Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Religions of the World

A brief overview of the major religions of the world, their history, main beliefs, and practices.

Chase Campbell

on 7 November 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Religions of the World

Major Belief Systems of the World
-(approximately 3000 BCE) in modern-day Pakistan/
Indus River Valley
Cultural diffusion
between Aryan invaders and the native peoples of India sometime around 1500 BCE.
Geographic Origin
-Developed on the Indian subcontinent.
Currently Practiced
-Most common in
Significant Writings
Ramayana, Mahabharata
(EPICS), Bhagavad Gita.
Places of Worship-
Mandirs, Hinduism is also usually practiced in the home where there is usually a shrine dedicated to a favored deity (god)
Significant Religious People-
Hindu priests (Brahmin) carry out traditional religious practices in temples.
Major gods include Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha and their various Avatars or aspects
The Vedas: The main religious text of Hinduism
Reincarnation (Samasara)
Eventual goal is moshka, or oneness with the universe and freedom from reincarnation

Governed by
(material actions resulting from the consequences of previous actions), and
(fulfilling one's duty in life).

Because all forms of animal life possess souls, Hindus believe in
, or that all life is sacred. and should not be harmed. In fact, one animal which Hindus consider to be extremely sacred is the cow

are a symbol of reincarnation, and are considered holy, The
Ganges River is the most holy river in Hinduism
and pilgrims travel great distances to bathe in its waters.
A rigid system of
Social Classes
in India
Based upon birth
No Social Mobility
Reinforced by the ideas of Karma and Reincarnation
Originally brought to Indian and enforced by the Aryan invaders
(Cultural Diffusion)
Influenced the jobs people could have, who they could marry, and almost all aspects of life
(Social System)
Currently it is illegal to discriminate based upon Caste in India
Marriages and many other parts of life are still influenced by caste
Geographic Origin
-Developed simultaneously in different parts of the world.
Currently Practiced
-World-wide, but most common in areas of
and the Americas.
Significant Writings
-None or few. Oral tradition of story-telling, rather than a developed writing system.
Places of Worship
-Animist rituals tend to take place outdoors in nature.
Significant Religious People
-Animist rituals are typically conducted by a Shaman, Medicine Man, or Medicine Woman.
Typical Beliefs
Nature Spirits
- all things in nature have a spirit, these can be either benevolent (good) or malevolent (evil)
Ancestor Worship
- Many animist beliefs center around ancestor worship, the idea that one's ancestors watch them and can guide and help them
Traditional Religion/Culture
-Abraham due to his
with God. Moses is also considered a founder due to his role in the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt, and his delivery of the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai sometime around 2000 BCE.
Geographic Origin
-Developed in the Middle East in and around the area that is currently Israel.
Currently Practiced
-Worldwide, but
the greatest majority of Jews reside in Israel
, the United States, and the former Soviet Union.
Significant Writings
-Torah and Talmud.
Places of Worship
-Jews worship in temples called synagogues.
Significant Religious People
-Rabbis are Jewish scholars charged with conducting religious services, ensuring that Jewish laws are observed, and serving as a spiritual guide for the community.
(1)You shall have no other gods before Me.
(2)You shall not make yourself any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them...
(3)You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
(4)Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God...
(5)Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.
(6)You shall not commit murder.
(7)You shall not commit adultery.
(8)You shall not steal.
(9)You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor.
(10)You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.
was an agreement between God and Abraham that Abraham and his descendents would worship God and no other
and that in turn they would be given land and a Great Nation.
is an idea of a solemn agreement, and later became the foundation for the idea of a
During World War I The British promise the
movement a Jewish homeland if they support the Allies in the
Balfour Declaration
this promise is not kept
During World War II, the Jews are brutally persecuted by
Nazi Germany
, rounded up, forced into ghettos and Concentration Camps, and systematically killed in a Genocide known as the
. 6 Million people of Jewish descent lose their lives
Shinto was was founded around the year 500 BCE.

None: Evolved from a mixture of tribal religions with similar beliefs.

Geographic Origin:
Developed on the Japanese archipelago.
Currently Practiced:
Most common in Japan.
Significant Writings:
Kokiji, or Record of Ancient Matters and Nikong, or Chronicles of Japan.

Places of Worship:
Shinto shrines are usually dedicated near sites of impressive natural beauty (e.g., mountains, lakes, etc.), or of historical importance to Japan. The entrance to these shrines is usually indicated by the presence of a
red gateway called a torri.

