HRT3M – Grade 11 World Religions – Exam Notes
Notes for Unit Test on Introduction and Aboriginals/Aborigines
The Golden Rule:
“We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.” – Chief Dan George (Native Spirituality)
Faith and Religion:
Faith and religion are like a cup of coffee – the two need each other. Without the cup, the coffee has nowhere to go. On the other hand, a cup may be very solid and functional, but without the coffee it serves no purpose.
Faith is the contents of the cup. It is what one puts into their religion. For example, it is your beliefs, feelings, trust and hopes. Religion is the cup. It is what one puts their faith into. What one does with their faith – acts of charity, worship, promoting social justice, being part of a community – that is religion.
The Parable of the Elephant:
An elephant was placed in a darkened room. The five wise persons were blindfolded and led into the room. They were told that God was in the room, and they were asked to report back the nature of God. The first blind man was a lumberjack. He felt the elephant’s legs. He reported that God was like a tree. The other person was a snake charmer. She felt the trunk and said that God was like a snake. The third person was a pest exterminator. She felt the elephant’s tiny tail. She said that God was like a rat. The fourth person was a builder. She felt the elephant’s huge side. She said that God was a house. The final person was a soldier. He felt the tusks of the elephant. He said that God was a spear.
- I do not think the wise persons were wrong. Each person made assumptions based on what they were confident in, and in this case, their careers. Perceptions are based on what one thinks on a subject, otherwise known as opinions.
- I believe that each wise person was telling the truth about what they believed God was. As I stated before, truth is perception of reality. There wise people made their decision on who God was based on what they knew best – what they did for a living.
- This story teaches us that truth is relevant to what you believe. It also depends on what your perception is of something. In this case, that something is God. truth is one’s perception of reality, and it cannot be defined or expressed by right or wrong.
- The difference between reality and perception is that reality is what is right before you. It is tangible, what you can see. perception, however, is what tone believes they see or understand.
- The worldviews of each person affected their reports on who God was because what they had condemned/chosen to do in life made them create an image of what they believed/ felt God was.
- Other things that affect our perception of reality include the opinions of other people. In a society that conforming to the norm is a trend, finding oneself is an anomaly.
- The point of this story is that everyone has their own perception of God. It does not matter if people around you believe a certain thing. What truly matters is your own perception; beliefs
Religious Pluralism: the coexistence of many religions in a society
Tolerance: an attitude that recognizes the rights of others to think, live or worship according to their own beliefs, and not to be afraid to speak out when the beliefs of another bring about injustice
Religious Dialogue: and interaction, mostly through conversation, with another whose thoughts, life and worship are different. Dialogue goes beyond tolerance because it is an intentional and open reaction with another founded on an attitude of respect. Each party values the others’ ideas and appreciates that the other party is also on a journey of faith.
Secularism: actively opposing religion. The development of science rejected all previous authorities and based itself only on what it could prove on its own terms. It sought to explain the world of nature in terms of mathematical laws.
The Enlightenment (17th and 18th century): a time when many thinkers began to seriously examine all aspects of human society. many now believed that religious world views could be filled with superstition and be used to prevent freedom and progress.
Fundamentalists: they seek to reject the notion that religion should accommodate modern ways of thinking and understanding in any way. They believe in authority and prescribe a rigid adherence to religious doctrine for its own sake.
How Catholics View Other Religions:
- God’s salvation is offered to all people.
- all humans are images of the same God
- salvation comes as a gift from God that is offered to all
- ultimate happiness in God unites everyone in a deep and powerful way, regardless of their religion
- universal quest for meaning: all people are looking for God and all religions are in search of God
- Jesus Christ is present in other religions.
- the Church believes that God wants everyone to be saved, including those who are not Christians
- all authentic religions contain “rays” of Christ or “seeds” of the Word in other religions, even though other religions do not see Christ
- speaking openly about jesus may show where there are points of similarity and unity between Christianity and other religions
- Holy Spirit is at work in other religions.
- the mission of the Spirit is to complete the work of Jesus and lead people to Christ and to the full truth
- Catholics believe the Holy Spirit works within each person
- What the Holy Spirit does in other religions will not contradict what it flourishes in the Church
- the Church recognizes there is much that is good, true and holy in other religions
- Catholics believe they may come to a fuller truth about Jesus by listening to the workings of God in all religions
4. Dialogue is part of the Church’s mission.
- it is the Church’s mission to listen to what other religions have to say and discern what is of God and what is not of God
- the Church accepts that God is found in prayers, practices, insights and traditions of other religions
- if the Church fails to be receptive of other religions, it may be failing in its mission to proclaim Christ
What is a worldview?:
A worldview is the way one perceives the world. It is the way we make sense of, and explain, our objective reality. This perception, or interpretation, of worldview is determined by our past experiences and our present environment. When we encounter a worldview different from our own ,we should seek to understand it, instead of judge it.
Human beings are constantly seeking to understand the world. As we interpret reality, we depend on our worldviews. In a sense, our worldviews give us perspective on the world. As such they can enhance our observation of reality, or can limit our ability to interpret reality.
Personal worldviews: an individual’s past experience and knowledge informs how they interpret situations today.
Communal worldviews: a group or person in a group interprets reality from a unique perspective. *This can be familial, ethno-cultural, religious, etc.
1. Cosmocentric: World or Nature Created:
a. Nature expresses the divine and is full of the spirit of the sacred. People are part of the web of nature and must honor it.
2. Theocentric: God Centered:
a. God is the source and center of all life. All meaning comes from our relationship with God. The purpose of life is to discover the path that leads to union with God.
3. Anthropocentric: Human Centered:
a. Humans are the center of the universe. Individual humans and communities are of the utmost importance. Human dignity and worth are most important. This takes three forms in our society:
- Christian Humanism: Humans are central because their dignity is God- given. We are created in God’s image.
- Scientific Humanism: Science is humanity’s greatest achievement; all truth is subject to scientific proof.
- Secular Humanism: Humans are of utmost importance because of our rationality. We think, and we have rights. It is reasonable for us to treat each other with respect. We are to live the best we can as long as we don’t hurt anyone.
Ninian Smart’s Sociological Model of Religion:
According to Ninian Smart’s theory, all world religions have following elements that come into being due to our need to explain mystery.
