Religious cosmology

Religious cosmology

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Encyclopedia
A Religious cosmology (also mythological cosmology) is a way of explaining the origin, the history and the evolution of the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 based on the religious mythology
Religion and mythology
Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. Both terms refer to systems of concepts that are of high importance to a certain community, making statements concerning the supernatural or sacred. Generally, mythology is considered one component or aspect of religion...

 of a specific tradition. Religious cosmologies usually include an act or process of creation by a creator deity
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 or a larger pantheon
Pantheon (gods)
A pantheon is a set of all the gods of a particular polytheistic religion or mythology.Max Weber's 1922 opus, Economy and Society discusses the link between a...

.

Buddhism


In Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, the universe comes into existence dependent upon the actions (karma
Karma in Buddhism
Karma means "action" or "doing"; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma. In Buddhism, the term karma is used specifically for those actions which spring from the intention of an unenlightened being.These bring about a fruit or result Karma (Sanskrit, also karman, Pāli: Kamma) means...

) of its inhabitants. Buddhists posit neither an ultimate beginning or final end to the universe, but see the universe as something in flux, passing in and out of existence, parallel to an infinite number of other universes doing the same thing.

The Buddhist universe consists of a large number of worlds which correspond to different mental states, including passive states of trance, passionless states of purity, and lower states of desire, anger, and fear. The beings in these worlds are all coming into existence or being born, and passing out of existence into other states, or dying. A world comes into existence when the first being in it is born, and ceases to exist, as such, when the last being in it dies. The universe of these worlds also is born and dies, with the death of the last being preceding a universal conflagration that destroys the physical structure of the worlds; then, after an interval, beings begin to be born again and the universe is once again built up. Other universes, however, also exist, and there are higher planes of existence which are never destroyed, though beings that live in them also come into and pass out of existence.

As well as a model of universal origins and destruction, Buddhist cosmology also functions as a model of the mind, with its thoughts coming into existence based on preceding thoughts, and being transformed into other thoughts and other states.

Hebrew Bible



The main Judeo-Christian religious text, the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, opens with a story of creation. The first two chapters of the Book of Genesis describe the creation of heaven and earth by God (called both Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 and Yhvh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

) in six successive days.
  • First day: God creates light ("Let there be light!")—the first divine command. The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.
  • Second day: God creates a firmament
    Firmament
    The firmament is the vault or expanse of the sky. According to Genesis, God created the firmament to separate the oceans from other waters above.-Etymology:...

     ("Let a firmament be...!")—the second command—to divide the waters above from the waters below. The firmament is named "heaven" (shamayim
    Shamayim
    Shamayim is the Hebrew word for "heaven"-Heaven in the Old Testament:Shamayim comes from shameh, a root meaning to be lofty. It literally means the sky."Shamayim" is a crucial concept in the Bible...

    ).
  • Third day: God commands the waters below to be gathered together in one place, and dry land to appear (the third command). "earth" and "sea" are named. God commands the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and fruit-bearing trees (the fourth command).
  • Fourth day: God creates lights in the firmament (the fifth command) to separate light from darkness and to mark days, seasons and years. Two great lights are made and the stars.
  • Fifth day: God commands the sea to "teem with living creatures", and birds to fly across the heavens (sixth command) He creates birds and sea creatures, and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Sixth day: God commands the land to bring forth living creatures (seventh command); He makes wild beasts, livestock and "every thing that creepeth upon the earth". He then creates humanity in His "image" and "likeness" (eighth command). They are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." The totality of creation is described by God as "very good."
  • Seventh day: God, having completed the heavens and the earth, rests from His work, and blesses and sanctifies the seventh day.

Christianity



It is a tenet of Christian faith (Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) that God is the creator of all things from nothing
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, and has made human beings in the Image of God, who by direct inference is also the source of the human soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

. In Chalcedonian
Chalcedonian
Chalcedonian describes churches and theologians which accept the definition given at the Council of Chalcedon of how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus Christ...

 Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

, Jesus is the Word of God, which was in the beginning and, thus, is uncreated, and hence is God
God the Son
God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit...

, and consequently identical with the Creator of the world ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

.

The New Testament claims that God created everything by the eternal Word, Jesus Christ his beloved Son. In him
"all things were created, in heaven and on earth.. . all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Mormon



Mormon cosmology draws from Biblical cosmology, but has many unique elements provided by Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

 founder Joseph Smith, Jr.

According to Mormon cosmology, there was a pre-existence
Pre-existence
Pre-existence , beforelife, or pre-mortal existence refers to the belief that each individual human soul existed before conception, and at conception one of these pre-existent souls enters, or is placed by God, in the body...

