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Major Religions of the World
The Ancient Hebrews
• The Kingdom of
• The ancient Hebrews and their religion,
influence on western civilization
, have been a major
Abrams Journey from Ur, Mesopotamia
• One day God spoke to Abram: “Get thee out of thy country . . . Unto the land that
I will show thee.”
• (
 The “Promised Land”-Mediterranean Sea
Abraham’s Genealogy
• Islam• Abraham married Hagar
• They had a son,
• 12
(the last prophet)
• Quran and the Five Pillars of Islam
• Mecca (
JudaismAbraham had another wife Sarah
They had a son,
He had two children, Jacob/
12 Tribes of Israel
2 Tribes - (Jews) of Judah(son of God)
The Hebrew Bible - Old Testament in the
Other 10 tribes-(Israelites) (Hebrews)
and Esau
Abraham’s Journeys
• Why did Abraham take this route? Why did he not travel straight across to the
Promised Land
Yahweh’s- God of Judiasm - “Covenant” With His People
• The
 The first
books of the Hebrew Bible.
 The most
text in the Jewish religious tradition.
 Old Testament in
 Between Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River-Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria
Land of Goshen, Egypt
• Driven by famine, the Israelites left
and went to Egypt
• The Pharaoh, Egypt’s ruler, feared an Israeli uprising and made them slaves
• “Prince of Egypt”-enslaved several
• “
of His People.” Led his people out of Egypt (Moses)
The Exodus
• Moses went to the Pharaoh and demanded that the slaves be sent free
• The Pharaoh refused and God sent a series of
on Egypt
• The
- Journey In which Moses led the Israelites of out Egypt
Route of the Exodus
• Israelites traveled through the
• They came to a mountain called
Moses and the 10 Commandments
• A new “
” with Yahweh
• God met
at Mt. Sinai
• God gave Moses Two stone tablets with
for years
moral laws
Mount Sinai
• The
Commandments state that only god exists (monotheism)
• stress the importance of life, self-control, and justice
The Kingdom of Israel
• The Torah says that Israelites wandered in the desert for
before entering Canaan
• God promised land to be “flowing with milk and honey”
• They regained control of
and called it the kingdom Israel
King David’s Empire
• King
of Israel - the first king
-second Israeli king in 1000 BC
• Well loved and the people united behind him
• Under David,
grew into a strong kingdom centered on the capital,
King Soloman’s Empire
• Solomon’s Kingdom-Israel reached its height in wealth and influence
• The son of
• Praised in the Hebrew Bible
• Traded with other Near East powers
• Built a magnificent temple in
Ancient Jerusalem
• The land of
• founded by David - capital
• King
• The
of the Covenant
The Temple Mount, Jerusalem
 Solomon’s
Wall: The “
” Wall
King Solomon’s Temple
• The First Temple
• Judges
- holy men who believed to carry messages from God
• Mission - to keep Israelites focused on their faith
Inside the Temple Tabernacle
• The
of the Covenant
The Death of Soloman
• Death of Solomon -12 tribes split
-two tribes (Jews)-taught monotheism-belief in one god
• fell to Chaldeans- destroyed Soloman’s Temple and enslaved thousands of Jews
to Babylon
-10 tribes
• fell to the
• scattered the peoples of Israel across their empire
• Kingdom of Judah and Israel
Israelites in Captivity
-scattering of Jews outside Judah
• Jews called this enslavement the
Captivity (50 years)
• The Persian Empire will eventually capture Babylon and let the Jews return to
Religions of South Asia
gave birth to
, Jainism, Sikhism
• Christianity –Jesus Christ, son of God – the Bible
– Muhammad-last prophet to talk to Allah – t he Quran
• Do you think Islam had an effect on Hindu India?
• The religion of Hinduism developed and evolved over a long time in India, giving
rise to a variety of beliefs and practices and to other religions, including
What is Hinduism?
of humanity
• The religion of the Indian people
• Its origins are
How did Hinduism begin?
• No particular founder
• Indus River Valley Civilization >5000 years ago
nter 4000 - 3500 years ago
Tradition 3500 – 2500 years ago:
What do Hindus believe?
• One impersonal Ultimate Reality –
-the creator
, the soul, is Brahman trapped in matter
– reborn into this world lifetime after lifetime (Samsara)
• Karma – spiritual impurity due to actions keeps us bound to this world (good and
How does Hinduism direct life in this world?
