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World Religions
• Latin word – Religare (to bind) derived
from the word religio (Obligation).

• A personal set or institutionalized system

of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

• The belief in and worship of a superhuman

controlling power, especially a personal
God or gods.
Why Religions?
Need of Religion
5 Categories of World Religions
• Monotheism
– Belief in one god
– Examples: Christianity, Judaism,
• Polytheism
– Belief in many gods
– Example: Hinduism
• Non-theism
– Belief in no gods
– Example: Buddhism
5 Categories
• Atheism
– Belief that there is no
supernatural forces
• Animism
– Belief in natural spirits
– Example: Native
5 Major World Religions
• Judaism
• Christianity
• Islam
• Buddhism
• Hinduism
Difference between Abrahamic
& Non Abrahamic Religions
• Abraham is the common patriarch for all
Abrahamic religions. The largest ones are
Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
• Non-Abrahamic religions are religions which
don’t claim descent from Abraham nor his
descendants. Non-Abrahamic religions include
Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, as well as some
lesser known Zoroastrianism.
• JUDAISM is a religion of
just one people: the
• JUDAISM was the first to
teach belief in only one
God. Two other
important religions
developed from Judaism:
Christianity and Islam.

• Jews think that God will send a Messiah (a

deliverer) to unite them and lead them in His way.
• Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah.
The Jewish people do not agree; they anticipate
His arrival in the future.
• Judaism teaches that death is not the end and that
there is a world to come.
• The "Torah," the first five
books of the Hebrew Bible, is
the most important Jewish
• It contains the basic laws of
• Another important book is the
"Talmud," serving primarily as
a guide to the civil and
religious laws of Judaism.
• The Jewish house of worship is
called a synagogue.
• Rabbis (spiritual leaders)
conduct services, act as
interpreters of Jewish laws, and
deliver sermons.
• Today there are over 18 million
followers of Judaism scattered
throughout the world. A large
number of those people live in
the Jewish nation of Israel.
Over six million live in the
United States.
Jewish Philosophy
• God is one and unique
• God is the creator
• God is transcendent
• God is lawgiver
• God is personal
• We have the obligation to worship
• The Torah is God's law
• God is judge
• The Messiah will come.
• The early Hebrews who eventually
developed into the Jewish religion became
the foundation of Christianity.
• Jesus, or the Messiah, was a Jewish boy
who disagreed with some of the Jewish
principles of his day and began to profess
a new way of thinking.
• This eventually led to the beginning of the
Christian religion.
• Christianity started about
2000 years ago about the
same time of Jesus.
• The central point of
Christian belief is that God,
the Father, entered into
human history as the Son,
Jesus of Nazereth, and
arose as the Holy Spirit.
Christian Philosophy
• God is the Creator of the
universe. There is one
God, Who is
Three Persons-
Father, Son and Holy

• Jesus is both fully man

and fully God. He was
born of the Virgin Mary.
Christian Philosophy
• Sin and Evil are realities in our
• The Bible is the Holy Book that
records God's revelation.
• All believers are promised life
• The leader of Christianity was
Jesus, and the followers were
his 12 disciples.
• ISLAM is the name given to
the religion preached by
the prophet Muhammad in
the 600s CE
• The Islamic religion started
in the year 600 CE.
• It has about billion of
followers, most of them in
the region north and east of
the Mediterranean Sea.
• The holy book of Islam is
the "Koran." Muslims
believe its words to be
those of Allah himself,
spoken to Muhammad by
an angel.
• Allah, is the Islamic God.
• People who believe these
ideas are called Muslims.
Islamic Philosophy
• Muslims learn that life on
earth is a period of testing
and preparation for the life
to come.
• Angels record good and
bad deeds.
• People should behave
themselves and help
others, trusting in Allah's
justice and mercy for their
5 Pillars of Islam
• There is only one god, Allah
• Muslims pray five times daily
in their mosques and face the
holy city of Mecca
• All Muslims are required to
make a pilgrimage (trip to a
sacred place) to Mecca at
least once in their lifetime.
• Muslims must give alms
(money) to the poor
• Muslims must fast during the
holy month of Ramadan
• Founding person of Buddhism is
Guatama, the Buddha
• The Dalai Lama is a Buddhist monk who
remains the leader of the Tibetans.
• Buddhism is a major religion in China,
Japan, India, and Tibet.

• Buddhism states that existence is a continuing cycle

of death and rebirth called reincarnation.

• Each person's position in life is determined by his or

her behavior in the previous life. This is known as
their "karma" (also a Hindu belief).
Buddhist Philosophy
• Love: without conditions
• Compassion: or feeling at one with the
person who is suffering
• Sympathetic Joy: Celebrate the happiness
of others, and do not resent their good
• Impartiality: Treat everyone equally, and
do not use others for personal gain or to
win approval.
• HINDUISM is one of the world's oldest
• Over 2/3's of the world's Hindus live in
India; large numbers reside in Africa also.
• Hindus believe in many gods, numbering
into the thousands. They recognize one
supreme spirit called Brahman ("the
• Hinduism has many sacred books, the
oldest being a series called the "Vedas.“
• Traditional Hindu society was divided into
groups of four classes (or varnas). This
was known as the "caste system."
Hindu Philosophy
• Hindus believe in many gods, numbering
into the thousands.
• They recognize one supreme spirit called
Brahman (the Absolute).
• The goal of Hindus is to someday join with
• Until that union takes place, believers are
in a continuous process of rebirth called
Hindu Philosophy
• At death, the Hindu's deeds (karma)
determine what the next life will be.
• Followers work to break this cycle--birth,
death, re-birth-- (referred to by writers as
the "Wheel of Life") and gain release.
• The Hindu's soul then merges with
Brahman in a condition of spiritual
perfection (moksha).
• 10 million Japanese participate in rituals
associated with Shintoism, however only a
third call themselves Shintoists
• Shinto ranks as the tenth major world
• Shinto is growing, due to a large number
of sects blending Buddhism and Shintoism
• Shinto was formed in Japan around 500
• Shinto is practiced exclusively in Japan or
with people of Japanese heritage
• Due to its Japanese based heritage, the
religion has not spread dramatically to
other nations
Shinto Beliefs
• There is no all-powerful God
• The worship of Kami
– Kami are gods and spirits that govern over nature and human life
– They are believed to animate the world through geographical site
(Mount Fuji) and natural phenomenon (kamikaze)
• The individual is less than the group
• Wa (“harmony”) is ingrained in nature and human
– Anything that disturbs this condition is bad. To keep the balance
of harmony, there are rules to keep society and the natural world
from turning into chaos.
– Wa is reflected in everyday actions. (ex. Removal of one’s
shoes before entering a home and taking daily baths)
Shinto Beliefs
• Renewal and purification
– “Man is kami’s child;” Life was given to people by kami and has
sacred nature.
– But because divine nature is rarely seen purification is necessary
– A shrine dedicated to kami has a trough of pure water used for the
rituals of rinsing the hands and mouth, required before approaching
the image of kami. This process is called oharai.
– Shinto has little care for death and the afterlife. Shinto is mainly a
“life religion” concerned with the her and now.
– They believe that the soul, or tama, of the dead continues to have
influence on the living before finally becoming a part of the kami
ancestors from the family it belongs to.
– If a person were to pass away, Shintoisms would use the Buddhist
idea of afterlife.
Thank You