1. Abhidharma Pitaka - "basket" of philosophical arguments developing the
Buddha's teachings; further teachings
2. Amitabha/ Amida - "Boundless Light." A Buddha of the Mahayana pantheon, he
presides over the Western paradise, and is worshipped by Pure Land
Calling his name with sincerity at the hour of death is sufficient to be reborn in
the Pure Land.
3. Ananda - attendant of Siddartha Guatama; had the best recollection of the
4. anatman - there is no absolute or true Self; there is an empirical self knowable to
the senses, a body-mind complex, made up of impermanent constituents; there is
6. Asoka - King of the Mauryan dynasty who ruled much of the Indian subcontinent
from 273-236 BCE. After a bloody campaign for which he felt much remorse, he
converted to Buddhism, helped to establish it throughout the empire, and to
spread it to neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka.
7. avidya - ignorance; root of our suffering is ignorance of reality
8. bhikkhu - a fully ordained Buddhist monk and member of the Sangha; monks
conduct their lives in accordance with the rules laid out in the Vinaya Pitaka
9. Bo/ Bodhi tree - enlightenment tree
10. Bodh-gaya - city where Siddhartha gained enlightenment under the bodhi tree
11. Bodhidharma - a semi-legendary Indian meditation master, who founded the
Chan school of Buddhism in China in the sixth century; connected in legend to the
martial art, kung-fu.
12. bodhisattva - "Enlightened Being." In Theravada, one who is committed to the
attainment of Buddhahood, and for the liberation of all beings. Bodhisattvas may
be earthly or transcendant.
13. Bon - animistic religious tradition in which many deities (both benevolent and
malevolent) were worshipped with a rich array of rituals including sacrifice and
14. Ch'an - Chinese word for zen
15. Chu-Hsi/ Zhu-xi - philosopher who melded Daoism, Buddhism, and
16. Dalai-Lama - Ocean of Wisdom Teacher. Title and rulership of Tibet bestowed
on the head of the Gelug Order of Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th Century.
17. dharma - teachings of the Buddha
18. dukkha/ duhkha - suffering
19. Eight-fold Path - these need to be developed simultaneously
Leads to Buddahood
1) proper religio-philosophical outlook - question all assumed truths
2) proper intention/aspiration - have sincere determination to find
3) proper speech/ communication - don't deceive
4) proper action - actually do what is necessary and appropriate
5) proper livelihood - choose your occupation wisely
6) proper application/ effort - persevere in your practice
7) proper mindfulness (smrti) - utilize the right kinds of meditation
8) proper Samadhi - contemplative union - find potent insights/
20. First Sermon - Buddha preached in Sarnath to his 5 ascetic friends
21. Four Noble Truths
(1) dukkha = sorrow and suffering
(2) avidya causes dukkha
(3) nirvana stops avidya and ends dukkha
(4) the Noble Eight-Fold Path is a method to attain nirvana
22. Hinayana - Lesser Vehicle; anything that is not Mahayana
23. Jodo-shin-shu - Pure Land school in Japan
24. karma - principle of cause and effect; only pertains to "intentional acts"
25. karuna - compassion; bodhisattva ideal
26. koan - emphasized in Rinzai Zen; is an enigmatic question which can bring about
insight (such as what is the sound of one hand clapping?)
27. lama - teacher
28. Lumbini - city where Siddhartha was born
29. Mahayana - "Great Vehicle" form of Buddhism that emerged in the first century
and spread from North India to China and Japan. It is characterized by the ideal of
the bodhisattva, one who strives to bring all things to nirvana.
30. Maya - mother of Siddartha
31. nembutsu - Japanese name for Buddha; chanting of Amitabha's name
32. Neo-Confucianism - by Chu Hsi; melded Confucianism, Daoism, and
33. nirvana - ends all illusions about the self; thus freedom from both karma and
rebirth (samsara or worldly existence)
34. Padmasambhava - 8th Century missionary; schooled in the Tantras, he
emphasized elaborate rituals and magical practices, establishing the
form of Buddhism in Tibet
35. parinirvana - after attaining nirvana, there is no death; passing from this world
is "further nirvana"
36. Prajapati - Siddartha's foster mother who became the first Buddhist nun
37. prajna - wisdom; transcendental wisdom that is a bodhisattva ideal
38. pratitya-samutpada - Dependent Origination; reveals the origin of our sense of
"self"; depends in part on our perceptions, ignorance, and desires
39. Pure Land - a school of Mahayana Buddhism characterized by faith in the
compassion of the Buddha Amitabha. Adherents hope to be reborn in Amitabha's
Pure Land, also known as the Western Paradise.
40. Rahula - son of Siddartha Guatama
41. Rinzai - Japanese school of Zen;
42. Sakya - clan inhabiting the foothills of the Himalayas; Siddhartha Gautama's
family was a part of this clan
43. Sakyamuni Buddha - Siddhartha became this Awakened One; the historical
Buddha. In most Buddhist traditions, he is not the first and only Buddha, but is
regarded as the teaching Buddha of the current epoch.
Shakyamuni means "Sage of the Shakya Clan."
44. samadhi - right contemplative absorption
45. Sangha - monastic society
46. Sarnath - city where First Sermon was given
47. Siddhartha-Gautama - founder of Buddhism
48. Silk Roads - trade route; means by which Buddhism entered China in the 1st
49. skilful means - developed by the Boddhisattva's to perfect qualities and rescue
beings from suffering; wisdom and compassion
50. smrti - mindfulness; Right Mindfulness
51. Soto - Japanese Zen school
52. Sutra Pitaka - "basket" collection of the Buddha's discourses; general teachings
of the Buddha
53. T'ang Dynasty - Buddhism gained most popularity in 7th and 10th CE
54. Tantra - high ritual; male and female (sexual) imagery
55. Tendai - Japanese form of T'ein-t'ai Buddhism based upon the Lotus Sutra
56. the Lotus Sutra - a Mahayana text, dating from the third century; forms the basis
of Tiantai and Nichiren Buddhism. It promulgates doctrines on the value of faith
and the possibility of universal liberation, because all beings share in the Buddha
nature, which is transcendental.
57. Theravada - "Doctrine of the Elders" the only surviving branch of the non-
Mahayana Buddhist groups. It is the dominant form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka,
Myanmar(Burma), Thailand, and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is characterized
by the pursuit of nirvana.
58. The Three Jewels - Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma
(teachings), and the Sangha (the Buddhist community)
59. T'ien-t'ai - Chinese Buddhism based upon influential Lotus Sutra text
60. Tripitaka - "Three Baskets" collection of early Buddhist writings, written in Pali,
and forming the canon for Theravada Buddhists. The Sutra section contains
teachings attributed to the Buddha, the Vinaya contains rules of monastic
discipline, and the Abhidharma contains philosophical and doctrinal arguments.
61. trsna - desire, cling, thirst after illusions
62. Vajrayana - "Diamond or Thunderbolt Vehicle" form of Buddhism characterized
by Tantric practices, which became dominant in Tibet, and later spread to
Mongolia and India.
63. Vinaya Pitaka - a collection primarily of teachings on monastic discipline;
64. Yasodhara - Siddartha Gautama's wife
65. zazen - "sitting" used in Soto Zen meditation
66. Zen - Chan/Ch'an in China; it is a Mahayana Buddhist tradition that emphasizes
meditation in the attainment of nirvana. In Japan, two main schools of Zen
emerged, the Rinzai and the Soto
Chinese/ Japanese Religions
1. Amaterasu - the Sun Goddess
2. ancestor worship - deceased can affect one's life; founding ancestor or recently
departed relatives get most attention; tablets with the ancestor's name would
be placed on the home altar; incense burned daily; food offerings; prayers for
blessings and to avoid punishment.
4. bushido - Shogun samurai way
5. Confucianism - associated with the sage Confucius, Confucianism emphasized the
study of certain literary classics in order to nurture human moral nature. The
Confucian ideal is the cultivated person (junzi/ chun-tzu) who has perfected
the quality of human-heartedness (ren/jen).
6. Dao/ Tao
The Way; The Mysterious and Natural Way of Life; The Supreme Ultimate;
Symbol of Absolute Reality, composed of Yin-Yang; (.S.); symbolized by a
divided circle with an s-shaped line and two dots; firm yet yielding, soft and hard,
heaven and earth, unmanifest mystery vs. manifest creation
7. Daoism/ Taoism - "nature mysticism"
Philosophical: associated with the writings of Laozi and Zhuangzi, it is a form of
nature mysticism. The Daoist ideal is the sage (sheng) who contemplates
nature in order to return to an original state that is harmonious with the
mysterious principle known as the Dao.
Religious: developed from Daoist philosophy and older magical and ritual based
traditions. It is characterized by a search for bodily immortality, alchemy, and
a belief in a pantheon of immortal sages.
8. De/ Te
Virtue; the power of the Dao; when heart and mind is empty/clear/receptive
the it is most harmonious with the flow of Tao
9. divination - consultation of oracles; revealed hidden truths and predicted future
probabilities; Yijing is a popular oracle system
11. Emperor Jimmu
12. Emperor Meiji
13. Emperor Yu
14. feng-shui - "wind and water" divination practice; special positioning of buildings,
their structural layout, and their decor.
15. filial piety - the relationship of son to father is a model for such relationships as
ruler-subject husband-wife, elder-younger; mutual obligations (such as
protection/support vs. respect/obedience); hierarchical, deference to those
older or in positions above you
16. Han Dynasty - prospering of Confucianism; after Han dynasty Buddhism causes
Confucianism to decline
19. hexagram - diagram produced what consulting the Yijing/ I-ching oracle,
consisting of six horizontal lines placed one above the other. The lines may
either be solid or broken. Solid lines represent the Yang principle while broken
lines represent the Yin principle. The hexagram is also viewed as the interplay
of two three-lined trigrams which serve as another Yin-Yang polarity.
20. Izanagi - male creator; he who invites
21. Izanami - female creator; she who is invited
22. Jade Emperor
23. junzi/chun-tzu - ideal of a cultivated person, a model for others; gentleman/ sons
of princes; don't have to be an aristocrat to act well: embody the best way to
live; ideal of self-educating cultivating manners
Four qualities in self-cultivation are: Li, Yi, Shu, and Jen (Ren)
Li is formal, traditional external behavior that must be learned
27. Kongfuzi /K'ung-fu-tzu /Confucius
Confucius: "Master Kong" was the teacher and founder of a school of thought known
as Confucianism, or the scholarly or Literati tradition. He promoted tradition
but interpreted it in ways that made important reforms in Chinese thought and
values. He is associated with the concepts of "filial piety," human-heartedness
(ren/jen), and the cultivated person (junzi/ chun-tzu).
28. Laozi/Lao-tzu - "Old Master" semi-historical figure, credited with authoring the
Daodejing/ Tao-te ching; he is the patriarch of Daoist philosophy. His
teachings evoke the mysterious nature of the Dao, and the means of
harmonizing with it.
29. Legalism - human nature is bad; people needs rules
30. li - propriety/ritual conduct/ proper behaviour
origin in ancestor worship rites; these were expanded upon to include all forms
of conduct in relationships; show others the same respect that you show your
ancestors; formal behaviour
31. Mengzi/Meng-tzu/Mencius - 374-289 BCE "Master Meng"
He contributed to what is sometimes called the idealistic wing of Confucian
philosophy. He lived during a period of social and political turmoil in China,
but built his teachings on the notion that human beings were intrinsically good.
He promoted the idea that rulers should be benevolently disposed toward their
subjects. He focused his teachings more on individuals than government.
32. Mohism (Mohists)
33. Mozi/Mo-tzu - "Master Mo" founder of Mohists, he offered a teaching that
rivaled Confucianism. He placed great emphasis on Heaven, the hierarchy of
divine spirits, and sacrificial rituals. He also was a pacifist who promoted
universal love for all human beings.
35. Prince Shotoku
36. Qin/Ch'in Dynasty - extreme example of ancestor worship: offerings of imitation
paper money, houses, clothes etc may be burned in outdoor rituals
37. ren/jen - humane disposition, human-kindness, and human-heartedness; it is a
natural feeling of empathy and good-will towards other human beings; it keeps
propriety (li) and principles (yi) from destroying the most subtle but most
highly-regarded quality in human beings
39. seppuku - suicide
40. Shang Dynasty
42. shu - a principle of reciprocity; when Li is not apparent, use the principle of Shu:
the Golden Rule: "Do unto others what you would have done to yourself."
43. Taiji-chuan/ T'ai Chi Ch'uan
44. Tang/ T'ang Dynasty - Taoism and Buddhism gain prominence during T'ang;
Neo-confusianism became popular after T'ang
45 The Analects
The Analects of Confucius is a collection of dialogues in twenty chapters
between Confucius and his students, probably compiled many decades after
46. The Daodejing/ The Tao-Te-Ching
"The Way (Dao) and the The Power (De)" also known as the Laozi/ Lao-tzu to
whom its composition is attributed. It consists of about 5000 words arranged in
eighty-one chapters. It is the foundational text of Daoist philosophy.
