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Hum100: The Flowering of Religion: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism


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1. Identify the central teachings from Judaism, early Christianity, early Islam, and Buddhism.

2. Explain how Judaism, early Christianity, early Islam, and Buddhism reflect the individual’s role in the world and with the deity.

3. Describe the connections between the humanities and Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.

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Hum100: The Flowering of Religion: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism

  1. 1. THE FLOWERING OF RELIGION: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM, AND BUDDHISM HUM/100 – Intro to the Humanities I The Ancient World to Medieval Time Prof. Francisco Pesante-Gonzalez
  2. 2. Objectives 1. Identify the central teachings from Judaism, early Christianity, early Islam, and Buddhism. 2. Explain how Judaism, early Christianity, early Islam, and Buddhism reflect the individual’s role in the world and with the deity. 3. Describe the connections between the humanities and Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism by identifying examples of art, architecture, philosophy, music, and literature.
  3. 3. The Search for a Promised Land Ancient Palestine • Palestine was region on eastern shores of Mediterranean • Hebrew people settled in Canaan, land promised to them by God From Ur to Egypt • Torah, first five books of Hebrew Bible, tells early history of Hebrews • In Torah, God chose Abraham, a shepherd, to be father of Hebrew people • Abraham moves family and herds from Ur to Canaan around 1800 B.C. • Around 1650 B.C. Abraham’s descendants move to Egypt
  4. 4. The God of Abraham • Hebrews are monotheists, believing in one God only—Yahweh • Yahweh is all powerful, not a physical being • A mutual promise, covenant, is made between God and Abraham • Abraham promises to obey God, Yahweh promises protection The Search for a Promised Land
  5. 5. Moses and the Exodus Hebrews Migrate to Egypt • At first Hebrews are honored in Egyptian kingdom; later become slaves “Let My People Go” • Hebrews flee Egypt between 1300 and 1200 B.C. • Bible tells of God’s command that Moses lead this “Exodus” A New Covenant • Moses receives Ten Commandments—become basis of Hebrew law
  6. 6. The Land and People of the Bible • Torah tells of Hebrews wandering Sinai Desert for 40 years • Arrive in Canaan form twelve tribes; judges provide leadership A Hebrew Law • Women and men have separate roles, responsibilities • Law includes strict justice softened by mercy • Prophets arise later to interpret the law • They teach people to live moral lives Moses and the Exodus
  7. 7. The Kingdom of Israel Canaan • Land that Hebrews believe God promised them • Canaan land is harsh; Hebrews expand south and north Saul and David Establish a Kingdom • Hebrews threatened by Philistines to the north • Only one tribe remains, Judah; Hebrew religion called Judaism • From 1020 to 922 B.C. Hebrews (Jews) unite; new kingdom called Israel • King David establishes Jerusalem as capital
  8. 8. Solomon Builds the Kingdom • David’s son Solomon becomes King; makes Israel a trading empire • He builds a magnificent temple and royal palace in Jerusalem The Kingdom Divides • High taxes and forced labor lead Jews in north to revolt • By 922 B.C. kingdom divides in two—Israel in north, Judah in south • 200 years of conflict follow The Kingdom of Israel
  9. 9. The Babylonian Captivity A Conquered People • In 738 B.C. Israel and Judah pay tribute (money for peace) to Assyria • By 722 B.C. Assyrians conquer Israel • In 586 B.C. Babylonians conquer Judah, destroy Solomon’s Temple • Many surviving Jews exiled to Babylon • In 539 B.C. Persians conquer Babylon; 40,000 Jews return to Jerusalem • Temple and walls rebuilt; land later ruled by Persians, Greeks, Romans
  10. 10. The Life and Teachings of Jesus Romans Conquer Judea • Rome conquers Judea, home of Jews; makes it part of empire, A.D. 6 • Many Jews believe a Messiah, or savior, eventually will free them Jesus of Nazareth • Jesus—a Jew born in Bethlehem (around 6 to 4 B.C.), raised in Nazareth • At age 30 begins preaching monotheism, Ten Commandments • Does good works, reportedly performs miracles • Stresses personal relationship with God, love for friends and enemies
