Spread of Belief Systems

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Spread of Belief Systems. -Major Belief Systems. -Animism. -Every living and nonliving thing has a spirit. -Part of the belief system of many early people. -Some people combined Animism with respect for ancestors. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Spread of Belief Systems


Page 2: Spread of Belief Systems

-Major Belief Systems.

-Animism. -Every living and nonliving thing has a spirit.

-Part of the belief system of many early people.

-Some people combined Animism with respect for ancestors.

-Sprits of deceased people could affect live in positive and negative ways.

-Praying to ancestors and offering them gifts was seen as a way to influence

Page 3: Spread of Belief Systems

-Hinduism.-Has no single founder and the

religion has developed for over 3,500 years.

-Universal Spirit. -Brahman. – one unifying spirit.

-Too complex for humans to understand so Hindu’s worship gods to give a concrete form to Brahman.

-Brahma the Creator. -Vishnu the Preserver. -Shiva the Destroyer.

Page 4: Spread of Belief Systems


-As people free themselves from selfish desires they gain unity with Brahman – this cannot be achieved within one lifetime.

-Belief in the process for reincarnation allows people to continue their work in finding Brahman.

-If people live a good life they are born into higher levels of existence every time.

Page 5: Spread of Belief Systems

-Karma and Dharma.

-Karma – The way that a person lives that will affect his or her existence in the next lifetime.

-Bad deeds cause a person to be reborn into a lower level.-Good deeds come from following dharma, the religious and moral duties that an individual is supposed to follow.

-Age, gender, class and occupation all affect a person’s dharma.

Page 6: Spread of Belief Systems

-Castes.-Social groups which people are born into and cannot move from during their lifetime.

-Brahmins – priests. -Kshatriyas – warriors. -Vaisyas – herders,

farmers, artisans and merchants.

-Sudras – farm workers and servants.


Page 7: Spread of Belief Systems

-Sacred Texts.

-Vedas – collections of prayers and sacred verses.

-Upanishads – philosophical dialogues about Hindu beliefs.

Page 8: Spread of Belief Systems

-Buddhism.-Founded by Siddhartha Gautama who was born a Hindu is the 500s B.C.. -The Enlightened One.

-Buddha – what Siddhartha Gautama was known as after he found the answer to the meaning of human suffering.

-The Four Noble Truths. -All life is suffering.

-Suffering is caused by desire for things that are illusions. -The way to eliminate suffering is to eliminate desire. -Following the Eightfold Path will help people overcome desire.

Page 9: Spread of Belief Systems

-The Eightfold Path. -Ultimate goal is nirvana. – Union with the universe and release of the cycle

of death and rebirth. -Right views, right intentions, right spech,right

conduct, right meditation,right mindfulness, right

livelihood, right effort.-Comparison with Hinduism. -Reject the caste system,

Hindu gods, rituals, priesthood.

-Accepts karma, dharma, andReincarnation and the idea of religious communities.

Page 10: Spread of Belief Systems

-Sacred Texts.-Teachings of Buddha are contained in the Tripitaka or “Three Baskets of Wisdom”.

-Two Philosophies of China.-Confucianism.-Confucius born in 551 B.C.-Teachings are collected in The Analects.-Teachings taught people to accept their given place in society which depended on 5 key relationships.-Only relationships that are equal are friendships.-Every person had duties andresponsibilities based on theirrelationships.

Page 11: Spread of Belief Systems

-Taoism. -People need to live in harmony with nature. -Founder was Laozi. -Tao is the way of the universe. -Belief in Yin and Yang. -Yin represents earth, darkness and female

forces.-Yang represents heaven,

light and male forces. -This two must be in

harmony for there to be peace and well- being in the universe.

-Taoist beliefs are collected in two works, The Way of Virtue believed to be written by Laozi

and Zhiang-zi.

Page 12: Spread of Belief Systems

-Judaism. -Hebrews were one of the

nomadic groups that inhabitedthe Fertile Crescent.