Significant Religious People:
Traditionally, the Emperor of Japan was considered to be a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess who created the Japanese islands. Therefore, the Emperor was considered divine by the people who practiced Shinto. After Japan surrendered to the United States in WWII, Emperor Hirohito renounce his divinity and political authority.
Shinto teaches that there is a sacredness of the whole universe and that humans can be in tune with this sacredness. Every mountain, river, plant, animal, and all the diverse phenomena of heaven and earth have spirits, or
which inhabit them. Reverence is paid to the ancestors through the practice of ancestor worship.
can be divided and still retain its spiritual power, hence a stone from a place of great power or a piece from an important shrine has all the
power of that shrine or place itself
Sumo Wrestling began as a competition between the
of villages and still has incredible religious meaning to Shinto practitioners
Shinto and Buddhism share many festivals in Japan, an example being the O-ban festival in which lighted rafts and paper lanterns are used to venerate family ancestors and deceased love ones.
-The Chinese philosopher Lao Tze.
Geographic Origin
-Developed in China around 500 BCE.
Currently Practiced
-Elements of this philosophy are still practiced in Southeast Asia.
Significant Writings
Wu Wei
- Knowing when to act, and when not to act, without knowing it. The sun, stars, and planets move without knowing or acting to do so, a tree knows to grow without doing, this is an accepting of the natural and acting accordingly
"Going with the flow"
The goal of Taoism is to establish harmony with the Tao which is the mechanism of everything that exists
The Tao is "the way", "the path", and also Nature
The Yin and Yang symbol is used to illustrate the natural harmony that exists in the world. Everything must have an opposing force that allows the harmonious universe to exist. For example:

Yin \Yang
Light\ Dark
Male \Female
Heavenly\ Earthly
Active\ Passive
Kong Fu Zi, which was translated as Confucius by Europeans. His teachings were later refined and spread by Mencius.
Geographic Origin
-Developed in China around 500 BCE..
Currently Practiced
-Elements of this philosophy are still practiced in Southeast Asia.
ignificant Writings-
The Analects.

In these relationships, the second role is considered
e to the first. If everyone knew their place in society, then order would prevail.
The Analects eventually became a basis for the
Imperial Exam system.
Exam System
began officially in 605 CE and lasted with few interruptions until 1905.
Exam System
allowed those not of noble birth to prove their knowledge and skill and assume high positions in the government. It emphasized skill and knowledge over noble birth
Influenced similar systems in Korea, Vietnam, Heian Period Japan (794-1185 CE), and even His Majesty's Civil Service Exam in Great Britain after 1833
.(Cultural Diffusion)
-Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, which means "enlightened one."
Geographic Origin
-Developed in India.
Currently Practiced
-Most common in Southeast Asia and Japan (Zen).
Significant Writings-
Tripitka, or Three Baskets of Wisdom.
Places of Worship
-Buddhism may be practiced individually, but temples and monasteries do exist.
Significant Religious People-
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan sect of Buddhism, and is considered to be the reincarnation of the bodhisattva, or "Buddha-to-be." Buddhist monks can be identified by their traditional orange robes.
Four Noble Truths
Siddhartha's philosophy of the nature of human suffering and it's relation to desire is contained in these four statements
Eightfold Path
Wheel of Life
is one of the most important symbols of Buddhism, as it represents the endless cycle of life through
and because each of its eight spokes represents one of the teachings of the
Eightfold Path.

(1) Know that suffering is caused by desire.
(2) Be selfless and love all life.
(3) Do not lie, or speak without cause.
(4) Do not kill, steal, or commit other unrighteous acts.
(5) Do not do things which promote evil.
(6) Take effort to promote righteousness.
(7) Be aware of your physical actions, state of mind, and emotions.
(8) Learn to meditate.
Dhamrachakra (Wheel of Life)

Wheel of Life
is one of the most important symbols of Buddhism, as it represents the endless cycle of life through
and because each of its eight spokes represents one of the teachings of the
Eightfold Path
Buddhists believe in an endless cycle of
, or
, which is
to beliefs of
. However, Buddhists do not believe that deities are responsible for the phenomenon. In addition, the
Caste System is rejected by Buddhists
who believe instead that one is reincarnated until they can achieve
, best described as
spiritual enlightenment.

