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Chapter 6-Key Issue 3
Why Do Religions Organize
Space in Distinctive Patterns?
Places of Worship
Christians-church (from Greek
term for lord, master, power)
Church Architecture
• Early churches modeled
after Roman buildings for
public assembly-basilicas
• Rectangular building• Raised alter
• Eastern Orthodox
style Byzantine Empire
(5th century)-highly ornate
with prominent domes
• Muslim Mosques-viewed
as a location for
community assembly for
• Central courtyard; pulpit
faces east-Makkah
• Minarets- towers that
surround mosques-it is in
these minarets that
people are summoned to
worship known as
Hindu Temples/Buddhist and
Shintoist Pagodas
• Hindu temple-home or
more than on god
• Appears as a shrine
• Typically small, dimly lit
interior room
• Contains a symbolic
artifact or image of the
• Pagodas are indicative of
Buddhist/Shinto religion
• Tall many-sided towers
arranged in tiers,
balconies, slanting roofs
• Contains relics believed
to be portions of
Buddha’s body or clothing
Baha’i Houses of Worship
• Built 7 Houses of Worship in Wilmette, IL;
Frankfurt, Germany; Sydney, Australia;
New Delhi, India; Apia, Western Samoa;
Panama City, Panama; Ashkabad, Russia;
& Kampala, Uganda
• These houses of worship dispersed to
different continents to dramatize Baha’i as
a universalizing religion with adherents all
over the world
Sacred Space
• Burial practices vary in
different religions
• Usually occurs in a
cemetery for Christians,
Mulims, Jews
• Ancient Romeunderground passages
known as catacombsearly Christians buried
• Some countries (China)
need their land for
agriculture rather than
cemeteries, so cremation
is encouraged
• Hindus use cremation
rather than burial
• Hindus wash body first
with water from Ganges
• Cremation considered act
of purification
Cremation (continued)
• Motivation for cremation
comes from unwillingness
of nomads to leave their
dead behind for fear that
body would be attacked
from wild animals or evil
• It was believed that
cremation could free soul
from body for departure
to afterworld
• Zoroastrians expose
dead to scavenging birds
& animals
• Did not want body to
contaminate sacred
elements of fire, earth, or
• Tibetan Buddhists
practice this exposure
with cremation reserved
for the most exalted
Religious Settlements
• Salt Lake Cityconstruction in 1848
by Mormons-prophet
Joseph Smithconsidered to be a
utopian settlement
• Early New England
settlers members of
Puritan Protestant
• Roman Catholic
immigrants have
given religious place
names or toponyms
to their settlements in
New World
particularly in Quebec
and southwest U.S.
Hierarchial Religions
• Hierarchial religion has
well-defined geographic
structure & organizes
territory in local
administrative structure
• Roman Catholicism is a
great example of this
hierarchial religion
• Roman Catholics
organized into an
administrative structure
accountable to Pope in
Rome (Vatican City)
• Pope-bishop of the
Diocese of Rome
• Archbishops report to
Pope-each heads
province which is a group
of dioceses
Roman Catholic Hierarchy
• Archbishop is bishop of
one diocese within
• Some distinguished
archbishops elevated to
rank of cardinal
• Reporting to each
archbishop are bishopseach administers a
• Diocese-several
thousand of these
• Diocese basic unit of
geographic organization
in Roman Catholic
• Bishop’s headquarters
called “see”-largest city in
• Diocese spatially divided
into parishes, each
headed by priest
Hierarchial Religions (continued)
• Latter-Day SaintsMormons exercise strong
organization of landscape
• Territory occupied by
Mormons in Utah &
portions of surrounding
states organized into
wards with a population
of 750 each
• Autonomous religions
• Islam has most autonomy
• Strong unity within
Islamic world with high
degree of communication
& migration
• Protestant denomination
selects leadership within
various sects, such as
Protestant Denominations
• Presbyterian organized into presbytery
which are governed by synod with general
assembly as ultimate authority over all
• Each Presbyterian church governed by
elected board of directors with lay
• Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist
churches have hierarchial structures
Ethnic Religions
• Judaism and Hinduism-no centralized
structure of religious control
• In Judaism, in order to conduct full service,
requires presence of 10 adult males
• Hinduism-autonomous-worship is done
usually alone or with others in the
• Share ideas through pilgrimages and
reading traditional writings
Key Issue 4-Chapter 6
• Afghans welcomed Taliban (“religious students”)
in 1996
• Once in control, Taliban imposed very strict laws
(for example, men beaten for shaving their
beards, stoned for committing adultery,
homosexuals-buried alive, prostitutes hanged in
front of large crowds, thieves had hands cut off,
& women wearing nail polish had their fingers
cut off)
• Islamic scholars criticized Taliban as poorly
educated and misreading Koran
Taliban Versus Western Values
• Taliban believed they had been called by
Allah to do these things
• Western (non-Islamic) ideas banned
• Converted soccer stadium into settings for
executions and floggings
• Old Buddhist statues destroyed 2001
because they were worshipped as images
in violation of Islam
Hinduism Versus Social Equality
• Hinduism maintains a
rigid caste system
(people are categorized
according to their specific
• Dates back to 1500 B.C.
