You are on page 1of 10

World Religion Exam Review 1. What is a religion? The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp.

a personal God or gods; Details of belief as taught or discussed; based on faith, way of life, guidelines; good and bad. 2. Why do people follow religions? y Fear; death, isolation, doing wrong y Wonder; explanations for natural world y Questioning; birth, life, death, why are we here, why is my life the way it is? y Identity; raised that way, culture y Intuition; esp. in ancient times people instinctively followed religions y Big question with no answers; 3. What are the common features of most religions? y Taboos; actions to be avoided due to harmful effects that could come to person/group y Animism; belief that all aspects of nature possess distinct souls of spirits y Magic; influencing nature through special practices, rituals, dances or incantations y Divination; predicting the future through magic y Rituals; rites or ceremonies designed to honour/bring good fortune to a person/group y Ancestor veneration; honouring deceased family through memorials, shrines/prayers y Sacrifices; offering to spirits to honour/bring good fortune to a person/group y Rites of passage; rituals that mark passage from one life phase to another y Totems; recognition of an aspect of nature (animal, plant, mountain)~special relationship 4. What do Zoroastrians believe happens to a soul after death? Zoroastrians believe that after death the soul is accompanied by a guardian spirit to the Bridge of the Separator. At this bridge, a person s deeds, good and bad are weighed. For righteous people, the bridge widens, and narrows for evil deeds. Wide path allows a person to go to heaven. A narrow path causes a person to tumble off into hell. 5. What are some common native religion rituals? y Sun Dance (Plains); self-sacrifice, large pole in ground has leather straps attached to it. Leather straps attached to chest and slowly pulled away. Shows devotion to sun, dancer suffers pain to save their family/tribe from pain. Outlawed in 1860s. y Potlach; West Coast Canada/U.S., one family holds feast for special event (birthdays, weddings, birth, death, atonement). Gifts given, the more elaborate feast is and gifts are, more prestige for the family.

Sweat Lodge; Plains/South West U.S., done for guidance. Small hut is built & covered with animal skins. Inside heated rocks would be placed & water poured onto them. Person would enter until they have a vision. Shaking Tent; Northern Ontario, used for guidance, special circular tent is built with no top, done to let spirits in. Person goes to a medicine man with a problem. The M.M. enters the tent to consult spirits. After consultation, M.M is paid for services.

6. What are some ways to attain peace in Taoism? y Acupuncture y Tai Chi y Feng Shui

HINDUISM
7. Who is the trinity in Hinduism? Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva 8. How did the Indus Valley civilization help in the formation of Hinduism? The Indus Valley contributed to Hindu thought when archaeological excavations were done along the river. Archaeologists discovered the remains of civilizations that arose in the valley between 3000 and 2500 BCE. Worship houses & stone sculptures were also discovered, and form of Hindu goddesses Parvati and Kali. Also, a representation of Shiva was found. Fire alters & pits lined with bricks, containing ashes and animal bones were also found. The Aryans contributed because they created poems, and texts on rituals & philosophy. Their religious thoughts were present from 1500-500 BCE. They had a collection of hymns, ritual texts & philosophical works called Vedas (Hindus earliest sacred writing). Rig-Veda has the earliest record of sacred knowledge of Hinduism. 9. **What is the idea of samsara? ** It is the endless cycle of rebirth. When a person dies, their atman returns (human spirit). It returns to maya (physical world). Maya is meaningless and no person wants to be part of it. To break this cycle (samsara) a person must achieve moksha (breaking of samsara). When a person achieves moksha their atman is reunited with Brahman (worldly spirit); (everything and nothing). Only those in the highest order can achieve moksha. This gives birth to the caste system. This is a ranking order based upon class/occupation. To determine if you move up or down karma is used. Karma is the totality of one s life actions. 10. Outline the paths to salvation within Hinduism. y Bhakti Yoga (Path of Devotion); simplest path, devotion to single deity, provides concrete object to worship y Karma Yoga (Path of Action); do good deeds & actions, do them simply because they are good, not done for a reward

y y

Jnana Yoga (Path of Wisdom); difficult one, follow teaching of a guru, teaching Hindu wisdom from scriptures, learn relationship between Brahman and Atman Raja Yoga (Path of Meditation); involves meditation & concentration, trance-like state where one gains knowledge of the truth, involves a mantra, and intense physical & mental discipline

