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37 Cards in this Set

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a system of beliefs and practices that attempts to order life in terms of culturally perceived ultimate priorities


idea that ethical and moral standards should be formulated and adhered to for life on Earth, not to accommodate the prescriptions of a deity and promises of a comfortable afterlife


Belief system in which one supreme being is revered as creator and arbiter of all that exists in the universe


Belief system in which multiple deities are revered as creators and arbiters of all that exists in the universe


The belief that inanimate objects, such as hills, trees, rocks, rivers, and other elements of the natural landscape, possess souls and can help or hinder human efforts on Earth

Universalizing religion

belief system that espouses the idea that there is one true religion that is universal in scope.

Ethnic religion

A religion that is particular to one, culturally distinct, group of people. Unlike universalizing religions, adherents of ethnic religions do not actively seek converts through evangelism or missionary work.


One of the oldest religions in the modern world, dating back over 4000 years, and originating in the Indus River Valley of what is today part of Pakistan. Hinduism is unique among the world's religions in that it does not have a single founder, a single theology, or agreement on its origins.

Caste system

The strict social segregation of people-specifically in India's Hindu society-on the basis of ancestry and occupation.


Religion founded in the sixth century BCE and characterized by the belief that enlightenment would come through knowledge, especially self-knowledge; elimination of greed, craving, and desire; complete honesty; and never hurting another person or animal. Buddhism splintered from Hinduism as a reaction to the strict social hierarchy maintained by Hinduism.


Religion located in Japan and related to Buddhism. Shintoism focuses particularly on nature and ancestor worship.


Religion believed to have been founded by Lao-Tsu and based upon his book entitled "Tao-te-ching," or "Book of the Way." Lao-Tsu focused on the proper form of political rule and on the oneness of humanity and nature.

Fend shui

Literally "wind-water." The Chinese art and science of placement and orientation of tombs, dwellings, buildings, and cities. Structures and objects are positioned in an effort to channel flows of sheng-chi ("life-breath") in favorable ways.


A philosophy of ethics, education, and public service based on writings of Confucius and traditionally thought of as one of the core elements of Chinese culture.


Religion with its roots in the teachings of Abraham (from Ur), who is credited with uniting his people to worship only one god. According to Jewish teaching, Abraham and God have a covenant in which the Jews agree to worship only one God, and God agrees to protect his chosen people, the Jews.


From the Greek "to disperse," a term describing forceful or voluntary dispersal of a people from their homeland to a new place. Originally denoting the dispersal of the Jews, it is increasingly applied to other population dispersals, such as the involuntary relocation of Black peoples during the slave trade or Chinese peoples outside of Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.


The movement to unite the Jewish people of the diaspora and to establish a national homeland for them in the promised land.


Religion based on the teachings of Jesus. According to Christian teaching, Jesus is the son of God, placed on Earth to teach people how to live according to God's plan.

Eastern Orthodox Church

One of three major branches of Christianity, the Eastern Orthodox Church, together with the Roman Catholic Church, a second of the three major branches of Christianity, arose out of the division of the Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian into four governmental regions: two western regions centered in Rome, and two eastern regions centered in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). In 1054 CE, Christianity was divided along that same line when the Eastern Orthodox Church, centered in Constantinople; and the Roman Catholic Church, centered in Rome, split.

Roman Catholic Church

Claims the most followers of all Christian denominations,centered in Rome, led by the pope


One of the three major branches of Christianity (together with the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church). Following the widespread societal changes in Europe starting in the 1300s CE, many adherents to the Roman Catholic Church began to question the role of religion in their lives and opened the door to the Protestant Reformation wherein John Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others challenged many of the fundamental teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.


The youngest of the major world religions, Islam is based on the teachings of Muhammad, born in Mecca in 571 CE. According to Islamic teaching, Muhammad received the truth directly from Allah in a series of revelations during which Muhammad spoke the verses of the Qu'ran (Koran) , the Islamic holy book.


Adherents to the largest branch of Islam, called the orthodox or traditionalist. They believe in the effectiveness of family and community in the solution of life's problems, and they differ from the Shiites in accepting the traditions (sunna) of Muhammad as authoritative.


Adherents of one of the two main divisions of Islam. Also known as Shiahs, the Shi'ites represent the Persian (Iranian) variation of Islam and believe in the infallibility and divine right to authority of Imams, descendants of Ali.


Community faith in traditional societies in which people follow their shaman-a religious leader, teacher, healer, and visionary. At times, an especially strong shaman might attract a regional following. However, most shamans remain local figures.


Voluntary travel by an adherent to a sacred site to pay respects or participate in a ritual at the site.

Sacred sites

Place or space people infuse with religious meaning.


Tower attached to a Muslim mosque, having one or more projecting balconies from which a crier calls Muslims to prayer.


The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Muhammad

Interfaith boundaries

Boundaries between the world's major faiths.

Intrafaith boundaries

Boundaries within a single major faith.


The systematic killing or extermination of an entire people or nation.

Activity space

The space within which daily activity occurs.

Religious fundamentalism

Religious movement whose objectives are to return to the foundations of the faith and to influence state policy.

Religious extremism

Religious fundamentalism carried to the point

Shari'a laws

The system of Islamic law, sometimes called Qu'ranic law. Unlike most western systems of law that are based on legal precedence, Shari'a is based on varying degrees of interpretation of the Qu'ran.


A doctrine within Islam. Commonly translated as "Holy War," Jihad represents either a personal or collective struggle on the part of Muslims to live up the religious standards set by the Qu'ran.