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The Geography of Religion

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  1. The Great Mosque, Mali The Geography of Religion Buddhist Monks

  2. What is Religion • Explains the unexplained • System of beliefs and practices that attempts to order life in terms of culturally perceived ultimate priorities. • Explains how people SHOULD behave. • Constitutes as culture

  3. The Geography of Religion

  4. Birth of Religions

  5. How do Universalizing and Ethnic Religions Differ? • Ethnic • Has meaning in particular place only. • Unknown source. • Content focused on place and landscape of origin. • Followers highly clustered. • Holidays based on local climate and agricultural practice. • Not seeking converts • Universalizing • Appeal to people everywhere • Individual founder (prophet) • Message diffused widely (missionaries) • Followers distributed widely. • Holidays based on events in founder’s life. • Seek converts

  6. Example of Universalizing • Christianity • Islam • Buddhism

  7. Example of Ethnic • Africa • South America tribes (native religions) • Native American • Judaism as well • Hinduism (not actively seeking converts) Creates pockets of Hinduism

  8. History of Religion • Zoroastrianism (SW Asia 3500 years ago.) • The First Monotheistic Religion

  9. However, in Universalizing Religions, we see divisions • Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam is divided into three groups. • 1)Branch-A large and fundamental division within a religion. Ex: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox • 2)Denomination-Division of a branch that unites a number of local congregations in a single legal and administrative body. Ex: Lutheran (of Protestant branch) • 3) Sect- a relatively small group that has broken away from an established denomination (Missouri Synod or Evangelical) of the Lutheran Denomination.

  10. Islam • 1 billion + adherents • Originated in Saudi Arabia (Mecca and Medina) around AD 600. • Spread originally by Muslim armies to N. Africa, and the Near East.

  11. Sects of Islam • Sunni (83%) - throughout the Muslim world. More “liberal” b/c people following the example of Muhammad. • Shiite (16%) - Iran (30%), Pakistan (15%), Iraq (10%): More fundamental • Shiite comprise of 90% of population in Iran.

  12. Islam • Second largest religion in the world • Worlds largest dominantly Islamic state is Indonesia • Adoption of Sharia Law, fundamental Islam is growing.

  13. Islam Prophet:Muhammad Holy Text:Koran • Islamic Calender • Begins in AD 622 when Muhammad was commanded to Mecca from Medina (Hijra). • Lunar calendar makes Ramadan move through the seasons (30 year cycle - 19 years with 354 days and 11 with 355). • Five Pillars of Islam • There is one God and Muhammad is his messenger. • Prayer five times daily, facing Mecca. • The giving of alms(charity) to the poor. • Fasting during Ramadan for purification and submission. • If body and income allow, a Muslim must make a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca in his lifetime. Reading the Koran, Brunei

  14. Islam Prophet:Muhammad; Can NOT be depicted in picture form. Is disrespectful Holy Text:Koran

  15. Diffusion of Islam Islam is considered the fastest growing religion in America. Only a small part of this growth is from black Muslims and the Nation of Islam.

  16. Islamic Architecture

  17. Secularism • Certain practices or institutions should exist separately from religion or religious belief.

  18. The Roots of Religion • Animism (Shamanism) -the belief that all objects, animals, and beings are “animated” or possess a spirit and a conscious life. Also called shamanism because of the prominence of a Shaman. • Such beliefs are common among hunter-gatherers. • 10% of Africans follow such traditional ethnic religions. • These beliefs are losing ground to Christianity and Islam throughout Africa. Nigerian Shaman

  19. Native American Animism Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.~ Chief Seattle Bear Dance

  20. Judaism • Semetic • 4000 Yrs ago-Nomadic Peoples • Teachings of Abraham-Covenenant • Moses • 18 million adherants • Orthodox-More Conservative

  21. Judaism • Zionism: Seeks a homeland for the Jewish people. • Diaspora of the Jews resulted from the Roman Destruction of Jerusalem • Ashkenazim and Sephardim • The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the site of Jesus’s Tomb (Jerusalem).

