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Culture and Religion in Eurasia/North African

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Kristen Wallen

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of Culture and Religion in Eurasia/North African

Culture and Religion in Eurasia/North African
The Legalist answer...
Legalists believed that China's solution lay in strictly enforced rules or laws through a system of rewards.
The Confucian answer...
Confucians believed the solution to China's problem lay in moral examples of superiors.
The Daoist answer...
Daoists believed that withdrawing into the world of nature and encouraged behavior that was spontaneous and natural.
China's search for order.
The Zhou dynasty took power in China in 1122 B.C.E., but by the eighth century it had weakened and by 500 B.C.E. the political unity that China had previously enjoyed was gone.
Cultural traditions in India
The Indian religious tradition, Hinduism, was introduced in India between 2000 and 1500 B.C. and it was very different from other religions. Unlike many other religions, Hinduism has no historical founder. It grew up alongside Indian civilization.
South Asia religion
The earliest sacred Indian text was the Vedas, which were a collection of poems, Hymns, prayers, and rituals put together by the Brahmins in 600 B.C.
The Vedas
The Vedas text also told of the competing of kingdoms and rituals performed by Brahmin priests. There is another text in the Vedas called the Upishads, which expressed central concepts of the hindu religion, like Samsara, rebirth, and Karma.
The Buddhist challenge
According to the Buddhist tradition the prince had enjoyed a sheltered and delightful youth but was shocked to his core upon entering old age, sickness and death. Buddha said suffering or sorrow was the central and universal feature of human life.
The Buddhist challenge (con.)
Most of Buddha teaching reflected the Hindu traditions, but the Buddha challenged the inequalities of a Hindu based caste system, arguing that neither caste position nor gender was a barrier to enlightenment.
There is one more text in Veda, called the Thervada, which described the Buddha as being a wise teacher and model but not divine.
Hinduism as a religion of duty and devotion
Buddhism declined in India perhaps in part because the mounting wealth of monasteries and the economic interest of their leading figures separated them from ordinary people.
Hinduism as a religion of duty and devotion
The two poems, Mahabharata and Ramayana revived Hinduism. This revived Hinduism indicated more clearly that action in the world and the detached performance of caste duties might provide a path to liberation.
Classical Greece
The Greeks did not generate a long lasting religion unlike the Persians, Jews and civilizations of India. Distinct feature of the Greek cultural tradition was the willingness of many Greek intellectuals to abandon mythological framework.
Classical Greece
Greek rationalism emerged in the 3 centuries between 600 and 300 B.C.E. It Emphasized argument, logic, and the questioning of received wisdom, confidence in human reason and enthusiasm for puzzling out the world without much reference to the gods.
Socrates, Athenian philosopher whose preferred teaching was through constant questioning of the assumptions and logic of his students thinking. He urged the pursuit of wisdom and virtue. Thales -drawn off of Babylonian astronomy, he predicted the eclipse of the sun & argued that the moon reflected the suns light. He was one of the first Greeks to ask about the fundamental nature of the universe and came up with the idea that water was the basic stuff from which all else derived.
Democritus suggested that atoms collided in various configurations to for visible matter. Pythagoras believed that beneath the chaos of the visible world there is a unchanging mathematical order.
Hippocrates, he and his followers believed that the body was made up of four fluids which cause various ailments when out of balance.
Plato came up the the design of The Republic a design for a good society, which would be ruled by a class of highly educated "guardians" led by a "philosopher-king"
Aristotle, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He cataloged the constitutions of 158 Greek city-states, identified numerous species of animals, and wrote about many subjects including astronomy and physics.
In what ways did Buddhism reflect Hindu traditions, and in what ways did it challenge them?
In what ways did Buddhism reflect Hindu traditions, and in what ways did it challenge them?
Hinduism did not have a founder, but Buddhism did; their founder’s name was Siddhartha Gautama, a prince from a small north Indian state who was also known as the Buddha. Buddhists made fun of Hindu’s rituals and sacrifices and rejected those practices as relevant to dealing with one’s own suffering. There were some elements that were reflected in Buddhism, though, such as the idea that ordinary life is an illusion, the concept of karma, and the practice of meditation.
An emerging Christian theology was expressed in terms of Greek philosophical concepts. Classical Greek texts were preserved in the eastern half of the Roman Empire known as the Byzantine empire. Due to chaotic conditions of post-roman Europe direct access to Greek texts was difficult.
Christian writers were also more in favor than Greek scholarship. Much of it was rediscovered after the 12th century C.E. Greek legacy also entered the Islamic world. Translations of Greek works into Arabic stimulated Muslim thinkers and scientists in areas of astronomy, medicine, geography, and chemistry.
Greek Legacy:
1. What is the law of Karma?
Human souls migrated from body to body over many lifetime depending on the action.
2. What is the goal of Buddhism?
Achievement of enlightenment or nirvana
3. Which of the following is true of Hinduism?
It grew up over many centuries and had no historical founder (D)
4. Which of the following statements is true of women in early Buddhism?
They were not treated as equals but still found more freedom and independence than was available elsewhere in Indian society (C)
5. Which Classical Greek philosopher identified different animal species and wrote about subjects including astronomy and physics?
6. What culture did the Classical Greek have an influence on?
Islamic culture
7. Which of the solutions to restore China was the most logical, and why do you think it’s the most logical?
8. What was the Daoist way of thinking?
Simplicity in living, small self-sufficient communities, limited government, and the abandonment of education
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