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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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Religion and culture
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 culture1
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 culture2
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
Major Religions of the World

  • Buddhism

  • Hinduism

  • Christianity

  • Islam

  • Judaism


  • 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
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
Structure of Christianity

  • Catholic Church

    • Pope

    • Cardinals

    • Bishops

    • Priests

  • Protestant Church

    • Pastor, Minister

  • Orthodox Church

    • Patriarch


  • 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.


  • 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 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.


  • 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
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
Salah and Sawm


  • 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


  • 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 .


  • One of the oldest religions

  • Not just a religion, but an ethnicity


  • 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
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


  • 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
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
Jewish Holidays

  • Passover

    • Biblical Story

  • Rosh Hashanah

    • Reflect on sins

  • Yom Kippur

    • Fast

    • Atonement

Monotheistic vs polytheistic
Monotheistic vs. Polytheistic

  • Monotheistic

    • Belief in one god figure

    • Believers will go to heaven, nonbelievers to hell

  • Polytheistic

    • Many gods


  • 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
Beliefs of Hinduism

  • 3 primary deities

    • Brahma

    • Shiva

    • Vishnu

  • Practice faith in a temple

  • Vedas-holy texts

  • Reincarnation



  • Brahma

    • Created the universe

  • Shiva

    • Destroys the universe

  • Vishnu

    • Preserver of Earth and universe


  • 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


  • Pagodas

    • Individual rather than congregational

    • Not social

    • Burn incense to release spirits/meditate

Beliefs of buddhism
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 buddhism1
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.


  • 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


  • 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 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


  • 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