Religion Notes

  • Religion Notes




    Intro: The Torah is the sacred book, which contains God’s promise to Abraham


    I.                    The Beliefs of Judaism


    A.      History and religion are closely related

    1.       God’s plan

    2.       Monotheistic

    B.      The Promise to the Israelites

    1.       God is everywhere, all-powerful, and all-knowing

    2.       Covenant = promise made by God

    3.       Moses = Israelite leader

    C.      The Ten Commandments

    1.       Given to Moses by God

    2.       Contained duties toward god and rules for behavior

    3.       Torah also sets many other laws

    D.      Judaism and Women

    1.       Laws were made to protect women

    2.       Women viewed as lower social class

    3.       Were not allowed to have religious leadership role

    E.       Judaism and Morality

    1.Prophet = religious teachers who spoke for God

                    a. preached code of ethics

    b. don’t disobey God

    c. rich help protect poor

    d. all people equal before God

                            2. Leaders were human not gods


    II.                  The Effects of Judaism


    A.      Jewish people scattered around world due to exile and conquests

    B.      New Settlements

    1.       Diaspora = the scattering of people

    2.       Preserved heritage

    3.       Lived in close communities

    4.       Obeyed religious laws and traditions

    5.       Prayed in temples

    6.       Passover = celebration for being spared from destruction

    7.       Traditions helped unite Jews

    C.      Effects on Later Religions

    1.       Influenced Christianity and Islam

    a.       Rooted in Judaism

    b.      Same region

    c.       Monotheistic

    d.      All honor Abraham, Moses, and prophets

    e.      Share same moral POV


    Christianity and the Roman Empire


    I.        Intro

    A.                 Jesus – founded Christianity

    B.                 Christianity started with the poor and slaves


    II.     The Rise of Christianity

    A.     Christianity was one of many in Roman lands – could worship own as long as loyalty shown to Roman Gods.

    B.     Unrest in Judaea

        1. Romans conquered in 63 BC – at first respected Jewish rights to worship
        2. Some Jews resented the Roman rule waited for messiah
        3. Messiah – savior
        4. Harsh punishment followed and new ruler Herod was appointed – Jesus born under rule
        5. Jesus’ stories are told in the New Testament of the Christian bible.
        6. After Jesus’ death his Disciples told about his life and teachings
        7. Disciples – followers
        8. Christians believe that 4 disciples wrote the Gospels John and Matt knew him well.

    C.     Christian Beliefs

        1. Jesus was a carpenter from Nazareth
        2. Started to teach @ 3o years old
        3. Taught from the Jewish tradition about the one true God
        4. Taught/principals of Christianity found on page 259 and the Golden Rule/everlasting life

    D.     Fears about Christianity

        1. Many believed that Jesus was teaching of a God greater than the Emperor of Rome.
        2. Feared that Jesus would lead a revolt
        3. Condemned him to death – crucified and buried – Christians believe that he rose from the dead three days later and told his disciples to spread his word.


    III.   Christianity Spreads

    A.     The Greek word for Messiah is Christos = Christians

    B.     Spread from Jerusalem across the Empire to Rome itself

    C.     The Letters of St. Paul

        1. Saul was a very a very educated Jew, he rejected Christianity at first and then had a vision that changed his mind – changed his name to Paul and became a missionary
        2. Wrote many Epistles – letters that helped changed Christianity into an organized religion

    D.     Christianity moves to the Cities

        1. Appealed to the poor because it offered hope of a better life w/out cost
        2. Pagan - People that do not believe in Christianity, Judaism or Islam

    E.      Ways of Worship

        1. Over time Christians formed a more uniform group, w/ some Jewish traditions
        2. Prayed and sang as well as worshiped on Sunday
        3. Practiced two rites universally – Baptism and Eucharist




    I.                    Introduction

    A.      started in the year 610 AD by the prophet Muhammad

    B.      Muhammad –went into cave/ was told by/angel that people had gone stray should help them.

    C.      Prophet – a person that is regarded as speaking for God

    D.      Muhammad accepted the role and preached to the people in the Arabian Peninsula

    II.                  The Arabian Peninsula

    A.      Nomadic Bedouins

    1.       nomads – people that have no permanent home but move from place to place in search of food, water and pasture.

    2.       followed routes to oasis – a waterhole

    3.       caravans – large groups that went across the desert

    4.       camels were the transportation – why?

    III.               Mecca

    A.      an important trading center that became center of Islamic religion

    B.      traveled from Syria to Iraq to Yemen to trade precious goods

    IV.                Th Prophet Muhammad

    A.      came from a respected but poor family

    B.      took jobs on caravans

    C.      Muhammad and his Mission

    1.       heard God’s message from an angel

    2.       took job of submit to the one true God

    3.       Muslim – one that accepts the teachings of Muhammad

    4.       Taught that all people were brothers and sisters

    5.       People feared that Muhammad would threaten old gods/stop Mecca as a trade center as well as diminish that importance of the Kaaba, in addition to gaining political power

    D.      Muhammad in Medina

    1.       622 - Muslims moved to Yathrib ( yah THREEB), this was called the Hijra, (hih jy ruh).

