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Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
Comparative Religions Chart
Origins of Religion
(Place? People?)
Started by Siddhartha
Gautama in Nepal
2500 years ago when
he searched for the
path to
originated in Roman
occupied Jerusalem
and wrestled with
issues in the Jewish
religion. It originated
with Jesus of
Nazareth, a Jewish
Hinduism has no
single founder but it
originated in India.
Name derived from
the River Sindhu and
used to describe the
occupants at the
time, the Aryans in
the second century
Image of God
(Name(s)? Number(s)?)
No God or gods
but they follow the
path of the Buddha to
God (only one)
Sacred Writings/Book
Sutta Pitaka and
Vinaya Pitaka
- there are a large
variety of scriptural
The Bible
Most believe in a
Supreme God whose
qualities are
represented by a
number of other
Main gods: Brahma,
Shiva, Lakshmi,
Vishnu (responsible
for the creation and
upkeep of the world)
The four Vedas and
their supplements
(the Vedic texts)
The Samhitas
The word Islam
means “submission to
the will of God”
Islam was revealed
over 1400 years ago
in Mecca, Arabia
when a number of
prophets, including
the Prophet
Mohammad, were
sent by Allah to teach
them how to live
under His law
The people who
follow Islam are
called Muslims
Images are not
There is only one
God, Allah
From India, Jains are
strict vegetarians and
live in a way that
minimizes their use of
the world’s resources
Mahavira is the man
who gave Jainism its
modern day form
The holy book is
called the Qur’an
There is also the
Agamas (contain the
teachings of
Believe no gods or
spiritual beings will
help human beings
Don’t believe in a
creator god, but do
believe in godliness
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
The Eightfold Path
The Four Noble
Truth of suffering
Truth of the origin of
suffering (Samudāya)
Truth of the cessation
of suffering (Nirodha)
Truth of the path to
the cessation of
suffering (Magga)
Jesus Christ is the Son
of God
Jesus was sent to
save humanity from
the consequences of
its sins
There is One God but
that God has 3
The Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit
Karma (action and
od and bad) and
rebirth of the soul
dependent on ratio of
good karma to bad)
Dharma (duty, virtue,
morality which
uphold the universe
and society)
Atman (the eternal
No: fighting, greed,
seeking, selfishness,
pursuit of personal
advantage, lying
Rituals and
veneration of the
Dharma Day
(celebrates the day
when the Buddha
Easter – The Death
and Resurrection of
Christmas – the birth
of Christ
Diwali, the Festival of
Holi (fertility and
harvest, festival of
Basic articles of faith:
- belief in Allah as the
one and only God
- Belief in angels
Belief in the holy
Belief in the Prophets
(including Ibrahim,
Musa, Isa = Abraham,
Moses, Jesus, and
Muhammad the final
- belief in the Day of
- Belief in
Allah – is eternal,
omnipotent – cant be
seen, hear, has no
There are two Muslim
festivals set down in
Islamic law: Eid ul Fitr
(end of fasting and to
thank Allah for help
and strength to
practice self-control
Believe that animals
and plants, as well as
human beings
contain living souls
(each soul is of equal
Seek to obtain
ultimate liberation
from the cycle of
Liberation is achieved
by eliminating all
karma from the soul
The three guiding
principles (the ‘three
jewels’) are right
belief, right
knowledge, and right
The supreme
principle is living in
Mahavira Jayanti
(celebrates the day of
Mahavira’s death)
Diwali (day when
Mahavira gave his
last teachings and
attained ultimate
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
began teaching)
Sangha Day
(celebrates the
Moral Codes/Rules
The path to
enlightenment is
through practice and
development of
morality, meditation,
and wisdom
Focus on personal
spiritual development
Strive for a deep
insight into the true
nature of life and do
not worship gods or
deities. Buddhists
seek to reach a state
of nirvana.
Nothing is fixed or
permanent, change is
always possible
The 5 precepts:
Not to kill or cause
harm to other living
The Ten
Have no other gods
other than God
Do not make or
worship idols
Do not take the name
of the LORD in vain
Remember the
Sabbath day
Honour your father
and mother
Do not murder
Do not commit
Do not steal
Do not bear false
Do not covet
Dharma (system of
values) – duty, virtue,
morality – the power
that upholds the
universe and society
Act virtuously
(universal rule but
not particular.
Everyone has their
own version of what
Dharma means to
them and their
Correct action –
service to humanity
and to god.
and Eid ul Adha
(remembers the
prophet Ibrahim’s
willingness to
sacrifice his son when
Allah ordered him to)
Ramadan (the 9th
month of the Islamic
calendar during
which Muslims fast
during the day)
**The 5 pillars of
- Shahadah Declaration of faith
- Salat - praying five
times a day
- Zakat - giving
money to charity
- Sawm - fasting
- Hajj - a pilgrimage
to Mecca**
The 5 mahavratas (5
great vows) – nonattachment to
possessions, not
lying, not stealing,
sexual restraint, nonviolence
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
Afterlife Beliefs (where
does the soul go?)
things, not taking the
not given, avoid
sexual misconduct,
avoid false speech,
abstain from drink
and drugs that clouds
the mind.
Life is both endless
and subject to
suffering, and
Buddhists believe in
reincarnation (where
individuals are reborn
over and over again)
Heaven or Hell (or
Purgatory) depending
on your actions
during life.
Reincarnation – cycle
of birth, death, and
rebirth dependent on
Muslims believe in
the continued
existence of the soul
and a transformed
physical existence
after death. There are
days of judgement
when all humans will
be divided between
the eternal Paradise
and Hell
Reincarnation (cycle
of birth, death,
rebirth) that one may
eventually be
released from
Roman Paganism
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
Origins of Religion
(Place? People?)