47. The Kojiki
48. The Laozi/ The Lao-tzu
49. The Nihonshoki
50. The Zhuangzi/The Chuang-tzu
51. Tokugawa Shogunate
54. Xia/Hsia Dynasty - from 2000 BCE - mostly legendary; ruled by Emperor Yu the
Jade Emperor, descended from the sky
56. Xunzi/Hsun-tzu - 312-238 BCE "Master Xun"
He belonged to the realistic wing of Confucianism, which taught that human
nature was intrinsically selfish but could benefit from learning. He thus
promoted education, traditional values, and rationality over superstition.
57. yi - righteousness; when external behavior (Li) begin to grow out of an inner
attitude, based on principles of benevolence
58. Yijing/I-Ching - The Book of Changes; popular oracle system; incorporates
Yin/Yang principles; ancient text was commented upon by Confucian and
Daoist sages thus incorporating much wisdom. To consult the Yijing, 49 sticks
are cast, divided, and counted. A hexagram of six lines is produced from Yin
as broken and Yang as solid sticks. These reveal dominant forces in life at the
moment, what changes are about to occur, and how a sage would harmonize
with these forces/changes.
60. Yin/Yang - harmony between differences
Yin: dark, passive, cool, moist, female
Yang: bright, active, hot, dry, male
61. Zhou/Chou Dynasty - 1122-721-221 BCE - often idealized as a glorious period in
62. Zhuangzi/Chuang-tzu - "Master Zhuang/ Chuang" taught a form of nature
mysticism that is characteristic of Daoist philosophy. He used stories and
humor to promote a philosophy of freedom from social constraints and
conditioning that could lead one back to an original undistorted state of being.
His book is full of fascinating philosophical speculation and humorous
64. Zhu-xi/Chu-Hsi - Most renowned Neo-Confucian philosopher. Drawing upon
ideas from Daoism and Buddhism, he promoted meditation as a means to a
Confucian end (the cultivation of one's moral nature). His interpretation of
Neo-Confucianism became the norm in Chinese civil service examinations
The Gospel of John: Film
Gospel of John written 2 generations after Jesus
Jesus and his followers were Jewish
Roman Empire ruled Israel
God sent John to tell people of the light of God
John the Baptist
Jesus' followers were God's children
John spoke of Jesus: the glory that Jesus was given
Out of the fullness of his grace, we are glorified
John: I am not the messiah, nor Issiah, nor a prophet
John still would baptize in Bethany
I am the voice of someone shouting in the desert
John saw Jesus coming to him
There is the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world
Saw the spirit come down
John baptizes Jesus
John's disciples went with Jesus
One was Andrew: Simon Peter's brother
Andrew took Simon Peter to Jesus
Jesus left to Galilee with Andrew and Simon Peter
Jesus found Philip
Philip found Nathanial
Jesus said about Nathanial: there is nothing false about him, he is a true Israelite
At a wedding in Galilee
Jesus asked for water
He said to take the water to the man in charge of the feast, but the water had turned
into wine. They said it was the best wine and rejoiced.
Jesus' disciples then believed in him
At the time of the Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem
A market was being held in the Temple
Jesus drove the animals out of the Temple and overturned tables of the money
changers and scattered their coins
Jewish authorities demanded he prove what made him have a right to say this
Jesus said tear down this temple and I shall rebuild it in 3 days: he was talking not of
the building, but of his body
No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so those who believe in
him may have eternal light
Jesus himself did not baptize
Jesus' disciples had begun to baptize more than John the Baptist
Jesus sat down by the well, being tired from his journey
A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked for a drink.
(Jews and Samaritans do not share a cup).
Jesus says the water he provides will make all no longer thirsty.
Only by the power of God's spirit can people truly worship. Jesus said I am the
The woman left her water jar and told her town of Jesus.
The Samaritans begged Jesus to stay with him.
They believed Him to be the Savior of the World
Jesus left to Galilee: he said prophets are not respected in their own lands
The peoples rejoiced
Jesus returned to place of Kapan - - the place where he turned water into wine
Jesus was asked to heal a man's dying son.
Jesus says: Go, your son will live
The man believed Jesus and went to find a healed son
Jesus went to Jerusalem
At a pool, sick people lay on the porches
Jesus saw a man who had been sick for 38 years: do you want to get well?
Jesus says: Get up, pick up your mat and walk
Immediately, the man was well
Jewish authorities said since it was the Sabbath, it was against the law to carry his
mat. The man said his was told to by Jesus.
Jesus was persecuted for doing healing on the Sabbath.
Jesus answered: my father is always working, and so I must as well
They did not like the equality of God as Jesus' father
Jesus says he is the truth -- the judgement is coming
Jesus claims to be the Son of Man
Jesus judges only as God tells him
Jesus says that John was the one who also spoke truth and testified on his behalf
Jesus says God testifies on his behalf
Jesus also says he has been given gifts by God
Jesus says none believe him that do not believe Moses
A large crowd followed him
The Passover was near
Jesus went up a hill and sat down with his disciples
Jesus saw a large crowd coming near to him on the hill
How would Jesus feed these people
There were 5 loaves of barley bread and 2 loaves of fish, but 5000 men to feed
Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, and distributed to the people who were
sitting there, and they all had as much as they wanted
He did the same with the fish
When they were all full, Jesus said to his disciples:
Gather the left-over pieces, let us not waste our food
Jesus went off to the hills by himself
Walking on Water
Jesus' disciples went in a boat to cross the lake, but by nightfall a large storm had
come. The disciples rowed 3 or 4 nights when they saw Jesus walking on the water
coming towards the boat and they were terrified.
Jesus said: Do not be afraid, it is I.
They willingly took him into the boat
The boat immediately reached their destination safely
The crowd went to look for Jesus
When the people found Jesus on the other side of the lake, the asked how he came
Jesus said to not follow him because of his spoils
Jesus says the real bread and real food you need comes from God
Jesus: I am the bread of life
I am the bread that came down from heaven
Those who come to me will never be hunger nor thirsty
I shall never turn people away
It is not by my will, but by my father's that I am here
You must seek His love
Jesus: I will raise the people to life on the last day
He who believes has eternal life
The bread that I will give you is my flesh
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood will have eternal life
They will live in me and I in them
The living Father sent me, and I live because of him
Whoever eats me, will live because of me and live forever
The followers said:
This teaching is too hard
Jesus knew who would believe him, who would not, and who would betray him
The followers that stayed were 12
The disciples believed in no one else
Judas would betray him
Not even Jesus' brothers would believe him
Time of Passover:
Jesus' family went to festival
Jesus stayed on in Galilee
However, Jesus went to the festival in secret
Festival was half over when Jesus went to teach in the Temple
Jesus says he cannot teach on his own authority
Those who do, will teach for their own glory
Mary washed Jesus' feet
She poured expensive perfume and wiped it with her hair
Judas was opposed to this, because he was a greedy thief and would have the
Palm fronds were laid before Jesus who rode on a donkey
Do not be afraid city of Zion, your King comes riding on a young donkey
His disciples only understood the meaning of this old scripture later
Jesus had raised Nazarath from the dead, which made people follow him
Some Greeks were at the festival and went to Philip and said they wanted to see
Jesus. Jesus says it is time.
If a plant does die, it will produce many grains
Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, and my Father will honor anyone who
Jesus: Father bring Glory to your name
From the sky: I have brought Glory to it, and I will bring it again
Even though Jesus had performed miracles in front of the people, they did not
believe Jesus. They did not understand, they had blind eyes. Many of the Jewish
authorities believed in Jesus, but because of the Phrases they did not tell.
The Last Supper
Jesus rose from the table, took off his robe and wrapped himself in a towel.
Jesus then washed the disciples feet
Simon Peter: are you going to wash my feet Lord? Never will you wash my feet
Jesus: if I do not, you are no longer my disciple
Jesus: All of you are clean except one
Jesus put his outer garment back on and returned to the table
I your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, to set an example, no slaves are
lesser than their masters, how happy you will be when you put it in practice
Jesus: I tell you this now so that you will believe me: One of you is going to betray
me. The disciples looked at one another. Simon Peter motion to a disciple to ask who
it is. Jesus gave Judas a piece of bread. The devil entered Judas then
Jesus: go now Judas and do what you must
Now the Son of Man's glory is revealed
My children, I will not be with you very much longer, you cannot yet follow me
And now I give you a new commandment, "Love one another"
Jesus to Simon Peter: Are you really ready to die for me? Before the rooster crows
you will deny you know me thrice
There are many rooms in my Father's house
You know the way to get there: the truth and the life
Now that you have known me you also know the Father
When I go, you will not be left alone. Because I live, you also will live
Peace is what I leave with you "Peace be with you"
Called Jesus into the palace
Are you the King of the Jews?
Jesus - my kingdom does not belong to this world
I was born for the sole purpose to speak the truth
Pilot said I cannot find any reason to condemn Jesus
Pilot said to the people he would set one prisoner free
The crowd did not call for Jesus
The crowed wanted Jesus to be crucified
Pilot released Jesus to the Jews but said he could not find a reason to be hurt
Jews say he must die for claiming to be the son of God
When Pilot heard this, he was even more afraid
Jesus: you only have authority over me because my Father gave it to you
Jesus was whipped
Crown of thorns
Wore a purple robe
Pilot wanted to set Jesus free
Anyone who claims to be a King is rebel against the Roman Emperor
Pilot sat outside in his judging chair
Pilot: Here is you King
People: KILL HIM.. the only King we have is the Emperor
Jesus was made to carry his crucifixion cross
Jesus was crucified with two other men
Pilot put up a sign "Jesus of Nazareth: King of the Jews" in Hebrew Latin Greek
Soldiers took Jesus' clothes and a robe
Jesus saw his Mother and disciple and said to them:
He is your son, she is your mother.. and the disciple took care of Mother Mary
"I am thirsty"
"It is finished"
A soldier plunged his spear into the side of Jesus
Blood and water poured out
"His bones will not be broken" .. "People will see him that they pierced"
Jesus was wrapped in cloth and spices
Nothing was done on the Sabbath
Stone was taken from the tombs entrance
Linen cloths were there
Mary looked in the tomb and saw two angels there in white
Woman why are you crying?
Mary turned around and saw Jesus but did not know it was Jesus
Jesus says to Mary, go to my disciples and tell them I am going to my Lord
Jesus showed his disciples his hands and his side
Jesus breathed on his disciples
Receive the holy spirit
If you forgive people's sins, they are forgiven
Jesus came to the disciples many times
The disciples did not catch fish
In the morning Jesus stood on the shore and told them to throw the net out on the
right side of the boat.
The disciples caught many fish
Jesus took the bread and fish and gave it to them
After they had eaten, Jesus spoke
Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loved him, and asked him to take care of his lambs,
and his sheep, and asked THRICE
The Political History
Leading to the Traditions of Christianity
Apostles act as missionaries for the movement of Christianity
Paul of Tarsus (5 BC - 67 CE)
Was originally persecuting Christians
Experienced Christ in the spiritual world
Vision of Christ
Became a missionary who drew many converts because he did not call on people
hold Jewish law. These laws are very demanding. Jesus himself was not
about the law although he observed the law. Jesus embodied the spirit of the law.
