AP Human Geography

Hershey High School

Southern Baptist

February2

The Southern Baptist denomination is a branch extending off from the main branch of Christian Baptist. Although the actual branch of Baptists originated in England around 1644 the branch of Southern Baptists did not come forth until much later. The monotheistic (one God) Baptist religion spread all over England due to the efforts of Thomas Helwys and John Smyth, and then spread to America with the help of Roger Williams who went there to escape religious persecution. In 1638, he established the First Baptist Church in America in Providence, Rhode Island. Then, by the mid 18th century the number of Baptists increased immensely as a result of the Great Awakening pioneered by Jonathan Edwards. And in 1755 Shubael Stearns began to spread his Baptist belief throughout North Carolina, leading to the creation and establishment of 42 churches in the North Carolina area. After that, throughout the late 1700’s and early 1800’s as Baptists began to organize and expand, they began to notice huge differences amongst themselves. These main differences lay mostly between location and the issue of slavery. They noticed social, cultural, economical, and political differences between the businessmen of the North, the farmers of the West, and the planters of the South. A lot of these differences then led to different interpretations of the Baptist religion, such as whether it was appropriate to have slaves or not. Because of this, the religion split into various sub-religions, one being the denomination of Southern Baptists. This denomination was created after a meeting in the hearth of Augusta, Georgia in May, 1845 by the Baptists in the South.

After the denomination was first formed, the Southern Baptists wanted to find a way to unite all the Baptist churches in the south, without affecting any local cultures. Even though this would be difficult, they

Baptism (one of the main beliefs)

Baptism (one of the main beliefs)

still continued to move toward the idea of an associational-type body until 1931. At the start of the Southern Baptist religion spreading, there was an amazing growth and expansion of their ministries. This huge growth last approximately until 1891, and was mainly due to the southern areas going from a Baptist region to a Southern Baptist region. Although the differences between these two religions were not huge, many people living in the south wanted to separate from northern beliefs, and this was one way how. The continual expansion went from areas within Georgia and its Baptist churches to other southern states’ Baptist churches, spreading amongst both congregations and slaves. After the Southern Baptist faith had fully spread all throughout the south, a lot of the churches focused on sending out missionaries and universalizing the religion. Places considered and later traveled to, were China, Africa, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan. Most of these countries now have a strengthening Christian influence, especially China. The main spread of Southern Baptism throughout the south only took about half a century, but the spread to other countries is still an ongoing process. By spreading through both ideas of separation from the north and missions trips, the faith of Southern Baptism spread all throughout the south and other parts of the world.

United States Southern Baptist Diffusion

United States Southern Baptist Diffusion

From about 1845 to 1861, the Southern Baptist religion spread throughout the south, and in 1861, the Baptist organization came to be identified with the South. It soon became the dominant religious denomination within the southern region. However, due to the separation from the original main Baptist religion, Southern Baptists could not really spread their religion to the north or west. This prevention kept the Southern Baptists and their religion in a confined area with little room to continual to spread. One major event that both helped spread the Southern Baptist religion as well as prevented its movement was the Civil War. The civil war unified the Southern region as its own “country” and therefore spread the Southern Baptist religion all throughout the region, unifying the region with the religion. However, due to previous and continual political and social problems with the north, the Southern Baptist religion was prevented from spreading to the north. Throughout the southern region, the Southern Baptist religion also spread to different segments of the population. It first spread to various churches throughout the south and their congregations, most were very accepting of the denomination. This spread of the religion was so accepted due to the strong desires to separate from the north. Then with the congregations accepting the Southern Baptist religion, masters started to convert their slaves. Even though a lot of slaves already respected and followed the Christian religion, they were not as willing to completely convert to Southern Baptists as their masters. Even with the fact they were less willing, the Southern Baptist religion still spread amongst slaves, and fully became the religion of the South.

