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Major World Religions
Eastern Mediterranean in Bronze Age
Abraham considered first Jew – made covenant with God – Abrahamic Religion
God gave the Jews the Ten Commandments under Moses
920 BC, kingdom fell apart and split into groups
600 BC temple destroyed – sent to exile in Babylon
Began Diaspora – worship away from Jerusalem
Judaism grew for 300 years though others ruled their land
175 BCE the King of Syria desecrated temple and made laws to try to wipe out Judaism for Zeus worship. Revolt (164 BCE) and the temple was restored.
Romans took over in 63 BCE
1 to 70 Rabbi’s started different Jewish thinking – away from temple – built synagogues
70, 1st revolt against Romans and failed – led to destruction of temple
132, 2nd revolt – hundreds of thousands died, enslaved or banned from Jerusalem
200, scholars created the Mishna, a collection of teachings, sayings and interpretations of Rabbis
Golden Age around 1000 – Jews recorded in Spain and Britain
The Crusades, military operations by Christian countries to capture the Holy Land.
The armies of the first Crusade attacked Jewish communities on their way to Palestine, especially in Germany.
The armies of the first Crusade attacked Jewish communities on their way to Palestine, especially in Germany.
They banned Jews from the city.
In Britain, the Jewish population increased, benefiting from the protection of Henry I.”
1100s, Jews driven from Spain by Berber invasion
1215, Catholic Church ordered Jews to live in segregated areas (ghettos) and to wear distinctive clothes.
1290 to 1497 expelled from England, France, Spain, and Portugal
Jews first in America 1648
End of 18th century, persecution in central Europe
Reform Judaism created in Germany in 19th century
UK granted rights to Jews in 1860s
Treated cruelly in central Europe and Germany in 19th century
Rebirth of the Hebrew language
20th century, Jews flooded into USA and UK
Zionism – Balfour Declaration in 1917 – Jews get own land
1930s and 1940s, Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust
Zionism created the State of Israel in 1948
Arabs and Jews fought
6 day War in 1967 – Yom Kippur War in 1973
Peace treaty with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994)
After Abraham is born in 2000 BCE, Israelites conquer holy land of Canaan. Jews begin to live in Diaspora, outside of Jerusalem, after it is sacked. Jews populate Spain during the Jewish Golden Age around 1000. They then are expelled from Spain, Portugal, UK, Jordan, and Germany in 1600s. Areas finally give them some rights but in 1948 the State of Isral founded and made the official Jewish country.
Jews believe in one god and his prophets
Special respect for Moses as the prophet to whom God gave the law
Sabbath Day as remembrance of the Covenant
Prayer 3 times a day
Blessing of food and drink
Mitzvot (Commandments) to be followed – given by God in Torah – 613
Rabbinic Law to be followed as well
Worship and prayer in the synagogue
Jewish law is displayed in the Torah (AKA the Pentateuch) and the Talmud (collected commentary on the Torah)
Judaism is more concerned with actions than dogma. In other words, earthly actions are more important than beliefs.
Jewish law, or halakhah, includes 613 commandments given by God in the Torah, as well as rules and practices shown by scholars
Jewish law covers matters such as prayer and ritual, diet (Kosher), personal status (marriage, divorce, birth, death, inheritance, etc.)
Holidays (like Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and Passover, the feast celebrating the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt).
The Torah and Talmud vaguely address the afterlife, as Judaism focuses more on earthly activities. They say that the afterlife is the joining of ancestors: Abraham, Isaac, Moses, etc. The Mishnah says, "This world is like a lobby before the Olam Ha-Ba (the world to come). Prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall." After death you either go to Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden which is like Heaven, or Gehinnom which is Hell. This is determined by how you live your earthly life, whether you live righteously and follow the Mitzvot, or a cruel life. Though it is not mentioned in the holy texts, many Jews refer to the Judgment Day and Resurrection of the Jewish souls in Jerusalem.
Branched from Judaism in 1st century
Began with Jesus of Nazareth – born of the Virgin Mary – Son of God - Messiah
Teaching, healing, and miracle-working
Had 12 disciples
After opposition, crucified by Romans – rose from the dead 3 days after death
Caiaphas responsible for death b/c of rigged trial
Followers of Jesus known as Christians – population grew in 1st century
Saul persecuted Christians but converted to Christianity changing name to Paul
Paul became missionary and spread Christianity and built churches
2nd and 3rd centuries, Christians struggled with persecution
New Testament was formed
Often persecuted because of loyalty to God and not the empire
Constantine converted to Christianity in 324
Christianity became legal, persecution stopped, and many people converted until it became official religion
Holy Roman Empire
Constantine used Christianity to bring together empire
Arianism (Christ is more man less that God), 325, Council of Nicea brought bishops to come to conclusion that the Son is of “one substance” with the Father.