1. Encounter with the Divine
a. All religions having an experience with the divine. The “divine” is that which gives meaning to our existence. Someone has an experience with a greater reality which transforms that person and our understanding for reality. This person is the founder. Example: the disciples that follow Jesus.
a. The encounter with the divine is remembered and retold, first in story form and then in writing. An attempt is made to communicate the experience. Sacred books (scriptures) tell the story of the founder’s religious experience. Example: the disciples tell others about Jesus. These stories later become written down in the Bible.
3. Rituals (Cult)
a. Attempts are made to recreate the encounter with the divine using ceremonies and celebrations. Example: for Catholics, the Mass is an attempt to recreate the experiences of Jesus such as the Last Supper.
a. People come together who share a common vision of the world based on their understanding of the divine. In most religions, branches or splits occur in the community as a result of variation in experiences and beliefs. Example: Church.
a. Members of the community share a common set of values, which are rooted in the experience of the divine. These values determine right and wrong. Example: the Ten Commandments.
6. Beliefs (Creed)
a. The community shares a common vision of what the world could be like based on the encounter with the divine. Example: the Apostle’s Creed
Review of: Science and Faith – Conflict or Complement?
According to the author, there appears to be conflict between science and faith because one mistakenly thinks both science and faith provide answers to the same questions. The first three chapters of genesis may provide answers to questions like how humans are related to God or how humans are to care for creation. however, the text does not provide an account on how the world was formed or how life arose on the planet. The Bible does not try to explain the normal operations of natural things, and the evolutionist is not trying to explain the ultimate cause of the universe. If one confuses their different areas, one might think science and faith are in conflict.
Aboriginal Spirituality Vocabulary:
Elders: Aboriginal men/women who are recognized, respected and consulted for their wisdom, experience, knowledge, background, and insight. An elder is not necessarily one of the oldest members of the community
Indigenous: refers to native, original or earliest known inhabitants of a region Assimilate: to absorb one group into the culture of another
Shaman: an Aboriginal spiritual leader
Kateri Tekakwitha: was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul the II; the first Aboriginal person
to be declared blessed
The Great Spirit: inhabits all things, often addressed as the Creator
Trickster: often credited with giving Earth the form it has today, can be both mean/generous The Medicine Wheel: the circle represents the continuous cycle of life and the connection
among all species
Time: is considered to be circular – divided into four seasons
Drum: sacred object of varying size, type and purpose and is used in ceremonies. Represents the heartbeat of the nation/Mother Nature; the pulse of the universe. Heart and drum share the same purpose/responsibility: providing life through their beats
Circles: encampments and meetings are circular, they mirror the universe. The circle is sacred. Aboriginal peoples see the circle everywhere
Hair: long, uncut and braided hair worn by Aboriginal people is often a spiritual or cultural statement about belonging to a particular First Nation
The term “Aboriginal peoples” is broad and includes First Nations, inuit, and Metis.
The History of Aboriginal Spirituality:
- – Spirituality is deeply connected to physical environment; life is seen as interconnected.
- – Shows a deep sense that all that exists is alive
- – History has been passed down orally and through archaeological findings
- – Despite diversity, Aboriginal peoples share a lot of the same worldviews of indigenous peoples everywhere in the world
European Contact and Aboriginal Spiritual Traditions
- – Many Europeans considered their own ways “civilized” and Aboriginal ways “uncivilized”
- – Aboriginal peoples were expected to give up their ways
- – Reserves were created and land was set aside for specific First Nations peoples to use
- – In 1876, the Indian Act allowed the federal government to set up residential schools for children, run by Christian denominations
- – In 1895, all Aboriginal ceremonies, dances and festivals were banned
- – Many banned Aboriginal ceremonies continued in private, and the ban was officially lifted in 1951
- – The territory of Nunavut was created in 1999
- – Aboriginal Spirituality has become recognized as an official religion; the eagle feather can now be used in the provincial justice system instead of a Bible
- – Residential schools were closed after the public became aware of the cultural, physical and sexual abuse that occurred there
- – They are reviving Aboriginal spiritual traditions and practices
- – Many Aboriginal Canadians who are Christians are struggling with the question of whether they can be true to both religions
- – The universe is a complex assembly of powers or spirits – small and great, beneficial and dangerous. Thus, everything is filled with spiritual power
- – Being attentive to the physical environment helps people to see the power in the environment
- – Humans do not control these forces. Instead, they must ally themselves to these powers to keep harmony between the different forces
- – Aboriginal peoples believe all power comes from a common origin, so the same energy inhabits all things
– Prayer is important: God is the Creator; praying recognizes God’s greatness and expresses thanks for the creator’s gifts
The Great Spirit
- – The Great Spirit inhabits all things
- – Most Aboriginal peoples believe the spirit is fluid, and that it is there at specific moments
- – It is often addressed as the Creator, who appears to be a highest God who is one
- – The Spirit reveals itself in many ways in nature; these are ‘the spirits’: In vision quests, they encounter these powers when they find their spirit helpers. Like angels, spirits become guardians of the person’s spirit life
Spiritual Teachings – the Medicine Wheel
- – The circle represents the continuous cycles of life and connection among all species
- – The powers of the four directions organize everything: seasons, elements of the universe, stages of life, etc
- – Elders use the wheel to teach young people about who they are, where they come from, their place in the world, and how they are related to each other and to everything else
Time, Shelter, Drums and Circles
- – The circular symbolism of the cosmos is everywhere: Time is circular and divided into four seasons
- – Camps are generally circular, meetings are held in a circle, traditional shelters are circular
- – Drums are sacred objects of different sizes, types and purposes, and are used in ceremonies: They represent the heartbeat of the nation and of Mother Earth
- – Heart and drum share the same purposes and responsibility – to provide life through its beat
- – The circle is sacred: Dancing intended for the renewal of all creation is done in a circle. The sacred pipe is passed in a circular motion. Aboriginal peoples see the circle everywhere because they see the powers of the universe operating as a circle
– These principles guide the lives of many Aboriginal peoples:
- Do not interfere: modeling behaviour and showing by example are valued: ordering, giving advice, or telling someone what to do is not valued
- Community is important: the members are expected to do their jobs well for the community
- Everything is shared: one takes only what one needs from the environment to survive. Everyone is equal and not to be left out
Native Creation Stories
Haida: We learn from this oral tradition that the Haida believe in a world that lives above them, an earth world in the middle, and a world below the earth. The story also tells us that the trees and land are sacred to the Haida. The Raven is also sacred. he is a trickster who is greedy and mischievous but who also teaches humans how to live a good life. The Raven has supernatural powers and uses them to obtain important things for humans. He stole the sun, moon and stars for humans, as well as giving them fresh water, salmon and fire. When the Haida look at their country, they understand the story of Raven. HIs creation is all around them.
