Sikhism is a religious and cultural movement based on the teachings of the Indian Guru Nanak (1469-1539 CE).
Sikhism currently emphasizes the oneness of God and unity of all faiths. For some, this is a self-evident stance. For others, it’s a kind of flawed homogenization of many different types of religion.
It is believed that a succession of 10 gurus (Nanak and his nine successors) has spread the word of the true guru–namely, God. Thus the religion is described as monotheistic.¹
The last Sikh guru died in 1708.
The sacred scripture of the Sikhs is called The Adi Granth, itself often referred to as a “guru.”
Sikh culture is highly distinctive; most choose to wear a turban within and beyond the borders of their Punjab homeland.
As with other world religions, the noble ideals of Sikhism are at times undermined by extremists, as evidenced by clashes at the holiest site of sacred pilgrimage, the Golden Temple.
¹ Toronto Catholic Archbishop Michael Collins once said, talking with a Sikh leader (with others present) on a televised interfaith dialogue, that Catholicism is not about a “glow” but rather, about serving God. This critique seems somewhat misguided as Sikhs are all about following God, setting up charities, etc. However, what I think the Archbishop might have been alluding to is the idea that, for some, the Holy Spirit differs in numinous quality from that of other numinosities. This point is almost impossible to demonstrate to those who don’t really have an eye for numinosity. To others, the difference is as plain as day.