Religions & Belief Systems

Religions & Belief Systems

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Religions & Belief Systems. Animism. First developed in Africa  similar to Shintoism in Japan Polytheistic belief system  Major Belief- the belief that all living and non-living things have spirits in nature - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Animism • First developed in Africa similar to Shintoism in


• Polytheistic belief system • Major Belief- the belief that all living and non-living

things have spirits in nature

• Often Animism led to ancestor worship Animists believed the spirits of human beings lived on after death believed ancestors had the power to influence other spirits for good or evil

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Hinduism • Origin India

• Holy Book The Vedas – a collection of prayers and verses of the Hindus

• Major beliefs 1. Caste System Hindus believed each person was born into a

specific caste, or social rank in society

• Caste members lived, ate, married, and worked with their own caste, or social group

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Major Belief 2 ReincarnationReincarnation- the rebirth of the soul no one truly dies

• After death, people are reborn in new bodies or different forms or levels of human beings

• Hindus believed that reincarnation was influenced by karma – actions that determine the balance of good and evil which determines the fate of the soul

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• If a Hindu had good karma, he or she would be reincarnated into a higher caste in their next life

• However, if a Hindu had bad karma, he or she would be reincarnated into a lower caste in their next life

• To escape the cycle of death, Hindus had to make amends for their wrongdoings, study the Vedas, and meditate

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Lord Ganesha

• Removes obstacles

• Most widely worshipped Hindu god

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• God of destruction

• He destroys evil qualities

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Vishnu and Lakshmi

• Vishnu – Lord of Maintenance

• Lakshmi – goddess of wealth

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• Symbol to stand for the ultimate god

• Syllable is repeated in meditation and prayer

• Image enshrined in Hindu temples

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Buddhism • Origin – Northern India in the 6th century B.C.

• Buddhism grew out of Hinduism both believe in reincarnation

• Founder – Siddhartha Gautama

• Called Buddha or “Enlightened One”

• Text- Eightfold Path and Four Noble Truths

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How did Buddhism Develop? • Siddhartha gave up a

life of wealth and luxurious home to search for meaning in life

• He discovered why people suffer in the world and answered how people can overcome suffering

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Major Beliefs of Buddhism

1. The Four Noble Truths

2. The Eightfold Path

3. Reincarnation

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The Four Noble Truths

• Buddhist principles to follow in order to eliminate human suffering in the world

• Suffering is caused by selfish desires that can be eliminated by ending selfish goals and following the Eightfold Path

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The Eightfold Path

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The Eightfold Path • It is a practical guideline to ethical and

mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things

• Following the Eightfold Path and Four Noble Truths enabled many Buddhists to reach Nirvana

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Buddha’s Teachings

• Buddha taught that all human beings could reach Nirvana when a person avoids rebirth and their soul merges with the universe

• This is the ultimate goal of Buddhists to be released from the cycle of birth & death, not reincarnated

• He accepted the idea of reincarnation, but rejected the notion of castes (Hinduism)

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Judaism • Origin 1000 B.C. the Hebrews set up the

Kingdom of Israel

• Founder Abraham is recognized as the founder of Judaism due to his covenant with God

• Holy Book The Torah – recordings of laws and Jewish events

• 1st monotheistic religion created

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Major Beliefs

1. The belief in one true God present everywhere

2. According to the Torah, God made a covenant (an agreement) with Abraham

3. God chose the Hebrews as his people and He gave them the Ten Commandments through Moses

4. The prophets taught people about proper moral conduct and justice

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The Ten Commandments • A set of guidelines/rules which serves as a code

of moral conduct and informs people how they should behave toward GOD and one another

• The Jewish people are still awaiting for the coming of their God

• The Hebrews believed that God would liberate them if they continued to believe in Him and follow the Ten Commandments

• Places of Worship-Jews worship in temples called synagogues.

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• Eventually, the creation of Judaism strongly influenced the creation of two other monotheistic religions

1. Christianity

2. Islam

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Christianity • Founder Jesus of Nazareth and his

disciples who helped spread his teachings

• Origin Developed in Judea (now Israel), located in the Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea around 30 A.D.

• Holy Text The Bible and Ten Commandments

• Christianity became the official religion of Rome by 392 A.D.

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Major Beliefs 1. Christians have faith in one God (monotheistic)

2. Jesus was born through the Virgin Mary and was the Son of God Messiah – a savior sent by God This has led the Christian faith to proclaim that there is a Holy Trinity, formed by the Creator (Father), Redeemer (Son), and Sustainer (Holy Spirit). Christians believe that these three entities are all part of a single higher power

3. Christians believe and follow the Ten Commandments

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4. Christians believe in Jesus’ Mission to grant salvation and eternal life to all who follow Him

5. Jesus wanted all people to follow God’s Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

6. Jesus taught people should show mercy towards one another and express sympathy towards all people (poor and helpless). He also taught all people are equal before God

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Death and Resurrection• Pontius Pilate, the Roman official in charge of

Israel, ordered Jesus to be crucified

• A few days later, Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and his Apostles claimed that Jesus had risen from the dead (resurrected)

• The belief that Jesus resurrected from the dead became an important part of Christianity

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St. Peter and St. Paul

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Islam • Origin Developed in the Arabian Peninsula in

the year 622 AD, and quickly spread to other regions.

• Mecca is a holy city for Muslims

• Places of Worship Muslims may gather to worship in temples called mosques

• Founder Muhammad was a prophet of Allah

• Followers Muslims

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Muhammad’s Message • In the year 610 A.D., Muhammad had a

vision of an angel while praying in a cave

• The angel told Muhammad that Allah had chosen him as His messenger

• Muhammad preached Allah’s message

“All who believe in Allah are equal

and the rich should give to the poor”

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Islam Beliefs

I. Follow the holy book of Islam Quran – contains the message of Allah and tells Muslims to follow the Five Pillars of Faith

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The Five Pillars of Faith 1. Pray 5 times a day

2. Give alms to the poor

3. Make a pilgrimage (journey) to Mecca once in their lifetime

(The Haj)

4. Fast (go without food) during the feast of Ramadan (9th month in Islamic

calendar Muhammad received the Quran

5. Must believe in one god, Allah

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