11. What is the caste system? What role does it play within Hinduism? Caste system is a ranking order based upon class/occupation. It plays the role of determining whether a person can achieve moksha or not. Karma is used to determine if a person moves up or down on the scale. 12. What are the four aims of life within Hinduism? Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha 13. Why would a Hindu worship in a temple? Visit temples during festivals, worship conducted by priest and his helpers. Temples help to learn more about religion and many offer classes that teach children Hindu prayers & hymns called bhajans. 14. Why is a cow holy within Hinduism? They believe that it is the manifestation of all good & precious. This aspires the vegetarian lifestyle. 15. What is the purpose of Diwali & Navaratri? y Diwali: Festival of lights, most popular celebration, celebrated over 5 days at end of October/beginning of November in India. In Canada, celebrated over 1 day, but followed by festives. Fireworks are set off, houses are decorated with lights, gifts are given & new clothes worn. Celebrate triumph of good & knowledge over dark faces of evil & ignorance. Vegetarian dinners are prepared, and at dusk, traditional puja is performed before feast begins. Diwali honours Lakshmi & Vishnu. Festival also commemorates Rama s return to his kingdom after beating Ravana. y Navaratri: Nine nights festival, held in spring & autumn, Hindus worship goddess Durga on first 3 nights to wash away laziness and evil thoughts. Next 3 nights are for spiritual guidance, offer puja to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth & good fortune. Last 3 nights are in the name of Saraswati, goddess of knowledge & learning. On 10th day, people observe Vijayadasami or Day of Victory . 16. **What are the milestones within the life of a Hindu? ** y Naming a Child -child named by priest 10 days after birth, parents chose name before baby is born, baby considered a blessing, celebration/ceremony held

Child s First Outing -first formal excursion outside home, depends on baby s health, climate/weather conditions, parents & child take bath, wear new clothes, parents apply dab of soot to baby s forehead for protection from evil eye, infant in arms, parents offer simple prayer to deities, take baby for short walk First Solid Food -7-8 months after birth, depends on health, day of ceremony: parents recite special prayer asking deities to bring good health & long life to child, father feeds child small portion of boiled rice mixed with ghee (clarified butter) and honey First Haircut -at 6-8 months, hair of a baby boy is cut by local barber, hair is completely shaved, except for small tuft of hair at front, in Southern India, some girls are also given haircuts Thread Initiation Ceremony (Upanayana) -sacred initiation ceremony performed by boys of Brahmin, Kshatriya & Vaishya castes between ages of 8-12, marks boys transition into student stage of life, where he is expected to begin his studies of sacred texts, ceremony=2days, boy wears sacred thread over his left shoulder & chants mantra Marriage -entry into householder stage of life, grihasta, sanctifies bond between bride & groom and future fulfillment of social responsibilities, India=arranged marriages, West=love matches, parents scrutinize other family to make sure that bride & groom are socially, culturally & financially compatible, arrange engagement, father of groom formally asks for woman s hand in marriage to his son, most family elders present, date is set for wedding, wedding ceremony lasts for approx. 3 hours, performed by priest (usually assisted by another priest), elaborate affair, 15 rituals, today s world=3 rituals are shortened, giving away of bride by father, giving auspiciousness (groom s family gives bride a necklace/string that she wears around her neck for rest of married life) to bride by groom s family, clasping of hands by couple & couple taking 7 steps around sacred fire, ceremony followed by feast, singing, dancing, drumming, fireworks & riding on white horse Death & Cremation -solemn ceremony, cremation by fire, under direction of priest, family members bathe & dress body in new, traditional clothing, leaving face uncovered, light & flowers offered to spirit of deceased before procession to crematorium, name of Lord Rama chanted, hymns/holy songs sung, priest recites passages from holy scriptures to sanctify fire, oldest man/male member of family lights pyre/modern crematorium, pushes button to begin cremation, family collects ashes in urn & scatters them in holy rivers of India/body of water, on 10th and 13th days after funeral, relatives, friends & neighbours gather for special prayer and feast

Death Anniversary (Shraddha) -ceremony marks anniversary of death, priest performs religious rites & family members, friends & other guests invited to witness ceremony & enjoy meal.

17. What are the differences between Shaivism, Shakti, Vaishnavism and the Arya Samaj movement? y Shaivism- worshippers of shiva, great yogi meditating on Himalayan mountains, destroyer & creator of universe, located mostly in Southern India & Sri Lanka, strict rules of fasting & meditation, many cover their bodies with ash, some make 3 horizontal marks across foreheads with ash, Shiva Puranas contain ritual & ethical instructions y Vaishnavism- followers of Vishnu, mostly in northern India, Vishnu is preserver of Universe & sometimes appears in human form to restore order to the world, 10 incarnations of Vishnu, 9 have taken place, 7th & 8th: Rama & Krishna are most revered, central doctrine is bhakti, an intense devotion to a particular, personal god. y Arya Samaj- non-ritualistic and do not worship any deities, founded in northern India in 1875, rejects worship of images as symbols of supreme God, most important form of worship is havan (fire ceremony) 18. Why are Hindus vegetarian? They are not supposed to do damage/harm to any living things.

