AP Human Geography

Hershey High School

Zoroastrianism

February2

Zoroastrianism is considered the oldest monotheistic religion in the entire world. It began close to 3500 years ago, and although uncommon still practiced by many. Zoroastrianism has many similarities to more popular religions such as Christianity and Islam. The motto of Zoroastrianism is: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds, which all Zoroastrians try to live by every day. Although Zoroastrianism is old, it still has a lasting impact on religious practices to this day. This religion is practiced mostly in Iran and India, but it is practiced worldwide by close to 190,000 people.

The founder of Zoroastrianism was the prophet Zoroaster. Zoroaster founded the religion in Iran. Although the exact date of the beginning of Zoroastrianism is unknown, most historians agree it began sometime between 1200-1500 B.C. When Zoroaster was 30 years old, he claimed have seen a shining being made of light and it claimed to be Vohu Manah which means good mind. This being then led Zoroaster to the god of Zoroastrianism who is called Ahura Mazda meaning Wise Lord. Vohu Manah is one of the six Amesha Spentas or Holy Immortals. The other immortals include Asha Vahista (justice and truth), Spenta Ameraiti (serenity and kindness), Khashhathra Vairya (just rule), Jauravatat (wholeness and health), and Ameretat (long life). Zorastrians believe that Ahura Mazda is the supreme ruler, and he created the whole world and controls it. Ahura Mazda is considered omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The main maxim that every Zoroastrian is suppose to live by is: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. They revolve their lives around this motto. Zoroastrians believe that there is a constant battle between their good god, Ahura Mazda, and an evil being, Angra Mainyu. Angra Mainyu opposes everything that Ahura Mazda stands for, and Angra Mainyu is responsible for death, natural disasters, disease, etc. Zoroastrians also believe that once you die your body becomes impure and is taken over by evil. Death is considered impure while the earth, wind, fire, and water are pure. The dead who are in hell will be taken to heaven on the day of judgment when Ahura Mazda defeats Angra Mainyu.

The founder of Zoroastrianism

The founder of Zoroastrianism, (Reflections of a Silk Road)

Zoroastrianism spread the most through the powerful Persian Empire. Zoroastrianism was the official religion when Cyrus the Great, Darius I, and King Xerxes ruled the empire. The religion grew as the kingdom grew. It spread to many parts of Europe, and even though Cyrus the Great and Darius did not force this religion on any of its people which proves that it is an ethnic religion, many converted to Zoroastrianism. Contagious diffusion helped spread this religion through the empire because it diffused through the word of mouth. Cyrus also let the Jews living in the empire to return to Jerusalem because of his benevolent actions. After the Persian Empire fell, so to did the spread of Zoroastrianism. It remained dormant for hundreds of years. During the rule of the Sassanian Emperors, Zoroastrianism began to spread again. During this time, the Zoroastrian calendar was reformed to contain all 365 days of the year. Zoroastrianism once again became the official religion of the empire, and it was used to rebel against the Roman Church. The Sassanain Empire changed Zoroastrianism more than any other empire. They made fire worship a major ritual for Zoroastrianism and this practice is still used today by almost every Zoroastrian. The Sassanain Empire fell when Arabs from Iran took over bearing the Islamic flag. The new religion of Islam restricted the spread of Zoroastrian in the Middle East. Muslims severely persecuted the indigenous Zoroastrians which caused a group of Iranian Zoroastrians to create a Diaspora to Western India. This group of people were called the Parsis. There are two major groups of Zoroastrians today, one group that still lives in Iran and the other group is the Parsis living in India. Today, close to 80% of all Zoroastrians live in India. Parsis in India have also helped the spread of Zoroastrianism eastward.