, better described as a pre-mortal life, in which human spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

s were literal children of heavenly parents. Though their spirits were created, the essential "intelligence" of these spirits is considered eternal, and without beginning. During this pre-existence, two plans were said to have been presented, one championed by Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 (Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

) that would have involved loss of moral agency, and another championed by God the Father. When his plan was not accepted, Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 is said to have rebelled and taken a third of the hosts of heaven
Heavenly host
Heavenly host refers to an army of good angels mentioned in the Bible. It is led either by the Archangel Michael, Jesus, or by God himself. Most descriptions of angels in the Bible describe them in military terms, such as encampment , command structure , and combat...

 with him to the earth to serve as tempters. According to a plan of salvation
Plan of salvation
According to doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, the plan of salvation is a plan that God created to save, redeem, and exalt humankind...

 as described by God the Father, Jesus would create the earth, under the direction of God the Father, as a place where humanity would be tested. After the resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 all men and women except spirits that followed Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 and the sons of perdition
Son of perdition (Mormonism)
Son of perdition is a phrase used in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and by Mormon fundamentalists to describe a person who will not take part in the glory of God in the afterlife...

 would be assigned one of three degrees of glory
Degrees of glory
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' theology, there are three degrees of glory which are the ultimate, eternal dwelling place for nearly all who lived on earth after the Spirit world.Joseph Smith, Jr...

. Within the highest degree, the Celestial Kingdom, there are three divisions, and those in the highest of these divisions would become gods and goddesses through a process called exaltation or "eternal progression". This would involve having spirit children and populating new worlds.

The Earth's creation, according to Mormon scripture, was not ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, but organized from existing matter. The faith teaches that this earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and that there are many governing heavenly bodies, including a planet or star Kolob
Kolob
Kolob is a star or planet described in Mormon scripture. Reference to Kolob is found in the Book of Abraham, a work published by Latter Day Saint prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. According to this work, Kolob is the heavenly body nearest to the throne or residence of God...

 which is said to be nearest the throne of God. According to some Mormon sources, God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

 himself was once like a human, and lived on a planet with his own higher god.

Hinduism



The Hindu cosmology and timeline is the closest to modern scientific timelines and even more which might indicate that the Big Bang
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

 is not the beginning of everything but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes. It also includes an infinite number of universes at one given time.

The Rig Veda questions the origin of the cosmos in:
"Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed? And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows? Who can declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The devas (demigods) were born later than this world's creation, so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it. He who surveys it in the highest heavens, he alone knows-or perhaps does not know." (Rig Veda 10. 129)



The Rig Veda's view of the cosmos also sees one true divine principle self-projecting as the divine word, Vaak, 'birthing' the cosmos that we know, from the monistic Hiranyagarbha
Hiranyagarbha
Image:Hinducosm Map1.svg|thumb|Click an area to go there. This is one of many material universes, Brahmāṇḍa, which expand from Mahā Viṣṇu when He breathes.|400px|alt=One Brahmāṇḍa, with Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇurect 216 61 277 80 Brahma...

 or Golden Womb. The Hiranyagarbha is alternatively viewed as Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

, the creator who was in turn created by God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, or as God (Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

) himself. The universe is considered to constantly expand since creation and disappear into a thin haze after billions of years. An alternate view is that the universe begins to contract after reaching its maximum expansion limits until it disappears into a fraction of a millimeter. The creation begins anew after billions of years (Solar years) of non-existence.

The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma, the creator or kalpa
Kalpa
Kalpa is a small town in the Sutlej river valley, above Recong Peo in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India, in the Indian Himalaya. Inhabited by Kinnauri people and famous for its apple orchards. Apples are a major cash-crop for the region...

) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

 rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya
Pralaya
Pralaya, in Hindu cosmology, is an aeonic term which specifies different periods of time during which non activity situation persists, as per different formats or contexts...

 (Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Human Years) that represents Brahma's lifespan. Similarly at a given time there are an infinite number of Brahma's performing the creation of each of these universes that are infinite in number. of a It must be noted that Brahma is the creator but not necessarily regarded as God in Hinduism. He is mostly regarded as a creation of God / Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

.

We are currently believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 156 trillion years have elapsed since He was born as Brahma. After Brahma's "death", it is necessary that another 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Years) pass until a new Brahma is born and the whole creation begins anew. This process is repeated again and again, forever.

Brahma's day is divided in one thousand cycles (Maha Yuga
Yuga
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Satya Yuga, the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga, and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is...

, or the Great Year). Maha Yuga, during which life, including the human race appears and then disappears, has 71 divisions, each made of 14 Manvantara (1000) years. Each Maha Yuga lasts for 4,320,000 years. Manvantara is Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

's cycle, the one who gives birth and governs the human race.

