Communication and Culture


Je kan hier mijn samenvattingen zien van Communication and Culture. De delen hieronder zijn zelfgeschreven of kopie van het boek + dia of kopie van het internet. Mijn excuses daarvoor, maar zo leer ik nu eenmaal. Het boek moeten we op zelfstudie leren. Dit is iets nieuws voor mij, dus hopelijk gaat dat me lukken!  

Het boek wat we gebruiken is: Communication between cultures, 9th Edition, Larry A. Samovar, Richard E. Porter, Edwin R. McDaniel & Corolyn S. Roy, 2015. 


The interdependent Global Society

What is the study of intercultural communication?

It is all about changes in the world and how the people in that world must adapt to them. It is about the world changes that have brought us into direct and indirect contact with people who, because of their culture, often behave in ways that we do not understand.

Why is the world now changing a lot faster?

  • The evolving technology
  • Social conditions

What is intercultural communication?

Intercultural communication is a discipline that studies communication across different cultures and social groups, or how culture affects communication.

Why do you we have intercultural interactions?

The fact is that we rely on others to live. So, we have to meet people in other countries to sustain ourselves. And more and more we rely on the resources of other countries to live.

Where can you for example see different types of interactions of different cultures?

  • Classroom
  • Workplace
  • Healthcare setting
  • Neighborhood

What is globalization?

The term “globalization” originally implied an emerging development, a work in progress, but can now be characterized as both an existing condition and a continuing dynamic. (= De term ‘globalisering’ impliceerde oorspronkelijk een opkomende ontwikkeling, een werk in uitvoering, maar kan nu worden gekarakteriseerd als zowel een bestaande toestand als een voortdurende dynamiek.)

Usually globalization focuses on economic, political, and cultural. However, there are many other facets of it. Like our economy, environment, resources, education, and healthcare systems all interconnect to, rely on, and affect the economies, environments, resources, and health systems of other countries.

As the world becomes more interconnected, our lives are increasingly dependent on people and event in other parts of the world.

Why is intercultural communication important with trade?

Because the world population is increasing, countries has higher demand and supply. So, higher import and export. Everything must meet the import/export requirements, which involve cross-cultural negotiations, agreements, monitoring and inspections.

E.g.: foodindustry

 Give some synonyms of intercultural communication:

  • Multicultural
  • Cross-cultural
  • Intercultural
  • Cultural diversity
  • Ethnic pluralism

When is effective intercultural communication an increasingly essential requirement?

  • In the critical efforts to ensure world peace
  • Improve relationships between co-cultures and the dominant cultures within each country
  • Assure resource sustainability
  • Promote ecological viability (= levensvatbaarheid)

The Requirement for Intercultural Cooperation

Where do most discussions go about with globalization?–       On economic benefits –       The ramifications of interdependence (= de vertakkingen van onderlinge afhankelijkheid)  In addition to economic consideration, globalization has raised awareness of existing and emerging conditions that influence many aspects of our planet and society (= naast economische overwegingen heft globalisering het bewustzijn verhoogd van bestaande en nieuwe omstandigheiden die vele aspecten van onze planeer en maatschappij beïnvloeden), which?

Social challenges Ecological concerns Humanitarian and legal cooperation Political questions Security issues
World population growth Competition for natural resources

–       Raw materials

–       Water shortages

–       Food scarcities

–       Pelagic resources

Disease control International legal system


Weapon of mass destruction
Mass migration Environmental changes/degradation Disaster relief Scientific advancement ethics Terrorism and piracy
Urbanization International mishaps Human rights issue Peacekeeping missions
Intercultural integration Transnational crime

–       Cyber crime

–       Intellectual property

Emerging threats:

–       Sectarian and ethnic tensions

–       Renascent nationalism

–       Contested territorial claims.

Aging populations/declining birthrates

Social challenges: Scientific and socioeconomic advances in 19thand 20thcenturies resulted in rapid population growth. Vastly improved healthcare and increased food productions and nutritional knowledge, and greater availability of social support systems contributed to reduced infant mortality and increased life expectancy. The many improvements and benefits, this population explosion has exacerbated (= verergerd)some older problems and given rise to numerous new ones. Which?

  • What changes must be made in order to ensure the world’s environmentcan support these levels of human activities?

It is a question that no single organization, government, or nation can answer. It will require shared ideas, interaction and mutual effort across cultural and state borders.

  • Social and technological improvements have facilitated and encouraged the movement from rural areas to urban environments.
  • Mass migrationfrom regions afflicted by poverty, political oppression (= onderdrukking), or conflict areas offering personal safety, economic opportunities, and political stability.
    • g.: In the United States the immigration issues are a daily topic and regularly produce a divided electorate. Immigrants from Latin America and Asia has changed the traditional composition (= traditionele samenstelling)of the United States. Minorities now represent more than 37% of the U.S. population, almost 13 percent were born in another country, and more than 20 percent speak a language other than English at home. The immigrants will bring changes in the future like: “new immigrants and their children, will make up 84% of the 24 million net increase in the U.S. labor force by 2030”. (= Minderheden vertegenwoordigen nu meer dan 37% van de Amerikaanse bevolking, bijna 13 procent is geboren in een ander land en meer dan 20 procent spreekt thuis een andere taal dan Engels. De immigranten zullen veranderingen blijven brengen – volgens onderzoek is het zo dat “nieuwe immigranten en hun kinderen tegen 2030 84% van de 24 miljoen netto toename van de Amerikaanse beroepsbevolking uitmaken.)
    • g.: Movement of people from poverty-ridden and violence-torn African and Middle Eastern nations, along with those from Eastern Europe seeking better employment, has altered the complexion of Western Europe.(= De beweging van mensen uit door armoede geteisterde en door geweld verscheurde Afrikaanse en Midden-Oosterse landen, samen met die uit Oost-Europa die op zoek zijn naar betere tewerkstelling, heeft de teint van West-Europa veranderd.)
    • A majority of new immigrants (all over the world), will seek work and residence in urban areas. More than the half of the world’s population already lives in in cities. In 2050 the percent will grow till 66%. In the U.S., 80,70% of the people already life in urban areas. It is important that they learn to cooperate and respect each other’s difference, because of the requirements such as waste management, availability of foodstuff, reliable freshwater resources, different ethnicities, religious practices, worldviews, beliefs, values, etc.
  • Mounting immigration, urbanization, international employments, study abroad and ease of foreign travel are facilitating contact between people with different racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background. The sequel (= vervolg)is that there is an increasing in intercultural contact and a rise in international marriagesin Asia, Europa and U.S. [How do you know it is a real marriage, identity issues]
  • In the U.S., the white non-Hispanic population is forecast to lose majority status by 2043. By 2060, minority groups will represent an estimated 57% of the population. (in de is, wordt verwacht dat de blanke niet-Spaanse bevolking in 2043 de meerderheidsstatus verliest, waarna de natie een meerderheid van minderheden zal zijn. Tegen 2060 zullen minderheidsgroepen naar schatting 57% van de bevolking vertegenwoordigen.)It will bring changes to the traditionally “dominant” U.S. culture, a product of the beliefs and values of the historically white majority. This transition will demand greater intercultural insight, acceptance and communication expertise.
  • Aging populationsare another emerging (= opkomende) Almost every nation is experiencing an increase in older citizenry made more pronounced by declining birthrates. There are social and economic consequences arising from this trend toward expanding aging populations, not the least of which is the ratio of working age to elderly dependency are (the number of working-age people in relation to those in retirement). This imbalance is a concern because most social support programs for older people are depended of fiscal support generated by the workforce.
    • g.: Fortunately for the U.S., in spite of the declining birthrate, overall population growth is robust to due to immigration, which also raises importance of intercultural understanding. (= Gelukkig voor de VS, ondanks de dalende geboortecijfers, is de algemene bevolkingsgroei robuust vanwege immigratie, wat ook het belang van intercultureel begrip doet toenemen.)



The dominant demographic trend of the next century will be the movement of people from poorer to richer regions of the world. Diverse people will be brought together who have little common cultural identity of the sort that historically has prompted our cultural nepotism, and this will happen at rates that exceed those at which they can be culturally integrated.


Aging population:

Despite the weight of scientific evidence, the significance of population aging and its global implications have yet to be fully appreciated. There is a need to raise awareness about not only global aging issues but also the importance of rigorous cross-national scientific research and policy dialogue that will help us address the challenges and opportunities of an aging world.


What are some reasons that make intercultural cooperation more important than ever?


Globalization has resulted in increasing intercultural relationships, mounting immigration, urbanization, international employment, study abroad, and ease of foreign travel are facilitating contact among people with different racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

The globalized economy continues to be characterized by nations seeking to acquire and preserve raw materials needed to fuel their economic engines. Which are the ecological concerns?

  • 1960 and 1970: Japan and South Korea sourced for the resources, now China is acquiring resources worldwide in order to sustain its industrialization. India’s growing economy is also adding demand for raw materials. As other nations grow, the requirement for the various natural resources will expand.
  • The competition for scarce (natural) resources, such as food, water, or energy, will likely increase tensions within and between states and would lead to more localized or regional conflicts, or exacerbate government instability.
  • There will be political tensions. International agreementswill be needed to regulate the extraction of resources from regions of disputed sovereignty and common areas outside the boundaries, such as seabed hydrocarbons and minerals. The cooperative policing mechanisms may be necessary to ensure compliance with treaties and pacts. In some case, the WTO (= World Trade Organization) will help with agreements and negotiations.
  • Water shortagein the future because of overconsumption, misuse, pollution and climate change. A lack of water has implications for health, economic development, security, and environment sustainability. Intercultural and domestic agreements will have to be negotiated regarding across to water, water distribution rights, and even water trading. Intercultural communication is important in developing and implementing educational programs for water management and conservation, especially at the consumer level.
    • g.: In the U.S., California already has the issue with water shortage because of the urbanization.
    • g.: Competition for water in the agricultural populations [for food] and urban populations.
  • The threat of insufficient foodis also a problem of the population growth, urbanization and changing dietary habits. People are consuming more animal protein -> more land needed, water usage and crops for animal feed.
    • g.: in 2050 the crop production will double for animal and human industry.
    • g.: Reduction in available food will drive up the prices. Which will increase the poverty level and the political instability. As an insurance, some nations are already acquiring vast tracts of arable land in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia for agricultural development.
    • g.: the fish industry is facing a number of threats: illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing to fishing practices to wastage to poor governance. 80% of the fishes are harvested or above their sustainability levels. They destroy the coral reefs. This need agreements, quotas, permissible practices, punishment, etc.
  • Air pollution
  • The ever-increasing for of climate change is another consideration that necessitates competent intercultural interactions. Extreme weatherconditions will bring more frequent tropical storms, droughts, wildfires, flooding, heath threats – and a host of other maladies that van be managed only by nations working together.


How do you believe we can get people throughout the world, and from a variety of cultures, to engage in humanitarian cooperation? Is such engagement possible?

Give some examples of humanitarian and legal cooperation:

  • Humanitarian crises
    • g.: In 2014, the breakout of the Ebola virus in West Africa (in 6 countries). There were threats around the world like U.S., Spain and England for this virus. In attempting to contain the disease, personnel and materials from around the world were rushed to the area, and coordination required communication across organizational, linguistic and cultural lines. The instituted treatment and containment programs had to be culturally sensitive to local customs (caring the dead traditionally requires touching and even kissing the body in some West African nations. To break the Ebola virus, emergency workers had to identify and implement effective methods of communicating the dangers of this practice to the local inhabitants).
  • International cooperation, line in disaster response
    • g.: The worldwide response for the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, or the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 in Japan, in 2013 the Philippine super typhoon. International assistance in cases of a major accident has also become common.
    • g.: In 2014, Malaysian commercial aircraft became lost in the Indian Ocean and the AirAsia plane that crashed near Indonesia elicited international deployment of personnel and equipment. These types of calamities increase the need for intercultural communication skills among all parties involved.
  • Legal concern in the globalized economy
    • g.: the protection of intellectual property. The legal agreements are often confronted with issues of cultural divergence.
    • g.: The international copyright law is largely based on the Western concept of creativity being primarily an individual effort. The Euro-American cultural value is on individual ownership and creativity, but many non-European “traditions tend toward a more communal conception”.
Legal concern in the globalized economy: copyright law

A strongly individualistic conception of creativity may not be relevant to cultures which place a higher value on group or communal creation, or locate the work of individual authors within a strong, community tradition of educated understanding and appreciation. They may also be different to reconcile with traditions which do not accord primary importance to the identity of the author.

As globalization has driven the international community into greater economic interdependency, it has presented nations with issues that on occasion conflict with domestic politics. Give some examples of political issues:

  • g.: domestic political divisions have kept the U.S. from becoming a participant in the International Criminal Court.
  • g.: In 2013, Japan threw the law away of international child custody because of international pressure. Japan’s reluctance to sign was due to the strong cultural belief that child custody is the mother’s prerogative.
  • g.: In 2013-14, the Chinese government halted imports from the U.S. genetically modified corn, citing health risks. The national value-related attitude toward genetically modified food also varies between the U.S. and the E.U., making imports and exports subject to international negotiations and trade agreements.
  • g.: Embryo stem cells can also vary internationally based on religion, ideology and personal values
  • g.: China and the U.S. often trade barbs (= weerhaken) about human rights, and much of their disagreement can be traced to divergent (= afwijken)vies about human rights. For the U.S., human rights are anchored in a legal tradition of political and civil rights. China grounds its approach to the topic on a perspective that assigns the highest priority to social and economic rights.
  • Dissimilar cultural values and attitudes are at the base of many of these controversial issues, and the only prudent course of resolution is through dialogue and agreement – through employing competent intercultural communication.

You want to obtain peace and stability, but give some security concerns:

  • Weapons of mass destruction(WMDs). They are a concern for almost every nation. The weapons are nuclear, chemical and biological armaments.
    • g.: The desire to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons is exemplified in the multinational efforts to dissuade Iran from further development and to terminate the North Korean program. Negotiations with Iran involve representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the U.S. Negotiations with North Korea, the Sic Party Talks involve China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S.
    • g.: The removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal in 2013-14 involved Syria’s acquiescence, an agreement between the U.S. and Russia, a Security Council Resolution and supervision by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Ships from Norway and Denmark were used, and logistic sites in Cyprus and Italy were used. The chemical weapons were destroyed on a ship of the U.S. in Finland, Germany, the U.S., and the UK.
  • Global terrorism: the ability ultimately to meet the challenge of terrorism will require the cooperation of the entire international community.
    • g.: the loss of life in every continent in 2014.
    • g.: The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) offers an example of how the international community can successfully engage and neutralize an asymmetrical threat. This all-voluntary force conducts continuous security operations and has effectively quelled Somali-based maritime piracy. The implement of these hugely complex operations takes an extraordinary degree of coordination, all anchored (= ten anker)in communication that must pass through numerous language and cultural filters.
  • The UN peacekeeping operations offer another example of international cooperation that must overcome countless cultural and language obstacles. The men and women were working to maintain peace, protect civilian populations, sustain the environment and promote human rights at 16 sites in Africa, the Balkans, the Caribbean, the Middle East and South Asia.