Iroquois Creation Story
Long before the Earth was created, there was only one island in the sky, where the sky people lived. Everyone lived happily because no one died or gave birth. One day a sky woman realized she was going to have twins. The husband ran to a trees that supplied light to the whole sky, where he tore a hole, and as soon as the sky woman peeked through, the husband pushed her through. Birds saw the woman fall and carried her to the rest of the animals. The animals helped her create land out of mud. Later, the sky woman sprinkled dust into the air. The stars, moon and sun were created. She gave birth and named one Sapling, who was good, and Flint, who was evil. He destroyed Sapling’s creations (rivers, plants, etc) by making rivers that flowed one way, plants with thorns, winter, etc. Spaling got angry and fought with Flint. Flint was defeated by the good brother Sapling and was forced to live on a turtle’s back, where his anger created volcanoes.
Blackfoot Creation Story
The Blackfoot tribe’s myth begins with the creation of the earth. The Old Man is sitting atop the highest mountain and with him are all of the animals. The people above sent a flood because an Indian child had torn apart a woman’s baby and a star. The Old Man sent many animals down
into the water to get some earth. All the animals drowned except the Duck. In his paw was earth. The Old Man then put the earth into the water four times, on the fourth time, he let it drop and the above-people sent rain to fertilize the land. Everything started to grow. When the earth was made, the Old Man took the water and mixed it with many colors. Whistling into the water, the people of the earth came forth. To one man of each color, the Old Man gave the corresponding cups of water and told them they were to be chiefs over their people. Though they all spoke different languages, Old Man gave them black water, which they all drank in order to speak the same language.
Aborigines of Australia
Sacred and Profane
Among the Aboriginals, we find distinction between the sacred and profane. Sacred: holy, totally other, separate
Profane: everyday, ordinary, mundane
- – World was originally formless. Supernatural beings called Ancestors rose out of the land and roamed the Earth
- – Ancestors created various forms of life and shaped the landscape. They connected certain groups of people with particular areas and languages
- – When the Ancestors finished and departed from the earth, they left behind symbol of their presence in the form of natural landmarks, rock paintings, etc.
- – These symbols are believed to have sacred power
- – Have great religious significance
- – Are to be approached only by certain individuals and in a special way
- – The mythical period of the Ancestors is called the Dreaming
- – The Ancestors continue to control the natural world, but their willingness to release the powers of fertility depends upon people continuing to perform certain rituals
– When an Aboriginal man performs a ritual, he will emulate the behaviour of an ancestor or deity as depicted in their myths. THrough reenacting the mythic past of the Dreaming they are able to tap into their sacred powers.
Ritual and the Axis Mundi
- – The axle of the world
- – Holds all parts of creation together including heaven, earth and underworld
- – It is a sacred place, often represented by a tree, mountain, pole or sunbeam
- – This concept can be found in many indigenous teachings.
- – To awake a young person to his/her spiritual identity and redefine their place within the tribe
- – Each Aborigine is believed to be a living representation of an Ancestor. This relationship is symbolized by a Totem
- – The Totem is the natural form in which the Ancestor appeared in the Dreaming.
- – Totem may be in the form of an animal, plant, rock formation, etc.
Notes for Unit Test on Hinduism
Introduction to HInduism:
Hinduism is an umbrella term for many different sects in India. It is the oldest of the world religions (over 5000 years old) and the mother religion of BUddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Hinduism originated in the Indus River Valley in what is now modern day Pakistan. There are over 700 million Hindus; 90% live in India. Approximately 300,000 HIndus live in Canada.
Comparison to Other Religions:
Hinduism does not have:
- ● one single founder
- ● specific theological system of beliefs
- ● single holy text
- ● central religious authority
- ● concept of a prophet
Hinduism is like an all encompassing way of life. Because there is no central ecclesiastical authority, the Hindu stance on most controversial issues can be summarized as follows:
“Cause no injury to others and let dharma – the law of good conduct and harmony with the universe and its many forces and creatures – be the final guide for all such explorations. It is a sin to tinker with God’s work.” – the Gita
Monism: the belief that all reality is one with Brahman (God)
- ● all things material and immaterial express themselves as a single reality: Brahman
- ● only Brahman is real, all else is maya (illusion)
- ● people are temporary forms of Brahman
- ● when individuals are liberated from the cycle of samsara; soul returns to Brahman
In Hinduism, over 350 million gods are worshipped but each of these are believed to be manifestations of a single God, Brahman. Because it is too hard to understand or relate to the ultimate Brahman, Hindus worship many gods, which are all considered to be part of Brahman
Key Terms and Concepts:
Maya: illusion that Brahman is separate from the rest of reality; liberation from maya comes from “right thinking”
Karma: every thought, word, action will influence whether one achieves liberation or will repeat the cycle of birth and death.
Samsara: cycle of reincarnation
Moksha: release from the cycle of rebirths, the ultimate goal; achieved through awareness: “Knowing all, he becomes All: by knowing God, man is free from all bonds.” The return of Atman (self/soul) to God
Dharma: religious duty – action performed out of a sense of one’s duty with no thought of selfish gain; leads to spiritual fulfillment
Puja: Hindu worship ceremony. Worshippers take off their shoes; presence of the murti is summoned when a bell is rung , incense is burned and lamps lit. The murti and is washed and redecorated. A red paste is placed on the foreheads of the murti and worshippers. Offerings are also made (fruit, light, flowers and sweets)
Deities: images of God in many forms
Vedas: early sacred scriptures
Sanskrit: language of ancient India
Upanishads: sacred scriptures; final dialogues ending the Vedas
Murti: images of a Hindu deity
Mandir: Hindu temple
Brahman: supreme cosmic force
Caste System: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisya, Shudras, Dalits (untouchables)
Ramayana: HIndu epic about Prince Rama
Bhagavad-Gita: sacred Hindu story about Prince Arjuna and Krishna
Avatar: deity who has descended into the world in earthly form
Yoga: Hindu path to liberation
Ahimsa: principle of nonviolence
Ascetic: someone who practices secure self-discipline or abstains from physical pleasures for religious purposes
Guru: wise teacher
Namaste: “I bow respectfully to you.”
