The term theistic religion refers to a faith, such as Islam or Hinduism which views itself as a belief and activity in relation to one or more divine beings. These beings are sometimes referred to as 'supernatural', although this is not strictly accurate. In antiquity, the majority of such faiths were polytheistic - that is, consisting of the worship of a multitude of essentially independent deities in some kind of collection. The Roman state religion was the highest development of this form of worship, and effectively assimilated the majority of prevailing faiths in Europe before 300 CE.

Other theistic faiths are monotheistic - that is, honouring a single deity, ususally thought of as the only such being in existence. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the three most famous such faiths, and are generally understood to be worshipping the same god, usually referred to as God, with a capital initial.

In the four centuries straddling the turn of the Christian Era, there was something of a revolution in theistic religion, resulting in a strong swing from general polytheism to monotheism or a more structured polytheism. The Second Temple period of Judaism reinforced the Jewish idea of {the Name} as the only God, rather than simply the 'God of Gods' spoken of in earlier writings. The teachings of Zoroaster spread through Persia. Jesus of Nazareth created a form of Judaism, subsequently called Christianity, which could be 'sold' to the Romans. The anonymous author of the Bhagavad-Gita sparked a move in the Vedic tradition from simple polytheism to an understanding of the gods as part of an all-encompassing divine force.

Today, the vast majority of theistic religion is either monotheistic or conceived of on the Hindu model of gods as aspects of divinity. The latter standpoint is common among the resurgent Pagan movements. Theistic religion, conceptually, is to be contrasted with ethical religion, although there are elements of interaction, particularly in Christianity and Islam, where respect for the founder's moral teachings is seen in the light of the God who gave him his revelation.

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