St. Athanasius of Alexandria fought Arians but orthodox won
451, Council of Chalcedon discussed issues of Jesus’ divine and human natures
Capital from Rome to Constantinople (now Istanbul)
East and West became divided – after Constantine death he gave eastern half to one son in Rome and other half to other son in Constantinople
1054, Pope Leo IX excommunicated patriarch of Constantinople, leader of Eastern Church
Divided into west Roman Catholic and east Greek Orthodox
1400s, some western Christians challenged the church and began translating the gospel (only available in Latin) into other languages – not big effect
1517, Martin Luther, mad at Catholic papacy, began a movement which led to formation of the Protestantism
17th century, many ideologies of Christians traveled to Americas
After death of Jesus in 32, disciples and missionaries spread Christianity throughout scattered parts of Europe and then through all of Mediterranean and parts of North Africa, UK, and the Middle East. With the spread of Islam, areas of Africa, Spain and Middle East converted to Islam, but Christianity spread through northern Europe. Through sea voyage, Christianity took hold in The Americas and places of northern Europe including Russia, dominating the religions of the world.
Church on Sundays – Prayer, singing, sermon
Prayer at home
Bible Study – analyzing sections of the bible
Baptism – washing of one’s sins
Communion – sacraments-sacred showing obedience of Jesus’ instructions of commemorating his death during the Last Supper – bread and wine
Catholicism includes other sacraments like rosary and pilgrimages
Chaplains advise people
Conformation of Faith – recitation of beliefs
Catholics and some forms perform exorcisms to rid people of demons
Jesus mainly taught faith – how one lives – faith in God
Holidays like Advent, Ash Wednesday, Easter, Lent, Christmas, Good Friday, Palm Sunday
Holy scriptures are the Old Testament (the Jewish Torah with additions), and the New Testament (written by the followers of Jesus/tells life of Jesus and other Christian writings).
Belief that God is revealed through three dimensions: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.” The trinity
Jesus considered the son of God
Born to the Virgin Mary and came to Earth to offer redemption for mankind's sins
After Jesus crucified and executed by the Romans, he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Celebrated as Easter
Birth of Jesus is celebrated at Christmas.
7 Deadly Sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony
Christians believe that those who have lived a good life will reside in heaven with God, and those who have lived an unrepentant life of sin will be punished in hell in the afterlife. Also, the day or resurrection or Judgement Day is predicted to come when Jesus comes back. All the souls will resurrect and be judged before God.
570, Muhammad born
Angel Gabriel came to him telling him to proclaim and spread word as propet
Became prophet and spread word of Allah to abandon pagan ways
Muhammad mocked, imprisoned, stone, etc. with his 40 followers
Moved to city of Yathrib as ruler and had support – renamed Medinat al-Nabi “the City of the Prophet” and known now as Medina “the city”
Established himself in Medina, in 624 won first battle against Mecca, then lost a battle, and in 627 Meccans invaded Medina and Medina won – never lost again
630 he conquered Mecca and dedicated Ka’ba temple to Allah, converted population of Mecca into Islam and went to Medina – died 632
632 to 661 Golden Age, Age of Rashiduns
By 634 Islam spread across whole Arabian Peninsula – with 100 years spread across Atlantic and to borders of China – due to strong successors (caliphs)
Dispute over successor divided them into Sunni and Shi’a of Ali
Shiates believe it runs in family, Sunni are fine with the companions
Arabs controlled Syria, Egypt, and Palestine by 641
Christians and Jews only had to pay taxes, others forced to convert or die
Much expansion after Muhammad’s death by armies, traders, missionaries, etc.
Many dynasties and empires – each unique (Abassids and Umayyads)
Ottoman Empire ruled for about 600 years – very famous and powerful
20th century after struggling from European colonization and imperialism, many Muslims suggested going back to original Islam traditions – reform movements
Most countries feel going back to original traditions will restore welfare and prosperity, 20th century politics not beneficial to Muslims
Began in early 7th century in Mecca (present Saudi Arabia)
Developed from Judeo-Christian tradition and influenced by nomadic Bedouin tribes of Arabia.