Image of God
(Name(s)? Number(s)?)
Judaism originated in
the Middle East over
3500 years ago. It
was founded by
Moses though they
trace their history
back to Abraham.
One God
Sacred Writings/Book
The central religious
text is the Torah
Believe that there is
only one God with
whom they have a
Stems from Greek
and Egyptian religion
(adapts other religion
gods and goddesses
and mythological
Founded by Guru
Nanak in the 16th
century AD, based in
India (Punjab district).
Also referred to as
Daoism, originated in
China 2000 years ago.
Thousands of
different gods and
goddesses (some
The main pantheon
consist of Jupiter,
Minerva, Apollo,
Mars, Saturn,
Mercury, Pluto, Juno,
Venus, Neptune
(think planets!)
During the Empire,
the Emperor was
seen as a god
There are
compilations of
myths, but no true
sacred texts or books
– most tradition was
passed orally
Monotheistic religion
(one god) - God
There is no god, but
there is the Tao
(though the Tao isn’t
There are many
deities that are
worshiped however,
as they are part of
the universe.
Guru Granth Sahib, a
book that Sikhs
consider a living Guru
Each god was
responsible for
different aspects of
Believe that the way
to lead a good life is
to: keep God in heart
and mind at all times,
Tao Te Ching (The
Way and Its Power) –
includes advice on life
and the nature of the
Chuang-tzu –
collection of wisdom
of many people
The Tao is the Way
It is a religion of unity
and opposites; Yin
and Yang
One of the world’s
oldest monotheistic
religions. Founded by
the Prophet
Zoroaster in ancient
Iran, about 3500
years ago
There is one God
called Ahura Mazda
(Wise Lord) and He
created the world
There are also a
number of
The Avesta (book of
Holy Scriptures) – an
older and newer
The elements are
pure and fire
represents God’s light
or wisdom
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
Rituals and
In exchange for all
the good that God
has done for the
Jewish people, they
keep God’s laws and
try to bring holiness
into every aspect of
their lives
The main principle
was “I give so that
you will give” –
people sacrificed to
the gods so that they
would help them in
Acceptance and
adaptation (Romans
were willing to let
others worship who
they wanted, and
take the good aspects
of those religions and
make them their
live honestly and
work hard, treat
everyone equally, be
generous to the less
fortunate, serve
There is only one,
God is without
gender or form,
everyone has access
to God, everyone is
equal before God, a
good life is lived as
part of a community,
superstitions have no
Yin Yang sees the
world as filled with
forces (action/nonaction, light/dark,
hot/cold, etc.
Keep the Sabbath
every Saturday
Yom Kippur – day of
Lupercalia – ancient
Valentine’s day! To
honour Venus and
her son Cupid
Keeping the feriae
“days instituted for
the sake of the gods”
– days when rites
performed and
business suspended.
The Emperor’s
birthday (remember,
he was a god)
Diwali (celebrates the
release from prison
of the 6th guru and
several princes)
Festival of Lights
Meditation, feng shui,
fortune telling,
reading and chanting
of scriptures
Dualism –
coexistence yet
separation of good
and evil (cosmically
and morally)
Ahura Mazda is:
omniscient (knows
omnipotent (all
omnipresent (is
impossible for
humans to conceive,
unchanging, creator
of life, source of
goodness and
Pray several times a
Navjote – initiation
ceremony into the
Khordad Sal –
birthday of Zoroaster
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
Moral Codes/Rules
Every week Jews
must observe the
Sabbath (the Jewish
holy day, and keep its
laws and customs)
Afterlife Beliefs (where
does the soul go?)
The Torah
immediate, concrete,
physical rewards and
punishments rather
than abstract future
ones. There is,
however, believed to
be an existence after
Resurrection and
reincarnation are also
“I give so that you will
Respect and worship
the gods
Make a sacrifice to
the gods if told to
(especially if hoping
for a victory in a war)
Anyone can worship
whatever gods they
want, so long as they
worship specific gods
if told to (like a
household god or a
local god who takes
care of the village –
you don’t want to
anger them)
A person’s spirit went
to the underworld
after the person died.
To get there you had
to cross the river Styx
so when someone
was buried, the
family would put
coins on their eyes to
help pay the
ferryman (Charon)
Goal is to become
one with God
One does this by
focusing on their
relationship with God
and the community
The 5 Ks (identify
members of the
Khalsa/ Sikh
community) – Kesh
(uncut hair), Kara (a
steel bracelet), Kanga
(a wooden comb),
Kaccha (cotton
underwear), Kirpan
(steel sword) –
simplicity, clean
mind/body, etc.
Reincarnation – cycle
of birth, life, rebirth –
the quality of life
depends on karma
(leftover from their
past life)
Taoism promotes:
achieving harmony or
union with nature,
the pursuit of
spiritual immortality,
being ‘virtuous’ (but
not ostentatiously
so), self-development
Free will – choice to
follow the path of Evil
or the path of
Must pray several
times a day in the Fire
3 basic moral
Humata (good
thoughts), Hukhata
(good words).
Havarashta (good
Immortality – the
idea that as one lives,
they become closer
and closer to nature,
and death is the final
step in uniting with
the universe
If take one takes the
path of Evil, they end
up in Hell, if they take
the path of
Righteousness, they
end up in Heaven
The soul remained in
the world for 3 days
in the care of Sraosha
(one of the angels),
then passed into the
spirit day the next
day. The soul meets a
tribunal where justice
is served, so that
Social Studies 8
Ms. Hemming
good souls go to
heaven and bad souls
go to hell.