– Dharma-set of spiritual duties-based on class and station
– Four “stations” of life (Caste) - priests & teachers, nobles & warriors, merchant
class, servant class
– student, householder, retired, renunciant
What are the Sacred Texts?
(“heard”) – oldest, most authoritative:
– Four Vedas (“truth”) – myths, rituals, chants
– Upanishads - metaphysical speculation
(“remembered”) – the Great Indian Epics:
– Ramayana
– Mahabharata (includes Bhagavad-Gita)
What are the spiritual practices of Hinduism?
-meditation in order to attain moksha
Ultimate goal of life –
becoming as one with Brahman (Moksha)
and reunite with the divine,
Who do Hindus worship? – the major gods of the Hindu Pantheon
 Brahma, the
 Vishnu, the preserver god
, god of constructive destruction (the transformer)
 Appears as Shiva Nataraj, lord of the dance of creation
 and with his wife, Parvati, and son Ganesha (the elephant headed remover of
What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine
• Saraswati, goddess of wisdom, consort of Brahma
• Lakshmi, goddess of good fortune, consort of Vishnu
• Parvati, divine mother, wife of Shiva
• Durga, protectress
• Kali, destroyer of demons
All these deities are but
(attributes and functions) of the impersonal
• 500 BC – a group of Hindus broke away
– Jainism – thought Hindus placed too much emphasis on
- nonviolence towards living things; avoid stealing and tell
the truth
• Buddhism, which teaches people that they
through the Buddhist teachings, developed in India and spread to other
parts of Asia
Siddhartha Gautama
 Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism can be traced to
, Siddhartha
 Prince of a small kingdom; he lived sheltered life and sought the answer to ending
 After years of meditation searching for
he became
 He
into Buddha
What is the fundamental cause of all suffering?
 Therefore, extinguish the self, don’t obsess about oneself. Give up all materials
and possessions of the world.
Four Noble Truths
 There is
in the world. To live is to suffer. (Dukkha)
 The cause of suffering is self-centered desire and attachments. (Tanha)
 The solution is to eliminate desire and attachments.
(Nirvana = “extinction”)
 To reach nirvana, one must follow the
Eightfold Path
 Right View
 Right Intention
 Right Speech
 Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration
Eightfold Path
 The union with the ultimate spiritual reality.
 Escape from the cycle of rebirth.
Types of Buddhism
 Mahayana Buddhism
 Tibetan Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
 The
of Buddhism.
 The “Way of the Elders” or the “Small Vehicle.”
 Found in southern Asia.
 The
is the best way
to achieve nirvana.
 Focus on wisdom and meditation.
 Goal is to become a “Buddha,” or “
 Over 100,000,000 followers today.
Mahayana Buddhism
 The “
 Founded in northern Asia (China, Japan).
 Buddhism “for the masses.”
 Seek guidance from Boddhisatvas, wise beings.
 Goal: Not just individual escape from the wheel, but the salvation of all humanity
of those enlightened few.
Tibetan Buddhism
 The “Diamond Vehicle.” [Vajrayana]
 Developed in Tibet in the 7c CE.
 A mix of Theravada and Mahayana.
 Boddhisatvas include Lamas, like the
 The Tibetan Book of the Dead
[Bardo Thodol].
The Dalai Lama
Zen Buddhism
 The “
 Seeks sudden enlightenment [satori] through meditation, arriving at emptiness
 Use of meditation masters [Roshi].
 Beauty, art, and aesthetics:
 Gardens.
 Archery.
 Tea ceremony.
 Calligraphy.
Abraham’s Genealogy
-Quran Hebrews-Torah
2 Tribes - Jews of
Other 10 tribes(Hebrews)
Christ was a Jew –
The Hebrew Bible is the Old Testament in the Christian Bible
Origins of Mecca
• According to Islamic teachings,
and her son Ishmael were
alone in the
desert, safe from Abrahams other wife Sarah. In
need of water she prayed to God and he brought forth a
of water.
• Over the centuries, the water continued to flow and people came from far to drink
from the well and to visit the stone monument, the
IslamAn Abrahamic Religion
 Muslims are strict
 They believe in the Judeo- Christian God, which they call
 Muslims believe that the Torah and the Bible, like the
word of God.
, is the
The Prophetic Tradition: Who is the last?
The Quran: God’s last Revelation
Muslims believe that the sacred texts of
also come from Allah- but that the Quran carries the greatest authority because it
represents God’s
message to humanity.