Brahma: creator of the universe
Vishnu: preserver, often descends into the world in human form Shiva: both the destroyer and the redeemer (complex deity) Iconography: how God, deity, or saint is shown in art
Saraswati: Goddess of the arts
Lakshmi: Goddess of prosperity
Ganesha: remover of obstacles
Parvati: kind; gentle
Durga: a warrior goddess
Kali: Goddess of destruction and change
Aum: visual symbol and society
Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi: Father of India for his role in the Indian independence movement
Yoga and the Path to Salvation
Samsara = the cycle of reincarnation. Each soul moves to a new form (higher or lower) after death. One’s reincarnation is determined by the karma built up in life. Karma determines the dharma (duties) one must perform in the new life. Once one achieves moksha (liberation from samsara). they become one with Brahman.
“If you follow your dharma, you will have good karma.”
Three Paths to Salvation (Achieving Moksha) 1. Jhanna/Raja Yoga – Path of Knowledge
- ● “Enlightenment” through deep meditation (joining the mood, body and spirit) i. physical meditation – physical exercises with controlled breathing
ii. mental meditation – concentration on certain images (mandalas) or specific sounds (mantras, OM (aum))
- ● The result is for the mind to reach total concentration to the point where there is total control over the body/mind.
2. Bhakti Yoga – Path of Devotion
● Salvation is attained by giving total devotion or love (bhakti) to a particular god (usually Vishnu)
- ● The devotion involves rituals, prayer and offerings to God; in doing so the believer pleases God
- ● Bhakti is rooted in the great Hindu poems which describe the lives of heroes and heroines from mythological times
3. Karma Yoga – Path of Action
- ● Salvation is gained by fulfilling one’s duty to society followed by self discipline and self denial
- ● All work in life is dedicated to God and done as service to Brahman
- ● Achieving egolessness is the goal to achieving moksha
The Aryans, a powerful race, traveled through Europe and Asia, conquering whoever they encountered. When they descended from the Hindu Kush and the HImalayas into the Indus Valley, they brought with them a very different belief system and way of life. The Aryans were not agricultural people. The Aryans settled in the lush Indus valley and maintained their rituals. However, much of the INdus’ religions culture remained alive in villages and was adopted by the Aryans. From this mixture of beliefs and practices, Hinduism was born.
The Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita
The Vedas are considered the world’s oldest writings that originated before the Aryans migrated to the Indus Valley. They are the bedrock of the Hindu thought system. The four Vedas are the RIg-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, and Atharma-Veda. The oldest and most popular is the Rig-Veda. The variety of deities written about take on different personalities and names and are very much alive in everyday life. The Upanishads are the final part of the Vedas; intended to inspire and welcome anyone, regardless of status or caste. The fire rituals of the Aryan self- appointed Brahmins were replaced with deep internal searching because the fire of understanding burns within; metaphors for inner revelation.
Four Stages of Life
1. Student: (age 7-20) – religious education and a willingness to search for the truth
- Householder: (age 20-50) – duty of family, raising children, earning a living
- Semi-retired: (when family is self supporting) – retreat from worldly life, focus on
- Wandering ascetic: (when ready) – holy, detached life with no possessions or
Milestones – Naming a Baby, Sacred Thread, Marriage and Death
Naming a Baby:
- ● mother and baby are kept apart from others first ten days after birth
- ● naming ceremony takes place on the twelfth day (at home)
- ● traditional rules apply to:
● number of syllables ● caste
● modern Hindu naming practices are flexible, especially outside of India Sacred Thread
- ● In the Hindu religion in the upper caste, a boy of seven to twelve years of age may have an initiation ceremony
- ● Marks allegiance to his caste and to study of the Vedas
- ● Marks the death of childhood and birth of a responsible adult
- ● In the ceremony, the boy is introduced to his guru and a sacred thread is draped over his
shoulder and chest
- ● This boy is to wear this thread at all times to symbolize his responsibilities
- ● For Hindus, “In the West, you marry who you love. In India, you love who you marry.”
- ● Hindu society has a tradition of arranging marriages, especially in India. Those that
aren’t are called ‘love matches’
- ● The process of matching can be extensive, including newspaper ads, websites and
- ● According to traditional human beliefs, parents/others who arrange marriages:
- ● look out for the best interest of those involved
- ● have greater wisdom/insight to a successful marriage
- ● know their own children well
- ● consider qualities of character – similar/compatible background?
- ● consider practical matters – can the man provide a stable home?
- ● give the couple a say in what happens
- ● believe that love develops gradually after marriage
- ● In the Hindu religion, death is marked with families moving in a procession
- ● They move from the dead person’s home to the cremation grounds, carrying the corpse
on their shoulders
- ● The corpse is placed on the funeral pyre
- ● Mantras are recited and offerings are made to the deity of fire, who leads the dead to
- ● Later they scatter ashes on a river, preferably the Ganges, but many rivers are being
deemed acceptable around the world
- ● Hindu funeral practices have been modified because of modern society, but HIndu
families still try to follow traditional ways HIndu Triad
This is a group of three deities (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) who together symbolize the cycle of existence.
- ● Brahma is the creator of the universe. He is shown with four faces facing in the four directions of the compass to show that he is all seeing and all knowing; above worship
- ● Vishnu is the preserver, descends to Earth to maintain order and peace. He has appeared on Earth in 9 forms. The ninth was Buddha and the tenth is Kalkin. He is mostly dressed in yellow with blue skin
- ● Shive is the destroyer and the redeemer, the god of the cosmic dance. He destroys the cosmos with his violent dance so Brahma can recreate it
HIndu vs. Christian Notion of Happiness
First Level: Pleasure
First Level: Happiness in a Thing
Second Level: Worldly Success Wealth, fame and power. Political power, financial success, driven to work and achieve one’s goals. The happiness of being known and celebrated, the approval of others, a job well done, financial security, and faithful performance of one’s duty. Eventually you will tire and move on to something more permanent.
Second Level: Happiness of COmparative Advantage
Third Level: Life Devoted to Others
Third Level: Blessedness
Fourth Level: Moksha
Fourth Level: Sublime Blessedness
Sacred Texts and Karma
“Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased, but where women are not honoured, there no sacred rite yields good reward.” (Laws of Manu)
“He is forever free who has broken out of the ego-cage of I and mine.” (Bhagavad-Gita)
1. Explain the meaning of the sacred text using concepts from Hinduism.
In the sacred text of Hinduism, appeasing the gods cannot be possible if one does not honour women. The importance of heeding this statements responds to the idea of karma. If one is sexist, one will receive bad karma. If one treats everyone the same regardless of their gender, one will receive good karma. Good karma leads to moving up in samsara, the cycle of life, granting closeness to moksha, release from the cycle.
