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My World Religions Study Guide

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Kristyn Caldwell

on 18 October 2016

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Transcript of My World Religions Study Guide

The Way of Submission
Self Sufficiency
"acting as if you can get along without God, who alone is self-sufficient"
(p. 32)
World Religions
Yoruba Religion

Religion is not merely a private affair. It matters socially, economically, politically, and militarily. Religion may or may not move mountains, but it is one of the prime movers in politics worldwide.
It moves elections in the United States, where roughly half of all Americans say they would not vote for an atheist, and in India which has the
(Hinduness) movement its own version of America's Religious Right.
Religion moves economies too
. Pilgrims to Mecca and Jerusalem pump billions of dollars per year into economies of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Sales of the Bible in the United States alone run roughly $500 million annually, and Islamic banking approaches $1 trillion.

All too often world history is told as if religion did not matter. The Spanish conquered New Spain for gold, and the British came to New England to catch fish. The French Revolution had nothing to do with Catholicism, and the U.S. civil rights movement was a purely humanitarian endeavor. But
even if religion makes no sense to you, you need to make sense of religion to make sense of the world
. (p. 7-8)
God is Not One
, Stephen Prothero (2010)
identifies & discusses 9 major world religions
to help readers gain religious literacy and to articulate the point that all religions are not one; religious differences matter and are important to understand.
Prothero (2010) offers a
four- part approach
to religions
He says each religion articulates:
1. a
with the human condition
2. a
to said problem
3. a
(s) for moving from the problem to solution
4. an
(s) who chart this path from problem to solution
Submit to Allah
(p. 27)
(p. 38)
(p. 14)
The Way of Awakening
The Way of Salvation
The Way of Propriety
The Way of Devotion
The Way of Exile & Return
(p. 14)
Noble Eightfold Path
arhats, bodhisattvas,
The 5 Pillars
is related to the word
which means peace. Muslims greet one another with '
Salaam alaykum
' ('Peace be with you') and respond with '
Wa alaykum as salaam
' ('And upon you be peace'. The word Islam means 'submission' or 'surrender,' however. So, Islam is the path of submission, and Muslims are 'submitters' who seek peace in this life and the next by surrendering themselves to the one true God."
1. Profession of Faith (
2. Prayer (
3. Charity (
4. Fasting (
5. Pilgrimage (
"'Are you prostrate or are you proud?'"
Prayer happens
5x a day
and 365 days a year. (p. 27)
(at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, & night)

Prayer is said
at dawn, sunset and night, and
in silence
at noon and in the afternoon. (p. 27)
Prayers are
at these times, not invented on
the spot
"Islam is a recited religion, spread through the centuries by speech & sound" (p. 30)
Prayers are said
facing Mecca
(p. 30)
The choreography of prayer requires the whole body: standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting (p. 30)
is the invitation, which usually is in Arabic (p. 27)
God is great
God is great
God is great
God is great
I bear witness that there is no god but God
I bear witness that there is no god but God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God
Make haste toward prayer
Make haste toward prayer
Make haste toward success
Make haste toward success
God is great
God is great
There is not god but God

Most Common Prayer Formulation of the
or call to prayer:
(p. 28)
"Over one billion people (roughly one-fifth of the word's population) self-identify as Muslims."
Only Christianity has more adherents (2.2 billion)
Typically classified as a Western religion
Predominates in Middle Eastern countries, but most adherents live in Asia
"Indonesia has more Muslims (roughly 178 million) than any other country - three times as many as in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iraq combined"
Miscellaneous Facts:
(Prothero, p. 28, 2010)
Is considered one of the 3 "people of the book" with Judaism & Christianity.
The scriptures of these religions share many key concepts:
Belief in one God
Judgement Day
They also share the patriarch Abraham "who according to all three traditions is the progenitor of monotheism"
(Prothero, p. 26, 2010)
(Prothero, p. 27, 2010)
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Praise belongs to God, Lord of all Being
the All-merciful, the All compassionate
the Master of the Day of Doom.
Thee only we serve; to Thee alone we pray for succour.
Guide us in the straight path,
the path of those whom Though hast blessed;
not of those against whom Though art wrathful,
nor of those who are stray. (1:1-7)

