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Buddhism for Dummies

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Christianity for Dummies

Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism

Islam for Dummies
Islam for Dummies

Judaism for Dummies
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Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Religions of the World Poster Series

social studies > theology 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 < peace & justice

Religions of the World poster series celebrating Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism for the classroom and home schoolers.

Religions of the World - Buddhism Poster
Religions of the World - Buddhism Poster


Poster Text:
Introduction: Buddhism began in India around 525 BCE and spread to the Asia Pacific an Sri Lanka. In the 20th Century, many Western people became attracted to Buddhist ideas about the individual path to truth.

Founder: Prince Siddhartha Guatama was born in 563 BCE. Prophecies foretold he would become a holy man. His father protected him from learning about death and suffering to try to stop the prophecy from coming true.

Enlightenment: Eventually, Guatama secretly left the palace and learned about poverty, sickness and death. In a place called Bodhi Gaya he understood that suffering comes from desire and that eliminating desire provides a pathway to freedom. He became known as the Buddha, the enlightened One.

Branches: Most Chinese Buddhist follow the Mahayana traditions, while Theravada Buddhism is found elsewhere in Asia. Westerners are often attracted to Zen Buddhism, which promotes meditation.

Leaders: Abbots of Buddhist monasteries are accepted as religious leaders and teachers. Lamas, such as the Dalai Lama, are thought of as reincarnations of former leaders and treated with great respect.

Key beliefs: The Buddha taught Four Noble Truths, Five Moral Precepts and an Eightfold Path to Enlightenment. He taught that natural suffering happens to everyone. People cause other suffering for themselves through desire. Non-attachment to worldy things ends desire, thus ending suffering.

Nirvana, karma and rebirth: Buddhist believe that the ultimate goal of life is to reach the state of being which they call nirvana, in which the person becomes at one with the universe. They believe we are all trapped on the whell of life, being reborn many times, using each life as an opportunity to achieve nirvana.

Three refuges: "I take refuge in Buddha." (The Enlightened One)
"I take refuge in Dharma." (Buddhist Teaching)
"I take refuge in Sangha." (Buddhist community)

Mandala: The Mandala, or wheel of life, is a symbol of the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment, and reminds Buddhist they are trapped in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth until they reach nirvana.

Tripitaka: The Tripitaka, or Three Baskets, are Buddhist holy books written in Sir Lanka in 30 BCE.
Visaya Pitaka - a code of ethics to be followed by monks
Sutra Pitaka - the Buddha's teachings
Abbadharma Pitaka - teachings about the way we look at the world

Quotation from the Dalai Lama
"Today was are so interdependent, so closely interconnected that without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal brotherhood, and sisterhood, and belief that we are all part of one human family, we cannot hope to overcome the damage to our existence - let alone bring peace and happiness."

• more Buddhism posters

Religions of the World - Christianity Poster
Religions of the World - Christianity Poster


Poster Text:
Introduction: Christianity is the world's largest religion, with about 2 billion followers. There are Christians on every continent, and they belong to every nationality.

Key beliefs: Christians believe in one God who revealed his son Jesus to the world to demonstrate to people how he wanted them to live. Most Christians accept the "Creed" as a summary of Christian belief.

Founder: Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, born about 4 BCE in the Roman Province of Judea. He lived in obscurity until he was about 30 years old, when he gathered a group of followers and lived the life of a wandering rabbi for three years, teaching about God. He was tried and executed by the Romans. Three days later his followers reported seeing him alive again. Christians believe Jesus was the Messiah (Christos in Greek) promised to the Jews.

Branches: There are three main brances of the Christian Church:
Eastern Orthodox - including Orthodox, Copts and Armenians
Roman Catholic - the largest branch of Christianity, whith more than 1 billion people
Protestant or Reformed Churches - including Anglican and Episcopalian churches, and many other groups.

Leaders: The Pope is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. the Eastern Orthodox churches accept the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Patriarch of Constantinople, as their leader. The Anglican Communion is lead by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Other churches have individual leaders.