  11. 11. A Growing Movement • Apostles—the twelve men who are disciples (or pupils) of Jesus • Jesus ignores wealth and status; his message appeals to poor Jesus’ Death • Many Jews view Jesus as the Messiah; others see him as a heretic • Roman governor Pontius Pilate sentences Jesus to be crucified • Apostles believe Jesus ascended into heaven after death • Christos, Greek word for “savior”; Christianity derived from “Christ” The Life and Teachings of Jesus
  12. 12. Christianity Spreads Through the Empire Growth of Christianity • Followers spread Christianity—new religion based on Jesus’ teachings Paul’s Mission • Apostle Paul—spends life preaching and interpreting Christianity • Common languages of Latin and Greek help to spread message • Paul stresses Jesus is son of God who died for people’s sins • Paul declares that Christianity open to all converts
  13. 13. Jewish Rebellion • Jews rebel against Rome; Romans storm Jerusalem, destroy Temple • Rebellions in A.D. 66, 70, 132 fail; Jews driven from homeland • Diaspora—centuries of Jewish exile (from Greek word for “dispersal”) Christianity Spreads Through the Empire Persecution of the Christians • Christians won’t worship Roman gods; become enemies of Roman rule • Roman rulers use Christians as scapegoats for hard times • As Pax Romana crumbles, Christians crucified, burned, killed in arena
  14. 14. A World Religion Christianity’s Expansion • Christianity becomes powerful force; reasons for widespread appeal: • embraces all people • gives hope to the powerless • appeals to those repelled by extravagance of Roman life • offers personal relationship with a loving God • promises eternal life after death
  15. 15. Constantine Accepts Christianity • Constantine—Roman emperor battles for control of Rome in A.D. 312 • Has vision of cross, Christian symbol; places on soldiers’ shields • Believes Christian God helped him win; legalizes Christianity • In A.D. 380 Emperor Theodosius makes Christianity religion of empire A World Religion
  16. 16. Early Christian Church • Priests direct a single church; bishops supervise numerous churches • Apostle Peter—first bishop of Rome; clergy trace their authority to him • Pope—the father, or head, of Christian Church; Rome, center of Church A World Religion
  17. 17. A Single Voice • Church leaders compile standard Christian beliefs in New Testament • New Testament added to Hebrew Bible (also called Old Testament) The Fathers of the Church • Early writers and scholars of teachings called Fathers of the Church • Augustine, bishop in North Africa, one of the most important Fathers • Stressed receiving sacraments to obtain God’s grace • Wrote famous book, The City of God A World Religion
  18. 18. Deserts, Towns, and Trade Routes The Arabian Peninsula • A crossroads of three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe • Mostly desert with small amount of fertile land Desert and Town Life • Bedouins, Arab nomads, thrive in the desert • Bedouins live in clans, which give support to members • Some Arabs settle near oases or market towns
  19. 19. Crossroads of Trade and Ideas • Many sea and land trade routes pass through Arabia • Trade extends to the Byzantine and Sassanid empires to the north Deserts, Towns, and Trade Routes Mecca • Pilgrims come to Mecca to worship at the Ka’aba, an ancient shrine • Arabs associate shrine with Hebrew prophet Abraham and monotheism • Some tribes worship many gods and spirits, bring idols to Ka’aba • Some Arabs believe in one God—Allah in Arabic
  20. 20. The Prophet Muhammad Early Life • Around A.D. 570 Muhammad is born into a powerful Meccan clan • Becomes a trader, marries wealthy businesswoman, Khadijah Revelations • By age 40, Muhammad spends much time in prayer and meditation • He hears angel Gabriel tell him he is a messenger of Allah • Muhammad founds religion of Islam— “submission to the will of Allah” • Many join him and become Muslim—“one who has submitted”
