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6x17-Religion
Lost referenced many different faiths.

Because of the mysterious occurrences on the Island, and the varied predispositions of its inhabitants, many different religions and ideologies are explored in Lost. The characters themselves represent several faiths, and the show alludes to various religious beliefs and stories, such as belief in God.

Abrahamic religions

Christianity

Main article: Christianity

Christian characters: Richard Alpert, Isabella, Amina, Kate Austen, Kevin Callis, Brother Campbell, Daniel, Eloise Hawking, Desmond Hume, Eko's monsignor, Rose Nadler, Charlie Pace, Carmen Reyes, Hugo Reyes, Jack Shephard, Sarah Shephard, Eko Tunde, Yemi Tunde

Throughout the show, Christianity is referred to the most among other religions and ideologies. Some explicit references are made through the characters own practices, and other implicit references are found in the storyline, mostly to reflect the general concept of "Faith" more than the specific religion.

Judaism

Main article: Bible

Though no single character has explicitly acknowledged Judaism as their professed religion, elements from Judaism factor into the show's mythology and symbolism as well. Many of the references to Judaism come from the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, which is also used by Christians as the Old Testament. Often, these references are made by characters with Christian backgrounds.

Frank Lapidus has not attested to any religion, but his last name is of Hebrew origin. Lapidus was the husband of the prophetess Deborah. The name literally means 'torches'.

Also, the name Ilana, ie: Ilana Verdansky is a common Israeli name. In Hebrew it means 'tree'.

Islam

Muslim characters: Sayid Jarrah, Omer Jarrah, Essam Tasir, Nadia Jazeem, Imam

Allahuakbar
Sayid prays in a mosque in Sydney.("The Greater Good")

Islam enters the storyline through Sayid. Like many other characters, Sayid perhaps moves towards faith and spirituality, a strong factor in helping him atone for his past. Islam's as a wide range of beliefs, including the fate and free will dilemma and views on redemption, may inspire a number of Sayid's actions and emotional struggles. Sayid has referenced his faith explicitly and implicitly through Islamic rituals and faith-inspired decisions.

Sayid prayed on and off the Island with different mindsets. Before the crash, Sayid prayed to approach Essam. His desire to provide Essam a proper Islamic burial delayed his flight, causing him to board the fated Flight 815. ("The Greater Good") Sayid later prayed genuinely on the Sailboat. He also prayed at Shannon's grave, leaving his prayer breads at the cross, bridging separate religions. ("?") While hanging in Rousseau's trap, Sayid recites the Islamic testimony of Faith (Shahadah), the last words Muslims should say before death. ("Solitary")

Sayid suggested the burying deceased bodies from the middle section and opposed Jack's decision to burn them along with the fuselage. He felt that neither he nor Jack had the right to disregard the deceased's religious beliefs. ("Walkabout") After the Essams's Sydney death, the Australian government prepared to cremate his body. Sayid claimed his body to avoid the cremation of his Muslim friend. ("The Greater Good") Also after praying, he walks over and closes the deceased Naomi's eyes. In this episode, he also says that she needs to return to her people and is seen leaving the island with her body. ("The Economist")

Sayid is likely a Sunni. He is from the predominantly Sunni Tikrit, fought in the largely Sunni Republican Guard and refers dismissively to Shiites. ("House of the Rising Sun") He drinks alcohol, murders and fornicates, all major sins in Islam.

Ben's bookshelves feature Islamic books, including a Qur’?n, Kings of Love: The Poetry and History of the Ni'Matullah Sufi Order and Caravan of Dreams by Sufi writer Idries Shah. ("The Economist") Nadia wears a medallion with the Islamic star and crescent. ("Sundown"), and The Black Rock's name may allude to the Kaaba Stone in Mecca.

Eastern religions

Buddhism

3x08-desmond-painting
A buddha appears in the painting Desmond sees in Charles Widmore's office. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

Casual references to Buddhism include the terms "dharma," which means duty, nirvana, Buddhism's ultimate goal, and Shambala, a mystical Himalayan hidden kingdom. Achara's name is a synonym for dharma, and Dogen's likely references Buddhist philosopher Dogen Zenji.

While Ben is a prisoner in The Swan, his orange shirt tears, exposing his shoulder, matching the style of a Buddhist monk's robe. The test Richard Alpert gives young John Locke resembles the test to determine the reincarnated Dalai Lama. ("Cabin Fever")

Locke tells Sun that he didn't find what he was looking for until he stopped looking, echoing a Zen Buddhist koan. ("...And Found") The Room 23 slideshow quotes the Buddhist text Dhammapada: "Plant a good seed and you will joyfully gather fruit." It also features the phrases, "We are the causes of our own suffering" and "Think about your life," which may reference the Buddhist Four Noble Truths. The slide stating "Everything Changes" is taken from the Buddhist "Three Concepts that are said to Characterize all Things". Anicca is the first of these three concepts which states that 'nothing is permanent, everything changes'. ("Not in Portland")

Images of Buddha appear in one of Charles Widmore's paintings and in the Room 23 slideshow. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")  ("Not in Portland") Jin passes a Buddha statue in "...In Translation", and a statue appears in letyourcompassguideyou.com Jeep ad. The dharmacakra, an 8 spoked wheel, occurs often in Lost. It represents the Buddhist Eightfold Path of enlightenment. The number 108 also holds significance for the Buddhist faith. The scale in the Man in Black's cave may represent the Buddhist Dharma-Raja's scale that weighs the souls of the dead.

