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Introduction to Religions of the World

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Jason Cognac

on 15 March 2016

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Transcript of Introduction to Religions of the World

The 5 Themes of Geography are:
- Location
- Place
- Human-Environment
Use what you have learned from this presentation in order to decide what Theme of Geography each of the following statements are examples of.

(click arrow to go to statements)
1. Coffee is shipped from Brazil to the U.S. in order to be consumed.
2. Egypt is unique because it has the Great Pyramids.
3. Mexico is located south of the U.S.'s southwestern border.
4. The factory uses the current of the river to generate power.
5. The islands in the tropics area between North and South America all
experience warm/hot temperatures throughout the year.
Religions of the World
Major Religions
During this unit, we will be:

the world's major religions.

their foundational beliefs.

their development and history.

an understanding and level of respect for various religions and their followers.

Learning Goals
Describe the 5 major religions using the 5 Ws:
Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Analyze each religion on its own terms,
not judging it by the standards of other
Why is it important and worthwhile to learn about various religions of the world and understand their major beliefs?
Approach this question in 2 ways:

1. In regard to learning World History.

2. In regard to your everyday life.
Discuss this with someone next to you!
1. Religion has had a significant impact on world history.

- Has guided the beliefs and actions of various groups
around the world.

- It has brought people together; Also torn them apart.

- Wars and Genocide have been carried out in the
"name of religious principles".

- It is a dominant force throughout the world, affecting
everything from what people wear to how they behave.
2. Knowing the beliefs and practices of various religions contributes
to our awareness and acceptance of other peoples' values and way of life.
- If you plan to receive a higher education, you will likely encounter
and learn with, possibly befriend, followers of several different

- One day, you may work with or live next door to a follower of a
religion other than your own.

- Ignorance can be dangerous.
Important Point
During this unit we will learn what followers of these religions believe and practice!

In no way, will this unit instruct you or pressure you regarding what YOU SHOULD believe!

That would be inappropriate.
Let's Take Some Introductory Notes!
We will use this unit as an opportunity to practice some Note Taking strategies.

1. Cornell Notes Format

2. Outline Notes Format
Definition We Have Used:
The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Textbook Definition:
An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, practices, and worship that centers on one or more gods.

A subgroup of a religious belief system.


A belief in only 1 god.
A belief in more than 1 god.
A belief that god/gods are man-made concepts and do not actually exist.
Scan the news on any given day, and you probably will come across examples of how religion influences everyday life around the world.

Studying the World’s Religions

Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu residents of Ahmedabad said today that people associated with the World Hindu Council had played a role in instigating the anti-Muslim riots in revenge, with their trademark shouts of “Jai Shri Ram!”—”Victory to the God Ram!”
Consider the following newspaper excerpts, drawn from the same newspaper on the same day—The New York Times:

A priest in the northern city of Rousse, supported by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, says he will denounce the Harry Potter books of J.K. Rowling—best sellers in Bulgaria, as in much of the rest of the world—at his service tomorrow.
The Vatican announced that the Pope would canonize Amabile Lucia Visintainer, giving Brazil, the world’s most populous Roman Catholic country, its first saint.

Faced with a storm of criticism of a coming exhibition with Nazi themes, the Jewish Museum said yesterday that it had a plan intended to satisfy Holocaust survivors who have objected to some of the works without alienating ardent supporters of provocative new art.
Judaism Hinduism
Islam Sikh
Christianity Confucianism
Buddhism Taoism

What are some religions that you know of?

The capacity for seeing things from another’s
perspective, and an important methodological approach for studying religions.

Hinduism originated around the Indus Valley near the River Indus in modern day Pakistan.
80% of the Indian population regard themselves as Hindu.
Most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of deities which emanate from him.
Brahman: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva
Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, governed by Karma.
A soul's next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived.
The main Hindu texts are the Vedas.
What does this sacred symbol mean?
Gandhi advocated living very simply, owning few possessions, and having little money. He claimed that living in this manner was the way to genuine freedom.

Is Gandhi correct that possessions and material concerns can enslave a person? Why or why not?

Buddhism is 2,500 years old.

376 million followers worldwide.

Buddhism arose as a result of Siddhartha Gautama's quest for Enlightenment (nirvana) in around the 6th Century BC (in India).

There is no belief in a personal God. It is not centered on the relationship between humanity and God.

Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent - change is always possible.

Two main Buddhist sects are Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism, but there are many more.

Buddhists can worship both at home or at a temple.

The path to Enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.

Can you figure out what part of Buddhism is symbolized by the wheel?
A subgroup of a religion
Beginnings: 3500 years ago (1500 BCE), Middle East.

Founders: Abraham (2,000 BCE), Moses (1500 BCE)

Monotheistic (believed to be the first).

Believed they are God's Chosen People through a covenant (agreement).

Sacred text: Torah.

Sects: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative.
Follow 613 Commandments- dictate a Jew's behavior in almost
all parts of life. (examples: Kosher diet; Sabbath)

Leadership: Rabbis.

Worship in Synagogues.

Most Jews live in Israel (Jewish homeland) and the U.S.

Sacred City: Jerusalem, Israel.

Sabbath: Friday, sundown to Saturday, sundown.

Holidays: Hannukah, Pass Over, Rosh Hashanah
Key Notes
To Be Jewish:
Jews are considered a separate race of people in some cases.
Jews are considered an ethnic group, due to the impact that their religious laws have on their way of life.
Someone can be from Jewish ancestry and not practice Judaism. A person could also convert to Judaism.
Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior promised in the Jews' sacred texts.
Sent to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins by sacrificing his own life.
The crucifixion (killed on a cross)

Believe there are three elements to this one God:
God the Father- creator, judge
God the Son- lived on earth among people
The Holy Spirit- fills Christians' hearts and minds; guides; evident in the actions and good deeds
of believers.

Follow 10 Commandments (10 of Judaism's 613).

Believe in Justification by faith--Christians can have a good relationship with God and receive his
forgiveness if they believe...
- That Jesus is the son of God.
- That he died for humankind and
resurrected from the dead.
- And Repent for their sins.
- Live life according to the
10 Commandments.

Believe in a life after death; in heaven.

Holy Book: The Bible.
Old Testament.
New Testament.

Sects: Dozens of sects.
Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Amish, Eastern Orthodox...

The very first Christians were Jews, who possessed the strong, radical belief that the man Jesus was the son of their God.

Without Judaism, there is no Christianity.
People important to its founding:
Jesus- based on his teachings.
Paul- established Christianity as its own separate religion.
Over 2 Billion followers today- largest religion.
Different sects have different leadership levels and roles.
The common leader of a Christian community is a pastor or priest.
Founded approximately 2,000 years ago.
Jesus lived and spread his message in the area that is the country of Israel today.

Sacred Cities include:
- Bethlehem
- Nazareth
- Jerusalem

Today, Christians can be found on 6 continents.
Christianity promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven for those who:
Believe Jesus is the son of God
Believe his death and resurrection was to save humankind, Live life according to the 10 Commandments.
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