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INTRODUCTION TO WORLD

RELIGIONS AND BELIEF


SYSTEMS
Jose Ramil E. Enteria
Speaker/Facilitator

OBJECTIVES:

After the sessions, the participants will be able


to:
know

and understand, in a general sense, the


different major world religions and belief systems

make

an outline of their plan for teaching World


Religions based on the curriculum guide

Let me begin by sharing you this story, (supposed


to ask for something but was given another.. an
analogy of my being the resource speaker instead
of anyone else (replacement lang))

Being human always points , and is directed to


something, or someone, other than oneself be it
a meaning to fulfill or another human being to
encounter. The more one forgets himself by
giving himself to a cause to serve or another
person to love the more human he is and the
more he actualizes himself.
- Viktor Frankl

COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF
RELIGIOUS WORLD VIEWS

Ways of dealing with peoples relationship to an


unseen & transcendent realm of existence,
usually inhabited by spirits, deities, demons &
ancestors
A set of myths or stories about this unseen world
& rituals to commune with or to appease it
A system of organized rituals celebrated in holy
persons & embodied in sacred texts

COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF
RELIGIOUS WORLD VIEWS

Statements about life beyond death either as


survival in some shadowy world of the dead, in
some version of heaven and hell, or through
reincarnation
A code of ethical behavior or moral order; and
Large following, either currently or at some time
in the past

SPIRITUALITY the human beings capacity


for self-transcendence in relation to the
Absolute, which involves a search for the
meaning & ultimate value of ones life
THEOLOGY is the formal, systematic attempt
to give a rational explanation of the beliefs and
practices of a religious institution & of the
religious experiences of its adherents

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION the


philosophical study of the nature & meaning of
religion, consists in analyzing religious concepts,
beliefs, & practices of religious adherents

one can be religious without being spiritual; or one


can be spiritual without being religious

GEOGRAPHICAL ORIGINS OF
WORLD RELIGIONS

Major world religions that we know today, have


roots in Asia, in particular India, East Asia & the
Middle East
INDIA Hindu Dharma/Hinduism, Buddhism
EAST ASIA Daoism/Taoism, Confucianism,
Shinto
MIDDLE EAST Judaism, Christianity Islam

RELIGION: CURSE OR BLESSING?

According to pychiatrist James L. Griffith, there


are 3 related purposes that religion serves:
1. Religion helps ensure group security
2. It helps build and strengthen the individual
sense of self as being worthy & competent
3. It helps reduce personal suffering for self &
others

RELIGION AS A CURSE

Religious adherents becoming morally blind


because of a misguided sense of religious group
loyalty
Example: The willingness of religious people to cover up
for and even defend the crimes of their supposedly
divinely-anointed officials

Fostering hatred toward those outside ones own


religious group, because moral contempt for
nonbelieving outsiders generates in-group
camaraderie through a sense of purpose & power

RELIGION AS A BLESSING

Encounters with the Sacred/Transcendent as


personal experiences that stimulate reflection,
creativity, and ethical behavior

Commitment to an ethic of compassion

Emotional postures of resilience

Emphasis on prioritizing the well-being of


individuals, whether onelself or others, over the
needs of a religious group

How do we judge whether the practice of religion


is a blessing or a curse?
The

practice of a religious faith should help make a


person become someone who is secure, grateful,
welcoming, caring (for others or of oneself), and
hopeful

Confusion,

helplessness, despair, detachment,


isolation, and resentment due to religious practice
are warning signs of an unhealthy & dysfunctional
spirituality

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS


(EXODUS 20: 2-17, NRSV)

2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the


land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
3you shall have no other gods before me.
4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the
form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on
the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the
earth.
5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I
the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children
for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth
generation of those who reject me,
6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth
generation of those who love me and keep my
commandments.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS


(EXODUS 20: 2-17, NRSV)

7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord
your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses
his name.
8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.
9Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you
shall not do any workyou, your son or your daughter, your
male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in
your towns.
11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore
the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may
be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS


(EXODUS 20: 2-17, NRSV)

13You shall not murder.


14You shall not commit adultery.
15You shall not steal.
16You shall not bear false witness against your
neighbor.
17You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you
shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or
female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that
belongs to your neighbor.

