Lists of 5 and 10 Inspired by Religious Populations in 2010 According to PEW

I have written about my summary of the PEW study on the now defunct Chinese Forum of Peking University. Essentially this is a research on estimated populations by religious affiliations by all countries of the World - adding up to a total of 6.9B in 2010. After classifying according to my geographical divisions, the results are:


East Asia - 1.6B (including 0.3B Buddhists)

South Asia - 1.6B (including 0.5B Muslims)

Europe and Americas -- 1.7B (including 1.4B Christians)

Middle East and North Africa - 0.6B Muslims

Sub-Sahara Africa -- 0.8B (of which 0.5B Christians, 0.3B Muslims)

Southeast Asia + Oceania -- 0.6B (0.2B each for Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists/Others)


So if I use Religious Affiliations crossed with regions to define the relative strength (population size) of different traditions as of 2010, I can get


Buddhists - 0.5B

East Asia - 1.3B (ex - Buddhists)

South Asia + Hindu - 1.35B (count half of South Asian Muslims)

CWANA + Muslims - 1.35B (1.1B in MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia, and count half of South Asian Muslims)

Western + Christians - 2.4B (1.7B in Europe and Americas, plus 0.7B in Sub-Saharan

African and SE Asia)


Say if I want a list with only 5 canonical texts - I divide 6.9B by 5, each set 1.38B gets one book to represent their tradition, then with rounding I have 1 book each for E. Asia, S. Asia, and CWANA/Mulism, and 2 for West/Christian. This List of 5 would be:


1. Bible

2. Quran

3. Mahabharata

4. Shiji (Historical Records)

5  Shakespeare


The last one I need a work that represents the modern West - and given English as the hegemonic western language, using Shakespeare as the representative seems more relevant than using a Classical Greek/Latin work or Marx. This list of 5 does not have any specific philosophical works. And this is just my List of 6 minus Plato.


Now for a List of 10 canonical texts, each 0.69B of population gets one book to represent their tradition. then with rounding I have:


1 Buddhist work - Samyutta Nikaya

2 East Asia - Shiji, Wang Bi works

2 South Asia -- Mahabharata, Samkara's Brahmasutrabhasya

2 CWANA/Islamicate -- Quran, al-Tabari's History

3 West/Christian -- Bible, Shakespeare, St. Augustine


St. Augustine instead of Plato because Christians are predominant, and having a Latin work (as source of Romance language) makes sense. Each half of the world (e.g. "South" with CWANA+South Asia+Buddhist and "North"; or "East" with E. Asia, South Asia plus Buddhist and "West") will have at least a book representing each of the 4 genre categories (Scriptures, History, Philosophy, Literature).


Using 2010 religious population I can finally get to a somewhat "stable" list of canonical works - though the weakness is obvious - that by 2020 or 2025 or 2050 the sense of porportions would need to be different again!