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World Religions, Sixth Edition Warren Matthews Chapter One: Religions of the Americas This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright.

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Presentation on theme: "World Religions, Sixth Edition Warren Matthews Chapter One: Religions of the Americas This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright."— Presentation transcript:

1 World Religions, Sixth Edition Warren Matthews Chapter One: Religions of the Americas This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease, or lending of the program. any rental, lease, or lending of the program.

2 Characteristics of World Religions as Analyzed in the Text  The absolute, the world, and humans  The problem and solution for humans  Community and ethics  An Interpretation of history  Rituals and symbols  Life after death  Relationship to other religions  Objections to older scholarship

3 Religions of North America  Naskapi of Canada’s Labrador Peninsula near Arctic Circle – hunters with a spiritual view in a world of few resources  Powhatan of Virginia / Chesapeake Bay area – hunters, gatherers, and farmers who learned to use what the land offered them  Cherokee of Appalachian Mountains (North Carolina and Tennessee) forced to move to Oklahoma area – hunters and warriors who dealt with white settler encroachment and government interference  Hopi of the Southwest – Pueblo people who focused on religious rituals and ceremonies with costumes and masks

4 Naskapi (Northeast Canada)‏  Fishing/hunting society of the harsh Northeast Canadian climate  Understood the world as limited in resources  Saw all living things united by the world of souls – Mantu  Soul world provided the key to survival in harsh conditions  Gave the incentive to humans to live moral lives  Gave animals the will to provide for human needs  Led to dependence upon and gratitude toward nature

5 Naskapi (Northeast Canada)‏  People depend upon their Mista´peo (Great Man)  Active living soul of the person  Contact with animal souls, which provided for humans  Religious stories teach Naskapi understanding of the universe  Souls do not die, but are born and reborn  Unborn souls may be seen in natural phenomena

6 Area of Naskapi Inhabitation

7 Powhatan (Virginia coastal area)  Highly organized society  Hierarchical dictatorship  Mamanatowick (“great king”) sovereign over Powhatan tribes  Subordinate weroances / weroansquas  Temple priesthood  Hunting and agricultural society

8 Powhatan (Virginia coastal area)  Organized priesthood  Provided medicine – wisakon  Presided over formal worship  Included sacrifices to images  Recognized beneficent deity Ahone, malevolent deity Okeus  Life after death is pleasant and well defined  Without work, they go to fields to dance and play  They eventually die there, and are later reborn

9 Area of Powhatan Inhabitation

10 Cherokee (Southeast U.S.)  Larger group  Informal or clan organization  Open to many “Anglo” customs  Hunting and agricultural society  Matriarchal family descent  Proper activities based on gender, with provisions for working across gender

11 Cherokee (Southeast U.S.)‏  Religion organized by clan  Presided over by priests  Centered on rituals of remembrances and new beginnings  Sacred stories told at special times and circumstances

12 Area of Cherokee Habitation

13 Hopi (Southwest U.S.)  Pueblo peoples of the Southwest U.S.  Lived in desert country  Were traditionally surrounded by enemies

14 Hopi (Southwest U.S.)  Religion supports the community  Sacred underground religious sites – kivas  Special priests – kachinas  Costumed and masked figures  Animated by dancing  Represented ancestors, animals, or spirits  Assisted in training children in the rules of Pueblo society

15 Common Features of Native North American Religions  Society is henotheistic (one top deity among multiple deities)‏  Earth is a complex changing environment  Acted to separate sky above and waters below  Allowed life, humans, and animals to emerge on the earth from below  Was filled with spirit powers  Humanity and animals are kin  Suffering is attributed to human error or as the result of a human- sounding trickster deity

16 Common Features of Native North American Religions  Significant practices as seen throughout North America  Healing as a religious practice  Rites of passage as salient features of community life  Individual behavior evaluated in terms of tribal norms, including norms regarding appropriate sexual behaviors  Time understood as cyclical  Conception of reincarnation  Expectation of religious diversity

17 Religions of MesoAmerica and South America  Aztecs of Mexico – builders of stone-covered mounds, pyramids, and temples who believed in human sacrifices to the gods  Incas of Peru – wanderers who were directed to a sacred place to build and settle, who believed they were god’s people, chosen to rule the world

18 Aspects of MesoAmerican and South American Religions  The absolute, the world, and humans  The problem and solution for humans  Relationship to other religions

19 Aztecs (Mexico)‏  Highly organized society  Agricultural base  Militarized  Major cities of thousands with monumental stone architecture  Tenochtitlán is major city

20 Aztecs (Mexico)  Religious principles  Huitzilopochtli recognized as the preeminent deity  Human sacrifice practiced, seen as necessary to maintain the sun’s daily cycle  Agricultural concerns very important

21 Incas (Peru)‏  Highly organized  Militaristic  Built cities with monumental stone architecture  Cuzco is capital city  Religious  The Inca is a religious figure  Sun and earth regarded as objects of veneration  Inti (and later Viracocha) recognized as the preeminent deity

22 The Empire of the Incas

23 Common Features of Native Mesoamerican Religions  Human beings, the earth, and cosmic forces/gods seen as interacting on an epic scale  By maintaining lawful life, humanity did its part to retain cosmic order and prosperity  Cities had their own patron deities  A diversity of gods was recognized


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