Paul was very important in the Jesus movement
Paul himself was executed by beheading
Never knew Jesus, but knew him through his vision
Paul had an interpretation of Christ that became dominant
Waves of Persecution
Nero - killed Paul and Simon Peter
Diocletian (244-311 CE)
Takes office in 283
299 - Had Christians removed from army
303 - official wave of persecution begins
Mani - founded manakianism
Roots in Persia
Persian Empire posed threat to Romans
Institutes an Edict
(1) Churches are to be destroyed
(2) Christians prohibited from gathering to worship
(3) Scriptures to be burned
Edict observed on pain of death
3,000 Christians killed in total
This number was relatively insignificant
Abdicates in 305
Leaves behind four leaders, a tetrarchy:
Maximinus, Galerius, Constantius, and 4th leader continued policy of
Galerius relaxes policy before death
Constantius has son Constantine
Constantine becomes Emperor, and brings a complete turn of faith,
converts to Christianity
Constantine the Great
Constantine has a vision
Sees a sign of the cross etched in heaven
In the sign you shall come
Constantine sees he has a role to play
Constantine paints this sign on his soldiers' shields
Had his son and his wife killed for treason and adultery
Very guilty, but was not absolved by pagan priests
It is said he converted to Christianity to have absolution
Edict of Milan
Reverses the policies that repressed Christianity
Returns property to Christians
Gives EVERYONE freedom to worship
Begins to financially support the church
Abolishes more barbaric practices
Allows Christian movement to gain momentum
Played a role in the construction of churches
Enabled Christians to worship openly
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
Constructed at the site where it is believed Christ was crucified
Holy Sepulchre also called the Anastasis
Draws many pilgrims
Anastasis - church of the resurrection
Constantine's Christian Mother
Used her wealth and influence to spread Christianity
Travelled to Israel
Helped with the construction of churches
St. Peter's Bascillica
Church of the Nativity
Bethleham, site of Christ's birth
Draws many pilgrims
Grotto of Nativity
Exact place of Christ's birth marked by a star
Justin the Martyr
Knew the site of Jesus' birth
The Three Magi
Wise Men from the East
Most likely Persian priests
majus - priest
They have seen the star that marked the birth of the King of the Jews
Star is the Symbol of Christ
Connection between heaven and earth
Christ is between divine and human
Politics of these Churches
Arab - Christians sensitive to the Yom Kippur War
Banned political leaders such as George Bush, Tony Blair
Persians left the Church standing because they were impressed with the
painting of the three Magi
St. Peter's Basilica
Revered by all Christians as a Saint
12 Apostles of Christ
First bishop of Rome
The first pope was a successor of Peter
Peter did not want his death to be compared to that of Christ
Peter was crucified upside-down
Died 64-67 CE under rule of Nero
Paul was also killed at this time
Christ > Peter > Pope
The Spread of Christianity
Gradual Transition to Christianity
Evident even in Constatine's own life
Had pagan symbols on coins even after his conversion
Constantine not baptized until his death
Could have made sense as a political ruler to wait for cleansing of sins
Eusebius baptizes Constantine
Constantine begins a process of transition to Christianity
Many powerful pagan rulers were resistant
Julian "the Apostate"
The last pagan emperor
His mother and father were Christian, raised him Christian
Julian left Christianity
Drawn to pagan Neoplatonism
neoplatonism - widespread in Hellenistic world
fused teachings of Plato and Aristotle
both pagan and Christian expressions
Drawn to divination, magic, and superstition
Tried to restore paganism
(1) Targeted wealthy powerful Christians
(2) Restored pagan temples
(3) Prevented bishops from practicing private courts
Repeated stipends given to Christians
Repression actually helps spread of a religion
Julian, instead of repression, provided complete freedom
Julian tolerated Christians in order to intensify their divisions
Julian dies early
Julian succeeded by those who want Christianity
Established Christianity as the formal religion of state
347 - 395 CE
Theological History if Christianity
All denominations can agree on the Nicene Creed
Creed - statement of one's belief
refers to religious beliefs
credo - to believe
Credo Questions pertain to Theology (study of God)
Orthopraxy - correct practice
Emphasis on the law
Islam - creed has only three principles
Christianity's Emphasis on Creed
Understanding of God: conception of God is different than Islam and Judaism
God appears in the flesh and blood
Jesus is God becoming man
ortho - correct, restore
doxy - opinion, dogma
Orthodoxy is the correct docterine
Heterodoxy - Other or different docterine
Heresy - Incorrect docterine
Edict of Milan - Christianity
pagan emperor tolerated Christians
officially makes Christianity the state religion
Western Roman Empire crumbles
Then the empire becomes the greek empire:
The period of the Church Fathers runs for 6th to 8th centuries
In Eastern Orthodox tradition, a prominent figure can emerge: Holy Father
In Catholic tradition they are known as Church Father
One does not have to be a saint to be a Church Father, they must make an important
theological contribution to the religion
All Church Fathers were pious and holy men
Earliest of the Church Fathers were known as the Apostolic Fathers
They were the successors of the Apostles themselves
50CE - 150 CE
Simon Peter - important apostle
The rock on which the church was to be built
He himself is crucified upside down
Pope is the successor of Peter
Origen: Father of Fathers
Early Church Father born in Egypt (185-254CE)
Among first major philosopher of Christianity
Sought martyrdom, but mother convinced otherwise
Origen's father died, must provide for family
Had a good education
Taught as occupation
Wealthy woman provided for Origen
Left philosophy - was associated with paganism
Returned to philosophy
Articulation of Christian doctrine through philosophy
Drew Pagan intellectuals to Christianity
Origen developed Biblical Exegesis
Science of interpretation
Brought from literal text to the intended meaning
Origen developed allegorical interpretation
example: story of Adam and Eve should not be read literally
Origen seemed to believe in reincarnation
Seemed to articulate a belief in pre-existence of souls
These views were rejected by church
Apocatastis - doctrine of universal salvation
belief that everyone will be saved
everything that was brought into world by God, will be saved by God
philosophical and logical basis
God is a God of love, who embraces all
Rejected by church
Origen did not deny existence of hell
For Origen, hell was a place of purification by fire
It was possible to accept Christ after death in the next world
Christianity has been exclusivistic, although Christians are divided on this
If you believe everyone else is damned then you must do missionary work to save
people. Christianity has some denominations that adhere to this.
Exclusivism - must be apart of that religion to be saved
Council of Nicea (325)
During reign of Constantine
A council was held to determine Christian doctrine
Established Divinity of Christ
Established the Nicene Creed
Came about because of Arius
Early theologian from Libya, North Africa
Ordained priest in charge of church in Alexandria
Denied the Divinity of Christ
Believed divinity of Christ went against monotheism
"The Son had a beginning; there was a time when he was not"
Whereas God does not have a beginning, and himself is pre-eternal, and
not ever created
Christ may have been the best creation, but was still created
Christ was an intermediary, Christ was the word of God
Christ is Logos or "word" of God that has come to the world
Arianism - belief that Christ was not divine
Philosophical and theological view
Agreed with Arius that Christ was an intermediary between God and world
However, opponent of Arius
Christ was divine, and uncreated the same as God
Christ took on the sins of the world: only a divine can carry these sins
Understood the logic of the resurrection
Council of Nicea
Ecumenical Council - universal council that brought together theologians, bishops,
priests across the empire
State was called in on this dispute
State became involved to preserve the Christian community = unified Empire
About 300 bishops attended the council
First gathering of its kind
Resolution of Council: Nicene Creed was denied
Nicene Creed unites all Christian denominations
believed in God, but not as a creator
Below and outside of God is the cosmos
Both are uncreated
Cosmos was derived from God, but was uncreated
Greek axiem: something cannot come out of nothing
Creation Ex Nihilo - creation out of nothing
View of Ambrahamic traditions
begins with unifying statement
articulating that God IS the creator of all things
visible world - present on Earth
invisible world - spiritual world that exists above our world and below God
o every major religion believes in a spiritual world
o only invisible to five senses
o people that claim to know the spiritual world access the faculty of
perception ("Sixth Sense" or "Eye of the Heart")
o workings of subconscious
begotten of the Father: reiteration of monotheism
o The Lord is also Christ
o Son is the same as the Father
o Child is replication of parent
o God and Christ are one of the same substance
Direct criticism of Arianism "begotten not made"
o Christ is not created, he is begotten
o Son emerges from the father
World literally brought into creation through Christ
o God not only creates world directly
o Repetition of God's power to create heaven and earth
o Reference to Christ being an intermediary
o All things were created through him and for him
Who for us men and for our salvation came down and was incarnate and
made man judge living and the dead
o Belief in the resurrection of Christ
o Through resurrection Christ overcomes death
o Whether bodily or spiritual resurrection
And in the Holy Spirit
o Affirmation of Trinity
o God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost
o All divine
o Mode of manifestation
o We experience certain aspects of God in different ways
o The Father - transcendent
o The Son - manifestation of God
o The Spirit - immanence of God
o When you "receive Christ" you receive the Holy Spirit in your life and
you can receive him through your affiliation with the Catholic Church.
Protestants emphasize receive Christ directly and individually.
o Substantial unity where God is one, but has three elements to his
Judaism - shehinah - receiving God in immanent and transcendant forms
Christians define this in a different language
Refutation of Arian heresy
But those who say: "There was a time when he was not;" they are condemned
by the holy catholic and apostolic Church
o This section was removed when Arianism was no longer a threat
Baptism of Constantine by Eusebius the Arian
Even though Arianism died out, in modern times some believe Christ is not divine
How is one to understand the revelation of the Divine and Human Nature of Christ??
4th Century 5th Century
Council of Nicea Christological Controvery
Trinitarian Controversy understanding of how Christ
the human and divine meet
Debate on Christology : Three Responses
(1) Christ is two separate persons, one divine and one human person
The Response of Nestorius (d. 451)
How is this incarnation possible?
Two elements in being of Christ that did not mix or mingle at all
The human Christ was a vessel for the divine Christ
It was not God who suffered, but the human Christ
It was the human Christ that Mary gave birth to
The emotions and suffering we saw were that of the human vessel
Nestorianism was rejected by Romans, Persian Empire accepted them
(2) Christ is one person, with only a divine Nature (Monophysite position)
The divine completely embraced and enclosed the human Christ
When infinite and finite meet, only the infinite remains
One entity or nature
•(3) Christ is one person, but with both a divine and a human nature. Both of these
natures are united, so that Christ is both fully man and fully God (Views of the Latin
and Greek Churches. [Majority view]).
Divine and human co-mingle
Both exist and both come together, interpenetrating and overlapping
Accepted by Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism
The Three Divisions of Christianity
Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism
Councils held to come up with an Orthodox Doctrine
4th C - Arianism rejected
5th C - Monophysite and Nestorianism rejected
Debate on the nature of the Holy Spirit
Split in Catholic and Orthodox Churches
East and Western regions of Empire split
Split occurs that leads to Protestant movement
Martin Luther led
Against institutionalization of doctrine
Protestant Christians want an individual relationship with God
Now there are a whole range of opinions and denominations in
About 900 denominations in USA
The Wisdom of Faith
Centrality of Christianity:
God is love
Bible - two collections: Hebrew bible called the "Old Testament" and the new
Christian writings "New Testament"
Church History - by Eusebius, written as Roman Empire shifted to Christianity,
outlining the history of the religions first 300 years
The City of God - written by Bishop Augustine, as the Roman Empire was beginning
to fall to the barbarian tribes. It outlines a view of church and state.
Summa Theologica: work of Thomas Aquinas
The Ninety-Five Theses (1517): short debating points by Luther regarding abuses of
indulgence system. Sparked the Protestant Reformation
Institutes of the Christian Religion:
Provides the basis for the development of much of Protestant theological reflection
New Testament: early Christian writings: four gospels, thirteen letters from Paul,
etc. written 50 CE
Gospels: The first four books of New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
Mainly consisting of stories/sayings about Jesus.
Septuagint: greek translation of Hebrew Bible
Vulgate: Jerome's Latin translation of Bible
Apocrypha: "hidden" books in the vulgate but not in the present Jewish canon.
Authorized Version: King James Version
Christ - Jewish teacher crucified by Roman authorities after betrayal by
Judas. A religious movement begins which eventually gains enough momentum to
become a concern for the Roman Empire. Christians accused of all kinds of
indecencies to justify persecution.
Nero - responsible for early persecutions. Paul and Peter executed for
their role in the spread of early Christianity.
Diocletian - responsible for initiating final wave of persecutions against
Christians, though Christians are not the only group targeted. Manicheans
also bear the brunt of his suppression of non-pagan religious beliefs.
Constantine - experiences conversion on battlefield which leads to eventual
establishment of Christianity as official religion of empire (though not in his
lifetime); issues of Edict of Milan; baptized on death bed; late baptism leads some to
question sincerity of his conversion.
Constantine's mother - responsible for building many important churches.
Julian the Apostate - tries unsuccessfully to reverse Christianization of empire;
killed in battle against Persians.
Theodosius - Makes Nicene Creed official religion of Roman Empire. Empire splits
two shortly after his death, with the eastern regions becoming the Byzantine
Empire. Christianity is now a major political player.
Paul - important in shaping early Christian understanding regarding purpose of
Church Fathers - Responsible for the theological formulation of early Christian
doctrine. Although important as leading intellectual figures, they were not
Apostolic Fathers - Earliest of church fathers, some of whom met the apostles of
Origen - An important church father, born to pious Christian parents; seeks
martyrdom after father's death but dissuaded by his mother; important figure in the
development of biblical exegesis and Christian philosophy; some of his ideas
later rejected by the church (such as his doctrine of universal salvation
[apocatastis], preexistence of souls, a form of reincarnation).
Arius - In the forefront of a theological perspective that led, through its rejection, to
the Nicene Creed; denied that Christ was pre-eternal because he sought to
divine unity. The controversy of the 4th century came be known as the "Trinitarian
Nicene Creed - Establishes Christian "orthodoxy." Know this very well. There are a
number of specific questions on creed in the test.
Christological Controversy - Develops in the 5th century and centers on
determining the exact nature of Christ: to what extent was he human and to what
extent was he divine? Monophysite Christianity and Nestorianism branch off from
"mainstream" or "orthodox" Christianity. Both of these communities become
established in the Near and Middle-East (Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria).
Orthodox Church - Break between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church
Break between Catholicism and Protestantism; led by Martin Luther. Know the
internal divisions within Protestantism (p. 91 of text).
Orthodoxy - correct belief. The essential beliefs and practices by which a religious
community defines itself
Heresy - beliefs or practices that are rejected as destructive to the essence of a
Heterodoxy - Other or different doctrine
Incarnation - "in flesh" belief that God took on real human characteristics in Jesus
Trinity - God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Pharisees - non-priestly group whose concern about religious purity and the study
of the Torah and oral traditions gave them popular influence in society. They did not
approve of Jesus.