In Hinduism, everything is an illusion (maya). Being attached to a material object is a mistake, as the realization is that one needs to let go of all things in this world in order to get closer to moksha. “I” and “mine” are words that can destroy this endeavor.
1. How can you apply the wisdom of this text in your daily life?
One has to ensure the treatment of all to be equal. I cannot treat a woman differently from a man because of their differences. I cannot glorify a man above based on his talents.
I should not attach myself to material objects. I came into this world without anything, and that is the way I will leave. Material objects should not complete me or be the source of my happiness because everything fades away eventually.
Notes on Islam for Unit Test
Muslim: a believer in Islam
Allah: Arabic word for God; same God of Christians and Jews but genderless; revelation interpreted differently
Bedouin: nomadic/wandering tribesperson of the Arabian, Syria or North African descent
Qur’an/Koran: means “recitation/reading” in Arabic; book where Allah’s revelations to Muhammad are recorded
Hijra: Arabic word meaning migration
The Dome of the Rock: Islamic monument built in Jerusalem; oldest Islamic building where Muhammad is thought to have risen to heaven
Hajj: “pilgrimage”; a journey every Muslim is asked to make once in their lifetime if healthy and can afford it
The Plain of Arafat: site of Muhammad’s last sermon on justice and equality; passing through is part of the hajj
Shi’ite: Muslims who believe that their caliph should be the direct descendant of Muhammad; makeup majority of population in Iraq and Iran
Sunni: Muslims who believe that the caliph does not have to be descended from the Prophet; make up majority of world’s Muslim population
Mosque: place where Muslims gather for group worship
Imam: Muslim leader of prayer and giver of sermons in the mosque
Shahadah: Profession of faith
Salat: Ritual prayer; Muslims are required to say five times a day
Zakat: Muslim obligation to pay 2.5% of one’s wealth to the needy
Sawm: Fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan
Umma: the Muslim community
The Mosque of the Prophet: second holiest site in Islam; built where Muhammad built his home after he arrived from his migration from Mecca
Jihad: “struggle” or “strive”; struggle towards good, correcting injustices with armed forces if necessary
Sufi: Muslim who uses mysticism to gain a special understanding of Allah that goes beyond rational thought, can be Sunni or Shi’ite
Shariah: “a clear path to the oasis”; avoid moral dangers Hijab: “cover”; scarf that covers most or all of a woman’s hair Halal: “permissible”, usually refers to allowed foods
Khalifa: Qur’anic virtue; stewardship
Introduction to Islam:
● Fastest growing religion in the world
- ● Purely monotheistic: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet
- ● All creation is Muslim, Muhammad is not the founder
A Muslim is someone who believes in Islam; “submits to the will of God” Allah: “the God” (no plural/gender form)
- ● sacred scripture
- ● “recitation”
- ● centre of Islam: miracle revealed to an illiterate Muhammad
Muhammad is believed by Muslims to have restored the religion to the world; Muslims are not followers of Muhammad, but he is the messenger of God.
Classical Period of Islam
Caliphs are successors to Muhammad. They are spiritual and military leaders.
- ● Abu Bakr was the first to succeed Muhammad; compiled revelations into Qur’an
- ● Umar was his successor; first an enemy of Islam, but supervised expansion in Persia,
Damascus and Jerusalem
- ● Uthman was chosen as Umar’s successor; credited with publishing/distributing the
Qur’an; murdered after six years
- ● Next in line was Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law) was murdered in his attempt to avenge
Some refused to accept a new caliph who was not a direct descendant of Muhammad, others did accept a non-direct successor.
Beliefs in Islam:
● The Nature of Allah: Allah is the eternal, all powerful Creator, who has no sons or daughter, or anyone else with whom he shares power. He is absolute unity, and is all-
seeing, all-hearing and all-knowing. The lord of the worlds, Allah is unchanging,
invisible and present everywhere at all times.
- ● Angels: A belief in angels is essential to the acceptance of the manner in which Allah
revealed Himself to Muhammad, and to various other prophets before him. Gabriel is the chief angel. Shaitan is a fallen angel with jinns or demons as minions. The angel Michael is believed to have carried out Allah’s plans for the creation of the universe.
- ● The Inspired Books: Islam recognizes The Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David and the Gospels of Jesus as containing partial revelations of Allah’s will. The Qur’an however, represent the final and complete revelation, superseding all previous revelations, its message for all people.
- ● The Prophets: Islam is believed by Muslims to be the oldest religions in the world. It had existed since time began, revealed in stages by Allah, who used various prophets to make the truth known. Twenty-eight prophets are named in the Qur’an. They are separated based on who introduced new teachings, or reiterated what previous prophets had taught Muhammad was the last and greatest prophet, who the complete truth of Allah was revealed to.
- ● The Day of Judgement: The Day of Judgement has been vividly described in the Qur’an. It will be prefaced by signs and portents. Everyone will rise bodily from the grave, and will be affected by great heat and thirst until they are judged, using the record of their thoughts and deeds.
- ● Kismet: This is the concept of fate, that all happenings are predetermined; history is regarded as the unfolding of Allah’s great plan, under his control.
Five Pillars of Islam
The Five Pillars are the five obligations every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life.
1. Shahada: Confession of Faith
- There is no god except God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.
- These are the first words spoken in a baby’s ear, and the last words spoken at
The confession refers to two basic teachings of Islam: monotheism and the
uniqueness of Muhammad as a prophet. Prayer
All Muslims are required to pray five times a day.
Muslim prayer requires ritual washing of the hands and face, prostration in the direction of Mecca, and other ritual movements.
Usually the prayers are performed on a rug specifically designed for this purpose.
- Fasting takes place during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year.
- This period marks the time when Muhammad first received the divine message
- Each day throughout that month, from dawn until sunset, Muslims are to avoid
eating, drinking, smoking and sex.
- Islam uses a calendar based on the lunar year, therefore the date of Ramadan
changes every year.
- Fasting is also common for Christians during Lent, Holy Week and Good Friday.
- Zakat: Wealth Sharing
- Wealth sharing helps ensure the economic welfare of the entire Muslim
- Muslims contribute 2.5% annually of the value of their possessions to a public
- Poor people are exempt, they are the recipients of the shared wealth.
