Rlg 101 chapter 1

2. Feb 2018

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Rlg 101 chapter 1

  1. University of Cambodia Lectured by: Mut Somoeun, M.Ed RGL 101: Introduction to religion
  2. Religion? Why Religion? Human and God/ gods? Religion and Morality/ Ethics? Religion to Peace and Human Rights?
  3. What is Religion? • In narrow sense: – Teaching, advice, and command of a respectfully recognized teacher (may be considered as a God) • In broad sense: – Set of belief recognized and followed by the followers as the influence of the super/hero man – The belief in supernatural influences – Belief in the holy teaching and command (doctrine) of the God man… – Teaching people to be moral – The aspects of ritual, morality, theology, and mystical experience
  4. What is Religion?  Religare – Latin root – Re plus ligare – ‘again’ combined with ‘to bind’ meaning ‘to tie fast’  Religia – Latin – ‘obligation’ or ‘bond’ Religion deals with the big issues in life – good and evil – important to people. - Ex. Some believers cling to their faith and even prepared to die for it.
  5. Meaning of “Religion” • Religion is “to join again,” “to reconnect.” • The Latin roots of the word religion are thought to be re and lig – Re means “again” – Lig means “join” or “connect” (as in “ligament”) • The word religion suggests the joining of our natural, human world to the sacred world.
  6. Types of Religion • Religion of Animism / Super-Naturalism – Belief in super nature (natural influence) – Ex: belief in mountains, sea, lakes, trees,… • Religion of God Existence – Belief in God/ gods – Ex: God creates everything and destroy it,… • Religion of Non-God Existence/ Religion of truth Philosophy – Philosophy of life, reality, rationality, logics,… – Ex: Life is suffering,…
  7. “Religion is the substance of culture, and culture the form of religion”
  8. Why do religions exist? • Religions help us deal with a variety of human needs. For example: –Give us a way to think about our own mortality –Help us to find security in an insecure world –Organize us socially –Assist the poorest and the weakest with survival –Stimulate artistic production
  9. Why Religion Exist? (continued)  Reasons why religion exists: 1. It serves many human needs. One primary need is having a means to deal with our mortality. • Religion can help us cope with death, and religious rituals can offer us comfort. 2. It helps us to respond to our natural wonder about ourselves and the cosmos 3. It’s a human attempt to feel more secure in an unfeeling universe. 4. It grows out of psychological needs 5. It is a way of life founded upon the apprehension of sacredness in existence
  10. Why study the religion?  Each religion is interesting in its own right, as a complex system of values, relationships, personalities, and human creativity.  The study of religions require sympathy and objectivity. While it is true that being a believer of a particular religion brings a special insight that an outsider cannot have, it is also true that an outsider can appreciate things that are not always obvious to the insider.  In a multicultural world, tolerance of differences is valuable, but enjoyment of differences is even better.  The value of the study of religions is that it helps us recognize and appreciate the religious influences that are everywhere.
  11. Major Religions in the World Today • 1. Christianity • 2. Islam • 3. Hinduism • 4. Buddhism • 5. Judaism
  12. Key Elements of Religions • Religion is simply defined as belief system which consists of 7 features: – Doctrine (basic principles & teachings) – Mythology (stories of gods & history of RGL) – Concept of religious experiences (consciousness) – Institutions (Church, Buddhist monastery...) – Ethical content (practical instructions) – Rituals (ceremony, sacrifice) – Sacred objects & places (inanimate items...) (Ninian Smart, British Philosopher & theologian)
  13. Religious Doctrine • The written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group • The basic principles of any religion are known as doctrine – believers are taught to understand and accept. • Some religions open to interpret then leads faith to change and diversify, but some do not. • Sources of doctrines: scriptures; sacred texts; and continual process of reading & interpreting texts
  14. • Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or belief system. • Religious doctrine - the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group • Tenet; dogma; religious doctrine; reading; version; creed Religious Doctrine
  15. Doctrinal or Philosophical Dimension • The principles of a tradition • Typically explain complex ideas • May or may not be familiar to the average believer, but is part of the scholarly tradition
  16. Religious Mythology • A mythology is a collection of stories about God/ gods, covering particularly the origins of the cosmos and humanity, and the role of divine. • A religion’s mythology underpins its beliefs, explains the way of the world is, and provides moral lessons to guide the followers
  17. Religious Experiences • Common to all religions is the idea that worshippers , in some way or another, can experience the absolute, or God. This experience is most obviously recognizable as a kind of heightened state of being – ecstasy, trance, exaltation, or calm – reaches beyond the everyday.
  18. Religious Experiences (continued) • Founders, Prophets, and Heroes • Leaders and Visionaries • Followers and Worshippers
  19. Religious Institutions • Religious Institutions are the groups of people who come together to lead a faith. • A religion may have a single, central leader, who presides over a highly organized administration; or it may have a less formal governance, or consist of several churches with local leaders.
  20. Religious Institutions (continued) • Monasteries/ temples; Mosques..... – Priests – Teachers – Types of organization (structure)
  21. Social and Institutional Dimension
  22. Ethical Content • Common to all the world’s religions is the idea that we should try to live better lives. • Sacred texts and later teachings brim with the moral instructions of early leaders, of prophets, and of God himself. • The result is a rich framework of ethical values for all followers to live
  23. Ethical or Legal Dimension • The things required for a believer
  24. The Buddhist Code of Moral Conduct  1. To abstain from taking life  2. To abstain from taking what is not given  3. To abstain from sensuous misconduct  4. To abstain from false speech  5. To abstain from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind
  25. Rituals • A common theme runs through practice of rituals in all the world’s religions: rituals that resonate with the regular of human life give believers chances to connect with the absolute – at specific stages of development, at particular times of years, or as part of regular worship.
  26. Rituals (continued) • Rites of Passage • Calendar Festivals • Regular Worship
  27. “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  28. Sacred Objects and Places • Held in special reverence, sacred places and objects are often linked with specific deities, religious leaders, or specific times in a faith’s history. Places may be marked with grand temples or monuments, but even a wayside shrine used for spiritual contemplation can be sacred.
  29. Sacred Objects and Places • Natural Sites • Historical Sites • Pilgrimage (Ex. Becca/ Bakkah in Saudi Arab) • Holy Objects
  30. Questions?