The Roots of Religion Animism (Shamanism) - the belief that all objects, animals, and beings are “animated” or possess a spirit and a conscious life. Also called shamanism because of the prominence of a Shaman. Such beliefs are common among hunter- gatherers. Greatest concentration of animistic believers is Sub-Saharan Africa These beliefs are losing ground to Christianity and Islam throughout Africa. Nigerian Shaman
Native American Animism Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. ~ Chief Seattle Bear Dance
Geographers distinguish two kinds of religions… 1.Universalizing Religions – attempt to be global, to appeal to all people wherever they may be in the world, not just to those of one culture or location. 2.Ethnic Religions – Appeals primarily to one group of people living in one place. About 60% of the worlds people belong to a universalizing religion, 25% to an ethnic religion, and 15% to no religion at all.
How do Universalizing and Ethnic Religions Differ? Universalizing Appeal to people everywhere. Individual founder (prophet). Message diffused widely (missionaries). Followers distributed widely. Holidays based on events in founder’s life. Ethnic Has meaning in particular place only. Unknown source. Content focused on place and landscape of origin. Followers highly clustered. Holidays based on local climate and agricultural practice.
UNIVERSALIZING RELIGIONS 3 main universalizing religions: Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Each are divided into branches, denominations, and sects. Branch – large and fundamental division within a religion Denomination – a division of a branch that unites a number of local congregations in a single legal and administrative board. Sect – a relatively small group that has broken away from an established denomination.
Same thing as previous slide, different view… Protestant Denominations
Examples of Sects BrethrenBrethren; Christian Catholic Church; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Christian Reformed Church; Christians; Churches of Christ; Churches of God, General Conference; Protestantism; Evangelical and Reformed Church; Evangelical United Brethren Church; Friends, Religious Society of; Huguenots; Mennonites; Moravian Church; Ranters; Reformed Church in America; Salvation Army; Scotland, Church of; Scotland, Free Church of; Seventh-Day Baptists; Shakers; United Church of Canada; Universalist Church of America.Christian Catholic ChurchChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)Christian Reformed Church ChristiansChurches of ChristChurches of God, General ConferenceProtestantismEvangelical and Reformed ChurchEvangelical United Brethren ChurchFriends, Religious Society ofHuguenots MennonitesMoravian ChurchRantersReformed Church in AmericaSalvation ArmyScotland, Church ofScotland, Free Church ofSeventh-Day Baptists ShakersUnited Church of CanadaUniversalist Church of America Other sects
Christianity 2 billion followers, far more than any other. Also largest distribution. Has 3 main branches: Roman Catholics (50%), Protestants (25%), Eastern Orthodox (10%). The rest are non-Roman Catholics and part of other smaller churches.
Christianity 2 billion adherents make it most practiced in the world. Originated in Bethlehem (8-4 BC) and Jerusalem (AD 30) with Jesus Christ. Spread by missionaries and the Roman Empire (Constantine A.D. 313).
Diffusion of Christianity
Christianity in the U.S.
Islam 1.2 billion followers, mostly from N Africa to C Asia. ½ of world’s Muslims live outside of Middle East in places like Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc. Islam means “submission to the will of God” Muslim means “one who surrenders to God” 2 branches: Sunni (83%) and Shiite (17%) Core beliefs center around 5 pillars.
Islam Originated in Saudi Arabia (Mecca and Medina) around AD 600. Spread originally by Muslim armies to N. Africa, and the Near East. Sunni - throughout the Muslim world. Shiite - Iran (40%), Pakistan (15%), Iraq (60%)
Islam Five Pillars of Islam There is one God and Muhammad is his messenger. Prayer five times daily, facing Mecca. The giving of alms (charity) to the poor. Fasting during Ramadan for purification and submission. If body and income allow, a Muslim must make a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca in his lifetime. Reading the Koran, Brunei Prophet: Muhammad Holy Text: Koran
Islam The Hajj
Diffusion of Islam Islam is considered the fastest growing religion in America. Only a small part of this growth is from black Muslims and the Nation of Islam.