–       The extant and developing sectarian and ethnic tensions. (= De bestaande en zich ontwikkelende sektarische[1] en etnische spanningen.)

  • g.: The religion wars between countries, in countries itself.
  • Nationalism, another divisive, ideology has historically been used as a populist call to rally support against such multicultural issues as immigration, foreign products, or involvement in international organizations or pacts, globalization with its focus less on individual nations and more on internationalization, has opened the door for emerging, divisive nationalist movements in several areas of the world over the past decade.
    • g.: In Europe, economic recession, unemployment, immigration issues and sectarianism have promoted nationalist political movements in the UK, Denmark, France and Germany.
  • Conflictionterritorial claimshave been a historical constant due to fluctuating borders arising from wars, treaties, political intrigues, and mass migration.
    • g.: The absence of a clearly defined demarcation between Israeli and Palestinian territory has been festering almost 100 years and remains an extremely volatile situation today. The inability to agree on a border in the Kashmir region following the 1947 Partition has left Indian and Pakistani armed forced aligned along the Line of Control in Kashmir. This situation is made more dangerous due to both national possessing nuclear weapons.

Information technology (IT) has globalized and democratized access to information. Almost any place in the world can access the internet for knowledge, entertainment, communication and other reasons. Give some technology:

  • Mantra: I don’t know but I can look it up
  • The ability to communicate with people around the workd is a source of cohesion as well as polarizations
  • Social benefits
  • Evil content
    • g.: ISIS
  • The international classrooms
    • g.: Allowing students from different countries to meet for online discussions as part of formal class activities. The Global Class is a live 90-minute class between four countries, typically three different post-secondary classes and a guest speaker.
  • Filter bubble: people only let information in in which they agree.
  • Social and cultural changes:
    • g.: Users are turning away from hard-copy publications such as newspapers and book in favor of portable electronic devices.
    • g.: Online degrees
  • It is a neutral platform. The messages that pass through the many media sources are shaped by the senders. Thus, regardless of the medium used, culture will continue to play an influential role in shaping both the content and the form of the message.
The use of social media networks has expanded far beyond private citizens and now includes governments officials, corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and government organizations. For example, in early 2015 the U.S. Naval Academy held an important debate on the future of aircraft carriers. The debate was broadcast simultaneously on Twitter.


Out in cyberspace, facts are movable objects, pushed aside when they don’t fit beliefs, political leanings or preconceived notions. Everybody’s an expert. The likeminded find each other and form communities online, reinforcing their biases and their certitude.

Developing Intercultural Awareness

Engaging in intercultural communication is a complex activity. You need to be aware of the uniqueness of each individual, the hazards of over generalizing, the need to be objective, the necessity for compromise and the myth of believing that communication is a cure-all.

What are the 5 caveats (= kanttekeningen)that will clarify the crucial link between culture and communications?

  • The uniqueness of each individual
  • The perils of generalizing
  • The need for objectivity
  • The need for compromise
  • The myth than communication is a cure-all

Developing Intercultural Awareness: Individual uniqueness

Wiliam James: In every concrete individual, there is a uniqueness that defies formulation.

In a very real sense, that “formulation: is another way of saying that no two people are exactly alike, why?

Our behavior is shaped by a multitude of sources, with culture being but one. Pit in different terms, we are more than our cultures. Although all cultures offer people a common frame of reference, people are not captives of their culture, nor are they subject to all the lessons of that culture. In fact, it is folly to think of people in terms of being blank slates. People are thinking, feeling individuals whose biology, environment, history and personal experiences interact and play crucial roles in their social collective behavior. The shape of your worldview, attitude, behavior, your genetic makeup (= DNA), social group experiences, language, gender, age, individual and family history, political affiliation, educational level, perceptions of other, the existing circumstances, the region and neighborhood where you grew up, your religious experiences, economic resources, and many other aspects that are at play every moment of your life can influence you. All of these factors along with culture coalesce to form you individual personality.

The values and behaviors of a particular culture may not be the values and behaviors of every individual within that culture.


Hooker does an excellent job of drawing attention to the interplay of personality and culture and the hazards of relying solely on culture when studying intercultural communication when he writes (=Hooker doet uitstekend werk om de aandacht te vestigen op het samenspel van persoonlijkheid en cultuur en de gevaren van het zich uitsluitend op cultuur baseren bij het bestuderen van interculturele communicatie wanneer hij schrijft):Personality consist of the traits that are unique to an individual human being. It is partly genetic and partly learned, because much of personality is acquired, it is strongly influenced by culture. Yet a very wide range of personalities can develop within a given culture, whence the danger of placing too much emphasis on “national character”.


Always keep in mind that culture is a powerful force in the shaping of human behavior, but remember that people are more than their cultures.

Developing Intercultural Awareness: Generalizing

What is generalizing?

We are allowing a few instances to represent an entire class of events, people or experiences. They are based on limited data and are then applied to a larger population.

What means generalizing in intercultural communication?

Ascribing characteristics to a larger group of people based on attributes displayed by a smaller group.

Give some examples of generalizing:

  • All American have tattoos, listen to hip-hop and eat mostly fast food.
  • Oktoberfest shows that the Germans like beer and sausage.

How can you take some precautions of generalizing?

  • Cultural generalization must be viewed as approximations (= benaderingen),not as absolute representations.
  • When you do make generalizations, they should deal with the primary values and behaviors of a particular culture. It is these core values and learned behaviors that occur with enough regularity and over a long enough period of time that tend to correctly identify members of a particular culture.
  • When employing generalizations, try to use those that can be supported by a variety of sources.
  • Conclusions and statements about cultures should be qualified so that they appear not as absolutes but only as cautious generalizations.
Why do you believe that compromise is difficult to achieve in the intercultural setting?


Heterogeneous cultures, such as that of the U.S., are far difficult to generalize about because of the variety of backgrounds, religions, and ethnic groups and the importance placed on each person’s individuality.

Developing Intercultural Awareness: Objectivity

Give the definition of objectivity:

  • Not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice.
  • Based on facts
  • Unbiased: an objective opinion 
It is difficult to be objective when observing or experiencing the actions of other cultures because you are looking with the perspective of your own culture.

What is ethnocentrism?

The belief that one’s cultures is superior to all others.

What do you need to be?

  • Open minded
  • Avoid being judgmental

 Developing Intercultural Awareness: Compromise in intercultural communication

Will intercultural knowledge and skill eliminate cultural conflict?


The important aspect is not whether conflicts will occur, because they will, but rather how to successfully manage the situation.

What is normally the best resolution of an external conflict?

  • Where both parties are satisfied – mutual agreement.
  • This is often achieved through reciprocal compromise (over interests, price, time, support, etc.)

Which cultural based conflict can be more problematic?

Values, you have to decide on the final resolution yourself.

Give an example of a value cultural based conflict:

You are living with a Spanish family in Spain. You are an animal-lover, but the Spanish family want you to go the bull-fighting. What will you do, because it is a tradition of your Spanish family, but a contradiction of your own values.

What do you need to evaluate?

  • Take the time to consider the other party’s perception of the situation
  • The importance of the issue
  • The possible reaction to your response.
  • Try to develop sensitivity to cultural differences and how they may affect interactions. In some cases, finding a middle ground or even accepting the situating may be the best way.
All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded an compromise and barter.

Developing Intercultural Awareness: Communication is not the universal solution

Can communication solve all problems?

No, communication is a valuable tool for resolving numerous interpersonal difficulties, it cannot solve all problems.

Yes, it would be a mistake to think communication is a cure-all. Many problems can’t be solved by talk alone. Communication by itself won’t end hunger, abuses of human rights around the globe, racism, intimate partner violations, or physical diseases.


  • Globalization has created an interdepend world community.
  • Interdependency has brought many benefits but also raised new challenges.
  • The globalized community must work across national and cultural borders to manage growing and potential international problems.
  • Social challenges include population growth, migration, urbanization, and aging populations.
  • Ecological concerns consist of international competition for national resources, including water and food stocks and environmental changes/degradation (= vermindering).
  • Nations will have to cooperate over humanitarian and legal issues, such as disease control, natural disaster relief, and transnational crime.
  • Political issues relation to international governance include the international legal system, ethics in scientific research and human rights differences.
  • Security issues that require international coordination include weapons of mass destruction, terrorists, and emerging threats such as sectarian and ethnic tensions.
  • Problems relation to the study of intercultural communication encompass individual uniqueness, generalizing, lack of objectivity and compromise.
  • Communication is not a panacea for all intercultural difficulties.

Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: Question

Could you sustain yourself? Food? Water? Clothing?Waste Disposal?

The fact is that we rely on others to live. Take a look at your clothing tags. How many of you have something that was made where you purchased it? And more and more we rely on the resources of other countries to live.

Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: Intercultural interactions

What is intercultural communication?

Intercultural communication is a discipline that studies communication across different cultures and social groups, or how culture affects communication. It is used to describe the wide range of communication processes and problems that naturally appear within an organization or social context made up of individuals from different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

Why do you we have intercultural interactions?

What is globalization? Is it positive or Negative?

“Our economy, environment, resources, education, and healthcare systems all interconnect to, rely on, and affect the economies, environments, resources, and health systems of other countries.” (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). Usually globalization focuses on economic, political, and cultural. However, there are many other facets of it.

 Discuss the Challenges/Issues/Opportunities of Globalization in the following areas:

  • Economy

Demand for raw materials to keep up with industrialization and demand for good around the world (e.g. China)

Mega-droughts in Southern California (result of urbanization)

  • Issue:

Bigger gap between rich and poor

International trade


  • Opportunity

Ability for companies to expand beyond borders

International trade

Countries are able to financially help each other, e.g.: post-world war II.

  • Environment
    • Issue:

Global warming



Draining of natural resources

  • Opportunity:

International NGOs and groups that work for sustainability and the environment

  • Resources
    • Issue:

Small local companies may struggle

  • Opportunity:

Easy access to all sorts of resources from other PLACES

  • Education

Students studying around the world.

Focus on English as language for interactions with others

  • Issue:


Privileged get the op to network better

  • Opportunity:

Easier to network

Learn about different cultures and religions etc.

Easier to integrate

  • Healthcare:

Airplanes allow us to travel but also spread disease other areas (e.g.: Zika)

  • Issue: 
  • Opportunity:

If one country has some perks that another country doesn’t have, you might be able to go there, e.g.: specific cancer treatments as well

Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: Economic Globalization

Zie bijgevoegd artikel: Could Hawaii feed itself if it had to?

 What did Hawaii do?

  • We import 80 to 90% of our food
  • Shifted our industry towards tourism instead.
A whole island, or mokupuni, was divided in smaller parts, down to a basic unit belonging to a single family.

Each mokupuni was divided into several moku, the largest units within each island, usually wedge-shaped and running from the mountain crest to shore. O`ahu was divided into six moku.

Each moku was divided into ahupua`a, narrower wedge-shaped land sections that again ran from the mountains to the sea. The size of the ahupua`a depended on the resources of the area with poorer agricultural regions split into larger ahupua`a to compensate for the relative lack of natural abundance. Each ahupua`a was ruled by an ali`i or local chief and administered by a konohiki.

Give an example of healthcare concers:


Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: What about in Hawaii?

What about in Hawaii?

  • In 1876 Reciporocity Agreement

Demand for laborfor expansion of sugar industryafter 1876 Reciprocity Treaty-  Hawaiian sugar doesn’t have any duty (taxes) and costs less than sugar from other places…this happens as a result of the reciprocity treaty…as a result, there is a huge demand for labor in sugar plantations

  • Greater labor demand in Hawaii than U.S. because of smaller population(there aren’t whites/mexicans in the labor force as you would find in California).

Payment of cash wages to purchase land or pay off debts when return- Japanese workers wanted to return to homeland and buy back land that they had lost.. They imagined that Hawaii was a place where money could be earned and saved (the money earned was 3 times greater than what a farmer earned in japan at that time).

  • Masters and Servants Act (1850)- allowed for importation of contract laborers from abroad. [Why were they coming over?]
    • Pacific Islanders:1860s, 2500 to repopulate Hawaiians dying off
    • Chinese:1852- 1886, 46,000, benefits provided (free passage, housing, health care)- mainly coming from Southern China (Cantonese)
    • Europeans:1880s, to counter Asian labor
    • Portuguese:1878-87, 13,000 from Azores and Madeira islands–working as Lunas. Came as family units, so it’s hard to bring them over (too expensive).
    • Germans:1881- 85, 1300; Norwegians: 615
    • Japanese:1885-1924, 220,000 largest group
  • Contract Labor Recruitment (1852-1900)

By, 1884 the Hawaiian Population had dwindled to 40,000, which was insufficient for Hawaii’s flourishing sugar plantations.

So, they passed the Master’s and Servant’s Act in 1850 to respond to the labor shortage. This act allowed for the importation of contract laborers from abroad.

In terms of labor recruitment, it’s far from arbitrary. There are certain reasons for why each group was recruited.

Who were the others that came?

  • Puerto Ricans: (1900-01) (most negatively perceived),
  • Filipinos:(1906-46)(go back to the filipinos because of striking japanese workers (e.g. hired as strike breakers) ,
  • Blacks:(1900-01)(from Louisiana and Tenn),
  • Italians:(1900-01)(From Louisiana–Italian Americans),
  • “Hindus”:(1908) (probably actually Sikhs) from India,–most famous family in Hawaii is the watermills. They put up the statue of Gandhi in Kapiolani park, have the Watermills store in Ala Moana.
  • Spanish:(1907-13) most left early for California
  • Portuguese:(1906-13)- brought over as homesteaders. Are given three acres of land
  • Okinawans:(1900-1924) prejudice brought on by Naichi (Japanese from major islands) Chinese influence over Okinawans…celebrate new years at the same time as the Chinese
  • Koreans:(1903-05) (picture brides)

 Native Hawaiians: Now what about the Native Hawaiians…what were they doing during this time?

  • 800,000- 1M in 1778; 132,000 in 1832; 48,000 in 1878; 40,000 in 1900 (nadir)- Cook underestimated the actual population on the island (he estimated 300,000); the missionaries provide another population count (132,000 in 1832)
  • 300,000 is statistically improbable compared with other first contact situations
  • Decimated by diseases had no immunity to (Cholera, measles, flu, syphillis)- Hawaii is the most isolated place in the world- so they had very little immunity.
  • Unwilling to work for low plantation wages, although were 25% of workers in 1882
  • In Pacific, Hawaii unique in ethnic diversity of population and loss of native land rights under colonialism.

Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: Sources of Immigrants to Hawaii

Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: Intercultural relationships

How many relationships with culturally different people (different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, degrees of able-bodied-ness, sexes, etc.) do you have?  

What types of relationships are these (e.g., friends, romantic partners, relatives, acquaintances)? What are some reasons for the network of friends you have developed?  

Describe an intercultural relationship that you have and that you find very satisfying. What makes it so satisfying? What are the frustrations?

List five reasons why people may be hesitant to develop relationships (platonic or romantic) with people from other cultures.  

Many intercultural communication specialists mention open-mindedness as an attribute necessary for the development of successful intercultural relationships. What are some other attributes or ways of thinking that a person should have in order to develop relationships with culturally different people?

Which of the above attributes or ways of thinking do you feel you need to develop further?

Powerpoint-presentation: Interdependent global society: Developing intercultural awareness

Culture influences our human behavior and communication patterns.

What are the five caveats?

  • The uniqueness of each individual

“Personality consists of traits that are unique to an individual human being. It is partly genetic and partly learned. Because much of personality is acquired, it is strongly influenced by culture. Yet a very wide range of personalities can develop within a given culture, whence the danger of placing too much emphasis on “national character.” (Hooker, 2003).

  • The hazards of over generalizing

Generalizations are based on limited data and applied to larger populations.

E.g.: Asians scored higher in math in our school district, so Asians are likely to be good at math (generalization)

Stereotypesare based solely on conjecture and the audience’s positive/negative emotions: All Asian students are good at math.

  • The need to be objective

Objectivity: “Not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased objective opinion” (Random House)

  • The necessity for compromise
  • The myth of believing that communication is a cure-all

What are some reasons people might be hesitant?

  1. Meeting people with different values and deeply rooted perception that could change your own
  2. Scared of actions/reactions due to stereotypes
  3. Uncomfortable because of the whole new situation
  4. People that are too proud or scared of seeming stupid or losing face
  5. Scared they won’t be able to adapt or be accepted into a family of a different culture  

What does it mean to say that personality is “acquired and strongly influenced by culture?”

What are some examples of cultural influences on personality?

In U.S. culture, being straight-forward/to the point, is seen as a positive characteristic. So, someone who always “speaks their mind” as a part of their personality is likely influenced by this culture.

Just think about how your personality might be different if you were raised somewhere else.

However, there is a danger in emphasizing a “national character.” What is this danger?

Danger in placing too much emphasis on culture when looking at an individual – generalization, Over-generalization.

Objectivity: Is it possible to be objective?

If someone is standing too close to you in line, do you attribute this as rude? Or do you consider the fact that it’s because it’s normal to do so in their culture?

Communication is not the cure-all, but it’s an important step in the right direction.


Suppose the containerships that bring food to Hawaii stopped coming. It’s an improbable dystopian fantasy, for sure. But what if?

There’s no hard data on precisely how much food Hawaii imports, but estimates range from about 80 to 90 percent. If we were cut off, do we have the capacity to feed all 1.4 million* of us? At least in theory?

We put the question to Bruce Mathews, interim dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at UH Hilo.

“Theoretically, yes,” Mathews says. “But it would be really challenging.”

To feed one person a diet made up of 30 percent animal products, it takes about 16,000 square feet of land in farm production—roughly three NBA basketball courts. Hawaii has more than enough potentially farmable land to meet that requirement, Mathews says, although we’re currently at about 3,700 square feet per capita, and much of that is planted in seed, coffee and other nutritionally unimportant crops.

Putting that potential farmland to use would be a monumental undertaking, one requiring a complete reinvention of the agricultural system. “There would be extreme food stress until we figured it out,” he says.

Nutrient management, for starters, would become a critical issue, as the same boats that stopped bringing the food would stop bringing the fertilizer, as well. The nutrient-rich valleys and wetlands where the ancient Hawaiians farmed would probably need to be put back into food production. We would also have to radically rethink the way we handle human and household organic waste. In other words, everybody would need to compost, and our poop would have to go back into the fields to help grow more food.

The nature of our diets would fundamentally change. Root crops, which don’t require imported nitrogen and phosphorus, would take off. Sweet potato, cassava, kalo would be in, while corn and everything made with wheat would be out. Locally grown rice would probably make a big comeback. The good news for carnivores is that pork, chicken and grass-fed beef could be important sources of protein.

Some anthropologists who have thought about this question have said that if an island culture isn’t producing 70 percent of its own carbohydrates at the time it’s cut off from outside food shipments, its prospects for survival are dim. But Mathews is more optimistic. He thinks Hawaii might be in a better position than most island cultures because it has large herds of cattle that could be employed as emergency rations. “We would probably be eating a lot of livestock until we got our cropping system going,” he says.

In any case, society would undergo a radical transformation, with most of us becoming, out of necessity, farm laborers. Whether or not democracy would survive such a shift isn’t certain. “We might have to bring back the old Hawaiian Kingdom to have the ruling authority to pull it off,” Mathews speculates.

*We’re not counting tourists. If the food stops coming, we assume they’ve stopped coming too.


[1]Sektarische = betrekking hebbend op een afsplitsing van een grotere geloofsgemeenschap



The creation of a worldview is the work of a generation, rather than of an individual, but each of us, for better or worse, ass our brick to the edifice – John Dos Passos –


Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln –


The problem to be faced is: how to combine loyalty to one’s tradition with reverence for different traditions – Abraham Joshua Heschel –

Worldview and culture

What is worldview in its broadest sense?

The way people interpret reality and events, including how they see themselves in relation to the world around them.

What is the idea of worldview in the eyes of Schultz and Lavenda?

Members of the same society make use of shared assumptions about how the world works. As they interpret everyday experiences in light of these assumptions, they make sense of their lives and their lives make sense to other members of the society.

What is worldview according to Klopf and McCroskey?

Worldview are a set of interrelated assumptions and beliefs about the nature of reality, the organization of the Universe, the purposes of human life, God and other philosophical matters that are concerned with the concept of being. Worldview relates to a culture’s orientation toward ontological matters or the nature of being and serves to explain how and why things got to be as they are and why they continue that way.

The worldviews of Klopf and McCroskey deals with some topics, which?

  • What is the purpose of life?
  • Does law, chance, or “God” rule the world?
  • What is the right way to live?
  • What are the origins of the universe, and how did life begin?
  • What happens when we die?
  • What are the sources of knowledge?
  • What is good and bad and right and wrong?
  • What is human nature?
  • Why do we exist just to die?
  • How do we determine “truth”?
  • What is our responsibility to other people?

What can impact these kinds of worldview questions?

  • A culture’s social, economic and educational systems
  • Destiny
  • Degree of competition
  • Work ethic
  • Risk propensity
  • Gender relationships
  • Level of innovation
  • Perception of authority
  • Political life

Worldviews also deal with significant questions and provide direction for more practical features of living, that is?

In selection its customs for day-to-day living, even the little things, the society chooses those ways that accord with its thinking and predilections (= voorkeuren),ways that fit its basic postulates (= postulaten = wiskundige logica)as to the nature of things and what is disable and what is not.

What is the connection between worldview and the study of intercultural communication?

Worldview provides some of the unexamined underpinnings for perception and the nature of reality as experienced by individuals who share a common culture. The worldview of a culture functions to make sense of life experiences that might otherwise be construed as chaotic, random and meaningless. Worldview is imposed by collective wisdom as a basis for sanctioned actions that enable survival and adaptation.

A culture’s worldview is directly linked to how members of that culture perceive the world and live in that world.

Manifestations of worldview

Give a summarize of the difference:

Thus, to the Asian, the world is a complex place, composed of continuous substances, understandable in terms of the whole rather than in terms of the parts, and subject more to collective than to personal control. To the Westerner, the world is relatively simple place, composed of discrete objects that can be understood without undue attention to context and highly subject to personal control. Very different world indeed.

Constructs of worldviews

Worldview is the heart of culture, transmitted from generation to generation, is composed to many elements and takes an assortment of forms, which 3 forms?

  • Atheism
  • Spirituality
  • Long-established religious traditions
Most of the forms and constructs of worldviews can be classified into three categories: 1 atheism, 2 spirituality, and 3 long-established religious traditions.

Atheism as a worldview

What is atheism?

  • A worldview where you claim a denial of the existence of god.
  • Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions and backgrounds.
  • = agnostics, human secularists or deists

What are the beliefs of atheism?

  • Rejection of God
    • Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets, or redeemers or gurus actually said or did
    • Extending the scientific method of rational inquiry into all aspects of life.
    • Evolution => laws of nature
  • Role of the Individual
    • Each individual determines his or her own purpose in life
  • A set of Ethical Standards
    • Cannot avoid responsibility for their actions
    • Should encourage a respect for nature and humanity
    • Should advance social action that creates a better world
  • The Finally of Death
    • The simple fact is that all life-forms end in death and the elements of which they are composed return to the air and earth to be taken up and recycled into some new organism.
    • Death is not a spiritual mater but an undeniable biological truth about our existence.
    • Funerals are kept simple.

Spirituality as a worldview

What is spirituality?

  • 1 Spirituality is regarded as a system that stresses that a person does not need formal religion to life a life of faith.
  • Examples:
    • Crystal healing, channeling sprits, shamanism, venerations of the Earth, ritual techniques
  • 2 Concerned with the scared, as distinguished from ordinary reality, but is often individual rather than collective and does not require a distinctive format or traditional organization.
  • Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. – religion is the inner place combines with the value of individualism and the value of free choice.

What is the distinction (= onderscheid)between religion and personal spirituality, is the idea of emphasis on the individual versus the institution?

Religion is typically experienced within a social institution with commonly shared traditions, sacred texts, beliefs, and worship practices. Religious institutions usually have a governing structure with designed leaders. Spirituality, on the other have, is part of each person that searches for purpose, meaning, worth and wonder, often in quest of an ultimate value of the holy.

What are the guidelines of spirituality?

  • Self-discovery is important. Think not only about what you are but what you choose to be.
  • Learn to value silence, solitude, and quiet meditation.
  • Practice mindfulness. Learn to observe your environment and how you behave when you are in that environment.
  • Engage is creative self-expression. Connect yourself to activities such as yoga, dance, music, and other such activities.
  • Seek simplicity in your lifestyle.
One of the main functions of religion is to assist people with living their lives and preparing for the end of that life.

 Spirituality has many of the same goals found in organized religions, which?

  • Inner place
  • A link with nature
  • Search for meaning in life, among others

What is the major difference?

Spirituality uses some atypical methods of achieving those goals and places emphasis (= nadruk)on the individual being part of the discovery process.

Religion as a worldview

A distinguishing characteristic of religion is that it provides a worldview -> worldview, religion, culture.

Why do you study religions in intercultural communications?

  • It supplies the worldview for billions of people in the world
  • Religion, perception and behavior are inextricably intertwined.

–       Never in the history of civilization has the behavioral dimension of religion been so widespread, relevant and volatile. (= Nooit in de geschiedenis van de beschaving is de gedragsmatige dimensie van religie zo wijdverbreid, relevant en vluchtig geweest.) 

What is religion?–       Assist people with living life and preparing for death –       For the vast majority of people worldwide, their religious tradition – like family, tribe or nation – anchors them in the world. Religious traditions provide structure, discipline and social participation in a community. –       All religions help to uncover meaningfulness in the midst of the mundane. They do so by exploring the transpersonal dimensions of life- the eternal and infinite. –       Religion offers its followers a worldview that provides a set of principles and beliefs about the nature of life and death, the creation of the universe, the connection of individuals and groups to one another, and the relationship of humankind to the earth.

The deep structure of culture deals with issues that matter most to people.


When religion jumps to life it displays a startling quality. It takes over. All else, while not silenced, becomes subdued and thrown into a supporting role… It calls the soul to the highest adventure it can undertake, a proposed journey across the jungles, peaks, and deserts of the human spirit.

 Religion and human behavior

What is the social dimension of religion?

Religion responds to the basic human need to understand the purpose of life. This means creating a worldview that can have social, political, and economic consequences.

What can history tell us?

That religion has been a major source of cultural values, beliefs, and attitudes for as long as humans have used religion as a way of understanding how to function among other people.

A religion held in common by a group of people reinforces community values and provides moral guidelines for personal contact. Religious individual, theology and everyday experiences cannot be separated.

 Religion in the twenty-first century

Religion, in turn, is part of a larger system, the nation, and it interacts with economic, health care, political, and educational institutions.”

The world is confronted with an excess of events that are affecting religion in this century, why is that?

Peoples of religion are no longer long distances from each other. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians are highly mobile populations that have crossed geographical and cultural boundaries to meet and live among each other.

Religion in the twenty-first century: Globalization and religion

What consequences has globalization?

–       Economic

–       Social

In much the same way that markets have been globalizing over the past decade, the revolution in information and communication has had far-reaching effects on the various ecclesiastical religions of the world.


The idea that globalization should have effects on religion should not be surprising, since globalization, combined with the forces of modern technology, has made human contact inevitable (= onvermijdelijk).

In the past, religions have usually consisted of the beliefs, values, and practices of a particular religious community. What is happening now?

Messages are being sent via new technologies. There are challenges created by major shifts in international migration patterns. Because of these two forces, religious institutions have had to adapt to a series of novel and often troubling sets of images and ideas.

What is one of the most troubling new concepts faced by today?

Secularism (= is de overtuiging dat religie en geloof geen invloed mogen uitoefenen op de maatschappij.)What is troublesome to many religious leaders is that these “other spheres” pull their adherents away from well-established doctrines and values.

“Globalization impacts religion in a number of ways. The emerging global culture is a highly secularized one stressing a rational-utilitarian outlook on the world and calling for institutional differentiation of religion from other spheres.”

Religion in the twenty-first century: Violence and religion

Religious experiences are not always positive. Sometimes religiously ‘sanctioned’ behavior seems more pathological and diseased than ecstatic and liberation.

What are the boundaries?

They are territorial (sacred land) or symbolic (beliefs, values, identity)

What happens when some attack these boundaries?

They will murder others and even sacrifice their own lives in the name of religion.

The study of religion … prepares us to encounter not only other centers and calendars, and numerous versions of the sacred and profane, but also to decipher and appreciate different modes of language and behavior. Toward that end, knowledge about other plays its indispensable role.

What will help with the knowledge of others?

It will help reduce the level of religious violence we have witnessed all over the world.

Religious violence committed by groups must be understood in its cultural context – not to excuse it, but to understand it.

Selecting religious traditions for study


–       Numbers

–       Diffusion (= verspreiding)

–       Relevance


When we speak of the great religions we mean the traditions that have lasted for centuries, shaped hundreds of millions of people, and gained respect for their depth and breadth. Because of this respect and longevity these “are the faiths that every citizen should be acquainted with, simply because hundreds of millions of people live by them.

Common elements of religion

What is the major goal of religion?

To make living life more meaningful and death more comprehensible.

