World religions
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World Religions. Unit 7. Religion and Culture. Value system that people place on themselves and others based on a spiritual or divine aspect of the world. Religion can impact the world’s landscape and the cultures of billions. Faith-belief in things that you cannot see or prove. .

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World Religions

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World Religions

Unit 7


Religion and Culture

  • Value system that people place on themselves and others based on a spiritual or divine aspect of the world.

  • Religion can impact the world’s landscape and the cultures of billions.

  • Faith-belief in things that you cannot see or prove.


Religion and Culture

  • Monotheistic-One god

  • Polytheistic-Many gods

  • Ethnic religions-person is born into the faith, little to no effort is put forth to convert others.

  • Universalizing religions-members actively try to covert others


Religion and Culture

  • Atheists-do not believe in any god

  • Secularist-person who wants to separate religion from all aspects of society

One thought on religion vs. atheism by British celebrity Ricky Gervais


Major Religions of the World

  • Buddhism

  • Hinduism

  • Christianity

  • Islam

  • Judaism


Christianity

  • World’s largest religion

  • Monotheistic, universalizing.

  • 3 Branches: Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox

  • Symbols:

    • Cross located within the church

    • Steeple of the church points upward towards Heaven. Cross usually on top of steeple


Christian Beliefs

  • Jesus Christ:

    • Born on Earth

    • Died on Cross

    • Resurrected

    • Showed that all Christians can be saved

  • The Bible

    • Old and New Testament

      • Old: Israelites, Moses, Abraham, David. Before the coming of the Savior

      • New: life of Jesus and foundation of the new faith

  • Holy Trinity: God, Son, Holy Spirit


Structure of Christianity

  • Catholic Church

    • Pope

    • Cardinals

    • Bishops

    • Priests

  • Protestant Church

    • Pastor, Minister

  • Orthodox Church

    • Patriarch


Denominations

  • Branches of a religion that differ on specific aspects of the principles of the religion

    • Catholicism is the oldest and largest branch

    • Martin Luther created the Protestant Reformation which broke away from Roman Catholicism

      • Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.


Islam

  • Second largest religion. Starting to gain on Christianity

  • Muslims

    • Mostly live in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Southeast Asia

  • Universalizing, monotheistic

  • Shares some of the major people with Christianity and Judaism


Islam

  • Islam believes that Jesus was a prophet, but not the main prophet. For Muslims, this person is Muhammad.

  • Muhammad was spoken to by Allah (God) and wrote down Allah’s word in the Koran.

  • Koran is the Islamic holy text.


Islam

  • Muslims worship inside of a mosque

    • Minarets-towers that extend upward toward Allah

  • The leader of a mosque is an imam.

    • They lead prayers at different times of the day


Beliefs of Islam

  • Five Pillars of Islam:

    • Shahadah: There is only one God, Allah

      • When you accept the creed of Allah, you officially become a Muslim

    • Salah: Prayer must be done five times daily facing the city of Mecca

    • Zakat: Taxes must be paid directly to the poor and needy or the mosque

    • Sawm: One must fast during Ramadan

    • Hahjj: One must make a pilgrimage to Mecca once during one’s life


Salah and Sawm


Hajj


Denominations

  • Shiites, Shiahs, Shi’a

    • 15-20% of Muslim population

    • Conservative

    • Interpret the Koran literally

  • Sunnis make up the largest percentage of Muslims

    • Liberal

    • Looser interpretation of the Koran


Denominations

  • Shiite Muslims live mainly in Iraq and Iran

  • Sunni Muslims live in the rest of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia

  • Theocracy-state ruled by religious leaders

    • Religion plays a key role in the administration of the country

    • Koran plays an important role in the institutional laws of society

  • Islamic theocracies are ruled by Sharia Law

    • Do not separate church and state

    • Based on Koran and teachings of Muhammad.

  • Fundamentalism-literal interpretation of a holy book, urges strict behavioral guidelines to comply with basic principles of religion

    • See this in Christianity .


Judaism

  • One of the oldest religions

  • Not just a religion, but an ethnicity


Judaism

  • Worship inside of a synagogue

  • The Star of David is a major symbol in the religion.

  • David was one of the major leaders in the faith


Beliefs of Judaism

  • Ethnic, monotheistic religion

  • God figure is Yahweh

  • Jewish bible is the Tanahk, based on the Torah and the Talmud

  • Rabbi leads the service on Saturday


Distribution

  • Majority of population lives in the US along the East Coast

  • Israel was founded in 1948 as a homeland for the Jewish after WWII

    • 14 Million Jews live there today


Denominations of Judaism

  • Orthodox

    • Can live within society

    • Believe that the Torah’s message can change with the times

  • Reform

    • Believe Torah is open to continuous interpretation


Jewish Holidays

  • Passover

    • Biblical Story

  • Rosh Hashanah

    • Reflect on sins

  • Yom Kippur

    • Fast

    • Atonement


Monotheistic vs. Polytheistic

  • Monotheistic

    • Belief in one god figure

    • Believers will go to heaven, nonbelievers to hell

  • Polytheistic

    • Many gods


Hinduism

  • Oldest religion on Earth

  • Ethnic religion

    • You can practice, but you are only Hindu if you’re born into a Hindu family

  • Majority in India

  • 3rd largest religion


Beliefs of Hinduism

  • 3 primary deities

    • Brahma

    • Shiva

    • Vishnu

  • Practice faith in a temple

  • Vedas-holy texts

  • Reincarnation


Deities

Triumvirate:

  • Brahma

    • Created the universe

  • Shiva

    • Destroys the universe

  • Vishnu

    • Preserver of Earth and universe


Buddhism

  • Focus on elimination of desires through meditation

  • No focus on a specific god

    • Instead: personal devotion of the individual follower.

  • Located in East Asia, Northeast, Southeast Asia

  • Universalizing but…

    • Syncretic religion: combining 2+ faiths into one belief system


Buddhism

  • Pagodas

    • Individual rather than congregational

    • Not social

    • Burn incense to release spirits/meditate


Beliefs of Buddhism

  • Siddhartha Gautama

    • Prince who lived in Nepal

    • He left his palace and observed the poverty in the region and was disgusted.

    • He lived a life without material possessions

  • Nirvana: enlightenment


Beliefs of Buddhism

  • 4 Universal Truths

    • All living beings should experience and endure suffering

    • Suffering leads to the desire to live, which leads to reincarnation

    • The goal is to leave the suffering of this Earth perpetuated by reincarnation

    • Nirvana can be achieved through practicing the following eight steps:

      • Rightness of belief, resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, thought, meditation.


Confucianism

  • Based on teachings of Confucius

  • China

  • Focus on relationships, makes up the major societal rules of China

  • FengShui/Geomancy- keeping flow of energy in harmony


Daoism

  • Release of personal desires

  • Lao Tzu

  • China

  • Things happen that cannot be explained by rational thought

  • Mystical understanding of the harmony of life


Sacred Places & Spaces

  • Sacred spaces-locations with significant meaning

    • TajMahal: built by Muslim prince as a mausoleum for wife

    • Ganges River: Hindu holy river; bodies are burned and scattered over river

    • Death and how to care for the dead


Conflict

  • Battles fought in the name of religion happen frequently

    • Why is this ironic?

  • Interfaith boundaries-fighting over the boundaries of people of different faiths

    • Christians vs. Muslims

    • Iran vs. Israel

    • Christians vs. Christians

    • Muslim Pakistan vs. Hindu India

      • Nuclear Weapons…

    • 9/11 and other terrorist attacks (worldwide)

    • Northern Ireland: Protestant vs. Catholic


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