Most Common Prayer:
"The Lord's Prayer of Islam, which comes from the first and most popular
, or chapter, of the Quran, known as the Fatiha"
(Prothero, p. 31, 2010)
"Muslims do not believe in
original sin. Every human being
is born with an inclination toward both God and the good. So sin is not the problem Islam addresses. Neither is there any need for salvation from sin." (p. 31)
"The Quran repeatedly states that the path to Paradise is paved with both faith and works, but
it inclines towards right action
(orthopraxy) over right doctrine (orthodoxy)"
(p. 32)
The Quran reads, "'
Say not, 'You have believed,' but rather say, 'We have submitted'
" (49:14)
" I testify that there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God"
"To become a Muslim, all you need to do is testify to this creed, proclaiming its two truths out loud, with understanding and intent, ideally in the presence of witnesses."
the central pillar
It is repeated in the call to prayer and
in the five daily prayers themselves
(Prothero, p. 33, 2010)
"Unlike tithing,...., zakat is based on assets and goes to the poor.
Typically, Muslims are obliged to give 2.5% of most of their assets
(personal possessions such as homes, cars, and clothing are excluded) above a subsistence level known as the
(Prothero, p. 33, 2010)
"Muslims observe sawn during the month of
, abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex from dawn until sunset, and reciting and listening to the Quran instead."
"Ramadan, which
commemorates the coming of revelation to Muhammad
, falls in the ninth month of the Islamic year, but because Muslims observe a lunar rather than a solar calendar, its dates migrate across the Gregorian calendar observed in the West."
concludes with Id al-Fitr
, a fast-breaking festival that brings families together to eat, pray and exchange gifts."
(Prothero, p. 33, 2010)
(Prothero, p. 34, 2010)
"Assuming they are physically and financially able, all Muslims are obliged to go once in a lifetime on pilgrimage
to Mecca
. The hajj, which occurs every year during he last ten days of the twelfth lunar month, is open only to Muslims, who may add to their names the honorific 'al Hajj' after fulfilling this duty. The hajj both celebrates and reinforces the unity of all Muslims, a unity symbolized by the fact that men on this pilgrimage wear similar white garments. The most celebrated and photographed of the hajj is praying at
the Kabah shrine
, the most sacred place in the Muslim world....which was built by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham...."
the Kabah shrine
literally means 'struggle'
and Muslims have traditionally understood it to point to two kinds of struggles: the spiritual struggle against pride and self-sufficiency; and the physical struggle against the 'house of war,' namely enemies of Islam. The second of these struggles calls for a variety of tactics, including preaching, teaching and working for social justice. It may also include war."
I include below only one quote from the book. Prothero (2010) talks about jihad in more depth on pages 35-36, including scriptures from the Quran that address the topic. He identifies that it is a contradictory term and does identify that though it may seem it, jihad is not a central concept of Islam.
the gravest mistake from a Muslim perspective is shirk. Often translated as idolatry,' shirk refers t any practice or belief that ignores the unity and uniqueness of God
"In purely religious terms, Muhammad did the work of Jesus and Paul combined. He was both a charismatic and bureaucratic leader. He founded Islam and, though Muslims insist he did not write the Quran, he was the prophet through whom this revelation came into the world.
Today Muslims look to Muhammad as a model for their own lives
"Muhammad was also a great political and military man - a legislator, diplomat, and general. Unlike Jesus, who never married, and the Buddha, who abandoned his wife, Muhammad accomplished all this while maintaining an extended family network
that, upon his death, included nine
wives. Muhammad was the only person
ever to achieve this combination of
spiritual and secular success." (p. 38)
"Born in Mecca and orphaned as a child, Muhammad was a forty-year-old merchant married to an older woman named Khadijah when God first came to him in a cave on Mount Hira outside of Mecca. In this place, where Muhammad was known to withdraw for prayer and contemplation, the angel Gabriel interrupted his idylls with a command to 'Recite'. Muhammad was terrified. But recite he did, from 610 until these revelations came to an end shortly before his death in 632." (p. 39)
"Can be compared to the virgin Mary. Whereas the Word of God that is Jesus came into the world through the pure vessel of a woman who had never had sex, the Word of God that is the Quran came into the world through the pure vessel of a man who could neither read nor write."
(p. 39)
Sunni & Shia