What are the 3 elements?

  • Speculation
  • Sacred writings
  • Religious rituals

Common elements of religion: Speculation

Most people, from the moment of their birth to the time of their death, face many of the same challenges concerning the uncertainties of life.

Why is there religion?

Religion is psychologically comforting because it helps us explain the unexplainable. Every society must deal with imponderable questions that have no definitive logical answers: When did life begin? Why do bad things happen to good people?

What does religion do?

It provides a blueprint for those parts of the world that people do not understand, and thus lessens feelings of bewilderment. From creation stories to detailed descriptions of heaven and hell, all religions assist us in understanding where people came from, why they are here, what happens when they die, and why there is suffering.

Religious beliefs offer the comforting sense that the vulnerable human condition serves a great purpose. Strengthened by such beliefs, people are less likely to collapse in despair when confronted by life’s calamities.

Common elements of religion: Sacred Writings

The major living religions of the world have all expressed their teachings and practices in writings. Over the course of time some of these writings gained unique standing in their traditions and scriptures. As scriptures, they continue to influence the course of their religions. To read the scriptures of the world, therefore, is to encounter world religions in a direct and meaningful way.

Why are the sacred writings so important?

  • Religion’s essential principles
  • Teachings

What means sacred?

Each religion believes its sacred writings have divine or spirit-inspired origin. They were either written or spoken by God, written by divinely guided humans, or spoken by teachers of deep spiritual insight.”

What forms can these scriptures take?

  • Scriptures, such as those found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These often employ historical narratives that are usually associated with individuals. These individuals are authority figures who provide guidance and instruction. For Jews, these figures are Abraham and Moses. For Christians, it is Jesus, the Son of God. In the Muslim faith, it is a supreme all-knowing God, called Allah in Arabic, who used Muhammad as a conduit to deliver his message.
  • “Messages” of faith contained in the “books” of each religion. These “books” are the Old Testament for the Jews, originally written in Hebrew; the New Testament, first written in Greek, for Christians; and the Koran, written in classical Arabic, for Muslims.
  • “Scriptural books [that] … have philosophy about the nature of reality (for example, the Hindu Upanishads), [or] … [that] have moral philosophy (for example, the Confucian Analects).”
  • In the case of Buddhism, not a universal scripture written down by Buddha, but The Pali Canon, which is based on oral tradition and contains the teachings of Buddha.
  • Scriptures that can take the form of poetry, myth, legends, prophecy, and the like.

Common elements of religion: Religious Rituals

What are rituals?

  • Ritual serves to relieve social tensions and reinforce a group’s collective bonds. It provides a means of marking many important events and lessening the social disruption and individual suffering of crises such as death. They are not instinctive, so in order to endure they must be passed from one generation to the next.
  • Rituals are repetitive, prescribed, ceremonial actions that allow members of a particular faith to reaffirm important beliefs, thereby, feel spiritually connected to their religion.

Do all religions have rituals? 

Rituals are practiced by all religions.

Give some examples of rituals:

  • The Catholic is enjoined to attend Mass weekly.
  • The Muslim is told to pray five times daily, according to a set formula.
  • The Hindu attends temple rituals frequently.
  • The Theravada Buddhist will often make a trip to the temple to pay his or her respects to Buddha.
  • The Protestant typically has a worship service with a sermon as a vital part of their ritual.

What are rituals in their strictest form?

  • Rituals are actions that are repetitive, prescribed, and ceremonial.
  • Rituals are actions repeated in regular and predictable ways, which create order in the otherwise random process of time.

What happen when people do rituals?

  • Members recall and reaffirm important beliefs
  • They feel spiritually connected to their religion
  • They develop a sense of identity by increasing social bonds with those who share their views, and sense that their life has meaning and structure.


What does religions have with ethics?

  • They developed the ability to distinguish right from wrong.
  • g.: Murder, thieving, lying
  • A similar basic core of moral guidelines is found in all cultures.
Why do most religious traditions have so much in common?

–       One kind of worldview

–       Religion pervades many spheres that other might call secular and it cannot easily be separated from them


What is Christianity?

A faith that took its name from Jesus Christ, who with a small band of disciples travelled throughout the Holy Land preaching, teaching, and healing the sick.

What is so special about Christianity?

You can find them throughout the world. The diversity of people who are Christians produces a multiplicity of denominations. By some estimates there are 33,800 different Christian denominations (= een religieuze entiteit met een gemeenschappelijke naam, structuur en/of doctrine) .

What are the three major branches?

  • The Roman Catholic Church, under the guidance of the papacy in Rome;
  • The Eastern Orthodox Churches, with members concentrated in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans, and Central Asia;
  • Protestantism, which embodies a host of denominations such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and Episcopalians.

What do they share?

Many of the same rituals, beliefs, traditions, basic characteristics, and tenets.

In fact, one of the strengths of Christianity throughout the centuries has been its ability to maintain its basic core while being adaptive and varied.

“Christianity can be seen for what it was historically and what it continues to be today: a living, ever-changing religion which, like any other religion, owes its vitality to its diversity.”


“Christianity is now so elastic that it seems a stretch to use this term to cover the beliefs and behaviors of Pentecostals in Brazil, Mormons in Utah, Roman Catholics in Italy, and the Orthodox of Moscow.” -> diversity

Christianity: Core Assumptions

What are the core assumptions of Christianity?

Essentially, Christianity is a monotheistic tradition centered on faith in God (the eternal creator who transcends creation and yet is active in the world) and in Jesus Christ as the savior and redeemer of humankind. Christianity holds that God became incarnate—fully human—as Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe that Jesus died on a cross and was resurrected, physically rising from the dead. The belief in the Trinity, the sacred mystery of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one, triune (“three-in-one”) God is central to the Christian tradition.

What are some important precepts of the Christians?

  • There is a single God who created the universe and also “gave the world” his only son, Jesus Christ. Part of this “giving” involves Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion).
  • Christians believe that the gravest problem in human life is sin—the failure to live in harmony with the will of God.
  • Christianity is a total worldview that includes both the religious and the secular dimensions of life. Part of this unification of the ways of life is drawn from the belief that Jesus lived among the people and suffered, hence, he understands human pain, problems, and enticements.
  • Man and woman are created in God’s image. People have been made as the crowning glory of God’s creative activity, to act as God’s representatives in this world.
  • God is personal, that is to say, Trinitarian. This God who acts is not only a God of energies, but a personal God.

Christianity: Cultural Expressions of Christianity

An important question to examine is how are these basic tenets of Christianity reflected in daily life?

Christianity: Cultural Expressions of Christianity: Christianity and Community

What was an essential component of Christianity?

The community. The link between the community and Christianity has roots that go back to the inception of the religion.

Give an example:

From the beginning of his practice, Jesus gathered others to share in his ministry. These relationships were “not a nebulous affiliation, but a concrete group of people that entered into a relationship with Jesus and with other people. The gatherings of these people came to be known as “communion” and “fellowship.” These important occasions within the community contributed to feelings of interdependence and group cohesion.

  • E.g.: the apostles that took care of the poor, provide hospitality and comfort one another.

What is the key element in how community is revealed?

The church not only is it a “house of worship” and a place of great reverence, but it is also a place where people gather in groups and share a common identity.

Christianity: Cultural Expressions of Christianity: Christianity and Individualism

What is also important in Christianity?

It also stresses the importance and uniqueness of each individual.

Greater emphasis on the autonomy and responsibility of the self.

Christianity is characterized by?

Christianity is characterized by an image of the dynamic multidimensional self, able (within limits) to continually change both self and the world.

Christianity and Judaism are the religious traditions that “discovered the individual.

What happen before the arrival of Christianity and Judaism?

Before the arrival of these two religions, people were seen as members of tribes, communities, or families, and behaved in ways that reflected the collective nature of their existence.

Give an example of the power of self (Protestants):

Salvation is achieved by our own efforts alone and there is a tendency for deeds to count more than prayers.

Give am example of individualism (Bible):

The Gospels are replete with scenes in which Jesus works one-on-one healing this woman’s sickness, forgiving that man’s sins, and calling each to personal conversion.

In a culture that values individualism, Christianity is an especially appealing religion as each person can have a one-on-one bond with God.

Christianity: Cultural Expressions of Christianity: Christianity and Doing

Western culture is one that encourages activity and action. Some of the roots of this philosophy can be traced to Christianity.

What was/is very important?

From the earliest days of the Christian movement, evangelization was important.Going out into the world was seen as “missionaries were sent to the furthest reaches of the Roman world to bring Christianity to various people; Patrick in Ireland, Boniface in German, and Augustine of Canterbury in England were effective missionaries, able to adapt their message to the needs of their audiences.

There are, of course, many other examples demonstrating Christianity as having a long tradition of action. In the Roman era, sick people were cast into the streets because the Romans feared death might result if they remained near a sick person. Christians would take them in and nurse them. There are also numerous stories of how Jesus would speak with prostitutes, visit people in their homes, and travel from place to place talking to strangers along the way.


Christianity, as a statement of “doing,” also stressed hard work. The argument was that “material success was taken to be one clue that a person was among the elect and thus favored by God, which drove early Protestants to relentless work as a means of confirming (and demonstrating) their salvation.”Even today, hard work is commonly valued in the West. When meeting a person for the first time you will often hear the following question being asked: “What do you do?” It is the “doing” that can be partially linked to Christianity.

Christianity: Cultural Expressions of Christianity: Christianity and the Future

You can conclude that Americans are future oriented. They are concerned with what will happen next, rather than what is happening in the present. Why is that?

One of the reasons might be because of some roots in Christianity, as one of the lessons of Christianity is that the future is important.

No matter what happened in the past, it is the future that holds the greatest promise. God forgives mistakes and offers repentance and incentives to move forward. The individual is destined to move on. Even the notion of a heaven accents the future.

è A belief that things will be better in the future.

Christianity: Cultural Expressions of Christianity: Christianity and Courage

What is the most important enduring legacies?

The message of courage

Where is that coming from?

In how he lived and how he died “Jesus was courageous.A careful reading of the life of Jesus reveals a man who would not be intimidated by his opponents and who repeatedly demonstrated strength and daring in the face of overwhelming odds. Without fear, Jesus preached against what was established doctrine during his entire adult life. This not only made him a prophet, but also a hero.

You can conclude that his practice of mixing with ostracized groups (such as the unfortunate and prostitutes) was a brave and courageous act. These same two attributes represent powerful values in American culture.

Christianity: Christianity and Ethics

The an “ethical monotheism”, the Christian religion is based on its view of God. God’s itself revelation shows God to be both radically good and radically loving. Christians must worship God but also must live their entire lives according to God’s will. Jesus affirmed that the main point of this obedience is to love God and to love one’s neighbor.

What are the Ten Commandments?

These are instructions written by God.

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery ( = verspel).
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness (= false getuigenis).
  • Thou shalt not covet (= begeren).

What are the most famous teachings that fall under the category of the Beatitudes or Blessings?

–       Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.

–       Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

–       Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

–       Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.

–       Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

–       Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

–       Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

–       Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

What is the Golden Rule?

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Christianity: Christianity and Notions about Death

Questions about death:“What is the purpose of death? Does existence end at death? If not, what happens after death? Are we reembodied in a similar form or in a different form? Is there a final judgment? And how are we to prepare for our own dying?”

What are the two reasons why these 6 questions are not simple for the Christian?–       There is a great variety of Christian denominations. –       The interpretations of the Old and New Testaments often differ.è But there is a theme about death that links them all.  Explain the theme:

1.    Ecclesiastes 3:2: There is “a time to be born, and a time to die.” From this scripture grows the core for the explanations about death and the afterlife.

2.    “Most Christians believe that those who have lived a righteous life will live happily in the presence of God in heaven; those who are wicked will endure hell.”

3.    There is eternal life, and salvation (= redding) is possible through the caring and loving creator. There are words that tell Christians that death is not something to be feared.

4.    “The Christian churches teach that the human soul is immortal and was originally destined to spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven.”

5.    Some denominations are even more specific in their explanation of

E.g.: some Baptists believe: “Heaven is a place where the redeemed go to receive the reward of eternal companionship with God. It is depicted as being filled with mansions and golden streets.”


What made Judaism so important?

Their interest in politics, literature, education, medicine, finance, and law have, for thousands of years, made them an important and influential group no matter in which country they have lived.

This tiny religion has wielded influence far out of proportion to its numbers. It started a monotheistic revolution that remade the Western world.  Smith estimates that one-third of our Western civilization bears the marks of its Jewish ancestry.”

What was Judaism?

It was the prototype and forerunner to both Christianity and Islam. What is so difficult? To be specific concerning the roots of Judaism as a religion.

When did Judaism begin? With the creation of the world more than five thousand years ago, or with the exodus from Egypt? Did Judaism proper begin in Jerusalem after leaders returned from exile in Babylon, or only after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE?”

Wen was Judaism founded?

Approximately 1300 BCE, when twelve Israelite tribes came to Canaan from Mesopotamia. Later, many of them settled in Egypt where they were held as slaves until they fled to Jerusalem in about 1200 BCE. One of the most significant events in the forming of this religion is the role played by the prophet Abraham.

Why did God choose Abraham?

According to Jewish history, God chose Abraham to function as the “father” of the Jewish people, a people that God designated as his “chosen people.” To be the recipients of this honor, Jews entered into a sacred covenant (= verband)  with God.

What is the covenant?

Unlike a contract, the covenant had no date of expiration. Central to this covenant is the concept of being ‘chosen’ as a people. For as Moses tells his people in the Bible: ‘The Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth’. The covenant was repeatedly renewed. In Jewish theology, this distinctive consideration was never meant to give special advantages to the Jews, but only to increase their responsibilities and therefore their hardships.

In nearly 4 thousand years of historical development, what did the Jewish people do?

  • Continuity develop themselves
  • Remarkable adaptability

Judaism: Core Assumptions

What are the basic principles of the Jewish people?

  • Jews “believe in one universal and eternal God, the creator and sovereign of all that exists.”This creed is clear and brief. It is expressed in Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
  • There is no belief in original sin; however, a person can commit sin by breaking the commandments.This means each person must be obedient to God-given commandments in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).
  • Humans are inherently pure and good and are given free will.They “can live any way they choose; they have only to bear the consequences.”These core assumptions compose a belief system stressing the secular notion that places great emphasis on this life rather than an afterlife.

Judaism: Branches of Judaism

What are the three large groups?

  • Orthodox Judaism
  • Reform Judaism
  • Conservative Judaism

What is unique about these 3 groups?

What is unique about these three groups is that while Christian denominations distinguish themselves largely on the basis of faith and belief, these branches differ more on ritual and ethics.

What is the Orthodox branch?

TheOrthodoxbranch is the most traditional and the oldest of the three branches, and was the only form of Jewish practice prior to the eighteenth century.It is also the only branch of Judaism that is officially acknowledged in Israel. Orthodox Judaism retains as much as possible from the traditional religious teachings found in classical and ancient writings.

