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Religious Realms

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Title: Religious Realms


1
Religious Realms
  • Chapter 6
  • The Human Mosaic

2
Introduction
  • Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs and
    practices through which people seek mental and
    physical harmony with the powers of the universe,
    through which they attempt to influence and
    accommodate the awesome forces of nature, life,
    and death

3
Introduction
  • Religion produces variations that can be mapped
    as culture regions
  • Spatial variations produced by cultural diffusion
  • The spatial pattern of religion is visibly
    imprinted on the cultural landscape
  • Religion very often lies at the root of conflict
    between cultural groups

4
Mecca
5
Introduction
  • People are less willing to tolerate or
    accommodate differences in religious matters than
    any other aspect of culture
  • Proselytic religions
  • Actively seek new members
  • Their goal is the conversion of all humankind
  • Ethnic religions
  • Identified with some particular ethnic or tribal
    group
  • Does not seek converts
  • Proselytic religions sometimes grow out of ethnic
    religionsChristianity from Judaism

6
Culture Regions
  • Religious Regions
  • Religious Diffusion
  • Religious Ecology
  • Cultural Integration in Religion
  • Religious Landscapes

7
Religious culture regions
  • Christianity
  • A proselytic faith
  • Worlds largest in both area and number of
    adherentsabout 1.9 billion
  • Long fragmented into separate churches
  • Greatest division is between Western and Eastern
    Christianity

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9
Religious culture regions
  • Eastern church dominated the Greek world from
    Constantinople (Istanbul)
  • Coptic Churchoriginally the nationalistic
    religion of the Egyptians, and today is the
    dominant church of the highland people of
    Ethiopia
  • Maronites Semitic descendants of
    seventh-century heretics who retreated to a
    mountain refuge in Lebanon
  • Nestorians live in the mountains of Kurdistan
    and Indias Kerala State
  • Eastern Orthodoxy originally centered in
    Greek-speaking areas
  • Converted many Slavic groups
  • Later split in a variety of national
    churchesRussian, Greek, Ukrainian, and Serbian

10
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11
Religious culture regions
  • Western Christianity initially identified with
    Rome and Latin-speaking areas
  • Most notable split was the Protestant breakaway
    of the 1400s and 1500s
  • Tended to divide into a rich array of sects
  • Denominational map of the United States and
    Canada reflects fragmented nature and complex
    pattern of religious culture regions

12
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13
Religious culture regions
  • American frontier a breeding ground for new
    religious groups
  • Small communities may have churches representing
    half a dozen religious groups
  • Individual families may split along religious
    lines

14
Religious culture regions
  • United States displays less regionalization of
    faiths
  • Bible Beltlies across the South, Baptist and
    other conservative fundamentalist denominations
    dominate
  • Utah is core of Mormon realm

15
Religious culture regions
  • Lutheran belt stretches from Wisconsin through
    Minnesota and the Dakotas
  • Roman Catholicism dominates southern Louisiana,
    the southwestern borderland, and heavily
    industrialized areas of the Northeast
  • The Midwest a thoroughly mixed zone Methodism
    generally the largest single faith
  • Some experts believe American culture is becoming
    homogenized religiously, with weakening regional
    contrasts

16
Religious culture regions
  • Geographer Roger Stump points to a
    twentieth-century trend toward religious regional
    divergence
  • Baptists in South
  • Lutherans in upper Midwest
  • Catholics in Southwest
  • Mormons in the West
  • Each dominate their respective regions more today
    than at turn of century
  • Each has long-standing, strong infrastructure

17
Islam
  • Monotheistic, proselytic faith claims 1.1 billion
    followers
  • Located mostly in the desert belt of Asia and
    northern Africa, extends as far east as Indonesia
    and the Philippines
  • Biblical figures, such as Moses, Abraham, and
    Jesus are venerated in Islam
  • Most important prophet and founder is Muhammad
    lived about 14 centuries ago
  • The Koran Muslim holy book, contains a code of
    morals and ethics, and promises an afterlife for
    the faithful

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19
Islam
  • The Five Pillars of Islam
  • Adherents are expected to pray five times daily
    at established times
  • Give alms to the poor
  • Fast from dawn to sunset in the holy ninth month
  • Make at least one pilgrimage to the sacred city
    of Mecca in Saudi Arabia
  • Profess belief in Allah, the one god

20
Islam
  • Two major sects prevail
  • Shiite Muslims 11 percent of Islamic total in
    diverse subgroups
  • Form the majority in Iran and Iraq
  • Major fundamentalist revival now occurring under
    Iranian leadership to throw off Western
    influences, and restore the purity of the faith
  • Political tension with the potential for severe
    disruption is spreading
  • Strongest among Indo-European groups

