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Ch 3: Major Belief Systems of the World

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on the world's major belief systems to learn religious terminology, theological theories, and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these religion topics.

Major Belief Systems of the World - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

This chapter focuses on religions and belief systems that have played a significant part in the world's history. You'll learn the definitions of different kinds of belief systems and of integral terms used within them. Discussions of the societal implications of these systems and how they have influenced and correlated with social change are also included. The lessons in this chapter are intended to help you:

  • Develop familiarity with major historic and contemporary world religions
  • Know common religious terminology
  • Comprehend the relationship between religious and ideological theories and social change

Video Objective
Religion: Key Concepts and Definitions Learn religious terms and correlative conceptualizations.
Religion and Social Change in Protestantism and Liberation Theology Understand Weber's theory of the relationship between social change and Protestantism. Become familiar with the liberation theology theory.
Religious Views: Atheism, Agnosticism, and Theism Define and distinguish among these three religious perspectives.
Monotheism: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity Know the meaning of monotheism and learn basic tenets of these three major branches of it.
Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism Understand the similarities and contrasts between these three systems. Know the definition of polytheism.
Daoism and Legalism Recognize the relevance of Daoism and Legalism during the Zhou period in China.

6 Lessons in Chapter 3: Major Belief Systems of the World
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Religion: Key Concepts and Definitions

1. Religion: Key Concepts and Definitions

Sociologists strive to study every aspect of religion in an objective way. In this lesson, we define religion and identify key concepts that are found in religion. We also discuss the difference between churches, sects, and cults.

Religion and Social Change in Protestantism and Liberation Theology

2. Religion and Social Change in Protestantism and Liberation Theology

Religion can, at times, be a powerful agent for social change. In this lesson, we discuss two examples of the dichotomy between religion and the secular world, including Max Weber's book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, as well as the concept of liberation theology.

Religious Views: Atheism, Agnosticism & Theism

3. Religious Views: Atheism, Agnosticism & Theism

Sociology of religion is a large branch of sociology. The different views on deities are studied as part of this topic. In this lesson, we compare and contrast the views of theism, atheism, and agnosticism.

Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity

4. Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity

In this lesson, we define monotheism and identify three significant monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We also discuss the ideology of each of these three religions.

Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism & Confucianism

5. Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism & Confucianism

Not all religions focus on the belief (or disbelief) in a particular deity. In this lesson, we define nontheism and discuss the ideologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Taoism & Legalism in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty

6. Taoism & Legalism in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty

While Confucianism remained the most dominant philosophy to emerge from China during the Zhou period, two other philosophies, Taoism and Legalism, offered different approaches to how to best live in the world.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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