Religion helps humanity embrace its spiritual side. Not everyone follows a major world religion, but that doesn’t deny the influence that some of the most famous religious leaders in history have had. Some of them have been the foundation of major religions and have changed the world just as much as technology or science has. Here is a look at the some of the people who have shaped our spiritual world over the years.
1. Martin Luther
For centuries, the main form of Christianity was Catholicism. The Catholic Church even ran its own political empire as an independent nation state, something that there is still a remnant of today with the Vatican City. Luther stood up to the idea that only the religious leaders should have routine access to the Bible. He also stood up to the ideas that people should have to pay for certain privileges or the “scam” of paying to get people out of purgatory. The Lutheran Church still bears his name and most Western Christians, including Catholics, use his translation of the Bible.
2. Muhammad [PBUH]
Islam was formed at a time when Christianity had lost its way. People were being forced to commit to this religion or they would be put to death. Rather than submit to the ruling authority, the Great Prophet came to the conclusion that it was time to bring the one true faith back to the one true God. It was said that he would get revelations from God and then his recitations were recorded into the holy book of the religion.
3. Jesus of Nazareth
Even if he isn’t the son of God, as some believe, the words of Jesus have had a resounding effect on society. He taught people that they should love their enemies instead of hate them. He suggested the people should love others as much as they loved themselves. Most radically of all, he encouraged the thought that people who were poor were equally important to people who were rich. Jesus took the law into his own hands, made a lasting impression, and billions have followed the teaches, albeit maybe not as intended, for 2,000 years.
4. Mary Baker Eddy
Science has been an emphasis of spirituality for some time. Some people believe that science is the only real “deity” there is, while others have worked to fuse science and their faith together. Eddy founded Christian Science to discuss how spirituality could help to bring healing to a life. Although her views have been updated over the years, there is still a key following to her teachings.
Many people attribute the Golden Rule to Jesus, but Confucius introduced the concept of doing unto others as you would want done to yourself over 500 years before he walked the Earth. His views are a blend of religion and politics, so it is sometimes see as a lifestyle instead of true spirituality. He advocated worshiping ancestors, value diplomacy, and sought justice.