The god of Zoroastrianism can often be found in the cultural landscape, (Mythencyclopedia)

The god of Zoroastrianism can often be found in the cultural landscape, (Mythencyclopedia)

Although Zoroastrianism is not a major religion, and has not spread rapidly all over the world, its impact is still noticeable in many other more popular religions. Zoroastrianism has had a major impact on Christianity and Islam. One major concept that is shared between Christianity and Zoroastrianism is the concept of dualism. Zoroastrians believe there is a clear heaven and hell which many Christians believe true as well. Zoroastrians also believe the concept of their savior being born of a virgin. Zoroaster was born of a virgin, just as Jesus was born of a virgin in the Christian faith. Zoroastrians believe in a second coming just as many Christians believe as well. Zoroastrianism is also extremely similar to Islam. Muslims strive for ritual cleanness which comes directly from the teachings of Zoroaster. Also, Zoroaster is also considered a prophet from Muhammad himself drawing a direct connection from Islam to Zoroastrianism. Since Zoroastrianism is the oldest religion, it has definitely had an influence on younger monotheistic religions. There is no doubt that Zoroastrianism has had a major impact on Islam and Christianity.

Zoroastrianism was the religion during most of the Persian Empire, (University of North Carolina)

Zoroastrianism was the religion during most of the Persian Empire, (University of North Carolina)

Although not significantly large or well known, Zoroastrianism is an important religion in the world today. It is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion and was discovered in ancient Iran by the prophet Zoroaster. Zoroastrians concentrate on being pure and free thinking. Zoroastrianism spread the most during the Persian Empire. It was the religion of many of Persia’s rulers thus spreading the religion to the different places that the Persian Empire conquered. The religion also spread when a group of Iranians fled to India after Muslim persecution. This group of Zoroastrians are called the Parsis. Zoroastrianism has clearly had a major impact on Christianity and Islam despite its small size. Zoroastrianism is continued today and its symbols can be seen in the cultural landscape in the Middle East and India.

Because Zoroastrianism is so small in the United States it is difficult to find a place of worship, but this Zoroastrian center in Houston, Texas represents a place for Zoroastrians to worship in the U.S.

Mormonism

February2

The Religion better known today as Mormonism, was once known as the Latter Day Saints. Started in the 1830’s by Joseph Smith, who also wrote the Book of Mormon in 1830. The religion was created in Nauvoo, IL and was expanded in 1847 by Brigham Young to Salt lake City, Utah. Mormonism has been present in the United Kingdom since 1837.

As a Monotheistic Religion, the people of the Mormon faith believe that God has a physical state and can have a wife and children. The Mormons oppose Homosexuality, Abortion, Tobacco, Coffee, and Gambling. In order to make this religion different from the rest, Polygamy is said to be one of the trademarks of Mormonism. However, due to Interfaith Boundaries, the United States government forced that this would be banned.

Mormonism has spread through Heirarchical Diffusion, this is because only certain people in social classes have been able to convert. It is not a popular religion, therefor it is an Ethnic Religion. The Religion was created in the 1830’s; However, the first church was not created until 1958. The religion became quite popular in the 1850’s in the UK, but stopped spreading in Europe and migrated to the United States.

The primary Activity space for the Mormons is now the United States, specifically Utah. The populations of The United Kingdom and Utah were especially welcoming of the Idea of Mormonism. However, now, the Religion has diffused to Washington D.C. The Mormon Temple is not used for once a week religious worshiping that the average Christan Temple is. There are buildings for regular weekly worship. However, in order to get into the Temple, you must be regarded worthy by the Church.

The only thing that got in the way of Mormonism was the United States Government with the issue of Polygamy. Now, Polygamy is banned in the religion and anyone who practices will be excommunicated. On the first Sunday of every month, the members of the Church go without eating, and only drink for two meals. The mormons have a heavy family influence and believe that humans can become Gods in the Afterlife.

This is an example of a Mormon Church and how it is placed in a Cultural Landscape.

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.

Bahaism

February2
A symbol for the Bahai faith

A symbol for the Baha'i faith

Bahaism, or more commonly known as the faith of Baha’i, is a monotheistic religion that was founded by the latest in what is said to be a line of prophets directly from god, named Baha’u'llah.  The man who was given credit for founding the religion lived from 1817 to 1892 in Persia, which is also considered to be where the religion was born.