Southern Baptist Church

Southern Baptist Church

Specifically with the diffusion of the Southern Baptist religion, it was quite a simple route. There was so much hatred towards the north, that the hatred then fueled the expansion of the Southern Baptist religion. The spread was mostly hierarchical and contagious. For contagious, at the beginning of the diffusion the religion spread from the churches in Augusta, Georgia near the place where the religion began to other local churches. Then for hierarchical, later, within some areas the religion spread from church to church and then diffused within those areas to the congregations and slaves. Other places out west like Nevada, Washington, and Alaska have small areas due to missionaries, but besides areas where missionaries went, like China, the Southern Baptist religion only diffused within the south of the United States. Throughout the south, the religion stayed pretty much the same in that, the region was so unified that the religion did not need to be altered to better fit their way of life or culture. However, once the religion left the south and diffused to the west and other countries, it was altered a little. The west did not have a slave problem, and therefore the whole background of the religion to them was altered to more of a Baptist religion than a Southern Baptist. Plus, when the Southern Baptist religion spread to various countries like Italy and China, the religion was altered so that the teachings were just basic Christianity instead of a sub-religion under Christianity. All in all, the diffusion of the Southern Baptist religion was contagious and hierarchical in the south, and from there, missionaries spread the religion to other places.

In summary, the Southern Baptist religion originally came from the Baptist religion of England. It did not actually become its own religion until a meeting in Augusta, Georgia in May of 1845. This religion then spread, for about a half a century, all throughout the southern part of the United States through hierarchical and contagious diffusion. It claimed both congregations and slaves as it followers throughout the spread. Even though the Civil War helped the spread of the Southern Baptist religion, it also hindered the spread and minimized the amount of places to which the religion could be further spread. With both the past and present help of missionaries the religion also diffused to and is spreading to the western states of the United States and other countries such as China and Mexico. Although the religion was actually diffused and spread to these places, it was also altered to general forms of original Baptist or even Christianity.

Here is an example of the cultural landscape of the Southern Baptist religion: Southern Baptist

Unitarianism

February2
Unitarianism began in 16th century-specifically the 1560’s-CE in Poland and Transylvania.
http://www.mcseavey.org/image/FrancisDavid.jpg

Francis David, the founder of Unitarianism

The founder of this religion was Francis David (1510-1579) who was originally a Catholic priest before becoming a Lutheran and then a Calvinist, and then finally a Unitarian.  The first church with Unitarian tenets was founded in Poland while Sigismund II was in control.  Although other congregations were assembled, they weren’t officially recognized until 1568.  Ever since then, churches and congregations have been organized all over the world.  Specifically, there are congregations in Edinburg, Ireland, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Hungary, Wales, and many states of the United States.  Just in the United Sates and Canada, there are approximately 225,000 Unitarian Universalists, and 1,000 congregations.  In Great Britain and Ireland, there are about 7,000 Unitarians, and 150 ministers.  In total, there are an estimated 800,000 Unitarians world wide.  Schools have been created to help propaganda actions spread Unitarianism; there are schools in Hungary, England, Wales, Manchester, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois.  Unitarianism has spread to many places around the entire world.

There are churches and congregations dotted around the world, however it took quite a bit of time for them to spread.  The first church was created in the 1560’s, but it did not appear in England until 1682- about 100 years later.  The first known congregation in London was at Essex chapel in 1774, organized by Theopilus Lidsey.  Unitarianism mainly spread with the help of specific leaders and their use of propaganda.  There were several propagators of Unitarianism in England in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.  Some of them were Joseph Priestly, Thomas Belsham, and Lant Carpenter.  The next known

 The First Unitarian Church of Philedelphia

The First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia

congregation was in Edinburgh, 1776.  Next there were congregations in 1792 in Maine, and Joseph Priestly began propaganda for Unitarianism in Pennsylvania 1794.  The North American Unitarian movement was actually not lead by the European movement, but was instead a reaction against the “Great Awakening” and the its Calvinist ideas.  The first organized church was created when a congregation in 1785 removed all references to the Trinity from the Book of Common Prayer; this church was called the King’s Chapel and it resided in Boston.  In 1813, the Scottish Unitarian Association was formed.  There was a missionary sent to India in 1855, and there has been active propaganda in Japan since 1887.  Other associations were formed later on, two examples are the American Unitarian Association (1825) and the Western Unitarian Conference (1852).  Unitarianism is a universalizing religion, because missionaries are involved with spreading the religion.

