Religions Hayley Ferguson

The word "Animism" means 'soul' or 'life'.

Animism is the belief that non-human entities such as animals, plants, rivers, mountains, and other entities in nature, inhabit some or all classes of natural objects or phenomena as they all contain an inner spiritual essence.

Animism has many forms, which reflect the geographical environment, the religious or spiritual cultural history, and the distinct worldview of the people groups who practice its various expressions. Practitioners ascribe to the idea that the spiritual world and physical world are deeply connected.

Animism is the most ancient of the religious philosophies. It still exists in many parts of the world where nature still impacts daily life such as tribal cultures in central Africa and South America and native Pacific cultures. The word 'animism' was introduced by early anthropologist Edward Tylor in 1871, but no person is considered the founder of Animism as animism has been part of human life, ever since humans first began to exerience religious ideas - perhaps around 150,000 years ago. Most of us continue to be small time animists today (unconsciously or involuntarily), in that we often attribute living force or 'animus' to inanimate objects.

To this day animism still exist and many people still believe that spirits inhabit some or all classes of natural objects or phenomena which leads us to many impacts that animism has left on our society. For example:

  • We live in a world where Animistic worldview beliefs have a significant amount of backing
  • Animism is spreading, and its spread is far reaching.
  • Animism is one of the four foundational worldviews.
  • Many people to this day still believe human beings are spiritual at their core and that upon physical death, they, too, will become spirits in the spirits world.

Animist believe that their spirits are either good or evil and they have a few rituals to make sure that their spirt is good not evil. In animist societies, ritual is considered essential to win the favour of the spirits that ward off other malevolent spirits and provide food, shelter, and fertility. Animist do Spirit worship which is often accompanied by ritual chants and dances, special folk drama or masques such as the shadow play. another ritual they do is trying to keep peace in their life to prevent damage to their spirit.

Animistic religious beliefs are widespread among primitive societies, particularly among those in many different spiritual beings are believed to control different aspects of the natural and social environment. Animists is a religion that starts from a very young age as they want you to make your life peaceful and prosperity to promote harmony between material and the spirit world. Which influences their society to make be nice, calm and cautious of what they do as they don’t want to upset the spirit world as they want their spirit to be good.

Animism Questions:

  1. What is animism?
  2. Where did animism originate from?
  3. What are 3 examples that the animism have left on our society?
  4. Give examples of rituals that animist people do.
  5. What has influenced their society on their beliefs of the spirt world?
The Greek Religion

The Ancient Greeks believed that first there was the void, chaos, out of which sprang the goddess, Gaia, who was the Earth. Gaia gave birth to Uranus, who was the sky and heaven. After she created the hills, mountains, valleys and seas, Gaia joined with her husband-son Uranus and mothered the first gods, the Titans, who lived on Mount Olympus. Some of the best-known gods included Oceanus, the one-eyed Cyclops, three horrid hundred-armed monsters, Hyperion, the earth goddess Rhea, and the terrible Kronos. Gaia and Uranus also created plants, animals and stars.

Greeks have many of beliefs, for example ‘fate’, the ‘universe’, ‘spirits, monsters and other mythological beings’, ‘death and the afterlife’, human nature and purpose of life’, as well as many more plus the different types of gods, Aphrodite, Apollo, ares, artemis, anthena, demeter, Dionysus, hades, Hephaestus, hera, hermes, Hestia, Poseidon, zeus.

A ritual is a religious ceremony that consists of a sequence of actions and words that are performed or spoken as part of religious worship. Some rituals that the Greek do are , the recitation of prayers, were simple. Others, such as animal sacrifices, were very elaborate. Sacrifices, the most important of the ancient religious rituals, were offerings to the gods. Although offerings were usually animals, other typical sacrificial gifts included cooked food, plants, pottery, or even a stone or flower.

Ancient Greece is not just ancient history. The legacy of this classical culture has had a significant influence on culture today, from athletic spectacles such as the Olympics to the storytelling structure of Hollywood films, as well as many more, here are so examples below:

Olympic and International Sports-

  • Every four years in ancient Greece, rival city-states entered into a formal armistice, setting aside political intrigue, legal disputes and weapons of war to send their best athletes to the Olympic Games.


  • Designers continue to draw inspiration from ancient Greek clothing even today, most notably in the popular style known as the goddess gown.

