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Religion A. Define – System of beliefs and practices through which people seek mental and physical harmony with the powers of the universe and through which they attempt to influence and accommodate the forces of nature, life, death Types 1. Ethnic – 24% animism, Hinduism, Judaism

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  • Religion

    A. Define – System of beliefs and practices through which people seek mental and physical harmony with the powers of the universe and through which they attempt to influence and accommodate the forces of nature, life, death


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  • Types

    1. Ethnic – 24%

    animism, Hinduism, Judaism

    2. Universalizing – 62%

    Christianity, Islam, Buddhism


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World Distribution of Religions

Fig. 6-1: World religions by continent.


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  • Ethic

  • Animism

  • B. Hinduism

  • Origin – Indus or Ganges River

    • 1500 BC (Rig Veda), 500 BC Hindu

  • Diffusion

  • 3. Beliefs – caste system


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C. Judaism

1. Origin – Iraq and Israel, 2000 B.C.

2. Diffusion

3. Distribution

D. Syncretism – cargo cult


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III. Universalizing

A. Christianity- 33%

1. Origin – Israel, 2,000 years ago

2. Branches - Roman Catholic, Protestant, E. Orthodox



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4. Christian Branches in the U.S.

Fig. 6-3: Distribution of Christians in the U.S. Shaded areas are counties with more than 50% of church membership concentrated in Roman Catholicism or one of the Protestant denominations.


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B. Islam - 20%

1. Origin - Saudi Arabia (Mecca, Medina)

7th cent A.D.

2. Diffusion

3. Beliefs - 5 Pillars

4. Sects - Sunni , Shiite/Shia


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  • Buddhism (6%)

  • 1. Origin – Ganges, 6th century A.D.

  • Diffusion

  • Beliefs - 4 noble truths


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B. Sacred architecture

1. Christian church


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2. Muslim Mosque

Mihrab and minbar




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Christian - Lourdes

  • C. Pilgrimage

  • 1. Destination

  • 2. Why go

  • 3. Impact-

  • Examples

  • Esquipulas – Black Christ

  • Islam hajj - Mecca (Makka)

  • Hindus – Ganges

  • Lourdes webcam


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Makkah during the Haj Pilgrimage

Virtual haj

The Ka’ba stands at the center of the Great Mosque (al-Haran al Sharif) in Makkah.


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