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RLG205H5 (2)
Chapter 8

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Chapter 8: Streams from the “West” and their Aftermath - Classical period: there is considerable evidence of Roman and Greek contact and/or influences. o Phoenicians first to sail to ports of India in the tenth century BCE - Yavanas – „foreign‟ merchants Religious minorities - Jews, “Syrian Christians” and Zoroastrians or Parsis Jewish communities - Three separate migrations: first two the oldes o One group: Cochin Jews settled into Kerala. o Bene Israel: Mumbai o Baghdadi Jews: nineteenth century migration of entrepreneurs and their families “Cochin Jews” - Cranganore on the Kerala coast - Came early in the common era - More likely most of them came and settled around the seventh century along with Arab merchants - Communities were primarily mercantile - Jewish settlers were given economic property rights o Also, the right of Jews to hold public festivals and Joseph Rabbani was the leader of the community - Community comprised of „white‟ Jews and „black‟ (copper) Jews - „black‟ Jews dressed like local Muslims - Adaptations of “Hindu” customs included the practice of tying a tali – marriage cord around the neck of the bride at the time of marriage. - Communities practiced a number of Jewish rituals: o Circumcision on the eight day o Sabbaths o Passover o Festivals of Pentecost Bene Israel - Tricked into Mumbai in the late 1740s, worked largely as oil pressers (Sabbath oil pressers “caste”). Syrian Christians - Living along the coast of Kerala by at least the mid-forth century. - Founded by apostle Thomas - Nestorians: who were considered to have unorthodox views of the Christ figure and refused to accept the doctrine of Mary as “Mother of God.” - Another unorthodox group: Monophysites, a groups founded by Eutychus, who claimed Christ had only a single, divine nature - Early Christians came to be known as Jacobites - Low point in Catholic- Syrian Christians came in 1599: When Bishop Meneze burned many of the books of Syrian Christians and ordered their conversion to Catholicism. - Emergence of three separate church bodies by the seventeenth century: 1) Romo-Syrians: used a Syrian rite, maintained adherence to pope, hence were Catholics of Syrian rite 2) Jacobite Syrians: Syrian hierarchy and not to the pop 3) Catholics: Latin rite th 4) Emerged in 18 century: Mar Thoma Christians, leadership of bishop Mar Thomas Arthanasius - Rite of passasge – annaprasana (the first feeding of solids to an infant of 6 months). Zoroastrians or Parsis - Zoroastrianism started as a reform movement founded by Iranian priest – th Zoroaster (who lived in 7 century BCE) - Religion was based on certain ancient Iranian practices - Varuna and Mithra personified water and fire respectively and Ahura Mazda came to be seen as ruler of the cosmos. - Ahuras (good spirits) and daevas (bad spirits) - established a form of monotheism which posited that Ahura Mazda fathered twin spirits, Spenta Mainyu – creator of all good things and Angra Mainyu – demiurge of evil - first religion to present an eschatology (doctrine of end times) pp. 169 - hymns used for the rituals – yasnas - gathas – poems ascrived to Zoroaster himself, became known as Avesta - Dachmas: towers of silence 170 - Ahura Mazda is now known as Ohramazd - Asha - Yasna: fire sacrifies - Ethics an
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