Human religions can be usefully categorized as being centered in one of three traditions:
The Way of the Ancestors
This includes all the most ancient tribal forms of sacredness (and their modern revivals), as well as the polytheist paganisms of the great early civilizations, as well as Shinto and even the selfconsciously ancestor-oriented Confucianism.
The great virtue involved is reverence. The institution is the tribe (or post-tribal state). All, including the gods who emerge within it, is guided by Fate and subject to time.
The Way of the Prophets
This is a very influential but localized tradition, starting out in western Asia with Zoroaster and including the monotheisms of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Bahai, an Islamic offshoot, participates as well.
The great virtue involved is justice. The institution is the post-tribal sacred community. All is guided by personal divine will ruling over a created world. Time is linear. Human life is a one-time affair, a prelude to an eternal outcome.
The Way of the Sages
An Indic and East Asian tradition of dharma, expressed in the many varieties of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, Taoism and most recently Sikhism.
The great virtue is wisdom. The institution is the symbiosis of the specialists and the worldlings. All is ruled by impersonal karma. Time is illusory but cyclical. Life is cyclical.
These categories are pretty clear but not watertight. Judaism, being originally tribal, shows marks of the ancestor style, as well as having a secondary wisdom-literature streak. Apostolic Christianity developed a kind of ancestor-worship in the cult of the saints as well as, given its Greek philosophical milieu, a taste for the sapiential. Sikhism, which emerged in the tectonic tension between Hindus and Muslims, shows elements of both prophetic and sage styles.
It should surprise no one that when introverted-thinking type Ex Cathedra both re-wrote and re-organized* the Bible back in those years, the heart and literal center of his Gnostic scripture was composed of an elaborated creation myth set inside a frame of wisdom literature: Solomon's sayings, the Song of Songs, the Books of Job and Ecclesiastes, with elements from the Kebra Nagast, the Ethiopian saga of Sheba and her son.
Re-reading it I can see how much my thinking was dominated by the image of the reconciliation of opposites.
Not much of that now.
*A textbook example of what brilliant but impenetrable anti-Gnostic Hibernian Catholic theologian Cyril O'Regan names as the heart of Gnosticism: metalepsis, which is "the phenomenon of a complex disfiguration-refiguration of biblical narrative, or any first-order interpretation of it." Which is exactly what I instinctively did.