Famous religious figures and leaders

A selection of famous spiritual / religious figures and leaders. Many of these religious personalities have founded a new religion or new religious movement. In other cases, they helped to revitalise a particular religion or spiritual movement.

 

Sri Ramachandra (c. 7th century BC) A principle figure of the Ramayana – an important spiritual classic of Hinduism. Rama is considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu and the supreme teacher of dharma – the devotion to duty, self-control and virtue.

krishna Sri Krishna (3/4th Century BC) – Within Hinduism, Krishna is recognised as an Avatar of Vishnu. Krishna’s teachings to Arjuna form the basis of the Bhagavad Gita, which is considered one of the most sacred texts of Hinduism. Krishna is an important object of worship within the Vaishnava tradition.

mosesMoses (1391 BC – 1271 BC) Moses was a key prophet of the Old Testament. He received the Torah (law) on Mount Sinai, which include the Ten Commandments. Moses is a prophet within Judaism, but also Christianity and Islam.

lao-tzuLaozi (Lao Tsu) (c 571 BC) Laozi was a Chinese poet and philosopher. He was the author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism. Also important figure in traditional Chinese religions.

Pythagoras (c. 570 BC – c 495 BC) Greek philosopher, spiritual leader and mathematician. Pythagoras was credited by Plato with many key ideas in maths, science, ethics and philosophy. Pythagoras was a religious leader of a secret mystical school.

writerConfucius (551–479 BC) Chinese philosopher and author of The Analects. Confucius shaped Chinese culture, writing about family, loyalty, virtue and respect of elders. His philosophy created Confucianism.

ZarthushtraZoroaster / Zarathustra (c 550-523 BC) A prophet and spiritual teacher who founded the religion of Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster was a religious reformer teaching a monotheistic religion based on choosing between light and darkness / truth and falsehood.

mahaviraMahavira (540 BCE–468 BCE) Mahavira was an important propagator and reformer of Jainism. He helped to spread the Jain religion of non-violence across India.

buddhaBuddha (c 560BC – c 460BC) Siddharta the Buddha attained nirvana after years of meditation and spent many years teaching his philosophy of enlightenment. His teachings led to the creation of Buddhism.

Jesus Christ (around 0 AD – 32 AD) Jesus Christ was a spiritual teacher who taught a gospel of love and forgiveness. His message was spread by his disciples and it led to the birth of Christianity.

St Paul (c.5 – c. 67) – Missionary and influential early Christian. The letters of St Paul form a significant part of the New Testament. St Paul is responsible for the growth and development of Christianity as a modern religion.

maniMani (216–274 AD) founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity. Mani taught a form of gnostic Christianity fused with elements of Buddhism and Hinduism. Manichaeism, like Zoroastrianism, stressed the battle between good and evil and the necessity for individuals to strive for purification and greater devotion.

BodhidharmaBodhidharma (5th or 6th century AD) Buddhist spiritual teacher who travelled from India to China and founded the branch of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, which focuses on meditation as a path to enlightenment.

muhammadMuhammad (c. 570 – 8 June 632) Prophet and messenger of God. The revelations he shared became the foundation of the Qu’ran and the Muslim religion. His main spiritual teachings were centred on the complete “surrender” (lit. islam) to the One God.

SankaracharyaAdi Shankara (9th Century AD) Shankaracharya was a noted spiritual teacher and philosopher. He spread a philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, which stresses the underlying unity of creation. He also founded the Dashanami monastic order

St Francis of Assisi (1182 – 1226) St Francis devoted his life to poverty, chastity and living the truth of the Gospels. He successfully persuaded the Pope to allow the creation of a new religious order (The Franciscans) – devoted to the spirit of the gospels.

wycliffeJohn Wycliffe (1330 -1384) Translated some of first versions of Bible into English. Wycliffe was an early critic of the Papacy and clerical power. His followers became known as Lollards and were precursors to the Protestant Reformation.

historicalGuru Nanak (1469-1539) Spiritual Guru and founder of Sikhism. Nanak was born in a Hindu family, but taught God was beyond religious distinction and sought to teach that God was in all.

Sri Chaitanya (1486–1534) a devotee of Lord Krishna, Sri Chaitanya’s followers saw him as an incarnation of Vishnu. Sri Chaitanya taught the path of bhakti – devotional love for Sri Krishna. Chaitanya played a significant role in the revitalisation of Vaishnavism in India and Bengal in particular.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) – Sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church which he felt had been corrupted and lost its original focus. Luther was a principle figure in the Protestant reformation and growth of the Protestant tradition.

St_Ignatius_of_LoyolaIgnatius of Loyola (1491– 1556) Basque Spanish Priest and theologian. Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) during the Counter-Reformation – emphasising absolute loyalty to the Pope and Catholic Church.

Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582) – Spanish mystic, writer and reformer. St Terese of Avila was an influential and pivotal figure of her generation. She reformed and helped to expand the Carmelite order.

george-foxGeorge Fox (1624 – 1691 ) Founder of the Quaker movement – known as the Religious Society of Friends. Fox was a radical religious reformer who spoke against rituals and outer prestige, developing a religion which encouraged equality, the importance of silence and using meditation as well as scripture.

Emanuel_SwedenborgEmanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772) Christian mystic who wrote volume on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758). He advocated a version of Christianity where works count as much as faith.

Baal_Shem_TovBaal Shem Tov (1698–1760) Polish Jewish mystic. Founder of Hasidic Judaism. Baal Shem taught the importance of immanent spiritual experience and rejected some of the more legalistic aspects of Judaism.

John Wesley (1703-1791) – Anglican preacher and evangelist. Wesley is credited with founding the Anglican tradition of Methodism. Methodism stresses the role of social service to cultivate love of one’s fellow man.

jonathan-edwardsJonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758) American Christian revivalist preacher. Edwards was a leading figure in the Reformed movement of Christian evangelism which swept America in the Eighteenth Century. He gave a classic sermon – “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741)

Raja_Ram_Mohan_RoyRaja Rammohun Roy (1772 – 1833) Influential political and cultural activist who helped found the Brahmo Samaj. – A social / religious organisation dedicated to the revival of rational / modern Hinduism.

Brigham_YoungBrigham Young (1801 – 1877) was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement. He led his early Mormon followers to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Joseph_SmithJoseph Smith (1805 – 1844) Founder of Mormonism / Latter Day Saint movement. Smith published the Book of Mormon which is an important text to the Latter Day Saint Movement.

Bahá’u’lláh (1817 – 1892) Bahá’u’lláh was the founder of the Bahai Faith. Bahaism is a monotheistic faith which has roots with Shia Islam. Bahaullah is seen as the last in a line of prophets stretching from Moses, to Jesus, Muhammad and also Krishna and Buddha.

Mary_Baker_EddyMary Baker Eddy (1821 – 1910) Founder of Christian science – a new religious movement which believes physical illness is a mental illusion that can only be corrected through prayer.

William Booth (1829 – 1912) Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. This was a Christian humanitarian charity which sought to help and evangelise the underprivileged sections of society.

helena-blavetskyHelena Blavatksy (1831 – 1891) Co-founder of the Theosophical movement. Blavatsky was a medium and mystic who helped develop the esoteric and philosophical society.

Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886) An influential Bengali mystic and spiritual Guru. Ramakrishna followed the practises of all religions and came to the conclusion that all religions and sects could lead a man to God. The Ramakrishna Math was founded by his disciple Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902 ) A disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda helped bring yoga to the West and spoke about the underlying unity of world religions at the Parliament of World Religions (1893). Vivekananda also founded the Ramakrishna Movement or Vedanta Movement.

Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950 ) A spiritual Teacher, philosopher and poet. He taught an integral yoga – a yoga of world acceptance and divine surrender. His spiritual philosophy was expressed in works such as The Life Divine and Savitri.

Pope_John_XXIIIPope Saint John XXIII (1881 – 1963) Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1958-63). He instigated the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–65) which introduced many new reforms for the Catholic church.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: (1896-1977) Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the “Hare Krishna Movement”. His mission was to spread a form of Vaishnavism in the West.

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) – Albanian Catholic nun. Mother Teresa devoted her life to the care and service of the poor, especially in India where she founded her Missionaries of Charity organisation.

L._Ron_HubbardL Ron Hubbard (1911–1986) American science fiction writer and creator of Scientology religion.

Abbe Pierre (1912-2007) – French Catholic priest who found the Emmaüs movement, which has the goal of helping the poor, homeless and refugees.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918- 2008) Indian spiritual Teacher, who founded the popular Transcendental meditation movement.

Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) Polish Pope of the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II was an influential pope who helped define the role of the Catholic church in modern society.

Thich Naht Hanh (1926 – ) Vietnamese monk who inspired the movement of engaged Buddhism. Hanh has been a prominent peace activist and has written extensively on incorporating Buddhist teachings into everyday life.

Dalai Lama (14th) (1950 – ) The leader of Tibetans both politically and spiritually. The Dalai Lama taught the importance of loving kindness and a practical Buddhism for both Easterners and Westerners.

Pope Francis (1936 – ) The first Jesuit Pope and the first Pope from the Americas. Pope Francis has been credited with revitalising the Catholic Church by concentrating on the basic message of the Gospels, ‘selflessness, humility, charity and faith.’

ammaAmma Mata Amritanandamayi (1953 – ) Indian / Hindu saint who has embraced millions of pilgrims from around the world.

