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Abraham is commonly attributed the role of Patriarch; Moses the
founder of the religious law; the 12 tribes founded by the sons of
Jacob & Joseph

Jesus is the primary teacher and Messianic figure; Paul (Saul of
Tarsus) was responsible for spreading the faith throughout the

Place & Date of

c.2000 BCE around the Mesopotamian city of Ur; early Hebrews
were pastorialists who eventually settled along the eastern

c.30 CE in the Roman Province of Judea; quickly spreads throughout
the Mediterranean region where it appealed to marginalized groups
ranging from the urban poor to slaves.

Modern Extent

Large Jewish populations can be found in Israel and the United

North & South America, Europe, Australia; can be found in three
primary divisions throughout: Roman Catholic, Eastern
Orthodox, & Protestant

Holy or Sacred

Tankah: includes the Torah (Books of Moses), Nevi’im (Books of
the Prophets), Ketuvim (the Writings)

Christian Bible; includes books of the Jewish Tankah (Old
Testament) and early disciples of Jesus (New Testament)

Founder or

• Religion is non-proselytizing (does not seek converts);
traditionally relies on the mother’s bloodline to establish ethnic
Jewish identity
•Was the first form of monotheism that STRICTLY forbade the
acknowledgement of other gods.

Teachings &
Core Beliefs

Role of Women

•Strong belief in Jews/Israelis as a “Chosen People” of God (Yahweh;
•Beliefs include:
1. There is one true eternal, incorporeal God (YHWH).
2. Prayer is directed to YHWH alone.
3. Moses is the greatest prophet, and his Torah is the final law
4. YHWH knows the deeds and thoughts of men; will reward &
punish accordingly
5. Belief that the Messiah will come and establish a perfect
kingdom on earth, YHWH will resurrect the righteous dead to
partake in the new kingdom

•Women, while respected, have a subordinate role in the religion
•Only men could achieve the role of priest; no formal priestesses

•Religion is proselytizing (actively seeks out converts from all
walks of life)
•Core beliefs based on connection with Jewish faith (Jesus & Paul
were Jews)
•Jesus offers a new perspective on ancient Jewish practices;
establishes new religious laws and ethics beyond the Torah
•Beliefs include:
1. Jesus is the living Son of God & Messiah; was crucified and
2. Agrees with Jewish belief in God’s solitary eternal, incorporeal
3. While Mosaic Law is to be respected, the teachings of Jesus take
precedence as the “new testament”
4. Strong belief in the Apocalypse; the Second Coming of Christ (as
outlined in the Book of Revelations)
5. Eternal life for the faithful and just; eternal damnation for the
6. Faith, not wealth, is the true measure of one’s worth on earth
•The status of women in the early Church was far more equal with
men. This equality would fade in time as Christianity began to take
on the Patriarchal traditions of converted peoples.

