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Chapter 6. Religion. PPT by Abe Goldman. Vocabulary to know. Branch – a large and fundamental division within a religion Sect – a relatively small group that has broken away from an established church Adherents – follows of a religion Caste system – assigns everyone to a distinct class

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chapter 6



PPT by Abe Goldman

vocabulary to know
Vocabulary to know
  • Branch – a large and fundamental division within a religion
  • Sect – a relatively small group that has broken away from an established church
  • Adherents – follows of a religion
  • Caste system – assigns everyone to a distinct class
  • Monotheism – belief in the existence of only one God
  • Polytheism – belief in more than one God
  • Ghetto – area of a city where Jews were forced to live
  • Cosmogony – beliefs concerning the origin of the universe
general religion info
General Religion Info
  • Religious ideas may be responsible for some of the changes people make in the physical environment.
  • Toponyms are mostly derived from religious ideas / people
  • Christian Religions follow hierarchical control
    • Well defined structure
    • Organizes territory into local administrative units
    • Fosters interaction among different congregations
place names in qu bec
Place Names in Québec

Fig. 6-12: Place names in Québec show the impact of religion on the landscape. Many cities and towns are named after saints.

types of religion
Types of Religion



  • Attempt to appeal to people throughout the world
  • Individual historical founder
  • Message diffused widely
  • Followers widely distributed
  • Holidays based on events in founder’s life
  • Meaning primarily to people in a particular place
  • Unknown origin
  • Content highly concentrated in place of origin
  • Followers highly clustered holidays based on local climate and agricultural calendar
world distribution of religions
World Distribution of Religions

Fig. 6-1: World religions by continent.

world population by religion
World Population by Religion

Fig. 6-1a: Over two-thirds of the world’s population belong to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. Christianity is the single largest world religion.

universalizing religion
Universalizing Religion
  • Wide Diffusion Patterns
  • Hierarchical in nature
  • Based on Person
diffusion of universalizing religions
Diffusion of Universalizing Religions

Fig. 6-4: Each of the three main universalizing religions diffused widely from its hearth.

  • Holy book – the Bible
  • Worship in a Church / Cathedral / Chapel
  • Holy City – Jerusalem
  • World largest universalizing religion
  • Christianity first diffused from its hearth through relocation diffusion (missions)
  • Main Branches of Christianity (US Clusters):
    • Catholic (Southwest and Northeast – From Latin America
    • Eastern Orthodox (small pockets (like little Italy in New York) – From Eastern Europe where the largest concentration is located
    • Protestant (South / Central) – From Europe
  • Lutheranism is an example of a Christian, Protestant, Denomination and is clustered in the southeast.
roman catholic hierarchy in u s
Roman Catholic Hierarchy in U.S.

Fig. 6-13: The Catholic Church divides the U.S. into provinces headed by archbishops. Provinces are divided into dioceses, headed by bishops.

christianity continued
Christianity Continued
  • Christian Religions follow hierarchical control
    • Well defined structure
    • Organizes territory into local administrative units
    • Fosters interaction among different congregations
  • From the Russian Revolution to the fall of the communist government, churches remained open but played a limited role.
  • Christianity has the most widespread geographic distribution of any religion.
european diffusion of christianity
European diffusion of Christianity

Fig. 6-2: Protestant denominations, Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy are dominant in different regions of Europe—a result of many historic interactions.

christian branches in the u s
Christian Branches in the U.S.
  • Match the religion to the US Region:
  • Baptist
  • Roman Catholic
  • Lutheran
  • Mormon
  • Arizona
  • Utah
  • Alabama
  • Minnesota

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.

diffusion of christianity
Diffusion of Christianity

Fig. 6-5: 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.

