Religion AP Human Geography
What is religion? • Religion is a set of common beliefs and practices generally held by a group of people. • Religion is human beings' relation to the things that they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual, or divine. • Humans often get their sense of purpose and moral values from religion. • Religious beliefs are found in virtually every society throughout human history.
What questions does religion answer? • Origins (where did we come from?) • Purpose/meaning (why are we here?) • Destiny (where are we going? what happens when we die?) • Who are we? (the nature of human nature) • Who/what is god? (the nature of Ultimate Reality)
Universalizing vs. Ethnic Religions Universalizing Ethnic • Global • Appeals to all people • Location does not matter • Ex. Christianity, Buddhism, Islam • Local • Appeals to one group of people in one place • Ex. Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shinto
Mono vs. Poly Theism Monotheism Polytheism • Belief in one god. • Ex. Judaism, Christianity, Islam • Belief in multiple gods. • Ex. Hinduism, Animism.
Divisions Within a Religion • Branch- large and fundamental division within a religion. • Ex. Islam in divided into Sunni and Shia • Ex. Christianity is divided into Catholic, Protestant, and East Orthodox • Denomination- division of a single branch. • Ex. Protestant denominations include Baptist, Lutheran, and Methodist. • Sect- a small group that has broken away from the larger denomination.
Universalizing: Christianity • Origin: Jerusalem (30 AD) • Founder: Jesus Christ (based on Judaism) • Diffusion: Roman Empire, European Colonization, Missionaries • Holy Book: Bible (Old and New Testament) • Major Branches: Catholic, Protestant, E. Orthodox • Core Beliefs/ Teachings: • Jesus was messiah that the Jews were waiting for/ son of God • Died on the cross to save humans from sin • Belief in Resurrection=heaven • Holy Places: Vatican, Church of Holy Sepulchre. • Modern Locations: All continents, predom. In NA, SA, EUR, AUS. • Followers: Over 2 billion
Universalizing: Islam • Origin: Saudi Arabia (622 AD) • Founder: Mohammad (based on Judaism) • Diffusion: Arab armies • Holy Book: Quran • Major Branches: Sunni, Shiite (Shia) • Core Beliefs/ Teachings: • 5 Pillars of Islam • Mohammed is most impt. Prophet • Jesus is prophet, but not as impt. As Mohammed • Holy Places: Mecca (Ka’ba), Medina • Modern Locations: SW Asia (Middle East), N. Africa, Central Asia, Southern Asia. Also Europe and NA. • Followers: 1.3 billion
Universalizing: Buddhism • Origin: Nepal (530 BC) • Founder: Siddhartha Gautama, original Buddha. • Diffusion: Magadhan Empire, merchants (China) • Holy Book: n/a • Major Branches: Mahayana, Theravada, Tantrayana. • Core Beliefs/ Teachings: • Four Noble Truths (Desire= Suffering) • Eightfold Path • Nirvana • Can follow other religions • Holy Places: 8 holy shrines, 4 miracle sites, all connect to Buddha. • Modern Locations: China, SE Asia • Followers: 400 million
Ethnic: Hinduism • Origin: 2500-1500 BC • Founder: No specific founder • Diffusion: Little diffusion, relocation • Holy Book: no single holy book • Core Beliefs/ Teachings: • Individual decides best way to worship god • Many paths to god • Polytheistic • No rigid rules • Holy Places: many (natural features, shrines, Ganges river) • Modern Locations: India (97%), Nepal • Followers: 900 million
Ethnic: Judaism • Origin: Canaan (Israel) (2000 BC) • Founder: Abraham • Diffusion: Diaspora to Europe, to U.S. and Israel post- WWII • Holy Book: Torah (Old Testament) • Core Beliefs/ Teachings: • Ten Commandments • Monotheism • Still waiting for Messiah • Holy Places: Jerusalem, Western Wall, Mt. Sinai • Modern Locations: Israel (1/3), U.S. (1/3), rest of world (1/3) • Followers: 14 million
Other Ethnic Religions • Confucianism (China) • Ethical principals for daily life • Daoism/ Taoism (China) • Based on teachings of Lao-Zi • Shinto (Japan)