Similarly to many other religions, Unitarianism has had forces to slow or prevent its movement.  This often occurs to several religions because certain religions only believe theirs is right, so people of that certain faith with want to stop or convert people of other religions.  In the United States, Unitarianism was received unfavourably by anti-Trinitarians.  Before 1813, there were legal restrictions against people who did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.  In 1844, complete liberty was finally given to Unitarians with the Dissenters’ Chapels Act (the Unitarian Charter).  During and after this act was passed, there was still opposition to Unitarian beliefs.  The movement of Unitarianism has been slowed by people who are reluctant to separate from their Congregationalist communities.  Just like there have been sermons preaching about the public acknowledgement of Unitarian beliefs, there must’ve been sermons preaching against as well.  Unitarianism spread through hierarchical diffusion.  The religion was first spread from ministers and reverends to people in congregations.

As Unitarianism diffused around the world, it was been altered greatly.  Early American Unitarians were different from regular Unitarians because they paid greater attention to not seeing human nature as fallen and sinful.  These Unitarians also wanted to move to a religion based on reason.  North American churches with Unitarians have been much more ‘humanist’ than other churches around the world.  It also has more in common with the UK version than any other, but with additions from the Universalist Church of America.  The American Unitarian Association (founded in 1825) merged with the Universalist Church of America in 1961 to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.  In the Unitarian Universalist Association,

A map of where Unitarians generally live in the United States

A map of where Unitarians generally live in the United States

there has been a recent movement to be more accepting of “the language of reverence”.  A speculation of why this is occurring is because younger generations are more connected with spiritual values.   Canada has its own council, called the Canadian Unitarian Council, and it represents the Canadian congregations.  Each Unitarian congregation can have its own form of service, so there is a lot of variety.  About the middle of the eighteenth century Unitarian opinions gained favor among New England Congregationalists.

Unitarianism is an interesting religion quite unique compared to religions typically seen in society.  What is unusual about Unitarians is that they have no standard set of beliefs, they are very open-minded.  There are certain core values, but each Unitarian can choose whether or not to believe in them.  Examples of core values are gender equality, freedom of religious thought, religion should make a difference in the world, etc.  Gender equality was shown in 1904 when the Unitarians were the first people to allow their minister to be a woman.  Because the religion is broad and inclusive, it includes people of other religions.  Not only does Unitarianism tolerate other religions, but it also accepts people who are seen to be different- lesbians and gays.  Unitarianism is a monotheistic religion, which means that there is belief in only one God, if a Unitarian believes in God at all.  However, Unitarians reject the doctrine of the Trinity (three Persons in one God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit); they believe that God is one being, the Father/Mother.  Unitarians often participate in social justice and community work because they are inspired to make things right in the world, and they believe that every person has the potential to do good.  Unitarianism is a religion with an interesting hearth, path of diffusion, and history.

Here is an example of an Unitarian Church in Philadelphia

Presbyterian

February2
Presbyterian Logo

Presbyterian Logo

The Presbyterian Church is one of the many forms of Christianity (a monotheistic religion), and the name Presbyterian is derived from the Greek word “presbýteros,” or “elder.”  Presbyterianism is the religion of a number of different Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, and organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ.
The first forms of Prebyterianism are believed to have evolved in Scotland with roots that also go back to England. Modern Presbyterianism, though, have roots that go back to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin (1509-1564), known as the father of Presbyterianism, was a French philosopher, lawyer and theologian who systematized and consolidated much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. John Knox, a priest born around 1513, converted to Protestantism in 1545 and studied under John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland. He returned to his native Scotland in 1559 where he reformed the Church of Scotland and established the Presbyterian faith. Scottish settlers soon spread the Presbyterian faith to Northern Ireland. By the 17th century, it had spread throughout Europe, mainly through word of mouth and Presbyterianism became much more popular.

Presbyterianism is a form of contagious diffusion, mainly because it spread across a large amount of area in a relatively short amount of time. It was so appealing to followers because it was easy to understand, and had no complex practices. It is similar to Catholicism, but, at the same time, does not contain some of the Catholic beliefs that caused turmoil among followers throughout Europe. There were some minor changes to the religion as it spread, but all the the major foundations and beliefs remained constant.