 

 

Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous spiritual / religious leaders”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net 20th March, 2015.

 

Related pages

Famous saints – Saints from different religious and spiritual traditions.

historicalSpiritual Teachers – Influential spiritual teachers, including Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, Milarepa, Meister Eckhart.

 

International Day of Happiness

20 March is the International Day of Happiness.

every-day-there-is-only-one-thing-happiness

Spread happiness, it will make you happy!

If you are happy, you will be more likely to get what you want and create less problems for other people.

To be happy, you might not be able to change your circumstances, but you can always change your attitude.

To be happy, try and see the good qualities in others; it gives much more joy than finding their bad qualities!

Don’t get frustrated, if things don’t turn out like you want them, try adapt and be detached from external misfortunes.

Just one smile, can change someone else’s day.

 

Famous people of the Romantic Period

The Romantic period or Romantic era lasted from the end of the Eighteenth Century towards the mid 19th Century.

Romanticism was a movement which highlighted the importance of:

  • The individual emotions, feelings and expressions of artists.
  • It rejected rigid forms and structures. Instead it placed great stress on the individual, unique experience of an artist / writer.
  • Romanticism gave great value to nature, and an artists experience within nature. This was in stark contrast to the rapid industrialisation of society in the Nineteenth Century.
  • Romanticism was considered idealistic – a belief in greater ideals than materialism and rationalism and the potential beauty of nature and mystical experience.
  • Romanticism was influenced by the ideals of the French and American revolution, which sought to free man from a rigid autocratic society. Over time, it also became more associated with burgeoning nationalistic movements, e.g. movement for Italian independence.

Famous Romantic Poets

poetWilliam Blake (1757 –1827) Poet, artist and mystic. Blake wrote Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, The Four Zoas and Jerusalem. Blake is not considered a classical romantic poet; but his new style of poetry and mystical experience of nature had a great influence on the growth of romanticism.

poetRobert Burns (1759 – 1796) Scottish romantic poet who was influential in the development of romantic poetry. He wrote in both English and Scottish and also contributed to radical politics.

poetSamuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 –1834) English romantic poet and member of the “Lakes Poets”. Coleridge’s famous poems included The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel and Kubla Khan. Coleridge helped to bring to England the concept of German idealism (an important strand of Romanticism)

poetLord Byron (1788 – 1824) English romantic poet, who led a flamboyant, extravagant lifestyle – travelling across Europe. His works included Don Juan, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and She Walks in Beauty.

poetPercy Bysshe Shelley (1792 –1822) English romantic poet, and friend to John Keats. Famous works include Queen Mab, Prometheus Unbound and Adonais – his tribute to Keats. Shelley was also an atheist and radical political writer.

poetJohn Keats (1795 – 1821) English Romantic poet. One of his best known works is Endymion: A Poetic Romance (1817). Famous poems include: A Thing of Beauty (Endymion), Bright Star, When I Have Fears, Ode To A Nightingale.

 

Writers of the Romantic period

willy-brandtJohann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) German poet, playwright, and author. Goethe’s work  The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) influential in creating an ideal of a passionate and sensitive main character.

Walter_ScottSir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. Scott’s novels gained a global appeal, and was an important romantic novelist. Notable works include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, and Waverley.

Mary ShelleyMary Shelley (1797 – 1851) English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, and travel writer. Shelley wrote Frankenstein (1818). Shelley was a political radical, expressing more support for greater social co-operation than typical of more individualistic romantics.

Honore_de_BalzacHonore de Balzac (1799 –  1850) French novelist and short story writer. Balzac was an influential realist writer who created characters of moral ambiguity – often based on his own real life examples. His greatest work was the collection of short stories La Comédie humaine.

frenchAlexandre Dumas (1802 – 1870) Author of historical dramas such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and the Marie Antoinette romances. Dumas was a larger than life character and influential writer.

frenchVictor Hugo (1802 – 1885) Perhaps the greatest French author. Noted for his poetry and novels. His novels include Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831. Also became a leading republican.

Gustave_FlaubertGustave Flaubert (1821 – 1880) Influential French writer who combined both literary realism with aspects of the romantic tradition. He is best known for his novel Madame Bovary (1857).

 

Writers of the American Romantic Era

Edgar_Allan_PoeEdgar Allan Poe (1809 –  1849) American poet and author. Poe is considered an influential member of the American Romantic movement. He wrote fiction, poetry, essays and literary criticism.

writerWalt Whitman (1819 – 1892) American poet. Wrote Leaves of Grass, a ground breaking new style of poetry. Whitman was a bridge between the movements of transcendentalism and realism.

writerEmily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) American female poet. Led secluded lifestyle, and left legacy of many short vivid poems, often on themes of death and immortality.

