World Religion Study Notes

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  • Topic: Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Taoism
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World Religion Early Religions Unit Test Study Sheet
Angela Sun

Monotheism- The belief in one god
Polytheism- The belief in more than one god
Ritual- A prescribed religious procedure or performance
Pilgrimage- A long journey to a sacred place or shrine
Swastika- The Jainism symbol that summarizes the principles of Jainism Myth- A traditional story, usually involving supernatural or imaginary persons, that serves to reveal the worldview of a people on natural or social phenomena, etc. Animism- The attribution of a living soul to plants, animals, inanimate objects and natural phenomena. Symbol- A mark, character, or object that serves to represent an idea, process, or function Ying Yang- The sunny side and the shady side; the symbol of balance between opposing forces Shaman- Medicine man or spiritual leader

Credo- A philosophy or a set of beliefs
Agnostic- A person who doubts that human kind can know the existence of a possible god and the possible existence of anything beyond this life Atheist- One who holds that no god exists

The Golden Rules
Zoroastrianism- Do no do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself Jainism- One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated Taoism- Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own lost Confucius- Do not impose on others what you do not desire

Shinto- The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form. Native American- Respect for all life is the foundation

- believes polytheism is not meeting the religious need of people in Persia - went off to meditate hoping to receive answers about how the world worked - received revelation that the world is only ruled by one god (Ahura Mazda) instead of many - spent the rest of his life teaching praying and fighting to convince people of the power of one god - early efforts failed but by the death of him at age 77, Zoroastrianism became the state religion of Persia Legend

- instead of crying he laughed when he was born
- tamed wild beasts in his youth
- performed miraculous healing powers
- fought off evil by reciting simple prayers and hymns
Similarities with Jesus
- conceived by a flash of light and born to a young virgin
- his ancestry would trace 45 generations back to the Persian version of Adam - engaged a wise man in debate at a young age
- at the age of 30, he went off to the desert and received revelation that changed both his life and others Fire in rituals
- fire represents divine presence
- the continuous burning fire symbolizes the continuing divine presence of Ahura Mazda - is the organizing principle behind the place of worship for the Zoroastrians - the fire temple is more of a shrine than a congregational meeting place - within the sanctuary is a square fire place with grill work and a vent to allow smoke to escape - fire burns on a large metal urn and is maintained by a Zoroastrian priest Angra Mainyu: god of evil force

- body is given back to nature by a dakhma (a round open air structure with high walls ) - body is decomposed by sun’s rays and scavenging birds (ex. Vultures) - bones of the corpse are swept into a well in the centre of the dakhma 0r

- body is taken to a funeral parlor
- ritual washing of the body
- dressing the body in a sudreh ( a white undershirt with a symbolic bag to gather good deeds) - tying and untying of the sacred thread (kusti)
- body is considered unclean once the soul departs and is kept untouched - the ashes from cremation are dispersed at a scattering ground After death
-guardian spirit accompanies the soul to the “bridge of the Separator” - ones good deeds are weighed against the bad
-if there are more good deeds, Zoroaster will accompany the person to heaven - if there are more bad deeds, the bridge narrows and the person falls off the bridge into the deep abyss of hell Gathas- 17 chapters...
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