Each Maha Yuga consists of a series of four shorter yugas, or ages. The yugas get progressively worse from a moral point of view as one proceeds from one yuga to another. As a result, each yuga is of shorter duration than the age that preceded it. The current Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga...

 (Iron Age) began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.

Space and time are considered to be maya (illusion). What looks like 100 years in the cosmos of Brahma could be thousands of years in other worlds, millions of years in some other worlds and 311 trillion and 40 billion years for our solar system and earth.

Islam


Islam preaches that God, or Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

, created the universe, including Earth's physical environment and human beings. The highest goal is to visualize the cosmos as a book of symbols for meditation and contemplation for spiritual upliftment or as a prison from which the human soul must escape to attain true freedom in the spiritual journey to God. Islam elaborates on cosmology in many instances. A modern English translation of the Quran describes the creation of the universe as follows:"We have built the heaven with might, and We are Steadily Expanding it."51:47 Earlier English translations like for example Ahmed Ali, The Noble Qur'an, Pickthal, Shakir and Yusuf Ali never specify the expansion as a process that is still going on so it seems to be an addition after the expansion of the universe became a generally accepted scientific fact.

Below here there are some other citations from the Quran on cosmology.

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined
together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made
from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?"
21:30 Yusuf Ali translation

"The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books
(completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a
new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it."
21:104 Yusuf Ali translation

Jainism



Jain cosmology considers the loka, or universe, as an uncreated entity, existing since infinity, having no beginning or an end. Jain texts describe the shape of the universe as similar to a man standing with legs apart and arm resting on his waist. This Universe, according to Jainism, is narrow at the top, broad at the middle and once again becomes broad at the bottom.


{{About||other approaches to the study of the Universe in its totality|Cosmology|other approaches to the origin of the Universe|Cosmogony}}
{{Split|date=September 2010}}

A Religious cosmology (also mythological cosmology) is a way of explaining the origin, the history and the evolution of the
universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 based on the religious mythology
Religion and mythology
Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. Both terms refer to systems of concepts that are of high importance to a certain community, making statements concerning the supernatural or sacred. Generally, mythology is considered one component or aspect of religion...

 of a specific tradition. Religious cosmologies usually include an act or process of creation by a creator deity
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 or a larger pantheon
Pantheon (gods)
A pantheon is a set of all the gods of a particular polytheistic religion or mythology.Max Weber's 1922 opus, Economy and Society discusses the link between a...

.

Buddhism


{{Main|Buddhist cosmology}}

In Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, the universe comes into existence dependent upon the actions (karma
Karma in Buddhism
Karma means "action" or "doing"; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma. In Buddhism, the term karma is used specifically for those actions which spring from the intention of an unenlightened being.These bring about a fruit or result Karma (Sanskrit, also karman, Pāli: Kamma) means...

) of its inhabitants. Buddhists posit neither an ultimate beginning or final end to the universe, but see the universe as something in flux, passing in and out of existence, parallel to an infinite number of other universes doing the same thing.

The Buddhist universe consists of a large number of worlds which correspond to different mental states, including passive states of trance, passionless states of purity, and lower states of desire, anger, and fear. The beings in these worlds are all coming into existence or being born, and passing out of existence into other states, or dying. A world comes into existence when the first being in it is born, and ceases to exist, as such, when the last being in it dies. The universe of these worlds also is born and dies, with the death of the last being preceding a universal conflagration that destroys the physical structure of the worlds; then, after an interval, beings begin to be born again and the universe is once again built up. Other universes, however, also exist, and there are higher planes of existence which are never destroyed, though beings that live in them also come into and pass out of existence.

As well as a model of universal origins and destruction, Buddhist cosmology also functions as a model of the mind, with its thoughts coming into existence based on preceding thoughts, and being transformed into other thoughts and other states.

Hebrew Bible


{{See|Biblical cosmology|Genesis creation myth}}
The main Judeo-Christian religious text, the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, opens with a story of creation. The first two chapters of the Book of Genesis describe the creation of heaven and earth by God (called both Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 and Yhvh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

) in six successive days.
  • First day: God creates light ("Let there be light!"){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:3}}—the first divine command. The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.
  • Second day: God creates a firmament
    Firmament
    The firmament is the vault or expanse of the sky. According to Genesis, God created the firmament to separate the oceans from other waters above.-Etymology:...

     ("Let a firmament be...!"){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:6–7}}—the second command—to divide the waters above from the waters below. The firmament is named "heaven" (shamayim
    Shamayim
    Shamayim is the Hebrew word for "heaven"-Heaven in the Old Testament:Shamayim comes from shameh, a root meaning to be lofty. It literally means the sky."Shamayim" is a crucial concept in the Bible...

