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Year 8 History of Religion  

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Druidism, the religion practiced by the Druids, involved the worship of many gods. Some gods were associated with elements of the natural world. Others were associated with human activities, such as the work of blacksmiths. The Druids believed the soul was immortal and entered a new human body after death. They practiced divination (predicting future events) by studying the flights of birds and the remains of sacrificed animals. They may have also sacrificed human beings. Most Druidic rituals took place in sacred oak groves or near bodies of water, such as bogs, lakes, and rivers. Druids believed water was a gateway to the world of the gods. Celts deposited valuable items, such as swords and jewelry, in watery places as offerings to the gods. 

From World Book online

Hamlin, C 2014, 'Druids' , World Book Student, World Book, Chicago, viewed 6 October 2014,


Australian Aboriginal peoples

According to Aboriginal beliefs, ancestral beings created the world long ago during a period called the Dreaming, or Dreamtime. The story of the Dreaming explains the creation of the present-day landscape, animals, plants, and people. According to this belief, the ancestral beings, called Dreamings, traveled across the land, making and naming the places and people who would belong there. These ancestral beings never died but merged with the natural world. Some of the Dreamings went into the sky or into the ground, or merged into hills, rocks, or water holes. Others became plants, animals, and people. They were shape shifters who could change back and forth between their human shape and their animal shape. According to their beliefs, even the sun and the moon once were Dreamings and walked the earth. The Dreamings are immortal and live eternally in sacred sites.

Rose, D 2014, 'Aboriginal people of Australia' , World Book Student, World Book, Chicago, viewed 6 October 2014,


How to use this Libguide

  • This page has a brief summary of each religion
  • Click on to the tabs above to go to more information about each religion
  • The aspects wheel is shown below
  • There is a link to the CCW passwords on each page so you can use World Book, Britannica or Weblinks
  • If you need a bibliography use the Online referencing generator below

Aspects wheel

How to make a bibliography




Religion was important in the public and private lives of the Inca. The Inca believed that the world was created by a god they called Viracocha. The earth goddess, Pachamama, was one of the most important female gods, and the sea and the moon were also worshiped as goddesses. These gods spoke to people through oracles (prophets) and expressed their anger by sending natural disasters, such as earthquakes and droughts, to punish those who displeased them.

Religious ceremonies marked important calendar events as well as events in the life of a ruler. Sacrifices and offerings were important in all Inca religious ceremonies, especially at the death of the emperor. 

Priests were important in Inca society. Priests made offerings, performed sacrifices, and maintained the temples. Aclla (chosen women) prepared sacred foods to be used in religious ceremonies and wove the cloth worn by the rulers and priests.

The Inca believed in three worlds: an underworld of the ancestors, a celestial world of the gods, and an earthly world where people live. 

Williams, P 2014, 'Inca' , World Book Student, World Book, Chicago, viewed 6 October 2014,


American Indians

American Indians do not follow one religion but some beliefs are common for many tribes. Their main belief is of a mysterious force in nature, an unseen spirit superior to human beings which is capable of influencing their life. People depend on the spirit when searching for food, for healing the sick and for victory in war. The spirit helps guide people through the hardships of life. Priests perform public ceremonies to ensure the supply of food, at planting, at harvest and rain dances. Legends of gods, spirits and ancestors are handed down from parent to child. Stories are told of the world before people, the origin of people and tribes and tales of tribal heroes.

Kolata, A, Fixico, DL & Neely, S 2014, 'Indian, American' , World Book Student, World Book, Chicago, viewed 6 October 2014,


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