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What is religion?
Adapted from: Merdith & Hickman (2005), World Religions, Usborne: London.
What is culture?
What is an iceberg?
Much bigger on
the bottom than
on the top
 How is culture
like an iceberg?

But I thought we were
talking about religion? What
does religion have to do
with culture?
Questions
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Where did the world come from?
Why was the world created?
Who are we? Who am I?
What is my purpose in life?
How should people live?
Why is it that there is so much suffering?
What happens when a person dies?
These are questions that cannot be tested and proven –
a person has to trust or have faith in them
The word ‘religion’
Comes from the Latin word RELIGIO
(means ‘a duty’)
 There is more to life than just the physical
world
 Religious people believe that if we live in a
certain way, answers can be found
 Answers are known as the ABSOLUTE or
ULTIMATE truth

What do religions have in common?

Religions recognize that the world and
people in it are not perfect

If people have faith (follow the religion‘s
teaching‘s correctly), they believe they will
find the answers to some of the big
questions and be freed from suffering
(salvation/liberation)
Why do we have religions?
Past: religion was relied upon to explain
seasons, weather etc
 Past: studies show that religion helped
keep communities together – shared rules
for living and a shared way of
understanding the world
 Today: reduces people‘s fears – gives
them something beyond themselves to
rely on

Religions of the World - an
overview
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What are the major religions of the world?
 Hinduism
Judaism
 Buddhism
Christianity
 Sikhism
Islam
 Jainism
Baha’i Faith
 Taoism
Zoroastrianism
 Confucianism
 Shinto
Others
Atheists – people who do not believe that a
supernatural power exists
 Agnostics – people who say it is impossible to
know whether or not God exists because there is
no proof either way
 Humanists – people have the ability to develop
themselves and to build a world that will be a
happier place. People should not be judged by a
set of religious rules.

What common themes run through
religions but which we could
research to find differences in the
way the religions are practised?
Worship
 Prayer and meditation
 Scriptures/books
 Sacred objects
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Festivals
Priests
Sacred places
Rites of passage
Monks and nuns
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