 

Romantic Artists

Eugene_Delacroix_-_La_liberte_guidant_le_peuple

Eugène Delacroix – La liberté guidant le peuple. Commemorates the French Revolution of 1830 (July Revolution) on 28 July 1830.

 

Francisco_de_GoyaFrancisco José de Goya (1746 – 1828) Spanish romantic painter. De Goya combined the classical style of the Old Masters with a new realism, ambiguity and imagination.

artistJohn M.W. Turner (1775 – 1851) British landscape artist. Known as the painter of light, Turner was an artistic figure from the Romantic period and one of precursors to impressionism.

ConstableJohn Constable (1776 – 1837) English romantic painter. Constable was noted for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale – offering an idealised view of the countryside – one of the ideals of romanticism.

Eugene_DelacroixEugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) French romantic painter. Delacroix was influential for pioneering an expressive use of colour, movement, imagination and romantic content. He was influential for the impressionists.

 

 

Composers of the Romantic period

Hector_BerliozHector Berlioz (1803 – 1869) French composer of the Romantic period. Berlioz composed a Requiem for 210 voices Grande messe des morts (Requiem) and Symphonie fantastique. 

Felix-MendelssohnFelix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) German composer of the romantic period. Mendelsshon wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His famous works include Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) (1830), Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844)

frederic-chopinFrederick Chopin (1810 – 1849) Polish born Classical composer. Important compositions include piano collections, Études, Opp. 10 and 25, and the 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Chopin also wrote numerous polonaises, sonatas, waltzes, impromptus and nocturnes.

Franz_LisztFranz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist. Liszt was a prominent member of the “New German School” of musicians. Significant compositions include: Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), “Liebesträume No. 3″.

TchaikovskyPyotor Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) Russian composer. Tchaikovsky was the greatest composer of the Romantic period. Compositions include the 1812 Overture, Romeo and Juliet Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor and ballet compositions – Swan Lake and Nutcracker.

Saint-SaensCamille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) French composer, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. Famous works include  Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880) and The Carnival of the Animals (1887).

Gabriel-FaureGabriel Faure (1845 – 1924) French composer of the late Romantic period. Faure composed intimate Chamber music and many compositions for the piano. Famous works include choral masterpieces – Pavane and Requiem, and his nocturnes for piano, such as Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”.

Edvard_GriegEdvard Greig (1843 – 1907) Norwegian composer. Greig was one of the most notable composers of the Romantic period. Famous works include – Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, IV. (In the Hall of the Mountain King) and Peer Gynt Suite No.1

Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous People of the Romantic Period”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 16 March 2015.

Related pages

leonardo-da-vinciPeople of the Renaissance (1350s to 1650s) The Renaissance covers the flowering of art and culture in Europe. Primarily in art, but also in science.

voltairePeople of the Enlightenment (1650s to 1780s) The enlightenment is a period which saw the growth in intellectual reason, individualism and a challenge to existing religious and political structures.

giuseppe-garibaldiPeople of the Nineteenth Century (1801-1900) Nineteenth Century saw the economic boom of the industrial revolution and world-wide movements for political change.

William_BlakeFamou Poets – The great poets – William Blake, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Homer, R. Tagore.

Famous Composers

A list of famous and influential composers throughout history, including the greatest composers Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

Composers of the Medieval period

hildegard-von-bingenHildegard von Bingen (1097 – 1179) German writer, mystic, composer and polymath. Hildegard wrote many liturgal songs, which pushed the boundaries of traditional Gergorian Chant. Her greatest work was Ordo Virtutum (Play of the Virtues) – a morality play.

Composers of the Renaissance period

 

 

john-dunstableJohn Dunstable (1390 – 1453) English composer of polyphonic music. Dunstable had a big influence on the development of music through his creation of chords with triads, which became known as the Burgundian School: la contenance angloise or “the English countenance” e.g Quam pulchra es.

Giovanni-da_PalestrinaGiovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 1594) Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music. Palestrina was a prolific composer of masses, mottets, madrigals and offertories. An influential work was Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass)

William_ByrdWilliam Byrd (1543 – 1623) English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony. He helped the development of Anglican church music, and also secular vocal music with his use of Tudor consort and keyboard fantasia.

Composers of the Baroque Period

 

Henry_PurcellHenry Purcell (1659-1695) English composer of the baroque period. Purcell wrote some early baroque classics such as Te Deum and Jubilate Deo. He also wrote for theatre and England’s first opera.

j.s.bachBach (1685 – 1750) German composer of the Baroque period. One of the most prolific composers of all time. Bach brought Baroque music to its pinnacle of musical maturity. Famous works of Bach include: Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor, St Matthew’s Passion, St John’s Passion; Bach also wrote organ pieces and over 300 sacred cantatas. Read On…

Famous Firsts

A list of famous firsts throughout human history. Including famous firsts in exploration, science, transport, politics, sport, culture and the arts.