- Wealth sharing is considered a form of worship, providing benefits beyond the
economic advantages it offers the community.
- Along with the specific requirements of wealth sharing, Islam teaches that acts
of charity should be performed regularly
- Wealth sharing helps ensure the economic welfare of the entire Muslim
- Hajj: PIlgrimage
- Once in their lifetime, if they can afford it and are physically able, all Muslims are to journey to Mecca.
- The pilgrimage has great religious significance, for ALlah forgives the sins of those who make the journey with reverence.
2. Salat: a. b.
3. Sawm: Fasting
c. Any pilgrim who dies on the journey to or from Mecca is a martyr (witness to the faith) and enters paradise.
Seven Basic Beliefs: I believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messenger, in the Day of Judgement and that good and evil is ordained by Allah, and life after death.
There are 114 chapters in the Qur’an, all called surahs. All but one begin with the words: In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Each of the surahs come from Allah. They are not written in order, but organized in the order in which they were collected by Muhammad’s companions. Within twenty years after Muhammad’s death, the Qur’an existed as an entire book.
The teachings of the Qur’an guide every Muslim. They tell them how to live day by day as they submit themselves to Allah. They also explain how they can prepare themselves for the Day of Judgements. The Qur’an tells Muslims:
- ● To share their wealth and knowledge
- ● To treat all human beings with respect
- ● To look after widows, orphans and the sick
- ● Not to engage in any activities, such as drinking alcohol or taking drugs, which will
damage the mind.
Jesus was born miraculously by the Virgin Mary and over the course of his life, performed many miracles. The Qur’an denies that Jesus was the divinely appointed son of God. The Qur’an also does not support the belief that Jesus died on the cross. Instead, it holds the position that Jesus never died and ascended into heaven and will return to aid humanity again in the future.
Holds no formal view of Jesus.
Jesus is the Son of God and part of the Holy Trinity. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered persecution, was crucified and died, and rose again after three days. He ascended into heaven and will return to judge the living and the dead.
Muhammad is “The Seal of the Prophets,” the last of those who have come to convey the divine wisdom of God to humanity. As with every prophet he is afforded the highest spiritual prominence because he directly received the divine word of God. He instantly conveyed these Quranic revelations to all people. For Muslims, Muhammad is the last prophet, who completed the teachings of all the prophets who came before him. All the preceding prophets are regarded as “Muslims” in the sense that they are all taught: a) belief in one God and b) the importance of living a virtuous and moral life. These two fundamentals constitute “Islam” in the broadest sense of the word; submission to the will of God.
Holds no formal view of Muhammad.
Holds no formal view of Muhammad.
Notes for Unit Test on Buddhism
What does the term Buddha mean?
The term Buddha means the Awakened One
What is the emphasis of Buddhism?
The emphasis of Buddhism is the Middle Way, where all extremes are meant to be avoided. It also focuses on the internal self, rather than the external.
What are important questions Buddhism tries to address?
Important questions Buddhism tries to address include how to end the suffering of rebirths. Following the Eightfold Path can alleviate suffering.
Buddhism Vocabulary Terms:
Samanera: a novice monk
The Three Jewels: the concept of the Three Jewels is central to Buddhists and refers to the founder of BUddhism, to the Buddha’s teachings (dharma) and to the Buddhist community (sangha)
Enlightenment: state of perfect happiness and understanding; unconditional compassion for all beings
Nirvana: the end of personal suffering and the experience of unchanging peace
Ascetic: someone who practices severe self discipline or abstains from physical pleasures for religious purposes
Mandala: visual object, usually in the form of a circle, that can be used as an aid for focusing in meditation
Mantra: a word/phrase that is chanted as an aid to meditation Sangha: a Buddhist community
Puja: Buddhist worship; temple/shrine
Dharma: Buddha teaching
Wheel of Dharma: the eight spokes of the wheel, or Dharmachakra, represent the eight central teachings of buddhism:
- ● Right Thinking or Understanding
- ● Right Thought or Intention
- ● Right Speech
- ● Right Action/Behaviour
- ● Right LIving/LIvelihood
- ● Right Effort
- ● Right MIndfulness
- ● Right Meditation/Contemplation
accumulates merit; wholesome deeds and intentions can add to a person’s merit
idea that a person can be reborn in a form closer to enlightenment if he/she
Tripitakas (Three Basket): often called the First Buddhist Scriptures; Vinaya Pitaka = rules of conduct for monks/nuns; Sulta Pitaka = a large collections of the Buddha’s teachings; Abhidhamma Pitaka = explanations of the Buddhist view on laws of nature and the mind
Bodhisattvas: people who have achieved enlightenment but have chosen to stay on the plane of existence, suffering, death and rebirth; teach and heal others on their journey
Lotus Sutra: worth scriptures
Jakarta: humorous/instructional stories taught by Mahayana Buddhists Dalai Lama: spiritual and political leader of the exiled Tibetans
Ankka (impermanence): the belief that nothing is permanent
Dukkha (suffering): all life involves suffering; ie physical
Anatta (not self): no permanent identity/existence
Questions from the Little Buddha:
“If the string is too tight, it will break; if it is too loose, it will not play.”
The extremes of asceticism or pleasure were against what the Buddha taught. The Middle Way was the ability to walk the line and overcome suffering. If the string (meaning life) was too tight, then one would be causing themselves pain and suffering would be self-inflicted. If the string was too loose, then one would not be exerting any restraint whatsoever.
The sand mandala made by the monks in Bhutan.
The sand mandala is made to remind the monks of the impermanence of the illusion of things. Once it is completed, it is wiped away with one movement. The impermanence of all beings is shown, as the mandala takes time and effort to complete, yet destroyed so quickly.
What event changed Siddhartha Gautama?
He heard a woman singing a haunting song about her homeland, which was very far away. He decides that he doesn’t want to block the world out, that he wants to see what it has to offer for himself.
When Siddhartha left the palace, what three things did he see?
Siddhartha saw old men. He also saw sick people waiting to die. He saw a wandering ascetic without any possessions. The last thing he saw was a dead body being prepared for cremation. He learned of suffering and discovered compassion.
Which candidate is revealed to be the incarnation of Lama Dorje? How does Lama Norbu explain the situation to the children?
All three children (Raj, Gita and Jesse) were revealed to be the incarnation of Lama Dorje. One was the body, one was the mind and one was the speech.
The Life of Siddhartha Gautama
Siddhartha’s father feared that if the gifted boy saw the suffering in the world, he would be moved by the compassion and so would choose to save rather than to rule. So his father took pains to shield him from all the world’s pain and suffering.