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22
Islam
  • Two major sects prevail
  • Sunni Muslims represent Islamic orthodoxy
    forming the large majority
  • Strength is greatest in the Arabic-speaking lands
  • Non-Arabic Indonesia now contains worlds largest
    concentration
  • Large clusters occur in western China,
    Indo-European Bangladesh, and Pakistan

23
Judaism
  • Monotheistic faith
  • Parent of Christianity, and closely related to
    Islam
  • Certain Hebrew prophets and leaders are
    recognized by Christians and Muslims
  • Does not actively seek converts and has remained
    an ethnic religion
  • Has split into a variety of subgroups, partly as
    a result of forced dispersal

24
Judaism
  • Forced from Israel in Roman times and lost
    contact with other colonies
  • Jews who resided in Mediterranean lands were
    called the Sephardim
  • Those residing in central and Eastern Europe were
    known as the Ashkenozim
  • Large-scale migration of Ashkenazic from Europe
    to America during the late nineteenth and early
    twentieth centuries
  • During Nazi years, perhaps a third of the entire
    Jewish population of the world was systematically
    murdered, mainly Ashkenazim

25
Judaism
  • Europe ceased to be primary homeland and many
    survivors fled overseas to Israel and America
  • Has about 14 million adherents throughout the
    world
  • Nearly 7 million live in North America

26
Hinduism
  • Closely tied to India and its ancient culture
  • Claims about 750 million adherents
  • Polytheistic religion involving the worship of a
    myriad of deities
  • Linked to the caste system rigid segregation of
    people according to ancestry and occupation

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28
Hinduism
  • Believe in ahimsa veneration of all forms of
    life
  • Belief in reincarnation
  • No set standard of beliefs prevails, and the
    faith takes many local forms
  • Includes very diverse peoples
  • The faith straddles a major ethnic/linguistic
    divide
  • Includes both Indo-Europeans and Dravidians

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30
Hinduism
  • Once a proselytic religion, is today a regional,
    biethnic faith
  • Suggestive of its former missionary activity is
    an outlier on the distant Indonesian island of
    Bali

31
Hinduism
  • Hinduism has splintered into diverse religious,
    some regarded as separate religions
  • Jainism ancient outgrowth, claiming perhaps 5
    million adherents
  • Traces its roots back over twenty-five centuries
  • Reject Hindu scriptures, rituals, and priesthood
  • Share Hindu belief in ahinisa and reincarnation
  • Adhere to a stern asceticism
  • Sikhism arose in the 1500s, in an attempt to
    unify Hinduism and Islam
  • Centered in the Punjab state of northwestern
    India
  • Has about 19 million followers
  • Sikhs practice monotheism and have their own holy
    book, the Adi Granth

32
Buddhism
  • Derived from Hinduism began 25 centuries ago
  • Reform movement grounded in the teaching of
    Prince Siddhartha the Buddha
  • He promoted the four noble truths
  • Life is full of suffering
  • Desire is the cause of this suffering
  • Cessation of suffering comes with the quelling of
    desire
  • An eight-fold path of proper personal conduct
    and meditation permits the individual to overcome
    desire
  • Nirvana reached when one has achieved a state
    of escape and peace, which is attained by very few

33
Buddhism
  • Today the most widespread religion in Asia
  • Dominates a culture region from Sri Lanka to
    Japan and from Mongolia to Vietnam
  • Proselytic religion
  • Formed composite faiths as it fused with ethnic
    faiths especially in China and Japan
  • Fused with Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism
  • Southern Buddhism dominant in Sri Lanka and
    mainland Southeast Asia retains greatest
    similarity to original form
  • Special variation known as Lamaism prevails in
    Tibet and Mongolia

34
Buddhism
  • Difficult to determine number of adherents
    because of tendency to merge with native
    religions estimates range from 334 million to
    over 500 million people
  • In China, has enmeshed with local faiths to
    become part of an ethnic religion
  • Outside China, remains one of the great
    proselytic religions in the world

35
Animism
  • Retained tribal ethnic religion of people around
    the world
  • Today, adherents number at least 100 million
  • Animists believe certain inanimate objects
    possess spirits or souls
  • Spirits live in rocks, rivers, mountain peaks,
    and heavenly bodies
  • Each tribe has its own characteristic form of
    animism
  • A Shaman tribal religious figure usually serves
    as the intermediary between people and the
    spirits

