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Information about Religions

Published on March 8, 2008

Author: Calogera


Religions:  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 How to study belief systems:  How to study belief systems Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Judaism Confucianism Shintoism Paganism Agnosticism Slide3:  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 Categorize them:  Categorize them Universal Ethnic Syncretic Pantheon Polytheistic Monotheistic Schisms and divisions Classification:  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 How do Universalizing and Ethnic Religions Differ?:  How do Universalizing and Ethnic Religions Differ? Universalizing Appeal to people everywhere Individual founder (prophet) Message diffused widely (missionaries) Followers distributed widely. Holidays based on events in founder’s life. 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. Key Terms:  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. Tenets or teachings:  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 How it spreads:  How it spreads Pilgrims Trade routes Geographic conduits/crossroads/ obstacles Stages Conversion or forced acceptance Diaspora Nature of Religion:  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 Sacred sites and ceremonies:  Sacred sites and ceremonies Meetings/gatherings What types of structures How are they connected to these sites geographically Tolerance for other religions:  Tolerance for other religions Methods used to keep the true nature of their religion Wars Ethnic cleansing Marriage How do they convert others Persecution Social roles:  Social roles Gender roles Exclusion or inclusion of others Details:  Details Role of Religion:  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 Issues:  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 The Roots of Religion:  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 Animism:  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 Spread of Religions:  Spread of Religions imposed by conquest adopted by conversion defended and preserved in the face of surrounding hostility Cultural and Biological Exchanges Along the Silk Roads:  Cultural and Biological Exchanges Along the Silk Roads The Spread of Buddhism and Hinduism Insert map on page 257 Cultural and Biological Exchanges Along the Silk Roads:  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 Cross-Cultural Exchanges on the Silk Roads :  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 Cross-Cultural Exchanges on the Silk Roads :  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 POSTCLASSICAL ERA, 500 TO 1000 C.E Arabic to Islam:  POSTCLASSICAL ERA, 500 TO 1000 C.E Arabic to Islam Insert Chronology Chart on page 325 A New Society: The Realm of Islam :  A New Society: The Realm of Islam The Expansion of Islam The Early Caliphs and the Umayyad Dynasty Insert map on page 310 States and Societies of Sub-Saharan Africa :  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 India and the Indian Ocean Basin :  India and the Indian Ocean Basin Islamic and Hindu Kingdoms The Quest for Centralized Imperial Rule India and the Indian Ocean Basin :  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) India and the Indian Ocean Basin:  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 Hinduism, Buddhism and Janism:  Hinduism, Buddhism and Janism Dharmic relgions Common Elements:  Common Elements Liberation is the central goal of all three of the Dharmic religions Wheel of Life Hinduism:  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 Buddhism:  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 Buddhism:  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 Buddhism:  Buddhism Theravada Buddhism Mahayana Buddhism Sacred space:  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 Sacred Space:  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. Sacred space:  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 Religious pilgrimage:  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 Religion and lifestyle:  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. Mecca:  Mecca Religious structures:  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 Mosque:  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. Taj Mahal:  Taj Mahal Landscapes of the dead:  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 Diffusion:  Diffusion Expansion Hierarchical Contagion Relocation The Semitic religious hearth:  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 The Semitic religious hearth:  The Semitic religious hearth About 2,000 years later, Christianity arose as a child of Judaism from this same area Islam arose about seven centuries later in western Arabia, partly from Jewish and Christian roots Religions spread by both relocation and expansion diffusion Expansion diffusion can be divided into hierarchical and contagious subtypes Hierarchical diffusion — ideas are implanted at top of a society, leapfrogging across the map taking root in cities Use of missionaries involves relocation diffusion The Semitic religious hearth:  The Semitic religious hearth Christianity spread through the Roman Empire using the existing splendid road system Clearly reflected hierarchical expansion diffusion Early congregations were established in cities and towns Temporarily established a pattern of Christianized urban centers and pagan rural areas The Semitic religious hearth:  The Semitic religious hearth