WHAT IS RELIGION? • A Set of beliefs in an ultimate reality • A Set of practices used to express those beliefs • It is a key component of culture • Has its own special celebrations and worship styles • Have their own sacred text, symbols and sites • All of these aspect help unite followers regardless of where in the world they live
WHY DO WE STUDY RELIGION? • It is an important component of civilization • It shapes how people interact, dress and eat • It is at the core of the belief system of a civilization
Religious Terms • Animism- belief that spirits inhabit natural objects and forces of nature. • Atheism – disbelief in the existence of any god. • Monotheism – belief in one god • Polytheism – belief in more than one god • Secularism – belief that life’s questions can be answered apart from religious beliefs • Sect- a subdivision within a religion that has its own distinctive beliefs and/or practices.
There are many religions, some are very popular • Hinduism • Buddhism • Confucianism • Judaism • Christianity • Islam
Hinduism • Is the oldest of the world’s major religions. • Developed among the cultures in India as they spread over the subcontinent. • It has no founder or founding date. • Hindus believe the universe contains several hells and heavens. • Central to their beliefs is reincarnation, where souls are continually reborn. • Being reborn good or bad is determined by the good or evil actions performed in their past lives. It comes back to you what you have done in the past. • Those acts are Karma. • A soul continues in the cycle of rebirth until release is achieved.
Hinduism Sacred Text Vedas which consist of hymns, prayers composed on ancient Sanskrit. Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda are the four great Vedic collections. Together they make up the most significant and authoritative Hindu religious texts.
Hinduism Sacred Symbol One important symbol of Hinduism is a symbol for a sound “Om” Hindus often chant this during prayer and rituals.
Hinduism Sacred Site Many bodies of water are sacred to the Hindus. Hindus go to rivers to purify their soul and to be released from rebirth. Some rivers are very sacred such as the Ganges.
Hinduism Worship and celebration Holi is a significant North Indian Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. Men, women and children splash colored powders and water on each other. Holi also celebrates the beginning of spring.
BUDDHISM • Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) • Was born some 2,500 years ago in what is now Nepal. • Goal of Buddhism is Nirvana. • The ending of suffering. • Nirvana is achieved by understanding the Four Noble Truths. (Freedom from suffering) • Sacred Text- Tripitaka (three baskets) • First written on a palm leaf in a language called Pali. • Tripitaka urges responding to hatred with love.
BUDDHISM • Sacred Site - Bodh Gaya, India. • This is where Siddhartha was enlightened. • People from around the world flock this area in search of their own spiritual awakening.
Buddhism Sacred Symbol – Dharmachakra ( wheel of the Law) Signifies the overcoming of obstacles. The eight spokes represent the Eightfold Path- Right view Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right concentration.
Buddhism Worship and Celebration Goal is to achieve Nirvana Free of ignorance, greed and suffering. Monks are most likely to reach this state because of their lifestyle of moral virtue, study, and meditation.
What do Buddhists believe is the cause of humans’ unhappiness? Grasping after those things that leads to unhappiness. • Money • Material possessions • Fame
Extra credit • Notice the hands of Buddha. • Illustrate three different hand positions and explain its particular significance
Confucianism • Began more than 2,500 years ago in China. • A religion and also considered a philosophy. • Based upon the teachings of Confucius, which are placed on the ideas of ethical behavior and good government. • Focus on three areas: social philosophy, political philosophy and education. • Relationships are based on rank. • Persons of higher rank are responsible for caring for those of lower rank. • Those of lower rank should respect and obey those of higher rank.
Confucianism Sacred Text A book called the Analects. Confucius was famous for his sayings and proverbs. The object of the superior man is truth, not food. . . . The superior man is anxious lest he should not get truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon him."
Quotes from the Analects • 1. "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." • 2. "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance." • 3. "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
Not from the Analects • Confucius say: Baseball is wrong - man with four balls cannot walk. • Confucius say: Man who stand on toilet is high on pot! • Confucius say: He who has a sharp tongue cuts own throat.