  22. Sacred Sites • Pilgrimage: when adherents travel to a religious site to pay respects. • Jerusalem

  23. Holy Places • Wailing Wall-Destruction of Jewish temples • Temple Mount-Abraham’s Sacrifice • Church of the Holy Sepulchre • Outside of Jerusalem walls is where Jesus was crucified.

  24. Secularism • Division between state politics and religious belief.

  25. Religious Fundamentalism • Rabbi Kahane: Jewish Extremists

  26. The Roots of Religion • Animism (Shamanism) -the belief that all objects, animals, and beings are “animated” or possess a spirit and a conscious life. Also called shamanism because of the prominence of a Shaman. • Such beliefs are common among hunter-gatherers. • 10% of Africans follow such traditional ethnic religions. • These beliefs are losing ground to Christianity and Islam throughout Africa. Nigerian Shaman

  27. Native American Animism Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.~ Chief Seattle Bear Dance

  28. Hinduism • Over 4000 years old • No single founder • Unknown specific origin thought Harappa and Mohenjo Daro thought to be the area where first practiced. • Pakistan no longer Hindu

  29. Hinduism • 900 million + adherents primarily in India • Hinduism is an ancient term for the complex and diverse set of religious beliefs practiced around the Indus River. • Reincarnation - endless cycles. Karma • Coastlines and river banks most sacred sites. • Vishnu and Shiva most common of hundreds of deities. Though Brahma lead Deity.

  30. How many Gods do you want? • Monotheism: The belief in a single deity • Polytheism: The belief in multiple deities. • Hinduism?-Brahman

  31. Sacred Scriptures • Vedas

  32. Fundamental Doctrine • Karma-transferability of the soul • Reincarnation-seeks union with Brahman

  33. Social Effects of Hinduism • Supports the Caste System • Other religions • Modernization • Equal distribution Of wealth -Mahatma Gandhi

  34. Hinduism Lord Vishnu Ganesh Dancing Shiva/Nataraj

  35. Spread of Hinduism • Bali was a refuge for Hinduism because nearby Java, Indonesia was engulfed by Islam • Also spread because of transportation of Indian workers during the colonial era.

  36. Buddhism • 300 million + adherents primarily in China and S.E. Asia • Spread originally in India and Sri Lanka by Magadhan Empire (250 BC). • Indian traders brought it to China in 1st century AD. • By 6th century it had lost its hold on India, but was now in Korea and Japan.

  37. Buddhism • Originated near modern Nepal/India around 530 BC by prince Siddhartha Guatama. • Later known as Buddha or Enlightened One • Spoke out against Hindu Caste System

  38. Four Noble Truths: 1. All living beings must endure suffering.2. Suffering, which is caused by desires (for life), leads to reincarnation.3. The goal of existence is an escape from suffering and the endless cycle of reincarnation by means of Nirvana.4. Nirvana is achieved by the Eightfold Path, which includes rightness of understanding, mindfulness, speech, action, livelihood, effort, thought, and concentration. Buddhism Theravada - the older, more severe form which requires the renouncing of all worldly goods and desires. Mahayana - focuses on Buddha’s teachings and compassion. Karma - your past bad or good actions determine your progress toward Nirvana through reincarnation. You are your own God.

  39. Buddhism • Thrives in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, Korea, Cambodia • Tibetan Buddhism=Lamaism • Universalizing religion-Not Cultural/Ethnic • Pagoda • Stupa

  40. Confucism • Originated in China where 13 texts were the major focus of education for 2,000 years. • Was suppressed and banned under Communist rule from 1949-present • Feng-Shui & Geomancers

  41. Judaism • Semetic • 4000 Yrs ago-Nomadic Peoples • Teachings of Abraham-Covenenant • Moses • 18 million adherants • Orthodox-More Conservative

  42. Judaism • Zionism: Seeks a homeland for the Jewish people. • Diaspora of the Jews resulted from the Roman Destruction of Jerusalem • Ashkenazim and Sephardim • The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the site of Jesus’s Tomb (Jerusalem).

  43. Sacred Sites • Pilgrimage: when adherents travel to a religious site to pay respects. • Jerusalem