The concept of reincarnation can best be illustrated using an infinity symbol:
The Budai, or "Laughing Buddha" is associated with Maitreya Buddhism in China and is based on a Buddhist monk who lived in the 10th century CE
The Gautama Buddha is more slender and typical of India, Nepal, and Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc)
Theravada Buddhism
: Focuses on the Four Noble
, The
Eightfold Path
, and an intense inner speculation and constant analysis through meditation.
More conservative than mainstream Buddhism but considered to more closely resemble Buddhism as it was when founded.
Lay people (all those other than monks) live lives of merit making trying to do good
Monks lead ascetic monastic lives but are considered to be closer to achieving Nirvana
Over 100 Million observers today
Mahayana Buddhism:
More inclusive than Theravada
Most widely practiced form
Reading of scriptures and mantras
Even lay people may achieve Nirvana especially through the intervention of
- Saint-like Buddha forms that lead mankind to perfection, Nirvana, and protect the faithful
Islam was founded by the prophet
Geographic Origin
-Developed on the
Arabian Peninsula
in the year 622 CE, and quickly spread to other regions (Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, South East Asia).
Currently Practiced-
Islam is most dominant throughout the
Middle East
, including Southwest Asia and North Africa and the Philippines
Significant Writings
-The teachings of Islam are collected in the
Places of Worship
-Muslims may gather to worship in temples called

Significant Religious People-
The Caliph, or successor to the Prophet Mohammed; Imam, leader of prayers; and the Muezzin, or one who issues a call to prayer, causing the faithful to gather at the local
is the second source after the
that is consulted in determining
Holy Cities
- Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem
Islam when translated from Arabic, means
"to submit to the will of Allah,"

Islam the youngest of the world's major religions.
Worshipers of this monotheistic religion are known as Muslims, which means "one who submits to the will of Allah."
A muezzin is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer (adhan) at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets

Mohammed and his followers later returned to Mecca and declar
a jihad
, or holy war, or struggle, after which he captured the city. Under Mohammed's leadership, the basic teachings of Islam were established, which are known as
the Five Pillars of I
slam. Every Muslim is expected to follow these rules in order to lead an ethical
During the
Muslim Expansion
armies. traders, and merchants spread Islam throughout the
Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Spain
Arabic Language and Alphabet
served to Unify many different parts of the Muslim World
(Cultural Impact and Diffusion)
and became a basis for trade and dealings throughout many parts of the World
Muslims were heavily involved in trade throughout the world including Africa, Europe, India, The Middle East, and China through the
Silk Road
Cultural interactions

with Western Europeans during the Crusades introduced Europeans to these trade goods
and along with advanced navigation technologies (magnetic compass, astrolabe) would
spur the European Age of Exploration
and the rise of Italian trading City-states such as Venice, Florence, and Naples

a Muslims is the second-largest sect of Islam and believe that the family of Muhammad have special spiritual and religious authority and that this power and right to the Caliphate was usurped by
Disaggreements over who should rule after Muhammad's death lead to the First Fitna, or Civil War between
i and
a Muslims.
i and
a still have strained and sometimes violent relations today throughout the Muslim World (Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Bahrain)
An example: in 1514 the Ottoman Sultan Selim I ordered the
e of 40,000 Shia in Anatolia. Selim I said that killing a Shia was worth the same as killing 70 Christians
Some Islamic nations and

