Classical belief systems

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Classical belief systems

  1. 1. CLASSICALBELIEF SYSTEMS In CONTEXT
  2. 2. Belief systems in CONTEXT Historians view religion 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 c.e. though some of the core beliefs remained unchanged. Historians view religions as an influence ON culture AND influenced BY culture.  For example: Christianity changed Roman culture and the Renaissance in Europe influenced Christianity.
  3. 3. Belief systems as a study topic Historiansview religions as a part of human experience  For example: Hinduism is not judged as right or wrong in its beliefs or practices, but interpreted in how it influenced human history as it started in South Asia and spread elsewhere.  Confucianism is not judged as good or bad, but understood in the ways it influenced Chinese social classes, etc.
  4. 4. Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Gree k Rationalism, Daoism & Christianity Belief Systems of the Classical Period
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. Foundations Daoism emerged in East Asia in the 600s to 300s BCE from the teachings of Laozi and later Zhuangzi Zoroastrianism arose in Persia in the 500s BCE from the teachings of Zarathustra
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. Existence after Death Hinduism and Buddhism – Existence is cyclical until one breaks from the cycle and becomes eternally spirit. Judaism (some forms), Zoroastrianism, & Christianity – Existence is linear; one lives and then becomes eternally spirit.
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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?
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. Spread & CHANGE As religions spread and new interpretations arose – there were changes, splits into different sects (or groups), and new influences
  14. 14. 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 UpanishadsTorahGospels & EpistlesAnalectsSutras
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. Greek Rationalism…What’s upwith that??? Greece-polytheism remained Intellectuals abandoned mythology Natural laws govern world Humans can understand those laws Power of Human Reason! KEY ELEMENT-the way questions are asked (argument, logic, questioning of received wisdom)
  17. 17. Greek Rationalism…What’s upwith that??? Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle Constant questioning of assumptions Applied rationalism to understanding human behavior..Herodotus-the first historian (why did the Persians and Greeks fight each other?) Influenced later Western Civs-knowledge preserved by Byzantines and Islam
  18. 18.  Religion Quiz

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