    ).
  • Third day: God commands the waters below to be gathered together in one place, and dry land to appear (the third command).{{bibleref2c|Gen|1:9–10}} "earth" and "sea" are named. God commands the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and fruit-bearing trees (the fourth command).
  • Fourth day: God creates lights in the firmament (the fifth command){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:14–15}} to separate light from darkness and to mark days, seasons and years. Two great lights are made and the stars.
  • Fifth day: God commands the sea to "teem with living creatures", and birds to fly across the heavens (sixth command){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:20–21}} He creates birds and sea creatures, and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Sixth day: God commands the land to bring forth living creatures (seventh command); He makes wild beasts, livestock and "every thing that creepeth upon the earth".{{bibleref2c|Gen|1:24–25}} He then creates humanity in His "image" and "likeness" (eighth command).{{bibleref2c|Gen|1:26–28}} They are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." The totality of creation is described by God as "very good."
  • Seventh day: God, having completed the heavens and the earth, rests from His work, and blesses and sanctifies the seventh day.{{bibleref2c|Gen|2:2}}

Christianity


{{See also|Biblical cosmology|Ex nihilo|Creationism}}
It is a tenet of Christian faith (Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) that God is the creator of all things from nothing
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, and has made human beings in the Image of God, who by direct inference is also the source of the human soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

. In Chalcedonian
Chalcedonian
Chalcedonian describes churches and theologians which accept the definition given at the Council of Chalcedon of how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus Christ...

 Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

, Jesus is the Word of God, which was in the beginning and, thus, is uncreated, and hence is God
God the Son
God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit...

, and consequently identical with the Creator of the world ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

.

The New Testament claims that God created everything by the eternal Word, Jesus Christ his beloved Son. In him
"all things were created, in heaven and on earth.. . all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Mormon


{{Main|Mormon cosmology}}
Mormon cosmology draws from Biblical cosmology, but has many unique elements provided by Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

 founder Joseph Smith, Jr.

According to Mormon cosmology, there was a pre-existence
Pre-existence
Pre-existence , beforelife, or pre-mortal existence refers to the belief that each individual human soul existed before conception, and at conception one of these pre-existent souls enters, or is placed by God, in the body...

, better described as a pre-mortal life, in which human spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

s were literal children of heavenly parents. Though their spirits were created, the essential "intelligence" of these spirits is considered eternal, and without beginning. During this pre-existence, two plans were said to have been presented, one championed by Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 (Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

) that would have involved loss of moral agency, and another championed by God the Father. When his plan was not accepted, Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 is said to have rebelled and taken a third of the hosts of heaven
Heavenly host
Heavenly host refers to an army of good angels mentioned in the Bible. It is led either by the Archangel Michael, Jesus, or by God himself. Most descriptions of angels in the Bible describe them in military terms, such as encampment , command structure , and combat...

 with him to the earth to serve as tempters. According to a plan of salvation
Plan of salvation
According to doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, the plan of salvation is a plan that God created to save, redeem, and exalt humankind...

 as described by God the Father, Jesus would create the earth, under the direction of God the Father, as a place where humanity would be tested. After the resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 all men and women except spirits that followed Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 and the sons of perdition
Son of perdition (Mormonism)
Son of perdition is a phrase used in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and by Mormon fundamentalists to describe a person who will not take part in the glory of God in the afterlife...

 would be assigned one of three degrees of glory
Degrees of glory
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' theology, there are three degrees of glory which are the ultimate, eternal dwelling place for nearly all who lived on earth after the Spirit world.Joseph Smith, Jr...

. Within the highest degree, the Celestial Kingdom, there are three divisions, and those in the highest of these divisions would become gods and goddesses through a process called exaltation or "eternal progression". This would involve having spirit children and populating new worlds.

The Earth's creation, according to Mormon scripture, was not ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, but organized from existing matter. The faith teaches that this earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and that there are many governing heavenly bodies, including a planet or star Kolob
Kolob
Kolob is a star or planet described in Mormon scripture. Reference to Kolob is found in the Book of Abraham, a work published by Latter Day Saint prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. According to this work, Kolob is the heavenly body nearest to the throne or residence of God...

 which is said to be nearest the throne of God. According to some Mormon sources, God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

 himself was once like a human, and lived on a planet with his own higher god.

Hinduism



{{Main|Hindu cosmology}}

The Hindu cosmology and timeline is the closest to modern scientific timelines and even more which might indicate that the Big Bang
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

 is not the beginning of everything but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes. It also includes an infinite number of universes at one given time.