Edict of Milan - issued by Constantine returned property to Christians, reversing the
previous persecution; gives everyone the freedom of worship
Beatitudes - Ethical teachings of Jesus
Catholic = "universal"
Calvin - French theologian opted for reform of belief, practice, and church structure.
Eschatology - "study of last things;" a term for concepts related to the end of the
world and of human order; often related to the second coming of Jesus and "Final
Science of interpretation, brought from literal text to the intended meaning
Ascetic - one who rejects ordinary social life for exceptional religious
discipline, which often involves poverty, celibacy, and seclusion.
Monasticism - the practice of asceticism and poverty in order to devote life to
constant religious service (know who accepts and rejects it)
Martyrdom - one who dies for a cause, usually voluntarily
Easter - The primary and oldest Christian festival, celebrating the death and
resurrection of Jesus, connected to the Jewish Passover.
Lent - West: forty-day period of fasting or self-denial and penance. East: period is
longer from their forty-day calculation with rigorous fasting rules.
Christmas - "Christ's mass" celebration of the birth of Jesus first celebrated under
Vatican City - residence of the Bishop of Rome (Pope) and headquarter of the
Roman Catholic Church. Smallest country in the world in the center of Rome.
Hagia Sophia - Built by Emperor Constantine and rebuilt by Emperor Justinian in
Constantinople (Istanbul) was once the largest domed building in the world.
IHS - old abbreviation for Greek name Jesus "in this sign" or "Jesus Savior of Men"
IHC - Abbreviation for Jesus from Latin name
INRI - abbreviation of Latin words for "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"
Fish - An early symbol of Jesus, often associated with the Eucharist
Lamb - view the death of Jesus as a final sacrifice for sin
Chi-Rho - a monogram formed by two Greek capital letters XP superimposed on
each other. They are the first two Greek letters in word "Christ." Sign became
associated with Constantine.
Dove - represent Holy Spirit
Byzantine Church - Eastern church of Byzantine Empire
Monophysite - Christ had one nature (the divine); this left it open to the charge that
Jesus was not really human, but appeared to be, accepted by Eastern Christians.
Nestorian - Distinction between Jesus the man born of Mary, and the Christ the Son.
Left it open to the charge that God did not really become human but merely dwelt
and inspired the human Jesus
Anabaptists - Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish "Radical Reformation" because of
their rejection of state ties, their pacifism, and their requirement of adult
Pentecostal - The most recent and largest Protestant group emphasizes baptism in
the Holy Spirit (often with speaking in tongues) and the Second Coming of
Lutheran - (1517) The first group of Protestant Reformation, led by Martin Luther.
It became the state church in most areas of northern and central Germany and
Anglican - (1534) The Church of England, formed as a result of King Henry VIII's
break from the authority of the Pope. Became a "middle way" between
Catholicism and Protestantism. Puritan influence in 1600s gave is a more
Vulgate - Jerome's Latin translation of the Bible (in 400s CE)
Septuagint - Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, used by Greek-speaking Jews.
First Bible of early Christians
Gospels - The first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John), mainly consisting of stories and sayings of Jesus
Old Testament - Tanakh - the Jewish Bible
Apocrypha - "hidden" books in the Vulgate but are not present in Jewish canon
St. Peter's Basilica
(note that the text says this was built during the Renaissance; it was actually built
over the same foundations of a church built by Constantine, as mentioned in class)
2500 - 1500 BCE: Indus Valley ( Harppan ) Civilization
- widespread culture; major city centres at Mohenjo-daro & Harappa.
- archeological evidence of Hindu-like practice.
- e.g., bathing tanks in centre of town; clay "goddess" figurines.
- also clay tablets /seals with possible "proto-Shiva" and goddess images.
- I.V.C. perhaps transforms into "Dravidian" (southerner) civilization.
1200 BCE : The Aryan Migration
- nomadic Aryans ( Noble Ones) entered the Indian subcontinent.
- had the war chariot and hard metal weapons.
- brought with them The Vedas, their religious texts (originally oral ).
- language was Sanskrit ("cultured /perfected").
- intermingled with the Dravidians, and a class/caste system emerged.
Modern Hinduism is a blend of religious beliefs and practices which developed through
the mixing of Aryan, Dravidian, and tribal traditions.
The Vedas: four collections of eloquent hymns addressed to Vedic deities.
- the oldest collection is the Rg Veda (over 1000 hymns).
- Vedic deities (mainly male) are personified powers of nature.
e.g. Agni - god of fire (transports sacrificial offerings to other gods).
Indra - god of thunder and lightning.
Soma - sacred (hallucinogenic) plant.
Dyaus - pitr - sky god.
Prithivi - Earth goddess.
Surya - the Sun.
The Vedas demonstrate henotheism: each god when worshipped is elevated to the
highest position (no clearly defined heirarchy among the deities).
Vedic scripture is not only made up of the four hymn collection. It includes other texts on
sacrificial ritual performance and philosophical speculation.
Yajna: Vedic sacrifice (offerings into a ritually constructed square fire pit).
- Vedic hymns would be recited at appropriate points in the ritual.
- Brahmins (the priestly class) were skilled in Vedic hymn and ritual.
- had high purity, so only they could perform ritual worship of the gods.
- did so on behalf of the other classes (e.g., kings & other laypersons).
- ritual exactitude (a science) would compel the gods to respond.
- there was a reciprocal relationship between gods and humans.
- yajna nourished the gods, who in turn maintained cosmic stability.
The Upanisads_: the last portion of the Vedic literature ( Vedanta ).
- philosophical texts speculating on Absolute Reality and the individual.
Vedic literature from the four hymn collections and the ritual texts, to the Upanisads,
enjoy a very special status in Hinduism.
- They are regarded as _Shruti _ (divinely heard; i.e., revealed).
- They were composed by the _Rishis_ (_seers_); semi-divine sages.
- All other scripture is regarded as _smrti__ (traditional, remembered).
The Four Classes of Hindu Society
- these are socio-economic divisions ( reinforced by religious beliefs).
1. Brahmins ( priestly , educated class)
2. Kshatriyas/ ksatriyas_ ( nobility, warriors, landlords, kings: Maharajas, Maharani)
3. Vaishyas/vaisyas (commoners, merchants , artisans)
These upper three classes are know as the twice born .
4. Shudras ( servants, menial workers, labourors).
Below the four classes, there is the untouchables or out-caste group.
5. The Untouchables (barbarians/foreigners, offspring of mixed classes).
- performed the most "polluting" jobs (i.e., cremating dead).
- the ritual pollution which would pass from this group to the purest brahmins, made
ORTHODOX HINDU VALUES
The Vedas reveal a belief that the cosmos operates in an orderly manner.
- rta : term for the cosmic order; later replaced by dharma.
- dharma : (duty, righteousness) behaviour aligned with the cosmic order.
The Dharma_ Sastras/shastras: large tratises on what is dharmic behaviour.
- there are many such texts.
One famous one is The Laws of Manu.
- generally describe dharmic principles for the four classes.
- these include descriptions of cosmogony (creation of the cosmos), the duties of the
classes, the four stages & goals of life, daily rituals, rites of passagy, purity & pollution,
rules concerning the lives of women, etc.
The Four Stages of Life and the Four Goals of Life.
- prescribed for males of the "twice-born" classes.
- the stages would traditionally begin with the "sacred thread ceremony".
- the boy (8 - 14 yrs.) is given a special thread, and enters "religious life".
Student Stage and the First Goal:
1. Student (formal boarding school education [12-24 yrs] with a guru)
- expected to refrain from sex.
1) the student begins to pursue the goal of understanding dharma.
- girls traditionally learned at home from their mothers, etc.
- nowadays most boys and girls go to public schools.
The Second and Third Goals:
2. Householder (marked by the marriage ceremony and beginning of work).
- marriage is the most important rite of passage for men and women.
- for women, it functions like their sacred thread ceremony.
- marriages are generally arranged; should be within one's class/caste group.
- during this stage, husband & wife pursue the next two goals:
2) kama: love/pleasure (erotic, sensual); spouse, have in-laws and children family.
3) artha: skill/know-how/money: develop one's professional abilities.
- provide for one's family; live within one's means.
- conduct household and public religious rituals.
The Retirement Stage
3. Forest-dweller (retirement from work and householder's life)
- prescribed for grandparents; wealth is transferred to children.
- one begins to read scripture and think about the meaning of life.
- most Hindus don't retire to the forest.
The Fourth Goal:
4. Sannyasin (renouncer)
- prescribed, but not a common stage.
- in this stage, one has one's death rituals performed.
- one puts on a saffron coloured robe, takes a staff and begging bowl.
- becomes a wandering seeker, renouncing all social ties & obligations.
- seeks to attain the final and highest goal:
4) moksa/moksha (release/liberation).
What is Moksha?
Hindus believe that the cosmos arises, exists, and dies, time and again.
- time scale of these cosmic cycles are vast (e.g., modern science).
- living beings, too, endure cyclical birth, existence, & death (reincarnation).
- various types of beings inhabit the three realms (heaven, earth, underworld).
[gods, titans, humans, animals, ghosts, demons, etc.]
- all are subject to the nearly endless cycles of rebirth, wandering through worldly
existence ( samsara ) controlled by karma.
Karma: a moral principle of cause and effect which determines our present and
- class, appearance, dispositions, & experiences are all caused by karma.
- each thought, word, deed is the fruit of a karmic seed planted earlier.
- each thought, word, deed plants a seed for future karma.
- good seeds lead to good karmic effects; bad seeds lead to bad karma.
- karmic seeds may be dormant for long periods, fruiting after many lifetimes .
- ignorance of the nature of ourselves and reality leads us to karmic error .
- dharma is a guide to enable us to reduce bad karmic consequences.
- ultimately, however, only discovering our true nature will grant us freedom/liberation
from karma and samsara (which grows tiresome).
- this freedom, which comes from self-realization, is known as moksha/moksa.
- Self-realization does not come from faith, dharma, or even good karma.
- it is the result of freedom from all false views about the self and reality.
Hindu Religious Philosophy
1. Advaita - radical non-dualism. Absolute Reality in Sankara's Advaita Vedanta is
known as Brahman
2. Agni - god of fire (transports sacrificial offerings to other gods)
3. ahimsa - nonviolence
4. ananda - unbounded bliss
5. arati - fire; flame of an offertory fire
6. Arjuna - greatest Pandava warrior in the Epic of Mahabharata
7. artha - one of the Four Goals of Life; the pursuit of wealth, power, and attainments
through the development of one's potential
8. Aryans - Noble Ones from Europe who entered Indian subcontinent bringing with
them the Vedas, which were religious texts
9. Atman - our true self beyond all illusions
To know the Atman is to attain moksha. The Atman is Brahman.
10. avatara - incarnate being of a God/Goddess
11. Bhagavad-Gita - song of the lord - most important book in Hinduism, taken from the
Epic of Mahabharata, contains lessons on the meaning of life, facing choices,
existential life crisis, and dealing with oppression and justice. It is from a
conversation between Arjuna the warrior and Krsna the god Visnu in human
form. Krsna teaches Arjuna the three yogas (Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, and
12. bhakti yoga - liberation through devotion; introduced through the Bhagavad-Gita;
loving devotion in forms of worship: puja, prayer, song, and pilgrimage
13. Brahma - the Vedic creator god; depicted with four heads, seated on a lotus flower
which grows out of Visnu's navel
14. Brahman - the one and only thing in existence; cannot be explained because it is the
source of explanations; it is sat (being/existence), cit (consciousness), and
ananda (bliss). Atman is Brahman.
