Religion Development


The Indus River Valley civilization begins to develop

2500 BCE

The first evidence points to the Indus River Valley civilization developing around 2500 BCE. Archaeological evidence suggests that early Hindu practice begins here.

Abraham was born

1813 BCE

Abraham is born in 1813 BCE. God chooses Abraham to be the father of Isaac, the founder of the Jewish people. This people will be special to God, as well as an example of holiness to others around the world.

Abraham forms the first covenant with God

1713 BCE

Around 1713 BCE, Abraham circumcises himself, and this act symbolizes the covenant between God and all his descendants. Under this covenant, God promises to make Abraham the father of a great nation, and to give his descendants the land that later becomes Israel. This is the basis for male circumcision in the Jewish faith.

The Vedic Age begins

1500 BCE

The Vedic Age which was the period in which the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, the Vedas, are written, begins. This period signaled the rise of large, urbanized areas and the shramana movements.

Moses leads the Jews on an exodus from Egypt

1280 BCE

For several hundred years, the Jews are enslaved in Egypt. Moses, a Jewish man raised as an Egyptian prince, is appointed God's prophet. He lead his people out of enslavement on a journey to Canaan which was known as the Exodus. During this time, Moses presents the Israelites with the Ten Commandments and forms a new covenant with God, which lays the foundation for the Jewish religion.

King Solomon constructs the First Temple

970 BCE

King Solomon of Israel builds his crowning achievement, the First Temple, on Mount Moriah. This temple houses the Ark of the Covenant, a holy relic that contains the Ten Commandments. Several hundred years later, the temple is destroyed by the Babylonians.

The major Upanishads are written

800 BCE

The eleven major Upanishads are written around 800 BCE, and these become fundamental texts of Hinduism. These introduce the ideas of reincarnation and karma, that those who are righteous in the current life will be reborn in a better life until they eventually reach Nirvana, or the holy bliss.

The Assyrians conquer Israel and launch the Jewish diaspora

722 BCE

The Assyrians conquer the kingdom of Israel and force the ten tribes to resettle in other parts of the empire, according to Assyrian custom. The scattering of the tribes is the beginning of the Jewish diaspora, or living away from Israel, which characterizes much of Jewish history. Jewish diaspora continued from that time forward.

Taosim founded

550 BCE

Taoism founded; Tao-Te Ching written by Lao Tze.

The Epics and Puranas are written

500 BCE

The Epics, and the Puranas, are written around 500 BCE. These signal the beginning of devotional Hinduism, in which followers commit themselves to one deity, particularly Shiva or Vishnu, though Devi is popular as well.

Confucius was born

500 BCE

Confucius was born in the chinese state of Sung, during the Spring and Autumn period into a position of low nobility.

Siddhartha Gautama is born

490 BCE

Siddhartha Gautama was born around 490 BCE in northern India His parents belong to the Shakya caste, and his father is a respected head of the community. Although he is relatively wealthy, Gautama is exposed to human suffering from an early age.

Confucious died

479 BCE

Their leader had passed away.

Gautama leaves home to search for a solution to suffering

461 BCE

He leaves home around 461 BCE to search for a solution to human suffering. For about six years he practices yoga and experiments with extreme asceticism as he tries to find answers.

Gautama gains his first followers

455 BCE

After becoming the Buddha, Gautama gives his first sermon in a deer park called Sarnath, near the city of Varanasi. Known as the time when the Buddha "set in motion the wheel of the law," this sermon is the first time he explains the four noble truths, the eightfold path towards ending suffering, and the middle way between asceticism and luxury. Shortly afterwards, Gautama gains his first disciples, Sariputra and Mahamaudgalyayana, and the monastic community of Sangha is established.

Gautama becomes the Buddha

455 BCE

After realizing that extreme asceticism will not help him solve the problem of human suffering, Gautama sits under a ficus tree and becomes enlightened. He is known as "the Buddha," or "the enlightened one." He realizes that his thinking was the only obstacle to freeing himself from his cares, and that if he separates himself from his human desires, he will no longer suffer.

Buddhism is introduced in Korea.

372 BCE

Under the reign of King Sosurim of the Kingdom of Koguryo, Buddhism enters Korea in 372.


