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Chapter 6 Religion Adapted from PPT by Abe Goldman An Introduction to Human Geography The Cultural Landscape James M. Rubenstein.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 Religion Adapted from PPT by Abe Goldman An Introduction to Human Geography The Cultural Landscape James M. Rubenstein."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 Religion Adapted from PPT by Abe Goldman An Introduction to Human Geography The Cultural Landscape James M. Rubenstein

2 Religion and Language Two most important forces that bond and define human cultures – results in common understandings They define important ‘culture regions/realms’ (diffusion)

3 Predominant faiths (above), languages (right)

4 World’s Major Religions Religion as a system of beliefs guiding behavior Fundamentalism: strict adherence Secularism: lifestyle not governed by religion (does this really exist??) Syncretic religions: combinations of religions, often animistic religions with introduced religions particularly Christianity

5 Few more terms Monotheism: belief that there is only one God. (Christianity, Islam) Polytheism: belief in multiple gods (ancient Greeks) Pantheism; God is better understood as an abstract principle (Buddism … Budda as a teacher rather than a god) Animism: belief in spirits within things such as rocks, trees, mountains, birds. Spirits of people as surviving physical death

6 Distribution of Religions Universalizing religions: attempt to be global –Christianity –Islam –Buddhism Ethnic religions: primarily local appeal –Hinduism – no specific founder, ‘Hind’ = India –Judaism –Other ethnic religions

7 World Distribution of Religions Fig. 6-1: World religions by continent.

8 World Population by Religion Fig. 6-1a: Over two-thirds of the world’s population belong to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. Christianity is the single largest world religion.

9 Sacred Space Major differences between religions both contemporary and past BUT Similarities: – Concept of sacred – Sacred space Buildings Natural sites Memorials and graves

10 Vertical Axis Axis mundi – earth to space of god(s) above

11 Sacred tree (Indonesia above, Japan left) Callanish stones, Scotland Axis mundi

12 Memorials Places made sacred both through their architecture (physically) and through the actions of people who visit these sites (culturally)

13 Vietnam war memorial "As you descend the path along the wall and reach this angle, you realize that one wing of the black wall points straight at the tall, white Washington Monument a mile or so off, and the other at the Lincoln Memorial, visible through a screen of trees about 600 feet away. In making this descent you feel you're entering a cloistered space, set off from the busy surroundings. Streets and skylines disappear to leave you alone with the wall and its names. Then, as you pass the angle and begin to climb, you feel yourself emerging again into the world of noise and light after a meditative experience. “ Robert Campbell, "An Emotive Place Apart," A.I.A. Journal, May 1983, pp. 150-1

14 Spiritual place-making "Each half of the wall is 246.75 feet long, combined length of 493.50 feet. Each segment is made of 70 panels. At their intersection, the highest point, they are 10.1 feet high; they taper to a width of 8 inches at their extremities.”

15 What makes the memorial effective?

16 Day of the Dead (El Dia de Los Muertos ) Day of the Dead, Ocosingo Cemetery, Mexico, November 2, 2002 (Source: Road that has no end)

17 Day of Dead: Nov 1&2 Life meets death: reduction of space between the two worlds

18 Grave sites Jewish graves with stones placed by visitors San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Artifacts act to ‘pair absence with presence’ Richardson, 2001 Gifts as involving a reciprocal relationship Gifts as confirming an ongoing relationship?

19 Known and Unknown Marilyn Monroe, Westwood village memorial park Marking the grave of unknown Soviet soldiers

20 Known but only underwater visitors: death brings life Memorial reef ball: topography that expands the marine environment Underwater landscape element

21 Religion as landscape element Churches – often on hills, surrounded by space Prehistoric burial sites

22 Pilgrimage Pilgrimage as a circulation that unites people through a common goal that involves a physical and spiritual undertaking. Camino de Santiago http://www.santiago- Similarities with the passage of the Olympic torch around Canada (Canada Act of 1982 - totally independence from the UK)

23 Organized religions Judaism (ethnic?) Christianity (universalizing) Islam (universalizing) Buddism (universalizing)

24 Judaism 14 million adherents Monotheistic Pentateuch –First five books of the Old Testament (pact that Jews would follow God’s law as written here) –Moses as an interpreter plus today’s Rabbis Sects: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform Israel –Homeland for Jewish people –Created 1948 (Romans scattered Jews from this region in AD 70) – Jews in ghettos - C13 – 18 (Venice: iron foundry (getto) –Conflict between Israel and Palestine over sacred space

25 Christianity Emerged from Judaism Coptic Church –Founded in Alexandria in A.D. 41 Official religion of Roman (fall about 500 AD) and British Empires –Facilitated geographical spread Jesus as being the son of God Significant contemporary growth in Africa, Asia and Latin America

26 Islam Adherents of Islam are known as Muslims Muhammad functioned as a messenger of one God, Allah, in writing the Koran Five Pillars of Islam –Belief in one God –Five daily prayers –Generous alms –Fasting during Ramadan –Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) Sects –Sunni (orthodox) –Shiite Islamic law: Sharia law as interpreted by scholars: fatwa (rulings/interpretations) Religion and ethnicity –Many Muslims are non-Arabs

27 Buddhism Buddhism as a religion and a philosophy resulting in a path of practice and spiritual development aimed at leading to insight into the true nature of life. The foundation of all Buddhist practice is ethical conduct and altruism Nirvana: cessation of suffering Buddha – Enlightened One, not a god Diffused from India (Siddhartha Gautama) Current spiritual leader of one branch of Buddhism (Tibetan) is the 14 th Dalai Lama Geographical seat Lhasa (taken by China in 1959)

28 Tibet Lhasa, Tibet was center of Tibetan Buddhists until 1959, now Dharamsala India

29 Diffusion of Universalizing Religions Fig. 6-4: Each of the three main universalizing religions diffused widely from its hearth.

30 Sacred places and religion: Holy Sites in Buddhism Fig. 6-9: Most holy sites in Buddhism are locations of important events in Buddha’s life and are clustered in northeastern India and southern Nepal.

31 Mecca, Islam’s Holiest City Fig. 6-10: Makkah (Mecca) is the holiest city in Islam and is the site of pilgrimage for millions of Muslims each year. There are numerous holy sites in the city.

32 Hindu Holy Places (brief mention) Fig. 6-11: Hierarchy of Hindu holy places: Some sites are holy to Hindus throughout India; others have a regional or sectarian importance, or are important only locally. Hindu religion: Conglomeration of different religions Many gods Religion of people in India Sites: Often rivers, caves, mountains, places often remote

33 Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh is considered to be the birth place of Hindu god Shri Ram. Bhimashankar Temple, near start of Bhima River, site of legend of god Shiva slaying a demon Shiva, one of the primary gods

34 Sacred places in Mongolia Ovoo

35 Shamanism: Ovoo Mixed with Buddism


37 Place Names in Québec Fig. 6-12: Place names in Québec show the impact of religion on the landscape. Many cities and towns are named after saints. St Sauveur

38 Religious Conflicts Religion vs. government policies –Religion vs. social change –Religion vs. Communism Religion vs. religion –Religious wars in the Middle East –Religious wars in Ireland

39 Jerusalem Fig. 6-14: The Old City of Jerusalem contains holy sites for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. See pg 213 - 214

40 Muslims: the movie Made in 2000/2001 Terms: –Hijab, burka, fatwa, shari law, Sheikh –Imam: prayer leader –Ayatollah: very high-ranking cleric Aims to provide insights What insights/surprises? Make a list.

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