Give some examples of orthodox branch traditions:

Dietary laws such as not eating shellfish or pork, not allowing men and women to sit together in the synagogue, not working or driving on the Sabbath, and having men wear skull caps (yarmulkes) and prayer shawls.

What is Reform Judaism?

Reform Judaismwas an attempt in the late eighteenth century to modernize many of the long-established Jewish practices so that Jews worldwide could assimilate into non-Jewish communities without losing their Jewish identity. Pioneers in the Reform movement wanted to be modern Germans or modern Americans without ceasing (= ophouden)to be Jews.

Give some examples of the Reform Judaism:

Conducting prayer services in the local language, not requiring men to wear yarmulkes, the use of choirs and musical instruments, and allowing men and women to sit together are part of the Reform movement. Reformed congregations even allow ordained women rabbis.

What is Conservative Judaism?

Conservative Judaism, particularly in the United States, was intended to find a middle ground between holding onto the basic traditions of the Orthodox while still employing some modern changes associated with the Reform movement. This means that Conservatives believe many of the rules, rituals, and traditions of Orthodox practice are necessary if Jewish identity is to be maintained.

It is common, for example, to find nonreligious Jews who identify fully with the culture but not with the theology. Fisher and Luyster elaborate on this point: “Judaism has no single founder, no central leader or group making theological decisions; Judaism is a people, a very old family. This family can be defined either as a religious group or a national group. In short, Judaism penetrates every aspect of human existence for the Jews and provides a means of living with both the secular and religious worlds.


Why do you think that people who follow the Jewish religious tradition have experiences such a high degree of repression, genocide, and discrimination during their long history?

Judaism: Cultural Expressions of Judaism: Oppression and Persecution (= onderdrukking en vervolging) 

What are the horrific manifestation of the Jewish history?

  • Oppression
  • Genocide
  • Persecution
The history of Judaism and the Jews is a long complicated story, full of blood and tears.

Explain the history of oppression and persecution of the Jewish people:

  1. 1500 BCE: the pharaoh of Egypt made an effort to kill all Jewish males.
  2. 70 CE: The Roman Army destroyed Jerusalem, killed over 1 million Jews, took about 100 000 into slavery and captivity and scattered many from Palestine to other locations in the Roman Empire.
  3. 1478: hatred and massive killings of Jew during the Spanish Inquisition
  4. 1478: in the same time in other parts of Europe: laws were passed by to prohibit Jews or Muslims to go to universities, joining religious orders, holding public office or entering any of a long list of profession.
  5. 1523: Martin Luther King (Jewa and their Lies): intensified hostility against the Jews by insisting that they convert to Christianity.
  6. 1940: The Holocause, and the mass killing of 6 million Jews that told Jews that anti-Semitism follows them wherever they go.
“Only the Jews have had their homeland destroyed (twice), been dispersed wherever they have lived, survived the most systematic attempt in history (aside from that of the Gypsies) to destroy an entire people, and been expelled from nearly every nation among whom they have lived.”


When the Nazi party came to power, the Jews were stripped of their citizenship and all their legal rights; their homes and businesses were appropriated; and they were herded into box- cars that delivered them to an elaborate system of death camps, where they were worked to death as slaves or murdered in specially designed gas chambers made to order for mass killings.

What are still trouble aspects for the Jews today?

  1. The first is the silence of the world leading up to the Holocaust and the lack of response once what was taking place was known by outsiders.
  2. Second, they see the Holocaust as a natural outgrowth of centuries of anti-Semitism. They still observe outbursts of this hostility in this century as they listen to words of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” or read a report from the U.S. State Department referring to the fact that in 2006 nearly 600 major anti-Semitic incidents against Jewish individuals and facilities were reported.
When the Jews were seeking escape from Germany, other countries closed their borders. Although the Allies knew about the death camps, they took no special measures to destroy them.

What is the result from such a bad history?

A difficult time trusting non-Jews.

“Jews are still essentially the same stubborn, dedicated people, now and forever affirming the same three things. First, they are a people of the law as given in the only books of Moses. Second, they are the chosen people of God, having a covenant with him. Third, they are a witness that God is and will be forevermore.”

(= “Joden zijn nog steeds in wezen dezelfde koppige, toegewijde mensen, nu en voor altijd bevestigen ze dezelfde drie dingen. Ten eerste, ze zijn een volk van de wet zoals dat in de enige boeken van Mozes is gegeven. Ten tweede, zij zijn het uitverkoren volk van God en hebben een verbond met hem. Ten derde zijn ze een getuigenis dat God voor eeuwig is en zal zijn.”)

Judaism: Cultural Expressions of Judaism: Learning

“Adam chose knowledge instead of immortality.” What does this mean?

This saying highlights that a love of learning has been a hallmark of the Jewish religion and culture since its very beginning.

Judaism centers on the worship of God, the practice of good deeds, and the love of learning.

What did the Jews do?

For thousands of years Jews have made the study of the Talmud (a holy book of over 5,000 pages) an important element of Jewish life.The Jewish prayer book even speaks of “the love of learning” as one of three principles of faith.

“Wisdom is better than jewels.”

The education of Jews in history, explain:

  • Jews have stressed education throughout their history. When the first Jews arrived in the United States, they immediately realized that education was the path to a good life for them and their children.
  • Today the Jewish population is one of the most well-educated groups in the United States. One-third of all Jews have advanced graduate degrees, and 55 percent have earned at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • It is common for Jews to seek professions centering on education, law, medicine, and literature.

Judaism: Cultural Expressions of Judaism: Social Justice

Jews often refer to the words of the prophet Amos when discussing social Justice. What are these words?

Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

What does it mean?

God wants justice to “flow” over each of them and everyone else in the world. Jews have always believed that they had a historic mandate to fight for social justice.

What is explained in the Jewish religious writing?

An individual’s responsibility and moral commitment to God and other people

The God of Israel taught through his prophets that worship of God without social justice is worthless.

Judaism: Cultural Expressions of Judaism: Family and Community

What is the family for Jews?

The Family is the locus of worship (= aanbidding)and devotion (= toewijding).

What is the Jewish family?

Two interrelated families: the larger community of Jews and a person’s immediate family. Each Jewish family, in addition to the larger Jewish community, plays a key role in the life of all Jews. That is, “The center of Jewish religious life is the home. Great emphasis is placed on the family and its relationships.”

One of the ways Jews have dealt with centuries of hardships was to turn to both of these families for strength and courage.


Judaism centers on the community rather than the individual.

What means the Children of Israel?

Jews believe that “they are all the physical or spiritual descendants of the same family,”and as such “They share a sense of community with and responsibility for Jews throughout the world.”

On nearly every occasion, be it in the home or the synagogue, the family is an active participant in Jewish life. That life is linked to the larger community by a host of religious traditions and rituals. From circumcisions to Passover seders (ceremonial dinners), to bar or bat mitzvahs, to marriage and death, to the treatment of the elderly, the family and religion are strongly bound together.

Cultural Expressions of Judaism: Judaism and Ethics

There is a sense in which everything in Judaism is ethical. Ethics has to do with behavior and the entire Torah is preoccupied with behavior.


Judaism thinks in terms of a community chosen to be responsible to God. Membership in a community of chosen people, however, requires commitment to universal values. Judaism promotes care of humans, animals, and the environment among all people, Ethical behavior is directed not only to Jews but to all peoples, It attends to both its particular origin and its universal vision.

 Judaism: Jewish Notions about Death

The first and primary responsibility of the Jew is this life and not the world to come.

Why is that?

The Torah has no clear reference to afterlife at all. Jews see death as a natural process.

We must all die; we are like water split on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.

Why are the role of the family and community important when it comes to death?

Judaism meets this important passage, as all others in a person’s life, with distinctive ritual that reinforces identity with the com- munity of believers. The identity is not only with the present community but also with past communities of Jews. Even after the regular seven days of mourning, people continue to come together in “the context of a loving and supporting community. Not only does the family gather at the cemetery, but shortly after the ceremony larger numbers of guests are invited to take part in a social gathering to have refreshments and share stories about the deceased.


Most Europeans and North Americans have never met a Muslim, so for them, Islam begins in the imagination, more specifically in that corner of the imagination colonized by fear. They see Islam through a veil hung over their eyes centuries ago by Christian Crusaders intent on denouncing Islam as a religion prone to violence, its founder, Muhammad, as a man of the sword, and its holy book, the Quran, as a text of wrath.

Why are there wrong perceptions of the Islamic faith?

  • Hysteria
  • Generalizations
  • Oversimplifications

Why is that?

  • Media
  • No simple explanation to explain this religion

Why is it difficult to explain?

Since the images and realities of Islam and of Muslims are multiple and diverse.

Why is it wrong that we have condemnation (= veroordeling)of all Muslims?

  • The Islamic religion is no more prone to violence than any other religion
  • Terrorism and suicide attacks are more directed toward secular ends than religious ones.
Islam is the fastest-growing of all the religions.

Islam: Origins

Just as the events of Jesus’ life matter to a Christian, and just as the history of Israel matters to a Jew, so the events of early Islam matter to a Muslim.

Give the history that led to the creation of Islam:

  1. The Arabs were mostly polytheists, worshiping tribal deities. They had no sacred history linking them to one universal god, like other Middle Eastern peoples. They had no sacred text to live by, like the Bible; no sacred language, as Hebrew is to Jews and Sanskrit is to Hindus. Above all, they had no prophet sent to them by God, as Jews and Christians could boast.
  2. The need for a prophet to carry the message from God was resolved with the arrival of Muhammad, who in 610 CE received a revelation from God. According to the stories of Muhammad, he was a person with a curious mind who would retreat into a cave near his home and engage in prayer and meditation. It was during one of these meditative periods that “the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that God had chosen him to be His messenger to all mankind.”This epic event was to cast Muhammad forever as the messenger of God. Muslims believe Allah (Arabic for God) had spoken to human beings many times in the past through other prophets. However, it was Muhammad who delivered the religious messages until his death in 623. These messages were to become recorded in the Koran. Not only did these messages reveal “words from God,” but they also established the social order that was to become Islam. Muhammad believed that community and religion were one and the same. Muhammad established the city-state that became known as Medina. This fusion of church and state was unique in Muhammad’s time and remains one of the central characteristics of Islam today.
  3. Muhammad’s message was so powerful that when combined with the missionary zeal found in Islam, it was able to establish a presence in Europe, North Africa, Persia, Jerusalem, Damascus, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Egypt, and Turkey.The growth of Islam continues; Muslims now form the majority in forty-nine countries and a substantial minority in many others.

Islam: Core Assumptions: One God

“Islam always has taught that Allah is One, that there is only One God. The first half of the Muslim creed says: ‘There is no god at all but Allah.’”

How is that idea written in the Koran?

He is God, the One God to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.

  • So powerful is this simple premise that Muslims believe the greatest of all sins occurs when a person gives even the smallest share of Allah’s exclusive and unique sovereignty to something else or to another body.

Islam: Core Assumptions: The Koran

What is the Koran?

  • Written by God
  • Classical Arabic
  • 114 chapter that contain the wisdom that Muhammed proclaimed during his life.
Muslims believe that the angel Gabriel divinely revealed to Muhammad the Qur’an, the perfect copy of an eternal, heavenly book. The name Qur’an means recitation, which reflects the main origin and use of this scripture, oral communication, first from Gabriel to Muhammad, then from Muhammed to his followers.

What is the Qur’an?

It is the basic authority for Islamic religious life, Islam’s continuing guide during 1400 years of history and in many cultures.

Islam is a way of life as well as a religion. The Quran tells Muslims not just how to worship Allah, but also how to lend money, divide estates, enter into contracts and punish criminals.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Submission (= onderwerping)

God has proclaimed: Do not worship 2 gods; there is only one god. You shall reverence Me alone.


Islam itself means “submission” to God and His will. The Koran emphasizes over and over the majesty of God, the beneficence that He has shown to human beings in particular, the act of obedience and gratitude that creatures owe in return to their Creator and the rewards that await the faithful at the end of time.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Predestination (= voorbestemming)

Predestination and fate play a large role in affairs both big and small in Muslim live. In Arab countries, perhaps most frequently heard expression is enshalla, if God wills.


The sayings of the Prophet are replete with his insistence on God’s role as pre-ordainer and determiner of all that takes place.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Judgement

For Muslims, their present life is only preparation and trial for their next domain of existence. “Muslims believe in a Judgment Day on which each person will be sent by God to either paradise or to hell.”

What is impending judgement (= dreigend oordeel)? 

The life of Muslims. The Koran states this crucial core concept in many different places and in a variety of ways.

Give some examples:

  • “And those who believe and do good deeds, they are the dwellers of Paradise, they dwell therein forever.” (Koran 2:82)
  • “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter.” (Koran 3:85)
  • “Those who have disbelieved and died in disbelief, the earth full of gold would not be accepted from any of them if it were offered as a ransom. They have a painful punishment, and they will have no helpers.” (Koran 3:91)
The Koran makes it very clear that merely professing Islam is not enough. In fact, some of the cruelest of all punishments in the afterlife fall on those who were hypocrites during their lives.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Five Pillars of Islam

What are these pillars?

It is an outline of specific patterns for worship as well as detailed prescriptions for social conduct, to bring remembrance of God into every aspect of daily life and practical ethics into the fabric of society.

Because the pillars are the umbrella under which all Muslims stand, Muslims who are scattered throughout the world are able to see themselves as a “family of believers.”

What are the five pillars of Islam?

  • Statement of belief (= verklaring van geloof)
  • Prayer (= gebed)
  • Alms (= aalmoes)
  • Fasting (= vasten)
  • Pilgrimage (= bedevaart)
  • They are translated into action

Islam: Core Assumptions: Five Pillars of Islam: Statement of beliefs (Shahadah)

What is the Shahadah?

–       Repetition of the creed (= Herhaling van de geloofsbelijdenis), Profession of Faith

  • There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah

What does it mean?

The first part of this pronouncement expresses the primary principle of monotheism, and the second element reinforces the Muslim trust in Muhammad, thus validating the Koran.

They are also the first words a child hears at birth and are repeated throughout life.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Five Pillars of Islam: Prayer (Salat) 

What is a prayer in the Islam?

Prayer is a central ritual, performed five times a day—at dawn, at noon, in the mid-afternoon, after sunset, and before retiring. The prayer ritual is very struc-tured.

Prayer is regulated by ritual washing beforehand and a predetermined number of prostrations and recitations, depending on the time of day. The prayer ritual includes standing [facing toward Mecca], bowing, touching the forehead to the floor (which is covered with a prayer mat, rug, or other clean surface), sitting back, and holding the hands in cupped position, all while reciting sacred verses. Muslims may pray in a mosque, in their home or office, or in public places.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Five Pillars of Islam: Almsgiving (Zakat) 

What is the Almsgiving? 