Expanded to Byzantine empire, Sassanid empire, North Africa, Europe, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa, central Asia, south Asia, and Southeast Asia
In expansion, Islamic societies adapted customs and created cultural traditions
“Many elements of Islamic society became integral parts of medieval and Renaissance European culture, like the notion of chivalry, and certain forms of music (the lute, the arabesque) and poetry.”
Indonesians converted to Islam between the 15th and 17th centuries.
Started in Saudi Arabia and spread throughout Middle East. Then expanded into areas of Byzantine Empire and the Sassanian Empire. In mid-eighth century, it spread west into North Africa and Europe, and east into Central Asia. Continued to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
The Five Pillars of Islam
1. Orally declaring their faith (shahadah);
2. Praying five times a day (salat);
3. Fasting in the daylight hours during the month of Ramadan (sawm);
4. Giving a share of their income for charity (zakat);
5. Making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they can Afford it (hajj).
The Six Articles of Faith
1. One God;
2. The angels of God;
3. The books of God, especially the Qur'an;
4. The prophets of God, especially Muhammad;
5. The Day of Judgment (or the afterlife); and
6. The supremacy of God's will (or predestination).
Muslims believe Allah (Arabic for God) sent his revelation, the Quran, to Muhammad in 600s to proclaim it to all people
Quran contains verses (surahs) in Arabic that tell Muslims to worship one god and how to treat others properly
The Hadith, written by scholars, describes Muhammad's life as an example of pious behavior, proscribes law based on the Quran and the example of Muhammad, and explains certain rituals
Also talks about dietary rules, similar to Judaism, that forbid some foods (like pork), outlaw alcohol, and tell how animals should be slaughtered
Muslim calendar is lunar, shifts in relation to the solar calendar.
Begins w/ Muhammad's move from Mecca to Medina in 622
Muslim years are labeled as A.H., Anno Hegirae, or "year of the Hijra."
Festivals include Id al-Fitr (the Fast-Breaking Festival, at end of Ramadan) and Id al-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice, Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Ishmail which is during month of pilgrimage).
Mahdi – come before Judgment Day as a redeemer
Muslims believe in a Day of Judgment, when righteous souls will go to heaven and wrongdoers will go to hell. All dead wait for Day of Judgment and then Allah raises all people and jinn to be judged. Determined by balance of good and bad with exceptions to warriors dying for Allah (go to Paradise) and those against Islam (go to Hell).
1500 BC Aryans migrate to Indian subcontinent spreading their religion which Hinduism stems from
The Vedas – religious texts
Dharma Sutras and Shastras and two epics: the Mahabharata and Ramayana
Ideas of Dharma and worship and Bhakti
500 devotion to deities and temples are shown
Sanskrit became a written language
With collapse of Gupta, many other religions came up
Hindu poets and thinkers began to flourish in Medieval
1000 the Tantras
Islam influences some parts of India
Hindu Renaissance in 19th century
Bring back old vedic traditions
Around 3000 BCE, Hinduism began to spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. By 480 BCE, it had spread to Sri Lanka, Indian southern coast, Indo-China, and even parts of Polynesia through sea travel. Muslim expansion eastern India, modern Pakistan, to Islam. Islam soon was practiced by most of India, but Hinduism gained ground again by about 1500 in India.
Focused on devotion to one god (Brahman, Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti) or several gods
Philosophical Hindus ignore gods and seek Realization of Self through intense meditation
Three paths (margas) to liberation: bhaktimarga (the path of devotion), jnanamarga (the path of knowledge or philosophy), and karmamarga (the path of works and action).
Authority of Vedas and Brahman
4 purposes of life: Dharma - fulfilling one's purpose; Artha - prosperity; Kama - desire, sexuality, enjoyment; and Moksha - enlightenment.
Not necessarily polytheistic or monotheistic
Ayurveda – ancient healing and medicine
Hatha Yoga – meditative movements – path to contemplation of one reality
Kundalini Yoga – chakras – energy
Puja – religious ritual
Sadhu (Holy Man) – like monks
4 Stages (Ashramas)
1. brahmacharga, which takes place during the school years, is focused on acquiring knowledge and developing character;
2. grastha, the middle years, is focused on worldly pursuits and pleasures such as marriage, family and career;
3. vanaprastha, when one's children reach adulthood, is a time of increased focus on spiritual things; and
4. sanngasu, in the last years of life, one may abandon the world entirely for a life of contemplation.