BUDDHISM
19. What is the ultimate goal of Buddhism? Ultimate goal is to end suffering and attain absolute peace & joy. 20. What is the central idea of Buddhism? Everyone has the right to find the truth for him/herself, even if it means finding it outside of Buddhism. Buddhism emphasizes things to do rather than things to believe & doesn t recommend that anyone accept its teachings without experimentation. 21. Describe the early life of Buddha. Buddha is also known as Siddhartha Gautama, born in 563 BCE, miraculous birth, entered mother s womb in form of a baby white elephant (symbol of purity), mother died a week after giving birth, raised by his aunt, when born, took 7 steps-written that this means he would be a great ruler or religious leader/teacher, father wanted him to be a ruler, at 16 married Princess Yasodhara and had son named Rahula. 22. What are the four sights? 1st: old man, body broken by life 2nd: sick man laying by roadside 3rd: corpse being prepared for cremation

4th: attention drawn to ascetic Hindu monk, practices self-denial (explained as a man living the homeless life in order to seek the answer to life s riddle) 23. **What is the middle way? ** The middle way is the ultimate path to enlightenment. It is the path in life prescribed by Buddha; the path between extremes. The best lifestyle is one of moderation; extremes of any kind are not productive. Buddha tried to only meditate and attain a state of deep trance, but that didn t produce a permanent solution to his problem. He then tried controlled breathing, which resulted in headaches. He then reduced food intake to just one grain of rice/day but became ill. He gave up this way of self-denial and discovered that the middle way is the most successful. 24. Why is achieving enlightenment important in Buddhism? Achieving enlightenment is important because death & rebirth=good & bad deeds, removes craving & ignorance, and achieves nirvana & end of suffering (this is a goal). A person understands the truth of life, and has the freedom from ignorance. 25. **Compare differences between Buddhism & Hinduism? ** Buddha born a Hindu, some believe he is an incarnation of Vishnu, retained elements of reincarnation, samsara, karma, dharma & nirvana, rejected caste system, objected to ritualsofferings, chants & sacrifices, questions/theories about creation & eternity of world considered fertile, disproved of language, enlightenment can be reached in one lifetime 26. What are the 3 characteristics of existence? 1) Annicca-impermanence 2) Dukkha- dissatisfaction 3) Anatta-no self 27. What are the 4 noble truths? 1) Noble Truth of Suffering- to live is to suffer 2) Noble truth of Origin of Suffering- negative desire, origins in craving or selfish desire 3) Noble Truth of Extinction of Suffering- goal of Buddhism 4) Noble truth of Path Leading to Extinction of Suffering- most adopt the middle way 28. Explain the noble eight-fold path. -wheel of dharma set in motion at Buddha s first sermon, symbol represents 8 steps of path, centre=nirvana, fixed point, reach end of suffering, imagine life as wheel, path provides suggestions for life y Right View- blueprint for guidance in life, know doctrine of Four Noble truths y Right Thought- mind freed from sensuous desire, ill-will, cruelty, nurture good thoughts y Right Speech- kind speech, kind, trust, don t lie, criticize unjustly, use harsh language

y y y y y

Right Conduct-Right Action, attained by observing 5 precepts, judge based on behaviour Right Livelihood- earn living through jobs, don t harm living things, trades include butchering of animals, lending a lot of money, trading weapons, liquor/poison avoided Right Effort- conquer evil thoughts, strive for good thoughts, goodwill, try your best Right Mindfulness- know what s important, full attention to proper thoughts (5 precepts), thoughts must be good, even if not done in behaviour, thought counts Right Concentration- focus mind on 1 thought/time, leads to peace of mind, tranquility, meditation=enlightenment

29. **What are the 6 perfections within Buddhism? ** y Givingy Morality y Patience y Vigour y Meditation y Wisdom 30. Why do Buddhists meditate? Leads to wisdom, enables person to be composed & calm, improves concentration, brings insights into truths & inner peace, and improves confidence, mental & physical health.

JUDAISM
31. **What role did Abraham have in the formation of Judaism? ** Abraham received a vision from God and was instructed to move to a special land to raise a nation. Jews represented God s chosen people on a Promised Land. He also created the covenant between God and the Jews. He also was tested with his faith by God. God told him to sacrifice his son. He followed God s command and passed the test, therefore he did not have to sacrifice his son. 32. Explain the relationship between God & a Jew. God honours Jews by: chosen people, Promised Land, Messiah (saviour) & future world. Jews honour God by prayer, worship & mitzvah (good deeds). 33. **What is the covenant? ** A covenant is a solemn and binding agreement/ contract. (The covenant was made by Abraham (Jews) and God. The covenant between God & Jews established that God is governor & creator of all things. The basis of the covenant is onour me, and I will honour you and your descendants. 34. What is a gerut? The process of conversion to Judaism.