Buddhism 350 million followers… especially in China and SE Asia. Foundation is based on the 4 Noble Truths. Has 3 main branches – split over disagreement of statements made by Siddhartha Gautma (The Buddha, or “enlightened one”)
Four Noble Truths: 1. All living beings must endure suffering. 2. Suffering, which is caused by desires (for life), leads to reincarnation. 3. The goal of existence is an escape from suffering and the endless cycle of reincarnation by means of Nirvana. 4. Nirvana is achieved by the Eightfold Path, which includes rightness of understanding, mindfulness, speech, action, livelihood, effort, thought, and concentration. Buddhism Theravada - the older, more severe form which requires the renouncing of all worldly goods and desires. Mahayana - focuses on Buddha’s teachings and compassion. Karma - your past bad or good actions determine your progress toward Nirvana through reincarnation. You are your own God.
Originated near modern Nepal around 530 BC by prince Siddhartha Guatama. Spread originally in India and Sri Lanka by Magadhan Empire (250 BC). Indian traders brought it to China in 1st century AD. By 6th century it had lost its hold on India, but was now in Korea and Japan. Buddhism
Diffusion of the three universalizing religions
ETHNIC RELIGIONS Hinduism is the most important ethnic religion, followed by smaller religions from Asia and Africa.
Hinduism 900 million followers (3 rd largest religion). 97% are found in India, 2% in Nepal, and 1% around the world. Up to individual to determine best way to worship. B/c people start at different places, no two paths are alike. No central authority, no single holy book… each individual selects suitable rituals.
Bathing in River Ganges
Hinduism is an ancient term for the complex and diverse set of religious beliefs practiced around the Indus River. Reincarnation - endless cycles. Karma and Dharma. Coastlines and river banks most sacred sites. Vishnu and Shiva most common of hundreds + of deities. Hinduism
Confucianism More of a social order than a religion. Includes a series of ethical principals for the conduct of daily life in China. Based on relationships and proper behavior
Confucianism Confucious 551–479 BC The Five Bonds: 1. Ruler to Subject 2. Father to Son 3. Husband to Wife 4. Elder Brother to Younger Brother 5. Friend to Friend
Daoism Follower seek Dao, or “the way.” Sometimes called Taoism. Daoism has never been a unified religion, but rather consists of numerous teachings based on various revelations. Mostly found in China and Taiwan today.
Daoism Founded by Lao Zi around 600 BC(?) Numerous branches due to lack of unification.
Shintoism Ethnic religion of Japan. Consider forces of nature to be divine. Considered emperor to be divine, but was renounced after WWII. Thrives in Japan even today.
Syncretism - the mixing of two or more religions that creates unique rituals, artwork, and beliefs. Examples include syncretism of Christianity and indigenous beliefs in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Caribbean Voodoo (Haiti, Louisiana) Buddhism/Shintoism in Japan Voodoo Dolls, Haiti Shrine, Bangalore, India
Syncretism - the mixing of two or more religions that creates unique rituals, artwork, and beliefs.
Judaism About 15 million Jews worldwide today. They constitute a majority of Israel for the first time since Biblical times. Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism. Jesus was a Jew. Abraham is an ancestor of Muhammad. The Old Testament of the Bible is a history of the Jews. Was the 1 st monotheistic religion. Considered themselves God’s chosen people.
Judaism Judaism started by Abraham 5000 BC(?) Most Jews live in Israel today. Holy book = the Torah, which is the first 5 books of the Bible. (Gen, Ex, Lev, Num, Deut)
This doesn’t fit in either key issue, but it’s important anyway… Religious Place Names Roman Catholics (others also) have frequently given religious place names (toponyms) to their settlements in the New World, particularly the US and Canada. How many cities or other places can you name that have religious place names?
A Few Holy Site Coordinates A Windup of KI #1 21.422 N, 39.826 E: Holy Mosque, Mecca, Saudi Arabia 31.778 N, 35.231 E: Jerusalem 41.903 N, 12.453 E: Vatican City 40.770 N, 111.891 W: Temple Square, Salt Lake City 55.752 N, 37.623 E: St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow 27.469 N, 83.275 E: Lumbini, Nepal (Buddha’s Birthplace)