The rationale for almsgiving is deeply rooted in the Islamic tradition, and is predicated on the notion that everything is part of God’s domain. This means that even wealth and material possessions are only held by human beings because of God’s will. “Alms are related to the nature of God, who is merciful and requires mercy in his worshipers toward one another. Compassion toward weak and defenseless persons of the community is a reflection of the compassion of God.

“Consideration for the needy is part of Islam’s traditional emphasis on equality. In the mosque, all are equal; there are no preferred pews for the rich or influential—all kneel together.”

Islam: Core Assumptions: Five Pillars of Islam: Fasting (Sawm) 

What is the fasting?

Fasting is a tradition observed throughout the holy month of Ramadan. During this period, Muslims do not eat, drink, engage in sexual activity, or smoke between sunrise and sunset. People who are in ill health, women who are pregnant or nursing, and the elderly are excused from fasting. While Muslims believe that fasting has health benefits, “the primary emphasis is less on abstinence and self mortification as such than on spiritual self-discipline, reflection, and the performance of good works.”

Ramadan is also used to encourage families to emphasize family and social relationships during this period. “In the evening after breaking the fast, Muslims socialize, dis- cussing family, community, national and international affairs and reaffirming their values, customs and traditions.

Islam: Core Assumptions: Five Pillars of Islam: Pilgrimage (Hajjj) 

What is pilgrimage?

A pilgrimage to Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) that every Muslim, if financially and physically able, is to make as evidence of his or her devotion to Allah. The trip involves a series of highly symbolic rituals designed to “both celebrate and reinforce the unity of Muslims.” This feeling of unity is reinforced by the fact that all the participants, who number in the millions, wear the same color garments. The pilgrims circle the Kabha (a square stone building believed to have been built by Abraham, who struggled against idol worship) seven times.This act, much like the actions associated with all the other pillars of Islam, reaffirms the strong belief Muslims have in their religion. Caner and Caner speak of the power of these pillars noting, “The five pillars act as a tapestry that gives Muslims a portrait of their task in life, a journey that they hope ends as it begins—as a newborn baby free from all sins.”

Islam: Cultural Expression of Islam: The Message and Response to Jihad

What Juhad?

  • It is a loaded term and a concept that illustrates a deep gulf of miscommunication between Islam and the West.
  • One, inner jihad, deals with the individual, and describes the internal struggle each Muslim should engage in to improve himself or herself, to submit to God and restrain from sinful impulses.”It is “the battle all individuals wage against their own baser instincts.”
  • It is the second interpretation, the outer jihad, which causes problems both in and out of the Islamic faith. This meaning “covers all activities that either defend Islam or else further its cause.”

What are jihad wars?

Muslims that were engaged to bring new lands or peoples under the Islam.

What can Jihad be seen as?

  • A clash of civilization
  • Act on those beliefs
This debate over what jihad is plagues U.S. foreign policy as well as the perceptions of most American citizens. Part of the misinterpretation and fear is due in part to the Islamic extremists who employ the word jihadists as a rhetorical device to inflame the passions of their followers and to threaten their adversaries. The world has seen this confrontational use of the word on numerous occasions. Osama bin Laden used the word as a rallying cry to justify numerous attacks against the United States and other countries. Even today, Iran’s leaders and the opposition forces fighting in Afghanistan are invoking the notion of a jihadagainst Israel and the United States. By linking jihad to martyrdom, they create a powerful weapon.


This Islamic notion of jihad includes more than one interpretation. What are some of those interpretations?

Islam: Cultural Expression of Islam: A Complete Way of Life

Why is the Islam a complete Way of Life?

Muhammad was a political figure and a religious prophet. Islam instructs people on the best way to carry out their lives in private, social, economic, ethical, political, and spiritual arenas. an immense body of requirements and prohibitions concerning religion, personal morality, social conduct, and political behavior. Business and marital relations, criminal law, ritual practices, and much more were covered in this vast system.

Islamic law makes no distinction between religion and society, but governs all affairs, public and private. An Arab’s [Muslim’s] religion affects his or her whole way of life on a daily basis. Religion is taught in schools, the language is full of religious expressions, and people practice their religion openly, almost obtrusively, expressing it in numerous ways.


What is meant by the phrase “Islam is a complete way of life?” What are some examples that would validate the truth of this assertion?

Islam: Cultural Expression of Islam: Sharia Law

What is the Sharia Law?

Sharia law (often referred to as Muslim or Islamic law) is a legal code derived basically from three sources, the Koran, the Hadith(sayings from Muhammad), and fatwas (rulings of Islamic scholars).These are very specific laws that deal with nearly all phases of human behavior. They fall into five categories: obligatory, meritorious, permissible, reprehensible, and forbidden.

Why has it been a major topic of discussion in the media?

  • The degree of influence they have over contemporary Muslims
  • Some of the “punishments” associated with violating any of the laws
  • Some believe that these laws violate basic human rights (particularly to women, and minor crimes in Western standards)

What means Sharia?

A clear path

What is the path?

It is a series of mandates that benefits humanity by offering people structure, specific guidelines, and a divine connection to the past.

Historically, Muslims have not separated the sacred and secular, so Shariah extends into all aspects of life—family, society, economics and politics.

Islam: Cultural Expression of Islam: Gender

Why is there confusion?

the fact that the Koran, as well as other religious teachings, offer a variety of interpretations on the subject of women.

What does the Koran say?

  • “Men are superior to women on account of qualities with which God has gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them.”

Western view: Islam takes it as axiomatic that men are stronger than women, not only physically but also mentally and morally, and that women are therefore in need of male protection and guidance.

  • Teaches that men and women are equal before God in terms of their religious and moral obligations and rewards. They also believe that the Koran’s position on women is one that seeks to protect them.

Despite the inegalitarian social structure that dominates the majority of Islamic societies, women from all back- grounds usually embrace rather than reject their religious tradition.”

Give an example:

  • Women cannot teach men, so Muslim women who have trained in the ways of the Koran teach only girls and other women.”
  • In most countries, Islam encourages women to pray at home instead of at the mosques with men.
This section on Islam and gender ends reminding you of two points. First, when observing any cultural difference, it is important not to allow ethnocentrism to direct your evaluation. As an “outsider,” you are applying Western models to the Islamic culture’s attitude toward women. While you might find it strange for women to cover their hair with the hijab, Muslim women might have a difficult time understanding why so many women in the United States use dye to alter the natural color of their hair. Finally, broad generalizations regarding gender often overlook regional differences. For example, the life of a village woman residing in rural Afghanistan is very different from the life of a well-educated Palestinian who is socially and politically active within her community.

Islam: Ethics and Islam

The ethical dimensions of the Islamic life are spread evenly throughout the Qur’an, as one would expect for a religion that calls itself ‘submission’ to Gods way.

Give some examples of ethics:

  • Forbids gabling
  • The consumption of alcohol
  • Lying
  • Extramarital sex
  • Stealing
  • Condemns homosexuality

Islam: Islamic Notions about death

What are crucial elements of the Islamic religion?

The idea of death and an afterlife

What is the Day of Judgment?

  • The day of resurrection
  • When all people will be resurrected for God’s judgment according to their beliefs and deeds
  • The result of Allah’s judgment determines whether each person will be sent to heaven or hell. Islamic teaching makes it very clear that these two places are poles apart.
“Of the western religious traditions, Islam offers the most detailed description of the afterlife, where a beautiful paradise awaits the righteous and a hideous hell imprisons and punishes the wicked.”

What are central points in Islam?

  • Judgment
  • Reward
  • Punishment
  • The entire system of ethics is based on this


Hinduism is the world’s oldest know religion and most diverse.

Why is Hinduism a mystery?

  • This religion has no single founder, creed, teacher, or prophet acknowledged by all Hindus as central to the religion, and no single holy book is universally acclaimed as being of primary importance.
  • Even to talk of a single something called Hinduism can be misleading, because of the great variety of customs, forms of worship, gods, myths, philosophies, types of rituals, movements, and styles of art and music contained loosely within the bounds of a single religion. Hinduism lacks both a single canonical text accepted by all followers and an elite who exert control over the development of its fundamental beliefs and practices.
Western religions begin with a notion that One—One God, One Book, One Son, One Church, One Nation under God—is better than many. The Hindu, dazzled by the wondrous variety of the creation, could not see it that way. For so multiplex a world, the more gods the better! How could any one god account for so varied a creation?

 Hinduism: Origins

Why is an accurate history of Hinduism problematic?

  • Hinduism had its creation long before we had written records.
  • The lack of a single founder
  • The lack of text makes it difficult to isolate a specific chronology.

When was Hinduism started?

4 000 years ago, when a group of light-skinned Aryan Indo-European tribes invaded what is now northern India. As these Aryans moved into the Indus Valley, a blending of cultures took place, since as “they mixed with native peoples, they shared customs, traditions, rites, symbols, and myths.”

These beginnings were “marked not by remarkable personalities (although there must have been many) and great proselytizing movements, but rather by the composition of orally transmitted sacred texts expressing central concepts of what we now call Hinduism.” Because of the message contained in these texts, and their significance to Hinduism, we now examine some of those “central concepts.”

Hinduism: Sacred Texts

Why is Hinduism diverse?

Vast in size, varied in usage, and profound in influence, many scriptures have been chanted, heard, taught, and repeated for three thousand years.

Hinduism: Sacred Texts: The Vedas

What is the Vedas?

The oldes and most fundamental scriptures. For thousands of years the wisdom concerning what is now Hinduism was transmitted orally and vedas means hearing. The Vedas are composed of four books that seek to “transmit the ancient revelations in a series of hymns, ritual texts, and speculations composed over a period of a millennium beginning ca. 1400 BC. These four books, with their philosophical maxims and spiri- tual guidance, are important because they not only deal with the spiritual dimensions of Hinduism, but they also offer insights into the cultural life in India thousands of years ago.

Hinduism: Sacred Texts: The Upanishads

What is the Upanishads?

Sometime between 800 and 400 BCE another important group of Hindu texts appeared, namely the Upanishads. . These texts were instrumental in shaping many of the philosophical beliefs of the Hindu religion. These are the texts that teachers use to pass on the messages of UpanishadsThe text stresses issues of faith dealing with notions of reality, the “Oneness” of everything in the universe, the role of one’s soul, and the importance of contemplation and mediation. Usha elaborates on the power of the Upanishadswhen he writes, “The Upanishads teach the knowledge of God and record the spiritual experiences of the sages of ancient India.”

Hinduism: Sacred Texts: The Bhagavad-Gita

What is the Bhagavad-Gita?

Written around 540 to 300 BCE, the Bhagavad-Gita is a lengthy poem of dialogue between a warrior, Prince Arjuna, and the god Lord Krishna. This eighteen-chapter book, revealing the wisdom of Krishna, teaches how to become aware of the “Supreme Reality,” a reality that can be known through the pursuit of knowledge, devotion, altruistic behavior, and contemplation.  A major characteristic of the text is that it reinforces the very core of Hinduism: that God is an exalted, stirring, and sublime force within us. Because God is within us, we can rise above our mortal limitations and be liberated.

In the two millennia since its composition, the Gita, as it is often called, has served as a source of inspiration for countless numbers, from Hindu philosophers and politicians such as Shankara and Mahatma Gandhi, to Western authors and poets such as Henry David Thoreau and T.S. Eliot.


Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious thought, values, and beliefs drawn from a variety of sources. As such it does not have a single founder or an organizational hierarchy. Among Hindus one may find magic, nature worship, animal veneration and unlimited number of deities.

Hinduism: Core Assumptions: Divine in Everything

What does divine in everything mean for Hindus?

The universe is interconnected across time and space. Rocks, plants, animals and human are all interrelated. The essence of this worldview is a belief that God is within each being and object in the universe, and that the spirit of each soul is divine.

What is the goal of life for a Hindu?

To become sensitive to the divine in its many forms. The belief that the divine is not only beyond gender and name, but also beyond number, has resulted in its manifestation in many shapes and forms: as human or animal, as trees, or as combinations of these beings. The Hindu is dazzled by a vision of the holy, not merely holy people but places like the Himalayan peaks where the gods live, or the Ganges which flows from Heaven to Earth, or countless inconspicuous sites where gods or goddesses or unsung heroes showed their divine mettle

Hinduism: Core Assumptions: Ultimate Reality

What do I mean with ultimate reality for Hindus?

  • The material world, the one we can touch and see, is not the only reality. They hold that there are other realities that lead to spiritual advancement, and reveal the true nature of life, the mind, and the spirit. Hindu-view is that a person’s perception of the world is simply an illusion. So, Hindus are not satisfied with what they see or hear.
  • An extension of this point of reference leads Hindus to believe that finding satisfaction in the material and physical world (the Western notion of reality) might gratify you temporarily, but eventually the satisfaction of that world will “wear out.” To experience true happiness, bliss, or liberation (what Hindus call nirvana), one needs to discover the spiritual existence found outside traditional concepts of reality
Him the eye does not see, nor the tongue express, nor the mind grasp.

Hinduism: Core Assumptions: Brahman

What is the reality is Brahman?

Brahman is the ultimate level of reality, a philosophical absolute, serenely blissful, beyond all ethical or metaphysical limitations. The basic Hindu view of God involves infinite being, infinite consciousness and infinite bliss.

Hinduism: Core Assumptions: Multiple Paths

What does Multiple Paths mean?

In many respects, Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious thought, values, and beliefs. Hinduism does not have a single founder or an organizational hierarchy. Among Hindus one may find magic, nature worship, animal veneration, and an unlimited number of deities. Because of this eclectic approach to “God,” Hinduism has been able to present various paths to those asking the eternal questions about life and death.

Truth is one, but sages call it by various names.

Give an explanation of the diverse nature of Hinduism:

Hinduism is a way of life that encourages acceptance of multiple representations of deity, multiple religious functionaries and multiple authorities, multiple understandings of duty and proper devotion, multiple allegiances to autonomous congregations, and multiple (and changeable) devotional practices and holy places.”

How do they call Hinduism?

religion which offers many beliefs and practices to all -> because of this multiple-paths approach.

Which 4 paths do they have?

  • The Path of Work (Karma-yoga, selfless actions
  • The Path of Knowledge (Jnana-yoga, philosophy and wisdom)
  • The Path of Physical and Metal Discipline )Astang/Raja-Yoga, exercise and mediation)
  • The Path of Love (Bhakti-Yoga, path of devotional service)
What do Hindus mean when they say, “Truth does not come to the individual; it already resides within each other?

Hinduism: Cultural Expressions of Hinduism: Complete Way of Life

Hinduism is a holistic way of life.

