Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does the term diaspora refer to?
A: It refers to the movement and spread of a religion and its traditions. It is the mass-migration away from an ancestral homeland. It usually refers to movement that is involuntary such as forced removal (of African Americans to the Western Hemisphere).

2. What city do three major religions converge on with equal importance and fervor?
A: The three major religions converge on Jerusalem with equal importance and fervor. Jerusalem has been historically a special place, religiously. It is all over the Christian Bible and other religious sources.

3. What is the difference between monotheism and polytheism?
A: Polytheism is a religious structure based on multiple gods or deities while monotheism revolves around only one. Religions such as the Roman Pagan religion is a polytheistic faith as opposed to Christianity, which is a monotheistic faith.

4. Name the civilization that copied the polytheistic structure of Greek religion and renamed their gods.
A: Rome is the civilization that copied the polytheistic structure of Greek religion and renamed the Greek gods after the planets. Greek examples aroused Etruscan cult and belief to inform much of the Roman religion.

5. In what ways does religion manifest itself?
A: Through events in one’s life, worship of a supernatural power, times of the day, anything “holy.” In the worship of the souls of ancestors who are thought to inhabit natural objects such as trees or animals; in the belief that a certain living person has a special ability; in the belief in a God or gods; etc.

6. What is religion?
A: It is an extraordinarily difficult concept to define. Geographers Robert Stoddard and Carolyn Prorak define religion as "a system of beliefs and practices that attempts to order life in terms of culturally perceived ultimate priorities." Religion manifests itself in many different ways.

7. What are the three major monotheistic religions whose world-wide spread marked a major theological shift from the long dominance of polytheism and animism?
A: The three major monotheistic religions whose world-wide spread marked a major theological shift from the long dominance of Polytheism and Animism are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

8. What are the differences between a universalizing religion and an ethnic religion?
A: There are major differences in universalizing religions and ethnic religions. Universalizing religion is actively seeking converts, while ethnic religion is being born into a faith where converting is not sought.

9. What are some of the positive and negative effects that religion has had on human societies?
A: Combating social ills, sustaining the poor, promoting the arts, educating the deprived, and advancing medical knowledge are some positive effects of religion on human societies while blocked scientific studies, encouraging the oppression of dissidents, supported colonialism and exploitation, and condemned women to an inferior class are some negative effects.

10. What is pilgrimage?
A: When adherents voluntarily travel to a religious site to pay respect of participate in a ritual at the site. Geographers who study religion are interested in the act of pilgrimage and its impacts on place, people, religion, culture, and environment.




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