Believe in the process of reincarnation called samsara. The soul is born over and over in different lives according to the laws of action and reaction (karma). Can move through castes based on actions. Non-human forms such as animals or divine creatures as well. The ultimate goal is to break free from the cycle by doing good (moksha).
Siddhartha Gautama – 490-410 BCE
Born as prince in Limbini (modern Nepal) and he was kept in the palace for many years with many luxuries
Left palace and saw sufferings like sickness, age, and death
Decided he needed to find a cure for all of this
Lived as a monk and as an ascetic for many years but did not work
Sitting under Bodhi tree (the tree of awakening) Siddhartha became deep in meditation, and reflected on his experience of life, determined to penetrate its truth
Finally achieved Enlightenment
Buddha set in motion the wheel of teaching
“For the next 45 years of his life the Buddha taught many disciples, who became Arahants or 'noble ones', who had attained Enlightenment for themselves”
Mahakasyapa leader of Sangha after Buddha
Had to get council of 500 arhats to preserve Buddhism
The First Council took place in Rajgir
3 categories or "baskets" (pitaka) established: discourses, discipline and higher knowledge
Ananda became head of sangha – Buddhism spread throughout India
Second Council, Buddhists split into 2 b/c of disagreements
Elders (Theravada) original teachings – Great Communty (Mahayana) interpreted liberally but to Buddha’s meaning
18 schools of Buddhism 200 years after Buddha death
Ashoka Maurya converted to Buddhism and spread it to areas like China
Created monuments and carved edicts into pillars
Sri Lanka accepted Buddhism
After the birth of Buddha in 480 BCE, Buddhism spread north of the Himalayas into China with the help of Ashoka Maurya. Was popular in India but did not dominate over Hinduism. Spread continued through China, Mongolia, Korea, and parts of Indo-china and Polynesia as well.
Buddha is only master
Don’t believe world is created or ruled by God
Live life of compassion for wisdom to find Ultimate Truths
Trying to achieve enlightenment
Meditation – mental concentration and mindfulness
Mantras – sacred sounds
Mudras – symbolic hand gestures
Prayer wheels – reciting mantras with turn of the wheel
Pilgrimage to sacred sites
The Eightfold Path
1. Right knowledge
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration
Four Noble Truths
1. The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
2. The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
3. The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)
Human Form in Five Aggravates (Khandas):
1 .Physical forms (rupa)
2. Feelings or sensations (vedana)
3. Ideations (sanna)
4. Mental formations or dispositions (sankhara)
5. Consciousness (vinnana)
Belief in a reincarnation cycle. Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism does not believe in a soul, but compares the reincarnation to lighting numerous candles with the same flame. One keeps going through the cycle till they become a Buddha, or enlightened, in which they reach Nirvana. Nirvana is the liberation from the cycle and end of suffering.
551 BC, Confucius born
Developed concepts about education, society, and government to help politics
Rejected by China and attempted to find other country to give advice
Followed by students
Returned home and spread teachings
Many of his teaching written by student in The Analects
“Confucius considered himself a transmitter who consciously tried to retrieve the meaning of the past by breathing vitality into seemingly outmoded rituals”
The Han used Confucianism in political activities
The Five Classics became core of education for bureaucrats
Even with Daoism and Buddhism, Confucianism still most influential in society
11th century, Neo-Confucianism influenced Korea and Japan
Declined after Chinese Republic in 1912
Began small in China but under the Han dynasty, Confucianism was used in politics and all bureaucrats and scholars studied it. It spread to Korea, Japan, Indo-China, and Polynesia. Had strong influence in politics till 20th century but still is practiced.
Main principle of Confucianism is ren ("humaneness" or "benevolence"), meaning excellent character in accord with li (ritual norms), zhong (loyalty to one's true nature), shu (reciprocity), and xiao (filial piety). These all constitute de (virtue).
Thought high of nature
Trusting of humans to be teachable and perfectible
Does not follow any rituals other than those of Chinese tradition and some of Daoism and Buddhism
Very adaptable to many religions because Confucianism is more philosophy than religion
Strict family structure - patriarch
Confucianism regards Heaven (T'ien) as a positive and personal force in the universe. Confucianism is a philosophy rather than religion, as it does not discuss divine powers or afterlife.
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