foursquare Church 1890–1944
Zélio Fernandino de Moraes Umbanda 1891–1975
Ida B. Robinson Mount Sinai Holy Church of America 1891–1946
Wallace Fard Muhammad Nation of Islam 1891 – (disappeared 1934)
Paramahansa Yogananda Self-Realization Fellowship 1893–1952
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada International Society for Krishna Consciousness 1896–1977
Swami Muktananda Siddha Yoga 1908–1982
Ikuro Teshima Makuya 1910–1973
L. Ron Hubbard Church of Scientology 1911–1986
Kim Il-sung Juche 1912–1994
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Transcendental Meditation 1917–2008
Samael Aun Weor Universal Christian Gnostic Movement 1917–1977
Mark L. Prophet The Summit Lighthouse 1918–1973
Huynh Phu So Hoa Hao Buddhism 1919–1947
Yong (Sun) Myung Moon Unification Church 1920 –
Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar Ananda Marga 1921–1990
Clarence 13X The Nation of Gods and Earths 1922–1969
Mestre Gabriel União do Vegetal 1922–1971
Nirmala Srivastava Sahaja Yoga 1923–2011
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson Ásatrú 1924–1993
Sathya Sai Baba Sathya Sai Organization 1926 –
Anton Szandor LaVey Church of Satan 1930–1997
Rajneesh Chandra Mohan[23] Osho movement 1931–1990
Mark Prophet; Elizabeth Clare (Wolf) Prophet Church Universal and Triumphant 1918-1973 1939–2009
Franklin Jones Adidam 1939–2008
Claude Vorilhon Raëlism 1946 –
Li Hongzhi Falun Gong 1951 –
Bodhisatva Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Revival of Buddhism 1956
Ravi Shankar Art of Living Foundation 1956 –
Vissarion Church of the Last Testament 1961 –
Tamara Siuda Kemetic Orthodoxy 1969 –

7 responses

  1. Mr. Great One… To each follower, for all intents and purpose, in each humans perspective reality, respectively their faith is the “true faith”. Since “a faith” and “a truth” are two different constructs with faith being the conceptual belief of that construct, my curiousity then would be: Which faith’is closest to the truth?

    Buddhism…. It is in fact, all an illusion!
    I will prove it to you, oh, Great One..On March 30th, 2031,
    I will say to you, “Do you remember the illusion you had 20 years ago, this very evening, when you read a comment by GhostRider”. You will say, well, let me not put words in your head or this illusion.
    Love and Peace


    1. GhostRider – true faith is based on facts, realities and conviction – that is the definition of biblical faith – Hebrews 11:1. All other “faiths” are based on credulity and superstition.


    2. If I may “jump in.” True faith is NOT based on facts. Faith is belief without evidence. Your belief that yours is the “one true faith” because the Bible says so doesn’t make it a fact. The Koran says the same thing about Islam. And in fact, the Old Testament, in your Bible, says that the Jews are God’s chosen people, and Jews don’t even believe in the divinity of Jesus. Now you tell me, how is it that your faith is the “one true faith” (factual) while all others are based on credulity and superstition?


    3. GhostRider, there is no way to measure which faith is closer to the truth, and the fact is that it wouldn’t really matter. 2+2 = 5 is closer to the truth than 2+2 = 945,678,905,343,276,708,740,084,717; but it is still false. Therefore, there is no “value” in saying that 2+2 = 5 is “close” to the truth. Statements (beliefs) are either factual or they are not. A woman is either pregnant or she isn’t; there is no middle-ground there. Your lack of logic is astounding.

      Your last paragraph is complete gibberish.


  2. TGO – just think about your statement: ‘True faith is NOT based on facts’. So, according to you, on what is based “true faith”? And the way to measure true faith was simply and clearly stated by Jesus Christ in Matthew 12:33.


    1. True faith is based on nothing, it’s simply a person’s belief, more than likely because this is what was taught to them.

      A person can truly believe in something which is completely false. I really don’t know what is so complicated? Faith is belief in a thing (object), concept or idea not resting on logical proof or material evidence. What is it that is so difficult to understand.

      For example, the Earth is round, this is a fact. It is not flat as once upon a time believed. Just because countless people once believed the Earth was flat didn’t make it so, therefore their belief was false, untrue and incorrect. Since it is a fact that the Earth is a sphere, we don’t need to say: I have faith that the Earth is round as the word faith is superfluous. If a person has faith in something that doesn’t make that something factual, it just means that he or she believes in it. I could have faith that elephants can fly, but that doesn’t mean they can.

      You are obviously a Christian, therefore you believe in the Bible and Christian God. But there are a billion Muslims in the world who believe just as strongly as you do I’m sure in the Koran and Allah. Now, at least one group (if not both) is definitely WRONG. Yet you both have faith in your respective ideologies. The same is true of Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.

      I hope I’ve answered your question.


  3. Frank Buchman of the Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament movement is on this list. Bill Wilson is said to have patterned the 12 Step movement in the US after him. Should Bill Wilson be on this list?


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