15. brahmin - priestly, educated class
16. cit/chit - absolute consciousness
17. darsana - going for an audience with a deity
18. Devi - goddess
19. dharma - duty, righteousness; behaviour aligned with the cosmic order; one of the
Four Goals of Life, one is expected to understand the meaning of duty or
righteousness, and apply it in one's life
20. Dharma Sastras/ Shastras - texts on the laws of what is dharmic behaviour
21. dhyana - practice of meditation in yoga
22. Divali - a festival of lights celebrated on the new moon between mid-October and
mid-November. Homes are painted and decorated with lamps, firecrackers are
set off, and people buy new clothes and feast. The festival marks the victory of
light over darkness, and begins the new-year for many communities
23. Dravidian - Indus Valley Civilization, non-Aryan, Sanskrit language
24. Durga - Great Goddess; is Sakti, the power which animates all of the cosmos, all
goddesses are aspects of her
25. Dyaus-pitr - sky god (Jupiter, Zeus)
26. forest-dweller - third stage of life prescribed for grandparents; often involves retiring
to live a simple life dedicated to religious study
27. Ganesh/ Ganesa - popular, elephant-headed, potbellied deity; leader of Shiva's forces
who presides over obstacles
28. Ganga - River goddess
29. guru - one's teacher; generally used to designate the most important guide and
mentor in one's spiritual development
30. Hanuman - the monkey god; he is protector
31. Harappa - Indus Valley Civilization
32. Hare Kr.s.n.a movement - bhakti-oriented Hindu group; public dancing and chanting
of Krsna's name to publically show loving devotion
33. henotheism - tendency in a polytheist system of many gods, to raise whichever one is
being adored to the highest position
36. householder - the second stage of life, marriage and work; one is expected to conduct
the household rituals, contribute to society, and raise children, particularly a
37. Indra - Vedic deity, warrior god
38. Indus Valley Civilization
39. jnana yoga - realization/liberation through transcendental knowledge, prescribed for
the intellectual person
40. Kali - goddess of destruction, female counterpart to Shiva
41. Kalki - 10th avatara of Visnu; still to come
42. kama - one of the Four Goals of Life; knowledge of love, sexual and sensual
pleasure, joy, and happiness
43. karma - moral principle of cause and effect
44. karma yoga - liberation through action, example Gandhi
45. Kauravas - evil cousins in the Epic of Mahabharata
46. Krsna/ Krishna - god Visnu in human form; symbol of soul's yearning for the Divine
47. ksatriya - second class in Hindu society; kings, nobility, warriors, landlords
48. Laksmi - beautiful goddess in red sari; consort of Visnu; symbol of good fortunes,
luck, wealth, and fertility
49. linga - erect phallus; Shiva is worshipped in this form
50. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) - Proponent of active, but non-violent resistance to
oppression, used in the struggle for Indian independence from British rule;
endorsed Karma Yoga, "do the right thing, without a psychological fixation on
51. mala - prayer beads
52. mantra - sacred utterance, sound, or phrase
53. marriage rite - most important rite of passage for men and women; usually arranged;
functions as a sacred thread ceremony for women; during marriage the
householder stage and goals of kama and artha can be pursued
54. maya - the power of illusion, because of maya we do not know Brahman nor our true
natures. Maya is dependent on Brahman, but shaped by our egos.
55. Mohenjo-daro - major city in the Indus Valley Civilization
56. moksa - self-realization; one of the Four Goals of Life; liberation from the bondage
of worldly existence, and the cycles of reincarnation through self-realization
57. non-dualism/monism - Brahman proposed by Hindu philosopher Shakara/Sankara
58. Pandavas - five heroic brothers who fight to regain their kingdom in the Epic of
59. polytheism - belief in a divine world of many gods and spiritual forces
60. Prithivi - earth goddess
61. puja - devotional worship of deities with offerings of flowers, incense, flame, food,
and a prayer
62. raja yoga - Royal Yoga, which centers on stopping the "turnings of thought" and
offers eight aspects (limbs) that need to be developed in order to perfect it
63. Rama - the prince in the Epic of Ramayana who wins back Sita with the help of the
64. Ramana Maharsi - modern Hindu sage who promoted inquiry (vicara)
65. Ravana - the evil demon in the Epic of Ramayana who kidnaps Sita
66. rsi/rishi - seers; semi-divine sages
67. sacred-thread ceremony - marks the beginning of the four stages of life for a Hindu
boy (age 8 - 14) who is given a special thread and enters "religious life"
69. Sakti - the power which animates the entire cosmos; possessed by the Great Goddess
70. samadhi - the highest states of meditative absorption; in the highest state of Samadhi,
one attains oneness witht the true self (moksha)
71. Sanskrit - cultured/ perfected, was the language of the Aryans
72. samnyasin - renouncer; leaves behind society; becomes a beggar; wears a saffron
robe; seeks to attain moksha
73. Sarasvati - Brahma's female counterpart. Is the goddess of creativity, arts, and
learning, worshipped by students and educators
74. samsara - worldly existence
75. sat - being/ existence itself
76. Sita - Rama's wife in the Epic Ramayana, who is kidnapped but remains chaste for
her husband and serves as a model of the ideal Hindu wife; Sita's Fire Ordeal
exemplifies her devotion
77. Siva/ Shiva - Great God; animal skins, great yogi, possess third eye, bull as a mount,
78. smrti - traditional, remembered
79. student - boy receiving education from ages 12-24; formal boarding school education
with a guru; pursues the goal of understanding dharma
80. Soma - hallucinogenic plant, Vedic deity
81. sruti/ shruti - divinely heard; revealed
82. sudra - servants and menial workers; lower class above the untouchables
83. Surya - the sun
84. The Mahabharata - Hindu epic of the five Pandava princes
85. The Ramayana - Hindu epic of the adventures of Rama
86. The Laws of Manu - text on dharmic behaviour; describes dharmic principles for the
four classes; include descriptions of cosmogony (creation of the cosmos), the
duties of the classes, the four stages and goals of life, daily rituals, rites of
passage, purity and pollution, rules concerning the lives of women, etc.
87. The Upanisads - the last portion of the Vedic literature (Vedanta) including
philosophical texts speculating on Absolute Reality and the individual
88. The Vedas - religious texts of the Aryans; originally oral; include four collections of
eloquent hymns addressed to Vedic deities
89. The Rg Veda - oldest collection of Vedic hymns
90. twice-born - upper three classes of Hindu society: the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and
91. untouchables - lowest class in Hindu society; performed the most polluting jobs;
were the outcaste group
92. vahana - mount/vehicle that gods ride
93. vaisya - third class; merchants; twice-born
94. Vedanta - Vedic literature; philosophies that develop from philosophical speculations
95. Visnu/ Vishnu - Great God periodically incarnates (avatara) to preserve cosmic
balance; was Rama and Krsna
96. yajna - Vedic sacrifice (offerings into a ritually constructed square fire pit)
97. yoga - Yogas are paths of physical and psychological practices whose goal is
liberation (moksha). There are numerous types of Yoga in Hindu practice.
98. yoni - stone receptable into which a linga is often place. Effigy of the female
procreative organ and symbol of the Devi, it is regarded as the source from
which creation emerges. The linga/yoni conveys that the Absolute embodies, yet
transcends, male and female principles
Yogi - a person who is wholly committed to the discipline of yoga, a philosophy
promulgating the complete integration of oneself with the Absolute, through
specific, often austere, psycho-physical practices
If we look at the Medieval West:
The modern west 18th Century
Post-Christian Secular world
Christian civilization was threatened by Islam
Islam is deeply rooted in the Middle East
It is difficult for Christian/Muslims to see eye to eye
There is some social acceptance of criticism to Islam
Prejudices even stronger in Europe
Many prejudices show Muslims as terrorists
In the West there are a range of opinions on Islam
We should treat them the same as communists and fascists
Islam is the root of evil
The History of Islam
From Pre-Islamic Arabia to the Death of Muhammad
The Near East on the Eve of Islam
On the dawn of Islam, Arabia stood immediately south of two conflicting empires
The Roman Empire and The Persian Empire
The Eastern Roman Empire became the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire adheres to orthodox Christianity
The Arabian Peninsula
No empires attempted to conquer the Arabian Peninsula
Arabia occupied a strategic position in trade
However, Arabia itself was seen as a barren desert
Terrain and heat of Arabian Peninsula is desert, plateau, valley: no
Most Arabs before Islam were Polytheists
In language of Koran: polytheists were called Mushrikin
Mushrikin = "associaters"
associating deities with one God
Cardinal Sin of Islam is to compromise divine unity of God
Two Arab kingdoms in the north
Ghassanids - northwest
Lakhmids - northeast
Conflict was an extension of the larger powers
Persian empire on good terms with Nestorians
Monophysites allies with Byzantine Empire
Prior to Judaism this kingdom was pagan
Polytheists - before Islam
Pre-Islamic Religion of Polytheists
(1) not a structured religion
(2) no sacred texts
(3) belief in spirits
(4) no belief in afterlife
Centered on the "twin existential poles" of war and love, life and death, the sword
and the beloved. This is reflecting in the poetry of the Pre-Islamic Arabs.
Worldly religion focused on joys of life
Men had the 3 W's:
Fascination with Language
Power of spoken word
Poet was held in high esteem
Poetry filled with warrior, desert, love, and the tribe
Fervor of identity
Tribalism was important because of social structure
whether nomadic or settled
Tribe - an extended family
A community based on blood ties
The tribe itself is subdivided into clans
Clan - smaller unit
A part of a larger tribe
Different tribes were allied with each other
Based on common values/political goals
Based on family ties
eg.) inter-tribal marriage
No centralized political authority
Tribes enforced the laws
Tribes protected own members
Put tribal solidarity above justice
Asabiyya - tribal solidarity
If you wanted to be protected in Arabian society, you would have to affiliate yourself
with a tribe. Foreigners living in the Arabian Peninsula could be protected.
No one expected primitive Arabian society to emerge within a half century and
change the face of the Middle East.
The Life of Muhammad
Muhammad was born in 570 CE in Bekka (today called Mecca)
Mecca was important because of trade routes
Mecca had ties to neighboring empires through economics, but politically neutral
The prophet Muhammad belonged to the tribe Quraysh
Tribe named after the man Fihr who was nicknamed "little shark"
Rulers of Mecca
Keepers of the Kaba
Kaba - the cubical shrine in Mecca
Symbolically represents the house of God
Muslims turn to the Kaba's direction in Mecca when they pray
Islam places great emphasis on the transcendence of God
The Divine being cannot be contained in any finite form
The Kaba is empty
On the Kaba is a black stone
Referred to as the right hand of God
At the time of Muhammad the Kaba was filled with idols
Mecca drew pilgrims from all over the Arabian Penninsula
Polytheism was not restricted to any one God
A tribe could put any idol in the Kaba
In Mecca's best interests because then tribes would come to the Kaba
Pagans resisted the prophet Muhammad for economic and theological
The Life of Muhammad
(570 - 632 CE)
(1) From birth to Revelation
At age of 40 in year 610 CE
(2) From Revelation to Hejira
The emigration to Medina in 622 CE
(3) From the Hejira to death
Death in 632
Orphaned at a young age
Raised by his uncle: Abu Talib
Took up vocation of a merchant
Was able to travel
See different faiths
Wealthy woman who hired Muhammad to trade for her
She was 15 years older
Asked her to marry him Had
8 children together
Boys died, numerous girls survived
Al-Amin: the trustworthy
Muhammad was given this nickname
Muhammad turned away from idolatry and polytheism
Instead opted for the way of the Haneefs
Pure Ambrahamic monotheists
Haneefs felt monotheism had been corrupted over time and was no longer
present in Christianity (lost in trinity) and Judaism (lost universality in
Rituals that they believed in had Abrahamic origins
Performed pilgrimage: Kaba was built by Abraham and Ishmael
Muhammad retreated to cave
Cave of Hira where the prophet would go for meditation and spiritual
At age 40 Muhammad has a vision of an angel
Angel recites the first verses of the Quran
The First Revelation
Angel embraced Muhammad to imprint the word of God on his heart
Angel says "Muhammad I am Gabriel and you are the messenger of God"
"Recite in the name of thy Lord who created! He created the human being
from a clot of blood. Recite! And your Lord is most Bountiful, He who has
taught by the pen, Taught the human being what he knew not."
Muhammad goes to Waraqa to seek advice on his vision
Learned Christian who recognizes "Namus"
He says Muhammad was visited by the same angel who visited
Muhammad goes on to have many similarities to Moses
• community began to grow from those who heard of Muhammad's experience
Muslim theologians find it very important that those who knew Muhammad best
held him in such high esteem
Appeal of Muhammad's message:
People were drawn to monotheism
Paganism had lost its vitality
Equality of sexes, ages, slaves
Movement drew many converts from weaker members of society
Power-holders of Mecca did not approve of message
Reasons for Quaraysh rejection:
(1) message appearing to common Meccan
Muhammad not a tribal leader
(2) attracting lower members of society
slaves, women, weak
(3) Threatens Mecca's economic status
no more pagan pilgrimages
(4) Abandon religion of their forefathers
Resulted in persecution
Tried to publically humiliate Muhammad
The Quran/ Koran
-Primary reason of how Muhammad was able to draw so many converts
-Had significant impact on the Arabs
Arabs were an oral culture, extremely sensitive to the power of words
If you couldn't express yourself poetically you generally did not speak
Arabic language was intrinsically poetic - absent in other languages
The Quran loses poetic qualities in translation
Muhammad's message was beautifully worded
A sacred language can invoke emotions that other languages cannot
Quaraysh came up with explanations for where Muhammad's words had come from:
Muhammad was a poet
However, there was a miracle of Muhammad's poetry
Before revelations, Muhammad was articulate, but not poetic
Muhammad was a sorcerer
When he recites the Quran he bewitches his listeners
However, even today people are moved by the message
An attempt was made on Muhammad's life 10 years after revelations
Muhammad's uncle Abu Talib dies
Abu Talib was the leader of his clan Bani Hashim
Abu Talib offered Muhammad protection, so Quaraysh didn't hurt him
The new leader Bani Hashim did not give Muhammad true protection
Muhammad is open for attack
Quaraysh begin to plot against Muhammad
Yathrib (old name for city of Medina)
A community of Muslims grow so large in Medina that they invite
Muhammad and his whole community to seek asylum in Medina
They ask Muhammad to assume leadership of the city
The pagans of Medina were locked in a civil conflict, which was tearing Medina
apart. They realized that a neutral third party was needed to solve their conflict.