  • Holy book – Quran
  • Worship in a Mosque
    • A Mosque is not a sanctified place
  • Holy City - Jerusalem
    • Islam has maintained control of the Holy Land for the past 1,500 years
  • Clustered in the Middle East
  • Dominant Branch – Sunni
  • Dominant Branch in Iran – Shiite
  • Controlled much of present-day Spain until 1492, but not since then
  • Currently the most important religion in the homeland of the man who founded it
  • Not as hierarchical as Christianity
diffusion of islam
Diffusion of Islam

Fig. 6-6: Islam diffused rapidly and widely from its area of origin in Arabia. It eventually stretched from southeast Asia to West Africa.

mecca islam s holiest city
Mecca, Islam’s Holiest City

Fig. 6-10: 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.

  • Originated in present-day India
  • Unlike other universalizing religions, Buddhism remained concentrated in one region of the world.
  • Mahayanists
    • Emphasize Buddha’s compassion
    • DO NOT trace their origin to Abraham
  • Theravadists
  • Adherents are also likely to believe in other religions simultaneously.
diffusion of buddhism
Diffusion of Buddhism

Fig. 6-7: Buddhism diffused gradually from its origin in northeastern India to Sri Lanka, southeast Asia, and eventually China and Japan.

holy sites in buddhism
Holy Sites in Buddhism

Fig. 6-9: Most holy sites in Buddhism are locations of important events in Buddha’s life and are clustered in northeastern India and southern Nepal.

ethnic religions
Ethnic Religions
  • Animists – inanimate objects and natural events have spirits
  • Individual ethnic religions have more concentrated geographic distributions than universalizing.
  • Agricultural calendar is important to these type of religions.
  • Examples
    • Buddhism (only one of this list not Asian)
    • Confusianism – importance on performing public service
    • Shintoism
    • Daoism – reflect on the mystical and magical aspects of life
  • Holy book – the old testament
  • Dispersed around the world for past 2,000 years
  • Holy City – Jerusalem
  • Classified as an ethnic religion
    • Because its rituals derive from the agricultural cycle in Israel
    • Focus on rituals
  • Follows a lunar calendar
  • NOT considered Palestinians
  • Not an important religion in Lebanon (but other major religions are)
  • Holiest book – Gita
  • World’s largest Ethnic Religion
  • Most people clustered in India
  • Most likely worship in individual home
  • Clustered in India
  • Adherents are most likely cremated at death
  • Instituted the caste system
    • British rule attempted to abolish this system
hindu holy places
Hindu Holy Places

Fig. 6-11: 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.

religious conflict ireland
Religious Conflict - Ireland
  • Ireland
    • Protestants are clustered in one part of the island
    • Northern Ireland want to remain part of the United Kingdom
    • The situation in Northern Ireland is the result of
      • Counties in Northern Ireland voting to remain in the United Kingdom
      • Catholic protest against discrimination by Protestants
      • British colonial control which contributed to poor economic conditions
protestants in northern ireland
Protestants in Northern Ireland

Fig. 6-17: Percent Protestant population by district in Ireland, 1911. When Ireland became independent in 1937, 26 northern districts with large Protestant populations chose to remain part of the United Kingdom.

religious conflict middle east
Religious Conflict – Middle East
  • Middle East
    • Wars fought in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 over control of the Holy Land
    • Disputes within countries because of branch differences
      • Shiites / Sunnis (Iraq and Iran)
    • To keep peace, the United Nations divided Palestine into an Arab State, Jerusalem District, and Jewish State
  • Example of Harsh Religious penalties:
    • Men were beaten for shaving their beards
    • Homosexuals were buried alive
    • Prostitutes were hanged in public
    • Thieves’ hands were cut off
    • Women with nail polish had their fingers cut off
boundary changes in palestine israel
Boundary Changes in Palestine/Israel

Fig. 6-15: 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.


Fig. 6-14: The Old City of Jerusalem contains holy sites for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

the west bank political and physical geography
The West Bank:Political and Physical Geography

Fig. 6-16: 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.

israel s security zone in lebanon
Israel’s Security Zone in Lebanon

Fig. 6-1-1: Israel established a security zone in southern Lebanon in 1982. When Israel withdrew in 2000, the UN helped draw the boundary between the countries.