CLASSICAL
BELIEF SYSTEMS
Intro
Belief systems in CONTEXT
 Historians view belief systems in the
context of time and place.
 For example: Buddhists in I...
Judaism . . . Monotheism
Hinduism
Oldest
Belief System
Zoroastrianism
Good vs Evil / Heaven
Gautama - the
founder
Spread to East
Asia
Christianity Jesus of Nazareth –
Founder
Began as a Jewish sect &
spread through the
Roman World
Hinduism, Judaism,
Zoroastrianism, Buddhism,
Daoism & Christianity
Belief Systems of the Classical
Period
Foundations
 There is no recorded founder of
Hinduism – it is the oldest
institutional religion of the early
belief syste...
Foundations
 Daoism emerged in East Asia in the
600s to 300s BCE from the
teachings of Laozi
 Zoroastrianism arose in Pe...
Foundations
 Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha),
the founder of Buddhism, was
originally a Hindu in the
upperclass.
 Buddhi...
Foundations
 Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of
Christianity, was a lower-class Jew
living in Roman controlled Middle
East...
Existence after Death
 Hinduism and Buddhism – Existence is
cyclical until one breaks from the cycle
and becomes eternall...
Spread
 Groups within Buddhism and Christianity
supported missionaries – men and women
who purposely took the message of ...
Spread
 Buddhism spread from South Asia into East
and SE Asia.
 Buddhism by the 500s ce was stronger in
areas where it s...
Spread
 Judaism spread after the Romans exiled
Jews to new territories in Europe
 Christianity spread into the Roman
Emp...
Spread & CHANGE
 As religions spread and new
interpretations arose – there were
changes, splits into different sects (or
...
Texts
 The founders of Buddhism and
Christianity did not record their own
statements or life story.
 Which belief system...
Challenges to Society
 Both Buddhism and Christianity, more
than the other belief systems, challenged
the social class sy...
Greek Rationalism…What’s up with that???
In Greece, some intellectuals like
SOCRATES, PLATO, and ARISTOTLE
abandoned mytho...
Classical Belief Systems Intro
Classical Belief Systems Intro
Classical Belief Systems Intro
Classical Belief Systems Intro
Classical Belief Systems Intro
Classical Belief Systems Intro
Classical Belief Systems Intro
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Classical Belief Systems Intro

  1. 1. CLASSICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS Intro
  2. 2. Belief systems in CONTEXT  Historians view belief systems in the context of time and place.  For example: Buddhists in India in the 300s ce were not the same as Buddhists in Southeast Asia in the 1800s ce though some of the core beliefs remained unchanged.  Historians view belief systems as an influence ON culture AND influenced BY culture.  For example: Christianity changed Roman culture and the Renaissance in Europe influenced Christianity.
  3. 3. Judaism . . . Monotheism
  4. 4. Hinduism Oldest Belief System
  5. 5. Zoroastrianism Good vs Evil / Heaven
  6. 6. Gautama - the founder Spread to East Asia
  7. 7. Christianity Jesus of Nazareth – Founder Began as a Jewish sect & spread through the Roman World
  8. 8. Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Daoism & Christianity Belief Systems of the Classical Period
  9. 9. Foundations  There is no recorded founder of Hinduism – it is the oldest institutional religion of the early belief systems.  Judaism began in the Middle East around the 1200s bce when it had its own political empire.  First monotheistic religion
  10. 10. Foundations  Daoism emerged in East Asia in the 600s to 300s BCE from the teachings of Laozi  Zoroastrianism arose in Persia in the 500s BCE from the teachings of Zarathustra
  11. 11. Foundations  Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), the founder of Buddhism, was originally a Hindu in the upperclass.  Buddhism emerged in South Asia out of Hinduism starting in the 500s bce.
  12. 12. Foundations  Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity, was a lower-class Jew living in Roman controlled Middle East.  The Jesus movement became Christianity with non-Jewish converts.
  13. 13. Existence after Death  Hinduism and Buddhism – Existence is cyclical until one breaks from the cycle and becomes eternally spirit.  Zoroastrianism & Christianity – Existence is linear; one lives and then becomes eternally spirit.
  14. 14. Spread  Groups within Buddhism and Christianity supported missionaries – men and women who purposely took the message of a religion into different regions.  Religions also spread through conquest, along trade routes, and through migrations.
  15. 15. Spread  Buddhism spread from South Asia into East and SE Asia.  Buddhism by the 500s ce was stronger in areas where it spread than where it originated.  How does this compare to Zoroastrianism?  How does this compare with Hinduism?
  16. 16. Spread  Judaism spread after the Romans exiled Jews to new territories in Europe  Christianity spread into the Roman Empire, into North and East Africa, and beyond.  Christianity by the 1200s was stronger in areas where it had spread than in where it originated.
  17. 17. Spread & CHANGE  As religions spread and new interpretations arose – there were changes, splits into different sects (or groups), and new influences
  18. 18. Texts  The founders of Buddhism and Christianity did not record their own statements or life story.  Which belief systems are connected to these texts? Vedas and Upanishads Torah Gospels & Epistles Analects Sutras
  19. 19. Challenges to Society  Both Buddhism and Christianity, more than the other belief systems, challenged the social class system and women’s status.  Especially in the early centuries, these religions appealed to lower classes and women.
  20. 20. Greek Rationalism…What’s up with that??? In Greece, some intellectuals like SOCRATES, PLATO, and ARISTOTLE abandoned mythology and created a philosophy that emphasized. . .  Natural laws govern the world & humans can understand those laws through reason  Using reason to understand human behavior (first histories – Herodatus)  questioning of earlier “wisdom” and assumptions ---had a major influence on Western Civilization
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