Confucianism Sacred Symbol Yin-yang- symbolizing the harmony the philosophy offers. The white is Yin, the light, bright, cheerful, playful aspect of life. The black is the yang, the dark, mysterious, serious part of life. The two acts together to balance one another.
Confucianism Sacred Site The Temple of Qufu. Groups of buildings dedicated to Confucius on the Confucius’s ancestral land. One of the largest architectural complexes in China. Every year people gather to celebrate the birthday of Confucius.
Confucianism Worship and Celebration Does not have a god or a clergy. Temples dedicated to Confucius. Those who follow his teachings see Confucianism as a way of life and a guide to ethical behavior and good government.
Judaism • First major religion to believe in one god. • Jews trace their national and religious origins back to God’s call to Abraham. • Believe God will someday send a messiah who will redeem them from exile and usher in an era of world peace. • Over time Judaism has separated into branches, Orthodox, (most traditional) Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionists.
Judaism Sacred Text The Torah Scrolls are the five books of Moses. (the 10 Commandments0 This tells of the origins of the Jews and explain Jewish Laws. The remainder of the Hebrew Bible contains the writings of the prophets, Psalms, ethical and historical works.
Judaism Sacred Site The Western Wall, which remains from the second Jerusalem Temple, built after the Jews’ return from Babylonian captivity. Prayers are offered at the wall morning, afternoon and evening.
Solomon’s Temple The crowning achievement of his building program in Jerusalem was a great temple, which he built to glorify God. The temple was also to be the permanent home of the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the tablets of Moses’ law.
The Temple Mount, Jerusalem Today Solomon’s Temple Wall: The “Wailing” Wall
Judaism Sacred Symbols Menorah is used in the celebration of Hanukkah, which is the rededication to the Temple of Jerusalem, following the Maccabees’ victory over the Syrian Greeks. Jewish Revolt, Olive oil lasted 8 days to light their Menorah, therefore eight candles. The middle candle is Shamash, is to light the other eight.
Judaism Worship and Celebration Day long Yom Kippur. Is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur Jews do not eat for 25 hours. The purpose is to reflect on the past year and gain forgiveness from God for one’s sins. Sept. or Oct. ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Christianity Most popular. It dates with the death of Jesus in A.D. 33 in Israel. Belief in one God on the life and teachings of Jesus, son of God. Christians regard Jesus as the savior who dies for humanity’s sins. Major forms of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism. All three are united in their belief of Jesus with their own individual theologies.
Christianity Sacred Sites Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus. Church of the Nativity is located in the heart of Bethlehem. This is the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born.
JERUSALEM • Today, Christians visit sacred Christians Sites in Jerusalem. Churches have been built over Christian sites that are thought to be the actual spots where certain events in the life of Jesus happened. It is important to the pilgrims to walk in his footsteps.. • The Christians Sites that are most sacred are in Jerusalem. And offer powerful experience for Christians. A site that most probably is what it claims to be is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The building is on the site of Golgotha or Calvary. This is where Jesus was crucified. His tomb or sepulcher is also here.
Jerusalem • CHAPLE OF THE ASCENSION Both a Christian and Muslim holy site, this Crusader-era chapel marks the spot where Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection. His footprint is imprinted in the floor
Sacred Symbols THE CROSS Images of the Christ. THE FISH “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Christianity Sacred Text Holy Bible Made up of two books Old and New Testament.
Christianity Worship and Celebration Christians celebrate many events commemorating the life and death of Jesus. Christmas- Birth of Jesus Palm Sunday -commemorates the triumphal entrance of Christ into Jerusalem when palm branches were placed in His path Lent- 40 day preparation before Easter Ash WednesdayThe distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance Good Friday- Jesus’ death Easter- Day of resurrection THE LAST SUPPER