In its early years it fased much adversity as it began to grow, and Baha’u'llah himself faced many exiles.  Up to current day however, Baha’i has spread all over the world, having temples on every major continent except South America (which they are

The Lotus Temple is the largest Bahai Temple in the world.

The Lotus Temple is the largest Baha'i Temple in the world.

currently designing one to build in Chile) and Antarctica.  Many of these temples are considered to be sacred sites, and members of the Baha’i faith are encouraged to travel to them when possible.         Bahaism has been spread mainly through contagious diffusion, having most of the religions members brought in from there own personal interest.  As the religion spread from the Middle East to around the globe, it has stayed just about the same.  The basic Baha’i beliefs are still intact.  In this way, it can be compared to the more famous, older religions such as Christianity and Islam.            Bahaism, at its roots, is a religion that answers a very common question asked in the religious world.  Why are there so many different religions?  Bahais believe that all major religious figure heads, such as Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham, and most recently Baha’u'llah, are all prophets, or manifestations of god.  and each religion that has come to be from these “prophets” is considered to be what the world needed at the time of each of there coming.  They believe that each one of the religions, when, traced back, goes eventually to the same god, just on a different path.
Baha’i has been around for a good amount of time, but they only have just started to become recognized as a faith.  Over time, people from all backrounds have decided to accept this faith, making no clear distinction between classes or races.  Which is a little ironical in itself, considering that the religion

Bahais believe that all the worlds religions can be traced back to one all powerful god.

Bahais believe that all the worlds religions can be traced back to one all powerful god.

itself is based on unifying all the worlds religions in a sense.

Here is a link to view a sample of the Baha’i cultural landscape

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=chicago+bahai+temple&sll=28.566432,77.258606&sspn=0.578932,1.231842&ie=UTF8&hq=bahai+temple&hnear=Chicago,+IL&layer=c&cbll=42.074617,-87.683129&panoid=ladwxm5ErW-kD8f8-vkCpw&cbp=12,255.38,,0,-11.63&ll=42.074463,-87.683001&spn=0,359.982448&z=15

Conservative Judaism

February2

A branch of Judaism, Conservative Judaism, is a common ground between traditional Orthodox and the progressive Reformer branch of Judaism.  Founded in the mid-1900’s by Zacharias Frankel, Conservative Judaism, was began for the purpose to present modern day thinking to the old time teachings.  With this new way of thought conservative Jews fell that the Orthodox cummunity and the Reformer community are too extreme.  Conservative Judaism is the balance between the two groups and achieves modern thinking while keeping the origins of the religion.

Founder of Consevative Judaism (Zacharias Frankel)

Founder of Consevative Judaism (Zacharias Frankel)

The beginnings of Conservative Judaism were a response to what the founders viewed as departure from Jewish rituals made by the Reformers.  Conservative Judaism was first known in Germany as Historical Judaism in the 1850’s. Later to migrate to the United States in the 1880s and be named as it is today. The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York was founded in 1886 by a group of moderate rabbis who could not accept some of the more radical statements made in the “Pittsburg platform” of 1885.  From 1902, the Seminary flourished under the leadership of Solomon Schechter (1850-1915), and the growing number of rabbis trained there began to call their movement “Conservative Judaism.”  In the next sixty years under the leadership of Schechter’s two successors, Cyrus Adler and Louis Finkelstein, the movement grew to be the largest Jewish denomination in the United States.

Conservative Judaism in the Untied States and around the world is identical in their practices and beliefs.  Being a branch of Judaism, CChart showing the following of Conservative Judaismonservative Judaism is a monotheistic religion, because it has only one good of worship.  Due to the religions way of spreading through bloodlines, Conservative Judaism is not universalizing.  Even with this boundary, Conservative Judaism was spread hierarchically through the Jewish religion, first beginning in Europe, later crossing the Atlantic to the United States.  Once the religion spread through the higher positions of the Jewish faith it diffused contagiously from person to person.  This contagious diffusion helped make the branch as large as it is today.

