AP World History Religion Study Guide

Abraham
The first patriarch in the Bible. Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and was regarded for being prepared to do so. He is considered by Jewish people as the father of the Israelites through his son Isaac, and by Muslims as the father of Arab peoples through his son Ishmael
Ahimsa
In Hinduism, it is the principal of non violence against all living things.
The Analects
Collection of moral and social teachings of Confucius, including the concept of the Five Relationships
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Ancestor worship
Worship give to deceased relatives who are believe to be closer to the Gods, and therefore able to grant favors
Animism
The oldest known type of belief system in the world. It is still practiced in a variety of forms in many traditional societies. Animists practice nature worship. They believe that everything in the universe has a spirit. This is exemplified by the practices of the Plains Indians in North America who would praise the spirit of the buffalo that they killed for giving its life to them so that they might survive. Animists also believed that ancestors watch over the living from the spirit world. This belief resulted in ancestor worship as a means of communicating with and showing respect to ancestors.
Archipelago
A group of chain of islands
Atman
In Hinduism, the human soul
BCE
Date designation meaning Before Common Era, or more than two thousand years ago
Bhagavad Gita
A Hindu holy book where the god Krishna teaches the importance of selflessness, performing religious duties, and of devotion to God
Brahma
Hindu god called the Creator. Brahma is the first member of the triad that includes Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the name given to the oneness of the universe
Buddha
Hindu for “enlightened one.” See also Siddhartha Gautama
Buddhism
Buddhism developed in India, and is based on many of the core concepts of Hinduism.. Buddhists believe in an endless cycle of reincarnation, or samsara, which is similar to beliefs of Hinduism. However, Buddhists do not believe that deities are responsible for the phenomenon. In addition, the Caste System is rejected by Buddhists who believe instead that one is reincarnated until they can achieve nirvana, best described as spiritual enlightenment
Calendar
A system for keeping track of time
Caliph
In Islam, the successor to the Prophet mohammed
Caste System
A rigid social class system in Hinduism
CE
Date designation meaning Common Era, or the last two thousand years of history
Jesus Christ
(8-4 BCE- 29? CE) Founder of Christianity. Considered by Christians to be the son of God and the Messiah. He is the central figure in the Christian Religion (Not true)
Christianity
Currently the most popular religion in the world based on the number of worshippers found throughout the world. While this monotheistic religion developed from Judaism, there are several key differences in its teachings. Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century CE. The Christian holy book is called the Holy Bible
Civilization
A society that has a high level of culture and social organization including organized government, job specialization, and a organized belief system
Confucianism
Confucius lived in China during the Chou Dynasty, when there was mass disorder and confusion and degrading moral standards. Confucius was appalled by what appeared to be the fracturing of Chinese society. He believed that the only cure was to stress a sense of social order and mutual respect, a philosophy that later became known as Confucianism. Confucianism teaches that there is a natural social order to society which can best be explained through the Five Relationships
Confucius
(551-479 BCE?) Chinese philosopher and writer of The Analects, a collection of moral and social teachings, including the concept of the Five Relationships. Also known as Kong Fu Zi.
Constitution
A document detailing the fundamental laws of a country or organization
Dalai Lama
The spiritual leader of the Tibetan sect of Buddhism, and is considered to be the reincarnation of the bodhisattva, or “buddha-to-be”
Dharma
The act of fulfilling one’s duty in life. Associated with Hinduism and Buddhism
Divine
Godlike, or coming from, or having to do with god
Eightfold Path
Code of behavior for followers of Buddhism
Emperor
Political ruler of a country of nation. Similar to a king
Fake Word
This is a fake word
Filial piety
A part of Confucianism where respect if paid to the parents
Five Pillars of Islam
Code of behavior for followers of Islam. Includes Charity, Daily Prayer, Profession of Faith, Fasting during Ramadan, and a pilgrimage to Mecca called the hajj
Five Relationships
Confucian philosophy about social order where everyone has a place and respect is paid to elders, parents, and the government. The relationships are, ruler to ruled, father to son, older brother to younger brother, husband to wife, friend to friend
Four Noble Truths
Siddhartha’s Gautama philosophy of the nature of human suffering and its relation to desire is articulated by four statements
Ganges River
Located in India, this river is considered sacred to Hindus and is used for spiritual cleansing, funeral rites, and other Hindu rituals
Siddhartha Gautama
(563?-483?BCE), Indian philosopher and the founder of Buddhism. Siddhartha was born into the Brahmin caste, and by all account led a luxurious lifestyle. However, he was troubled by the human misery that he saw around him everyday. Upon reflection, he deduced that desire was the root caused of all suffering. Also known as the Buddha.