"Different sports have different goals: basketball players shoot baskets; tennis players win points; golfers sink puts. So if you ask which sport is best at scoring runs, you have privileged baseball from the start. To criticize a basketball team for failing to score runs is not to besmirch them. It is simply to misunderstand the game of basketball. So here is another problem with the pretend pluralize of the perennial philosophy sort:
just as hitting home runs is the monopoly of one sport, salvation is the monopoly of on religion. If you see sin as the human predicament and salvation as the solution, then it makes sense to come to Christ.
But that will not settle as much as you might think because
the real question is not which religion is best at carrying us into the end zone of salvation but which of the many religious goals on offer we should be seeking?
Sports Analogy:
(Prothero, p. 22, 2010)
word Quran means 'recitation'
and the first words revealed to Muhammad were, 'Recite: in the Name of thy Lord who created, created the human being of a blood-clot' (96:1-2)"
"This scripture was oral from the start and not written down until long after Muhammad's death".
"As in Muhammad's time, the Quran is recited today more than it is read". For Muslims, "the Quran is more about sound than about meaning".
"only 20% of the world's Muslims are able to read its Arabic."
"It is a nearly universal article of Islamic faith that the Quran is the perfect, unaltered, and untranslatable world of God. It was written not by Muhammad but by Allah, who gave its word to an angel, who gave them to Muhammad, who recited them to companions (but never wrote them down himself."
At the dawn of the modern age, in
the 16th century
, three great dynasties pushed Islam to the pinnacle of its powers:
the Ottoman dynasty
, centered in Istanbul, extended from the holy lands of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem into Egypt, North Africa, Iraq, and south-eastern Europe;
the Safavid dynasty
controlled modern-day Iran; and the
Mughal dynasty
lorded over modern-day India. This era of global dominance
ended with the rise of the British empire in the 19th century and the dissolution of the Ottoman empire in 1918
." (Prothero, p. 40, 2010)
Islam dates it's origin
not from Muhammad's recitations which happened from 610-632 but "
from the formation of the Muslim community in 622. In this year, Muhammad and his earliest followers fled from Mecca
, where his criticisms of local polytheistic traditions were met with scorn, to Yathrib, now known as Medina. There they established the Muslim community, or
. Today this event, known as the
(emigration), marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, which is itself marked by the letters of A.H., meaning 'in the year of the hijra.'" (Prothero, p. 40, 2010)
"The Quran is a
relatively short book
. About as long as the Christian New Testament" (p. 41)
"It comprises
114 suras
, or chapters, each of which is named. The first sura is called 'The Opening' and the second is called 'The Cow'. (p. 42)
As a rule,
suras are presented by length
, from longest to shortest" (p. 42)
"The Quran contains
no formal divisions
other than the suras themselves, but scholars divide these chapters into earlier 'Meccan' and later 'Medinan' suras, depending on where they were revealed. Where a given sura was revealed matters because of the Islamic doctrine of abrogation, which states that later suras can overturn, or abrogate, earlier ones." (p. 42)
"The Quran is not seen as scripture unless it is in
. (p. 41)
"reciting the Quran is like partaking of the Christian Eucharist. It is how you incorporate the divine into your body." (p. 39)
"Muslims believe that the Torah of Moses and the gospel of Jesus was revealed by Allah through His prophets. They also believe that these scriptures have been corrupted and are no longer trustworthy."
"While Judaism is about law, and Christianity is about spirituality, they say, the Quran combines the two. The Quran's earlier... Meccan suras focus on spiritual matters, while the later...Medinan suras focus on social, political, and economic matters such as marriage, war and gambling. So Islam is a way of life as well as a religion. The Quran tells Muslims not just how to worship Allah but also how to lend money, divide estates, enter into contracts, and punish criminals." (p.42)
"The Quran seeks to shake us out of this forgetfulness, to remind us of our radical dependence on God, and to offer us ways to practice humility" (p. 43)
" Outsiders often imagine that Islamic law is unchanging and immutable, but
Sunnis and Shias differ significantly on all sorts of legal matters
, and Sunnis themselves recognize four major legal schools. Like Roman Catholics, the Shia centralize religious authority, in their case in the Imam. Sunnis decentralize religious authority, placing it in the Muslim community as a whole." (p. 50)
"Surviving a founder's death is a challenge for every new religious movement. ... Following Muhammad's death,
Muslims split over this key question of authority
A majority backed Muhammad's father-in-law Abu Bakr as his successor. But a minority, insisting that Islam's next leader share Muhammad's bloodline, backed the Prophet's son-in-law Ali.