First in Exploration

1492Christopher Colombus becomes the first European from a major power to land in the Americas (now Bahamas). Columbus was probably preceded by others, such as the Viking Leif Erikson in the 10th Century.

1773 – Captain James Cook – becomes the 1st person to cross the Antarctic Circle.

1911 – 14 December – Roald Amundsen (Norway) first to reach the South Pole.

Amundsen

Amundsen at the South Pole

 

1926 – Roald Amundsen (Norway) recognised as having being first to reach the North Pole.

1932 – Amelia Earhart – 1st transatlantic solo flight by a woman. Flying from Newfoundland to Ireland in 15 hours)

1947 – Chuck Yeager becomes the 1st person to fly faster than the speed of sound. (670 mph in the Bell X-1 rocket.)

everest

Mount Everest

 

1953 – Sir Edmund Hillary with Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay become the first men to climb Mt. Everest. Read On…

Quotes by Helen Keller

kellerHelen Keller (1880-1968) An American who became the first deaf blind person to gain a bachelor degree. She campaigned on issues of social welfare, women’s suffrage, disability rights and impressed many with her force of personality.

 

“I had now the key to all language, and I was eager to learn to use it. Children who hear acquire language without any particular effort; the words that fall from others’ lips they catch on the wing, as it were, delightedly, while the little deaf child must trap them by a slow and often painful process. But whatever the process, the result is wonderful. Gradually from naming an object we advance step by step until we have traversed the vast distance between our first stammered syllable and the sweep of thought in a line of Shakespeare.

The Story of My Life (1903)

“If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life, — if, in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing.”

– Optimism (1903)

“Once I knew the depth where no hope was, and darkness lay on the face of all things. Then love came and set my soul free. Once I knew only darkness and stillness. Now I know hope and joy. Once I fretted and beat myself against the wall that shut me in. Now I rejoice in the consciousness that I can think, act and attain heaven. My life was without past or future; death, the pessimist would say, “a consummation devoutly to be wished.” But a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living. Night fled before the day of thought, and love and joy and hope came up in a passion of obedience to knowledge. Can anyone who escaped such captivity, who has felt the thrill and glory of freedom, be a pessimist?”

– Optimism (1903)

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail. I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and every one, and make that Best a part of my life.”

– Optimism (1903)

“The idea of brotherhood redawns upon the world with a broader significance than the narrow association of members in a sect or creed; and thinkers of great soul like Lessing challenge the world to say which is more godlike, the hatred and tooth-and-nail grapple of conflicting religions, or sweet accord and mutual helpfulness. Ancient prejudice of man against his brother-man wavers and retreats before the radiance of a more generous sentiment, which will not sacrifice men to forms, or rob them of the comfort and strength they find in their own beliefs. The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next. Mere tolerance has given place to a sentiment of brotherhood between sincere men of all denominations.”

– Optimism (1903)

“The bulk of the world’s knowledge is an imaginary construction.”

The Five-sensed World (1910)

“We differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses, but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond the senses.”

The Five-sensed World (1910)

“The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus — the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.”

– The Five-sensed World (1910)

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

We Bereaved (1929)

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”

The Simplest Way to be Happy (1933)

“It all comes to this: the simplest way to be happy is to do good.”

The Simplest Way to be Happy (1933)

Quotes on Politics

“Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.… You ask for votes for women. What good can votes do when ten-elevenths of the land of Great Britain belongs to 200,000 and only one-eleventh to the rest of the 40,000,000? Have your men with their millions of votes freed themselves from this injustice?”

Letter published in the Manchester Advertiser (3 March 1911), quoted in A People’s History of the United States (1980) page 345.

“Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought. Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder. Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.”

“Strike Against War”, speech in Carnegie Hall (5 January 1916)

“Indeed, everything that could hum, or buzz, or sing, or bloom, had a part in my education…. Few know what joy it is to feel the roses pressing softly into the hand, or the beautiful motion of the lilies as they sway in the morning breeze. Sometimes I caught an insect in the flower I was plucking, and I felt the faint noise of a pair of wings rubbed together in a sudden terror….”

Hellen Keller - The Story of My Life

Related

 

Hellen Keller – The Story of My Life

Book Cover

 

Famous Swedish People

Despite a population of less than 10 million, Sweden has produced many famous people. Of particular note, despite a small population, Sweden is in the top 10 list of countries in terms of total number of Olympic medals (including Summer and Winter games) – This makes Sweden have one of the highest (4th) medal to population ratios in the world.

