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World Religions

World Religions

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World Religions

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  1. World Religions Aim: What are the main aspects of our world’s most popular religions?

  2. What is a belief system? • A belief system is a set of ideas that explain the events that occur in our lifetime, as well as what happens after we die • Belief systems help us make sense of the world and understand natural phenomenon (especially before we had as many scientific explanations) • Most belief systems reflect the civilizations/areas in which they were worn

  3. God(s) • At first, many civilizations were POLYTHEISTIC (where they believed in many Gods) • Hinduism • Over time, more civilizations became MONOTHEISTIC (where they believed in just one God) • Judaism, Christianity, Islam • Some religions are more like PHILOSOPHIES (where there aren’t really Gods, but still rules and codes about how one should live and treat others) • Buddhism, Confucianism

  4. Hinduism • Polytheistic = belief in many Gods • The first Hindus were found in the Indus River Valley, and it has been developing in India and Pakistan since 3000 BC • Today, most Hindus live in India • Hindus do worship in temples, but more often they pray in their own homes to shrines representing specific Gods • Their religious writings are called “Vedas” • Hindus believe in REINCARNATION, KARMA and DHARMA

  5. Reincarnation = to be reborn • Hindus believe in the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth • According to Hinduism, our goal in life is to fulfill our duty (dharma) • Karma = the belief that every action was caused by a previous action (either positive or negative) • If you had positive karma and dharma in your life, Hindus believed you would be rewarded in your next life (and if you were wicked, you would be punished!) • Hindus believe we will continue to be reborn again and again until we have finally fulfilled our duty, which is a state called “moksha”

  6. Caste System • The Caste System is a rigid class structure • If you were good in your life, you were promoted to the next level of the Caste System – but if you were bad, you were demoted to a lower level

  7. Judaism ( = Jewish) • Oldest known Monotheistic religion • They believe in one God, who is the creator of all things • Founded by Abraham in the Middle East in 2000 BC • Today, most Jews live in Israel, the United States and Eastern Europe (lost many Jews in the Holocaust) • Jews worship God and they worship in temples called synagogues • Their holidays include Yom Kippur and Hanukkah • The most important Jewish books are the “Torah” and the “10 Commandments”, which outline how to live and act in society

  8. The 10 Commandments • You shall have no other gods before Me. • You shall not make yourself any graven image, • You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain • 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; in the land the Lord your God gives you. • You shall not commit murder. • You shall not commit adultery. • You shall not steal. • You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor. • 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.

  9. Buddhism • Buddhism also developed in India, and has many similar elements of Hinduism • Currently practiced in Southeast Asia and Japan • Founded by Siddhartha Gautama (aka Buddha, aka Enlightened One”) • Today, the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists • Buddhists also believe in reincarnation • They believe the point in rebirth is to eventually achieve “nirvana” (the feeling of spiritual enlightenment”

  10. The Four Nobel Truths Siddhartha believed that DESIRE was the root of all suffering, and wrote “The Four Nobel Truths”: • Life is full of pain and suffering. • Human desire causes this suffering. • By putting an end to desire, humans can end suffering. • Humans can end desire by following the Eightfold Path.

  11. The Eightfold Path The wheel of life represents each of the 8 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. Buddhists believed they could reach nirvana by following the Eightfold Path, and that they were continuously reincarnated until that happened

  12. Katie’s trip to Beijing, China

  13. Confucianism • Confucianism was founded by Confucius in China in 500BC • No God – some consider it more of a philosophy than a religion • Still practiced in Southeast Asia • Confucius believed that there would be more order in a society where everyone knew their position: The Five Relationships 1. Ruler to ruled. 2. Father to son. 3. Older brother to younger brother. 4. Husband to wife. 5. Friend to friend. • In these relationships, the second person is subordinate to the first, but both people have responsibilities to each other

  14. Christianity • Today, Christianity is the most common religion in the world • Monotheistic = belief in only ONE God • Christians worship at church on Sundays • It developed from Judaism in the year 30 AD, but there are several key differences • Both believe God is the creator of everything • Both believe in Heaven and Hell after death • Christians believe Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, was the son of God (Christmas celebrates his birth, Easter is the day Christians believe he was resurrected after dying on the cross) • Christians believe in the teachings of the Holy Bible, including the 10 Commandments and the Old and New Testaments • Religious leaders are priests, ministers, monks and nuns

  15. Islam (= Muslim) • Islam is currently the 2nd most popular religion in the world, behind Christianity (it may soon pass Christianity) • Particularly popular in the Middle East, Asia and parts of Africa • Muslims believe in one God (Allah) • Founded by the Prophet Mohammed in Mecca in the year 622 • The main text is called the Quran (sometimes spelled Koran) • Muslims worship in temples called “Mosques” • Mohammed fled Mecca because people doubted if he was really “hearing things” from Allah, but he soon came back and conquered it through “jihad”, which means religious/holy war • You may have heard this term used by Muslim extremists after Sept. 11th, but the majority of Muslims are very peaceful • Every religion has a few crazy people – it is not fair to stereotype a whole group of people based on a few fanatics

  16. 5 Pillars of Islam The following rules must be led to have an ethical life: 1. Confession of Faith: The belief that "there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet." 2. Prayer: Muslims must pray five times per day, facing towards Mecca. 3. Charity: Muslims must give alms to the poor, and support the local Mosque by donating a portion of their income. 4. Fasting: During the Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, all Muslims must fast during daylight hours, except the very young or sick. 5. Pilgrimage: If possible financially, each Muslim must make a hajj, or holy pilgrimage, to the city of Mecca.

  17. Katie’s trip to Istanbul, Turkey

  18. End • Please take your quiz and fill out your Review Sheet on World Religions! 