  21. 21. The Hijrah • Muhammad’s followers are attacked; together they leave Mecca in 622 • Hijrah—the Muslim migration from Mecca to Yathrib (renamed Medina) • Muhammad attracts many more followers, becomes great leader: - political leader—joins Jews and Arabs of Medina as a single community - religious leader—draws more converts to Islam - military leader—tackles growing hostilities between Mecca and Medina The Prophet Muhammad
  22. 22. Returning to Mecca • In 630, Muhammad and 10,000 followers return to Mecca • Meccan leaders surrender • Muhammad destroys idols in Ka’aba • Meccans convert to Islam • Muhammad unifies Arabian Peninsula The Prophet Muhammad
  23. 23. Beliefs and Practices of Islam Islam • The main teaching of Islam is that there is only one god, Allah • People are responsible for their own actions; there is good and evil • Islamic monument in Jerusalem—Dome of the Rock • Muslims believe Muhammad rose to heaven here to learn Allah’s will • Jews believe Abraham was prepared to sacrifice son Isaac at same site
  24. 24. The Five Pillars • Muslims must carry out five duties—the Five Pillars of Islam - statement of faith to Allah and to Muhammad as his prophet - pray five times a day, can use a mosque— Islamic house of worship - give alms, or money for the poor - fast between dawn and sunset during holy month of Ramadan - perform the hajj—pilgrimage to Mecca—at least once Beliefs and Practices of Islam
  25. 25. A Way of Life • Customs and traditions guide Muslim’s lives • Scholar class, ulama, and teachers apply religion to life; no priests Sources of Authority • Original source of authority for Muslims is Allah • Qur’an—holy book, contains revelations Muhammad received from Allah • Muslims follow Sunna—Muhammad’s example for proper living • Guidance of Qur’an and Sunna assembled in body of law—shari’a Beliefs and Practices of Islam
  26. 26. Links to Judaism and Christianity • To Muslims, Allah is same God worshiped by Christians and Jews • Qur’an, Gospels, Torah—contain God’s will as revealed through others • Muslims, Christians, and Jews trace their roots to Abraham • All three religions believe in heaven, hell, and a day of judgement • Shari’a law requires Muslim leaders to extend religious tolerance Beliefs and Practices of Islam
  27. 27. Muhammad’s Successors Spread Islam A New Leader • In 632 Muhammad dies; Muslims elect Abu-Bakr to be first caliph • Caliph, title for Muslim leader, means “successor” or “deputy” “Rightly Guided” Caliphs • First four caliphs guided by the Qur’an and Muhammad’s actions • Jihad, armed struggle against unbelievers, used to expand Islam • By 750, Muslim empire stretches from Atlantic Ocean to Indus River
  28. 28. Reasons for Success • Muslim armies are well disciplined and expertly commanded • Byzantine and Sassanid empires are weak from previous conflict • Persecuted citizens of these empires welcome Islam • Attracted to Islam’s offer of equality and hope Treatment of Conquered Peoples • Muslim invaders tolerate other religions • Christians, Jews receive special consideration as “people of the book” Muhammad’s Successors Spread Islam
  29. 29. Internal Conflict Creates a Crisis Rise of the Umayyads • Struggles for power end the elective system of choosing a caliph • Wealthy family, Umayyads, take power; move Muslim capital to Damascus Sunni—Shi’a Split • Shi’a—“party” of Ali—believe caliph should be Muhammad’s descendant • Sunni—followers of Muhammad’s example— support Umayyads • Sufi followers pursue life of poverty, spirituality; reject Umayyads • In 750, a rebel group—the Abbasids—topple the Umayyads
  30. 30. Control Extends Over Three Continents Fall of the Umayyads • Abbasids murder Umayyad family; one prince escapes, Abd al-Rahman • Flees to Spain; establishes new Umayyad caliphate in al-Andalus • al-Andalus—Muslim state in southern Spain settled by North Africans Abbasids Consolidate Power • In 762, Abbasids move Muslim capital from Damascus to Baghdad • Location provides access to trade goods, gold, information • Abbasids develop strong bureaucracy to manage empire
  31. 31. Rival Groups Divide Muslim Lands • Independent Muslim states spring up; Shi’a Muslims form new caliphate • Fatimid caliphate—claim descent from Fatima, daughter of Muhammad • Begins in North Africa; spreads to Red Sea, western Arabia and Syria Muslim Trade Network • Muslims trade by land and sea with Asia and Europe • Muslim merchants use Arabic, single currency, and checks • Córdoba, in al-Andalus, is dazzling center of Muslim culture Control Extends Over Three Continents