Emanuel_SwedenborgEmanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772) Born Stockholm, Swedenborg was a noted mining engineer, innovator, scientist, philosopher and Christian mystic. He wrote an influential volume on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758). He advocated a version of Christianity where works count as much as faith.

Alfred_NobelAlfred Nobel (1833 – 1896) Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. Nobel invented dynamite and held 350 other patents. He left a legacy to fund prizes for key sciences, and most notably the Nobel Peace Prize – which is one of the most prestigious prizes in the world.

Tage_ErlanderTage Erlander (1901 – 1985) Sweden’s longest serving Prime Minister from (1946 – 69). Erlander was a moderate who expanded social welfare and maintained Sweden’s strict neutrality and remaining nuclear free.

Dag_HammarskjoldDag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961), Second Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953-61.Hammarskjold played a key role in the the development of the embryonic United Nations in the difficult Cold war years of the 1950s.

Raoul_WallenbergRaoul Wallenberg (1912 – 1945) Swedish architect, businessman and diplomat. Whilst serving as special envoy to Hungary during Second World War, Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of Jews from persecution by offering them Swedish nationality and protection in Swedish buildings. He was taken by Soviet agents in Jan 1945 and died in Soviet custody.

Ingvar_KampradIngvar Kamprad (1926 – ) Business entrepreneur, Kamprad is the founder of the furniture chain IKEA. It has made him one of the richest self-made businessmen in the world. Based on a philosophy of simplicity, frugality and enthusiasm for the product.

Olof_PalmeOlof Palme (1927 – 1986) Two term Prime Minister for the Social Democrat party – from 1969-76 and 1982-86. Palme was a pivotal figure in Swedish politics. He also committed Sweden to a policy of non-alignment with the major blocs (US / Soviet). He also supported Third World Liberation movements. Assassinated on the street in 1986.

 

 

Film / Music

Greta_GarboGreta Garbo (1905–1990) actress. One of the greatest female actresses. Garbo was a star of both silent film and early talkies. She was awarded an honorary Academy award in 1954.

Ingrid Bergmaningrid-bergman (1915 –  1982) Swedish actress who was highly regarded for her roles in influential films, such as Casablanca (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) and Anastasia (1956). She is the second most decorated Hollywood actress, with three Oscars.

directorIngmar Bergman (1918 – 2007) Swedish film director who was highly influential in shaping a new strand of film addressing issues of faith, death and sex. Famous films include: The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Fanny and Alexander (1983) and The Magician (Ansiktet) (1960).

abbaAbba (1972 -82) Hugely successful pop group from Stockholm. Comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad they sold 300 million plus records worldwide.

 

Famous Sports Persons

tennisBjorn Borg (1956 – ) (Sweden, tennis) During a relatively short career, he won 11 Grand slam titles. (he won 89% of Grand slam games he participated in – a record today.

Ingemar_StenmarkJan Ingemar Stenmark (1956 – ) Widely considered the greatest Slalom skier of all time. Stenmark won a record 86 Slalom World Cups over a career of 16 seasons.. Double Olympic medallist and three World Championships.

Jan-Ove_WaldnerJan-Ove Waldner (1965 – ) (Sweden, table tennis). Waldner has been at the pinnacle of table tennis for over two decades.  He won a medal at every World Championship from 1983 to 2001. Olympic gold medallist in 1992.

Magda_Forsberg_AntholzMagdalena “Magda” Forsberg (1967 – ) Forsberg was the dominant biathlete during her career of 1997 to 2002. She was World Champion six consecutive times and

Annika_SorenstamAnnika Sörenstam (1970 – ) (Sweden, golf) Most successful female golfer. Sorenstam has won 72 official LPGA titles.

zlatan-IbrahimovicZlatan Ibrahimović (1971- ) Swedish striker who has played for Ajaz, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, A.C. Milan Paris St Germain and Sweden national team. For Sweden he scored 51 goals from 100 games. He is also known for his acerbic charismatic personality.

Anja_ParsonAnja Sofia Tess Pärson (1981 – ) Olympic gold medallist and seven times World Champion. The versatile Alpine Skier has won 42 World Cup meetings, including Giant Slalom, Downhill, Slalom and Super G.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous Swedish people”, Oxford, UK www.biographyonline.net 9th February 2015

Related pages

Indian Independence Movement

The Indian independence movement encompasses the efforts to free India from British rule from the Nineteenth Century until the granting of Independence in 1947. The Independence Movement involved a range of different strategies from revolutionary acts of violence, to peaceful non-violent protests.

