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Chapter 6
Religion
Agenda




Group Activity: Article about Religion and
the U.S. Military
PPT Lecture…Note taking
Videos
Exit Ticket Questions
Geographers and Religion

Geographers study
spatial connections in
religion:

the distinctive place of origin

the extent of diffusion

the processes by which religions
diffused

practices and beliefs that lead
some to have more widespread
distributions.
Key Issue 1: Distribution of Religions
Universalizing religions



Christianity
Islam
Buddhism
Ethnic religions


Hinduism
Other ethnic religions
Universalizing vs. Ethnic
Universalizing religion:
 A religion that attempts to be global, to appeal to
all people, wherever they may live in the world,
not just to those of one culture or location
Ethnic religion:
 A religion that appeals primarily to one group of
people living in one place
World Population by Religion
Fig. 6-1a: Over two-thirds of the world’s population belong to Christianity, Islam,
Hinduism, or Buddhism. Christianity is the single largest world religion.
The Three Main Religions


The three main universalizing religions are
Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.

Each is divided into branches,
denominations, and sects.

A branch is a large and fundamental
division within a religion.

A denomination is a division of a branch
that unites a number of local
congregations.

A sect is a relatively small group that has
broken away from an established
denomination.
Christianity and it’s Branches

Christianity has about 2 billion adherents, far more than any
other world religion, and has the most widespread distribution.


Christianity has three major branches:
Roman Catholic

50%

Protestant

25%

Eastern Orthodox

10%

Remaining

15% consists of African, Asian, and Latin American Churches
Christian Branches in Europe
Fig. 6-2: Protestant denominations, Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy are dominant in
different regions of Europe—a result of many historic interactions.
The Eastern Orthodox Church

More than 40 percent of all Eastern Orthodox Christians belong to
the Russian Orthodox Church, established in the sixteenth century.

The Romanian church,
includes 20 percent of
all Eastern Orthodox
Christians.

The remaining 40 percent
are included in 12 churches.
Christianity in the Western Hemisphere

The overwhelming percentage of
people living in the Western
Hemisphere—about 90 percent—are
Christian.

Roman Catholics comprise 95 % of
Christians in Latin America,
compared with 25 % in North
America.

Within North America, Roman
Catholics are clustered in the
southwestern and northeastern
United States and the Canadian
province of Québec.

The three largest Protestant
denominations in the United States
are Baptist, Methodist, and
Pentecostal.
Christian Branches in the U.S.
Fig. 6-3: Distribution of Christians in the U.S. Shaded areas are counties with more than 50% of church
membership concentrated in Roman Catholicism or one of the Protestant denominations.
Questions
1.
Why are most of the Roman Catholics in the
United States clustered in the Southwestern
portion of the United States?
2.
Why do you think there a significant cluster
of Roman Catholics in the far Northeast?
Questions
1.
Why are most of the Roman Catholics in the United
States clustered in the Southwestern portion of the
United States?
Close proximity to Mexico, and Latin America…earliest
immigrants into modern U.S. were Catholics.
2.
Why do you think there a significant cluster of Roman
Catholics in the far Northeast?
Due to rapid influx during mid-19th century
of Irish, German, Italian and Polish immigrants from Europe.
Islam



Islam, the religion of 1.2 billion people, is the predominant religion of
the Middle East from North Africa to Central Asia.
However, half of the world’s Muslims live in four countries outside
the Middle East:
Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.
Branches of Islam

Islam is divided into two
important branches:

Sunni (from the Arabic word for
orthodox)

Shiite (from the Arabic word for
sectarian, sometimes written Shia in
English)

Sunnis comprise 83 % of
Muslims and are the largest
branch in most Muslim countries.

16 % of Muslims are Shiites,
clustered in a handful of
countries.
Buddhism

Buddhism, the third of the world’s
major universalizing religions, has
350 million adherents, especially in
China and Southeast Asia.

Like the other two universalizing
religions, Buddhism split into more
than one branch.