reincarnation. one must follow the Eightfold Path •Eightfold Path: 1. but could not own property—many were considered property of their husbands in a sense •Two major divisions: 1. and beliefs (karma). Resist Evil.500 BCE. Know the truth. Mahayana—most popular form. Teachings & Core Beliefs •Caste System interwoven into beliefs. and oral traditions of Indus Upanishadas: Elaborates on the role of the soul and Karma Tripitika is important primary document. (Krishna) the Preserver 3. Thailand) Holy or Sacred Texts Vedas: Rig Veda is the oldest with hymns. Resist evil thoughts. most urban followers subscribe to a Vishnu or Shiva dominated sect. 3. most Sutras stress and interpret the importance of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Artha (economic success). 4. 4. Moksha (the quest to break the cycle of Samsara) Role of Women •Women are to be respected. There is suffering in life. 2. including China. Kama (earthly pleasures). 3. and Japan.Vishnu. now it is not •A proselytizing faith akin to Christianity and Islam in fervor •Core beliefs based upon Vedic (Hindu) doctrine—an offshoot of Hinduism that retains ideas of karma. 8. Control your thoughts. introduces a pantheon of local traditional deities that have been turned into Buddha. thoughts. rituals. Put the welfare of others before your own. Mahayana hold him as a god of sorts. Cambodia. Respect all life. etc. Practice meditation (VERY IMPORTANT!) •Role of women is heavily dependant upon the existing cultural norms of the society that adopted Buddhist beliefs . 5. holds tight to Buddha’s original philosophy 2. rigid social structure with the Priest (Brahmans) Class at the top. 6. To eliminate suffering. the Enlightened One) Place & Date of Origin Aryan Classical Theory: Indus River Valley after Aryan invasions (c. quickly spread throughout East Asia Modern Extent India. the religion is an amalgam of regional religious practices of the last 3500 years Siddhartha Gautama (posthumously known as the Buddha. Korea. and the United States Mahayana Buddhism: Eastern Asia. Theravada Buddhism: Indochina (Vietnam. metropolitan areas of Great Britain. Also pray to Bodhisattvas-those who have achieved enlightenment (Nirvana) •Buddha never deified himself. and a universal “oneness” or enlightenment •While polytheistic. three primary deities are stressed: 1. 3. •Was at one time a proselytizing faith. 2.Brahma the Creator 2.1500 BCE) Emergence Theory: Indus River Valley w/o Aryan invasion (before 1500 BCE) Northern India c. 2. Dharma (moral duty). Australia. followed by warrior class. numerous sects stress different beliefs •Core beliefs common to most Buddhists: •Four Noble Truths: 1. Laos.Hinduism Buddhism Symbol Founder or Patriarch No clear founder. you must eliminate desire. Theravada—more traditional in form. 7. (Laws of Manu) •Belief in reincarnation (transmigration of the soul) based on the summation of one’s life deeds. 4. To eliminate desire. Suffering is caused by desire. become one with the universal element that we were all once part) •Hindus base their daily lives around the Purusharthas (Four Aims): 1. – Cycle of Samsara •Goal is to transcend Samsara and achieve enlightenment (end of rebirth. Theravada does not openly deify the Buddha •Buddhism is very decentralized.Shiva. the Destroyer •Specific rituals and beliefs are regional. Harm nothing.

and Emperors •Dictates that the universe and all within are permeated by a natural order that must be felt and experienced to be understood.500 BCE) Kongzi. Fathers should be loving. including Japan. •Great emphasis on the individual and the balance with nature. Stressed respect for ancestors in line with ancient practices •Stresses the Five Relationships (for Social Tranquility): 1. the wife should be obedient. 3. younger friend should defer to the elder. 5. 500 BCE during the Zhou Dynasty. Role of Women •Daoism makes no concrete distinction between men and women. •Social order is maintained by the interaction between righteous. Older friend should be considerate. 500 BCE.Daoism Confucianism Symbol Founder or Patriarch Laozi (Lao-tzu). Indochina. Older brother should be genteel. (YinYang) Teachings & Core Beliefs •A true Taoist embraces the nature of things. all individuals are equal in light of the Dao •Confucius stressed instead that positive human behavior can be effected more efficiently by strengthening a social tradition of mutual respect. Place & Date of Origin c. and Korea China. I-Ching (Book of Changes) analyzes & predicts future events Works are commonly compiled in a series of Analects. but rather surrenders themselves to “experience” •Taoist rituals permeated other ancient practices. •Filial Piety: drew a parallel between respect and reverence within the family to the state. or in the Latin form. and subjects should loyal to their ruler. as well as numerous interpretive works by later scholars. poetry. dutiful subjects. 200 BCE c. •Co-exists within Eastern concepts of Buddhism and Confucianism. . Only a good ruler can expect to retain the Mandate of Heaven. bureaucrats. would become popularized throughout China c. •Made a departure from old Chinese Legalism. but could be educated. Ruler should be just toward his subjects. they were to respect their husband and father as authority figures •Women had no property rights. younger brother respectful. as well as other regions formally under Chinese dynastic influence. birth/death dates unknown (probably c. including Japan. during the late Zhou Dynasty. otherwise known as the “Old Master”. 2. 4. and commonly became associated with the mystical. seeking knowledge of the dao (or Way) through nature. Indochina. •Women were viewed as mothers and homemakers. which stated that human beings were essentially wicked and could only be controlled by strict laws and punishment. Confucius. the Taoist belief in balance accentuates the “balance” between benevolence and respect that superiors must show their subordinates. •Temporal (worldly) matters are of little concern. as well as other regions formally under Chinese dynastic influence. and Korea Holy or Sacred Texts Tao-te Ching (Book of the Way) stresses the path toward wisdom through experience. and sons respectful. •For Confucianism. and experience is all that matters. 300 BCE Modern Extent China. and does not waste effort effecting their whim on life. benevolent rulers and their respectful. Mengzi (Mencius) popularized his teachings later on. Husband should be righteous. would become popularized throughout China c.