Leaders of the Independence movement

GK-GokhaleGopal Krishna Gokhale 1866 – 1915 Gokhale was an early leader of the Indian National Congress. Gokhale supported social and political reform which would give India greater autonomy. He was considered a moderate for working with British institutions and opposing more direct approaches to independence. Gokhale was an important mentor to Gandhi.

gandhiMahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) The foremost political leader of the Indian independence movement. For over two decades, Gandhi led a peaceful independence movement, characterised by non-violent protests, such as boycotts and the Salt March. He commanded respect from both Hindus and Muslim, but, despite seeking a united India, was unable to avoid the partition of 1947. He was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic in 1948.

sri_aurobindoSri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950)  One of the key figures in the early Indian Independence movement, Aurobindo initiated early efforts at full independence and was sympathetic to armed resistance. After his retreat to a spiritual ashram, he rarely spoke on political matters apart from in 1942, where he urged Congress and Gandhi to accept the Cripps proposal to give Indian Dominion status. Sri Aurobindo became a noted philosopher, poet and spiritual Teacher.

al-JinnahAli Jinnah (1876 – 1948) Jinnah was leader of the All-India Muslim league from 1913 to 1947 and then as Pakistan’s first Governor. Initially Jinnah advocated Hindu-Muslim unity and supported the All-India Home Rule League. But from 1940, he rejected the idea of a united India, and advocated an independent Muslim state of Pakistan.

muhammad-IqbalSir Muhammad Iqbal (1877 – 21 April 1938) Iqbal was an Islamic poet, philosopher and politician. As President of the All-Muslim League, Iqbal was influential in promoting the idea of separate Muslim provinces and ultimately was influential in encouraging Jinnah to embrace the idea of a separate nation of Pakistan

nehruJawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) – Nehru was an influential nationalist from the 1910s. With the backing of Gandhi he came to lead Congress, moving the party to the left and seeking a united independent India. After Congress was politically diminished after the British crackdown on the ‘Quit India’ movement of 1942, Congress was unable to prevent the partition of India. Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) Indian nationalist leader. Netaji raised a united Indian army  (INA) of all religious faiths in an attempt to gain independence for India through military means.

 

 

Indian Revolutionaries

Bal_G._TilakBal Gangadhar Tilak (1856 – 1920) Prominent early leader of the Indian nationalist cause. Tilak was an early proponent of Swaraj and was imprisoned for sedition. Despite his radical stance, Gandhi saw Tilak as one of his political mentors.

Bipin-Chandra-PalBipin Chandra Pal (1858–1932) One of the early Indian nationalist leaders, who like Lala Rai and Tilak, proposed direct action to secure Indian freedom.

Lala_lajpat_RaiLala Lajpat Rai (1865 – 1928) Punjabi author and politician, Lal was a leader of the Indian independence movement. Lal died after sustaining injuries in a protest against British rule. This led to major demonstrations across India.

 

 

Chittaranjan_DasChitta Ranjan Das (1870-1925) Lawyer and politician – Das represented Sri Aurobindo at the Alipore bomb trial and founded the Bengali Swaraj ‘Independence’ Party in Bengal.

Surya_SenSurya Sen (1894 –  1934) Surya Sen was an Indian revolutionary who was elected President of the Chittagong Indian National Congress. In 1930, he led a group of revolutionaries in the Chittagong Armoury raid, and three years later was captured and executed.

Bhagat_SinghBhagat Singh (1907 – 1931) Singh was a leader of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Born a Sikh he became influenced by Marxist and Anarchist philosophies and was committed to gaining independence for India, through violence if necessary. He was executed in 1931 for his part in killing a British officer.

 

Women in the Independence movement

authorSarojini Naidu (1879-1949) Influential Indian author and poet. Also Indian independence activist and poet.

sister_NiveditaSister Nivedita (1867 – 1911) Born in Ireland, Sister Nivedita moved to India after meeting Swami Vivekananda in London, 1895. In India, she was involved in social work and the cause of Indian independence.

Annie_BesantAnnie Besant (1847 – 1933) Besant came to India because of her interest in Theosophy. She also campaigned for Indian independence and for a year was leader of the fledgling Indian National Congress in 1917.

Matangini_HazraMatangini Hazra (1870 – 1942) Hazra popularly known as “Gandhi Buri” was an Indian protester shot dead by the British Indian police in 1942. Hazra played a long role in the Indian independence movement. In 1942 the Quit India movement sought to take a police station in Midnapore district when she was shot carrying an Indian flag.

People of the Indian Renaissance

Raja_Ram_Mohan_RoyRaja Rammohun Roy (1772 –  1833) Considered the father of the Indian Renaissance for his attempts to promote reform and also protect Indian rights. He helped to found the influential Brahmo Samaj which was a reforming Hindu organisation dedicated to both modernisation and also promoting Hindu values.

Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886) An illiterate mystic. Ramakrishna inspired many influential people in both India and the West. His spiritual sadhana offered a synthesis of all the main religious and spiritual strands.

