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World Religion Lecture

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Lecture notes for World History lecture on Comparative Religion

Lecture notes for World History lecture on Comparative Religion

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Transcript

  • 1. World Religions
    • An introduction to seeing the similarities and differences
  • 2. Objectives
    • Explore various religious beliefs held around the world
    • Compare and contrast aspects of religions
  • 3. Vocabulary
    • animism - the belief that natural objects possess a soul or spirit.
    • shamanism - belief in an unseen world of gods, demons and ancestral spirits responsive only to a shaman.
    • theism - belief in the existence of a God or gods.
    • religion - a personal set or system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices.
    • theocracy - a government ruled by or subject to religious authority.
  • 4. In the beginning...
    • The most basic, primitive form of religious belief is found in animism .
      • Some primitive societies in Africa and South America are animistic.
      • Contact with the natural world is most important - respect for nature
    • Native American tribes - many included Shamans. Animism with a person who understands and guides access to these spirits is shamanism.
  • 5. ‘ Modern’ Religion
    • Eventually, cultures developed concepts of gods as a way to understand the world around them.
    • Theism was the belief in God or gods.
    • The first true religions were established by creating sets of customs and practices that allowed people the means to better understand the gods or God
    • Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus River Valley societies - among the first civilizations with religion
  • 6. Government & Religion
    • Much of the history of the world - religion & government go hand-in-hand
      • Theocracy
    • Since the Age of Enlightenment - shift away from government by religion
    • Religion still plays important part of people’s lives and in the area of international relations
  • 7. How Can We Understand Other Beliefs?
    • Create a chart to categorize and break down and identify different beliefs to compare and contrast
  • 8. Shinto
  • 9. Origins & History
    • Indigenous religion of Japan
    Gods and Universe
    • Polytheism (belief in many Gods) based on the kami ( 神 ), ancient gods or spirits
    鬼 (おに)
  • 10. Human Situation and Life’s Purpose
    • Humans are pure by nature and can keep away evil through purification rituals and attain good things by calling on the kami
    手水 (てみず)
  • 11. Afterlife
    • Death is bad and impure. Some humans become kami after death.
    Practices
    • Worship and offerings to kami at shrines and at home. Purification rituals
    鳥居 (とりい)
  • 12. Texts
    • Important texts are Kojiki or ‘Record of Ancient Matters’ and Nihon-gi or ‘Chronicles of Japan’
  • 13. Buddhism
  • 14. Origins & History
    • Founded by Siddharta Gautama (the Buddha) in c. 520 BC, NE India
    Gods and Universe
    • Varies: Theravada atheistic; Mahayana more polytheistic. Buddha taught nothing is permanent.
    大仏 (だいぶつ)
  • 15. Human Situation and Life’s Purpose
    • Purpose is to avoid suffering and gain enlightenment and release from cycle of rebirth, or at least attain a better rebirth by gaining merit.
    宝篋印塔 (ほうきょういんとう)
  • 16. Afterlife
    • Reincarnation (understood differently than in Hinduism, with no surviving soul) until gain enlightenment
    Practices
    • Meditation, mantras, devotion to deities (in some sects); In Japan - mixed with some Confucian ideals
    仏壇 (ぶつだん)
  • 17. Texts
    • Tripitaka (Pali Canon); Mahayana sutras like the Lotus Sutra; others.
    寺 (てら)
  • 18. Compare and Contrast
    • Take out a piece of paper and turn it sideways
    • On the side of the page, write the headings for the chart as you see on the board
    • You can work in pairs or on your own. Find out information about 2 or more religions
    • PRIZE available! (Completely at the discretion of the teacher)
    • Website that might help: www.religionfacts.com
  • 19. Japan Shinto Buddhism Origins & History Indigenous religion of Japan. Founded by Siddharta Gautama (the Buddha) in c. 520 BC, NE India. God(s) and Universe Polytheism based on the kami , ancient gods or spirits. Varies: Theravada atheistic; Mahayana more polytheistic. Buddha taught nothing is permanent. Human Situation & Life’s Purpose Humans are pure by nature and can keep away evil through purification rituals and attain good things by calling on the kami . Purpose is to avoid suffering and gain enlightenment and release from cycle of rebirth, or at least attain a better rebirth by gaining merit. Afterlife Death is bad and impure. Some humans become kami after death. Reincarnation (understood differently than in Hinduism, with no surviving soul) until gain enlightenment. Practices Worship and offerings to kami at shrines and at home. Purification rituals. Meditation, mantras, devotion to deities (in some sects) Texts Important texts are Kojiki or ‘Records of Ancient Matters’ and Nihon-gi or ‘Chronicles of Japan’. Tripitaka (Pali Canon); Mahayana sutras like the Lotus Sutra; others.