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Chapter 10. Polytheism Belief in many gods Some gods were terrifying-Thor, wielding enormous power over humans Others were good, Aphrodite brought Love.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 10. Polytheism Belief in many gods Some gods were terrifying-Thor, wielding enormous power over humans Others were good, Aphrodite brought Love."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 10

2 Polytheism Belief in many gods Some gods were terrifying-Thor, wielding enormous power over humans Others were good, Aphrodite brought Love to Earth, Apollo brought enlightenment

3 Egypt Religion and daily life were inseparable (kings were worshiped as gods, built monuments to them) Amenhotep IV declared the universe was ruled by one supreme god, Aton (sun) King changed his name to mean son of Aton Pharaohs were the earthly representatives of Aton and commanded adoration and worship, even though they were no longer considered gods

4 Hinduism 1500 B.C.E. beginning of the Hindu tradition, because the Aryans (noble) took over, established national religion Polytheistic, sacred document- Vedas Used sacrifice (human at first) Almost all early religions required sacrifice, otherwise mortals would suffer terrible consequences

5 Hinduism continued Brahman-Creator god Shiva-the Destroyer, everything eventually goes away and makes room for new (god of change, shown with multiple arms, learning to accept change is one of the fundamental goals of Hindu thought) Vishnu-the Preserver, balances the forces of creation and destruction so that continuity exists (bringer of stability, failure to see the eternal nature of existence is the cause of human suffering)

6 Native American Religions Usually polytheistic Some contend that there is no “Native American religion” that what is considered religious practice is actually just daily mode of existence with nature Some believe in “Great Spirit” is a personal god in human form

7 Hinduism Does not believe in a personal god promising freedom from pain Universal soul “Brahman” is not a conscious being but a universal order. Strive to attain “moksha” or freedom from pain/stress Difficult to reach, must transcend desire

8 Belief in Karma, takes many lives to transcend pain and reach “enlightenment” Person who has achieved enlightenment without having to be reborn will be known as a buddha (enlightened one) occurs perhaps every 25,000 years

9 Led to New Religion… Someone 2000 years ago claimed it was possible to reach enlightenment in a single lifetime This person was hailed as the promised Buddha, accidently becoming the founder of a new religion Now looked upon as a god

10 Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama Prince who felt uneasy, forced himself in poverty to embrace a new way of life Created meditation Eventually attained enlightenment through meditation Mission was to help people find the middle ground between extremes of self-denial and withdrawal from life

11 Eight Fold Path

12 Taoism The Way is an impersonal divine order that rules the universe. It is a religion only in the sense that the followers are obligated to live their lives in accordance with this order We are all part of society, with all of it’s prejudices and double-dealings, and teaches us to conduct ourselves honorably and ethically within it Belief in continual action of opposites

13 Socrates and Plato Socrates specialized in the dialect-analytical method of thinking Analyze an idea by revealing the flaws of its opposite They both referred to god and gods Nothing about their thoughts suggest faith in any force except the inherent rationality of the universe and in the individual willing to think. Wanted philosopher kings, not god-king like Egypt

14 Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover Believed the universe always existed, but it was cold, lifeless and without motion. Logic states the whole thing must have been set in motion, by something that was not in motion by itself The idea of the “Unmoved Mover” (not a causer or creator, but a mover) Moving closer to monotheism

15 Judaism First monotheistic religion Hebrew Bible-collaboratively written over many centuries Torah-first 5 books of the bible, attributed to Moses Over time, the portrayal of God softens, from supreme ruler to father and comforter God who is both awesome and wrathful (Job) Influenced much art, music, literature, thought, drama

16 Christianity Believe Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the prophets Some hailed him as Messiah, others refused to accept him Considered a fanatic, troublemaker 4 Gospels tell of his life (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) Lacks consistency among stories, not eye-witness

17 Augustine Major Christian philosopher of the early Middle Ages Ultimately concluded that philosophical questioning and analysis could not take Christians where they needed to go. Analysis could only lead to a weakening of belief and even to atheism. Why did God give us reason when it was no use trying to comprehend God or the universe?

18 The Concept of Faith Humans are fascinated by “good” vs. “evil” Why do people sin? Augustine developed the idea of free will and predestination An all-powerful God could choose to bestow on humanity the gift of freedom. An all-knowing God could tell what our choices would be without having willed those choices.

19 Islam Founded by Mohammed Commanded by angel Gabriel to deliver God’s word His sermons were written down and translated into the Koran Islam means “submission” Wanted to do more than preach, wanted to create a society brotherhood, peace, and ethical dealings based on Allah’s law. Still the basis for government of in Islamic nations

20 In the beginning, Mohammad allowed Christians and Jews to openly practice their faiths in Islamic communities. They all worship the same God, entitled to heed the word as passed down in their own sacred books. There are fundamentalists in every religion, who follow the exact letter of the law, and those that support flexibility.

21 Similarities and Differences All 3 major religions have similar holy books Judaism saw Jesus as a prophet, but not the Messiah Islam recognized importance of Moses and Jesus but Mohammed is the true prophet. Christians and Muslims believe in an ending of the world, Judgment day, good will be rewarded with eternal life and bad will suffer-Heaven and Hell Muslims and Catholics require confession

22 Doubt Agnosticism Atheist “unknown”, doesn’t disbelieve God, but asserts that nothing about him(even existence) can be known for certain. William James (father of modern psychology) states, “if religion is essential to happiness, who is to deny someone the right to believe?” Bold negative stance, challenge believers, use their logic to prove nonexistence of God. Pragmatists-more important that an idea be good instead of true Nietzsche-God is dead


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