Scattered urban clusters of early Christianity were created by relocation diffusion Missionaries moved from town to town bearing news of the emerging faith Missionaries often used the technique of converting kings or tribal leaders Some expansion was militaristic — reconquest of Iberia, invasion of Latin America Christianity spread farther by contagious diffusion, also called contact conversion Diffusion of Christianity:  Diffusion of Christianity Tamils were brought to Malaya as indentured labor to work in mines and plantations during the colonial era. Many Hindu Tamils were of a low caste or even untouchables in India. Christianity, without proclaimed social divisions, was and remains attractive to downtrodden peoples. The Semitic religious hearth:  The Semitic religious hearth Islamic faith spread in a militaristic manner Followed the command in the Koran Arabs exploded westward across North Africa in a wave of religious and linguistic conquest Turks, once converted, carried out similar Islamic conquests Muslim missionaries followed trade routes eastward to implant Islam hierarchically in the Philippines, Indonesia, and interior China Semitic religious hearth:  Semitic religious hearth Tropical Africa is the current major area of Islamic expansion Diffusion successes in Sub-Saharan Africa and high birthrates in the older sphere of dominance has made Islam the world’s fastest-growing religion The lndus-Ganges Hearth:  The lndus-Ganges Hearth Second great religious hearth lies on the plains fringing the northern edge of the Indian subcontinent Lowland, drained by the Ganges and Indus rivers Gave birth to Hinduism and Buddhism The lndus-Ganges Hearth:  The lndus-Ganges Hearth Hinduism is at least 4,000 years old Originated in the Punjab, from where it diffused to dominate the subcontinent Missionaries later carried the faith in its proselytic phase, to overseas areas Most converted regions were subsequently lost The lndus-Ganges Hearth:  The lndus-Ganges Hearth Buddhism began in the foothills bordering the Ganges Plain about 500 B.C. For centuries remained confined to the Indian subcontinent Missionaries later carried it to other countries and regions China — between 100 B.C. and A.D. 200 Korea and Japan — between A.D. 300 and 500 Southeast Asia — between A.D. 400 and 600 Tibet — A.D. 700 Mongolia — A.D. 1500 Developed many regional forms and died out in its area of origin Diffusion of Buddhism:  Diffusion of Buddhism Buddhism arrived with Asian migrants in the early 19th century and has become increasingly important with each subsequent immigrant group. This is the Fo Kuang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, an emerging Asian Suburban area near Los Angeles. Pilgrimage:  Pilgrimage Pilgrimages are journeys to especially sacred sites such as this monastery in the Himalaya mountains of Nepal; such pilgrimages often result from a vow and allow laypeople to reach a higher spiritual status Barriers and time-distance decay:  Barriers and time-distance decay Religious ideas weaken with distance from places of origin and time Most religious barriers are permeable, but weaken and retard religious spread Partial acceptance of Christianity by various Indian groups in Latin America and the western United States Served as a camouflage under which many aspects of tribal religions survived Permeable barriers are normally present in expansion diffusion Barriers and time-distance decay:  Barriers and time-distance decay Most religions become modified by older local beliefs as they diffuse spatially Absorbing barriers — example of China Christian missionaries to China expected to find fertile ground for conversion Chinese had long settled the question of what is basic human nature Believed humans were inherently good and evil desires represented merely a deviation from that state Barriers and time-distance decay:  Barriers and time-distance decay Evil desires could be shrugged off and people would return to the basic nature they shared with heaven Christian idea of original sin left the Chinese baffled Chinese could not understand the concept of humankind being flawed or their impossibility to return to godhood Many concepts of Christianity fell on rocky soil in China In the early twentieth century some Chinese became Christians in exchange for the rice missionaries gave them Barriers and time-distance decay:  Barriers and time-distance decay Religion can act as a barrier to the spread of nonreligious innovations Religious taboos can function as absorbing barriers Can prevent diffusion of foods and drinks Mormons are forbidden to consume products containing caffeine Some Pennsylvania Dutch churches prohibit cigarette smoking, but not the raising of tobacco by member farmers for commercial markets Religion and economy :  Religion and economy Religion can also often explain the absence of crops or domestic animals in an area Spain and Morocco show the impact of food taboos On the Spanish, Roman Catholic side pigs are common In Muslim Morocco only about 12,000 swine can be found in the entire country Islamic avoidance of pork underlies this contrast Judaism imposes restrictions against pork and other meats as stated in the Book of Leviticus Religion and economy :  Religion and economy Other explanations for Islamic and Judaic pork taboos Concern with the danger of intestinal parasites (trichinosis) Considered pigs unclean Unlikely relationship between poorly cooked pork and intestinal parasites would have been detected before modern