36
Animism
  • To some animists, objects do not actually possess
    spirits, but are valued because they have a
    potency to serve as a link between people and the
    omnipresent god
  • Animism can be a very complex belief system
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is the greatest surviving
    stronghold of animism
  • Along the north edge Islam is rapidly winning
    converts
  • Christian missionaries are very active throughout
    the area

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38
Animism
  • Animism in the Western Hemisphere
  • Umbanda kept alive by descendants of African
    slaves in Brazil has 30 million followers
  • Santeria is found mainly in Cuba
  • Survives beneath a facade of nominal Roman
    Catholicism in Cuba

39
Secularism
  • In much of Europe religion has declined
  • Today, number of nonreligious and atheistic
    persons worldwide is about 1 billion
  • Typically displays vivid regionalization on a
    variety of scales
  • Areas of religious vitality lie alongside
    secularized districts in a disorderly jumble
  • Causes of retreat from religion
  • A governments active hostility toward a
    particular faith or religion
  • Failure of religions oriented toward the need of
    rural folk to adapt to the urban scene

40
Sacred space
  • Includes areas and sites recognized as worthy of
    devotion, loyalty, fear, or esteem
  • Notion occurs in many different cultures, past
    and present the world over
  • B.C. Lane saysan ordinary place made
    extraordinary through ritual
  • May be sought out by pilgrims or barred to
    members of other religions
  • Often contain the site of supposed supernatural
    events or viewed as abode of gods

41
Jerusalem
42
Sacred Space
  • Jerusalem is sacred space to Christians, Jews,
    and Muslims. It contains the Via Dolorosa (Way
    of the Cross) leading to the site of Christs
    crucifixion.
  • According to Jewish tradition, the sealed Golden
    Gate (far right) is where the Messiah will enter
    the city and bring redemption. Ruins of the City
    of David are at the southwest corner of the wall.

43
Sacred Space
  • Muslims are buried at the foot of the wall Jews
    on the Mount of Olives in the foreground and,
    Christians in the valley between. The golden
    Dome of the Rock covers the site where Abraham
    prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac and Mohammed
    ascended to heaven.
  • It also occupies the site of the First and Second
    Temples built by Kings Solomon and Herod. All
    that remains is the sacred Wailing Wall.

44
Sacred space
  • Conflict can result of two religions venerate the
    same space
  • Example of conflict in Jerusalem
  • Muslim Dome of the Rock site of Muhammads
    ascent to heaven
  • Wailing Wall remnant of greatest Jewish temple
  • Cemeteries also generally regarded as type of
    sacred space

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46
Sacred space
  • Sacred space is receiving increased attention in
    the world
  • An internationally funded Sacred Land Project
    began in the middle 1990s
  • Goal to identify and protect such sites
  • In the United Kingdom alone, 5000 sites have been
    cataloged
  • Includes ancient stone circles, pilgrim routes,
    and holy springs

47
Sacred space
  • Sacred space is receiving increased attention in
    the world
  • Mystical places locations unconnected with
    established religion where some people believe
    extraordinary, supernatural things can happen
  • Bermuda Triangle
  • Some include the expanses of the American Great
    Plains
  • Some ancient sacred spaces never lose or they
    regain the functional status of mystical place
    example of Stonehenge in England

48
Culture Regions
  • Religious Regions
  • Religious Diffusion
  • Religious Ecology
  • Cultural Integration in Religion
  • Religious Landscapes

49
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all arose among
    Semitic-speaking people
  • All three arose from the margins of the
    southwestern Asian deserts
  • Judaism, the oldest, originated about 4,000 years
    ago probably along the southern edge of the
    Fertile Crescent
  • Later, Judaism acquired dominion over lands
    between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River
    territorial base of modern Israel

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51
The Semitic religious hearth
  • About 2,000 years later, Christianity arose as a
    child of Judaism from this same area
  • Islam arose about seven centuries later in
    western Arabia, partly from Jewish and Christian
    roots
  • Religions spread by both relocation and expansion
    diffusion
  • Expansion diffusion can be divided into
    hierarchical and contagious subtypes
  • Hierarchical diffusion ideas are implanted at
    top of a society, leapfrogging across the map
    taking root in cities
  • Use of missionaries involves relocation diffusion

52
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Christianity spread through the Roman Empire
    using the existing splendid road
  • system
  • Clearly reflected hierarchical expansion
    diffusion
  • Early congregations were established in cities
    and towns
  • Temporarily established a pattern of
    Christianized urban centers and pagan rural areas

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54
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Scattered urban clusters of early Christianity
    were created by relocation diffusion
  • Missionaries moved from town to town bearing news
    of the emerging faith
  • Missionaries often used the technique of
    converting kings or tribal leaders
  • Some expansion was militaristic reconquest of
    Iberia, invasion of Latin America
  • Christianity spread farther by contagious
    diffusion, also called contact conversion