They also invited Muhammad to come rule Medina and help solve the internal
disputes of the city.
Marks beginning of Muslim calendar
Marks beginning of the third time of Muhammad's life
The community in Medina is established when Muhammad fled to Medina
Muhammad invited into city by notable members of city, but Muhammad lets his
camel roam and the place where the camel stops is Muhammad's place
A Mosque is built at this place:
Mosque of the Prophet in Medina
Trademark dome and minaret
Established shortly after Muhammad is invited into the city
Persecuted for 12 years by Quaraysh
Then assumed political authority of his own city-state
Community begins to grow because of the power of Muhammad's
While the Quaraysh had driven Muhammad out of Mecca, Muhammad was
Three major battles between:
Mecca (old social order) and Medina (new vibrant monotheistic religion)
Muhammad had laid down very specific rules of war
Do not cut down trees
Do not use fire/ no fire bombs or burning
Do not kill: women
Three major battles between: Mecca (Quaraysh) and Medina (Muslim)
(1) Battle of Badr
300 Medinans - Muslims
1000 Meccans - Quaraysh
Before the armies fight, a dual occurs where Muslims defeat Quaraysh
Muhammad concentrated his men around him, drawing the Quaraysh into repeated
waves of attacks to exhaust them, and Muhammad was military strategist.
(2) Battle of Uhud
Quaraysh win battle because archers left their post (Muhammad specifically told the
archers not to leave their post)
Temporary loss for the Muslims
Someone yells Muhammad dies - of course he did not
(3) Battle of the Trench
Muslims dug a trench around the entire city of Medina
Quaraysh were not prepared to lay siege
Two and a half weeks into siege a hurricane-like wind uproots the tents
Quaraysh take this as an omen that they must leave
Moral victory for Muhammad: prevented Quaraysh from capturing city even though
they had the largest army they had ever seen
Solved with the Treaty of Hudaybiyya
10 -year truce
Worked against the Muslims
Muhammad's disciples against treaty
Any resident of Mecca could not join Islam, but Medinans were
More people join Muhammad's cause in the 2 years following the treaty than in
Muhammad's 18 years of preaching because prior to the treaty, tribes did not want
to become enemies with Quaraysh
Muhammad the Prophet
Poet of the Quran
Islam grows rapidly, drawing many converts
The Quaraysh realized the treaty was working against them
They could not aid an ally of theirs in an attack against the other side
Quaraysh violate treaty
Muhammad asks Quaraysh to pay blood money so treaty can resume
Quaraysh say the treaty is null
Muhammad mobilized an army so big in size that it matched the size of Quaryash.
The army splits into four and approaches city on all sides
Quaryash ruled by many chiefs
The chief Abu Sufyan was primary leader
Standard bearer said to Abu Sufyan today is day of blood
Muhammad says to Abu Sufyan that today was the day of mercy
Muhammad grants Amnesty to the city
Abu Sufyan's wife Hind had been hostile and ate Muhammad's
Muhammad pardons Hind but asks her not to come to him, it is too
hurtful for Muhammad to look at her
There were 365 idols in Kaba
Muhammad recites Quran as he destroys the idols and erases images
Muhammad re-consecrates the Kaba
Restores Abrahamic purity
Muhammad dies 2 years later in the year 632
Death of Muhammad
"If it is Muhammad you worship then know he is dead. If it is God you worship, then
know that God lives and cannot die. Muhammad is but a messenger, and
have passed away before him. If he die or be slain, will you then turn upon your
heels? Whoso turns upon his heels will thereby do no hurt to God; and God will
reward the thankful."
- Abu Bakr (Muhammad's political successor)
Caliph = successor
Period of Four "Righteous Caliphs"
(1) Abu Bakr
Rules for 2 years and dies 634
(2) Umar (also Omar)
Becomes an Islamic Empire under Omar
(3) Uthman (also Uthan)
(4) Ali - the last of the Caliphs
Helping the Islamic Empire
Monophysites were heretical according to Byzantines
Jewish communities allied themselves with polytheists, but then preferred
Muslim rule over the Byzantine world
Non-Muslim communities paid a tax "jieya" to exempt them from the
military and paid for their religious freedom
All Persian Empire fell to Islamic Empire
Islamic Differences of:
- majority which is generally all over Islamic world
- they see all 4 caliphs as legitimate
- political and religious succession are not fused
- religious: scholars "ulema"
- political: caliphs
- community decides who will rule the people "democracy"
- "party Ali"
- located mostly in Iran and Lebanon
- minority view: similar to Christian succession
- only Ali is accepted as legitimate caliph
- political and religious succession are the same
- Imam is the political and religious successor
- First Imam: Ali
- Prophet did not designate a successor because it was only Ali
- Ali was succeeded by his son
- Declaration of one's faith
- Similar to Shema in Judaism "Hear O Israel, the Lord is Our God, the Lord is One."
- Shahada: "There is no deity but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God"
- Emphasis on Creed: between Judaism and Christianity
More emphasis on orthodox than Christianity
Less emphasis on orthodox than Judaism
Islamic Testimony of Faith
3 propositions drawn from the Shahada both implicit and explicit
The articles of faith:
(1) Affirms belief in divine unity
Explicitly stated in the Shahada
(2) Belief in prophecy
A prophet serves as an intermediary between God and human
God chooses a prophet, one cannot choose to become
(3) Belief in the return
Return of the soul after death
Implies pre-existence of the soul
Returns to God after life on earth
This is implied in the Shahada with prophecy
Tawhid - the belief in divine unity of God
- Islam is centered on this belief
- God is the starting point of Islam
- God has a dimension of transcendence and immanence
- Islam believes other religions are articulating universal truths
Transcendence - God is too great for humans to understand
Ineffable: no concept we know can describe him
Infinity: cannot understand more than the fact that it is unlimited
Nothingness: difficult to understand except for a lack of something
Pure Being: what is what is? what can be said of such an inclusive
concept that is so general, it encompasses all pure existence?
Immanence - Likeness between God and human
God is kind, loving, and generous which are human qualities
God must be immanent for human to have relationship with God
Transcendence: He is God, the One. God, the Eternal, the Absolute. He begets not, nor
is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him.
Immanence: Call upon God, or call upon the Compassionate,
Both: There is nothing like unto Him, and He is Seeing, the Hearing
God and the Cosmos in Islamic Domes
Picture existence as a circle
Circumference is the cosmos
Many circles signify levels of the universe
At the center of existence there is God
God has a relationship with himself: which is transcendent
God also has a relationship with humans: which is immanent
This immanence extends the radii of the circle
In the same way that the circumference is no more than an expression of the
center point: all are qualities of the center
The rays that extend from the middle of the circle are names for God
Mother Names: 99 names for God in Islam
A name is a quality of God
There are infinitely many names for God, because He is infinite
There are infinitely many radii in God
Existence is infinite
In relation to transcendence, God is neither male nor female
In relation to immanence, God is both genders
Muslim theologians divided names of God into masculine and feminine
In scripture, God is "He" out of convention
Immanence of God is female to describe nearness
Bond of love between parent and child is most close in mother
Hadith - sayings of Muhammad
Muhammad speaks of God as a Mother
God created 100 mercies, giving one to the Mother for her child
Similarities in concept of God:
Jewish and Islamic concepts of God almost identical
Islam differs because God is not of a community
Jewish tradition has God of Israel: God of a people
Islam tradition: God is God of all, not just community
Christian and Islamic concepts view a universal God
Islam rejects concept of Trinity, which compromises unity, and reject
incarnation because while God is capable of all things, God is infinite and
cannot be contained in the finite.
Christianity: God is fully divine and fully human in Christ.
Prophecy in Islam
Muhammad's Nocturnal Ascent
Prophets appear with revelations from God
Prophets are necessary to show human beings to reach their full potential in life,
giving them purpose and knowledge about human existence.
Socrates: "An unexamined life is not worth living"
What separates the human being from animals is the ability to ask fundamental
questions about existence.
In Islam, a prophet comes to help people answer their questions.
Since they are necessary for human guidance, prophets have appeared
history into every nation.
Muslims accept that every civilization has received a prophet of some kind. Muslims
accept that Buddha, Confuscius, and Greek Philosophers were all different
messengers and therefore prophets.
The prophet speaks in the language of the community for which he was sent.
Muslims believe that prophecy ended with the prophet Muhammad.
Islam believes no new religion will be introduced.
A prophet must come with a message of divine unity/ monotheism.
For example, Hinduism was founded in monotheism and the different deities are
different expressions of God.
Biblical Prophets are mentioned most often in Islam:
Islam is a continuation and correction of Christianity and Judaism
Islam feels that it is fulfilling
Prophets are divinely guided, but not themselves divine
This is the Islamic view of Jesus
Death and the "Return"
Nature of the Soul, Life, and Death
Return to God, to one's origin, suggests pre-existence of spirit
Body is from Earth and returns to Earth
Soul is from God and returns to God
The soul comes from the spiritual world to enter a human body
The body is the temple for the soul
The body dies in the physical world
The soul then returns to the spiritual world
Research by Charles Tart
Real or hallucinatory?
Feel like you are outside of your body, often looking down on it
Near death experience
Person is clinically dead
Often have a life review: see and experience your life
See and experience how you impacted others
Encountering of deceased relatives
Images of religious figure of your own tradition
Encounter with angelic beings
Encounter with demonic beings
Often a description of God
Divine being is a light in the distance
They begin to go to the light
Person is brought back to life before going to the light
Near death experience of the blind
Research by Kenneth Ring "mind-sight"
Blind have sight with out-of-body experiences
Near death experience of children
Children meet deceased relatives that they did not know on Earth
A hallucination would have children meet parents, who are alive and close to
them to help them cope with the bodily termination.
Resistance to belief in near death experiences
One man's near death experience
Conversation with an angelic being
What religion is the correct one?
Whichever religion brings you closest to God is the right religion
ISLAM AND THE AFTERLIFE
Death in Islam is a
(1) Transition between modes of existence
Word for death: Intiqal "to move"
(2) Time of reckoning
(3) Birth - rebirth of the soul
(4) Inversion of one's being - soul that is hidden becomes manifest
Sufis - mystics of Islam
According to Sufis, it is possible to experience this in the physical world
You will become enlightened with death
Prophets, such as Buddha, are awake and enlightened
Muhammad (570 - 632)
Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last in a long series of prophets
God sent to reveal his will. Muhammad experienced a twenty-two year
period of mystical encounters, during which the Quran's content was given
After the death of Muhammad, the Muslim community was led by four
contemporaries of Muhammad (Abu Bakr, Umar[Omar], Uthman[Uthan], and Ali).
These had converted to Islam early. In succession, these four led the community
from 632 to 661, by which time much of the southeast Mediterranean was brought
under Muslim control.
Cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, he is considered by Shiite Muslims to have
been the proper successor to Muhammad.
A leading intellectual who became a Sufi convert. He challenged the independence
philosophy, emphasizing the need of revelation. He also helped to synthesize
with Sunni orthodoxy.
The traditional form, making up about 85% of Islam. They consider that valid
leadership of Islam lies in a caliph of Muhammad's tribe.
Meaning "party" it is the largest minority, they maintain that valid leadership lies in
the imam, a direct descendent of Muhammad, through his daughter Fatima and her
"Twelvers" - believe in twelve imams
Sufis - mystical movement
Hijab - the scarf or head-covering worn by most Muslim women
Minaret - the tower of a mosque
Al-Fatihah - "The Opening"
99 Names for God
The pre-Islamic center of trade and religion for Arabs, which Muhammad reformed
into a center of monotheism. Muslims who are able are expected to make a
pilgrimage there at least once during their lifetime.
Originally Yathrib, it was renamed Medina to honor Muhammad, who established
the first Islamic government there.
The third most holy city of Islam, the Dome of the Rock, a mosque built in 692 on the
site of the Jewish temple, is particularly special.
"Cube" a pre-Islamic cube-shaped building in Mecca, rebuilt several times. Believed
by Muslims to have been built by Abraham. The Black Stone (meteorite) is
embedded in it.