His father built glorious palaces filled with every delight imaginable, from chariots to dancing girls. At age 16, Siddhartha married princess Yasodhara and they had a son named Rahula. At age 19, Siddhartha has his charioteer take him beyond where his father permitted. On these travels, Siddhartha saw things that his father had tried to shield from him.
The Middle Way
Siddhartha realized that neither the extremes of pleasures of sensual indulgences and self- denial of asceticism had brought him true happiness or escape from suffering. Siddhartha abandoned the traditional, ascetic methods, strengthened his body and vowed to meditate until he achieved enlightenment. Sitting beneath a fig tree, in the lotus position, he resolved never to leave the spot until he had found complete and perfect fulfillment. The Middle Way: all extremes are to be avoided, everything in moderation.
The Three Watches
Siddhartha overcame the distractions of fear and passion and started to turn his focus inward and entered a deep meditation in order to find the true nature of the human condition.
During the First Watch (from evening until midnight), he perceived his own previous lifetimes.
During the Second Watch (from midnight until four in the morning) he acquired the divine eye, the ability to perceive the deaths/rebirths of all living things.
During the Third Watch, he discovered the four Noble truths and won salvation.
The Three Jewels of Buddhism
The Three Jewels of Buddhism are vows that a Buddhist takes:
- I take refuge in the Buddha.
a. seek the meaning of life in the path of the enlightenment taught by the Buddha
- I take refuge in the Dharma.
a. follow the path of the Buddha by following the eightfold path
- I take refuge in the Sangha.
a. join the community of those who accept the rule of the Dharma
The Three Marks of Existence
- Buddha taught that there is no self (anatta)
- Buddha taught about the impermanence of things (anicca)
- Buddha taught about suffering (dukkha)
Nirvana is a state of being, it is not a place. It can be attained in this life and is complete at the time of death. The Buddha taught that if the human soul is purely God, then there is no such thing as the individual self. Therefore, the desire to be an individual self, and selfish desires, is desiring something false. It is our desire for something that is false which causes suffering. When one stops desiring the false self, he/she will achieve Nirvana. Achieving Nirvana means one becomes enlightened to the fact that the self is false and one then extinguishes the desire for the self. To achieve Nirvana, one must follow the Eightfold Path. One who attains nirvana becomes a saint/arhat. Nirvana cannot be understood until experienced.
The Ten Precepts
- Do not take life.
- Do not take what is not given.
- Do not engage in sensual misconduct.
- Do not use false speech.
- Do not drink intoxicants.
- Do not eat after noon.
- Do not watch dancing or shows.
- Do not use garlands, perfumes or ornaments.
- Do not use a high or soft bed.
- Do not accept gold or silver.
Four Noble Truths
- To live is to suffer – Dukkha: Life consists of suffering. It is our attachment to pleasant things that sets us up to suffer when we are separated from them.
- Suffering is caused by desire – Tanha: Suffering is caused by our selfish desires and believing that the self is real.
- Suffering can be extinguished with enlightenment: The way to end our suffering is to end our desires and stop believing that our individual self is real.
- The solution to suffering is the Eightfold Path: The Path offers release from samsara. The key is to discover that there is nothing permanent to hold on to.
The Eightfold Path
a. Right Views/Understanding: to believe that the Four Noble Truths and the
Eightfold Path are true. One must understand that life involves suffering and the
self is an illusion
b. Right Intentions/Thought: abandon all evil attitudes of greed, hatred and
delusion. Nurture good attitudes of generosity, friendship and insight Moral Behaviour
Right Speech: avoid vocal wrong deeds
Right Conduct/Action: obey the first five precepts
Right LIvelihood: Refrain from occupations that harm us
a. b. c.
- Right Effort: maintain mental alertness so you can control the effect of the senses and to differentiate between wise and unwise mental activity
- Right Mindfulness: develop the mental focus needed for meditation through careful attention to helpful topics
- Right Meditation: this is the kind of concentration that will lead to the attainment of the Truth (Dharma), the highest wisdom and to reach to the point of perfect tranquility, and ultimately Nirvana
How Christianity Differs From Buddhism
Christians believe in loving others but also in loving oneself. The self is real and separate from God and is an intended creation of God. Like BUddhists, Christians believe in the fundamentals of the Eightfold Path. However, in Christianity, suffering is seen as a part of life and of the mystery of Christ and his love for us. Christians find voice in the suffering that is unavoidable in life.
Buddhism and Hinduism Similarities
Both religions regard time as cyclical. They maintain that the universe is eternal with ages of creation and destruction following one after the other. Both religions believe in samsara. Both believe that liberation from samsara is the final goal. This liberation is known as moksha in Hinduism and nirvana in Buddhism.
Buddhism and Hinduism Differences
Hinduism accepts the existence of gods/goddesses; Buddha rejected sacrificial rituals designed to offer devotion to the deities in Hinduism. Buddhism believes that salvation must be won through efforts of the human mind. It focuses on the direct inward observation of the human condition. Buddha rejected the Hindu caste system and Buddhism accepts all people. Buddha allowed women to join the sangha and to become nuns. Earliest texts in Buddhism were written in Pali, a local dialect spoken by the common people, as opposed to writing in Sanskrit, which only the Brahmins could understand.
Types of Buddhism and the Characteristics of Each
- Theravada Buddhism: “The Way of the Elders”; located in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand. They stick to the original teachings of the Buddha. Only monks and nuns can achieve Nirvana because they lead monastic lives. They consider the Buddha to be an enlightened human being, not a divine figure. Their main focus is meditation.
- Mahayana Buddhism: “The Great Vehicle”; located mainly in China, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea and Japan. It implies that Mahayana is superior and it is for the masses. They accept changes made to the religion after the Buddha’s death. They see Siddartha as one of many Buddhas. Compassion: the best Buddha’s are bodhisattvas who have achieved enlightenment but return to help others achieve Nirvana.
- Vajrayana Buddhism: Buddhists see Buddha as a divine saviour and is depicted holding the vajra, a diamond scepter. This form of Tibetan Buddhism absorbed elements of the local religion into their own beliefs. They have a unique style of meditation, chanting and the use of objects in prayer.
“As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, so passion makes its way into an unreflecting mind.”
Meditation is focus, therefore passions and desires distance one from enlightenment. It is important to meditate, to clear mind of all distractions in order to teach enlightenment to achieve Nirvana and to break the cycle of samsara.
