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Religions
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Religions

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  1. Religions Latin for tie back or reconnect “Theo” – mono, poly or pan “Non-Theo” – mystic (no personal god) Secular is indifferent to religions Spirituality or Sacred

  2. How to study belief systems Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Judaism Confucianism Shintoism Paganism Agnosticism

  3. How do we define religion • How do we classify religions • What are their characteristics • How do they evolve • Cultural character • Shrines, stupas, cathedrals, Grottos, monasteries • What is their political/social appeal • How do they interact • How do they travel • Conflict • Syncreticism

  4. Categorize them • Universal • Ethnic • Syncretic • Pantheon • Polytheistic • Monotheistic • Schisms and divisions

  5. Classification • UNIVERSALIZING RELIGION -- one that attempts to appeal to all people, not only those at one location • adapt to almost any society • the religion itself sees no bounds to its eventual expansion over the entire landscape • Christianity, Islam, Buddhism • ETHNIC RELIGION -- religion with a spatially (socially or ethnically) concentrated distribution; principles of such a religion are likely to be based on physical characteristics of a particular location • stong territorial and cultural group identification • born into religion, religion and culture deeply intertwined • Judaism, Indian Hinduism, Japanese Shinto • Tribal or traditional religions • small size, localized culture groups • pre-modern societies • close ties to nature • animism, shamanism

  6. 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. • Universalizing • Appeal to people everywhere • Individual founder (prophet) • Message diffused widely (missionaries) • Followers distributed widely. • Holidays based on events in founder’s life.

  7. Key Terms • Secularization -a process that is leading to increasingly large groups of people who claim no allegiance to any church. • Some of these people are atheists. Others simply do not practice. Still others call themselves spiritual, but not religious. • Common in Europe and the cities of the U.S. • Common in former Soviet Union and China. • Fundamentalism -a process that is leading to increasingly large groups of people who claim there is only one way to interpret worship. • Fundamentalists generally envision a return to a more perfect religion and ethics they imagine existed in the past. • Common in the U.S. and in some Islamic nations. • Common in former Soviet Union and China.

  8. Tenets or teachings • How are they collected • Books of learning • Books of Law • Who does the teaching and where • Monasteries • Monks • Actual foundation of the religion

  9. How it spreads • Pilgrims • Trade routes • Geographic conduits/crossroads/ obstacles • Stages • Conversion or forced acceptance • Diaspora

  10. Nature of Religion • Who are the leaders • What kind of background do they have • Degree of aggression • How are they organized • Hierarchy • Religious Institutions and bureaucracies • Connection with political authority

  11. Sacred sites and ceremonies • Meetings/gatherings • What types of structures • How are they connected to these sites geographically

  12. Tolerance for other religions • Methods used to keep the true nature of their religion • Wars • Ethnic cleansing • Marriage • How do they convert others • Persecution

  13. Social roles • Gender roles • Exclusion or inclusion of others

  14. Details

  15. Role of Religion • a symbol of group identity and a cultural rallying point (like language) • both transmitters and identifiers of culture. • can influence the spread of languages to new peoples and areas (Arabic, Latin) • varies in its cultural role (unlike language); dominating to unimportant • a value system that unites and differentiates • religious when involving worship and faith in the sacred and divine • may involve prescribed patterns of behavior; prayer, special rites, obedience to doctrine

  16. Issues • Not a simple thing • “Being Religious” - Pious • Adhering to the tenets and beliefs of ones religion • Having a Pantheon or being monotheistic • If monotheistic details of who/what single deity is and what that deity requires of humans

  17. 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

  18. Animism • Retained tribal ethnic religion of people around the world • Today, adherents number at least 100 million • Animists believe certain inanimate objects possess spirits or souls • Spirits live in rocks, rivers, mountain peaks, and heavenly bodies • Each tribe has its own characteristic form of animism • A Shaman — tribal religious figure usually serves as the intermediary between people and the spirits

  19. Spread of Religions • imposed by conquest • adopted by conversion • defended and preserved in the face of surrounding hostility

  20. Cultural and Biological Exchanges Along the Silk Roads • The Spread of Buddhism and Hinduism Insert map on page 257

  21. Cultural and Biological Exchanges Along the Silk Roads • The Spread of Manichaeism • Use of Silk Roads • Cosmic Struggle between Good and Evil • Suppression by Zoroastrians

  22. Cross-Cultural Exchanges on the Silk Roads • The Fall of the Han Dynasty • Cultural Change in Post-Han China • Sinicization of Nomadic People • attempt to be influenced and assimilated by the Chinese culture (Korea, Japan later) • Popularity of Buddhism

  23. Cross-Cultural Exchanges on the Silk Roads • The Fall of the Roman Empire • Cultural Change in the Late Roman Empire • Prominence of Christianity • Formation of Institutional Church • Emergence of Pope

  24. POSTCLASSICAL ERA, 500 TO 1000 C.EArabic to Islam Insert Chronology Chart on page 325

  25. A New Society: The Realm of Islam • The Expansion of Islam • The Early Caliphs and the Umayyad Dynasty Insert map on page 310

  26. States and Societies of Sub-Saharan Africa • Islamic Kingdoms and Empires • The Indian Ocean Trade and Islamic States in East Africa Insert map on page 436