  32. 32. Muslim Society The Rise of Muslim Cities • Leading cities include Damascus, Baghdad, Córdoba, Cairo, Jerusalem • Baghdad, impressive Abbasid capital; population around one million Four Social Classes • Muslim society: Muslims at birth, converts, protected people, slaves • “Protected people” were Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians Role of Women • Women enjoy some rights but expected to submit to men • Women’s responsibilities vary with husbands’ income
  33. 33. Muslim Scholarship Extends Knowledge Muslims Support Learning • Muslims use scientific knowledge to help fulfill religious duties • Muhammad valued power of learning, study, scholarship • Muslim scholars preserve and translate scientific, philosophical texts • House of Wisdom—Bagdad institute: library, academy, translation center
  34. 34. Art and Sciences Flourish Muslim Literature • Qu’ran is standard for Arabic literature; praise for Muhammad, Islam • Abbasid caliphate poets write of nature, life, and love • Popular literature includes The Thousand and One Nights Muslim Art and Architecture • Islam discourages images of living things, artists turn to calligraphy • Calligraphy—art of beautiful handwriting • Architecture of Muslim mosques is blend of many cultures
  35. 35. Medical Advances • Persian al-Razi is greatest physician, from 500 to 1500 • Al-Razi writes encyclopedia of medical knowledge Math and Science Stretch Horizons • Muslim scientists solve problems through experimentation • Al-Khwarizmi develops algebra and writes textbook • Mathematician Ibn al-Haytham changes ideas about vision Art and Sciences Flourish
  36. 36. Philosophy and Religion Blend Views Scholars Promote New Ideas • Ibn Rushd is criticized for blending Greek philosophy with Islam • Jewish philosopher Maimonides faces opposition for his ideas • Blends philosophy, religion, science in The Guide for the Perplexed The “Ideal Man” • Muslims recognize values of many cultures; enjoy a blended culture • Emerging Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal empires reflect Muslim culture
  37. 37. The Buddha Seeks Enlightenment Siddhartha Gautama • Founder of Buddhism; priests prophesized his greatness Siddhartha’s Quest • Raised in isolation, Siddhartha Gautama wants to learn about world • Seeks enlightenment (wisdom), how to escape human suffering • Tries many methods; gains enlightenment by meditating • Becomes the Buddha, the “enlightened one”
  38. 38. Origins and Beliefs • Buddha begins to teach followers • Preaches Four Noble Truths—basic philosophy of Buddhism • Fourth Noble Truth is to follow the Eightfold path to achieve nirvana • Nirvana: - a perfect state of understanding - a release from selfishness and pain - a break from the chain of reincarnations, rebirths • Buddha rejects caste system and multiple gods of Hinduism The Buddha Seeks Enlightenment
  39. 39. The Religious Community • Some followers devote lives to religion, become monks and nuns • Three bases of Buddhism: Buddha, religious community, teachings Buddhism and Society • Many followers at first among poor and lower caste • Monks and nuns spread Buddha’s teachings • Teachings written to become sacred literature The Buddha Seeks Enlightenment
  40. 40. Buddhism in India • Spreads to other parts of Asia • Never gains firm hold in India; Hinduism remains strong • Buddhist pilgrims often visit India Trade and the Spread of Buddhism • Buddhism spreads by traders to: - Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Sumatra - China, Korea, Japan The Buddha Seeks Enlightenment
  41. 41. Traditional Buddhist Beliefs • To Buddhists, desire causes suffering but suffering can be overcome A More Popular Form of Buddhism • Belief in bodhisattvas develops—potential Buddhas who save humanity • Mahayana sect—Buddhists accepting new doctrines of worship, salvation • Theravada sect—Buddhists who follow original teachings of Buddha • Wealthy Buddhist merchants build stupas— stone structures over relics Buddhism and Hinduism Change
  42. 42. • Murpey, R. & Stapleton, K. (2014). History of Asia (7TH ed). Pearson Education. • World History: Patterns of Interaction (2007). McDougal Littell. REFERENCES