Belief Systems

By: Elliott Hillman

Within this ginormous world, we have different people. Within the different people, their is different religions. Religion is a big part of todays world, and affects different cultures everyday in different ways.


- Oldest Religion in history

- Began in Africa

- The word animism means "soul" or "breath" in Latin

The main beliefs of animism is to worship spirits of nature, and to worship your lost ancestors. Their beliefs impact their culture because they respect nature so much, they are dependent on it and are very thankful and spiritual towards it.


- Began in Japan

-3-4 million adherents

-Torii (shrine gate)

Main Beliefs: spirits of "Kami" exist in all living things

- including emperor

The beliefs of the Shinto people affect their culture because they have a great respect for natural world and a great respect for their ancestors.


- Began in India

- Holy Book is called the "Vedas"

They believe in reincarnation. That you will be reborn into another form or body until perfection is reached. They also believe in Karma, actions and thoughts, and Dharma, acts or duties that someone is suppose to do.It affects their culture because people live a good moral life to reach perfection, or to move up in the Caste System.


- Began in India

-360 million adherents

- Spiritual leader is a monk

Buddhists believe that to end suffering you need to end your desires. They also say you must follow the eightfold path, this is rules that people go by to live a good moral life. Meditation is a huge part of this process. Buddhism affects culture because people use good behavior and judgment. It is a very peaceful and well behaved culture.



- "Tao" means the way

- 20 million adherents

Taoism is more of a philosophy than a religion. Followers are taught to respect all that nature brings and to follow the fundamental laws of nature. Do not disrupt "the way". One should maintain balance. It affects culture because it has had an impression on everything from art to medicine, they tend to not be associated with the activities of politics or other social stresses.


- Began in China

- 5-6 million adherents

- Confucius - began Confucianism, which is more directed towards mans social interactions

People who go by Confucianism go by the Five Relationships and four other principles. 1) One should know his role in society. 2) Education is very important. 3) Respect your elders. 4) Everyone should live a good moral life. The Five Relationships are Father over son, older brother over younger brother, husband over wife, ruler over subjects, and friends are equal with friends. Confucianism affects culture because the basic tenants of Confucianism became the guiding philosophy of the Chinese culture for many generations.


- Began in the Middle East

- roughly 14 million adherents (that we know)

-began by the Hebrew people of the Ancient Fertile Crescent Area

- Holy Text: Torah

The Jewish believe in one god, and they only obey him. They believe in living a good moral life, for some day god will send down a messiah (savior) to save them from their sins. Israel is believed to be the land promised to them by god. Their beliefs impact culture because they live good lives and are good people. They are suppose to follow the Ten Commandments to guide their behavior. The Ten Commandments consists of holy rules along the lines of no robbery, no killing, must obey your parents, no committing adultery, etc.


- Began in the Middle East

- 2 billion adherents

- Holy text: The Bible

Christians believe in one god as well, the same god in fact as the Jewish. But there's a twist, Christians believe the messiah has already came, Jesus. He came to give them everlasting life in Heaven, where the jewish believe Jesus is not the messiah. Christians are suppose to live a good moral life, and treat one another fairly. Christianity affects culture because the rules were easy to understand and follow, so more people followed it. Christians are also suppose to follow the Ten Commandments.


- began in the Middle East

- second largest religion in the world today

Muslims believe in one god, the same god as Christians and Jewish. Again, with a small twist. Instead of being called god his name is Allah. And there is no messiah named Jesus, there is a prophet named Mohammed. Mohammed began the religion in 622 AD. The main beliefs are to follow Allah in all things and hold the teachings of the Quran. They must follow the Five Pillars of Faith, which are: 1) pilgrimage to Mecca once in your lifetime (Mecca is where Mohammed ascended into heaven). 2) Must pray five times a day. 3) Must fast (go without food and water) during the month of Ramadan. 4) Must give to charity. 5) Must recite each day "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." Islam affects culture because it has a great affect on political laws and social customs. It is the way of life for the entire culture.

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