  27. India and the Indian Ocean Basin • Islamic and Hindu Kingdoms • The Quest for Centralized Imperial Rule

  28. India and the Indian Ocean Basin • Islamic and Hindu Kingdoms • The Introduction of Islam to Northern & Southern India • The conquest of the Sind (711) • Merging of cultures • Sultanate of Delhi (1206) • The Chola Kingdom (850-1267)

  29. India and the Indian Ocean Basin • The Influence of Indian Society in Southeast Asia • The Indianized States of Southeast Asia Insert map on page 372

  30. Hinduism, Buddhism and Janism Dharmic relgions

  31. Common Elements • Liberation is the central goal of all three of the Dharmic religions • Wheel of Life

  32. Hinduism • Hinduism has splintered into diverse religious, some regarded as separate religions • Jainism — ancient outgrowth, claiming perhaps 5 million adherents • Traces its roots back over twenty-five centuries • Reject Hindu scriptures, rituals, and priesthood • Share Hindu belief in ahinisa and reincarnation • Adhere to a stern asceticism • Sikhism — arose in the 1500s, in an attempt to unify Hinduism and Islam • Centered in the Punjab state of northwestern India • Has about 19 million followers • Sikhs practice monotheism and have their own holy book, the Adi Granth

  33. Buddhism • Derived from Hinduism began 25 centuries ago • Reform movement grounded in the teaching of Prince Siddhartha — the Buddha • He promoted the four “noble truths” • Life is full of suffering • Desire is the cause of this suffering • Cessation of suffering comes with the quelling of desire • An “eight-fold path” of proper personal conduct and meditation permits the individual to overcome desire • Nirvana — reached when one has achieved a state of escape and peace, which is attained by very few

  34. Buddhism • Today the most widespread religion in Asia • Dominates a culture region from Sri Lanka to Japan and from Mongolia to Vietnam • Proselytic religion • Formed composite faiths as it fused with ethnic faiths especially in China and Japan • Fused with Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism • Southern Buddhism dominant in Sri Lanka and mainland Southeast Asia retains greatest similarity to original form • Special variation known as Lamaism prevails in Tibet and Mongolia

  35. Buddhism • Theravada Buddhism • Mahayana Buddhism

  36. Sacred space • Includes areas and sites recognized as worthy of devotion, loyalty, fear, or esteem • Notion occurs in many different cultures, past and present the world over • B.C. Lane says—”an ordinary place made extraordinary through ritual” • May be sought out by pilgrims or barred to members of other religions • Often contain the site of supposed supernatural events or viewed as abode of gods

  37. Sacred Space • Jerusalem is sacred space to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. It contains the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) leading to the site of Christ’s crucifixion. • According to Jewish tradition, the sealed Golden Gate (far right) is where the Messiah will enter the city and bring redemption. Ruins of the City of David are at the southwest corner of the wall.

  38. Sacred space • Conflict can result of two religions venerate the same space • Example of conflict in Jerusalem • Muslim Dome of the Rock — site of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven • Wailing Wall — remnant of greatest Jewish temple • Cemeteries also generally regarded as type of sacred space

  39. Religious pilgrimage • Pilgrimages can have an economic impact, as a form of tourism • In some favored localities, pilgrim trade provides the only significant source of revenue • Lourdes — attracts between 4 and 5 million pilgrims each year • Many seek miraculous cures at its famous grotto where the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared • Ranks second only to Paris in number of hotel, and most are small • Mecca — attracts hundreds of thousand of Muslims • Come from every corner of the Islamic culture region • Closed to all non-Muslims

  40. Religion and lifestyle • This man is a Hindu sadhu or holy man. He has elected to remove himself from ordinary society to seek moksha or release from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. A devotee of Shiva, he hopes to achieve this ultimate state of bliss through a lengthy process of devotion, ritual, meditation and several rebirths.

  41. Mecca

  42. Religious structures • In Islam, mosques are normally the most imposing items in the landscape • Jewish synagogues vary greatly in visibility • Hinduism has produced large numbers of visually striking temples, but many worship in private households

  43. Mosque • Mosques differ widely in style yet their elements are constant. They include consecrated space for ritual prayer; a mihrab, or wall-niche indicating the direction (qiblah) of Mecca; and, to the right of the mihrab, a pulpit (minbar) for the Friday sermon.

  44. Taj Mahal

  45. Landscapes of the dead • Christian cemeteries vary from modest, to places of color and elaborate decoration depending on the religious denomination • Cemeteries often preserve truly ancient cultural traits • Example of rural traditional cemeteries of the southern United States • Rose bushes planted atop the grave may derive from worship of an ancient, pre-Christian mother goddess of Mediterranean lands • Cedars planted on graves is an age-old pagan symbol of death and eternal life • Shell decoration derives from an animistic custom in West Africa

  46. Diffusion • Expansion • Hierarchical • Contagion • Relocation

  47. The Semitic religious hearth • Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all arose among Semitic-speaking people • All three arose from the margins of the southwestern Asian deserts • Judaism, the oldest, originated about 4,000 years ago probably along the southern edge of the Fertile Crescent • Later, Judaism acquired dominion over lands between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River — territorial base of modern Israel