The Rig Veda questions the origin of the cosmos in:
"Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed? And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows? Who can declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The devas (demigods) were born later than this world's creation, so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it. He who surveys it in the highest heavens, he alone knows-or perhaps does not know." (Rig Veda 10. 129)



The Rig Veda's view of the cosmos also sees one true divine principle self-projecting as the divine word, Vaak, 'birthing' the cosmos that we know, from the monistic Hiranyagarbha
Hiranyagarbha
Image:Hinducosm Map1.svg|thumb|Click an area to go there. This is one of many material universes, Brahmāṇḍa, which expand from Mahā Viṣṇu when He breathes.|400px|alt=One Brahmāṇḍa, with Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇurect 216 61 277 80 Brahma...

 or Golden Womb. The Hiranyagarbha is alternatively viewed as Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

, the creator who was in turn created by God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, or as God (Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

) himself. The universe is considered to constantly expand since creation and disappear into a thin haze after billions of years.{{Citation needed|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo4b8EiY9Vk&feature=related|date=October 2010}} An alternate view is that the universe begins to contract after reaching its maximum expansion limits until it disappears into a fraction of a millimeter.{{Citation needed|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo4b8EiY9Vk&feature=related|date=October 2010}} The creation begins anew after billions of years (Solar years) of non-existence.

The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma, the creator or kalpa
Kalpa
Kalpa is a small town in the Sutlej river valley, above Recong Peo in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India, in the Indian Himalaya. Inhabited by Kinnauri people and famous for its apple orchards. Apples are a major cash-crop for the region...

) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

 rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya
Pralaya
Pralaya, in Hindu cosmology, is an aeonic term which specifies different periods of time during which non activity situation persists, as per different formats or contexts...

 (Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Human Years) that represents Brahma's lifespan. Similarly at a given time there are an infinite number of Brahma's performing the creation of each of these universes that are infinite in number. of a It must be noted that Brahma is the creator but not necessarily regarded as God in Hinduism. He is mostly regarded as a creation of God / Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

.

We are currently{{when|date=October 2011}} believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 156 trillion years have elapsed since He was born as Brahma. After Brahma's "death", it is necessary that another 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Years) pass until a new Brahma is born and the whole creation begins anew. This process is repeated again and again, forever.

Brahma's day is divided in one thousand cycles (Maha Yuga
Yuga
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Satya Yuga, the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga, and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is...

, or the Great Year). Maha Yuga, during which life, including the human race appears and then disappears, has 71 divisions, each made of 14 Manvantara (1000) years. Each Maha Yuga lasts for 4,320,000 years. Manvantara is Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

's cycle, the one who gives birth and governs the human race.

Each Maha Yuga consists of a series of four shorter yugas, or ages. The yugas get progressively worse from a moral point of view as one proceeds from one yuga to another. As a result, each yuga is of shorter duration than the age that preceded it. The current Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga...

 (Iron Age) began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.

Space and time are considered to be maya (illusion). What looks like 100 years in the cosmos of Brahma could be thousands of years in other worlds, millions of years in some other worlds and 311 trillion and 40 billion years for our solar system and earth.

Islam


{{Main|Islamic cosmology|Sufi Cosmology}}

Islam preaches that God, or Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

, created the universe, including Earth's physical environment and human beings. The highest goal is to visualize the cosmos as a book of symbols for meditation and contemplation for spiritual upliftment or as a prison from which the human soul must escape to attain true freedom in the spiritual journey to God. Islam elaborates on cosmology in many instances. A modern English translation of the Quran describes the creation of the universe as follows:"We have built the heaven with might, and We are Steadily Expanding it."51:47 Earlier English translations like for example Ahmed Ali, The Noble Qur'an, Pickthal, Shakir and Yusuf Ali never specify the expansion as a process that is still going on so it seems to be an addition after the expansion of the universe became a generally accepted scientific fact.

Below here there are some other citations from the Quran on cosmology.

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined
together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made
from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?"
21:30 Yusuf Ali translation

"The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books
(completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a
new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it."
21:104 Yusuf Ali translation

Jainism


{{Main|Jain cosmology}}
Jain cosmology considers the loka, or universe, as an uncreated entity, existing since infinity, having no beginning or an end. Jain texts describe the shape of the universe as similar to a man standing with legs apart and arm resting on his waist. This Universe, according to Jainism, is narrow at the top, broad at the middle and once again becomes broad at the bottom.


{{About||other approaches to the study of the Universe in its totality|Cosmology|other approaches to the origin of the Universe|Cosmogony}}
{{Split|date=September 2010}}

A Religious cosmology (also mythological cosmology) is a way of explaining the origin, the history and the evolution of the
universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 based on the religious mythology
Religion and mythology
Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. Both terms refer to systems of concepts that are of high importance to a certain community, making statements concerning the supernatural or sacred. Generally, mythology is considered one component or aspect of religion...

 of a specific tradition. Religious cosmologies usually include an act or process of creation by a creator deity
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 or a larger pantheon
Pantheon (gods)
A pantheon is a set of all the gods of a particular polytheistic religion or mythology.Max Weber's 1922 opus, Economy and Society discusses the link between a...