Hinduism

18wheel
A Dharmacakra seen in a flashing image of the Psychology Test Orientation Video. (TLE)

"Dharma," "namaste," "Achara" and "108" have meanings in Hinduism as well as Buddhism. Karma, which several characters reference, is a central Hindu concept, and Colleen's funeral in "The Cost of Living" included dress and procedures reminiscent of Hindu customs.

Richard Alpert is the birth name of Baba Ram Dass, Hindu/New Age guru. The aum on a Thai boy's shirt in Phuket describes an all-encompassing Hindu entity ("Stranger in a Strange Land").

When Jack entered Eloise's church in the flashsideways, he walked by a picture of Krishna, who is worshiped by millions in India as the supreme Lord, the Divine Lover. There was also an Om symbol on a mural in the church ("The End").

Taoism

The Swan logo
The DHARMA Swan symbol is a bagua, with the swan neck forming a yin-yang.

The black and white theme references duality, a central Taoist tenet. The new Hanso Foundation logo looks like a stylized yin-yang symbol, and a ying-yang appears in Juliet and Rachel's apartment. (The Lost Experience)  ("Not in Portland") The DHARMA logos feature symbols from the I Ching, which is used as a divination method in Taoism. Tai Soo owns and believes in a "destiny book", which is a book of predictions and omens based on Taoist beliefs.

Mysticism

Followers of mysticism: Claire Littleton, Lynn Karnoff

New Age spirituality

Sweat Lodge
Locke's sweat lodge

Claire believes in astrology, and reads Rick Romer's Vision of Astrology. ("Confidence Man")  ("Left Behind") Two books in Jack's office are Parker's Astrology and Astrological Patterns. ("A Tale of Two Cities") * A Zodiac raft conveys people to and from the freighter, and letyourcompassguideyou.com's Jeep ad has an astrological zodiac at its center.

Isaac of Uluru is a "spiritual healer" who operates on a "place of power." ("S.O.S.") Hurley and Claire both visits psychics, but both later admit to being frauds. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead")  ("Raised by Another") Stranger in a Strange Land inspired the neo-paganist Church of All Worlds, and A Separate Reality inspired the early New Age movement. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")  ("He's Our You") Eloise Hawking wears an Ouroboros pin, a symbol common in alchemy and hermetic magic. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

Native American beliefs

Locke's commune features a sweat lodge, and Locke builds one on the Island to undertake a vision quest. ("Further Instructions") Normally, in Native tradition, vision quests entail going out into the wild, fasting for at least three days, and having no communication with the outside world.

Ben's bookshelf features Red Man's Religion: Beliefs and Practices of the Indians North of Mexico by Ruth Murray Underhill. ("The Economist") The letyourcompassguideyou.com Jeep ad features a Native American totem pole.

Australian Aboriginal beliefs

Locke planned to attend a walkabout. The tour in the show attracted towards tourists, but in Australian Aboriginal beliefs, a walkabout is done alone to commune with the spirits and oneself. ("Walkabout")  ("Cabin Fever")

The Uluru in Isaac of Uluru refers to a sacred site of the Australian Aboriginals also known as Ayer's Rock. ("S.O.S.") Many of the Glyphs resemble Aboriginal artwork. (The Lost Experience)

Mythological

Greek

Pandora's Box
Pandora: A John William Waterhouse painting of the classical Greek myth, Pandora's box, resembling the Hatch

Apollo bars, Cerberus vents, the Hydra, the Helios Foundation, Persephone and the medusa spider reference Apollo, Cerberus, the Hydra, Helios, Persephone and Medusa.

At the top of Jacob's tapestry is a quote from Homer's Odyssey which translates to “May the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires. A second tapestry Odyssey quote reads, "May the gods grant thee happiness," and at the bottom are Plato's words: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." ("The Incident, Part 1") Penny's name and role mirror's the Odyssey's Penelope.

The writers have referenced the Hatch as a metaphor for Pandora's Box. Locke tells Hurley he believes "hope is inside." The Staff symbol is a caduceus, the staff of Hermes.

Kronos is a fictional company shown in an ad in the soccer game Desmond is watching on television in a bar. Kronos is a titan, father of Zeus. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

Egyptian

Main article: Egypt in Lost

The show has contained numerous references to Egypt, possibly hinting at ancient Egyptian island inhabitants.

Sumerian

Locke's crossword puzzle references Gilgamesh and Enkidu, heroes in the Sumerian epic, The Tale of Gilgamesh. ("Collision")

General references to God

Pierre Chang and Eloise each use the phrase "God help us all."("Because You Left")  ("The Lie") Sawyer shouts "Thank you, Lord!" during a time shift, and Rose asks Bernard what God has to do to get his attention ("The Little Prince")  ("S.O.S.")

Ben asks Jack if he believes in God. Jack turns the question back on him, and Ben suggests Jack's existence on the Island (a spinal surgeon, when Ben has a fatal spinal tumor) is proof of God. ("The Cost of Living") Earlier, Ben told Locke, "God doesn't know how long we've been here, John. He can't see this island any better than the rest of the world can." ("Dave")

Sawyer reads Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. in "The Whole Truth".

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