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Ancient Religions and Beliefs • • • • • Buddhism Christianity Confucianism Hinduism Islam • Judaism • Zoroastrianism • Daoism Zoroastrianism • Founded by Zoroaster. Persian prophet and religious reformer offered an answer to the basic question, “Why should so much suffering and chaos exist in the world?” • Purpose – to rid the world of suffering and chaos. Zoroastrianism • Relationships: • Followers of Ahura Mazda, the God of Truth and Light also called the Supreme God, would receive paradise • followers of Ahriman, the God of Evil and Darkness, would suffer forever in a fiery pit. • Process – People’s own choices control their fate. Zoroastrianism • Teachings – • Avesta – Teachings of Zoroaster • Gathas – Hymns and poetry – Two spiritual armies fight for possession of a person’s soul. – Developed ideas about heaven & hell, God & Satan, human soul and final judgment that had a great impact on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. – 1st Monotheistic religion, 6000-1500BCE – "Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed worldreligions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith." Mary Boyce. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZQGwhVMkc&index=2&list=PLoYsqJzyNRe23wuvpq0P3rKvqn_6yPfym Judaism • Founded by – Abraham was chosen as the “father” of the “chosen” Hebrew people. – Moses led the Hebrews out of slavery. • Purpose – To be made a great nation, protected by god and blessed by him. • Relationships – – Obey God, Yahweh – Live justly with one another Judaism • Process – – Monotheism, a belief in a single god. – A covenant was formed between God, Yahweh, and the Hebrew people that if they obeyed Him, they would be protected. • Teachings – – Torah – 1st 5 books of the Old Testament – Talmud – Laws given to Moses by Yahweh – The Ten Commandments were given to the Hebrews as civil and religious laws which regulated social and religious behavior. Definitions • The Ten Commandments 1) I am the Lord, thy God and Thou shalt not have any other gods before me. 2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. 3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. 5) Honor thy father and thy mother. 6) Thou shalt not kill. 7) Thou shalt not commit adultery. 8) Thou shalt not steal. 9) Thou shalt not bear false witness. 10) Thou shalt not covet. Islam • Founded by Muhammad • Relationships – Belief in one God - Allah. • Muslim – One who follows Islam • Process – – Life long acts of worship • The Five Pillars Islam • Teachings – – Five Pillars of Islam • • • • Faith – One God, Allah, Muhammad is his messenger. Prayer – 5 times a day, facing Mecca (the east) Alms or Charity – to the poor, a religious tax Fasting – Month of Ramadan, one meal at the end of the day. • Pilgrimage – to Mecca, at least once in their life. – Believe in the Bible and the prophets of Judaism and Christianity – Qur’an – Words revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel – Shari’ah – Laws based on principles of the Qur’an, regulates religious, political and social aspects of life. Islam • Two Main Divisions – Sunni – People of Tradition, quietists. Leaders are elected, not blood related, majority – Shi’ite – Activists/radical, True leadership is passed through bloodlines, minority. • Belief in final judgment – Paradise or hell. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpcbfxtdoI8 Christianity • Founded by Jesus Christ • Purpose – To reach salvation by following the teachings of Christ • Relationships – Belief in one God – Often refer to God in three ways: • God the Father, creator and Father of all humankind • God the Son, Jesus the Christ • God the Holy Spirit.;power of God experienced by people in their lives, inspiring human beings all over the world. • This is not suggesting that there are three different Gods but one God working in three different ways. It is how Christians explain that Jesus was God and a human. Christianity • Process – – Live a good life, free of sins. – Repent of sins that you have/do. • Through Jesus, it is possible for humanity to turn back to God and to be saved from sin. • Those who live a Christian life, believe in Jesus and turn back to God, can look forward to a further life of happiness after death, as they will be received into heaven. Christianity • Teachings – – Teachings of Christ as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible. – Nicene Creed - It is in three sections, states beliefs about God, Jesus and other aspects of Christianity. – Belief in the resurrection. The Bible states that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a sign that he had gained victory over the power of death. Because of this, death is not the end, and that after death there is eternal life. – After death, the physical body dies but the spirit lives on. This spirit, or soul, is reunited with God (in heaven) and then finds eternal rest. Branches of Christianity Buddhism • Founded by Siddhartha Gautama • Purpose – Through meditation, find Nirvana, a refuge from inevitable suffering through living a moral and religious life. Avoid Extremes/conflicts. • Relationships – None, except with self, right thinking and good deeds. Buddhism • Process – By understanding the Four Noble Truths, and mastering the Eightfold Path through a series of reincarnations, one could achieve ‘nirvana’. • Teachings – – Four Noble Truths – Eightfold Path – Five Precepts Definitions • Nirvana – • Ahimsa – • Non-violence Dharma – • State of bliss, free from suffering and dissatisfaction. The release of selfishness and pain. Religious and Moral duties Karma – good or bad deeds – how you live in one life, will determine your path in the next life Definitions • Four Noble Truths 1.Everything is suffering and sorrow. 2.Caused by selfish desires of temporary pleasures of the world. 3.To end suffering, end desires. 