.

Buddhism


{{Main|Buddhist cosmology}}

In Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, the universe comes into existence dependent upon the actions (karma
Karma in Buddhism
Karma means "action" or "doing"; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma. In Buddhism, the term karma is used specifically for those actions which spring from the intention of an unenlightened being.These bring about a fruit or result Karma (Sanskrit, also karman, Pāli: Kamma) means...

) of its inhabitants. Buddhists posit neither an ultimate beginning or final end to the universe, but see the universe as something in flux, passing in and out of existence, parallel to an infinite number of other universes doing the same thing.

The Buddhist universe consists of a large number of worlds which correspond to different mental states, including passive states of trance, passionless states of purity, and lower states of desire, anger, and fear. The beings in these worlds are all coming into existence or being born, and passing out of existence into other states, or dying. A world comes into existence when the first being in it is born, and ceases to exist, as such, when the last being in it dies. The universe of these worlds also is born and dies, with the death of the last being preceding a universal conflagration that destroys the physical structure of the worlds; then, after an interval, beings begin to be born again and the universe is once again built up. Other universes, however, also exist, and there are higher planes of existence which are never destroyed, though beings that live in them also come into and pass out of existence.

As well as a model of universal origins and destruction, Buddhist cosmology also functions as a model of the mind, with its thoughts coming into existence based on preceding thoughts, and being transformed into other thoughts and other states.

Hebrew Bible


{{See|Biblical cosmology|Genesis creation myth}}
The main Judeo-Christian religious text, the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, opens with a story of creation. The first two chapters of the Book of Genesis describe the creation of heaven and earth by God (called both Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 and Yhvh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

) in six successive days.
  • First day: God creates light ("Let there be light!"){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:3}}—the first divine command. The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.
  • Second day: God creates a firmament
    Firmament
    The firmament is the vault or expanse of the sky. According to Genesis, God created the firmament to separate the oceans from other waters above.-Etymology:...

     ("Let a firmament be...!"){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:6–7}}—the second command—to divide the waters above from the waters below. The firmament is named "heaven" (shamayim
    Shamayim
    Shamayim is the Hebrew word for "heaven"-Heaven in the Old Testament:Shamayim comes from shameh, a root meaning to be lofty. It literally means the sky."Shamayim" is a crucial concept in the Bible...

    ).
  • Third day: God commands the waters below to be gathered together in one place, and dry land to appear (the third command).{{bibleref2c|Gen|1:9–10}} "earth" and "sea" are named. God commands the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and fruit-bearing trees (the fourth command).
  • Fourth day: God creates lights in the firmament (the fifth command){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:14–15}} to separate light from darkness and to mark days, seasons and years. Two great lights are made and the stars.
  • Fifth day: God commands the sea to "teem with living creatures", and birds to fly across the heavens (sixth command){{bibleref2c|Gen|1:20–21}} He creates birds and sea creatures, and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Sixth day: God commands the land to bring forth living creatures (seventh command); He makes wild beasts, livestock and "every thing that creepeth upon the earth".{{bibleref2c|Gen|1:24–25}} He then creates humanity in His "image" and "likeness" (eighth command).{{bibleref2c|Gen|1:26–28}} They are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." The totality of creation is described by God as "very good."
  • Seventh day: God, having completed the heavens and the earth, rests from His work, and blesses and sanctifies the seventh day.{{bibleref2c|Gen|2:2}}

Christianity


{{See also|Biblical cosmology|Ex nihilo|Creationism}}
It is a tenet of Christian faith (Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) that God is the creator of all things from nothing
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, and has made human beings in the Image of God, who by direct inference is also the source of the human soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

. In Chalcedonian
Chalcedonian
Chalcedonian describes churches and theologians which accept the definition given at the Council of Chalcedon of how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus Christ...

 Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

, Jesus is the Word of God, which was in the beginning and, thus, is uncreated, and hence is God
God the Son
God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit...

, and consequently identical with the Creator of the world ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

.

The New Testament claims that God created everything by the eternal Word, Jesus Christ his beloved Son. In him
"all things were created, in heaven and on earth.. . all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Mormon


{{Main|Mormon cosmology}}
Mormon cosmology draws from Biblical cosmology, but has many unique elements provided by Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

 founder Joseph Smith, Jr.

According to Mormon cosmology, there was a pre-existence
Pre-existence
Pre-existence , beforelife, or pre-mortal existence refers to the belief that each individual human soul existed before conception, and at conception one of these pre-existent souls enters, or is placed by God, in the body...

