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By: Mr. MR Module 3: Geographical and Cultural Foundations of Religion

By: Mr. MR

Module 3: Geographical and Cultural Foundations of Religion
Module 3: Geographical and
Cultural Foundations of Religion
GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION
GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION
GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION
Geography of Religion
Geography of Religion
Geography of Religion Two Important Principles in Understanding Geography of Religion:  Principle of Environmental Determinism

Two Important Principles in Understanding

Geography of Religion:

  • Principle of Environmental Determinism

  • Synergistic Principle

Religion and Culture
Religion and Culture
Religion and Culture Triadic model of absorption, transformation, and rejection – Process of how religion creates

Triadic model of absorption, transformation, and rejection Process

of how religion creates it own culture and

influence or imposes its cultural practices.

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF
GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION
Geography of Religion 
Geography of Religion
Geography of Religion  The serious study of geography of religion began in the renaissance period.

The serious study of geography of religion began in the renaissance period.

The study of geography was centered on theology and the spread of Christianity.

Ecclesiastical Geography

 However in the mid-seventeenth century, geography was freed from a purely Christian influence when the
  • However in the mid-seventeenth century,

geography was freed from a purely Christian influence when the work of

BernhardusVarenius in 1649, Descriptio Regni Iaponiae gained popularity.

 Biblical or Scriptural Geography - Centered on identifying and locating place and names found on
  • Biblical or Scriptural Geography

    • - Centered on identifying and

locating place and names found on the biblical text.

  • 19 th century

Biblical or Scriptural Geography 
Biblical or Scriptural
Geography
Biblical or Scriptural Geography  Natural Theology – Under this domain of theological discourse is the

Natural Theology Under this domain of theological discourse is the assumption that the geographical makeup of the world can be explained theologically, and

thus serves as evidence that God created

the world.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744- 1829) 
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-
1829)
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744- 1829)  “Environmental Determinism” – Religious beliefs are determined by the environment.

“Environmental Determinism” – Religious beliefs are determined by the environment.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744- 1829)  “Environmental Determinism” – Religious beliefs are determined by the environment.
DIFFUSION AND DISPERSION OF RELIGIONS
DIFFUSION AND
DISPERSION OF
RELIGIONS
 How do Religions Diffuse or Disperse?  How does geography shape the internal religious practices
  • How do Religions Diffuse or Disperse?

  • How does geography shape the internal religious practices of a religion once there is a change of cultural milieu (i.e., cultural background or setting) or of physical location?

Indus-Ganges and Semitic Hearths Indus-Ganges hearth Semitic hearth Hinduism Judaism Buddhism Christianity Jainism Islam
Indus-Ganges and Semitic Hearths
Indus-Ganges hearth
Semitic hearth
Hinduism
Judaism
Buddhism
Christianity
Jainism
Islam

The Indus-Ganges hearth is the birthplace of the religions that began in India.

The Semitic hearth is the birthplace of three major Western religions.

Important Points to Note: 
Important Points to Note:
Important Points to Note:  These religious hearths were found in the locations of the major

These religious hearths were found in the locations of the major ancient civilizations;

Nile

Indian Valleys

Mesopotamia

The emergence of Semitic and Indus-

Ganges religions happened in the periphery of the great ancient civilizations

 Many of major religions today have spread in various directions and established stronger bases in
  • Many of major religions today have spread in various directions and established stronger bases in other lands compared to its original homeland.

  • How did this happen?

Universal and indigenous/ethnic religions 
Universal and indigenous/ethnic
religions
Universal and indigenous/ethnic religions  Universal religions have an edge when it comes to adaptability to

Universal religions have an edge when it comes to adaptability to local cultures compared to indigenous religions such as Hinduism.

Universal religions are called missionary religions;

Islam and Christianity

Two chief Principles of Spatial Diffusion 
Two chief Principles of Spatial
Diffusion
Two chief Principles of Spatial Diffusion  Principle of religious movement – to understand how diffusion

Principle of religious movement to understand how diffusion occurs, it is necessary to take consideration of the speed, processes and dynamics of religious movement.

Principle of intensity of movement -

the dichotomous nature of diffusion that

takes place in time and space.

Standard processes of DIFFUSION 
Standard processes of DIFFUSION
Standard processes of DIFFUSION  Expansion Diffusion – Religions send missionaries or members of their fold

Expansion Diffusion Religions send missionaries or members of their fold to various places around the world to convert people to their religion.

Relocation diffusion Moving from one place to another and gradually attract converts. Migrating to other places is not

mainly to spread religion but to make new

settlement.

DIFFUSION OF RELIGIONS IN THE INDUS-GANGES AND SEMITIC HEARTHS
DIFFUSION OF RELIGIONS
IN THE INDUS-GANGES
AND SEMITIC HEARTHS
RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE TODAY
RELIGIOUS
LANDSCAPE TODAY
 The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility
  • The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 …

  • The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.

  • Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion though increasing in countries such as the United States and France will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.

 The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while
  • The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.

  • In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the

overall population.

  • India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of

any country in the world, surpassing

Indonesia.

 In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in
  • In the United States, Christians will

decline from more than three-quarters of

the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the

largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will

be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.

  • Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.