Presbyterians as a Percentage of all Residents

Presbyterians as a Percentage of all Residents

Many people first joined the Presbyterian faith because of the split of churches in both England and Scotland. Followers were in such opposition to the churches of their country that they would do anything just to upset their government. Presbyterianism is now one of the most popular forms of Christianity and places of worship can be found in countries all over the world. Many churches or very plain because that is how the early followers wanted them to be.
Presbyterianism has gone through few changes over the course of its existence. Once the religion was universalized and brought to America, it became much more popular. It is a faith that will continue to grow and establish more

Presbyterian founder, John Knox

Presbyterian founder, John Knox

members over time.

Quaker

February2

The hearth of the Quaker religion started in England in the mid 1600s during religious turmoil. The Qauker religion was a new form of Christianity during the 1600s. George Fox was born in England, and the founder of the Quaker religion, also called, Friends.The followers of Quakerism believed in pacifism. Pacifism is one of the most important beliefs to believers Pacifism is the belief that you do not partake in war but instead care for the injured. Believers have gone to prison instead of fighting in war. They also elieve to live a simple life, and try to do without all the “extras” in life.

George Fox, founder of Quakerism.

George Fox, founder of Quakerism.

Quaker was honest and peaceful to the Indians, they believe that everyone is equal, supported women’s rights and the abolishment of slavery.  George Fox was known for his honestly and integrity, he was searching for what he thought to be the true religion for a good man to live by. Expansion diffusion occurred around 1672, when the Quaker religion diffused to America. Before 1672 there were people in America that practiced and believed in Quakerism but it was not organized.

The sacred place for the followers of Quakerism are in meeting houses similar to that of churchs. During the meetings the Quaker followers had, they sat in silence to wait for the sense of the Inner Light of God to reach and move them, once thy felt the presence they were allowed to speak what they felt. The Quaker religions has had some set backs of trying to diffuse throughout the world. George Fox was thrown into prison multiple times for going against certain acts in England. Some of the acts he went against was the Quaker act of 1662, which stated that they needed to take an oath before each meeting was held, but they believed that taking oaths were wrong. Another act was the Convenctile act of 1664 which stated that you could not call an authorized religious meeting. That act did not stop them either, because they thought if they continued it would show their strength.
Quaker meeting house

Quaker meeting house

Despite the set backs in England, Quakerism still managed to diffuse around the world, particularly to Africa and the Americas. When George Fox died in 1692, William Penn established a Quaker colony in America, located in Pennsylvania, named “Penn’s Woods.” Today there are about 210,000 followers of Quakerism, the majority of them living in Africa and Latin America. Quakerism is a universal religion in that it accepts other religions and  still believe that the Catholics and Protestants are true to the christian faith. Quakerism now has a religious leader, a paster, and their meetings are similar to those of the Protestant religion.
William Penn, founder of Penn Wooods

William Penn, founder of Penn Wooods

The Quaker religion is a monotheistic religion, they believe in God and the Holy Spirit. The Quaker religions, also known as Friends, had many set backs during the 1600s. England made new acts to prevent the Quaker religion from continuing but that did not stop them. Many got imprisoned because they did not fight in war, it went against what they believed. Also, George Fox was sent to prison multiple times because he went against the acts. Going against they acts thought it made them look even stronger then if they would obey the acts. George Fox alon with followers brought it to the Americas and Africa. George Fox died and William Penn made a Quaker colony in Pennysylvania, “Penn’s Woods,” now there are about 210,000 followers.

Here is an example of the cultural landscape of a Quaker meeting house in Philadelphia.

Serbian Orthodox

February2
Above is a picture of what a regular Serbian Church looks like. Notice the dome at the top and the cross on top of that dome. Most, if not all Serbian Orthodox Churches have the same style of roof at the top.

Above is a picture of what a regular Serbian Church looks like. Notice the dome at the top and the cross on top of that dome. Most, if not all Serbian Orthodox Churches have the same style of roof at the top.