base their laws on the Sharia, or legal code interpreted from the Qur'an and Hadith
Their are many critics of
Sharia law
and especially its sometimes brutal punishments and treatment of women
Traditional Values v. New Values
Cultural Traditions v. Human Rights/Women's Rights
Islamic practice generally forbids the depiction of people and especially The Prophet.
Islamic art is best represented through their incredible architecture, beautiful calligraphy, and advanced and repeating geometric patterns
Ottoman Culture was a mix of Muslim, Greek, Byzantine, and slavic cultures
The Ottoman Empire relied upon a professional core of mostly converted Christian-slave soldiers call the jannissaries, these were incredibly effective rifleman for several hundred years.
-Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples who helped spread his teachings.
Geographic Origin
-Developed in Judea (now Israel), located in the Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea sometime around the year 30 CE.
Currently Practiced
-Christianity is the dominant religion in North America, South America, Europe, and Russia.
Significant Writings-
The Holy Bible, consisting of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Places of Worship-
Christians practice their faith in temples usually referred to as churches.
Significant Religious People
-Priests and ministers are Christian holy men and women who are charged with conducting religious services, ensuring that Christian laws are observed, and serving as a spiritual guide for the community. In addition, deacons, nuns, and monks are people who have dedicated their lives to Christian service.
Christianity evolved from Judaism
Both Jews and Christians subscribe to the Ten Commandments found in the Book of Exodus. In addition, prophecies of Jewish prophets contained in several books of the Old Testament stated that God would send a savior, or messiah, to the people of Israel. While Judaism clearly states that this event has not yet occurred, Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, sent to redeem the world of sin.
This has led the Christian faith to proclaim that there is a Holy Trinity, formed by the Creator (Father), Redeemer (Son), and Sustainer (Holy Spirit). Christians believe that these three entities are all part of a single higher power.
Christians are expected to attend church services regularly, usually on Sundays and holy days such as Christmas and Easter. On these occasions Christians take part in sacraments, which are religious practices such as baptism, and receiving the Eucharist (The Sacraments)
Christianity was able to spread quickly through the Roman Empire but was sometimes met with severe persecution from Emperors Diocletian and Nero amongst others
Christianity became a legal religion with the
Edict of Milan
from Emperor Constantine I in 313 C.E and flourished even more after Constantine's Conversion
Christians who were killed for their faith are known as Martyrs and in the Catholic faith some Martyrs became canonized as Saints with the power to intercede on man's behalf.
After the Fall of the Roman Empire in 476 C.E. The Church became the only major force unifying Europe.
Monasteries and churches became the few remaining places of learning until the Renaissance and priests and monks the few remaining keepers of knowledge and writers and copiers of books
Churches and the Church provided many services such as education (in Latin), health care, and care for the poor and diseased.
The Church also frequently tried to stop Christian nobles and kings from engaging in wars with each other, causing resentment on the side of these nobles
The Great Schism was a split in the Church into a Western Roman-Catholic Church and an Eastern Orthodox Church (1054 C.E.)
The split was caused by a number of reasons including arguments over whether the Pope was the sole head of the Church, iconoclasm, differences in language, disputes over aspects of the sacraments, and priestly celibacy.
During the Crusades, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodx fought both on the same side and each other, although in 1202 the Catholics brutally sacked Constantinople.
Continued religious fracturing since the Protestant Reformation has created countless different sects of Christianity
The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars launched against the Muslim Empires in the Middle East and lasted from 1095 C.E. to roughly 1272
The First Crusade was launched in 1095 at the behest of the Byzantine Emperor. Pope Urban II called for a crusade to help fellow christians and re-take the Holy Land (Jerusalem)
Thousands of Roman Catholics took up the Crusades, it was said that killing ni the name f God would gain one remission from sin
The Crusades are frequently called "History's most successful failures" as the Holy Land was only held for a short time, but the crusades had many positive effects for Europe
Trade increased and flourished both in Europe and between the West and East
New technologies allowed greater sea exploration during the Age of Exploration (compass, astrolabe)
Greek books and learning from the Byzantine Empire made their way into the West, spuring the Renaissance
The Inquisition were a series of religious tribunals that tried those suspected or accused of heresy (believing or preaching something other than accepted Church Law). The Inquisition lasted in arious countries from 1231 until the 1600's
Many sects of Christianity considered heretical were wiped out or made to repent
Torture was frequently used to produce confessions or force sinners to repent
Galileo was a famous Scientific Revolutionary who had to face the Inquisition in Rome to defend his views on heliocentrism (1616)
The Protestant Reformation
In 1517 a priest, Martin Luther, posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Chruch in Wittenberg
The 95 Theses pointed out problems within the Roman Catholic Church such as the sale of indulgences, simony, and corruption
Because of the recent incention of the Guttenberg printing press Luther's ideas spread quickly throughout Europe
Other religious leaders rose up in defiance of Rome, creating a variety of new sects of Chritianity.
Although Rome nade changes to deal with curruption and did away with indulgences in the Counter-Reformation, the harm was done, the unity that the Church provided Western Europe was no more, and years and years of brutal warfare and religious conflict would follow
Map Showing the Spread of Buddhism From India to other parts of Asia
Dalai Lama: Leader of Tibetan Buddhism
Lives in Exile for is opposition to Chinese rule in Tibet
Tibetans are persecuted for practicing their traditional faith.
The Caste System
Hindu/Aryan Caste System
Tao Te Ching roughly translates to "The Way of Virtue and Power"
Tao teachings have a focus on nature and often use natural settings to illustrate points
Mencius or
Meng Tzu
Mencius denounced memorization and advocated active interrogation of the text, saying,
"One who believes all of a book would be better off without books"
-Human kindness should be shown towards one another.
Proper etiquette should always be used, and one should strive to achieve perfect virtue.
Filial Piety-
One should respect their elders.
Teachings and Beliefs
Confucianism teaches that there is a natural social order to society which can best be explained through the
Five Relationships

