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Key Issue 2: Why Do Religions Have Different Distributions? Origin of religions –Universalizing: precise origins, tied to a specific founder Christianity.

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Presentation on theme: "Key Issue 2: Why Do Religions Have Different Distributions? Origin of religions –Universalizing: precise origins, tied to a specific founder Christianity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Key Issue 2: Why Do Religions Have Different Distributions? Origin of religions –Universalizing: precise origins, tied to a specific founder Christianity –Founder: Jesus Islam –Prophet of Islam: Muhammad Buddhism –Founder: Siddhartha Gautama Fig 6-6: Origin of Christianity. The tomb in the center of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was erected on the site where Jesus is thought to have been buried and resurrected. Orthodox Christians observe Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, with a Holy Fire ceremony at the tomb.

2 Origin of religions –Ethnic: unclear or unknown origins, not tied to a specific founder Hinduism –No clear founder –Earliest use of Hinduism = sixth century B.C. –Archaeological evidence dating from 2500 B.C. Fig 6-7: Origin of Islam. Muhammad is buried in the Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. The Mosques, built on the site of Muhammads house, is the 2 nd holiest is Islam and the 2 nd largest Mosque in the world.

3 Diffusion of religions –Universalizing religions Christianity –Diffuses via relocation and expansion diffusion Islam –Diffuses to North Africa, South and Southeast Asia Buddhism –Slow diffusion from the core Figure 6-8 Diffusion of universalizing religions. Buddhisms hearth is in present-day Nepal and N India, Christianitys in present-day Israel, and Islams in present-day Saudi Arabia. Buddhism diffused primarily east toward E and SE Asia, Christianity west toward Europe, and Islam west toward N Africa and east toward SW Asia.

4 Figure 6-9: Diffusion of Christianity. Christianity began to diffuse from Palestine through Europe during the time of the Roman Empire and continued after the empires collapse. Muslims controlled portions of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) for more than 700 years, until Much of SW Asia was predominantly Christian at one time, but today it is predominantly Muslim.

5 Figure 6-10: Diffusion of Islam. Islam diffused rapidly from its point of origin in present-day Saudi Arabia. Within 200 years, Islamic armies controlled much of N Africa, SW Europe, and SW Asia. Subsequently, Islam became the predominant religion as far east as Indonesia.

6 Figure 6-11: Diffusion of Buddhism. Buddhism diffused slowly from its core in NE India. Buddhism was not well established in China until 800 years after Buddhas death.

7 Limited diffusion of ethnic religions –Universal religions usually compete with ethnic religions –Examples of mingling: Christianity with African ethnic religions Buddhism with Confucianism in China and with Shinto in Japan –Ethnic religions can diffuse with migration –Judaism = exception Diaspora (dispersion), Ghettos, WWII Holy places –In universalizing religions Buddhist shrines Holy places in Islam = associated with the life of Muhammad –In ethnic religions Holy places in Hinduism = closely tied to the physical geography of India Cosmogony in ethnic religions

8 Figure 6-12: Holy Places for Buddhism. Most are clustered in NE India and S Nepal because they were the locations of important events in Buddhas life. Most of the sites are in ruins today. Figure 6-13: Buddhist Shrine. The Dhamek pagoda is probably the oldest surviving Buddhist structure. It was built where Buddha gave his 1 st sermon.

9 Figure 6-14: Makkah (Mecca), in Saudi Arabia, is the holiest city for Muslims because Muhammad was born there. Millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Makkah each year and gather at Masjid al-Haram, Islams largest mosque, in the center of a city of 1.3 m. Figure 6-15: The black, cubelike structure in the center is called al-Kaba, once had been a shrine to tribal idols until Muhammad rededicated it to Allah (built by Abraham and Ishmael).

10 Figure 6-17: Hierarchy of Hindu holy places. Some places are important to Hindus all over India and are visited frequently, whereas others have importance only to nearby residents. The map also shows that holy places for particular deities are somewhat clustered in different regions of the country. Figure 6-16: The Darbar Sahib, or Golden Temple, at Amritsar, the most holy structure for Sikhs, most of whom live in N India.

11 The calendar –In ethnic religions = celebration of the seasons The Jewish calendar The solstice –Universalizing religions = celebration of the founders life Fig 6-18: Ethnic religious holiday. On the holiday of Sukkoth, Jews carry a lulav (branches of date palm entwined with myrtle and willow) and an etrog (yellow citron) to symbolize gratitude for the many agricultural bounties offered by God.


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