35. What is a mitzvah? A mitzvah is a commandment from God; the act of performing a good deed. The most wellknown mitzvoth are the Ten Commandments. 36. What is the purpose of the yarmulke, tallis & teffilin? y Yarmulke: head covering worn by Jewish men when they worship/study to show sign of respect (also known as kippah) y Tallis: like a shawl, worn during prayer, fringes of tallis are a reminder of God s commandments & necessity of keeping them y Teffilin: either 2 of small leather boxes which contain parchment scrolls of Biblical text. Jewish men wear teffilin, one on forehead and one on arm every day during morning prayer except on Sabbath 37. What happens on the Shabbat? At sunset on Friday, Jews go to synagogue, where service opens with lighting of candles. Once returned home, families sit down to Shabbat dinner, which begins with Kiddush (prayer over wine). Challah, a special egg bread is blessed & eaten at meal. After meal, particular songs are sung & prayer of thanksgiving is recited. Sabbath morning is spent at Synagogue in prayer & worship. At sundown, Sabbath ends with brief service that separates holy Sabbath from rest of the week. This service is often held at home, as it concludes, people greet each other by saying Shavua tov. 38. What is the purpose of Pesach & Hanukkah? y Pesach: Passover, 7/8 days in April, celebration of Exodus, during this time no leavened food may be eaten; on the first day, the first born male must fast, a Seder is an important part; religious ceremony & feast, retell the story of Exodus. y Hanukkah: Festival of Lights, 8 days in December, commemorates the Maccabean Revolt, rededication of the temple (took 8 days), only enough lamp oil for one day, but it lasted 8 days, each day a new candle is lit on the menorah, the 9th candle is known as the servant, in North America, gifts are commonly given. 39. What is the purpose of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah? Coming of Age ceremony, Bar (male)/Bat (female) Mitzvah, Son/ Daughter of the Commandment, boys on first Sabbath after age of 13, girls on first Sabbath after age of 12, religious ceremony followed by extravagant party, after this you are an adult. 40. What is a get? A certificate of divorce given to the wife by the husband. If a get is not given, marriage is not dissolved even if couple is civilly divorced. When a get is issued, both are free to remarry in Jewish religion.

41. Explain shiva. For 7 days after funeral, a shiva takes place; the family members of the deceased will gather to mourn at one house and not leave; it is up to other family members & friends to take care of everything. Immediately following funeral, a shiva candle is lit in the home to symbolize the soul of the deceased. They have a small meal which symbolizes the need to continue living, and recite Kaddish known as the mourners prayer. 42. What role did the 10 Commandments play in Judaism? The 10 Commandments were shared to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. They emphasize the nature of God s existence, as well as the laws that the people need to follow in order to keep their covenant with God. They served as a specific renewal of the covenant between God & the people. These provide inspiration for people, and help them to live as peaceful and faithful people. 43. **Explain the development of anti-Semitism. ** y Perennial Outsiders- people without a homeland, Diaspora y Unique Culture/Dress y Unable to own land/become citizens- unable to put down roots y Biblical Interpretation- killed Christ y Middle Ages- Christians were at some times unable to charge interest y Blamed for catastrophes- scapegoats y Zionism- 1897, return to Promised Land, part of Ottoman Empire & home to Palestinians; becomes more important after Shoah (Jewish term for Holocaust), 1948, Israel is born

CHRISTIANITY
44. What are the origins of Christianity? Christianity is based off of Judaism. According to Christians, Jesus is the Messiah (saviour), who they believe is the son of God. It is a monotheistic religion (one God). God created the universe and everything in it. It all began with the miracle birth (immaculate conception). Mary was a virgin. She went into labour in a stable while she & Joseph were travelling to Bethlehem. Shepherds were told to observe & protect this baby. 3 Wise Men came with gifts, takes place on December 25. 45. Explain the Holy Trinity. y God- one God, created everything, God is everything & nothing y Jesus- son of God, crucified/tortured, virgin mother, came for our salvation, man, rose from the dead, he ll return y Holy Spirit- life giving presence, speaks through prophet y Can be compared to water- can appear in 3 different forms: liquid, ice or steam

46. What is the purpose of Christmas and Easter? y Christmas- birth of Jesus, December 25; gift giving traditions: Ancient Rome; year end celebrations to honour Saturn (harvest God), prepared special foods, decoration, singing & gift-giving , 3 Wise Men; brought gifts to honour Jesus y Easter- Jesus resurrection after his death 47. What is the purpose of baptism & Holy Communion? y Baptism- wash away original sin, welcomes you into the Church family, most times as a baby, some sects baptise adults

Holy Communion- signifies the Last Supper, bread & wine represent Jesus, Catholic & Orthodox believe in transubstantion (spirit enters bread & wine), Protestant use it as a symbol