Those who supported Ali came to be known as
Shiat Ali
('partisans of Ali'), or
for short. Those who supported Abu Bakr cam to be called
, which means tradition).
The broader and deeper disagreement concerned how the Islamic community was to be led. The Sunni invested social and political authority in a series of caliphs, reserving all-important religious authority for the broader community. The Shia invested social, political,
religious authority in their leader, whom they called the Imam. The word
means leader in Arabic, and among the Sunni this term refers simply to the person who leads weekly congregational worship services on Friday. But among the Shia, the Imam (who must be descended directly from Muhammad) leads not just a congregation but the entire Shia community and, according to the Shia, is both sinless and infallible" (p. 51).
Muhammad's death was in 632 C.E. (or A.H. 10)
"Islam is a big tent theologically. There are fundamentalists and feminists, legalistic and mystics, progressives and moderates.

the most basic division in the Muslim world pits
, who constitute roughly 85 % of the world's Muslims, against
, who account for the remaining 15%." (p. 51)
"According to the Bible, everybody sins -
'If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us' (1 John 1:8)
- and sins have consequences, including conflict with other people and separation from God. Sinners cannot be admitted to heaven or granted eternal life, and their is nothing they can do on their own to merit salvation from sin" (p. 71)
Jesus & the Saints
(p. 38)
Combination of faith & good works
"Christianity is a 'rescue religion,'" (p. 71)
"'The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 6:23)" (p. 72).
This rescue takes place for a and this rescue was made possible as Jesus was dying on the cross. On that day, which Christians celebrate as Good Friday, a sinless Jesus took our sins onto Himself. Three days later, on what Christians celebrate as Easter, He demonstrated God's power over sin by rising from the dead"
Jesus & the Trinity
Miscellaneous Facts:
Protestant Reformation
Roman Catholic Church
Christianity is an elastic term that stretches over the beliefs and behaviors of Pentecostals, Mormons, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox (p. 67)
1. I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. Under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.
Christianity centers around belief in the points of the
The Apostles Creed,
which all three major branches of Christianity accept
Christianity is a soft monotheism in that it Christians see God as a mysterious trinity: 3 persons in one godhead (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit)
"It is often a mistake to refer to a religion as a 'faith,' or to its adherents as 'believers.' As odd as it might sound, faith and
belief don't matter much in most religions
. Often ritual is far more important, as in Confucianism. Or story, as in Yoruba religion. Many Jews do not believe in God, and the world's Hindus get along quite well without a creed.
When it comes to religion, we are more often what we do than what we think
. Of course, there are churchgoers who baptize their children and partake of the bread and wine of Holy Communion without much regard for what it means,
but to be a Christian has typically been to care about both faith and belief
. The major schisms in Christian history have been driven to a great extent by doctrinal disagreements, and Christians have had few qualms, at least until modern times, about rooting out heretics through institutions such as the Inquisition.
Today the price of admission to the Christian family continues to be orthodoxy (right thought) rather than orthopraxy (right practice)
. 'We believe' the Nicene Creed begins, and two hundred or so words later Christians the world over have summarized their collective faith" (pgs. 69-70)
From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles%27_Creed
(Prothero, p. 41, 2010)

This Prezi was made as a study guide for 6 of those religions
, which literally means the 'right path,' is the term Muslims use for law
, and Shariah law, as it is referred to (redundantly) in the West, has been adopted in some measure in recent years in Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic countries, including Afghanistan under the Taliban.

Historically, Muslims have not separated the sacred and the secular, so
Shariah extends into all aspects of life--family, society, economics, and politics
. It covers ritual and ethics, as well as criminal law, taxation, and public policy." (p. 49)
"The Hadith,
a scriptural collection of Muhammad's sayings and actions
second in authority only to the Quran, has long provide a basis for Islamic law."
(p. 27)
" As the term
implies, this faith revolves around the person of Jesus, whom Christians have traditionally regarded as Son of God, Savior, and Christ (from the greek word for the Hebrew term
, the coming king who will remake the world.)" (p. 70)
sin refers generally to the human propensity toward wrongdoing and evil
Greek East Orthodox
Greek West Orthodox
Split in the Middle Ages
Roman Catholic
3 Main Branches
Full transcript