The Serbian Orthodox Church is a monotheistic religion. It was founded by the brother of the first Serbian king,Saint Sava, in Serbia. Saint Sava was named the first patriarch of the church in 1219. The Serbian Orthodox Church shares its beliefs and doctrines with 14 other Eastern Orthodox Churches. There are two

Saint Sava founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the 13th century. After the end of his reign, Arsenije Sremac took over as patriarch.

Saint Sava founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the 13th century. After the end of his reign, Arsenije Sremac took over as patriarch.

important groups of people within the church: Holy assembly of Bishops and Holy Synod. The Holy assembly of bishops includes bishops, metropolitans, and the patriarch. This group only meets twice a year and discusses important decisions that need to be made within the church and pick the new patriarch when needed. The other group, Holy Synod, includes the patriarch and four bishops. This group meets regularly and discuss everyday business pertaining to the church. The most recent patriarch was Bishop Pavle.

The religion has mainly stayed in Serbia and has spread to bordering countries of Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro. The spread of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been going on since the church has started and it is still spreading. Even though it is mainly in Serbia’s neighboring countries, there are small pockets of people who are Serbian Orthodox in many countries such as the United States.

Most of the diffusion routes were just Serbian migrants moving out of Serbia, especially when the Ottoman Empire took over. The church did suffered during the Ottoman Empire rule. Many decided to convert to Islam instead of supporting the Serbian Orthodox Church. Also, during World War II, many Serbian Orthodox that lived in Croatia were forced to change their religion to follow the Croatian Orthodox Church. This hindered the spread of the religion within Croatia.

The map above shows how many Serbian Orthodox Churches were damaged in some shape or form. This was another conflict that included the church and was due to Albanian terrorists in 1999.

The map above shows how many Serbian Orthodox Churches were damaged in some shape or form. This was another conflict that included the church and was due to Albanian terrorists in 1999.

The religion diffused through contagious diffusion since once the church was established, it was also used as national identity. Serbs felt patriotism toward their country and thus became Serbian Orthodox. The religion is actually an alteration and a branch off of Eastern Orthodox. When it was diffused to Croatia, the Croatians formed the Croatian Orthodox Church which is basically the same thing.

The most accepting of the religion were the Serbs and all the countries neighboring Serbia. Since it is an Eastern religion, many were already used to some variation of it, thus it was easily accepted by many. Like all Eastern Orthodox religions, Serbian Orthodox is a universalizing religion and is always seeking new members to join the faith.

This is a street view of a Serbian Orthodox Church.

Lamaism

February2

More than 100,000 people across the globe strive to achieve Buddhahood, liberation from all mental and material obstructions, everyday. These practitioners of Lamaism or Tibetan Buddhism, similar to Mahayana, came to be so prominent in numbers not only because of their shared beliefs but also because of the unique diffusion of the religion that is arguably neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. The overall nature of the diffusion of Lamaism can be defined based on its hearth and means of dispersal, the obstacles it faced, and the alterations made to Tibetan Buddhism as it rose to become a religion practiced worldwide.

BUDDHA BUDDHA BUDDHA BUDDHA ROCKIN EVERYWHERE!

BUDDHA BUDDHA BUDDHA BUDDHA ROCKIN EVERYWHERE!

Around 650 A.D.,  the Buddhist division of Lamaism was founded in the region of Tibet. In fact, Lamaism itself was an alteration of the Buddhism brought to Tibet from the missionaries of Southeast Asia during the reign of the 28th king of Tibet. According to legend however, the scriptures and relics fell miraculously from the sky and thus, Tibetan Buddhism was created. Though today, Lamaism can be found in most of the modern world, it is most prominent in Tibet, Nepal, Northern India, Northern China, Mongolia, Eastern Russia and Bhutan. For centuries however, Tibetan Buddhism was secluded to the regions of Bengal and Tibet. During the 11th century it spread to Mongolia, Manchuria, and other parts of Central Asia, but it was not until 1959 when Lamaism spread to the entire globe in a diaspora. This universalizing sect of Buddhism was primarily spread by Buddhist missionaries, and for the most part by hierarchical diffusion through the monasteries of Tibet. In later years, Lamaism has been spread by contagious diffusion to Europe and the Western World.