medical technology As some groups lost access to irrigation waters they became nomadic herders diffusion of Buddhism along the Silk Route:  diffusion of Buddhism along the Silk Route trade partly prospered because of the elaborate rites introduced into the practice of Buddhism in Central Asia. The Stupas (icons) were wrapped with reams of silk on festive occasions thereby giving impetus to the silk trade in China. The interlocking dome of the Stupas was to be the prototype for the domes over Mosques and churches that were built later by Romans and Arabs The Dome of the Mosques in Islamic architecture is derived from the stupas The hemispherical construction of Byzantine such as Haja Sophia of Byzantine has domes which reseble the Buddhist Stupa Relic Worships at Stupas:  Relic Worships at Stupas Relics are parts of the Buddha’s body (hair, nails, bones, teeth, etc.) that have great power and can bless those who worship them Stupas are Buddhist temples that house a relic of the Buddha Asoka’s sponsorship of stupas:  Asoka’s sponsorship of stupas Schisms or divisions:  Schisms or divisions Origin and Diffusion of Islam:  Origin and Diffusion of Islam Taj Mahal:  Taj Mahal tomb & mosques built by Shah Jahan 5th Mughal Emperor completed 1653 The Sacred Cow:  The Sacred Cow Nearly 200 million cattle in India Cow sacred and its slaughter forbidden 15% of world total Cows provide work, milk, ghee, dung, fertilizer Hinduism forbids slaughter of cows Goshalas – old age homes for old cows Lord Brahma: creator, continually making new realities:  Lord Brahma: creator, continually making new realities Vishnu: Protector/Preserver:  Vishnu: Protector/Preserver AVATARS Krishna Rama Buddha the Caste System:  the Caste System 4 Social Castes (Varna, subdivided into 1000s of jati) + outcastes Brahmin (5% priestly & academic) Kshatriyas (20% rulers, military, warrior) Vaishya (farmers, merchants, landlords) Sudras (laborers & artisans) Untouchables (26% -- menial labor: slaughtering, cleaning) Dalit: Low-caste “untouchables”:  250 million out-castes 1949 caste system outlawed Oppression continues (rural areas) no rights for owning land or home no access to worship at the local temple no right to walk on certain roads segregated living severely impoverished suffer high levels of illiteracy Since 1950s affirmative action Dalit: Low-caste “untouchables” Sikhism:  Sikhism Symbols of the faith The Five K's: Clothing practices of stricter Sikhs: symbolize unity, truthfulness, faith, identity, justice Kesa (long hair, never cut) Kangah (comb) Kacha (short pants) Kara (metal bangle) Kirpan (a ceremonial dagger) The Geography of Religion:  The Geography of Religion Ethnic Religions Polytheism Universalizing Religions(proselytic) Monotheism Christianity:  Christianity 2 billion adherents make it most practiced in the world. Originated in Bethlehem (8-4 BC) and Jerusalem (AD 30) with Jesus Christ. Spread by missionaries and the Roman Empire (Constantine A.D. 313). It is the most practiced religion in Africa today. Diffusion of Christianity:  Diffusion of Christianity Islam:  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. Sunni (83%) - throughout the Muslim world. Shiite - Iran (40%), Pakistan (15%), Iraq (10%) Holy Text: Koran Prophet: Muhammad :  Holy Text: Koran Prophet: Muhammad 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. 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). Sacred Site of Islam:  Sacred Site of Islam Diffusion of Islam:  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. Buddhism:  300 million + adherents primarily in China and S.E. Asia Originated near modern Nepal around 530 BC by prince Siddhartha Guatama. 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. Buddhism Buddhism:  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. Buddhism:  300 million + adherents primarily in China and S.E. Asia Originated near modern Nepal around 530 BC by prince Siddhartha Guatama. 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. Buddhism 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 and Yoga. Coastlines and river banks most sacred sites. Vishnu and Shiva most common of hundreds of deities. Hinduism Key Terms:  Key Terms Syncretism - the mixing of two or more religions that creates unique rituals, artwork, and beliefs. Examples include syncretism of Christianity and indigenous beliefs in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Caribbean Voodoo (Haiti, Louisiana) Christianity in Indigenous Latin American Voodoo Dolls, Haiti Shrine, Bangalore, India Slide95:  Syncretism - the mixing of two or more religions that creates unique rituals, artwork, and beliefs. Religious Conflict:  Religious Conflict The Big Question: Can secular society exist alongside traditional and fundamentalist religious sects and states? We are quick to notice fundamentalism abroad (i.e. Salman Rushdie’s death sentence by Shia clerics) and not so quick to recognize it at home (abortion clinic bombings; Southern Baptist Convention’s calls for women to submit to their husbands’ authority). American evangelical Christianity and Islamic fundamentalism are the two most influential fundamentalist movements in the world. Fewer and fewer states are governed by an official church. Role of Religion:  Role of Religion How does it function in the society Who and what does it serve Can it be spread Does it promote the spread How does it impact change and stability in the society and in the world

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