Ruler to ruled.
Father to son.
Older brother to younger brother.
Husband to wife.
Friend to friend.
If everyone follows duty and the
Five Relationships
the result will be an ordered and harmonious society. Confucianism is a philosophy of
Social Order
Confucian Scholar in Traditional Garb
To discourage cheating the
Imperial Exam
was highly regulated and the candidates watched closely over 1 to 3 DAYS of Exams.
Shinto Priests
Torri: Symbol of Shintoism
Mount Fuji: A place of great spiritual power
Belief in only 1 God
Jewish Synagogue
God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of faith. God sends an angel to stop Abraham at the last second.
The Covenant
The Ten Commandments
were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.
They represent an early
Law Code.
Ten Commandments

would influence many later
Law Codes
Babylonian Captivity and Exile 6th Century B.C.E.- Considered beginning of the
Jewish Diaspora
View of Jerusalem: A
Holy City
to Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Brief History of Judaism
Founded roughly 2000 BCE with the
between Abraham and God
(Middle East)
Moses leads his people out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land (located in the Middle East, Given 10 Commandments
(Early Law Code)
Assyrians and Babylonians sack Jerusalem, the capital and the Babylonians force the Jews into Exile (
the Babylonian Exile
Jews Restore the Temple and Jerusalem, but many revolts lead to its destruction by the Romans, It is during this period that Jesus Of Nazareth is born and Executed by the Romans
Jews spread throughout Europe forming prosperous communities of well-educated people
Jews frequently Suffer Persecution
by Christians throughout the Middle Ages
, a
movement to create a Jewish Homeland in the
Middle East
gains momentum and power during the late 19th century onwards
After World War II A
Jewish Homeland
is created in the Middle East known as
Palestinian Arabs
, who also live in the areas as well as other Arabs are furious and launch several wars against Israel in 1949, 1967, and 1974 and
fighting continues into today
This conflict is in many ways fueled by the different religions that each claim the same lands.
Torah scroll, Star of David, Menorah: 3 Symbols of Judaism.
Core Beliefs
received the word of God, or Allah, through the angel Gabriel while living in the city of
Townspeople soon became fearful of Mohammed's preaching and he began to receive threats. As a result, he fled to the nearby city of
, where people began to believe in his message.
The flight of Mohammed from Mecca t
o Medina
was instrumental to the founding of the religion of Islam, and is known as th
e Hegira
. Thus, in 622 CE Islam was founded and this date became the starting point for the Islamic calendar.
is the practices of Prophet Muhammad as he taught and instituted as a teacher of the
sharī‘ah (sharia)
and the best example. According to Muslim belief, these practices are to be adhered to in fulfilling the divine injunctions, carrying out religious rites and moulding life in accord with the will of God
Blue Mosque, Modern Construction
Calligraphy Plate
Phrases from the Qur'an rendered in Calligrpahy
were the major Islamic Empire from 1293-1923
Ottomans conquered the Byzantine Empire and made Constantinople their their Capital renaming it Istanbul in 1453
Christians and Jews in The Ottoman Empire were allowed to keep their religion and land in exchange for submitting to Ottoman rule and paying a small tax
Ottoman soldiers in the trenches during the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I
Both sides suffered horrendous casualties
amounting to almost 500,000 dead and wounded.
Ottoman Jannissaries
The Ottoman Empire eventually became weaker for a variety of internal and external reasons including their reluctance to embrace the advances of the
Industrial Revolution
By the 19th century and into the early 20th the Ottoman are kno
wn as the
"Sick Man"
of Europe due to their weakness
The Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary) during World War I and fell apart shortly After
Ottoman Sultans through the Ages
Aisha, 18, had her ears and nose cut off for running away from an abusive husband and in-laws. This has been interpreted as legal under
Sharia Law.
Islam has many different
just like Chritianity, Judaiism, Buddhims and any major religion.
The two main sects of Islam are
islam is considered "orthodox" Islam and 80%-90% of Muslims are
, which roughly translate as" Followers of the Way"
Muslims feel that any devout Muslim could be the Caliphate (or ruler) if they are chosen by their peers and have a specific set of
, or laws they follow.
The Ten Commandments
were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.
They represent an early
Law Code.
Ten Commandments

would influence many later
Law Codes
(1)You shall have no other gods before Me.
(2)You shall not make yourself any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them...
(3)You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
(4)Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God...
(5)Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.
(6)You shall not commit murder.
(7)You shall not commit adultery.
(8)You shall not steal.
(9)You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor.
(10)You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.
Full transcript