Explain this sentence above:

The Hindu man drinks religiously, sleeps religiously, walks religiously, marries religiously, and robs religiously. The reason is that Hinduism pervades every part of a person’s life. Hinduism religion is not separate from living. It is living itself. God does not exist in temples and sacred places only.” One of the reasons Hinduism is so pervasive in a Hindu’s life is because the early stages of Hinduism saw a mixing of cultures and of gods.Hinduism is not merely a religion. It encompasses an entire civilization and a way of life, whose roots date back prior to 3000 BCE.”

Why can you see that Hinduism is a way of life?

The sacred writings of this tradition, for example, speak of the arts, medicine, health, science, governance, and a host of other cultural issues. While temples are a popular place for worship, it is the daily activity in the home that best reflects Hindu practices as an important and integral part of life.

Why is the significance (= betekenis)of home so important?

Hinduism wears the face of family and home. A home’s most sacred spot is its hearth. Most rituals occur amid daily life. The acts of bathing, dressing, and eating are connected to ritual purity.

Hinduism: Cultural Expressions of Hinduism: Dharma

What is Dharma?

  • Dharma influences on how people live and treat each other. Dharma is perhaps the most influential concept in Indian culture and society.”
  • A Sanskrit term variously translated as duty, law, justice, truth, order, righteousness, virtue, ethics and even religion.
  • The laws of Dharma provide people guidance on how to behave, perform their vocational obligations, act during various life cycles, and even how old people should treat those younger than they.

Where is Dharma used?

  • Religious responsibilities
  • Communal (= gemeenschappelijke)responsibilities

What are the 3 specific applications of Dharma that were standing in sacred writings?

  • The natural law or the laws governing the spiritual-physical universe
  • The laws governing society
  • The laws governing the individual
An extension of the belief and command of Dharma is the idea that if you go against Dharma, which is seen as a cosmic norm, you will produce bad Karma. Because Karma affects this life and subsequent lives (through reincarnation), most Hindus seek to live a virtuous life and follow their Dharma.


Dharma is the most foundational concept in Hinduism. It is a wide-ranging term for righteousness, law, duty, moral teachings, and religion itself. It even helps explain the order of the universe. Dharma is also the god. The multidimensional aspect of the laws of Dharma provides people assistance on how to conduct themselves, explains their obligations to others and tells them how to act during carious life cycles.

Hinduism: Cultural Expressions of Hinduism: Karma

What is Karma?

  • Karma, which comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “action,” refers to the idea that every action has an equivalent reaction that can either be immediate or at some future time. The future time can even be in a different lifetime.
  • At the heart of the belief in Karma is the view that reaction and action can have either good or bad consequences.
–       Just as, according to the law of gravity, what is dropped from a tree will fall to the ground, according to the law of Karma, evil actions produce punishments and good actions produce rewards.


The final resolution to a person’s Karma has long-range implications. That is to say, a person “with bad Karma could be reborn many times into lower castes of humans, or even lower animals, and then not released until he or she has been reborn in the Brahmin, or priestly caste.” The ethical implications of Karma are obvious. Each new birth is not a matter of chance, but rather results from good or bad actions in prior lives.

Hinduism: Cultural Expressions of Hinduism: Four Stages of Life

What does it mean?

  • These are specific guidelines for each stage continue to help shape a Hindu’s life.
  • In the student stage a young boy, usually between the ages of eight and twelve, studies the Vedas while serving an apprenticeship with a teacher.
  • The householder is that phase in a male’s life when he builds his family and attempts to live a highly spiritual and ethical life while meeting his obligations as husband and father.
  • The forest dweller is one who has met his obligations to his family and society and is now ready to leave all personal attachments and begin intensive study and meditation.
  • The ascetic, an optional state, is when the Hindu denounces the world and is completely independent from all people and possessions and unites with Brahman. In short, he is liberated from ordinary life.
  • Very few people make it past stages one and two, since the last two stages make enormous demands on the individual
The “Duties of the Four Stages of Life.”

While the writings concerning these stages go back thousands of years, many Hindus attempt to carry out the specific duties even today. These stages represent phases the individual passes through as a means of gathering enough wisdom to become “free” and “spiritual.” People have “specific responsibilities associated with each of these phases, and it is their duty to fulfill them.”


There are many women who also seek to carry out the duties associated with the Four Stages of Life. In most instances, they only follow the first three stages. They become students and take instruction in the religious duties associated with this first stage. As a householder, a woman’s duties are somewhat different from those of her husband, yet she still strives to live a spiritual life. Some women even attempt to become forest dwellers. However, as noted, they are not expected to enter the ascetic stage.

Hinduism: Ethics and Hinduism

Everyday life and religious life are not separated because Hindu ethics traditionally play a leading role in everyday life: caste and class, marriage and children, career and retirement.

What does Hindus believe?

Being true to your moral values is the highest loyalty.

What is being ethical in Hinduism?

  • It is a means to an end, its purpose being to help members of society to rid themselves of self-centeredness, cruelty, greed, and other vices and thus to create and environment helpful to the pursuit (= achtervolging) of the higher good, which transcends (= overstijgt)
  • Three Da’s: damyata = restraint (= terughoudendheid)and self-control; data = generosity (= vrijgevigheid);daydhvam = compassion

Hinduism: Notions about Death

Hindus believe in the immortality of the soul and in reincarnation. Explain.

With this basic belief as their anchor, Hindus learn not to fear death or even grieve over the death of loved ones. The rationale is clear: even though the physical body dies, a person’s soul does not have a beginning or an end but simply passes into another reincarnation at the end of this life.That is to say, the individual does not actually die, but rather takes on a new body—“the Eternal Self”—which cannot be destroyed.

Hindus believe that the state of mind of the person just before death is imperative, demonstrating their conviction that the person continues living on after death. Were the person’s thoughts at the moment of death about family and spiritual matters, or was the person thinking “evil thoughts”? The answer to this question is important to the Hindu.

What happen when the person is death?

  • The body is wrapped in white cloth and cremated as quickly after death as possible.
  • The funeral procession and ceremony are very ritualistic and involve everything from washing the deceased, to mourners bathing, to stories being told about the deceased.
  • In India, if at all possible, the ashes of the deceased person are taken by relatives and scattered into a holy river such as the Ganges.


Why do we examine the Buddhism?

  • Buddhism has extended itself over cultural areas in South and East Asia
  • They were adaptable, it has millions of followers all over the world, including over two million in the United States

What is the difference between Western religions and Buddhism?

Buddhism is grounded in reason not faith and therefore is in harmony with the prevailing spirit of scientific empiricism (= heersende wetenschap van empirisme).

Wat is empirisme?

Het empirisme is een filosofische stroming waarin gesteld wordt dat kennis slechts uit de ervaring voortkomt.

Buddhism is a system which knows no God in the Western sense, which denies a soul to man, which counts the belief in immortality a blunder, which refuses any efficacy to prayer and sacrifice, which bids men look to nothing but their own efforts for salvation.

Buddhism: Origins

Western religions and Buddhism present very different ways of seeing the world, but which core belief do they share?

the influence of a single individual who lived among the people. For Christians, Jesus offers personal guidance as a means of understanding each person’s place in the world. In Buddhism, it is Buddha who is the person who has epitomized the human situation.

When was Buddhism founded?

Buddhism was founded by an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama. The story of how he became known as the Enlightened One has four essential features.

Give the four essential features:

  1. His birth and his given name

Siddhartha’s birth was accompanied by auspicious celestial signs and a wise man’s prediction that the child would be successful as either a universal monarch or a great ascetic (=Ascese is het streven naar of het beoefenen van een reine levenswandel door de eigen hartstochten en begeerten te beteugelen en zelftucht toe te passen. Ascese kan gepaard gaan met meditatie om de geest stil te maken maar ook met lichamelijke zelfkastijding).

  1. At the time of his birth, his father was a king and the prince was born into great luxury and opulence, which he would later reject.

Siddharta: I wore garments of silk and my attendants held a white umbrella over me.

  1. Even with all his lavish (= kwistig) surroundings, the prince felt a deep discontentment (= ontevredenheid)with his life.

Garfinkel offers an account of what was to become a major event in the founding of Buddhism: “At age 29 the married prince, disillusioned with his opulence, ventured out of his palace and for the first time encountered old age, sickness, and death. So, moved was he by this brush with the painful realities of life that he left his comfortable home to search for an end to human suffering.”

  • The next 6 years were The Period of Enquiry. the prince engaged in deep meditation and lived an austere life as he searched for answers to explain the suffering he saw. After examining his thoughts during this period, he emerged from his self-imposed seclusion and became Buddha.

Siddhartha became a Buddha (Enlightened One) in a flash of insight one day while meditating. He immediately gathered his disciples and began to teach them what he had learned. This Great Renunciation produced an emotion within Siddhartha that some say formed one of the elements of Buddhism. The emotion was the feeling of complete calm and “sense of serene confidence (prasada) the prince experienced when he discovered there was a way to overcome the suffering of life.

  1. how he spent his life after his personal revelation. Until his death at 80 in 483 BCE, Buddha traveled throughout the Ganges Valley sharing his insights with anyone who would listen. After his death, his message was carried by his students. Buddhist missionaries were sent all through Asia, and during the next centuries Buddhism spread and took hold in Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and Korea.

Buddhism: Core Assumptions

Which forms of Buddhism are there?

Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Pure Land, Vajrayana, and Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Over centuries, each culture and country has adapted their existing belief system to what Buddhism had to offer.

What are the basic 2 assumptions of Buddhism?

  1. Buddha made it clear that he was not a God, but simply a man, and never claimed “to be a god or savior. He [was] simply a pathfinder.”In fact, Buddha went so far as to suggest that “a belief in god is itself a form of human desire and clinging, a product of the ego and another cause of suffering in that it prevents a person from becoming an autonomous and free human being.
  2. Buddha taught that all individuals have the potential to seek the truth on their own. Buddha believed that people should never take any religious teaching on faith alone.

What is the difficulty for Westerners to understand the second basic assumptions?

Many Western religions stress religious direction from the clergy. Buddhism, on the contrary, challenges individuals to do their own religious seeking.

Be lamps unto yourselves.


Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.


è For the Buddha, the key to liberation is mental purity and correct understanding, and for this reason he rejects the notion that we gain salvation by learning from an external source

What is the external source?

It represents the essential message in Buddha’s teaching, as you can observe in two more celebrated Buddhist maxims that stress the same point: “Betake yourself to no external refuge. Work out your own salvation with diligence,” and “You are your own refuge; there is no other refuge.”

Where rests Buddha teaching at?

The right method man can change and transform himself.

Buddhism: Core Assumptions: The four Noble Truths

What are the Four Noble Truths?

The Four Noble Truths is nothing less than a distillation of the wisdom which the Buddha had gained through Enlightenment. The Noble Truths stand as the axioms of his (Buddha’s) system, the postulates from which the rest of his teachings logically derive. (= De Vier Edele Waarheden is niets minder dan een distillatie van wijsheid die de Boeddha door middel van Verlichting had verworven. De edele waarheden staan ​​als de axioma’s van zijn (boeddha’s) systeem, de postulaten waaruit de rest van zijn leringen logisch voortkomen.). The Four Noble Truths speak to the symptoms that create unhappiness and suffering, What is The First Noble Truth?It is suffering. Buddha speaks of the major cause of suffering, noting that “Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, worry, misery, pain, distress, and despair are suffering, not attaining what one desires is suffering. Life is not characterized by some degree of suffering at the moment, you only need look at the world to see the suffering of others.

Bodhi: “The reason all worldly conditions are said to be dukkha, inadequate and unsatisfactory, is because they are all impermanent and unstable; because they lack any substantial or immutable self; and because they cannot give us lasting happiness; secure against change and loss.”

 What is The Second Noble?

The roost of suffering. Buddha taught that much of our suffering is caused by craving, self-desire, attachment, anger, envy, greed, ignorance, and self-delusion regarding the nature of reality. Buddha believed that accepting the world was a major step toward enlightenment. He would tell his students: See the false as false. The true as true. Look into your heart. Follow your nature.

What is The Third Noble?

The extension of the first two words.

It asserts that because suffering has a cause it can be eliminated. Put in slightly different terms, “If we wake up to the way the world really is, in all its flux and flow, and stop clinging to things that are by their nature running through our fingers, we can achieve nirvana.

What means nirvana?

Nirvana means reaching enlightenment and moving beyond suffering, Buddhists believe it is a goal worth pursuing. By clearly seeing truth, you can put an end to suffering, ignorance, and craving. As is the case in nearly all of Buddha’s counsel, the key component is the person.

What is The Fourth Noble Truth?

It is called The Remedy. It is an explanation and prescription for the end of suffering and a path to nirvana. In many ways the central core of the teaching of Buddha deals with the Eightfold Path.

What is the Eightfold Path?

The Eightfold Path is the antidote of the Four Noble Truths.

The Eight- fold Path is a practical guide to correct behavior, and it contains the essential steps that allow each individual to be free from troublesome attachments and delusions about the nature of reality. The various elements that make up the Path are not seen as single steps, but rather they are fused—learned and practiced simultaneously.

 What are the three categories of the Eightfold path?

  1. Wisdom
  2. Ethical Conduct
  3. Metal Discipline

Explain the Wisdom:

  • Right view is achieving a correct understanding and accepting the reality and origins of suffering and the ways leading to the cessation of suffering. This first Path sets the tone for all the others that follow, since it asks the individual to see the universe (reality) as it really is: impermanent, imperfect, and elusive.
  • Right purpose is being free from ill will, cruelty, and untruthfulness toward the self and others. To follow in “the path,” Buddha encouraged his followers to discover any “unwholesome” ways of thinking they might have and discard them. Instead, they should develop an attitude toward the world filled with loving kindness and compassion.

Explain the Ethical Conduct:

  • Right speech. Buddha stressed that people should use discourse that is truthful and considerate. Right speech should be free of falsehoods and slander, be honest, pro- mote harmony, not be divisive, and be void of idle chatter.
  • Right action is Buddha’s version of the Ten Commandments, for this principle seeks to promote moral, honorable, and peaceful behavior. Among other things, this path calls for abstaining from the taking of life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking intoxicants.
  • Right livelihood asks all disciples to avoid occupations that harm living beings and animals. That means refraining for stealing, exploiting people, and selling weapons or intoxicants. Buddha believed that these forms of livelihood were not conducive to spiritual progress.

 Explain the Metal Discipline.

  • Right efforts mean cultivating and maintaining wholesome thoughts. It was Buddha’s belief that allowing the mind to experience anger, agitation, and even dull- ness, would keep a person from cultivating mindfulness and concentration.
  • Right mindfulness refers to being able to manage your mind. Buddha strongly believed in mental control. He continuously urged his students to concentrate on the “here and the now.” This, according to Buddha, allows one to see things as they are. There is a rather famous Buddha saying: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
  • Right concentration, although it comes as the final entry in the Eightfold Path sequence, is one of the most important. It reminds students to aim for a calm, meditative mind. This means complete attentiveness to a single object and the achievement of purity of thought, free from all hindrances and distractions. When the mind is made still through mediation, according to Buddha, the true nature of everything is revealed.
Buddha sees reality as impermanent, imperfect and elusive.