ORIGINS OF JUDAISM

Judaism traces its heritage to the divine


covenant made between Adonai and their
ancestor Abraham who migrated from
Mesopotamia nearly 4,000 years ago & ended up
settling in Canaan
Adonai promised Abraham a great name,
numerous descendants, & a land of their own
(Gen 12)

SACRED TEXTS OF JUDAISM

Torah

Genesis,

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Neviim

Former

Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings)


Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Twelve
Prophets)

Ketuvim

Psalm,

Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth,


Lamentations, Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel,
Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles

STORY OF SAMSON (JUDGES 16)


1Once Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and
went in to her.
2 The Gazites were told, "Samson has come here." So they circled
around and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They
kept quiet all night, thinking, "Let us wait until the light of the
morning; then we will kill him."
3But Samson lay only until midnight. Then at midnight he rose
up, took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts,
pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and
carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.
4After this he fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek,
whose name was Delilah.
5The lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, "Coax
him, and find out what makes his strength so great, and how we
may overpower him, so that we may bind him in order to subdue
him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."

STORY OF SAMSON (JUDGES 16)


6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me what makes
your strength so great, and how you could be bound, so that
one could subdue you."
7Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh
bowstrings that are not dried out, then I shall become weak,
and be like anyone else."
8Then the lords of the Philistines brought her seven fresh
bowstrings that had not dried out, and she bound him with
them.
9While men were lying in wait in an inner chamber, she said
to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he
snapped the bowstrings, as a strand of fiber snaps when it
touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.
10Then Delilah said to Samson, "You have mocked me and
told me lies; please tell me how you could be bound."

STORY OF SAMSON (JUDGES 16)

11He said to her, "If they bind me with new ropes that have not
been used, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else."
12So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to
him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" (The men lying in wait
were in an inner chamber.) But he snapped the ropes off his arms
like a thread.
13Then Delilah said to Samson, "Until now you have mocked me
and told me lies; tell me how you could be bound." He said to her, "If
you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and make it tight
with the pin, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else."
14So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and
wove them into the web, and made them tight with the pin. Then she
said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke
from his sleep, and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.
15Then she said to him, "How can you say, "I love you,' when your
heart is not with me? You have mocked me three times now and have
not told me what makes your strength so great."

STORY OF SAMSON (JUDGES 16)

16Finally, after she had nagged him with her words day after day,
and pestered him, he was tired to death.
17So he told her his whole secret, and said to her, "A razor has
never come upon my head; for I have been a nazirite to God from my
mother's womb. If my head were shaved, then my strength would
leave me; I would become weak, and be like anyone else."
18When Delilah realized that he had told her his whole secret, she
sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "This time come
up, for he has told his whole secret to me." Then the lords of the
Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands.
19She let him fall asleep on her lap; and she called a man, and had
him shave off the seven locks of his head. He began to weaken, and
his strength left him.
20Then she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" When he
awoke from his sleep, he thought, "I will go out as at other times,
and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had left
him.

STORY OF SAMSON (JUDGES 16)

21So the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They
brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles; and
he ground at the mill in the prison.
22But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been
shaved.
23Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice
to their god Dagon, and to rejoice; for they said, "Our god has given
Samson our enemy into our hand."
24When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said,
"Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our
country, who has killed many of us."
25And when their hearts were merry, they said, "Call Samson, and
let him entertain us." So they called Samson out of the prison, and he
performed for them. They made him stand between the pillars;
26and Samson said to the attendant who held him by the hand, "Let
me feel the pillars on which the house rests, so that I may lean
against them."

STORY OF SAMSON (JUDGES 16)

27Now the house was full of men and women; all the lords of the
Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about three
thousand men and women, who looked on while Samson performed.
28Then Samson called to the Lord and said, "Lord God, remember
me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one
act of revenge I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes."
29And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house
rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the
one and his left hand on the other.
30Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." He strained
with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people
who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those
he had killed during his life.
31Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and
brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the
tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel twenty years.

A HINDU STORY OF CREATION


HYMN XC. Purua.
1.

A THOUSAND heads hath Purua, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet.


On every side pervading earth he fills a space ten fingers wide.
2 This Purua is all that yet hath been and all that is to be;
The Lord of Immortality which waxes greater still by food.
3 So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Purua.
All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.
4 With three-fourths Purua went up: one-fourth of him again was here.
Thence he strode out to every side over what cats not and what cats.
5 From him Virj was born; again Purua from Virj was born.
As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward oer the earth.

