1. Religion is the human RESPONSE to the DIVINE, or the allegedly divine, revelation.
2. It involves various ACTS and ATTITUDES - prayer, guilt, quest for salvation, service, etc.
3. Religion refers to the UNIVERSAL human characteristic of making something, or someone, ULTIMATE in our lives, and pursuing the object of our devotion as the ultimate GOOD.
4. Every person, then, is religious. God made all people with a religious RECEPTACLE at our core.
Calvin said all have a sense of divinity and the seed of religion.
5. God has put these in the heart of every person. There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an AWARENESS of divinity -- that there is a God and that he is our Maker.
1. Islam began with the prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century AD.
2. Because of human rebellion from the correct way of life ("din"), God sent various prophets, including Moses ("Musa"), Jesus ("Isa") and Muhammed.
3. Muhammad was told to warn his people in the town of Mecca. Although he was reject by the majority, some followed him and moved within to Yathrib to escape persecution. The move is called the hijra. The town is now called Medina.
4. Islam is often translated as "submission" and is related to the Hebrew word, "shalom" or peace. It is entering in to a state of peace and security with God through allegiance and surrender to him.
5. Muhammad learned this when he went to Mount Hira near Mecca to search for truth. He felt God or his messenger, GABRIEL, saying RECITE ("IQRA"). What came was the Qur'an, the nonnegotiable authority in Muslim life.
6. This is considered God's complete word through his last messenger, Muhammad.
7. Because it does not cover all circumstances, the words and actions of Muhammad and his companions are commentary on what the Qur'an means. These were gathered in six collections called the Hadith or Sunna.
8. Major traditions developed that drew up law codes for life called Shari'a. There are four schools of Shari'a, and most Muslims live according to one of them.
9. Muslims divided after Muhammads death in 632. Those who thought his successor should be the most qualified man became the SUNNI. Those who thought his nearest relative, 'Ali, should be his successor became the Shi'a. Shi'a exalt their Imams, a succession of leaders.
10. Muslims believe in Allah "the ONE who is God (meaning there are no other gods). As such, all humans belong to a single UMMA or faith community. God's way of life (DIN) covers all spheres of human existence.
11. Shahada: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger."
12. Within 100 years, Islam swept over the known world, with 1/4 of the world now being Muslim.
13. By 750 A.D. one-half of the world's Christians were under Muslim rule.
13. In its early centuries, Islam led the world in the recovery of Greek science and philosophy (algebra, alchemy, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, etc.). Since then, Muslims have viewed this as a distraction from the Qur'an and have not returned to celebrating God's creation in science.
14. Sufis draw closer to God in mystical Islam. (Their name comes from "suf," the rough wool cloak they wore).
15. Covenant is important to Jews, Christiana and Muslims. Abraham is regarded be all as the father of their faith.
16. Muslims expect to go to the Garden, a place of reward for faithful Muslims after the Final Judgment, which depends on the balance between good and bad in their lives.
17. Muslims view the Torah and Gospels as polluted and corrupted. The Qur'an alone is God's intended revelation in final form.
1. Hinduism is the name given in the 1800s to describe a broad range of religions in India. From the Persian word for river, referring to people of the Indus valley.
2. 80% of India's people are Hindus.
3. Rooted in Indus valley traditions (2500 BC). Aryans invaded in 1500 BC and brought four collections of oral texts (Vedas).
4. Elaborate world of elemental gods and goddesses who are approached through rituals and sacrifices.
5. Dominated by Brahmins (priests) in the early period.
6. Society is divided into four roles, and this caste system still dominates India today.
7. Human soul (atman) is reborn millions of times according to the impersonal law of KARMA. Hinduism teaches the way to MOKSHA, or release from this cycle through MARGAS (knowledge or works). This detaches you from all feeling tying you to the world.
8. DHARMA is "appropriate behavior," and thus the path to a good rebirth.
9. Worship happens in temples to avatars though sacred chants called MANTRAS.
10. The religion has evolved, but beliefs from all periods still persist.
11. Their three principle gods are BRAHMA, the creator, VISNU the sustainer, and SHIVA, the destroyer.
12. Hindu worship involves images, prayers and diagrams of the universe. Central to worship is the ICON (sacred image), which houses and represents the deity. Many WORSHIP INDIVIDUALLY by offering sweets, coconuts, money and fruit to the deities.
1. Dharma means "appropriateness."
2. Hinduism is a map of dharma, or appropriate behavior, that gives the path to a good rebirth and to moksha.
3. The Hindu name for Hinduism is "Everlasting Dharma."
4. Dharma is one of the four desirable goals in life, along with success, pleasure and moksha.
1. in Hinduism, the divine LAW that rules KARMA
2. it requires all people to do their DUTY based on their status in society
3. Behaviors that are considered to be in accord with order including duties, laws, conduct, virtues, right living, etc.
0. The oldest and most conservative branch of Buddhism. It focuses on the life of the monk Buddha.
1. When Muslims invaded India in the 11th century, Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka and SE Asia in the Theravada form.
2. This form stays close to the PALI CANON -- the Buddhist texts collected in the three baskets.
1. The remaining ORTHODOX school of Buddhism
2. which adheres closely to the EARLIEST scriptures
3. emphasizes INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS to liberate the mind from suffering
4. school of elders
5. Avoidance of both extremes; gives vision, knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment, and to Nirvana
6. The idea that all existence is dukkha = unsatisfactory, suffering, anxiety. Dukkha comes from craving; desire for existence, please, and extermination, but dukkha can be overcome through Nirvana, which is reached by the noble 8-fold path.
7. View of human being as an individual, salvation as a self-effort, the key virtue of wisdom, a full-time religion primarily for monks, shunned metaphysics and ritual, and prayed for meditation
1. The fundamental OPPOSING cosmic forces in the world that move in balance with each other.
2. Both are EQUALLY important and as they interact they produce change, UNION of opposite forces.
3. The YANG is masculine, LIGHT, activity, unconscious mind, fire.
4. The YIN is female, DARKNESS, passivity, the unconscious, heaviness, water.
5. In exorcism, priests confront dangerous excesses of YIN by invoking the superior yang forces.
1. A recent phenomenon among Western populations that COMBINES Eastern and Western religious elements and infuses it with SELF-HELP and PSYCHOLOGICAL tenets.
2. Their purpose is to seek the Universal Truth, and for each human to reach its highest potential.
3. They reject doctrine and dogma. Instead it promotes individual ways of attaining truth by a large variety of means (e.g. astrology, metaphysics, esotericism, alternative medicine, sustainability,...)
4. There are no central scriptures and New Age has no founders either.
5. Belief in SPIRITUAL BEINGS, such as angels, ghosts, fairies (c.f. Aaron Mamuyac), and others.
6. They believe in REINCARNATION as a way of the soul to develop through multiple life times towards a higher consciousness.
7. They incorporate EASTERN practices such as meditation, yoga, Ayurveda, Reiki, martial arts, and others can help in realizing one's potential.
8. Humans should live in synchronicity with nature, in a simple and sustainable way.