Hajj
The pilgrimage or holy journey to the city of Mecca
Hebrew
Semitic language originating in ancient Palestine and spoken by the Israelites. Modern Hebrew was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries from the ancient written language
Hegira
The flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Median which was instrumental to the founding of the religion of Islam. Occurs in 622 ACE, which dates the founding of Islam
Hinduism
A polytheistic religion that was formed from a variety of different religious practices. In Hinduism, salvation is achieved through a spiritual oneness of the soul, atman, with the ultimate reality of the universe, Brahma. To achieve this goal, the soul must obtain moksha, or liberation from the samsara, the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. As a result of these basic teachings, Hindus believe in reincarnation, which is influenced by karma (material actions resulting from the consequences of previous actions), and dharma (fulfilling one’s duty in life). Because all forms of animal life possess souls, Hindus believe in ahimsa, or that all life is sacred. and should not be harmed. In fact, one animal which Hindus consider to be extremely sacred is the cow. The peaceful and contented existence of cows is considered virtuous by Hindus and would represent a rewarding reincarnation for a soul. For this reason, most Hindus are vegetarians so that they do not harm other living beings. The belief in reincarnation, karma, and dharma also provides the religious justification for the existence of the rigid social structure known as the Caste System.
Hirohito
(1901-1989) Emperor of Japan from 1926 until 1989. He is the last Japanese emperor to be considered divine. Led Japan through World War II
Holy Land
Term given to lands in present day Israel that is significant to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Holy Trinity
Formed by the Creator (Father), Redeemer (Son), and Sustainer (Holy Spirit). Christians believe that these three entities are all part of a single higher power
Human and Physical Geography
The study of the environment, people, and the resources they use to live
Imam
In Islam, the leader of prayers and religious scholar
Islam
The word Islam, which when translated from Arabic, means “to submit to the will of Allah,” is the youngest of the world’s major religions. Worshippers of this monotheistic religion are known as Muslims, which means “one who submits to the will of Allah.” The Islamic holy book is called the Qur’an. Islam is currently the second most practiced religion in the world, and experts predict that it will overtake Christianity as the most popular religion in the world sometime during the 21st century.
Jihad
Effort in God’s service waged by Muslims in defense of the Islamic faith
Judaism
Judaism is the oldest known monotheistic religion still practiced in the world today. Its fundamental teachings have been influential and are the basis for more recently developed religions such as Christianity and Islam. Judaism teaches that there is one God who is the creator of all things. after the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, many Hebrews began to lose their faith in God. During this time, Moses went atop Mount Sinai and returned with two stone tablets containing laws that all Hebrews needed to follow. These laws, recorded in the Exodus 20:3-17, became known as the Ten Commandments
Kami
Sacred spirits that are worshipped in the Shinto religion of Japan
Karma
Actions in this life resulting from the consequences of a previous life’s actions. Associated with Hinduism and Buddhism
Kong Fu Zi
Chinese philosopher and writer of The Analects, a collection of moral and social teachings, including the concept of the Five Relationships
Lao Tze
(570-490 BCE?) Chinese philosopher credited with originating Taoism/Daoism. His teachings were collected and published as the Tao-te Ching
Mohahharata
Hindu epic poem that was written in Sanskrit in the 5th century BCE. Its most important part is the Bhagavad-Gita
Mecca
A city in Saudi Arabia where Muslims must make a pilgrimage at least once in their life
Mencius
(371?-289 BCE), Chinese philosopher, who studied Confucianism. He later refined many of the ideas and spread them across China. Also known as Mengzi, or Meng-tzu
Messiah
According to the Hebrew Bible, an anointed king who will lead the Jews back to the land of Israel and establish justice in the world. According to the Christians, the Messiah was Jesus Christ
Mohammed
Prophet of Allah; founder of Islam
Moksha
In Hinduism, it is the release from the cycle of reincarnation through unification with Brahma
Monotheism
The belief in one god of goddess
Moses
He is considered a founder of Judaism due to his role in the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt, and his delivery of the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai sometime around 2000 BCE
Mosque
A domes Islamic religious building
Muezzin
: In Islam, one who issues a call to prayer, causing the faithful to gather at the local Mosque
New Testament
The second half of the Christian Bible. It describes the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as other Christian teachings
Nirvana
In Buddhism, spiritual enlightenment
Old Testament
The first half of the Christian Bible, that describes the creation of the world, the history of ancient Israel, the Ten Commandments, and contains the Psalms and the prophetic books. Also is the Hebrew Torah
Patron
Someone who provides support to a specific cause and/or person/people
Peninsula
An area of land surrounded on three sides by water. Italy, Greece, and the southern part of India are all peninsulas
Philosopher
A person who seeks to understand and explain the nature of things around them. A scholar of philosophy
Philosophy
A system of thought devoted to the examination of ideas such as truth, existence, reality, causality, religion, and freedom
Pilgrimage
A religious journey to visit a shrine or other holy site
Polytheism
The belief in many gods or goddesses.