The branch itself does not have any sacred sites, but the Jewish religion includes many that the Conservative branch considers theirs.  Conservative Judaism saw another explosion of growth in the 1990s.  A wealthy philanthropist, Ruth Ziegler, donated a large amount of money to the creation on a new rabbinical school in California.  With this new addition Conservative Judaism flourished within the United States, becoming the largest Jewish Denomination.

In the case of Conservative Judaism, the hearth did not take to the idea as well as in most cases.  Instead the Jewish branch moved across the sea where it was accepted through out the United States. Through both hierarchical and contagious diffusion, Conservative Judaism has become the single largest Jewish denomination in the United States.

Shakers

February2

The “Shakers,” or the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming, originated in England. It was founded by Ann Lee, a vibrant Quaker woman who developed an extreme fear of and disdain for sexual intercourse, perhaps as a result of her four unsuccessful pregnancies. This coupled with a vision of Adam and Eve and also a vision of Christ led to her establishing the Shakers in 1772. The religion mimicked the Quaker faith and upheld the basic beliefs of Christianity. The Shakers remained a monotheistic religion

Ann Lee

Ann Lee

and believed in the second coming of Christ. This second coming was in the form of Ann Lee. Shakers believe that God is both male and female. Jesus was His male vehicle, and Ann Lee embodied the second coming of Christ in the female form.

Along with various other religions emerging in Europe, the Shakers faced persecution. In 1774, Lee took her followers to North America, a forced migration. In 1787, the first two official settlements were established in Niskayuna and New Lebanon in New York. The Shaker society was a closed community. Shaker leaders attempted to maximize loyalty to the group by isolating believers from the outside world “physically, socially, economically, and intellectually.” Their communities were self-sustaining and almost all contact with the outside world was cut off. However, the Shakers were known for selling furniture to bring in money. This resulted in commondification when mass-producers started labeling their plain furniture as “Shaker Furniture” because the real Shaker furniture was well known for its quality. Their voluntary seclusion was a result of religious fundamentalism. The Shaker’s believed society was full of sin and lacked religious direction (especially because of the presence of sexuality). They sought to break off from the lack of local control of religious violation. This created a very limited but distinctive activity space. Due to this, the Shakers can be considered an ethnic religion, however they do posses certain universalizing qualities.

Once established in North America, the Shakers did begin to grow, but not wildly. It displayed contagious diffusion, for the religion grew directly out of its American hearth to neighboring areas. Shaker communities in this period were established in 1790 at Hancock, West Pittsfield, Massachusetts; in 1791 at Harvard, Massachusetts; in 1792 at East Canterbury, New Hampshire; in 1793 at Shirley, Massachusetts; at Enfield, Connecticut;at Enfield, New Hampshire; at Tyringham, Massachusetts; at New Gloucester, Maine; and at Alfred, Maine. However, this was also an example of hierarchecal diffusion. Some of these settlements arose because congregational leaders joined and produced followers of their own. Also, as the leaders of the Shakers passed away, new members were appointed and spread the religion to their area. For example, when Ann Lee died, Joseph Meacham of Connecticut took over and the religion expanded there. Eventually Shaker

Shaker Ceremony

Shaker Ceremony

societies were founded in Kentucky and Ohio in the early 1800’s. This diffusion displays the effects of distance decay. The Shakers were most popular around its American hearth, but barely existed outside of the northeast. It did hit Ohio and Kentucky, but in smaller numbers and did not expand past these states. Throughout all of this spreading, the religion stayed true to its original beliefs. This is not surprising because the popularity of the religion did not last long and did not spread very far. The method of the diffusion is unorthodox. Because the religion enforces celibacy, procreation is absent. Instead, the Shakers were active in adopting children from orphanages and taking in the homeless in order to continue their faith. Also, any adult was free to join their society, no matter what their previous religion was. This mode of diffusion mirrors qualities of universalizing religions, however the Shakers were not constantly attempting to massively convert. Instead, they were sustaining their numbers to substitute for procreation. The Shakers built 19 communal settlements that attracted some 20,000 converts within a century.