“If you make yourself still as a broken gong, you have achieved Nirvana, for agitation is not known to you.”
YOu do not allow yourself to be swayed by the things in this world, you have separated yourself from chaos and identified that the self is false.
Notes for Judaism Unit Test
Judaism is a monotheistic religion, believing in only one God. Covenant w/ Abraham
God made a covenant with Abraham and was instructed to settle in Canaan. He was promised land, descendants as numerous as the stars and light to all nations (to be an example).
Covenant w/ Moses
After fleeing to Midian, Moses encounters God through a burning bush. He is revealed to be the one to set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt. God sends ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to release the Hebrews. They emigrate from Egypt as a nation, called the Exodus. On Mt. Sinai, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments.
Holocaust: systematic killing of over six million Jews before and during World War II Covenant: an agreement of mutual faithfulness
Diaspora: scattering of Jews outside of Israel in both ancient and modern times
Ashkenazim: Central and Eastern European Jews and their descendants
Sephardim: primarily Spanish, Portuguese and NOrth African Jews and their descendants Shoah: refers to Nazi germany’s deliberate attempt to exterminate the Jewish race. (1933-1945)
MS St. Louis: ship that set out from Germany with 907 Jewish refugees, six countries refused to allow the ship to dock, including Canada. Forced to return to Germany, many passengers died
Zionism: movement that began in the 19th century for the purpose of creating a Jewish state in modern Israel, refers to strong support
Exodus: In 1947, the ship carried Jewish immigrants including Holocaust survivors to Palestine. They had no legal immigration certificates and the British navy seized the ship, sending them back to Europe
Shofar: ram’s horn; blown many times during the Rosh Hashanah synangogue service as a celebration of God’s creation and heralding of the Messiah
Rosh Hashanah: “Head of the Year” Kaddish: prayer to make something sacred
“Sitting” Shiva: seven day mourning period; wearing somber clothing and a torn garment to express grief
Tanakh: sacred writings of JUdaism; Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim (what a Chrisitan calls the Old Testament)
Revelation: act of showing/revealing something that was hidden Righteous: describes one who is just and in a right relationship with God
Talmud: compilation of written interpretations of the oral Torah, after the second defeat of the Jews by the Romans in 135 Ce, the rabbis began to write down and interpret this oral Torah
Halakhah: “Laws” or “the path”; the oral tradition of Judaism Mitzvot: religious/moral path that Jews must follow
Kosher: “fit and right”, involves not eating pork products Tzedakah Box: where people collect money for good causes
Jewish Symbols Star of David:
- ● six point star found on the flag of Israel
- ● used to identify the Jews in the Middle Ages/WWII
- ● “shield of David”
- ● origins are difficult to trace
- ● the temple lamp to remain lit at all times
- ● believed that God kept the lamp burning to show that he was pleased that it had been
made fit for worship again Torah Scroll
- ● most sacred ritual object, center of Jewish life
- ● Five books of Moses inscribed by hand on parchment
- ● Six months to one year to write a scroll
● Jewish people collect money to give to charity, “box of righteousness”
- ● scroll made of parchment, covered in a wooden/plastic/metal box
- ● fastened to every door post on the right hand side
- ● reminder that God is present in the home
- ● hollowed out ram’s horn, used as an instrument
- ● played during Rosh Hashanah, reminder that God is powerful and must be heeded Kippah (Yarmulke)
- ● skull cap worn by men @ synagogue services
- ● sign of respect for God
- ● many wear all the time
- ● two black leather boxes containing parchment with scripture quotations
- ● one box is worn in the middle of the forehead as a reminder to love God with all of your
- ● one box is worn on the arm facing the heart as a reminder to love God with all of your
mind Central Beliefs
- ● There is only one God, who is good and loves them
- ● God’s rules apply to every part of life
- ● Children should be taught about the Torah
- ● The Jewish scriptures are called the Tanakh
- ● Torah (teachings)
- ● Neviim (prophets)
- ● Ketuvim (writings)
- ● the Jewish Holy Writings; 1st five books of the Bible
- ● these books record the events that translate into the Jewish belief that GOd made a
special covenant that requires trust.
- ● the heart of the Torah is the Ten Commandments
- ● one cannot touch the parchment; text is followed with a yad
- ● second most important Jewish writing
- ● huge book of civil and religious laws and ethical teachings
- ● interpretations of the Torah made by rabbis between 1st and 5th centuries
● laws about ritual purity are included; what foods are not to be eaten and impure things to avoid
- ● house of assembly; house of study; house of prayer
- ● Jews were dispersed among many nations, synagogues were built to relieve dependency
on the Temple in Jerusalem
- ● two purposes:
- ● place of worship outside of Jerusalem
- ● place where the Torah is taught
- ● contains an ark where the Torah scrolls are kept
- ● Torah is read from a platform, rabbi speaks from a pulpit to explain the Torah
- ● lamp is kept burning at all times as a reminder that God is present
- ● center of the Jewish community; people come together to mourn, pray, study, celebrate
occurred during the enlightenment, which emphasized intellectual freedom
occurred during the enlightenment, which emphasizes intellectual freedom; feared loss of identity
traditions traced back to ancient times
Place of Worship
Interaction w/ Society
Mix more frequently with rest of the population; participate in intellectual life/work
largest branch of Judaism in society; mix more frequently with the rest of population
more segregated from the rest of society
Sabbath is still kept; shorter service and spoke in English or both English and Hebrew
Follow most traditions and service rites; some changes are made to some practices
Hebrew is the language of entire service; few if any prayers are left out; traditional format
Position on the Laws
Less concerned with purity laws, kosher food and the desire to return to Israel
Most dietary laws/ traditions followed with stricter interpretation of traditional scripture
All laws are followed in the strictest sense (kosher diet, modest dress)
Worship Practices of Men and Women
Men and women sit together in the synagogue
Men and women sit together in the synagogue
Men and women are separated in the synagogue
Women can be ordained as rabbis
Some congregations allow female rabbis
Many believe that if one parent is Jewish than the children are Jewish
Interreligious marriages discouraged; parents urged to raise their children in the Jewish faith
Being Jewish can only be passed down through the mother; if the father is Jewish and the mother is not, children are not considered Jewish
OTHER: Views of Change
Judaism is a religion of challenge and change; change, keep up with the times
Some change is necessary, only if there is good reason
Resists most change, attempts to maintain old traditions and rules