when Aryans invaded
• Brahmans (priests & top
• Kshatriyas-warriors
• Vaisyas-merchants
• Sudras-agricultural
workers or artisans
• Untouchables or outcasts
Eastern Orthodox Christianity
• 1721 Czar Peter the
Great made Russian
Orthodox Church part
of the government
• Following Bolshevik
revolution in 1917
(which overthrew czar
or tsar) Communist
government pursued
• Marxism (Karl Marx)
became official
doctrine of Soviet
• End of communist
rule in late 20th
century brought a
religious revival to
region formerly called
Soviet Union
Religion Versus Communism
• Buddhists were hurt by
Vietnam War in late 60s
early 70s
• U.S. raids in Laos &
Cambodia destroyed
many Buddhist shrines
• Others were vandalized
by Vietnamese & Khmer
Rouge Cambodian
• To protest these actions
by the Communists
Buddhists immolated
(burned) themselves
• Current Communist
governments in
Southeast Asia have
discouraged religious
activities & permitted
monuments to decay,
specifically Angkor Wat in
Cambodia which is
considered one of the
world’s most beautiful
Buddhist structures
Religious Wars in Middle East
• Conflict in this region has
existed for over 2000
• Christians & Muslims
have fought over a small
strip of land in Eastern
• Jews, Christians, and
Muslims all trace their
origins to Abraham in Old
• 3 religions have found it
difficult to peaceably
share the same territory
• Judaism makes their
claim to the territory it
calls the Promised Land
• Romans controlled area
which they called
Palestine-dispersed Jews
from Palestine-only a few
were allowed to stay in
Middle East (Southwest Asia)
• Islam replaced
• Muslims consnider
Christianity in
Jerusalem as their 3rd
Palestine after Muslim
holiest city (after
army conquered in 7th
Mecca-Makkah &
century A.D.
Christians consider
because this is the
Palestine to be the
place from which
Holy Land and
Muhammad is
Jerusalem the Holy
thought to have
ascended to heaven
• 7th century, Muslims aka Arabs captured
most of Middle East including Palestine &
• Arab army diffused Arabic language
across Middle East & converted people
from Christianity to Islam
• Also moved across North Africa and
invaded Europe at Gibraltar
• In East captured Eastern Orthodox
Christianity’s most important city,
Constaninople (present day Istanbul,
• To recapture Holy Land from Muslim
conquerors, European Christians set out
on military campaigns known as Crusades
over a 150 year period
Jews Versus Muslims-Palestine
• Muslim Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine for
2 centuries (1516-1917)
• Great Britain took over Palestine (League of
Nations and later from United Nations)
• United Nations partitioned Palestine into 2
independent states, one Jewish, one Muslim
• Controversy over control of Gaza Strip, Golan
Heights, West Bank continue to plague the
Palestinian and Israeli Perspective
• Palestinian fight against Israel coordinated by
PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) under
leadership of Yassir Arafat (who is now
• Israel sees itself as a small country with Jewish
majority surrounded by hostile Muslim Arabs
• Country’s major population centers close to
international borders making them vulnerable to
• Tel Aviv and Haifa very close to Palestinian
controlled territory
Israelia Palestinain Conflict
• Local landforms create geographical
• Ultimate obstacle to peace in Middle East
is status of Jerusalem
• All groups have difficulty coexisting with
each other
• Constant violence in region, suicide
bomber/car bombs, etc.
Religious Wars in Ireland
• Ireland (island of Eire)-Republic of Ireland which
occupies five-sixths of island is 92% Roman
• Island’s northern one-sixth part of the UK rather
than Ireland is 58% Protestant and 42% Roman
• Small number of Roman Catholics in Northern
Ireland and Republic of Ireland joined the Irish
Republican Army (IRA)-a militant organization
dedicated to achieving Irish national unity