When first introduced to Tiben in the seventh century, Lamaism hardly was practiced at all due to the restraints of King Songtsen Gampo. It was not until one hundred years later when a different king of Tibet would both support and practice Lamaism, sparking the religion’s “first diffusion.” The indigenous religions of Tibet prevented Lamaism from rising to majority of Tibet until its “second diffusion” in the ninth century. In terms of its spread to both other parts

Tibetan Buddhists

Tibetan Buddhists

of Asia and the entire world, the principles of ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and Christocentrism ( A form of religious fundamentalism acting as an obstacle especially in its dispersion to Europe and the Americas) prevented Lamaism from diffusing rapidly. The surrounding mountains that encircle Tibet also propose a physical obstacle to the diffusion routes of the religion. Finally, the lack of sufficient technology to diffuse ideas, and also the language barrier present between Tibet and the rest of the world slowed its diffusion.

Lamaism itself is an alteration of Mahayana Buddhism. However,  within the sect of Lamaism, there are four main subdivisions: Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. While all have their differences, the three latter sects emerged from the oldest, Nyingama. At first, Tibetan Buddhism was practiced by the royalty of the eighth century, although it was the Tibetan royalty that most extremely rejected and accepted Buddhism into the nation. Once King Trisong Detsen accepted it as his formal religion, it spread hierarchically through the Tibetan people based on social status.

Overall, the outcome of Tibetan Buddhism in society today is based on the means of diffusion, the obstacles

The Diffusion of Lamaism to Mongolia

The Diffusion of Lamaism to Mongolia

it faced, and the alterations and historicalmeans by which it spread locally. While today Lamaism is a global religion, for most of its existence it remained concentrated in the mountainous pockets of Central Asia. Although Buddhism is practiced by the majority of Central and Eastern Asia today, physical, technological, and social barriers drastically slowed its diffusion. Finally, with the subdivisions of Tibetan Buddhism, the religion expanded in diversity and opened to a diversity of similar yet different philosophies.
http://dl.lib.brown.edu/BuddhistTempleArt/buddhism4.html

http://www.falundafa.org/book/eng/jjyz75.htm

http://www.purifymind.com/drfu30.htm

http://maps.google.com/maps?source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=tibetan+buddhism+street+view&sll=39.292993,-76.597109&sspn=0.015444,0.038495&ie=UTF8&cd=1&radius=1.03&split=1&filter=0&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=tibetan+buddhism+street+view&hnear=&layer=c&cbll=39.29297,-76.598072&panoid=gWT3-5WLgQIJhQXi3K5FMA&cbp=12,169.02,,0,-8.09&ll=39.292926,-76.598182&spn=0,359.982448&z=15

Jehovah’s Witnesses

February2
This is the Jehovahs Witness headquarters in New York

This is the Jehovah's Witness headquarters in New York

Jehovah’s Witness started in Pittsburgh, PA just a few hours from here. It was a take off of the Advent Christian Church magazine Herald in the Morning. The Creator, Charles Taze Russell believed that the last days were happening, and the Herald didnt, so he created his own magazine. That started the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are alot like the Advent Christian church, but a little different. They are monotheistic like the Advent Christians as well as other things. Their religion is very strict, and has many restrictions on things like birthdays and Christmas.
Surprisingly, this religion has been universalizing and it is still spreading.It spread through contagious diffusion mostly through the magazines The Watchtower or Awake!. The Jehovah’s Witnesses also spread their idea’s through door to door preaching. They often go to people’s houses to tell them about what they have been taught in church. They try to persuade people to believe their religious beliefs. The place it is most prominent is in the USA, but it is also big in England.
Much of the Jehovah’s witnesses practices are very extreme. They refuse to be in the military service and refuse blood tranfusions even when they are in desperate need. They also refuse to salute or even recognize the flag of a country. Because of this, many governments have stopped the spread by banning this religious practice. Also, during WWI many people religiously persecuted students with things like mob viloence and tarring and feathering. This also stopped the spread of Jehovah’s Witnesses.This is a graph of the average amount of publishers or people who preach for Jehovahs Witnesses
Not many changes were made to the religion but the two that were prominenet were very important. First, they decided to have a group of elders to govern over the religion. Charles Russell at first vetoed this but they finally overruled him and they now have a group of elders. Second was that there should be house to house preaching instead of one meeting place. This was huge because some of the preachers could alter the teachings and they were very strict about that. But

This is the founder of the Jehovahs Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell

This is the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell

that too was changed to have a house to house teaching.

overall this religion has prospered even though it is very strict. There have been many protests but they managed to stick it out. They stay very true to their religion. They may have a different view from ours, but the enormity of the religion is surprising.

