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Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions October 31, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh.

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Presentation on theme: "Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions October 31, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions October 31, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh

2 Week 2: What is a Cult? OCT Megan Scholarly vs. Popular Definition Common Traits Examples Week 3: Hinduism Brief History OCT. 17 – Megan (Kittie will contribute TM materials) Vedas Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Goddess followers Beliefs & Practice Week 4: Buddhism OCT 24 – Megan Brief History Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana 4 Truths, Eight-fold Path Mahayana Sects (Zen/Chan, Pure Land, etc.) Beliefs & Practice Week 5: "Minor" Religions OCT Megan Zoroastrianism Sikhism Jainism Taoism Shinto

3 Week 6: Judaism NOV. 7 – Kittie Brief history Ancient vs. Modern Orthodox vs. Reformed Beliefs and Practices Week 7: Christianity NOV Kittie Brief History Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Other Beliefs & Practice NOV 21 – NO CLASS, BREAK FOR THANKSGIVING Week 8: Islam NOV Kittie Brief History Four pillars Shiite vs. Sunni Sufism Week 9: New Religions (post 1800) DEC. 5 - Kittie Mormonism Jehovah's Witnesses Scientology Neo-Paganism/Wicca Various New Asian Religions Week 10: Overview/Summary: What Does All This Mean for Christians?

4 Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism

5 Hindu Jain Temple Zoroastrian Association of Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Sikh Gudwara – Monroeville (below)

6 Began in India between the 9 th and 6 th centuries BCE. Has about 6 million followers in India alone. Mahavrata (“Great Vows”): 5 principles by which Jains live. Ahimsa – non-violence; applies to animals as well as people, even insects and microorganisms Satya – truthfulness; second to ahimsa. In a situation where telling the truth would lead to violence, one should remain silent. Asteya – non-stealing; one should always give a fair wage to laborers and a fair price for products, in addition to not taking something belonging to another. Brahmacharya – celibacy; monks and nuns are completely celibate, lay people are prohibited from being in sensual contact with anyone besides their spouse. Aparigraha – non-possession; one should not seek after possessions, and should not possess more than one needs.

7 24 Tirthankaras – lit. ‘ford-builder’; 24 people who became ‘pure souls’ who can help others achieve liberation. Only the last two are considered to have been historical by scholars. Karma – in Jainism, karma is conceived of as a sort of soot-like substance which clings to the soul and keeps it from rising out of samsara.

8 Monks carry small brooms and sweep the ground ahead of them so that they do not accidentally step on any insects. Vegetarianism – Jains are strictly vegetarian; they also do not eat root vegetables. Fasting, prayer, offerings, and meditation Sallekhana – when a Jain is close to death, they may willingly chose to abstain from food and drink. This is seen as a way to remove a lot of karma.

9 Approximately 400 million adherents in China Part philosophy, part religion Main texts: the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi Dates back to the Han Dynasty in China (c. 200 BCE – 200 CE) Not a single, coherent, organized religion

10 Tao – ‘the way’; both ‘path’ and ‘doctrine’ Te – the expression of Tao; ‘power’ or ‘virtue’ Wu-wei – ‘nonaction’; one must be like water, in harmony with their surroundings/the universe Ziran – ‘naturalness’; the original state of all things Sanbao – ‘Three Treasures’; compassion, moderation, and humility Qi – ‘life force’ Yin and Yang – the two main components of all things; nothing can be reduced to pure yang or pure yin Yin – cold, wet, dark, feminine Yang – hot, dry, bright, masculine

11 Pantheon – differs between sects, but generally mirrors the traditional Chinese bureaucracy, with deities being promoted/demoted based on their actions; headed by the Jade Emperor. Exorcisms Alchemy – goal of prolonging one’s life Astrology/Divination

12 Confucius (Kong Fuxi) lived from BCE, during a period of political disunification. Non-theistic Six books Classic of Poetry – prophecy Book of Documents – history Book of Rites – laws Book of Music – rituals Classic of Change – divination Spring and Autumn Annals – chronicle of the state of Lu

13 Five virtues Ren - humaneness Yi – righteousness/justice Li - etiquette Zhi – knowledge Xin – integrity Sizi (four virtues) Loyalty Filial piety Continency Righteousness

14 Five Relationships Ruler to Ruled Father to Son Husband to Wife Elder Brother to Younger Brother Friend to Friend The gentleman – typically described as a scholar/literate person, is supposed to cultivate morality, filial piety, and ren Rectification of Names – the need for things to be properly recognized as they are

15 Ancestor Worship Argument between the Pope and Jesuits as to whether Confucianism was a philosophy or a religion Were ancestor veneration rituals worship or just to respect the dead? Women and Confucianism Traditionally constrained by gender roles 'three subordinations': be subordinate to her father before marriage, to her husband after marriage, and to her son after her husband died. Considered virtuous to die as a widow

16 30 million Sikhs worldwide Follow the ten gurus, first was Nanak Sahib Born in the 15 th cent., CE Main scripture: Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji monotheistic

17 God is not fully knowable Can only be seen through the heart, by meditation God is genderless, formless Final destination is spiritual union with God Maya – ‘unreality’ Results in separation from God Five evils: ego, anger, greed, attachment, lust All are equal in God’s eyes Women can lead in prayers

18 Langar – community meal Served at the Gudwara (Sikh place of worship) to the entire community Naming ceremony All boys are given the last name Singh (‘lion’) and girls the last name Kaur (‘lioness’) Guru Granth Sahib is opened randomly and the child is given a name with the first letter on the top left hand corner of the left page. Sikhs are required to marry when they reach a certain age; divorce is prohibited

19 The Five K’s kēs (uncut hair) ka ṅ ghā (small wooden comb) ka ṛ ā (circular steel or iron bracelet) kirpān (sword/dagger) kacchera (special undergarment) Prohibitions: Cutting hair Intoxication Adultery Blind spirituality Material obsession Sacrifice of creatures Non-family-oriented living Worthless talk Priestly class Eating meat killed in a ritualistic manner Having premarital or extramarital sexual relations

20 Originated in Persia c. 6 th -18 th cent. BCE Founded by the prophet Zoroaster Monotheistic – God is called ‘Ahura Mazda’ (means ‘Lord of light and wisdom’)

21 Asha – truth/order Druj – falsehood/disorder Agra Manyu – lit. ‘evil spirit’; the antithesis of Ahura Mazda Saoshyant – a messiah-figure who will appear at the end of time to resurrect the dead. The universe is egg-shaped, created to stop Agra Manyu The dead must cross the Bride of Judgement to paradise or hell Hell is unpleasant but not eternal; punishment fits crimes

22 Dead are exposed in ‘towers of silence’ After some corpses poisoned birds of prey, some communities have switched to cremation or burial. Do not want corpses to pollute creation Free will is embraced, predestination is not accepted Water and fire are seen as bringing about ritual purity Fire Temple – a Zoroastrian place of worship Worship through fire, do not worship fire Do not accept any form of monasticism Men, women, and children must all keep their heads covered.


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