4.To overcome desires and attain enlightenment, follow the Eightfold Path called the Middle Way between desires and self-denial. Eightfold Path • Right view • • Right thought • • Seeing things as they really are, the truth of things. Think good things, free from selfish desires and ill will towards others. Right speech • Words have consequences; therefore, every time a person speaks, they could be the cause of either good or evil. Avoid harsh words & lying, and try to say good things. Eightfold Path • Right action • Deeds have consequences. Actions are performed because they help a person attain Nirvana. Give up wanting anything. • Right way of life • A person’s way of life must be the right one or else it will be difficult to follow all the paths. • Example - certain types of jobs would interfere with a person’s striving for freedom, some occupations are morally wrong. In order to have a chance, a person must have the right job and lifestyle. Eightfold Path • Right effort • Effort to rejecting anything which would interfere with a person’s progress towards right meditation. • Right mindfulness • Pay full attention to what you are doing. Be aware of what is going on and give attention to what is happening at present rather than thinking about the past or the future. • Right concentration • Meditation. Concentrate the mind entirely on one thing. The way to enlightenment is through attention not through fantasy. Five Precepts – Basic rules for the lay person – Five Precepts • • • • • Refrain from destroying life – Don’t Kill Refrain from taking what is not given – Don’t Steal Refrain from impurity – Stay Morally Clean Refrain from Lying Refrain from using intoxicating substances • Both Buddhism and Hinduism involve a break from the chain of reincarnations once a perfect state of understanding is achieved. For Buddhism this is called Nirvana, in Hinduism, this is called Moksha. Hinduism • Founded by – No single founder • Brahman (or the world soul) has three main functions called the gods, Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. – – – – Sometimes these are referred to as the supreme gods. Brahma - Creator and source of all creation. Vishnu - Preserver and keeps all good things on earth. Shiva - Destroyer and is needed because some things are harmful and change is necessary for the creation of new things. – Each of the supreme gods has a female partner (consort) Hinduism • Purpose – To liberate the soul from the illusions, disappointments, and mistakes of everyday life. Attain Moksha. Non-violence • Relationships – When one understands the relationship between atman (the individual soul) and Brahman (the world soul), that person will achieve perfect understanding and release from life in this world (moksha). Hinduism • Process – Understanding does not come in one lifetime, but through reincarnation (rebirth), until moksha is achieved. Three different paths may be chosen to achieve moksha. – Path of Knowledge. Through meditation, possible to know the truth and be released from the attachments of this world. – Path of Self-Realization. Living free from selfish gain and dedicating everything one does to God. – Path of Devotion. It is devotion to God, is achieved through daily worship, in prayer and in offerings. This path is God-centred, where a person's actions performed for God and not for themselves. Hinduism • Teachings – Karma - every action has an effect, and that there is a cause for everything that happens in life. – A person's karma will affect their future lives: evil or selfish actions will result in an unhappy future while unselfish or good actions will bring benefits in the next life. – Belief that every Hindu is born into a particular caste (varna/social status) as a result of their behavior in a previous life. – Ahimsa – non violence, especially cows • Mother cow – Source of food and material goods – Vedas – Prayers and Hymns – Upanishads – Collection of writings, learn about Brahman and the Universe. Definitions • Atman - the individual soul • Brahman – the world soul that contains and unites all atmans. • Karma – good or bad deeds – follows from one reincarnation to another. • Ahimsa - Non-violence • Dharma - Religious and Moral duties Hinduism • Hindus today are free to choose the deity they worship or to choose none at all. • Most choose to try and achieve moksha by following the Path of Devotion. Confucianism • Founded by Confucius • Purpose – Ethics, to improve oneself morally, socially and politically. • Relationships – Social and Civic responsibility, order and harmony • Process – Education, Filial Piety. Confucianism • Teachings – – The Analects – The Five Classics – Social order, harmony, and good government could be achieved if society was organized by the Five Basic Relationships – Education can transform a humbly born person into a gentleman. Confucianism • Education became critically important to career advancement in the bureaucracy. • About 6 million (26,000 in US) • “If a ruler himself is upright, all will go well without orders. But if he himself is not upright, even though he gives orders, they will not be obeyed.” • Golden Rule : “Do not unto others what you would not want other to do unto you.” Definitions • Filial Piety - Children should respect their parents and elders. • Five Basic Relationships: – – – – – Ruler and Subject Father and Son Husband and Wife Older Brother and Younger Brother Friend and Friend. • Shows importance of FAMILY and the individual’s responsibility to community Daoism • Based on the philosophy of Laozi. – A universal force called Dao, meaning “the Way,” refers to the power that envelops, surrounds and flows through all living and non-living things (Animism). • Purpose – To gain knowledge and understanding of nature. Achieve balance in the universe, harmony of opposites (love/hate). • About 20 million, Taiwan. • Relationships – Nature, scientific studies. Reject Conflict. Daoism • Process – – If you seek order and harmony, go up into the hills, and observe that nothing in nature strives for fame, power, or even wisdom. • Influences – Acupuncture, Meditation, Tai Chi, Holistic Medicine. • Teachings – Its search for knowledge and understanding of nature led followers to pursue scientific studies such as alchemy, astronomy, and medicine.