Buddhism: Cultural Expressions of Buddhism: The Use of Silence.

What does the Use of Silence mean?

It can influence intercultural communication centers on the Buddhist view toward language and silence. meditation that is carried out in silence. One of the reasons for the emphasis on silence is that Buddhism requires abandonment of views generated by the use of ordinary words and scriptures. Language can be deceptive and misleading when a person is trying to understand the universe as it really is. Buddhists’ belief knows that there is a supreme and wonderful truth that words cannot reach or teach. In the life and teachings of Buddha, true Silence leads to Truth by avoiding wordiness and wordlessness because such Silence is Truth. The Dalai Lama enhances this point of view when he states, “Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”

Ordinary language tends to deal with physical things and experiences, as understood by ordinary man; whereas Dharma language (Buddha’s teaching) deals with the mental world, with the intangible non-physical world. -> Beware of the false illusions created by words,” “Do not accept what you hear by report,” and “Peace comes from within

What is impermanency (= vergankelijkheid = iets wat niet lang goed blijft)?

Buddha’s premise is clear and simple: all events and people are subject to change, always in a state of flux, and fleeting. He made the point that whether it be a fleeting moment in time or life’s stages from birth, to childhood, to adulthood, to old age, nothing remains the same. Buddha believed that recognizing the truism (= cliché) that nothing is permanent would encourage his followers to appreciate the moment and accept the tentative nature of life. By reminding his followers of the transitory nature of life Buddha was able to speak to the subject of a code of conduct that could influence human interaction. He told his followers that if you always consider that each life ends, then it will be simple to remember that even “quarrels come to an end.”

What is karma?

  • Karma is important because it sets the tone for ethical behavior. Buddha repeatedly stressed that a person’s actions had consequences. The words “follow you” offer insight into Buddha’s notion of Karma, since the result of your action “can either manifest its effect in this very life or in the next life or only after several lives.”Buddhists have a strong belief in free-will and therefore your actions, over which you have control, determine your Karma. In fact, the actual word Karma “is used to denote volitional acts which find expression in thought, speech or physical deeds, which are good, evil or a mixture of both and are liable to give rise to consequences, which partly determine the goodness or badness of these acts.”
  • Buddha’s way of thinking about Karma is referred to as the law of action and reaction. Because he did not believe in a higher being or divine intervention, he taught that people have within themselves the potential to control their own Karma. The only thing we own that remains with us beyond death is our Karma, our intentional deeds. Our deeds continue, bringing into being a new form of life until all craving is extinguished. We are born and evolve according to the quality of our Karma. Good deeds will produce a good rebirth, bad deeds a bad rebirth.

Buddhism: Buddhist ethics

Karma and Eightfold Path are statements of ethical behavior.

Why was Buddha’s approach unique?

It was not concerned with what he referred to as “social customs” that could change from location to location. He taught that ethical values are intrinsically (= van binnen afkomstig) a part of nature and the unchanging law of cause and effect (kamma)

Buddhism: Buddhist Notions about death

In fact, it was an awareness of the inevitability of death that prompted Buddha to engage in his quest for the “true meaning of life.” Buddha believed one could not be happy in this life nor create good Karma without understanding the reality of impermanence.


The classical Buddhist view of death is that it is an unavoidable feature of existence and it can cause anguish only when one attempts, in whatever way, to elude it, even if it is by way of mental speculation on the nature of death or of an eternal soul.

 What is death?

Death is only an end to a temporary phenomenon. In some ways Buddhists perceive death as ending one chapter and starting another. When the organic life ends, the forces of Karma take over because they have not been destroyed—this is rebirth. It is believed that the person’s past deeds, both wholesome and unwholesome, play a role in how many times he or she is reborn. As long as the person is greedy, manifests hatred, does not control immoral behavior, and continues to engage in self-delusion, he or she will continue to produce bad Karma. Once there is enough good Karma, the person will experience nirvana. As we also noted earlier, nirvana in its unadorned state is complete bliss that releases a person from all unhappiness.

What is also important in the Buddhist tradition? Explain.

  • The state of a person’s mind approaching death
  • Most religions hold that even a seriously ill person should “keep fighting” to stay alive and avoid death as long as possible. The underlying premise for this philosophy is that death should be avoided at all costs.318 Buddhism rejects trying to cling to life. But the idea of suicide is contrary to Buddhist teaching since the person contemplating suicide is experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety, and desperation. All of these reactions affect the person’s state of mind as they approach death. For Buddha, the state of mind in which one dies is a powerful determinant of the next rebirth. At death the person should be at peace with themselves and the entire universe.

 How are the funerals?

Buddhism has no specific or dogmatic regulations regarding funerals. Most funerals vary according to the type of Buddhism the deceased practiced, but in most instances the body is cremated. Buddhist families attempt to have a monk preside over the service.


What Is Confucianism?

Confucianism brings its adherents “a personal and social morality that stresses the practice of key virtues such as filiality, humaneness, propriety, and faithfulness.”Confucianism has no formal religious hierarchy such as the Vatican, no official priesthood, and almost no congregational life. Confucianism began as a series of ethical precepts for the appropriate way of managing a society. (Het confucianisme is een Chinees ethisch en filosofisch systeem, dat de leer van Confucius (551 – 479 v.Chr.) volgt. Het confucianisme heeft grote invloed op de geschiedenis en de cultuur van Oost-Aziatische landen.)

If Confucianism is not a religion, what is it?

It is a system of social, political, ethical, and religious thought based on the teachings of Confucius and his successors.”

The Confucian influence has stretched across the broad sweep of history from its founding to the contemporary age. Today, it is even discussed in Western circles because of its global impact on the diversity of cultures and their worldviews.


It is impossible to understand contemporary life in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, or Vietnam without reckoning with the long shadow of Confucianism.

 What is the link with economic success?

Confucianism and its emphasis on values such as concern for the future, hard work, achievement, education, merit, frugality, and cooperation have achieved the economic success of many countries.

Confucianism: Confucius the Man

What was so important about Confucius?

Confucius is perhaps the most influential individual in Asian history, not so much for his views on government as for his teachings on the proper relationships and conduct among people.

Confucius was born in China in 551 BCE. He attempted various careers early in his life and held several government positions. However, at around the age of thirty he turned to teaching. Confucius believed that because education taught character and created a better society, it should be available to everyone. What Confucius taught grew out of his observations about the human condition in China during his lifetime. “Confucius was witness to the political disintegration of the feudal order, an era characterized by the hegemony of various states and almost constant internecine warfare.”

What was his response to the observations?

Confucius asserted that government must be founded on virtue, and that all citizens must be attentive to the duties of their position. People were impressed by his integrity, honesty, and particularly his pleasant personality and his enthusiasm as a teacher. Three thousand people came to study under him and over seventy became well-established scholars. Those followers are important to Asian history because they carried on the work of Confucius after his death.

Why do cultures conceive of death in so many different ways?

Which orientation comes closest to your conception of death?

 Confucianism: Core Assumptions

What are the principles of Confucianism?

  • Supposition

People are basically good and only have to learn, by example, what constitutes correct behavior

Way to actualize this goodness is through education, self-reflection, self-cultivation, and by behavior in accordance with the established norms of the culture.”

  • Great faith in education

He taught that by education even a common man could become superior

  • Deep commitment to social harmony

Harmony meant fulfilling the familial and secular obligations needed to live and work together. Confucianism emphasizes the individual’s social relations and social responsibility over self-consciousness: people perceive themselves according to their social relationships and responsibilities as opposed to their individual being.

Confucianism is a philosophy of human nature that considers proper human relationships as the basis of society. These “proper” relationships involve such things as the protection of “face,” dignity, self-respect, reputation, honor, and prestige.

What are the 5 specific relationships (in hierarchy)?

  1. Son and father,
  2. Minister and ruler,
  3. Wife and husband,
  4. Young and old,
  5. Friend and friend.

Confucianism: The Analects

Which book is used?

The wisdom contained in the Analects (sayings) that have been the most influential and far-reaching. Because Confucius did not write down his philosophy, but his students. The books teach basic Confucian values and virtues such as respect, honor, filial piety, duty, humanity, propriety, and ritual. These ideals are presented in the form of aphorisms, sayings, stories, and proverbs.

Confucianism: Cultural Expressions of Confucianism

Confucianism is based on?

Respect for human dignity.

What means this dignity?

Respecting the proper hierarchy in social relationships among family members and within a community.

What is Jen (humanism)?

Jen is the cornerstone of what Confucius taught. It is the ideal relationship which should pertain between individuals, so a humane principle. It means that you need to have deep empathy or compassion for other humans. This fundamental belief in the integrity of all people is a reflection of the premise that people are by nature good, and jen is meant to mirror that goodness. This means that regardless of one’s status or personality, conflict can and should be avoided. In its place people should strive for harmony in their interactions with other people.

What is Li (rituals, rites [= ceremonies], proprieties, conventions)?

It means good manners. It is often thought of as the rules to be followed so that “things” are done correctly. The words associated with li are propriety, appropriateness, and conformity (to prevailing customs). In contemporary times li could be as straightforward as not interrupting the person who is talking or making sure your bow is performed properly.

What is Te (power)?

Te literally means power. For Confucius, it was power that was properly employed for the betterment of everyone. He strongly believed that to use power correctly, “leaders must be persons of character, sincerely devoted to the common good and possessed of the character that compels respect.”

An understanding of these teachings will help you appreciate Asian perception and interaction patterns.

What is Wen (the arts)?

He saw the arts as a means of peace and as an instrument of moral education. By poetry the mind is aroused; from music the finish is received. The odes quicken the mind. They induce self-contemplation. They teach the art of sensibility. They help to restrain resentment. They bring home the duty of serving one’s parents and one’s prince.

Confucianism: Confucianism and Communication

Confucianism influences perception and communication in a variety of ways.

What are the four ways that most directly relate to intercultural communication?

  • Empathy

It encourages people to understand the feelings of others

  • Status and role relationships

To make social relationships work without strife.

  • Ritual and protocol

social etiquette was important

Attentive performance of social ritual and everyday etiquette shapes human character in accordance with archetypal patterns

  • Use of indirect instead of direct language

In the United States people often ask direct questions, are sometimes blunt, and frequently use the word “no.” Confucian philosophy, on the other hand, encourages indirect communication.

Give some examples of status and role relationships:

  • Loyalty of the ruled to their ruler
  • Filial piety of sons and daughters to their parents
  • Respect for brothers
  • Trust for friends
Even today, these different role behaviors influence such things as using language that shows respect and status, how leaders are selected, and seating arrangements in business and educational settings.


In the business context, ritual and protocol are manifested in the fact that when negotiating, the Chinese feel uncomfortable if there is not structure, form, and correct manners. They believe these characteristics will preserve harmony among the participants.

 Give an example of the use of indirect instead of direct language:

In Chinese culture, requests often are implied rather than stated explicitly for the sake of relational harmony and face maintenance.

The Confucian legacy of consideration for others and concern for proper human relation- ships has led to the development of communication patterns that preserve one another’s face. Indirect communication helps to prevent the embarrassment of rejection by the other person or disagreement among partners.

Confucianism: Confucianism and Ethics

It is more concerned with this life than the next.


This system is focused his ethical advice on how people treated each other.

What does Confucius never use?

He never used the words good and evil when talking about the human condition. He was interested in what people could do to bring out the best in each other.

What are the most important ways of ethical conduct?

  • Benevolence (= welwillendheid)

It is an ethical act, denotes humaneness, fellow feeling, even love

  • Reciprocity (= wederkerigheid)

People show avoid doing to other what they would not want done to them. They should do those things that they should like done to themselves.

Confucianism: Confucianism and notions about death

When asked questions about death and an afterlife it was reported Confucius would respond with a yawn. What is the reason for this?

The reason for such a noncommittal response is simple. Confucius was not interested in death or an afterlife. For Confucius, a person should strive to live the best possible life while here on earth. When urged by his disciples to speak on the subject he would often offer two responses. One rather simple and one linguistically adorned. His uncomplicated explanation would say he had not finished studying about life so why delve into questions about death. The longer reply actually offered a hint into his view of the inevitability of death: “The great mountain must crumble; The strong beam must break; And the wise man withers away like a plant.”

Rites for the dead are by no means neglected by Confucians. Because of his strong belief in such virtues as filial piety, honor, and formal ritual, Confucius urged his followers to engage in formal practices ranging from funerals to the building of small family shrines to honor the dead.

Developing Religious Tolerance

It seems Homer was right when he noted that “all men need their Gods.” In this chapter we demonstrated that there are a variety of those gods, some with names and some without names. As you saw, people turn to these gods to help them deal with the cosmic questions of how to live life and cope with death. We attempted to make it clear that our approach was similar to Friedman’s when he wrote, “God speaks multiple languages.”One problem, of course, is that in the twenty-first century there are thousands of people who do not welcome a bilingual or multicultural God. This disagreement over who God is and what he or she is saying has created a number of problems. That is to say, we are now experiencing a major collision of religious and spiritual beliefs. We have seen discord and conflict between “fundamental- ism and modernism,” conflicts involving “the sacred and the secular,” and debates full of vitriol between “religious exclusivism and religious pluralism.” Those who become swayed by these dichotomies do so for a host of reasons. As Prothero notes, some people seek vehemently to advance a theological point while “others stress religious differences in order to make the political point that religious civilizations are fated to clash.”Regardless of their motives, trying to advance rigid, extreme, and dichotomized positions in the name of a single ideology has made this a very dangerous world. It is a world where, fearing for all of us, the Dalai Lama appeals for every- one to meet their “universal responsibility” and find harmony among all the world’s religions. The question we face is clear—can the world’s great religions and multiple worldviews find the harmony the Dalai Lama seeks? Friedman poses the same question slightly differently: “Can Islam, Christianity, and Judaism know that God speaks Arabic on Fridays, Hebrew on Saturdays, and Latin on Sundays, and that he welcomes different human beings approaching him through their own history, out of their own history, out of their language and cultural heritage?”That answer is yet to be determined.


  • Worldview is a culture’s orientation toward God, humanity, nature, the universe, life, death, sickness, and other philosophical issues concerning existence.
  • Although worldview is communicated in a variety of ways (such as secularism and spirituality), religion is the predominant element of culture from which one’s worldview is derived.
  • Atheism is a worldview that does not believe in the existence of God.
  • Spiritualism is a personalized worldview that stresses self-discovery.
  • While all religions have some unique features, they share many similarities. These include, among other things, speculation about the meaning in life, sacred writings, rituals and ethics.
  • The six most prominent religious traditions are Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. These traditions present their members with definitions of reality, counsel on how to life and explanations about death.
  • Developing religious tolerance has increased in importance in the twenty-first century.