A HINDU STORY OF CREATION

6 When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Purua as their offering,


Its oil was spring, the holy gift was autumn; summer was the wood.
7 They balmed as victim on the grass Purua born in earliest time.
With him the Deities and all Sdhyas and is sacrificed.
8 From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered
up.
He formed the creatures of-the air, and animals both wild and tame.
9 From that great general sacrifice cas and Sma-hymns were
born:
Therefrom were spells and charms produced; the Yajus had its birth
from it.
10 From it were horses born, from it all cattle with two rows of
teeth:
From it were generated kine, from it the goats and sheep were born.
11 When they divided Purua how many portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs
and feet?

A HINDU STORY OF CREATION

12 The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rjanya
made.
His thighs became the Vaiya, from his feet the dra was produced.
13 The Moon was gendered from his mind, and from his eye the Sun
had birth;
Indra and Agni from his mouth were born, and Vyu from his breath.
14 Forth from his navel came mid-air the sky was fashioned from his
head
Earth from his feet, and from his car the regions. Thus they formed
the worlds.
15 Seven fencing-sticks had he, thrice seven layers of fuel were
prepared,
When the Gods, offering sacrifice, bound, as their victim, Purua.
16 Gods, sacrificing, sacrificed the victim these were the earliest holy
ordinances.
The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven, there where the
Sdhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling.

MAJOR DIVISIONS IN JUDAISM

Orthodox Judaism modern but dogmatic


expression of Judaism, which believes that Torah
in both its written and oral forms the Tanakh &
Talmud were received directly from God &
consequently permits no modification
Conservative Judaism it seeks to integrate
the best of tradition with the best of modernity &
believes that integrating the Jewish tradition
with our own contemporary culture is the best
way to create a vibrant & meaningful form of
Judaism for ourselves & our descendants

MAJOR DIVISIONS IN JUDAISM

Reform Judaism more accommodating &


holds that Judaism & its tradition should be
updated & made compatible with contemporary
culture.
first

to permit the use of vernacular language in


worship & the ordination of women as rabbis

assert

that Jewish law may be outdated & needs to


undergo critical evaluation & renewal

JEWISH COMMUNITY

The Synagogue served as a house of prayer, of


study, and of the people
The Torah was to be read regularly to the
people, explained, interpreted, & studied w/c
demanded teachers rather than priests
Most Jewish congregation today are led &
ministered to by an ordained rabbi, a religious
professional who is more a teacher than a priest.

ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY

Christianity traces its origins from Jesus of


Nazareth (Jesus means Adonai is salvation)
Started as a Jewish sect, later on followers were
called Christians (Acts 11:26)

MAJOR DIVISIONS IN CHRISTIANITY

Roman Catholicism broadly refers to a


certain variety of Christian communities led by
bishops who believe themselves to be in
continuity w/ the original universal church
founded by the apostles chosen by Jesus
Eastern Orthodoxy othodox, conforming to
the Christian tradition of belief and practice as
presented in the creeds of the primitive Church
Protestantism popularly understood as one
protesting against the errors of the RCC

SACRED TEXTS

Bible Old Testament & New Testament


The Christian Sacred Scriptures is a combination
of the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures (from
Judaism) & New Testament

ORIGINS OF ISLAM

Islam traces its origins from Muhammad (worthy


of praise) who was born around the year 570 C.E.
into the clan of Hashim of the Quraysh tribe
Muhammad was visited by an angel (Gabriel)
Frequently received divine revelations, & would
memorize the messages from Allah, which later
on, would be written by his companions on leaves,
stones, bones, or parchments later on became
the Quran

SACRED TEXTS OF ISLAM

Quran divided in 114 portions called surahs,


arranged in descending order of length
Surahs contain approximately 6,000 verses called
ayat

MAJOR DIVISIONS OF ISLAM

Sunni custom/tradition of the prophet


Muhammad as recorded in the collections of
ahadith
they

are committed to following the Quran & the


ahadith
this tradition highlights the role of Islam in politics;
sharia (Islamic law) as a standard for a broad range
of social issues, such as business, marriage, divorce,
inheritance, & others

Shia the Muslims who supported Ali ibn


AbiTalib

MUSLIM UNDERSTANDING OF GOD

They call their God Allah one diety who is


complete, eternal, undivided, and unchanging
Allah created the universe out of nothing,
sustains it, & will judge it.
Human beings the summit of creation, created
by Allah to obey & serve him
Allah has 99 names, e.g., Al-Malik the king

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