, better described as a pre-mortal life, in which human spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

s were literal children of heavenly parents. Though their spirits were created, the essential "intelligence" of these spirits is considered eternal, and without beginning. During this pre-existence, two plans were said to have been presented, one championed by Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 (Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

) that would have involved loss of moral agency, and another championed by God the Father. When his plan was not accepted, Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 is said to have rebelled and taken a third of the hosts of heaven
Heavenly host
Heavenly host refers to an army of good angels mentioned in the Bible. It is led either by the Archangel Michael, Jesus, or by God himself. Most descriptions of angels in the Bible describe them in military terms, such as encampment , command structure , and combat...

 with him to the earth to serve as tempters. According to a plan of salvation
Plan of salvation
According to doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, the plan of salvation is a plan that God created to save, redeem, and exalt humankind...

 as described by God the Father, Jesus would create the earth, under the direction of God the Father, as a place where humanity would be tested. After the resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 all men and women except spirits that followed Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

 and the sons of perdition
Son of perdition (Mormonism)
Son of perdition is a phrase used in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and by Mormon fundamentalists to describe a person who will not take part in the glory of God in the afterlife...

 would be assigned one of three degrees of glory
Degrees of glory
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' theology, there are three degrees of glory which are the ultimate, eternal dwelling place for nearly all who lived on earth after the Spirit world.Joseph Smith, Jr...

. Within the highest degree, the Celestial Kingdom, there are three divisions, and those in the highest of these divisions would become gods and goddesses through a process called exaltation or "eternal progression". This would involve having spirit children and populating new worlds.

The Earth's creation, according to Mormon scripture, was not ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, but organized from existing matter. The faith teaches that this earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and that there are many governing heavenly bodies, including a planet or star Kolob
Kolob
Kolob is a star or planet described in Mormon scripture. Reference to Kolob is found in the Book of Abraham, a work published by Latter Day Saint prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. According to this work, Kolob is the heavenly body nearest to the throne or residence of God...

 which is said to be nearest the throne of God. According to some Mormon sources, God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

 himself was once like a human, and lived on a planet with his own higher god.

Hinduism



{{Main|Hindu cosmology}}

The Hindu cosmology and timeline is the closest to modern scientific timelines and even more which might indicate that the Big Bang
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

 is not the beginning of everything but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes. It also includes an infinite number of universes at one given time.

The Rig Veda questions the origin of the cosmos in:
"Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed? And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows? Who can declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The devas (demigods) were born later than this world's creation, so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it. He who surveys it in the highest heavens, he alone knows-or perhaps does not know." (Rig Veda 10. 129)



The Rig Veda's view of the cosmos also sees one true divine principle self-projecting as the divine word, Vaak, 'birthing' the cosmos that we know, from the monistic Hiranyagarbha
Hiranyagarbha
Image:Hinducosm Map1.svg|thumb|Click an area to go there. This is one of many material universes, Brahmāṇḍa, which expand from Mahā Viṣṇu when He breathes.|400px|alt=One Brahmāṇḍa, with Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇurect 216 61 277 80 Brahma...

 or Golden Womb. The Hiranyagarbha is alternatively viewed as Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

, the creator who was in turn created by God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, or as God (Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

) himself. The universe is considered to constantly expand since creation and disappear into a thin haze after billions of years.{{Citation needed|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo4b8EiY9Vk&feature=related|date=October 2010}} An alternate view is that the universe begins to contract after reaching its maximum expansion limits until it disappears into a fraction of a millimeter.{{Citation needed|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo4b8EiY9Vk&feature=related|date=October 2010}} The creation begins anew after billions of years (Solar years) of non-existence.

The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma, the creator or kalpa
Kalpa
Kalpa is a small town in the Sutlej river valley, above Recong Peo in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India, in the Indian Himalaya. Inhabited by Kinnauri people and famous for its apple orchards. Apples are a major cash-crop for the region...

) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

 rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya
Pralaya
Pralaya, in Hindu cosmology, is an aeonic term which specifies different periods of time during which non activity situation persists, as per different formats or contexts...

 (Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Human Years) that represents Brahma's lifespan. Similarly at a given time there are an infinite number of Brahma's performing the creation of each of these universes that are infinite in number. of a It must be noted that Brahma is the creator but not necessarily regarded as God in Hinduism. He is mostly regarded as a creation of God / Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

.

We are currently{{when|date=October 2011}} believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 156 trillion years have elapsed since He was born as Brahma. After Brahma's "death", it is necessary that another 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Years) pass until a new Brahma is born and the whole creation begins anew. This process is repeated again and again, forever.

Brahma's day is divided in one thousand cycles (Maha Yuga
Yuga
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Satya Yuga, the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga, and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is...

