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World Religions

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Early Civilizations

* Practiced animism (Zoroastrianism) and polytheism

* Animism: the belief that spirits are present in animals, plants and other natural objects

* Polytheism: a belief in many gods

* Believed that the success of their harvest depended upon the blessing of the Gods.

* Religious priest were considered as a link between the gods and people and held a lot of power.

* Priests collected the crops as taxes for their service to the people.


* Practiced Hinduism and Buddhism

* No real founder of Hinduism

* Hinduism developed from Vedas, collections of old sacred writings

* Hinduism is polytheistic. Ex: Vishnu the Creator and Shiva the goddess of destruction.

* Caste(class) System was formed out of Hinduism

* Buddhism developed as a counterpart to Hinduism.

* Founded by Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) around 580 B.C

* Beliefs all summed up in the Four Noble Truths

* Did not support caste system or religious ceremonies

* Lost popularity in India and later on spread to China

* Both religions did share some similar beliefs such as nonviolence and


* Practiced Daoism(Taoism) and Confucianism

* Daoism: a philosophy focusing on people living in harmony with the laws of nature.

* Founded by Chinese thinker Laozi in 6th century B.C.

* Confucianism: a secular belief in ethical conduct and social harmony.

* Founded by Chinese philosopher Confucius around 400 B.C.

* Both beliefs were philosophies not religions.

* Chinese



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