Here is an example of the cultural landscape of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Zen

February2
Shaolin Temple where Zen flourished.

Shaolin Temple where Zen flourished.

Zen is perhaps the most well know school of Buddhism worldwide. Zen concepts and beliefs have influenced to many different parts of the world and many different religions after Zen. Zen is neither monotheistic nor polytheistic, it is a way of life. Zen dates back to 470 A.D. and originated in India by the monk Bodhidharma. Zen flourished at the Shaolin temple in China. From here Zen went south to Vietnam and East to Korea and Japan. Soon after it was all over the world. Zen was present in the majority of the world within 200 years. Zen was diffused contagiously through social contact between humans. Nothing slowed down or prevented the diffusion of Zen.

The origins of Zen Buddhism are ascribed to the Flower Sermon, the earliest source for which comes from the 14th century. It is said that Gautama Buddha gathered his disciples one day for a dharma talk. When they gathered together, the Buddha was completely silent and some speculated that perhaps the Buddha was tired or ill. The Buddha silently held up and twirled a flower and twinkled his eyes. Several of his disciples tried to interpret what this meant, though none of them were correct. One of the Buddha’s disciples, Mahakasyapa, silently gazed at the flower and broke into a broad smile. The Buddha then proceded to explain this symbol. He spoke of how dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special

Zen Buddhist undergoing meditation.

Zen Buddhist undergoing meditation.

transmission outside of the scriptures.

Zen there developed a way which concentrated on direct experience rather than on rational creeds or revealed scriptures. Wisdom was passed, not through words, but through a lineage of one-to-one direct transmission of thought from teacher to student. It is commonly taught that such lineage continued all the way from the Buddha’s time to the present. Historically, this claim is disputed, due to lack of evidence to support it.

Zen was altered much throughout its diffusion though. Houses of thought were created as Zen diffused and became more popular. There are five houses of Zen all of which originated in Japan. They are: Guiyang School, Linji, Caodong, Yonmen, Fayan. Guiyang School was named after masters Guidhan Lingyou and Yangshan Huiji. Linji was named after master Linji Yixuan. Caodong was named after masters Dongshan Liangjie and Caoshan Benji. Yunmen was named after Yunmen Wenyan. Fayan was named after Fayan Wenyi. Each house has different teachings but everything relates back to the concept of Zen. Zen accepts other religions and is accepted by other religions.

Zen Buddhism focuses on attaining enlightenment through meditation as Gautama Buddha did. It teaches that all human beings have the Buddha-nature, or the potential to attain enlightenment, but the Buddha-nature been clouded by ignorance. To overcome this ignorance, Zen rejects the study of scriptures, religious rites, devotional practices, and good works in favor of meditation leading to a sudden breakthrough of insight and awareness of ultimate reality. The Zen master guides the desciple as he follows the Zen path. Zen is actively practiced by the desciple.

This map shows the where Zen originated and the major areas of expansion.
This map shows the where Zen originated and the major areas of expansion.

This is an example of the cultural landscape of Zen

Mahayana Buddhism

February2

Mahayana Buddhism is a Universalizing religion which finds its hearth in southern India. It was developed in the first century C.E. and was diffused to inner asia as far north as Mongolia and east Asia as far as Japan. Within five centuries after its development, the religion had become mainstream and it continued to spread through the eleventh century.     Mahayana Buddhism spread through contagious diffusion throughout India and became the chief religion in India in the early centuries C.E.The spread of the two major types of Buddhism