It is the center of Muslim pilgrimage and the place toward which one prays
"place of prostration"
"recitation" The Islamic scripture by Muhammad
Stories of what Muhammad did or said
Western Religions - Introduction
Theology / beliefs
Life of Jesus: Film
Formative political history (conversion of roman empire)
Theological divisions and construction of orthodoxy (up to council of nicea)
Islam Life of Muhammad
Film: Arab stereotypes
6 million Jews killed in Holocaust
- 13.3 million population in 2008
- 375 000 in Canada
- 0.22% of world population
- 40% lives in North America
- Has been a minority religion since beginning, but has continued to exist until now
- despite anti-Semitism and hostility, Judaism has resilience
- Judaism is crucial to understanding Islam (21%) and Christianity (33%), which
make up more than half of world population
* know denominations *
Jew - "Yehudi" - Judean
One who lives in the Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah 930 - 586 BCE
To cross over
Nomadic nature of group
Only after coming of Moses that became secretary
The Drama of Biblical History
Judaism is self-conscious of their history
Hebrew Bible is largely a historical text of teachings from experiences
Begins with act of creation
Jewish understanding of history identical to Christian understanding - also
called the Old Testament in Christianity
Hebrew Bible - Tanakh
1) Torah - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
2) Nevi'im - "prophets"
3) Ketuvim - "writings"
Biblical Narrative of the Creation Story
God creates the world, then the human being
"And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him;
male and female created He them." -Genesis 1:27
Anthropomorphism - conceiving God in terms of humans
anthropos - "pertaining to human being"
morphology - "the study of form"
Jewish and Christian Theologians
vicegerent of God
humans are a representation of God on Earth
not that God is a human
objective knowledge is possible from the divine image
refers to free will - human beings have choice
Adam and Eve
Can also refer generically to the human race
"ha'adam" - word for human being
"eve" - word for life
Adam and Eve do not have moral sense
as a consequence of eating forbidden fruit, acquire knowledge of good and
evil, right and wrong, human beings will then suffer consequences
In Christianity, The Fall highlights original sin
Original Sin - condition of sinfulness into which humans are born
Christian Theology believes that humans are born tainted
It is the death of Christ that liberates people
No original sin
Metaphor of exile of Jewish people from promise land for violating laws of
God because there is consequence for disobeying
Chronology - story must be read metaphorically
Adam's birth at 4000 BC
Homo sapiens are at least 5000 BC years old
The Legacy of Abraham
We must understand the figure of Abraham to understand Jewish history
Everything we know of Abraham, we know from the scriptures
- born in land of Ur (Iraq and Turkey region)
- born 1813 BCE
- dissatisfied with superstitious beliefs of community
- conflict with father
- forced to leave and goes to Canan with his wife Sarah
- as they grow old, Sarah lets Abraham have Hagar, who bears son
- Ishmael is born of Hagar
- Ishmael becomes father of Arabs
- 15 years after Ishmael, Sarah becomes pregnant and has son
- Isaac is born of Sarah
- Isaac becomes father of Jewish people
God demands Abraham's obedience, and in turn will make his descendents
continue, and promises the land of Canan
The Promised Land is Canan
1) leave land of Ur
2) obey laws
Jewish continue this covenant through heredity
The Patriarchs and Twelve Tribes of Israel
Patriarchs of Judaism:
Abraham and Isaac
Isaac has two sons, Esau and Jacob
Isaac gives legacy to Jacob
Jacob has twelve sons
Jacob's name is changed to Israel ("to struggle")
Fathered twelve tribes of Israel
Jewish Biblical Stories
The Torah - Patriarchs
Abraham was chosen
God would give Abraham many descendents and promised Land
Abraham had Jacob and Esau
Jacob > Israel > moves to Egypt after drought
Israelites grow in Egypt
Pharoh enslaves Hebrews
Covenant - if Hebrews follow God, then God will look out for them
Moses - God tells Moses to return to the Pharoh and say to "Let my people go"
God shows his power to the Egyptians
12 plagues - Pharoh will not let Hebrews go
Kills first son of every Egyptian Family
Embodies emotions of Exodus: pain of slavery and joys of freedom
Religious ritual that builds community
After wandering for 40 days, come to Mount Sinai
Moses climbs up mountain and talks to God
Sinai Covenant becomes The Ten Commandments
Tradition calls it: The Ten Words
However, the bible is larger than just the Ten Commandments
Torah - Law for instructions that embody the covenant
Tells stories that explain the rules in detail with examples
Rules of your life, economics, social property, purity, etc
Shavout - means "Weeks"
About 50 days after Passover
Celebrate God's giving the Torah
Stay up all night and study Torah
Also agricultural festival - in the spring - offerings to God
Bible says one week in fall live in a small hut called a Sukkah like you did
The festival of Sukkot, Jews will eat meals in humble harvest home
Israelites wandering desert
End up in Jordan about to cross the Jordan river about to cross into Israel
Moses dies before they cross
Keep this law and you will keep this land
Conquest and Exile
Israelites told to go into promised land and execute all people there
Purify promised land
Tribes set up a monarchy in Jerusalem
Kingdom breaks up into two - one falls, then the other
"Canaan" invaded "Israel"
David is the King of Israel
God promises He will build David a dynasty
David's son Solomon builds God's house
Temple built on the mount Zion
Temple "Holy of Holies" was a place of sacrifice where women and foreigners were
not allowed in. Tablets of the law were kept.
Ark in Synagogue
Synagogue is a social institution
Place of prayer
The Ark is like a niche in the wall, facing Jerusalem
Copy of Torah scroll in Ark
Israel - Samaria (top of current-day Israel)
Judah - Jerusalem (bottom of current-day Israel)
Solomon disobeyed God
God punishes Solomon, but remembers promise to David
Solomon's son can rule Judah
*There is no factual evidence of the history of the Hebrew people
*What there is: evidence of Eastern Mediterranean economic upheaval, a city hit by
earthquake 1200BCE that was abandoned. Evidence of spread out warfare. City-
states collapse and are abandoned. People took to a rural lifestyle for a while, then
slowly return to cities.
Reference to state called Israel - Egyptian King document: brag destroying Israelites
800s BCE references to Israel and Samaria then later to Judah and Jerusalem
* No evidence of David and Solomon's rule of a unified land
Bible traces history of Israel and Judah
Eventually the story recounts how key parts of the covenant are broken
This is the setting for the Bible's prophets
Assyria gains control of Israel 722 BCE
Current day Syrians
Bible says they fell under Assyrian control, but didn't like their taxes
Finally Assyria wipes them out - all of Samaria gone
"Lost tribe of Israel"
Bible loses interest in them
Bible says it was because God was angry at them
Judah was miraculously spared from the Assyrians
Assyrians are defeated by Babylon (current-day Iraq)
Babylon gains control of Judah 587 BCE
Same things happen
Depopulation, deportation of people in Judah
Judians are exiled
"The Great Exile"
The Bible says the Babylonians destroyed all Jews
This is the judgment of God on them
Babylon finally defeated by Persia 538 (current-day Iran)
Persian King let Israelites go home
330s Alexander the Great - Hellenisism
Foundations of 2nd Temple Judaism
- Davadic dynasty: "Messiah"
- Increasing accent on texts
People began to spiritualize the concept of the dynasty of David that a new king
would come to rule the Jews
Hasmonean dynasty/ "Maccabees"
Mattathias the priest and his son Judas Hanukkah declare war on
to recapture the Temple and begin to run Israel
"Maccabee" - means Hanna
The festival to celebrate became Hannakah
Roman Empire Conquers
- political upheaval occurs
Rebellion 68-73 ce
Rebellion against the Romans
Romans sacked and destroyed the second Temple of God
Jews are scattered all over world
Temple was the center of Jewish life, but the Temple was destroyed
Old priesthood wiped out, no more power
"Jerusalemwas so thoroughly razed to the ground by those that demolished it to
its foundations, that nothing was left that could ever persuade visitors that it had
once been a place of habitation" F. Josephus
Jews recovered with symbolic temples = synagogues
Finish their bible - Tanakh
Oral traditions were written down over centuries
Priests - took a new name called Rabis
It doesn't matter where you are as a Jew, you can worship
Post 70 ce
Rabbinic Reinvention - new literature
Talmud - quotes from Mishnah and discussion commentators
Behind all of this law, is the idea that one CAN approach God
You are never truly free without rules
Jews follow in order to be free
The whole Torah:
Do under others as you would have done to you
The rest is all commentary
12 Tribes of Israel Arabs
God in Judaism
The Jewish Understanding of God and the Human Being
Theology - the study of God
- the study of religious doctrine
Monotheism - belief in the divine unity of God
The bedrock of Judaism
"monos" - singular or one / "theos" - God
Polytheism - the belief in many Gods
Atheism - belief in no God
Pantheism - everything is God, nature is God
Shema- prayer - declaration of monotheism
Closest thing to a "creed" in Judaism
Recited daily by observant Jews
"Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
Theologians - Philosophy of Monotheism
Aristotle - Intellect was the supreme being
Plato - supreme being is the extreme good
Thomas Aquinas - important theologian, very Aristotelian
Two Dimensions of the Divine Being
God - the Divine Transcendence
God is so complex and different from us and
cannot be conceived of anthropomorphically
1) God is beyond human comprehension
2) God is entirely different from everything that we can be thought
3) God does not have human qualities
While the ancient polytheist Gods were amplified human beings, the God of Judaism
is not. Humans have made their Gods in their own image. However, Western
Traditions believe in a transcendent God. We cannot understand the absolute
beauty and absolute greatness, ie. God is a being that transcends our understanding.
Moses says "I pray, show me Your Glory!"
God responds "You cannot see My face, for man may not see Me and live"
If the human being were to encounter the reality of the divine, we would be
blinded by the light of His greatness.
God says "I am what I am"
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways"
Therefore, humans cannot understand any more than this
Only the divine being can embrace the infinity of His existence
The only knowledge you can have of God, is that you cannot understand Him
"Even the heavens to their utmost reaches cannot contain you, how much less this
house that I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27) - King Solomon upon completion of Temple
Negative Theology - God is other than everything that can be thought.
The flip side of transcendence
God reveals himself to people, He cannot be entirely transcendent when he shows
himself to Moses and Prophets. Immanence is the reason we can communicate.
The indwelling presence of God
Refers to the self-revelations of God
God spoke to Moses through a thorn bush to show that the presence is even existent
in something so small. People do not know God's presence if their heart is closed off.
Paradox of Monotheism
simultaneous affirmation of transcendence and immanence
What is the Human Being?
The Nature of the Human Being in Judaism is relevant to Christianity and Islam
(1)Human being created in the image of God
Does not have to be understood anthropomorphically
Human can be a representation of God (ie his representatives on Earth)
Means the human being has -intellect
Creative Command - Divine Fiat
Whenever God brings something into existence, he does so through this
Speech "Let there be light"
Breathes the human being to give man life - God pours himself into man
In Jewish tradition, the soul has origin in breath of God
The soul is divine life
At the core of every human being is goodness
"God formed the man from the dust of the ground and He blew into his nostrils the
soul of life; and man became a living being" -- Genesis 2:7
(2) Humans have a soul
The body is the temple of the soul
The soul is the divine life of God, which gravitates upwards, turns by nature
to the divine life
The human being also has an animalistic side that pulls downward, which
turns to evil instincts
Because of this unique combination, the human being has free will, he or she has
two potentials: angelic -- subject self to saintly, or demonic -- worse than an animal
(3) Free Will - the capacity to make choices
Every human being is a fully responsible moral agent
Human choices of thought and action are held accountable by oneself (ie one
can control their own thoughts)
Jews believe it is your choice of what you will do with what you are given
Human being is in control of own destiny
Predestination - the opposite of free will
The belief that everything you do has already been determined
All of your actions and choices were created by God
A person only has the illusion of autonomy - we are simply characters acting
out our scripted roles
God's will is so pervasive, that He wields everything
(3a) We are responsible for actions
(3b) We are responsible for controlling our thoughts
(3c) We are NOT responsible for inclinations - we do not have control over them
The Divine Commandments
How is it that free will should be exercised? -- For the good
Gentiles - non Jews
There is one set of rules for gentiles: To live according to the 7 Laws of Noah
One does not have to be Jewish to have eternal life
Olam Haba - paradise or afterlife
The Seven Laws of Noah for Gentiles and Jews
1) Prohibition against Idolatry
5) One cannot blaspheme God - astrology, divination etc
2) prohibition against murder and suicide
3) sexual immortality (pre-marital and extra-marital relations or homosexuality)
4) prohibition against theft
6) prohibition against eating flesh of an animal while still alive
7) Need to create a form of government that enforces these laws
The Laws of Moses for the Jews
Mitzvah - " a command "
Decalogue - word for the Ten Commandments
There are a total of 613 commandments
365 - prohibition commandments - correspond to days of year
248 - positive commandments, or things to do - correspond to human parts
At age 13
Boys become "bar mitzvah" - one to whom the commandments apply
Ceremony entails boy reading a section of the Torah at the synagogue
At age 12
Girls become "bat mitzvah"
The bat mitzvah is a modern ceremony that includes girls
One must keep the Sabbath day holy, work for six days and rest on the seventh
Begins on Friday evening and goes until Saturday evening
What is work?
Rabbis developed a list of 39 things that cannot be done:
Cook Write Clean
Sew Wash Jobs
It is a time for prayer and to spend time with the family
A day to experience the state of paradise
It is said that God gave each day of the week a mate, but gave Saturday - the Sabbath
to the Jewish people. Therefore, Jews approach Sabbath with love.