, or the Great Year). Maha Yuga, during which life, including the human race appears and then disappears, has 71 divisions, each made of 14 Manvantara (1000) years. Each Maha Yuga lasts for 4,320,000 years. Manvantara is Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

's cycle, the one who gives birth and governs the human race.

Each Maha Yuga consists of a series of four shorter yugas, or ages. The yugas get progressively worse from a moral point of view as one proceeds from one yuga to another. As a result, each yuga is of shorter duration than the age that preceded it. The current Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga...

 (Iron Age) began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.

Space and time are considered to be maya (illusion). What looks like 100 years in the cosmos of Brahma could be thousands of years in other worlds, millions of years in some other worlds and 311 trillion and 40 billion years for our solar system and earth.

Islam


{{Main|Islamic cosmology|Sufi Cosmology}}

Islam preaches that God, or Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

, created the universe, including Earth's physical environment and human beings. The highest goal is to visualize the cosmos as a book of symbols for meditation and contemplation for spiritual upliftment or as a prison from which the human soul must escape to attain true freedom in the spiritual journey to God. Islam elaborates on cosmology in many instances. A modern English translation of the Quran describes the creation of the universe as follows:"We have built the heaven with might, and We are Steadily Expanding it."51:47 Earlier English translations like for example Ahmed Ali, The Noble Qur'an, Pickthal, Shakir and Yusuf Ali never specify the expansion as a process that is still going on so it seems to be an addition after the expansion of the universe became a generally accepted scientific fact.

Below here there are some other citations from the Quran on cosmology.

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined
together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made
from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?"
21:30 Yusuf Ali translation

"The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books
(completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a
new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it."
21:104 Yusuf Ali translation

Jainism


{{Main|Jain cosmology}}
Jain cosmology considers the loka, or universe, as an uncreated entity, existing since infinity, having no beginning or an end. Jain texts describe the shape of the universe as similar to a man standing with legs apart and arm resting on his waist. This Universe, according to Jainism, is narrow at the top, broad at the middle and once again becomes broad at the bottom.

{{IAST
Mahapurana (Jainism)
Mahapurana is a major Jain text composed largely by Acharya Jinasena during the rule of Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha and completed by his pupil Gunabhadra in the 9th century CE. The section composed by Gunabhadra is called "Uttarapurana"...

 of Ācārya Jinasena
Jinasena
Jinasena is the name of several famous Jain Acharyas of the Digambar tradition.* The author of Harivamsha Purana in the 8th century. He belonged to the Punnata branch of Jain monks....

 is famous for this quote:
"Some foolish men declare that a creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected. If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now? How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression."

Taoism


{{Main|Chinese creation myth|Tian}}
The cosmology of Taoism beliefs is a complex mixture of different beliefs. There is a "primordial universe" Wuji (philosophy)
Wuji (philosophy)
Wuji 無極 originally meant "ultimateless; boundless; infinite" in Warring States Period Daoist classics, but came to mean the "primordial universe" prior to the Taiji 太極 "Supreme Ultimate" in Song Dynasty Neo-Confucianist cosmology...

, and Hongjun Laozu
Hongjun Laozu
Hongjun Laozu lit. "Great Balance Ancestor" is a Daoist deity and legendary teacher of the Three Pure Ones in Chinese mythology. Hongjun 鴻鈞 is a graphic variant of hungjun "primordial nature", as used in the Chinese idiom Xian you hongjun hou you tian 先有鸿钧后有天 "First there was Nature and then...

, water or qi
Qi
In traditional Chinese culture, qì is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as life energy, lifeforce, or energy flow. Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts...

. It transformed into Taiji
Taiji
Taiji 太極 is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality, contrasted with the Wuji 無極 "Without Ultimate"...

 and multiplied into everything. The Pangu
Pangu
Pangu was the first living being and the creator of all in Chinese mythology.- The Pangu legend:...

 legend tells a formless chaos
Chaos (cosmogony)
Chaos refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, more specifically the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth....

 coalesced into a cosmic egg
World egg
A world egg or cosmic egg is a mythological motif found in the creation myths of many cultures and civilizations. Typically, the world egg is a beginning of some sort, and the universe or some primordial being comes into existence by "hatching" from the egg, sometimes lain on the primordial waters...

. Pangu emerged (or woke up) and separated Yin from Yang with a swing of his giant axe, creating the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 (murky Yin) and the Sky
Sky
The sky is the part of the atmosphere or outer space visible from the surface of any astronomical object. It is difficult to define precisely for several reasons. During daylight, the sky of Earth has the appearance of a pale blue surface because the air scatters the sunlight. The sky is sometimes...

(clear Yang). To keep them separated, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the Sky. After Pangu died, he became everything.