World religion

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For criticism see Criticism of World religion

World religion can mean

  1. any religion in the world (as distinct from any hypothetical extraterrestrial religions that may exist)
  2. a "major" religion (this itself may have different meanings)
  3. a universal religion
  4. a major universal religion (i.e. Christianity, Islam or Buddhism)

References:

  • The Times World Religions, 2002, covers sense 1, but has a part headed "World religions", in sense 2
  • Bechert & Gombrich, World of Buddhism, Thames & Hudson, 1984: Bechert on page 7 uses sense 3, while Gombrich on page 9 says there are only the 3 noted above under sense 4, so is presumably using the term in that sense.