Religious Diffusion & Conflict

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RELIGION:
THE GEOGRAPHIC PERSPECIVE
Hinduism-ethnic religion

Chronologically, the oldest
of the major religions
 Arose in Indus Valley,
~4,000 years ago
 No evolving
bureaucratic structures
 Reincarnation
 Doctrines allied with
India's caste system
 Tied to the physical
landscape
 Modernization and
Gandhi helped relax the
caste system
Ganesh Shrine, Kathmandu, Nepal
Hinduism


Diffusion
 Arose in what is now
Pakistan
 No modern expansion
diffusion
 Area overtaken by
Buddhism and Islam
 Bali outpost has
become a syncretic
faith
 Relocation diffusion not
the foci
Cultural landscape
 Hinduism is a way of
life
 Building a temple gives
good Karma…
 Shrine location
important
 Visual AND emotional
Buddhism- Universalizing
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Resurgence in India
 Buddha (Prince Siddhartha)
spoke out against caste system
Diffusion
 Grew slowly after Buddha’s
death
 Fragmented today, but
experiencing a revival
 Principals keep diffusing,
notably in the Western world
Cultural landscape
 The Bodhi tree
 Pagodas
Chinese religions- Ethnic religions
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Taoism
Confucianism
Diffusion
 Confucianism diffused
early into the Korean
Peninsula, Japan, and
Southeast Asia
 Taoism = more local
 Chinese communist
authorities leveled burial
mounds because they
took up too much ground
suitable for farming
Cultural landscape
 Confucianism and
Taoism help expand
impact of Buddhist
cultural influences
Shinto: ethnic religion of Japan
Judaism-ethnic religion, exception to the rule, has
diffused


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The oldest major religion to
emerge west of the Indus Valley
Diffusion
 Diaspora
 Sephardim
 Zionism=homeland for Jewish
people
 Israel created in 1948 by UN
Cultural landscape
 Synagogues, but no single
architectural style
 Star of David appears on most
Jewish graves
 The “Wailing Wall”
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
Christianity-Universalizing

Jewish search for deliverance from Romans &
appearance of Jesus

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Paul’s role
Eastern Roman Empire (Constantinople)
 Eastern (Orthodox) Church still one of three major
branches
The papacy, second branch
Protestant movement
Diffusion



A combination of expansion and relocation diffusion
during European colonialism
Most widespread of the global religions
Aggressive and persistent proselytism
http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/china_705/
Christianity

Cultural
landscape


Medieval
Europe
Imprint of death
on the
landscape

Uses more
land for
cemeteries
than any other
faith
http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/history-of-religion.html
Christianity

Religions and culture regions in the United
States


The Mormon culture region
Christian culture regions better known
Islam-universalizing

The youngest of the major faiths
 Religious and social disarray in Arab world
 Unifying religious faith and set of values
 Mecca, Medina, then Jerusalem became the
spiritual center
 Believed strongly in education
 Still the heart of Arab culture
 Islamization
Islam by 900 CE
Islam: Shiite


Regions and sects

Division  conflict-2
BRANCHES
 Sunnis: family and
community to solve
problems
 Shiites: Imam is “solver”

Imams—Shiite Muslims
leaders whose
appointments are regarded
as sanctioned by Allah
Diffusion

Trading expansions led to
conflicts with Christianity
 The Crusades

Continues to attract
converts

Experiencing resurgence;
expansion will continue

Classic example of
hierarchical diffusion
Islam

Cultural landscape
 Mosques dominate the urban landscapes
 Muslim architects very skilled
 Exquisite and distinct architecture


A symbol for faith and community
Islam religion and culture are one
The Alhambra
an example of Muslim Architecture
The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
an example of Muslim tile glazing
Religious Fundamentalism
A worldwide drive by millions back to the “basics” (in
whose eyes?) of religious faith
 Often born out of frustration
 “Tunnel Vision”

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9/11 led to many American’s equating terrorism with
Islam
Globalization and religions
1. strict adherence to the holy text
2. pious or religiosity
3.
Religious Fundamentalism

Christian fundamentalism

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Christian fundamentalism most pronounced in Protestantism
Islamic fundamentalism

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Laws not equally applied
Inconsistency breeds dissidence
From Shah to Ayatollah
1970s and 1980s most significant
Afghanistan under the Taliban
 Jihad and Wahhabi
Extreme Islamic fundamentalists who resort to violence
are relatively small in number (Usually from the Shiites)
Resources
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De Blij, Harm, J. (2007). Human Geography People, Place and Culture.
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Domosh, Mona, Neumann, Roderic, Price, Patricia, & Jordan-Bychkov,
2010. The Human Mosaic, A Cultural Approach to Human Geography. New
York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
Fellman, Jerome, D., Getis, Arthur, & Getis, Judith, 2008. Human
Geography, Landscapes of Human Activities. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill
Higher Education.
Pulsipher, Lydia Mihelic and Alex M. and Pulsipher, 2008. World
Regional Geography, Global Patterns, Local Lives. W.H. Freeman and
Company New York.
Rubenstein, James M. (2008). An introduction to human geography The
cultural landscape. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Benewick, Robert, & Donald, Stephanie H. (2005). The State of
China Atlas. Berkeley: University of California Press.
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