Jagadish_Chandra_BoseSri Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858 –  1937) Bengali polymath. Bose took an interest in a wide range of sciences. He made contributions to plant physiology, microwave optics and radio waves. Bose was part of the Indian scientific renaissance.

rabindranath_tagore-150Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) The Seer-Poet of modern India. Tagore, was the first Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Tagore was influential in creating a new genre of songs, and wrote the national anthem adopted by both India and later Bangladesh.

vivekanandaSwami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902 ) – Vivekananda played an important role in revitalising pride in India and Hinduism as a source of universal tolerance. Many leaders acknowledged their debt to Vivekananda for his inspiration, dynamism and motivation to uplift India – both materially and spiritually.

Dwijendra_Lal_RoyDwijendra Lal Roy (1863 – 1913) – Bengali poet and playwright. Wrote over 500 Bengali songs. Influential Indian nationalist, who opposed the partition of Bengal, and helped to raise the political awareness of Bengal.

kazai-NazrulKazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) Bengali poet, write, musician and revolutionary. Islam was a committed revolutionary often jailed for his protests against British rule. Also a noted composer and considered National Poet of Bangladesh.

 

Founding Fathers of India

Bankim_chandraBankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838 – 1894) Bengali poet, author and journalist. Bankim composed Vande Mataram – which became the national song of India and played a pivotal role in the Indian nationalist movement.

Sardar_patelSardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875 – 1950) Indian barrister and politician. Patel was a leading figure in the leadership of the Indian Congress and played a leading role in the Independence struggle. He was deputy Prime Minister 1947-50 and is considered one of India’s founding fathers for helping to integrate the Indian states after independence.

RadhakrishnanDr S. Radhakrishnan (1888 – 1975) Radhakrishnan was the foremost philosopher of modern Indian thought. He defended Hinduism and sought to make it relevant for the modern age. 2nd President of India.

Dr. B.R. AmbedkarDr._Bhim_Rao_Ambedkar (1891 – 1956) – Political activist and social reformer who campaigned for greater equality for ‘untouchable castes’ and women. Ambedkar played a key role in drafting the Indian constitution.

VenkataramanPresident R Venkataraman (1910 – 2009) Indian lawyer, Indian independence activist and Eighth President of India.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Indian Independence Movement, Oxford, UK www.biographyonline.net 9th February 2015″

Related

Quotes on Human Rights

un-charter

Some of the most famous and influential statements / quotes on human rights throughout modern history.

“In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.” -
- Magna Carta, (38), 15th June, 1215

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Famous people of the Cold War

The Cold War was a period of military and political tensions between the Soviet Union (and Warsaw Pact members) and the US (and NATO allies). The Cold War lasted roughly from 1947-1991.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the two wartime allies – Soviet Union and the US became increasingly split on ideological and political grounds. This led to the division of Europe into Eastern (Communist) block and Western Europe (democracy)

Berlin wall

Throughout the ‘Cold War’ the two main protagonists the Soviet Union and the US, avoided direct confrontation, but there was a confrontational build up in nuclear weapons and during the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ of 1961, the two sides came close to war. Also, throughout the period, minor conflicts, such as Korean war and Vietnam war, were played out in proxy between the major powers and their allies.

Key events in the Cold War include

  • Berlin Blockade (1948-49) Soviet Union trying to gain control of the whole of Berlin
  • Korean War (1950-53) US fighting Communist North Korea.
  • Berlin Crisis (1961) – Building of Berlin Wall to stop people leaving the East
  • Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) – Closest to nuclear war as Soviet Union moved nuclear missiles towards Cuba.
  • Vietnam War (1955-75) US involved in fighting Vietcong Communist forces
  • 1970s – Strategic Arms limitations talks leading to period of détente.
  • 1979 – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan restoring tensions.
  • 1980 – Olympic boycott. First by US in Moscow then by Soviet Union in US 1984.
  • Mid 1980s – Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduces perestroika (reorganisation) and glasnost (openness).
  • 1989. Gorbachev allows Eastern European countries to break away from Warsaw Pact and overthrow Communist one-party state.
  • 1991 – Formal dissolution of the USSR.

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) After leading Great Britain in the Second World War, he was one of the first leaders to raise the spectre of an ‘Iron Curtain’ descending across Europe.

Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) Eisenhower was supreme military commander of Allied forces in Western Europe. When President of the US 1953-61, he articulated a domino theory – arguing Communism should be stopped before allowing it to spread.  He ended the Korean War in 1953, but sent the first US troops to Vietnam and prepared to intervene in Cuba. He made some attempts to limit nuclear weapon proliferation, but this was generally unsuccessful and nuclear stockpiles increased on both sides.

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