Worship: Christian worship is both congregational and individual. It includes praying, singing hymns, reading scriptures, and teaching. For many Christians the focal point of worship is the Eucharist, also called the Mass or Holy Communion.

Buildings: The work "Church" refers to the entire Christian community, both worldwide and locally, as well as the building in which Christians usually worship.

Holy books: Christinas call their holy book "The Bible." This contains the Old Testament - the Jewish Terakh - and the New Testament. The Old Testament starts with Creation and traces the hisotry and religion of the Jewish people and the promise of the Messiah. The New Testament contains records of the life and teaching of Jesus, the birth of the Christian Church, and letters of Christian teachings written during the early years of the religion's existence.

Rites of passage: Baptism is the sign of becoming a member of the Christian church. Some churches practice infant baptism, while in others only believing Christinas can receive baptism. Confirmation is the ceremony in which people take on the promises made at their infant baptism. Marriage is performed "in the sight of God."

Festivals: Christian festivals celebrate events in the life of Christ (Jesus), or in the life of a famous holy person (a saint). The three major festivals are: Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ; Easter, celebrating his resurrection; and Pentecost, celebratin the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Christianity posters
Vatican posters

Religions of the World - Hinduism Poster
Religions of the World -
Hinduism Poster


Ancient India poster
• more Hinduism posters
Gandhi posters

Religions of the World - Islam Poster
Religions of the World -
Islam Poster


Poster Text:
Introduction: Muslims are members of the international Islamic community, the world's second-largest religion. Islam started in Arabia, but there are Muslims throughout the world. Indonesia and Malaysia have large Muslim population.

Allah: The proclamation that Allah exists and is the one true God is essential to the faith.

Founder: Islam was founded by Muhammed (pbuh), who was born in 569 CE in Mekkah (Mecca). Muslims traditionally acknowledge respect for Muhammad and other prophets by adding "pbuh," or "peace be upon him," after their names.
When Muhammad was about 40, the angel Jibrail (Gabriel) appeared and told him he was the messenger of God: "Proclaim openly that which you are commanded, and turn away from idolaters."
Qur'an, Surah 15:94

Holy books: The Qur'an was written after the death of Muhammad. Muslims believe it is the authentic word of Allah, as revealed to Muhammad, and was given to them for guidance. Although Muslim accept other holy books, they believe only the Qur'an exists in an unchanged form.
Hadiths are collection of the saying and teaching of Muhammad.

Leaders: Worship is led by an imam. Any Muslim can be an imam if he has a good knowledge of Islam, has studied the Hadiths and the Qur'an in Arabic, and is respected by the Muslim community. Imams are usually unpaid.

Key beliefs: Muslim beliefs can be divided into three groups:
Tawhid - the oneness of Allah
Risalah - the work and messages of the prophets
Akbirah - life and death

Worship: Religious practice follows the five pillars of Islam:
Shahadah - declaration of faith in Allah
Salah - prayer five times a day
Zakah - giving money to the poor
Sawm - fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - pilgrimage to Mekkah at least once in a lifetime.

Buildings: Allah can be worshipped anywhere, but most communities have a mosque that serves as the focal point of religious life. Many muslims attend Friday prayers there.

Fasts and festivals: The two great Muslim festivals are Id-ul-Fitz, which ends the fast of Ramadan, and Id-el-Adha, which is celebrated during the month of Ramadan, and marks the end of Hajj.

Hajj: Hajj involves a pilgrimmage to Makkah. It should be completed at least once in a lifetime by those Muslims who can afford the journey.

Ouotation from Muhammad
"What is faith" When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is sin?" When a thing disturbs (the peace of) your heart, give it up."

Islam posters
Middle East posters
Malcolm X posters
Muhammad Ali posters

Religions of the World - Judaism Poster
Religions of the World - Judaism Poster


Religions of the World - Sikhism Poster
Religions of the World - Sikhism Poster


educational posters > social studies > theology 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 < peace

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