-Hebrew tradition tells how the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt and saved by God.

-Kingdom of Israel was created around 1000 B.C. with Jerusalem as the capital.

–The Hebrews believed that God had promised this land to them.

-Hebrew beliefs have developed into what we know as modern day Judaism.

-Belief in one God.

Page 13: Spread of Belief Systems

-Believed there is one god who is all-knowing, all-powerful and present everywhere.-God was the special protector of the Hebrew people.-Sacred Texts and Moral Teachings.-Torah is the sacred scripture of the Hebrews.-Here it is written that God made a binding agreement to be the God of the Hebrews.-God gave the Ten Commandments through Moses.-Torah is made up of five books and can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible.-Scriptures also include writings of prophets who had a strong code of ethics.

Page 14: Spread of Belief Systems

-Christianity. -Began in Palestine in A.D. 30 with the teachings of

a Jew named Jesus. -Life and Death of Jesus. -Jesus’ mother Mary was told he was going to be

the Messiah, or savior. -Jesus was arrested by the Romans in A.D. 29 and

executed by crucifixion. -They feared he was dangerous.

-He was believed to have risen from the grave.

Page 15: Spread of Belief Systems

-His followers continued to spread his teachings.-Teachings of Jesus. -Rooted in Jewish tradition but also contained many

new ideas. -His followers

believed he was the son of God and the savior that the Jews had been expecting.

-Anyone who followed his teachings would gain salvation and eternal life.

Page 16: Spread of Belief Systems

-Jesus’ teachings included sympathy and mercy for those less fortunate and brotherhood and equality.-Sacred Texts.

-Christian Bible. -Old Testament. – Contains Hebrew scriptures, books of

law, poetry, history and writings of prophets.

-New Testament . – contains the Gospels

and letters written by Christians to explain teachings.

Page 17: Spread of Belief Systems

-Islam. -Life of Muhammad. -Muhammad was an Arab

born in Mecca. -He was bothered by the

idol worship of Arabs and was told by the angel Gabriel to spread the word of Islam.

-Muhammad and his followers had to leave Mecca because people wanted to kill them for spreading their teachings.

-Muhammad left Mecca for Medina on a hijra which was seen as a turning point in the because the religion began to grow.

Page 18: Spread of Belief Systems

-Muslim Beliefs. -Five Pillars of Islam. -One God, Allah who is all-powerful and

compassionate. -Muslims must pray five times a day. -Muslims should give

money to the poor. -During the holy month

of Ramadan Muslims must fast from sunup to sundown.

-Muslims must visit the holy city of Mecca once in their lives.

Page 19: Spread of Belief Systems

-Sacred Text. -Teachings of

Islam are written in the Quran.

-Quran provides a guide to life and is the final authority in all matters.-Sharia is a body of laws that cover all aspects of life and are used to unite Muslims of all backgrounds.

Page 20: Spread of Belief Systems

-Expansion of World Religions. -Spread of Buddhism. -Traders and

missionaries spread Buddhism from India into

many parts of Asia. -Buddhism saw a decline

in India. -Spread of Judaism. -Romans expelled Jews from Palestine in

A.D. 135 and wherever Jews settled they lived in close-knit communities and preserved their traditions.

Page 21: Spread of Belief Systems

-Spread of Christianity. -Spread through the work of Christian missionaries. -Romans persecuted Christians but continued to

spread throughout the empire. -Poor and oppressed found comfort in the messages

delivered by Jesus -Missionaries added Greek ideas that appealed to

educated Romans. -In 313 people were awarded freedom of religion in

the Roman Empire and later Christianity was made the official religion.

-Trading networks and colonial settlement also spread the beliefs of Christianity.

Page 22: Spread of Belief Systems

-Spread of Islam. -Arab fighters spread Islam through military conquests. -Conquered people were treated in a fair way so people willingly converted to Islam. -Appeals to many people because of the teachings of honesty, social justice and generosity. -Trading was a noble occupation and Muslims built large trading empires.