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An Introduction to Human Geography The Cultural Landscape, 9e James M. Rubenstein. Chapter 6. Religion. Victoria Alapo, Instructor Geog 1050. Distribution of Religions.

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Chapter 6 l.jpg

An Introduction to Human Geography

The Cultural Landscape, 9e

James M. Rubenstein

Chapter6

Religion

Victoria Alapo, Instructor

Geog 1050


Distribution of religions l.jpg
Distribution of Religions

  • Universalizing religions – they attempt to be global & appeal to all people, in all locations, not just to a certain group or culture. E.g.

    • Christianity

    • Islam

    • Buddhism

  • Ethnic religions – appeals primarily to one group of people living in one place. E.g.

    • Hinduism

    • Judaism

    • Other ethnic religions e.g. Animism, Shamanism, etc (i.e. Traditional Religions)

    • Sometimes, univ. and ethnic religions mix e.g. in Africa, Louisiana, Haiti.


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World Distribution of Religions

World religions by continent. 60% of world population – universalizing region;

25% - ethnic religion; 15% - no religion.


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World Population by Religion

Over two-thirds of the world’s population belong to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. Christianity is the single largest world religion.


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Christian Branches in Europe

Protestant denominations, Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy are dominant in different

regions of Europe—a result of many historic interactions.


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Christian Branches in the U.S.

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.

The pattern reflects migration from Europe in the 19th century and from Latin America in recent years.


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Origins & Variations in Distribution of Religions

  • Origin of religions

    • Christianity: Jesus, born about 4 B.C.

    • Islam: Mohammed (born 570 A.D.)

    • Buddhism: Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, born about 563 B.C.)

    • Origin of Hinduism; no specific founder, but one of the oldest religions in the world.

    • Christianity, Judaism & Islam ALL have their HEARTH in the Middle East (however, Judaism is considered ethnic).

  • Diffusion of religions

    • Diffusion of universalizing religions – missionary work

    • Lack of diffusion of ethnic religions – lack of appeal to outsiders (tied to cultures)


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Diffusion of Universalizing Religions

Each of the three main universalizing religions diffused widely from its hearth.

Read caption, pg 192.


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Diffusion of Christianity

Christianity diffused from Palestine through the Roman Empire and continued diffusing through

Europe after the fall of Rome. It was later replaced by Islam in much of the

Mideast and North Africa. Pg 193


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Diffusion of Islam

Islam diffused rapidly and widely from its area of origin in Arabia. It eventually stretched

from southeast Asia to West Africa.


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Diffusion of Buddhism

Buddhism diffused gradually from its origin in northeastern India to Sri Lanka, southeast Asia, and eventually China and Japan.


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Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan

Since Japanese can be both Shinto and Buddhist, there are many areas in Japan where

over two-thirds of the population are both Shinto and Buddhist.


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Mecca, Islam’s Holiest City

Makkah (Mecca) is the holiest city in Islam and is the site of pilgrimage for millions of Muslims each year. There are numerous holy sites in the city.Pg 198.


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Holy Sites in Buddhism

Most holy sites in Buddhism are locations of important events in Buddha’s life and are

clustered in northeastern India and southern Nepal.


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Hindu Holy Places

Hierarchy of Hindu holy places: Some sites are holy to Hindus throughout India; others have

a regional or sectarian importance, or are important only locally.

Also includes the Ganges River, pg 199.


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Organization of Space

  • Administration of space

    • Hierarchical religions (e.g. Catholic Denomination, Mormons). Where authority/rules comes down from a centralized location to everyone, regardless of location.

    • Locally autonomous religions

  • Places of worship

    • Disposing of the dead; religious settlements; religious place names

  • The calendar

    • The calendar in ethnic and universalizing religions



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Place Names in Québec

Place names in Québec show the impact of religion on the landscape.

Many cities and towns are named after saints.


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Example of Religious Conflict: Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem contains holy sites for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


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Boundary Changes in Palestine/Israel

The UN partition plan for Palestine in 1947 contrasted with the boundaries that were established

after the 1948–49 War. Major changes later resulted from the 1967 War.


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The West Bank:Political and Physical Geography

Political control of the West Bank has been split between Palestinians and Israelis (though under

overall Israeli control). The West Bank includes many of the higher altitude areas of the region.


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Conflict: Protestants in Northern Ireland

Percent Protestant population by district in Ireland, 1911. When Ireland became independent in

1937, 26 northern districts (or local states) with large Protestant populations chose to

remain part of the United Kingdom, see conflict, pg 209


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