A variety of factors prevented the spreading of the Shakers. One reason is because of their beliefs and traditions. Their strict mission of celibacy and their deliberate seclusion makes it unattractive to outsiders. Also because it is such a closed community, it is unlikely for non-Shakers to simply enter and convert. In addition to this, the lack of contact with the outside world prevents the spreading of their ideas. As a whole the religion was not well accepted by other religions. Shakers worshipped in plain meetinghouses where they marched, sang songs, danced, twitched and shouted. Mother Ann was arrested several times for disturbing the peace because early Shaker worship services were unstructured, loud, chaotic and emotional. Many

Shaker Meetinghouse

Shaker Meetinghouse

outsiders who witnessed Shaker worship services considered them heretics and protested in front of their places of worship. However, the Shakers were accepted by the Quakers (since it branched from the Quakers). Membership in the Shakers dwindled in the late 1800s for several reasons. People were attracted to cities and away from the farms because Shaker products could not compete with mass-produced products that became available at a much lower cost. Shakers could not have children, so adoption was a major source of new members, but this discontinued when the states gained control of adoption homes. Today Shakers are no longer allowed to adopt orphan children after laws were passed in 1960 denying control of adoption to religious groups. Currently there is one remaining active Shaker community at Sabbath day Lake, Maine, which has only three members left.

The Shakers, although controversial, still modeled the basic beliefs of Christianity (and especially those of the Quakers). After its invention in 1772 by Ann Lee, the religion underwent migration and diffusion. After

Shaker Furniture

Shaker Furniture

the migration to New York from England, the faith contagiously and hierarchically diffused to neighboring states. Due to the effects of distance decay and outside factors, it did not stretch very far, only reaching Kentucky. Their strict beliefs, traditions, ceremonies, seclusion, celibacy and weak economical state all led to the near extinction of the religion.

Here is an example of a Shaker community.

The Rastafari Movement

February2
Haile Selassi is regarded as the Messiah for the Rastafari Movement. He was crowned emporer of Ethiopia in 1930.

Haile Selassi is regarded as the Messiah for the Rastafari Movement. He was crowned emporer of Ethiopia in 1930.

The Rastafari Movement’s roots are based with the colonization of Africa by Europe and thus the slave trade. The areas that the captive slaves were taken to came to be known as Babylon. Rastafarians believe that one day all descendants from Africa will return from their Babylons.

The belief system is known as the “Rastafari Movement” not “Rastafarianism” because believers feel as though the suffix “ism” is a a characteristic of oppression and the corrupt white society. Rastafarians believe that Blacks were exiled to Jamaica for sins of the past. In their mind, Jamaica is Hell and Ethiopia, or Africa, is Heaven. There is a deep rooted hatred for whites. Rastafarians believes that Blacks are God’s chosen people and they seek revenge against Whites for their barbarity. Rastafarians do not necessarily have a designated place where they worship. Meetings, or Reasoning sessions, usually take place in a believer’s home or at a community center. During these Reasoning sessions music is played along with chants, singing, prayers, and discussion of communal issues. In order to heighten spiritual states, marijuana may also be smoked during meetings. Rastafarians believe that marijuana is a sacred drug due references in the Bible, where it is referred to as herb. Women are viewed differently when it comes to Rastafarian beliefs. The religion of Rastafari is monotheistic, even though it includes many prophets and reincarnations. Inferior to men and regarded solely as child-bearers and housekeepers are some of the roles placed on women. Women are also not permitted to use birth control or undergo an abortion. The use of makeup and hair chemicals are not permitted. Today’s Rastafarian women most likely have more freedom due to the lessened strictness.
Kingston, Jamaica, is the birthplace of Rastafari. The area of Kingston in which Rastafari came about is suffering from extreme poverty,

Above is an image of a flyer advertising a Rastafarian meeting. The people pictured on the flyer are individuals who have had great influences on the religion.