Language and alphabet-

  • There are more than 800 million speakers of these languages around the world today. The Romance languages are spoken on every continent and are evidence of the popularity of at least parts of Latin on the average people after the soldiers and grammarians left.
  • While the Romans definitely left a legacy in government and law, the very fact that you can read the words on this screen is evidence of the Roman impact on alphabets. While the Latin language borrowed its alphabet from the Greeks, they did polish the letters into a very similar shape as we know them today. Only a handful of letters, such as U and J, would later be added.


  • Roman religions manages to still have an overwhelming impact on the lives of more than two billion people around the world. This is because the greatest impact that romans had on religion was by promoting ‘Christianity’.

Government and Law-

  • In the United States, the Founding Fathers looked back to the Romans and the Greeks for inspiration on how to structure the government of the new country.
  • Romans who invented the idea of civil law, which required codes of law as well as codes of uniform punishment.
  • Lawyers in ancient Rome, as well as most other countries today, would instead focus on codes of law. This meant that law cases could have the potential to sound more like people arguing over a rulebook than an eloquent argument we imagine our lawyers produce, but is how law is practiced in much of the world today.


  • The pagan religion of the ancient Greeks may no longer be the established faith of the Aegean peninsula, but references to the legends of its gods and heroes continue to pervade our own culture

Greek Questions:

  1. What is the Greek origin of the universe?
  2. What beliefs do Greek have?
  3. Name all of the Greek Gods.
  4. Why is the ritual of sacrifice the most important ritual?
  5. What impact has the Greek religion have globally today and explain what they are?

zoroastriaism is the reliogous expression of peaceful, sedentary communities of N Iran as opposed to the animistic polytheism of their enemies, the nomadic horsemen. Zoroaster consistently contrasts these two peoples as the People of Righteousness ( asha ) and the People of the Lie ( druj ). The religion was concerned with increasing the harvest and with protecting and treating kindly the domestic animals whose labors accomplished the production of food.

Zoroastrianism’s theory is based on the belief that God fashioned and shaped the world in which we live in. However, they also believe he created an invisible, spiritual realm, which he populate with spiritual entities from his own light, such as, lords or ahuras, archangels or Amesha Spentas, guardian angles and other yazatas or luminaries.

Zoroastrianism have many beliefs but one of their biggest and strongest beliefs is each person has the freedom to choose good or evil in the choices he or she makes. For example, choosing to tell the truth rather than to tell a lie indicates a person has chosen good over evil. Another important belief is 'basic goodness of humanity', which is, that human beings are born pure and have a choice to follow god and depending on their choice, god decides their fate in spiritual realm.A couple more of their beliefs are:

  • belief in supreme and univeral god
  • belief in the duality and existance
  • belief in the divinity of creation
  • belief in the spiritualnature of the world and human beings
  • belief in after life
  • belief in sin and expiation of sin
  • belief in judgement day
  • belief in efficacy in sacrificial rituals
  • belief in imortanceness of righteousness

Zoroastrian have two types of ceremony rituals: the inner circle and outer circle. Like other religions, Parsis have certain customs and rituals that make them unique. The different types of rituals and ceremonies range from when a person is in their mother’s womb to when they first learn to sit on our own to when they eventually depart from earth. Some ritual and ceremonies are when a women is in her firth month of pregnancy there is a ceremony not only to celebrate but give her a new set of clothing, as well as when the baby is born ceremony called Zori where the grandparents give about five sets of clothes, cash, toys, silver cup or glass for the newborn baby, important coming of age ritual for example birthday where the child has to bath in milk, rose petals, rose water and rice, and all young Parsis must be initiated when they reach the age of seven in India or 10 in Persia, they receive the shirt (sadre) and the girdle (kusti), which they are to wear their whole life, death rituals and many more. As you can see, rituals and ceremonies play a big and essential part in the lives of Parsis. Each ritual and ceremony has its own importance and meaning. Each occasion provides us a reason to celebrate or honor a memory. Each is designed to remind us of our faith and our Zarthosti identity.

Zoroastrianism, once the dominant religion of Ancient Persia, has been all but wiped off the face of the planet today. In a world of seven billion people, roughly 150,000 Zoroastrians make up less than one-percent of one-percent of the global population. Of those few remaining, the plurality 70,000 live in India and are known as Parsis. The Parsis left Persia in the 900s, hoping to find a more welcoming place to practice their religion. Seems their homeland had become less hospitable after the Muslim conquests of the 600s.

Zoroastrianism Questions:

  1. What did they believe as to how the world was created?
  2. What are the 2 important beliefs?
  3. Name all of the other beliefs.
  4. Give 3 examples of rituals.
  5. Has Zoroastrianism left and impact on our world today? Why?

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