55
Malaysia
56
Diffusion of Christianity
  • This is St Marys Anglican Cathedral in a
    primarily Muslim nation. Constructed under
    British rule in 1894, it catered to English
    residents and missionized among the locals.
    Services are also in Tamil, a Dravdian language
    of southern India

57
Diffusion of Christianity
  • Tamils were brought to Malaya as indentured labor
    to work in mines and plantations during the
    colonial era. Many Hindu Tamils were of a low
    caste or even untouchables in India.
    Christianity, without proclaimed social
    divisions, was and remains attractive to
    downtrodden peoples.

58
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Islamic faith spread in a militaristic manner
  • Followed the command in the Koran
  • Arabs exploded westward across North Africa in a
    wave of religious and linguistic conquest
  • Turks, once converted, carried out similar
    Islamic conquests
  • Muslim missionaries followed trade routes
    eastward to implant Islam hierarchically in the
    Philippines, Indonesia, and interior China

59
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Tropical Africa is the current major area of
    Islamic expansion
  • Diffusion successes in Sub-Saharan Africa and
    high birthrates in the older sphere of dominance
    has made Islam the worlds fastest-growing
    religion

60
The lndus-Ganges Hearth
  • Second great religious hearth lies on the plains
    fringing the northern edge of the Indian
    subcontinent
  • Lowland, drained by the Ganges and Indus rivers
  • Gave birth to Hinduism and Buddhism

61
The lndus-Ganges Hearth
  • Hinduism is at least 4,000 years old
  • Originated in the Punjab, from where it diffused
    to dominate the subcontinent
  • Missionaries later carried the faith in its
    proselytic phase, to overseas areas
  • Most converted regions were subsequently lost

62
The lndus-Ganges Hearth
  • Buddhism began in the foothills bordering the
    Ganges Plain about 500 B.C.
  • For centuries remained confined to the Indian
    subcontinent
  • Missionaries later carried it to other countries
    and regions
  • China between 100 B.C. and A.D. 200
  • Korea and Japan between A.D. 300 and 500
  • Southeast Asia between A.D. 400 and 600
  • Tibet A.D. 700
  • Mongolia A.D. 1500
  • Developed many regional forms and died out in its
    area of origin

63
California
64
Diffusion of Buddhism
  • Buddhism arrived with Asian migrants in the early
    19th century and has become increasingly
    important with each subsequent immigrant group.
  • This is the Fo Kuang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in
    Hacienda Heights, an emerging Asian Suburban area
    near Los Angeles.

65
Diffusion of Buddhism
  • Hsi Lai means coming to the west. Replicating
    a Taiwan temple and practicing Pure Land
    Buddhism, this ten building complex trains both
    monks and nuns and offers an array of programs
    for Asians and non-Asians alike. The foreground
    Field of Merit represents rice paddies, recalling
    hard work and devotion.

66
Barriers and time-distance decay
  • Religious ideas weaken with distance from places
    of origin and time
  • Most religious barriers are permeable, but weaken
    and retard religious spread
  • Partial acceptance of Christianity by various
    Indian groups in Latin America and the western
    United States
  • Served as a camouflage under which many aspects
    of tribal religions survived
  • Permeable barriers are normally present in
    expansion diffusion

67
Barriers and time-distance decay
  • Most religions become modified by older local
    beliefs as they diffuse spatially
  • Absorbing barriers example of China
  • Christian missionaries to China expected to find
    fertile ground for conversion
  • Chinese had long settled the question of what is
    basic human nature
  • Believed humans were inherently good and evil
    desires represented merely a deviation from that
    state

68
Barriers and time-distance decay
  • Evil desires could be shrugged off and people
    would return to the basic nature they shared with
    heaven
  • Christian idea of original sin left the Chinese
    baffled
  • Chinese could not understand the concept of
    humankind being flawed or their impossibility to
    return to godhood
  • Many concepts of Christianity fell on rocky soil
    in China
  • In the early twentieth century some Chinese
    became Christians in exchange for the rice
    missionaries gave them

69
Barriers and time-distance decay
  • Religion can act as a barrier to the spread of
    nonreligious innovations
  • Religious taboos can function as absorbing
    barriers
  • Can prevent diffusion of foods and drinks
  • Mormons are forbidden to consume products
    containing caffeine
  • Some Pennsylvania Dutch churches prohibit
    cigarette smoking, but not the raising of tobacco
    by member farmers for commercial markets
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