Intro to world religions


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Intro to world religions

  2. 2. RELIGIONS in CONTEXT <ul><li>Historians view religion in the context of time and place. Religions’ main beliefs may not “change”, but how people interpret those religions does change. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buddhists in India in the 300s ce were not the same as Buddhists in Southeast Asia in the 1800s ce. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Historians view religions as an influence ON culture but also influenced BY culture . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity changed Roman culture and the Renaissance in Europe influenced Christianity. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. RELIGION as a study topic <ul><li>Historians view religions as a part of human experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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 India and spread elsewhere. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. RELIGIONS <ul><li>Which religions are the most important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Largest or “most influence” based on historians’ interpretation? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam “get the most ink” </li></ul><ul><li>Polytheism – belief in many gods; each god represents aspects of nature or life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rain god, war god, goddess of fertility </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Some Comparisons In Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, & Christianity Religions of the Classical Period
  6. 6. Foundation <ul><li>There is no recorded founder of Hinduism – it is the oldest institutional religion of the 4 classical religions. </li></ul><ul><li>Judaism began in the Middle East around the 1200s bce when it had its own political empire. </li></ul><ul><li>Abraham is considered its founder. </li></ul><ul><li>First monotheistic religion </li></ul>
  7. 7. Foundations <ul><li>Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), the founder of Buddhism, was originally a Hindu in the upperclass. </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhism emerged in India out of Hinduism starting in the 500s bce. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Foundations <ul><li>Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity, was a lower class Jew along with his first followers living in Roman controlled Middle East. </li></ul><ul><li>The Jesus movement became Christianity with non-Jewish converts. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Spread <ul><li>Groups within Buddhism and Christianity supported missionaries – men and women who took the message of a religion into different regions. </li></ul><ul><li>Religions also spread along trade routes. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Spread <ul><li>Buddhism spread from India into East and SE Asia. </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhism by the 500s ce was stronger in areas where it spread than where it originated. </li></ul>
  11. 13. Spread <ul><li>Christianity spread into the Roman Empire, into North and East Africa, and beyond. </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity by the 1200s was stronger in areas where it spread than in where it originated. </li></ul>
  12. 15. Spread <ul><li>Judaism spread after the Romans exiled Jews to new territories in Western and Eastern Europe after several rebellions against Roman rule in the 1 st century c.e. (the Jewish temple was also destroyed). </li></ul>
  13. 17. Spread & CHANGE <ul><li>As religions spread and new interpretations arose – there were changes, splits into different sects (or groups), and new influences </li></ul>
  14. 20. Existence after Death <ul><li>Hinduism and Buddhism – Existence is cyclical until one breaks from the cycle and becomes eternally spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>Judaism (some forms) and Christianity – Existence is linear; one lives and then becomes eternally spirit. </li></ul>
  15. 21. Challenges to Society <ul><li>Both Buddhism and Christianity, more than Judaism and Hinduism, challenged the social class system and the status of women. </li></ul><ul><li>Especially in the early centuries, these religions appealed to lower classes. </li></ul>
  16. 22. Texts <ul><li>The founders of Buddhism and Christianity did not record their own statements or life story. </li></ul><ul><li>The interpretation of texts was a main basis for different groups or sects to separate in each religion. </li></ul>