371 BCE - 289 BCE

Formal teachings of Confucius

Philophosy of Taoism

350 BCE

Chuang-Tzu further develops Taoist philosophy.

The Maurya Empire is founded (Hinduism)

320 BCE

Chandragupta founds the Maurya Empire in the Indian subcontinent around 320 BCE, which goes on to become one of the world's largest empires in its time. Hindu ministers, including Chanakya, initially introduce Hinduism as the major religion of the empire, but under Ashoka's leadership, the empire later embraces Buddhism.

Emperor Ashoka adopts Buddhism as India's state religion

261 BCE

Emperor Ashoka, who rules India between 268 and 232 BCE, adopts Buddhism as India's state religion after regretting the carnage of war. Under his patronage, Buddhist missionaries travel around Asia, monks are given political influence, and Buddhist ideas are generally accepted. Ashoka's rule plays a crucial role in the spread of Buddhism.

Qin Dynasty ordered to destroy books

221 BCE - 206 BCE

Qin Dynasty ordered the Confucius to destroy all of the books.

Han Dynasty

206 BCE - 220 CE

Period of the Han dynasty.

The Maccabees regain control of Jerusalem and purify the Temple

164 BC

Alexander the Great's successors launch a campaign of Hellenization in Israel, and they erect a statue of Zeus in the second Temple of Jerusalem and outlaw Jewish observances. The Jews revolt, led by a group known as the Maccabees, and in 164 BCE they regain control of Jerusalem and purify the Temple. This event forms the basis of the celebration of Hannukah.

Taoism develops books

150 BCE

Immortality Taoism develops; Taiping Jing is compiled.

First Gospel was published

60 AD

First Gospel published ( that was written by Mark)

Christianity moved towards Rome and Italy

70 AD

Centre of Christianity moves to Antioch, Alexandria and Rome.

Romans spread Christainity

80 AD - 160 AD

Widespread persecution of Christians under Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Two more books were written for Christians

90 AD

Book of Revelation and Gospel of Saint John written.

Christainity was founded

100 AD

The founder of this religion was Jesus Christ and Christians believe that Jesus is the incarnation of God.

Mentioning Confucius

100 CE

First mention of cult of Confucius. Han emperor sends representative to respect the Confucius' grave.

Emphasis of Confucius Texts

124 CE

Emperor Han Wudi makes Confucian texts the basis of training for bureaucrats

The Sects were found in Taoism

142 CE

Zhang Ling founds the sect of the Way of Five Bushels of Rice.

The leader of Taoism organized the sects

155 CE

Zhang Lu organizes the Way of Five Bushels of Rice into religious communities, which become known as Taoism of Heavenly Masters.

The Mishna is compiled and codified

200 CE

Because of these tragedies, Jewish academics focus on compiling and codifying the teachings of the Rabbis. Around 200, the Mishna, or a collection of rabbinic teachings, sayings, and interpretations, is compiled. Soon after the Talmud, an expansion of the Mishna teachings, is compiled in Palestine and later updated in Babylon.

Taoism introduces new concepts

226 CE

Wang Bi introduces Taoist concepts into Confucian learning.

The first country to take Christianity as their religion

301 AD

Armenia becomes the world's first country to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion.

Christianity becomes an religion in Rome

313 AD

Edict of Milan issued by Constantine - Christianity becomes a religion within the Roman empire

Ge Hong writes a book

320 CE

Ge Hong (283-363) writes The Master Who Has Embraced Simplicity.

The Gupta Empire is founded

320 CE

Around 320 CE, Maharaja Sri Gupta founds the Gupta Empire. The Gupta Empire covered most of India. It ushers in an era of peace and prosperity that allows Hindu culture to stabilize and spread.

The Gupta Empire falls

500 CE

Overrun by the invading Hun, the Gupta Empire got weaker and was destroyed around 500 CE.

Buddhism is introduced in Japan

538 CE

The ruler of the Korean kingdom Baekje presents an image of the Buddha, as well as scripture-scrolls, to the Japanese Emperor Kimmei in 538, thus officially introducing Buddhism to Japan. After some dispute, the Japanese emperor accepts the religion, and it is declared the official religion 40 years later. Buddhism quickly becomes the center of Japanese culture.