portrait of the Buddha

portrait of the Buddha

Mahayana also spread through Heierarchical diffusion, Kings and emperors would first adopt the religion and spread it to the rest of their empire.  The Gupta dynasty of India supported the religion and helped it spread through southeast Asia, central Asia, and the Far East. The powerful emperor Ashokaconverted to become a Mahayana Buddhist and became a great supporter of the faith, funding it’s growth in many parts of India. Furthermore, he sent missionaries to areas outside India and spread Buddhism around the world. Many Mahayana inscriptions date back to the early centuries C.E. when Mahayana Buddhism was funded by emperors such as Ashoka. Early inscriptions and texts note that Mahayana Buddhism was developed for Buddhist monks who have reached the highest levels of enlightenment. Selective reading of some texts lead to many believing that it is actually a lay-inspired religion for commoners. By the fifth century C.E, when Mahayana had gained significant popularity in the Indian subcontinent, the religion had become what it had originally strongly objected to; a grounded, lay-oriented religion for commoners.     Several sub-types of Mahayana Buddhism were developed as it spread to central and east Asia. Cha’an or “Zen” Buddhism was developed in China, as was Pure Land Buddhism. These sub-types further diffused to Japan and Korea. . Although all forms of Mahayana Buddhism recognize the Mahayana Buddhist sutras, the process of distance decay caused these new types to take a  new form and follow different guidelines than the original Mahayana Buddhist doctrines. Today, there are sacred sites for all of the aforementioned types of Mahayana Buddhism across central and east Asia. These sites have helped shape the cultural landscape of the region.

Mahayana Buddhist temple in Indonesia

Mahayana Buddhist temple in Indonesia

The common misconception that Mahayana Buddhism is a lay-inspired, grounded religion has been refuted by many Buddhist scholars. Early Mahayana texts show that it was originally inspired by and idealized an ascetic life of abstinence. Nonetheless, as the religion diffused to other parts of the world, it did take on a new form and scholars agree that the religion became what it originally specifically objected to. Today, many followers of Mahayana are lay people who are hoping to reach enlightenment but do not necessarily lead an ascetic life. Modern forms of Mahayana Buddhism appeal to a range of people, from monks leading an ascetic life, to people seeking spiritual well-being and enlightenment through meditation.

Here is an example of how Mahayana Buddhism has shaped the cultural landscape. Click Here

Russian Orthodox

February2
Religion has existed in the society of mankind for thousands and thousands of years. A men and the beliefs change, a new religion is constructed to teach others and live by their codes. Religions tend to be created and branch off into others, for example Christianity to Russian Orthodox.  Religions are either indigenous to the land or brought from others.
Map of Russian Orthodox (Today)

Map of Russian Orthodox (Today)

This religion was formed when Saint Andrew reached Kiev (Greek Colonies that run along the Northern Coast of the Black Sea) and built the foundation for the Christian City. Believers saw St. Andrew create a cross out from the ground, which now marks the location of the St. Andrew Cathedral. Although this is the start of Russian- Orthodox, the people do not believe St. Andrew is a God or in many different Gods, for they are monotheistic.
In the mid-10th Century, the Christians were run by the Greek and Byzantine priests. Throughout the following decades this religion was adopted by Queen Olga in the year 945, and then passed on her beliefs to her following generations.The wasn’t called Russian-Orthodox until the son of Queen Olga brought and settled the religion in Moscow.
Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew

The Russian-Orthodox Church is a form of hierarchical diffusion. This religion spread slowly from area to area, and eventually formed into Russian-Orthodox out of Christianity. It is said to be hierarchical diffusion because Russia grew to power and added more land to its name causing people to be forced into this religion. Since this religion has spread such great length from the Black Sea to Russia, and then hundreds of years later settled in America, it is not surprising it still exists and has many followers.

Russia Orthodox Church

Russia Orthodox Church

Today there are around 130 regions of Russian Orthodox worldwide. Because of Stalin and the communist power, the number of Russian Orthodox in Russia has decrease significantly. There is a strong influence in America because of the Russian immigrants and trade. This moved from Alaska in the 1700s until it reached New York. This diffusion occurred with the movement of Greek-Orthodox to the Orthodox Church in Eastern United States. A majority of the original beliefs still exist today.
Here is an example of how a Russian- Orthodox Church is placed in a cultural landscape.
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