Quran
Islamic holy book
Rabbi
Jewish scholar charged with conducting religious services, ensuring that Jewish laws are observed, and serving as a spiritual guide for the community
Ramadan
The ninth month of the Muslim calendar. All Muslims must fast during daylight hours, except the very young or sick
Ramayana
Hindu epic story about the hero Rama who was the incarnation of the god Vishnu
reincarnation
The rebirth of a soul into another body
religion
A person’s beliefs concerning the existence and worship of a god or gods, and divine involvement in the universe and human life
reverence
The respect or devotion that others show someone or something
Rigid Social Class System
A social class system where there is no mobility. A person remains in the same class their entire life
River
A moving body of water that usually has its source in an area of high ground
Sacraments
Religious practices such as baptism, and receiving the Eucharist
Sacred
Worthy of or regarded with religious worship, and/or respect
Samsara
In Hinduism, the term given to the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth
Shaman
Somebody who communicates with the spiritual realms on behalf of the living. Seen in many Animistic types of belief systems
Shinto
Shinto, which means “Way of the Gods,” is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on nature. Many consider Shinto to be a form of Animism due to the many similarities found between them. Shinto teaches that there is a sacredness of the whole universe and that humans can be in tune with this sacredness. Every mountain, river, plant, animal, and all the diverse phenomena of heaven and earth have spirits, or kami, which inhabit them. Reverence is paid to the ancestors through the practice of ancestor worship
Shiva
Hindu god called the Destroyer. Shiva is the third member of the triad that includes Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Preserver
Subcontinent
Large area that is a separate part of a continent. The area encompassing India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are considered to be a subcontinent of Asia
Talmud
The collection of Jewish writings that is the basis of Jewish religious law
Taoism/Daoism
The Chinese philosophy of Taoism (or Daoism) developed in the latter part of the Chou Dynasty, during a period of turmoil in which it was not clear that Chinese civilization would survive. It represents a naturalistic ideal of how one should live their life. The Chinese term Tao can be translated into English, meaning “the way.” It is a philosophy which teaches that nature has a “way” in which it moves, and that people should passively accept the “way” of nature, rather than resist it. One concept related to this is that of wu-wei, which means “not doing.” This means that people should not act unnaturally by doing things, but rather should openly accept the natural way. An emphasis is placed on the link between people and nature. Taoism teaches that this link lessened the need for rules and order, and leads one to a better understanding of the world.
Tao-te-Ching
Collected teachings of Chinese philosopher Lao Tze, the founder of Taoism/Daoism
Ten Commandments
The ten laws given to Moses by God, according to the Bible
Torah
The holy book of Judaism. It describes the creation of the world, the history of ancient Israel, the Ten Commandments, and contains the Psalms and the prophetic books
Torii
The red gateway entrance to a Shinto shrine
Tradition
A long-established custom or belief
Tripitka
The collection of religious writings by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha
Untouchables
Members of Hindu society thought to have been removed from the Caste System, with no hope of returning to it, due to their misdeeds in previous lives. Work that is deemed unclean for all other Hindus is reserved for these Outcasts. After winning its independence from Great Britain in 1947, India adopted a national constitution which stated that “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.” Since that time many Caste reforms have been enacted to diminish discriminatory practices in India. Today, the Caste System still exists in practice, despite the many laws designed to legally abolish it
Upanishads
Hindu holy book from the 8th century BCE
Vedas
A Hindu holy book which is a collection of Aryan hymns that were transmitted orally before being written down in the 6th century BCE
Vishnu
Hindu god called the Preserver. Vishnu is the second member of the triad that includes Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer
Wheel of Life
important symbol of Buddhism. It represents the endless cycle of life through reincarnation
Yin and Yang
Symbol used to illlustrate the natural harmony that exists in the world. Everything must have an opposing force that allows the harmonious universe to exist

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