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Chp2.religions & belief system

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  • 1. 1 RELIGIONSRELIGIONS ANDAND BELIEF SYSTEMBELIEF SYSTEM Characteristics Divine Religions Non-Divine Religions Terminologies
  • 2. 2 1) Belief in Super natural being/s (god/s). 2) Distinction between sacred and profane objects. 3) Ritual acts focused around sacred objects. 4) A moral code believed to be sanctioned by God 5) Arousal of religious feelings in the presence of sacred objects. 6) Prayers or other forms of communications with god/s. 7) A worldview; a general picture of the world and its overall significance. 8) A more or less total organization of one’s life based on the worldview. 9) A social organization bound together by preceding characteristics 10) An inner peace and psychological well being. 11) A belief in Life after this life. CHARACTERISTICS OF RELIGIONS
  • 3. 3 DIVINE RELIGION Originated from God Examples; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These religious traditions regard their sacred scriptures as authoritative revelations of a divine source. Commonly known as Law-giving religions Islam claims that all previous revealed scriptures have been corrupted by their followers except the Quran, the Last Testament. Hinduism; has been mistakenly categorized as a revealed religion because of the prominent place of the Vedas. On the other hand, it might be considered as an “evolved religion” because “Veda” means “knowledge discerned by Vedic seers”.
  • 4. 4 1) Belief in Supernatural being or God as the center of faith The god has full control over creation. 2) Having a clear concept of prophecy as the basic faith. It also includes the belief in the revelation and the occurrence of miracles of the messengers to support the Divinity or as means of communication. 3) Having Divine scriptures or holy books which contain the Divine laws and moral values. 4) Rituals as a form of worship. Religious duties are based on the concept of obedience and devotion to God’s law. On the other hand, human beings have no absolute right to set the laws. 5) Belief in the coming of the judgment day and the existence of heaven and hell. *these characteristics are not absolute due to the corruption of some religious teachings done by their followers. The Characteristics of Divine Religions
  • 5. 5 NON-DIVINE RELIGIONS Human-made religions or belief systems Invented by man and not based on revelation. The best example is Buddhism Its followers consider Gaotama Buddha as a guide and his sayings were compiled as scriptures.
  • 6. 6 The Characteristics of Non-divine religions 1) Having no faith in Supernatural Being. Normally the followers believe in superstition and have no clear concept of God. 2) Having no communications with supernatural being or no concept of human intermediary with God. The purpose of performing rituals, meditations and deeds is either to transform karma or avoid of becoming lower being in the next life. 3) The laws and moral code sanctioned by the founder’s thought, ideas and sayings which are complete nor fixed. 4) Ritual acts focused on the objects, founder or leader. 5) Do not have a clear concept of judgment day including the existence of hell and heaven. Obviously, they just believe in Nirvana and re- incarnation.
  • 7. 7 Greek: mono ~ “one” + theos ~“god”.  Definition: The religious experience or the philosophical perception that emphasize on the existence of God who is one, perfect, immutable, the Creator of the world from nothing, distinct from the world, powerful and worthy of being worshipped.  monotheism presupposes the idea of theo; a divine being in mind, but approachable through prayer. The God has supreme power and governing everything according to the divine will.  Examples: Judaism: weak monotheist- believe in the jealous God but still believe in the existence of the God of others. Christianity: the concept of trinity is claimed as monotheism, believe in one God which can be expressed in triple forms or aspects. Islam: absolute monotheist- kalimah “there is no Monotheism
  • 8. 8  Greek: polus ~ “many” + theos ~“god”.  Definition: the religious belief or philosophical perception tends to acknowledge and worship many gods.  believe that gods have different parts and levels.  no god has infinite power although the major deities could be very powerful.  Two forms of polytheism; a. Hard polytheism: believe that the gods are distinct and separate beings and are happy to believe in the existence of the God of other people. b. soft polytheism regard their multiplicity of gods as simply representing different aspects of a single god.  E.g. neopagan groups, Hinduism (believe in 4 major gods i.e. Brahman, Siva, Vishnu and Devi), Japanese Shinto, Hellenismos. Polytheism
  • 9. 9 : - Dualism  The state of being dual, or having a two fold division.  Generally it consists of any system which is founded on a double principle, a duality.  In theology, it refers to ditheism  Definition: the belief of the existence of two basic principles, usually personified as deities, that work in polar opposition to each other.  The concept that the world is ruled by the antagonistic forces, i.e. of good and evil; of material and non-material, of matter and spirit, body and mind/soul, good and evil, or light and darkness.  Examples:  Zoroastrianism: believe in two Gods opposing each other i.e. Ahraman or Ahura mazda(God of light or good God) and Angra Manyu (God of darkness or evil God)  Manichaniesm: had two eternal principle; light (spirit) and darkness (matter)
  • 10. 10 the word ‘nature’ as opposite to ‘super nature’. A philosophical position which holds that all exists is natural. view that all objects, truths and facts fall within the scope of scientific inquiry. All phenomena can be explained mechanistically in terms of natural causes and laws without the influence of superpower. Therefore, the concept of supernatural being might be denied. The naturalists believe that values have been embodied with man since birth and not to learn it, and also action based on natural instinct without spiritual guidance. . Then, man is helpless to face forces beyond control because what did happen is just by chance circumstances. Naturalism
  • 11. 11 Atheism  Greek) a-theos ~ means ‘no god’ or “absence of god”  An atheist may view that the belief in the existence of God to be false or irrational or meaningless.  Three forms of atheism: 1. Dogmatic rejection of specific beliefs such as theism. It is a doctrine that strongly and officially denies the existence of a personal God who creates the world and exists independently of it. E.g. Marxist atheism- the strongest atheistic movement. 2. Skepticism: denies that there are any grounds for reasonable belief in religious matter. 3. Agnosticism: means suspending one’s judgment on the question of the existence of divine reality. Agnostic would not reject religion but he views that human can never be certain in religious matter, especially when dealing with a scientific problem.  Skepticism& agnosticism are considered as weak atheism because the abstinence of belief in the existence of God due to not having sufficient evidence.
  • 12. 12 Latin: anima ~ “soul”  A belief in spiritual being thought capable of influencing human events based on the ideas of the existence of soul or spirits that inhabit natural phenomena.  The spiritual power may be conceived as an impersonal force running through everything and capable of being used for good and evil.  Every object whether biologically animate such as animals, plants or even inanimate objects has soul and is source of spiritual power.  Individuals may be considered as means for direct communication with spirits, such as shamans, spirit-mediums.  View that there is no or little distinction between nature and supernatural  Animist groups have no elaborate religious organization and no required creed.  Ritual activities tend to be magical in order to control spiritual powers for certain benefit. e.g. fasting to allow the sacral power within to emerge.  It is a common belief of the primitive societies. E.g. Some people believe that if someone died in their area, they must move to another place to avoid curse from the dead man. Animism

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