The Origins of the Qur’an
 Muhammad received his first revelation from the angel
in the
Cave of
in 610.
was instructed that there is only one God, Allah, and other
messages included how people should worship Allah
 622  Hijrah  Muhammed flees Mecca for Medina.
* The beginning of the Muslim calendar (1)
 Muhammad and believers faith of Islam-achieving peace through submission to
God (Muslims)
The Qur’an
 Muhammad’s revelations were compiled into the
his death.
 Muslims believe it contains the
of God.
 114
 In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful.
 Written in Arabic,
 the
text of Islam
The Five Pillars of Islam
1. The Shahada
 The
 The
of faith:
There is no god worthy of worship except God, and Muhammad is
HisMessenger [or Prophet].
2. The Salat
 The
prayers performed
* dawn
* noon
* late afternoon
* sunset
* before going to bed
before praying.
 Face
and use a prayer rug.
times a day:
3. The Zakat
 The call to
by the muezzin in the minaret.
 Pray in the
on Friday.
 Almsgiving (
 Muslims believe that all things belong to God.
 Zakat means both “purification” and “growth.”
 About
of your income.
4. The Sawm
 Fasting during the holy month of
 Considered a method of
 No
or drinking from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.
Eid Mubarak
End of the Ramadan holiday.
5. The Hajj
 The
to Mecca.
 Must be done at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime.
 2-3 million Muslims make the pilgrimage every year.
 Those who complete the pilgrimage can add the title
The Mosque
The Muslim place of
The Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem
to their
Rock where Muhammad ascended into heaven.
Other Islamic Religious Practices
 Up to
wives allowed at once.
 No
or pork.
 No gambling.
 Sharia  body of Islamic law to regulate daily living.
 Three holiest cities in Islam: *
, Medina, Jerusalem.
The Spread of Islam
 Easy to learn and practice.
 No
 Teaches equality.
 Non-Muslims, who were “
,” were allowed religious
freedom, but paid additional taxes.
 Easily “portable” 
& trade routes.
 Jihad (“
”) against pagans and other non-believers
(“infidels”). Struggle for faith
Countries with the Largest Muslim Population
* Arabs make up only
of the total Muslim population of the
Islam in America
Muslims in America
Muslim Culture in NYC
Center, New York City
Islam after Muhammad
• Abu Bakr - close friend to
was chosen
-successors and teachers of Muhammad
• Under Abu Bakr and his successor
the civilization became an
Internal Conflict and Division
• Deep
within the Muslim leadership - 644 another caliph must be chosen
• Some supported
, cousin of Muhammad- blood line
• Ali lost to
, leader of Umayyad, a powerful bedouin tribe, who
became caliph
• Rebels killed
, and Ali became
, but he was
eventually killed and the Umayyad took power - Caliph
Sunni-Shia Divide
• Sunnis - followers of
“way of the Prophet - caliph - Mu’awiya
– no one stands between the individual leader and the
• Shia - followers of
- Muhammad’s true heir
- interpreters of the Quran
• A third group - mystical, personal connection with God
Martyrdom of Husayn
between the Sunni and Shia
• Muhammad’s grandson,
, -Shia and
- Sunni
met in battle and Husayn was shot with arrows while holding his infant son
• led to hatred between the two- Shia interprets
as violent
fight for faith
The Umayyad Dynasty
• Under Umayyad caliphs,
rule spread
• Internal problems eventually led to their downfall
• fell to
- direct descendant of Muhammad’s uncle
• Shia united under Abbasids - return to
The Abbasid Dynasty
• Capital - Tigris River in Iraq
• Move marked the beginning of Arab domination of the
• Most prominent
- attracted many
merchants, poets, scholars, and artists
• In the end, challenges from
, Egypt, Turkey, and
, let to disunity
The Rise of Christianity
• Religion based on Jesus of Nazareth, and his earliest followers, the teaching of
Jesus of Nazareth
• Knowledge comes from the first four books of the New Testament
• The
along with the Hebrew Bible, the
up the Christian Bible.
, make
Jesus Christ
• In time, Jesus began to preach a message of redemption and warning of the
coming of God’s Judgment Day. His message alarmed authorities, and Jesus was
arrested, tried, and sentenced to death.
• After he was
, Jesus rose from the dead, spent 40 days teaching,
and ascended into heaven.
• Followers named him the
, Jesus Christ
The Spread of Christianity
• Apostles 12
the world
that Jesus chose to spread Christianity throughout