belief systems

by: justice yohe


  1. Location: Africa
  2. People: There is no one founder.
  3. Texts: There are no sacred texts.
  4. Impact on Culture: The people have a great respect for nature and their ancestors.
  5. Main Beliefs:
  • Worship spirits of nature.
  • Worship ancestors.
  • The word Animism, comes from the Latin word animus, which means soul or life.
  • Animism is particularly widely found in the religions of indigenous peoples,although it is also found in Shinto, and some forms of Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Pantheism, and Neopaganism.


  1. Location: Japan
  2. People: There is no known founder.
  3. Texts: The holy books of Shinto are the Kojiki or "Records of Ancient Matters" and the Nihon-gi or "Chronicles of Japan". These texts are not exclusively Shinto.
  4. Impact on Culture: The people have a great respect for the natural world.
  5. Main Beliefs:
  • The spirits of Kami exist in all things.

-Shinto was disestablished in 1946, when the Emperor lost his divine status as part of the Allied reformation of Japan.

-There are three subdivisions of Shintoism. They are:

Jinja (Shrine) Shinto

Ky├┤ha (Sect) Shinto

Minzoku (Folk) Shinto


1. Location: India

2. People: Unknown

3. Text: Vedas

4. Elements:

- Reincarnation: belief that one's soul is reborn into another body or physical identity after the body's death.

- Karma: The behavior of a Hindu (thoughts and actions).

- Dharma: The overall values and rules of Hinduism.

- Caste System: The social order of separate castes (classes of people) through karma- people move up or down the caste system which organized Indian Society by the type of job a person held.

5. Impact on Culture: They try to lead a good life (as in their thoughts and behavior) in order to keep moving towards perfection.

6. Main Beliefs: Reincarnation

- There are three main deities: Brahma the creator, Shiva the destroyer and Vishnu the preserver.

- Hindus believe that it is the responsibility of each individual to continue the Hindu race.


1. Location: Started in India, but moved out.

2. People: Buddhism was started by an Indian prince, Siddhartha Gautama.

3. Text: Unknown

4. Elements:

The Four Noble Truths

- Everyone Suffers

- Suffering is caused by having desires.

- To end suffering- end your desires.

- To end your desires- follow the Eight-Fold path.

5. Impact on Culture: They learn to accept what life brings to them.

- The early Buddhist monastic code banned monks from eating meat if the animal had been killed specifically to feed them.

- Non-violence is at the heart of Buddhist thinking and behaviour. The first of the five precepts that all Buddhists should follow is "Avoid killing, or harming any living thing."


1. Location: China

2. People: The founder of Taoism was Lao Tzo or Laozi.

3. Text: The Tao Te Ching

4. Impact on Culture: They don't challenge the natural process and accept things as they come.

5. Main Beliefs: Follow the way of nature and accept the things you cannot change.

- Yin Yang is the principle of natural and complementary forces, patterns and things that depend on one another and do not make sense on their own.

- Taoists practice: meditation, fortune telling, feng shui, and reading and chanting scriptures.


1. Location: China

2. People: Confucious

3. Text: The Analects

4. Elements:

The 5 Relationships

- Father-> Son

- Older brother-> younger brother

- Husband-> wife

- Ruler-> subjects

- Friends= friends

5. Impact on Culture: Great deal of respect for parents, elders and country (filial piety).

6. Main Beliefs: All people need to know and accept their role in society.

- Confucianism is not considered a religion because it does not have any deities.

- Confucius encouraged his students to learn from everyone they encountered and to honor others' cultural norms.


1. Location: Middle East

2. People: Abraham, Isaiah, Joshua, Moses, David, and Joseph.

3. Text: The Torah ( the first five books of the old testament).

4. Elements:

The Ten Commandments

- Thou shalt have no other gods before me

- Thou shalt not bow down to any graven image.

- Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy god in vain.

- Remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy.

- Honor thy father and thy mother.

- Thou shalt not kill.

- Thou shalt not commit adultery.

- Thou shalt not steal.

- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's possessions.

5. Impact on Culture: They try to follow god's laws (the ten commandments) so the messiah will come.

6. Main Beliefs: There is only one god. God will send a messiah (savior) to them someday.

- Judaism is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which also includes Christianity and Islam.

- Someone who isn't born a Jew can convert to Judaism, but it is not easy to do so.


1. Location: Middle East

2. People: Jesus

3. Text: Bible (old/ new testament).

4. Elements: Same as Judaism

5. Impact on Culture: Simple rules won many converts to Christianity.

6. Main Beliefs: There is only one god. Jesus Christ is the son of god and he is the messiah.

- There are several subdivisions of Christianity. These include:

The Amish
Baptist churches


  • Church of England
  • Church of Scotland
  • Coptic Orthodox Church
  • Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Exclusive Brethren
  • Methodist Church
  • Opus Dei
  • Pentecostalism
  • Quakers
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Salvation Army
  • Seventh-day Adventists
  • United Reformed Church
  • - The basic assumption of modern Christians is that war is rarely justified and should be avoided unless the Just War conditions are met.
  • islam

    1. Location: Middle East

    2. People: the Prophet Mohammed

    3. Text: Qur'an

    4. Elements:

    Five Pillars of Faith

    - Recite: Say each day "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet".

    - Pray: Five times each day, facing Mecca.

    - Charity: give regularly to charity.

    - Fast: go without food or drink from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

    - Pilgrimage: try to make a journey to Mecca at least once in your life.

    5. Impact on Culture: The religious laws of Islam are so important that they often become the political laws of the nation.

    6. Main Beliefs: There is only one god. Follow Allah in all things above everything else, Mohammed is the Messiah who spread the word of god.

    -The literal meaning of Jihad is struggle or effort, and it means much more than holy war. Muslims use the word Jihad to describe three different kinds of struggle:

    • A believer's internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible
    • The struggle to build a good Muslim society
    • Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary

    - The subdivisions of Islam are Sufism, Sunni and Shi'a.

    work cited

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