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Belief Systems Study Guide

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Page 1: Belief Systems - East Aurora

Belief Systems

Study Guide

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What is Religion

Scholars / Philosophers

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Joachim Wach

Religion is 3 things: a belief system, aritual worship system, and a moral system of social relationships. This is a substantive definition of religion.

Modern people think first of belief, but the social sciences argue that ritual and social relations are the central aspects of religion.

The Latin roots of the term religion are religare (to bind together), and religere (to execute painstakingly or to rehearse).

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Émile Durkheim

"Religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things which unite into one single moral community called a church, all those who adhere to them." This is a functional definition, focused on the moral unification function of religion.”

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Sigmund Freud

“Religion is a collective neurosis.”

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Karl Marx

“Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

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Textbook Definition

Religion is defined as an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, practices, and worship that centers on one or more gods.

Throughout the centuries, religion has guided the beliefs and actions of millions around the globe. It has brought people together. But it has also torn them apart

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What is Religion?● All societies have some form of religious belief and

experience. ● Because these touch on what people think like itself is

about, religion often has a major impact on the way people behave.

● Thus, religion has been on of the most powerful influences on human history.

● There is no precise definition of “religion”. Most definitions of religion list three common elements:

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Characteristics of Religion

Belief in the Sacred

Religious Groups or Cults

Ritual

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Belief in the Sacred

● Belief in something sacred (for example, gods or other supernatural beings).

● A distinction between sacred and profane (non religious) objects.

● A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis.

● Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual.

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Ritual

● Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.

● Prayer and other forms of communication with the

supernatural.

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Religious Groups or Cults

● A more or less total organization of one’s life based on

the world view.

● A social group bound together by the above.

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Do Now

Take out homework

Respond on Monthly Do Now: What defines a religion?

Homework:Due Monday Complete Origins of Hinduism Reading Notes

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Animism

the belief that spirits are present in animals, plants, and other natural objects.

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Confucianism

a system of philosophical and ethical teachings founded by Confucius and developed by Mencius

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Monotheism

a belief in a single god.

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Polytheism

a belief in many gods.

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Shinto

the native religion of Japan.

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Sikhism

a nonviolent religious group whose beliefs blend elements of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism.

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Taoism (Daoism)

a philosophy based on the ideas of the Chinese thinker Laozi, who taught that people should be guided by a universal force called the Dao (Way).

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Hinduism is monotheistic! There is a “universal spirit” known

as

Brahman

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Brahma is the creator

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Vishnu-the protector

Shiva-the destroyer

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BASIC FACTS: Caste system dominated life

(recreate this pyramid on the back of this page)

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Historical Stuff○ Aryans- Indo-European peoples who invaded India

○ Caste-Social groups into which people are born; can’t move out during lifetime.

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DO NOWTake Out Homework: Origins of Hinduism

Complete: In Study Guide Basic Facts of Hinduism using Homework

Homework: Complete Origins of Buddhism

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Caste determines:○ Jobs, marriages, social group, treatment

Untouchables:“Impure”Jobs-butchers, gravediggers, garbage collectors etc.

Discrimination banned in 1950

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Major Beliefs of Hinduism○ Dharma- moral or religious duties expected of a person

○ Karma-the accumulation of good or bad deeds-this determines caste/wealth/poverty in next life

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Beliefs continued…○ Reincarnation- rebirth-attempting to unite with “Brahman”, the world soul that contains and unites all

.

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Reincarnation-to be born again, into another body

○ A person can do good deeds (Dharma), creating good fortune (Karma), then move towards reaching Moksha(enlightenment).

○ Moksha means freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth.

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Sacred Objects:COWS

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Sacred Objects:Ganges River-multiplies an individual’s blessings

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Goal of Hinduism○ Enlightenment-”moksha”-perfect understanding of all things

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Hindu temples- Cambodia/India

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Divali-Festival which celebrates light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance.Gifts are exchanged, prayers and a meal are a part of the celebration

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Founder: Siddhartha Gautama (aka “Buddha” or enlightened one)

Buddhism

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Basic Facts• Location: Nepal (Asia)• Date 563 BC• Holy Book: Tripitika• Dieties: none

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Basic Facts• Sought enlightenment or wisdom• Generally peaceful• Religious tolerance/rejects caste system

• Also includes Dharma, Karma and reincarnation

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The Four Noble Truths• 1 life is filled with suffering • 2. the cause of suffering is people’s desires for temporary pleasure

• 3. End all suffering by ending all desires

• 4. Overcome desires by following the 8 Fold Path

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The Eightfold Path• 1. Right view 2. Right intention

• 3. Right speech 4. Right action

• 5. Right livelihood 6. Right effort

• 7. Right mindfulness 8. Right concentration

4 + 8= Nirvana

• Nirvana-relief from selfishness and pain (enlightenment)

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Hinduism v. BuddhismBuddhism

● Founder Siddhartha Gautama

● Eightfold Path (Scriptures)

● The Middle Way● 4 Noble Truths● Meditation ● Nirvan

Hinduism

● Monotheistic● Vedas &

Upanishads● Trinity of

Gods○ Brahman○ Vishnu○ Shiva

Both● No One Holy Book● Cycle of Birth

Deaths and Rebirth

● Dharma (One Duty)● Kharma (actions

accumulated during one’s life and affect the next life)

● Good Deeds

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Judaism

Founder-Abraham

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Location-Middle East, Israel

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Basic FactsHoly Book

The Torah

Dieties

God (Yahweh)

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Origin

~ 1800BC Abraham chosen by God to lead the Jewish people

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1. monotheistic2. Orthodox Jews-follow original teachings

Divisions:Reform/Conservative Jews interpret Torah based on today’s world

Basic Facts/ Divisions

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Abraham-first Jewish leader

**(Father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)**

Important People

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○ Led Jews out of Egypt/out of slavery○ Given 10 commandments (rules for behavior)

Moses

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ExodusFled from Egypt and slavery around 1300-1200BC

(Passover)

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Important EventsBabylonian Captivity

First, Jews were kicked out of Israel,(They then return under Persian King)

Diaspora

About 132AD-Jews scattered as they try to break away from the Roman Empire

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WWIIHolocaust

Jews killed by Nazis (WWII)

Creation of Israel

British take land from former colonies and create Israel in 1948

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Anger toward Jews in the Middle East is based on loss of Arab land

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Important vocabularyCovenant

❧ Agreement between God and Abraham to protect the Jews (Jews become the “chosen people”)

Antisemitism

❧ Antisemitism-Prejudice against Jews

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Do not need to copy!

Judaism is also filled with meaningful Holy Days

such as…

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(on back of page)

Omnipresent

All present/everywhere

Chosen People

Jews feel they are chosen by God to have a special relationship with him

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Ten Commandments

Jewish moral code

Torah

Jewish holy book

(Crash Course Judaism first 3 minutes 30 seconds)