The indigenous tribes of North America have much in common with the indigenous religions of Africa but there are also many differences in the belief of an afterlife, supreme deity, and the daily practices of each. Today many of these lesser known religions are hardly ever studied but they exist and are still practiced all over North America and Africa. We will discuss how these religions differ in their main beliefs and practices, and we will also discuss how they correlate with one another on smaller aspects.
Although religions today take on many shapes and forms, and may seem so dramatically different from each other, in order to study and understand these religions, their similarities must be identified. This paper will first present a definition of religion that will connect to all religions at the simplest base. Then this paper will examine the common practices and experiences that are present in both the primary religions of the world, as well as the indigenous religions. Finally, this paper will discuss the issues that are critical to the academic study of religions.
The rise and fall of different civilizations and empires is caused by various social, political, and cultural factors that affect its societies. One of the most important concepts seen in empires are the creation of its culture and its relation to the beliefs of its society. Religion plays an enormous role in understanding the purpose behind the actions of the people in a civilization. Religion and culture are dependent of each other as it reflects the ideas and values that society has agreed upon. As a new urban civilization during 2500 B.C, The Indus Valley Civilization created a sociopolitical system that
Traditional religions in ancient Mali were polytheistic, they did not believe in one single supreme being, and the believed in animism. They believed that all plants, animals and objects had spirits. “Spirits of the land” were also a big part of the ancient civilization’s beliefs and they were taught to ensure the success of their crops. They had no sacred texts to support their beliefs but they thought that the spiritual world and the physical world were connected.
18. The growth of cross cultural trade spread lliterary, artistic and cultural traditions influencing Islam in Africa and Southeast Asia, Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism in Eastern Asia, Buddhism and Hinduism in Southeast Asia, traditions of Inca and Toltec/Mexica in Meso-and Andean America.
The past centuries saw a clear distinction between the Western civilization and the non-western culture. The western civilization composed of Greece, Romans, Byzantine Empire, and the European while the non-western civilizations included East Asia, Egypt, Persian Empire, Sassanid Empire, African Societies and Kingdoms, Incas, Mayans, Aztecs, and Mongols. For a long period, the western civilizations prevailed around the world. They influenced, lead and controlled others in various sectors such as medicine, clothing, business orientations, religion, and government. In this paper, I will be affirming my conviction that the western civilizations had unique attributes that made them more powerful than the non-western civilizations. I will also show how the western cultures were influenced by the spread of Christianity, and how the western cultures have maintained their great influence and power over the other societies even in the modern era.
Like in any religion the people have certain beliefs. In the african religions there is no single religion. Researchers try to identify similarities in world views and ritual processes across the african boundaries. African Religions are polytheistic; which means they believe in more than one god. They believe in one overall god, but also ancestral spirits. Most African religion’s creation story reveal the creation of humans more than
Throughout history, different civilizations have been exchanging and spreading ideas. Of these ideas, religion often spreads the most drastically, finding new roots in places throughout the world. These spreading religions can greatly affect the nations they spread to, often impacting the political, social, and economic aspects of an area. Religions such as Buddhism in Japan and Christianity in the Americas allowed their monarchies to strengthen their reign on their citizens, adapt their societies to the new theologies, and cultivate wealth through both trade and conquest.
Looking throughout history, there are many instances in which cultures and ideologies mirror biological and scientific phenomena. Often ideas will propagate much like a species would in certain environments. Like Darwin’s finches, notions regarding religion, culture, or any other system of thought, struggle to survive through competition with other systems of ideas. Instead of having offspring that are able to survive longer, these ideologies will fight for converts to further the spread of their beliefs. But in nature it is rare that two species will actually come to learn how to live with each other, and adapt to become stronger from their interaction. Much like when Buddhism immigrated to China, carrying ideals similar to the native Daoist principles, the interaction between the two religions triggered a drastic change in both. This syncretism occurred on account of the competition in the Chinese environment. Specifically, both held similar beliefs, which caused the two to fall into direct competition. In particular, the entry of Buddhism in China was accomplished by way of using Daoist principles and former Daoist to spread their beliefs, which immediately impacted Buddhism by means of its translation. The early success of Buddhism in China forced Daoism to either adapt or become extinct. This interaction between the two caused both to adapt and develop similar religious
As civilization has progressed through the ages, many religions have arisen and taken hold around the world, two if the most interesting, being the religious beliefs of the ancient Mesopotamian and the Greeks. These two religions were practiced in different areas and at different times and, therefore, show that religion has played a critical role in every society and civilization. No matter how it is organized or what type of god is worshiped, a society would be nothing without some kind of deity to organize it. In comparing the religious beliefs of the Mesopotamian and the Ancient Greeks religious components highlighted including the style of worship, the temples
By saying that the general religious climate of Asia Minor in the first century was syncretistic is meant the people in Asia Minor want to keep many religions. Their approach to religion is more religions you have the better you are.
Religious traditions share a set of characteristics that enable them to be dynamic, living religious systems. Each of the characteristics (beliefs, sacred texts, ethics, rituals and ceremonies) interact and provide adherents with a multifaceted way of engaging and relating to the tradition.
Years and years ago in Africa, certain customs and traditions were set in place that governed different regions and tribes. People in Mali had a unique tradition bearer. In the first chapter of Niane’s “Sundiata An Epic of Old Mali,” the reader is introduced to a “griot” who explains his role and his ancestor’s knowledge on ancient Mali. “The art of eloquence has no secrets for us; without us the names of kings would vanish into oblivion,… by the spoken word we bring to life the deeds and exploits of kings for younger generations.” (Page 1) In a humble but guaranteed tone, the griot assures the reader that he is the keeper of all. His knowledge expands beyond what is now and covers what has been. Everything that has occurred in the kingdom of Mali is imperative for the griots to remember so the future kings would understand their heritage. They are the overseers of knowledge and without them there is no way the kings of Mali would have flourished.
The concept of cultural syncretism exists when two different cultures combine their ancient beliefs of the past to create new traditions and/or beliefs. There are several cultural factors that influenced both Africa and the Americas such as weaponry, technological advancements, medical and religious. China and India’s values were quite different when it came to cultural beliefs. They would isolate themselves from outside traditions, which made them more resistant to syncretism.
In the readings, there are many trends regarding ancient concepts of law, government, and social structure. The code of Hammurabi played a significant role in Mesopotamian law, while the Nile River had a large part in the development of Egyptian civilization. In addition, the Hebrews moved toward pure monotheism and the Persians enhanced the Near Eastern model of monarchical government. “The evidence reveals that on the one hand, peoples then living in the Near East, Africa, and the Mediterranean developed their own distinctive beliefs, mythologies, customs, and sense of identity. On the other they shared many attributes such as large populations, the use of writing, devotion to religion, and economies based on trade and agriculture.” (Lualdi, 15) Overall, each society had similarities and differences in their way of life, but some are key to showing the maturation of the area as a whole.