The three main branches are




Mahayana.
Theravada.
Tantrayana.
An accurate count of Buddhists is
especially difficult, because only a
few people participate in Buddhist
institutions.
Buddhism
The foundation is based on the Four Noble Truths:
1. All living beings must endure suffering
2. Suffering, which is caused y a desire to live, leads to reincarnation
(repeated rebirth in new bodies or forms of life)
3. Reaching Nirvana, the escape from suffering and the endless cycle of
reincarnation; its achieved through mental and moral self-purfication
4. Nirvana is attained more specifically through an Eightfold Path path:

Rightness of belief, Resolve, Speech, Action , livelihood, effort, thought,
and meditation
Other Universalizing Religions

Sikhism and Bahá’I are the two
universalizing religions other
than Christianity, Islam, and
Buddhism with the largest
numbers of adherents.

Sikhism’s developed around
1500 AD in present-day
Pakistan.

The Bahá’I religion is even more
recent than Sikhism. (1844)
Ethnic Religions

The ethnic religion with by far the largest number of
followers is Hinduism.

With 900 million adherents, Hinduism is the world’s thirdlargest religion, behind Christianity and Islam.

Ethnic religions typically have much more clustered
distributions than do universalizing religions.

97% of Hindus are concentrated in one country,
India.


2% are in the neighboring country of Nepal, and the
remaining one percent are dispersed around the world.
Hinduism

The appropriate form of worship for any two
individuals may not be the same.

Hinduism does not have a central authority or
a single holy book.

The largest number of adherents—an
estimated 70%— worships the god Vishnu, a
loving god incarnated as Krishna.

An estimated 25% adhere to Siva, a protective
and destructive god.
Other Ethnic Religions

Several hundred million
people practice ethnic
religions in East Asia,
especially in China and
Japan.

Buddhism does not compete for
adherents with Confucianism, Daoism,
and other ethnic religions in China,
because many Chinese accept the
teachings of both universalizing and
ethnic religions.
Shintoism

Since ancient times,
Shintoism has been the
distinctive ethnic religion of
Japan.

Ancient Shintoists considered
forces of nature to be divine,
especially the Sun and Moon,
as well as rivers, trees, rocks,
mountains, and certain
animals.

Shintoism still thrives in
Japan, although no longer as
the official state religion.
Judaism

About 6 million Jews live in the
United States, 4 million in
Israel, 2 million in former
Soviet Union republics, and 2
million elsewhere.

Judaism plays a more
substantial role in Western
civilization than its number of
adherents would suggest,
because two of the three main
universalizing religions—
Christianity and Islam—find
some of their roots in Judaism.
ESTIMATED JEWISH POPULATION
BY CONTINENTS AND MAJOR GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS:
(Figures rounded of to the nearest 100,000)
World Population

13.3 million
Diaspora


8.35 million
63%
-N. America

6.5 million; 46%
-Europe

1.6 million; 12%
-S. America, Africa, Asia, Australia

5%
Israel


4.95 million
37%
The top twelve Jewish populations in the world are:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
USA
Israel
France
Canada
Britain
Russia
Argentina
Ukraine
Germany
Brazil
South Africa
Hungary
6,500,000
4,950,000
600,000
364,000
275,000
275,000
197,000
112,000
98,000
97,500
88,000
55,000
(750,000)
(650,000)
(250,000)
(115,000)
(65,000)
(100,000)
The placement ratings in parentheses reflect alternative population estimates.
Play Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3gpkP-Atpc
Exit Ticket Questions
1.
Which of the following is NOT a universalizing
religion?
a.
b.
c.
d.
2.
Islam
Christianity
Hinduism
Buddhism
Which of the following is NOT a branch of
Christianity?
a.
b.
c.
d.
Lutheranism
Orthodoxy
Roman Catholicism
Protestantism
Exit Ticket Questions, Cont.
3.
What was the first major religion known to espouse
monotheism?
a.
b.
c.
d.
Islam
Christianity
Hinduism
Judaism