this film has no bearing towards religion... its more about psychology and philosophy ... this thread is a bit silly
Have you read The Republic?
I'm not offended to find myself defending what I think is the most internally consistent reading of this film that is possible. The problem here is that is that skeptics would be more convincing if they could offer a remotely reasonable explanation of why the ending is NOT a heaven sequence. But no-one is doing that. Because it is very hard to discredit the only interpretation that sensibly anticipates Nolan's own remarks that the only significance of the spinning top at the end lies in Cobb's decision to ignore it.
It seems bizarre to me to read anyone seriously argue that a screenwriter with a university degree in literature is not invoking religious ideas and themes when his script explicitly talks about "leaps of faiths", and has characters tell us "you have to die to wake up". Subtle religious allusion is Lucas crucifying Luke on a weathervane below Bespin in Empire, or Fincher spreading his killer in a cruciform position when he is arrested in Seven. Inception is not subtle on this particular point. I'm not sure how it could be less subtle.
Why in a story where names are so significant and symbolism (water, mirrors, etc.) consistently and conventionally applied, do we have children named after Christian apostles (pick two random characters from any films, what are the odds...)? Why are the themes of free will and original sin highlighted in the scene between Cobb and his father in Paris? And why do we get repeated visuals invoking Matthew 24.7 in the visuals of Limbo? The filmmakers went to considerable expense to show us special effects of the buildings on the beach crashing into the sea. The connection is to the children building sandcastles on the beach, and to Cobb and his wife constructing the world of Limbo. Saving this, I'll also take a good explanation for why Cobb falls into a bathtub in the opening scene. The only sensible explanation for this comes from the allegorical necessity of Limbo's destruction coming consistently by water.
The most serious rebuttal in this thread simply pointed to a number of other films in which the author claimed there was religious imagery (and in which there is). They did this presumably to argue that it is possible to read religious symbolism into films generally. Of course, the funny thing is that two of the films they cited had titles pulled directly from the bible, so all they really demonstrated was how influential biblical symbolism is when it comes to western culture.
Who is the chemist...?
Joseph? Not a subtle reference for someone who holds the keys to the world of dreams, although I don't think it's particularly significant and wouldn't hinge an interpretation on it either way. Ariadne on the other hand....