Above is an image of a flyer advertising a Rastafarian meeting. The people pictured on the flyer are individuals who have had great influences on the religion.

racism and class discrimination. Due to the poor quality of life in the slums of Kingston, Rastafari’s message of Black pride, freedom of oppression, and the hope to return to Africa was well received.The man who sparked the flame of the Rastafari Movement is Marcus Garvey. Garvey was a political leader and led the organization called the Universal Negro Improvement Association. “Look to Africa where a black king shall be crowned, he shall be your Redeemer.” This statement made by Marcus Garvey became the backbone of the Rastafari Movement. Garvey aimed to reverse the mindset  that Blacks were inferior, a view that centuries of enxlavement thrust upon them. Quickly after this prophecy was made, the crowning of Haile Selassi, whose birth name was Ras Tafari Makonnen, took place. Haile Selassi is believed by Rastafarians as the Black Messiah, or the Jah Rastafari. In 1935, the first branch of Rastafari was established by Leonard P, Howell. During the 1960’s the music of reggae began to flourish. The hierarchical diffusion of reggae music eventually reached people completely different from the culture that created it. Many Rastafarians feared that the popularity of reggae music would lead to the commodification of Rastafari. They worried it would become a fad rather than a serious religion. Due to a Marxist revolution in 1974, Haile Selassi was removed from office. His death, while under arrest, followed a year later. The removal of the Rastafarian’s Messiah initially disturbed the Rastafari believers.

There are three subdivisions of Rastafari; Bobo Shanti, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and the Nyahbinghi Order. Prince Emmanuel Charles Edwards founded the Bobo Shanti movement in Jamaica in 1958. Prince Emmanuel Charles Edwards along with Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassi make up the Holy Trinity. Since they do not agree with Jamaican laws and principles, Bobo Shanti

The effect of the cultural landscape of Rastafari. The house above is painted with colors that are symbolic of the Rastafari religion; red for the blood of martyrs for black liberation, greena and gold for the vegetation and wealth of Africa.

The house above is painted with colors that are symbolic of the Rastafari religion; red for the blood of martyrs for black liberation, greena and gold for the vegetation and wealth of Africa.

have secluded themselves in Bull Bay, Jamaica. The dress customs of Bobo Shantis include, for men, brightly colored turbans and longs robes. Women are not permitted to show their arms and legs. Elements of the Old Testament Jewish Mosaic law have been incorporated into Bobo Shanti tradition, such as; the honoring of the Sabbath, rules for menstruating women, and special group meetings. Bobo Shantis believe that the use of marijuana is to only be carried out during religious meetings and to never be used in public. Twice a week and on the first of every month, Bobo Shantis will fast. Dr. Vernon Carrington founded the Twelve Tribes of Israel division in 1968. Carrington claimed that he was the reincarnation of Gad, one of the sons of Israel, he is referred to as “the Prophet Gad.” Followers of the Twelve Tribes of Israel believe in salvation for all races, causing this group to be considered as the most liberal of the Rastafari groups. Finally, the Nyahninghi order, the oldest of all Rastafari groups, is named after Queen Nyahbinghi, ruler of Uganda in the 19th century. Queen Nyahbinghi is highly regarded for her fight against the influence of colonial powers. Nyahbinghi only eat organic foods and avoid the consumption of salt. This group’s main focus is on religious fundamentalism, the link between the Rastafari religion and Africa. Ethiopia is important to Nyahbingi beliefs. The Ethiopian Sabbath is observed, and the Ethiopian language of Amharic is used.

The Rastafari movement has reached to the United States, New Zealand, countries in Africa and the Caribbean, and Europe. Distance decay is a factor affecting the sincerity to the Rastafari beliefs. Rastafari is a religion of a fight against oppression and a holistic lifestyle.
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