    2.       This became year 1 in Islam

    3.       Changed city’s name to Medina, the city

    4.       Muhammad returns to Mecca in triumph and Islam spreads to all of Arabia

    V.                  Muslim Belief

    A.      muezzin – (Myoo EZ in) – the person that calls Muslims to worship – “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God” – 5 times each day – what happens?

    B.      Mosque – house of worship in Islam

    C.      The Five Pillars of Islam

    1.       seen as sacred duties of all Muslims

    2.       Hajj – pilgrimage or religious journey

    3.       The five Pillars of Islam

    a. Declaration of Faith       b. Prayer – 5 times/day      c. Almsgiving – money to needy

    d. fasting – daylight during Ramadan             E. Pilgrimage

    D.      The Quran – the holy book of Islam

    1.       has rules and messages of Islam

    2.       best in original language – why important? – uniting through language and religion

    3.       Many similar thing to Christianity and Judaism

    a. 1 God                 b. prophets like Abraham, Adam, Noah and Moses    C. format

    4.       felt respect for the Jews and Christians – said that they were “people of the Book”

    E.       The Role of Women            

    1.       teaches that men and women are spiritually equal

    2.       gave more rights under the law – property, marriage and divorce

    F.       A Split among Muslims

    1.       656 Uthman (OOTH mahn) was assassinated and a fight for power started

    2.       two groups fought for power

    a.       Shiites – ruler should be a direct descendant of Muhammad 15 %

    b.       Sunni – any religious Muslim could lead the community 85 %

    Hinduism in Ancient India


    I.                    The Beginnings of Hinduism

    A.      Aryan prayers passed down, mixed with others to form Hinduism

    B.      A Blend of Religions

    1.       believe that people are different and approach god differently

    2.       850 million people in India practice today

    3.       many gods and goddesses

    4.       brahman – one single spiritual power

    C.      Hindu Gods and Goddesses

    1.       each stands for a different part of the brahman

    2.       avatar – Hindu god or goddess in human or animal form

    3.       many gods and goddesses explain many things and have families

    II.                  The teachings of Hinduism

    A.      The Upanishads

    1.       forms of questions

    2.       no real answers

    B.      Reincarnation

    1.       Reincarnation – rebirth of souls

    2.       Believe that all things have a soul

    3.       Believe that all people are trying to free souls by living a good life and becoming one with Brahman.

    C.      Hindu’s Duties

    1.       Obey Dharma – religious duties and moral duties of each person

    2.       Ahimsa - nonviolence

    3.       Do not eat meat and try to avoid hurting living things

    III.               The Practice of Hinduism

    A.      The Yogas

    1.       exercise that frees the souls from the cares of the world

    2.       selfless deeds

    3.       learning the sacred writings

    4.       devotion

    B.      Private Devotion

    1.       public praying and rituals

    2.       pick a private god and worship

    3.       devotion brings a Hindu closer to brahman




    The Beginnings of Buddhism


    I.                    Introduction

    A.      Buddhist tradition of young prince that gave up everything for search to pain/suffering

    B.      Gautama searched for Seven years of wondering led to the religion of Buddhism

    II.                  The Buddha and his Teachings

    A.      Studied with the Hindu Philosophers – was not happy with only priests giving answers

    B.      The Search for Understanding

    1.       meditate – focus the mind inward in order to find spiritual awareness

    2.       49 days of fasting and meditating – said he found the roots of suffering

    3.        45 years traveled across India sharing knowledge/picked up followers

    4.       followers called him the Buddha – “enlightened one”

    C.      The Middle Way

    1.       follow the Eightfold Path – not too much pleasure/unhappiness

    2.       give up selfish desires

    D.      Release from Reincarnation

    1. act selflessly             2. Tell truth           3. Treat other fairly             4. Avoid violence

    5. nirvana – lasting peace          6. Released from cycle of reincarnation

    E.       Followers of Buddhism

    1.       all are equal –people liked this

    2.       any social class can be priest

    3.       missionaries – people that spread their religion to others

    F.       Buddhism inside and outside India

    1.       after death of Buddha – Buddhism almost dies in India

    2.       popular enough to have Hinduism change

    G.      Hindus and Buddhists: Shared Beliefs

    1.       many of the beliefs were same

    2.       Buddhism would not accept sacred texts so out with them

    H.      Buddhism Spreads To Other Countries

    1.       Missionaries/traders took it with them

    2.       China/Japan/Korea/Tibet/Vietnam