Cleanliness - Hygiene
Food - No pig/ pork/ bacon
Seafood without scales and fins - no bottom eaters, no lobster
Animal must be killed with quick stroke of knife
Blood of Animal must be drained
Meat must be salted
Kosher meat is some of the healthiest meat you can have
Eat milk and meat separately
• goat should not be eaten after being boiled in its mother's milk
"building a fence around the Torah"
Elaborate set of rules
What happens when you sin and do not live up to the commandments?
In Christianity - Christ is the atonement for your sins
In Judaism - you are responsible
- you must atone for your own sins
Teshuvah - "repentance"
To turn or to return to God
It's about doing something to atone
Must turn to the Torah
In this way, you return to yourself, you violated your inner core so must go
back to your soul after admission of the sin
(3) resolve to not return to sin
(4) take steps to ensure you don't return to sin
If Teshuvah is done properly, you will be forgiven by God
High Holy Days
Day of Teshuvah
"day of atonement"
communal confession of sins
forgiveness of others
People and the Promised Land
Beth Israel - the house of Israel
- the Jewish people
Eretz Israel - the land of Israel
- the holiest of lands on earth because it was promised to Abraham
Jewish people hold a nation in the eyes of God that no other people or nation hold
because of their covenantal relationship with God
"For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has
chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who
are on the face of the earth" Deuteronomy 7:6
Required expulsion of Cananites when Israelites were promised the land
1948 modern state of Israel established - displacement of Arabs
Zionist movement - to establish a land for the Jewish people
Anti-Semites supported this to expel Jews from Europe
The way that the Palestinians are portrayed in the media is similar to the way
that Native North Americans were shown during colonization.
Jewish Sacred Writings
The Hebrew bible is NOT to be referred to as the "Old Testament" which is the
Christian name. The Hebrew bible is full on its own, not requiring a "New" one.
a. Pentateuch - 5 books
b. 8 books
b. 11 total
There are different meanings of the Torah
Can be all of Jewish teachings
Can refer to all of the Tanakh
Can refer to first section of Hebrew bible
The Torah scroll is sacred
Sofer Torah is kept in the Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark)
Kept in possession of entire congregation/ community
Great deal of time and energy taken to produce a Torah scroll
Sofer - scribe
10 adult members must be present for the Torah scroll to be read
Telmud: Mishnah and Gemara
Commentary on Torah
referred to as an oral Torah
written down in year 200 CE
Commentary on Mishnah
2 kinds: Palestinian and Babylonian
Exegesis - commentary
Scripture is central to Jewish tradition
Judaism is exegetic
Commentary is very important
Rabis for years have written down their commentary
Texts of the Torah
Torah: The first five books of the Hebrew Bible, the primary source for Torah. Also
Tanakh: The three parts of the Hebrew Bible: Torah[law], Neviim[prophets], and
Ketuvim[writings]. Commonly called the Bible (or "Old Testament")
Mishnah: "repetition" or oral Torah which complements the written Torah
Gemara: commentary on the Mishnah
Talmud: "study" the Mishnah and Gemara combined
Responsa: collections of written replies from rabbis to questions about the Torah,
after the completion of the Talmud
Shulchan Aruch: "The Prepared Table" used as a guidebook for Torah observance
Abraham: the father of the Hebrews, who with his son Isaac, his grandson Jacob
(also called Israel), and Jacob's twelve sons are the Patriarchs
Moses: Law-giver who presented the Torah and covenant to Israel and founded the
David: the idealized king, whose dynasty is featured as one of the key elements in
the restoration of Israel
Maimonides (1138-1204 CE)
A Spanish Jewish philosopher and commentator on the Talmud, he formulated
the thirteen principles of Judaism
Rashi (1040-1105 CE)
French rabbinic commentator on the Bible and the Talmud
Maccabees: The Hasmoneans, a priestly family who led the revolt against the
Seleucid Greeks and liberated Palestine for a few decades before the
conquest of the East
Essenes: Often identified with an apocalyptic sect, discontent with life under the
Maccabees, who formed an isolated ascetic, scribal, and priestly community
near the Dead Sea at Qumran. Had the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Pharisees: A non-priestly group, whose concern about religious purity and the study
of the Torah and oral traditions gave them popular influence in society. Their
traditions influence rabbinic Judaism.
Sadducees: The religious elite, controlling the Jerusalem temple and its economy.
They rejected the oral Torah and some of the newer ideas in Judaism.
Samaritans: A group in central Palestine, with obscure Jewish ancestry. They
the Pentateuch and expected a prophet-like messianic figure.
Zealots: A collection of diverse discontents and apocalyptic militants, who led the
revolt against Rome.
Kabbalist - Jewish mystic
Ashkenazi - Germanic Jews who spoke Yiddish
Sephardic - Spanish Jews
Rosh Hashanah: "beginning of the year" Jewish New Year ends with Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur: "Day of Atonement" The holiest day of the Jewish calendar, marked by
fasting, prayer, and repentance
Sukkot: "Tabernacles" or "booths" A seven-day harvest festival, linked to the
wandering of the Hebrew exiles in the desert after their escape from Egypt.
Pesach: "Passover" celebrates Exodus, the ancient Hebrew escape from Egypt. A
seder meal is eaten
Hanukkah: "dedication" celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over Syrian Greek
overlords, who had outlawed Judaism. A special 18-branch candlestick is
Purim: "Lots" Persian Jews saved: costumes and boisterous plays
Shavout: "Weeks" or Pentecost to commemorate giving of the Torah
Sabbath: Saturday rest and reflection
Abraham - the father of the Hebrews, God would bring Abraham many descendents
and would give them the Promised Land.
Abraham, who with his son Isaac, his grandson Jacob (Israel), and Jacob's
twelve sons are the Patriarchs. Moses came from this lineage, followed by
David, then Jesus.
David - the idealized King of Israel, whose dynasty is featured as one of the key
elements in the restoration of Israel
Mosaic Law - laws given from God to Moses, who presented the Torah and covenant
to Israel and founded the nation.
Transcendence and Immanence
Canaan - The Promised Land; Hebrews came into possession of Canaan
The Promised Land
CANON - bible
Olam Haba - "Paradise" or the "World to Come"
Yom Kippur - atonement
Sabbath - seventh day of week: rest
Sukkoth - harvest festival, linked to the wandering of the Hebrew exiles in the desert
after their escape from Egypt
Pesach - "Passover" celebrates Exodus, the ancient Hebrew escape from Egypt. A
seder meal is eaten
Hanukkah - "dedication" celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over Syrian Greek
overlords, who had outlawed Judaism. A special 8-branch candlestick is used
Mishnah - oral Torah
Midrash - Jewish literature
Talmud - Mishnah and Gemara
Menorrah - 7 branched candlestick
Teshuvah - repentence "return"
Early Christians (their fate, charges made against them, etc.)
Logos - term borrowed from Greek philosophy for Son of God
Christ is the "word" of God
Beatitudes - ethical teachings of Christ
Churches built under Constantine's rule
St. Peter's Bascillica in Rome, Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Church of the
Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (also Anastasis - church of the resurrection), Hagia
Sophia in Constantinople/Istanbul
Arians - Christ not divine, there was a time when he was not
Nestorians - Divine dwells inside human Christ
Monophysites - Christ is fully divine
Nicene Creed (know in detail)
Hagia Sophia - once largest domed building in world, church built by Constantine
Orthodox - correct
Epiphany - January 6 - celebrate visit of Three Magi
Pentecost - 50 days after Easter, connected to Jewish Shavout ("weeks")
Easter - The primary and oldest Christian festival, celebrating the death and
resurrection of Jesus, connected to the Jewish Passover.
Eucharist - communion
BC/AD - dating system
IHC - abbreviation for Jesus from Latin name
INRI - abbreviation of Latin words for "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"
IHS - old abbreviation for Greek name Jesus "in this sign" or "Jesus Savior of Men"
Chi-Ro - a monogram formed by two Greek capital letters XP superimposed on each
other. They are the first two Greek letters in word "Christ." Sign became associated
Caroligian Empire (time span= over a thousand years) became known as Holy
Early History (lecture review)
Pre-Islamic Near East - The Byzantine Empire and Sassanian Empire are in
shortly before the rise of Islam; this latest war is part of an extended conflict
between the Roman and Persian Empires, which goes centuries.
Pre-Islamic Arabia - Arabs organized along tribal lines; most of them identify with a
form of paganism. The Kaba is a place of worship which the Hanifs believe to be of
Abrahamic origin, originally monotheistic. When Muhammad is born, it houses 360
Muhammad - Born and raised in Mecca in 570 CE; orphaned at a young age, raised
by his grandfather, then his uncle Abu Talib, who later gives him protection.
Hanifs - Muhammad is a monotheist prior to his experiences of revelation, and
identifies with a form of Abrahamic monotheism present in the Arabian peninsula.
Revelation - Has an experience of the Angel Gabriel while meditating in a cave at the
age of 40. Personal doubts and the immensity of the experience lead him to seek
comfort in his wife, Khadija. The verses he receives come to be known as the Quran.
The message of the Quran stresses monotheism, social equality, and warns of the
dangers of a final resurrection and impending Day of Judgment
Meccan Reaction - The power holders of Meccan society are resistant to
Muhammad's message; weaker members of society are drawn.
Hegira - Flight from Mecca to Medina shortly before an attempt is made on
Muhammad's life. Muhammad establishes a mosque in Medina, now known as the
Mosque of the Prophet (with trademark green dome). Muhammad eventually
assumes a position of political power in Medina, partly at the behest of two Arab
tribes that felt an outsider was needed to settle their own disputes.
Conflict with Mecca - Medina and Mecca are set on a course of conflict with Medina
as the representative of a new, vibrant religion, and Mecca as a representative of an
older, pagan order. A number of battles fought (Badr, Medina victorious; Uhud,
Mecca victorious; Trench, stalemate but moral victory for Medina). Relations with
Jews turn sour when Jews begin to ally themselves with Mecca; their "closed canon"
and Muhammad's Arab (i.e. Ishmaeli) background prevented them from accepting
him as a prophet.
Treaty of Hudaibiyya - Mecca and Medina agree to a 10-year truce. The new religion
grows more in the following two years than in the previous 18 years of
Conquest of Mecca - Breach of Treaty by Mecca leads to conquest of the city.
Muhammad grants amnesty to its citizens, but does not spare the idols of the Kaba,
which he then reconsecrates as an Abrahamic house or shrine of worship.
Muhammad sees this cleansing of the Kaba as a culmination of his mission, which
to restore Abrahamic monotheism.
Death - Muhammad dies of natural causes and is buried in Medina. Succeeded by
four "caliphs" or "successors" (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali).
Sunnis - Accept legitimacy of four successors, who are the "four rightly guided
caliphs"; make up 85% of Muslim population today.
Shi'ites - accept as legitimate only Ali, who is the first "imam" or leader of the
community. Shiah/Shi'ite = "party (of Ali)"
Later Dynasties - the four caliphs are succeeded by the Umayyads (661-750: 90
years capital is Damascus), who are then succeeded by the Abbasids (750-1258:
years capital Bagdad), after which the Islamic empire begins to fragment into
The three principles - Islamic beliefs center on these principles, at the heart of which
stands the concept of Divine Unity.
God (Arabic: "Allah", from ['al' ('the') + ilah ('god') = Allah ('the god')] - God in Islam
is both transcendent and ineffable, and immanent and near; he is conceptualized
through Attributes or the "Divine Names." The relation between God and the cosmos
can be illustrated through a circle (see class notes). The Islamic concept of God is,
within the Abrahamic religions, more similar to Judaism.
Prophecy - An experience of revelation by a human being to guide a community or
communities to God and ultimate salvation. Not restricted to a genealogical line;
some theologians do not restrict it to gender either (Mary is considered by some to
be a prophetess). Begins with Adam and ends with Muhammad, the "seal of
prophets". Islam accepts the major biblical figures as prophets; every prophet
taught a message of Divine unity, even if that message was later corrupted or lost. A
prophet is never an incarnation of God because the human and divine orders are
The Return - Death is considered a separation of the body from the soul; the body
returns to the earth, which is its origin, and the soul returns to God, which is its
origin. Death leads to an eventual judgment of one's life. Islamic theology presents a
vivid and detailed description of the afterlife, of the joys of Paradise and the
suffering of Hell.
(1) Creed: Shahadah
(2) Prayer - 5 times a day
(3) Alms - tax for poor relief
(4) Fasting - for Ramadan
Shariah - Law
Hegira (AH = After Hegira)
Sufis - mystics
Kharijites - caliph need not be family or of tribe of Muhammad; any pious Muslim
Al-Ghazali - a leading intellectual who became a Sufi convert. He challenged the
independence of philosophy, emphasizing the need of revelation. He also helped to
synthesize Sufism with Sunni orthodoxy.
Minaret - tower
Umayyads (know capital and time span)
Abbasids (know capital and time span)
Shahadah - creed
Shariah - Islamic Law
Sources of Islamic Law
Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem
Blue Mosque - Istanbul
SLM/Islam - letters of consonantal roots of Islam, peace, shalom "surrender"
Hadith - sayings of Muhammad
Al-Fatihah - prayer; "The Opening" first surah in Quran