World Religions Unit (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism

World Religions Unit (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism)
Unit Length (3-4 weeks)
Remember to use SPRITE to help you analyze the importance of the terms/ideas/events/etc. in this unit.
Key concept: Compare/contrast-How are the beliefs and values of these religions similar to one another? How are they
different? How do they influence the movement of people and the growth of civilizations?
Essential Question: How does a group/civilization’s experiences influence their spiritual/religious beliefs?
Key terms=monotheism (belief in one god), polytheism (belief in many gods), diaspora (spreading of a people
from their homeland)
Essential Question: Where do people seek truth/spiritual answers? What do the sacred texts of each religion reveal
about the beliefs and values of their followers?
Key terms= sacred texts (holy books)
 Judaism-the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) and the Talmud (philosophy and instructions for
 Islam-the Quran (Koran)
 Christianity-the Bible
 Hinduism-the Vedas (no single sacred text)
 Buddhism-Zen parables
Essential Question(s): How do religions and their founders/leaders provide a framework for their followers to seek truth
(the path to truth)? What do a group’s religious practices/celebrations reveal about their values/beliefs? How do these
beliefs influence social/political growth?
Key terms=know the core practices/beliefs of each religion as well as the founder(s)
 Judaism- Rosh Hashanah, Hanukah, Yom Kippur, Passover
o Founder=Abraham (Moses also a key figure)
 Islam-The Five Pillars (declaration of faith, prayer five times a day, alms giving [zakat], fasting during
Ramadan, pilgrimage to Mecca [the Hajj], Ramadan (connects to Mohammed’s time in the cave)
o Founder=Mohammed (roots within Abraham as well)
 Hinduism-Many gods, one name (Brahman); atman, moksha, reincarnation, karma and dharma, ahimsa
o Founder=no single founder (a collection of ideas/beliefs)
 Buddhism- Four noble truths (the heart of Buddhism); the eight-fold path (the way to achieve nirvanaenlightenment)
o Founder=Siddhartha Guatama (becomes the Buddha)
Essential question: How do these beliefs/values lead to social and political conflict? How do they impact the world
Key terms=Sunni vs. Shi’ite (Islam); ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria); the caste system (Hinduism); struggle
for nonviolence (Hinduism and Buddhism); Jews vs. Muslims (fighting over Holy Land and differing religious views)?