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Religion: maintsream, denominations, sects, cults

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Religions: Civic & Culture
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Religion: maintsream, denominations, sects, cults

  1. 1. HRT 3M1 World Religions Types of Religious Beliefs There are several forms that religious belief can take. These beliefs are not all equal and some may become destructive for the individuals and communities involved. Religious beliefs can be separated into 4 distinct categories: 1.Mainstream Religious 2.Denominations 3.Sects 4.Cults
  2. 2. Mainstream Religions These are the established religions which are generally accepted by society. For example, the major World Religions covered in this course can be considered Mainstream Religions **Think of an Umbrella***
  3. 3. 13 characteristics of mainstream religions 1.A belief in the supernatural and in a spiritual world beyond our physical material world. 2.A belief in the existence of a soul. 3.A collection of sacred writings or scriptures. 4.Organized institutions. 5.A strong sense of family and community based on rituals and festivals that represent/celebrate shared beliefs and practices. 6.A set of answers to the BIG Questions. 7.Rules of conduct to help followers lead an honourable life and to provide order and purpose to individual and community life. 8.A system of ethics that offers a guide to moral behaviour. 9.Significant founders or inspired leaders. 10.A search for perfection or salvation. 11.A life of faith and worship. 12.Techniques for focusing or concentrating ones awareness. 13.An enriching impact on the lives of its adherents.
  4. 4. Denominations DENOMINATIONS are subgroups within a religion that operate under a common name, tradition, and identity. Denominations often form due to geographic, cultural and/or theological differences. Mainstream Christian denominations in Canada include Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, and Presbyterian. *Like the spokes of the umbrella
  5. 5. Sects Subdivisions within a religion that are different from denominations due to the fact that they are at ODDS with the mainstream religion. ¡A sect will keep the BASIC BELIEFS of the parent religion it has separated from, but believes that the mainstream tradition has been CORRUPTED the original teachings and purpose of the religion. ¡The sect believes that by breaking away they will restore the purity and true meaning of the original tradition. The BIGGEST difference between a denomination and a sect is in their attitude towards the outside world. Sects will do their best to avoid contact with the outside world, for fear of corruption. Examples ??? *Like the fringes that hang from a parasol
  6. 6. Umbrella Analogy Umbrella = Mainstream Spokes = Denominations Fringes = Cults
  7. 7. 15 Characteristics of Destructive Cults 1.The group is focused on a charismatic leader who is self- appointed and often claims superhuman power (cults often do not survive the death of their leader). 2.This leader demands complete obedience to their will and members often seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment. 3.A preoccupation with bringing in new members and a preoccupation with making money. 4.Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished (thought reform techniques are often used to prevent this type of thought). 5.Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues and debilitating work routines) are used to stop normal critical thinking and suppress doubts or criticism of the group.
  8. 8. 15 Characteristics of Destructive Cults 6.The leadership dictates how members should think, behave, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to dat e, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe how to discipline children, what to wear, where to live, and so forth). 7.The group is elitist and exclusive claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
  9. 9. 15 Characteristics of Destructive Cults 14.Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group. 15.Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members. As a result members are often physically or psychologically isolated from society, promoting dependence on the other members of the group.
  10. 10. Fundamentalism ● Rejects secular culture and the idea that religion should evolve in response to modern ways and thinking. ● Viewed as a return to the traditional form of the religion; their claim is to represent the purest form of their religion. ● Sacred texts are accepted as literally true. ● Fundamentalists generally cannot see the religious dimension of life in any form but their own – claim that their tradition has a monopoly on the truth and all others are wrong and dangerous.
  11. 11. Fundamentalism One of two enormous statues of standing Buddha’s. These statues were carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan Valley in central Afghanistan in the 6 th century. The Buddha’s were destroyed in 2001 by Islamic fundamentalists called the Taliban, after the Taliban declared the statues to be Idols. Idols are prohibited in Islamic Shariah law. The destruction is an example of fundamentalist intolerance of others religions beliefs and practices. “All we are breaking are stones.” – Afghan malitia leader

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