SlideShare ist ein Scribd-Unternehmen logo
Approaches, Academic Study, Defining, and
Questioning
The Academic Study of Religion
 “To study the world’s religions is to progress from mere
observation of things to understanding their meaning
and relevance” and “to enhance one’s understanding
and appreciation of the rich variety of culture’s around
the globe.” (pg. 3-4)
 Learning about religion increases cultural literacy.
 Religions are foundational aspects of cultures around
the globe.
 Religion plays a crucial role in molding, transforming,
and transmitting cultures.
The Academic Study of Religion
 “Religion is arguably a culture’s most potent force, in
ways both constructive and destructive.” (pg.4)
 Religions are powerful and sometimes even dangerous.
 The study of religion arose within Christian
intellectual culture that viewed Christianity as a model
of what a religion ought to be and that it was the only
true religion.
 Until the late 19th century, theorists only applied the
term “world religion” to Christianity.
 Eventually Buddhism, Judaism, and occasionally Islam
were considered to be in this group as well.
The Academic Study of Religion
 Today there are over 4,200 religions in the world.
There are five “major” world religions:
1. Hinduism
2. Buddhism
3. Judaism
4. Christianity
5. Islam
 These five are the primary focus of the course. We will be
studying each of these in detail throughout the semester.
The Academic Study of Religion
 “Do’s and Don’ts” of religions studies:
- Our study does not privilege any religion as being
somehow exemplary or the model with which others
are to be compared.
- We do need to avoid terms and categories that are
rooted in this privileging, such as: “faith”
- We do not have preconceived notions, underlying
motives, or assumptions of what any religion is,
including our own.
- For example: “All religions pretty much say the same thing.”
The Academic Study of Religion
 Prior to the 19th century, it rarely occurred to anyone to
consider religion as an entity that could be separated from
other aspects of culture.
 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) thought religion was
something separate from the various phenomena the
human mind is capable of perceiving.
 This separation as well as the European conquering of
“other” lands and their unfamiliar religions only increased
the efforts to understand religion.
 Be careful not to assume that all peoples recognize religion
as a distinct category or even define religion, some do not.
The Academic Study of Religion
 Academic study of religion is NOT theology.
 Theology is the field of inquiry that focuses on
considering the nature of the divine.
 Theology is an example of doing and being religious.
 Religious studies is primarily based on an approach to
knowledge that depends on analysis of empirical data.
 Defining “religion” is extremely difficult and has
various meanings across cultures and traditions.
 There have been attempts at a universal definition of
religion but none have been totally successful… yet?
The Academic Study of Religion
 Although a definition has not been fully agreed upon,
defining terms helps us draw clear boundaries around
the subject of study.
 Preconceived notions are based on our own culture’s
norms.
 Definitions reveal as much about the historical era and
about the intentions of the individual theorist as they
do about the nature of religion.
 We will now look at a few definitions of religion:
The Academic Study of Religion
 “A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices
relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and
forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into one single
moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to
them.” -Emile Durkheim
 “[Religion is]… the feelings, acts and experiences of
individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend
themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may
consider the divine.” - William James
 “[The] religions aspect points to that which is ultimate,
infinite, unconditional in man’s spiritual life. Religion, in the
largest and most basic sense of the word, is ultimate
concern.” - Paul Tillich
The Academic Study of Religion
 Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was a French sociologist who was a
founding figure of the sociological study of religion. His
definition has an emphasis on the social nature of religion.
 Williams James (1842-1910) was an American psychologist who
emphasized the individual nature of religion. He leaves out the
social aspects.
 Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a Protestant theologian who
connected religion to a focus on man’s “spiritual life.” This
definition is very broad and says nothing of specific content in
religious traditions, however, it has been very influential because
of his emphasis on “ultimate concern.”
 What about those who are “spiritual” and not part of a religion?
The Academic Study of Religion
 The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion states: “One may clarify
the term religion by definition it as a system of beliefs and
practices that are relative to superhuman beings.”
 Bruce Lincoln, one of the most prominent contemporary
theorists of religion, asserts there are four “domains:”
1. A discourse whose concerns transcend the human, temporal, and
contingent, and that claims for itself a similarly transcendent status…
2. A set of practices whose purpose is to produce a proper world and/or
proper human subjects, as defined by a religious discourse to which
these practices are connected…
3. A community whose members construct their identity with reference
to a religious discourse and its attendant practices…
4. An institution that regulates religious discourse, practices, and
community, reproducing them over time and modifying them as
necessary, while asserting their eternal validity and transcendent
value.
The Academic Study of Religion
 Lincoln’s definition is precise and inclusive.
 By basing religion on the notion of the “transcendent”
rather than on “supernatural beings,” etc. his
definition encompasses Confucianism and certain
forms of Buddhism that do not focus on belief in
supernatural beings.
 Peter Berger, another sociologist and contributor to
the study of religion, said, “a definition is not more or
less true, only more or less useful.”
What Religions Do
 No matter what you think a religion is, a religion does.
 Durkheim’s definition seems to reduce religion to
being an effect of societal forces. Religion, in turn,
serves to promote social unity.
 Psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) said,
“Religion would thus be the universal obsessional
neurosis of humanity; like the obsessional neurosis of
children, it arose out of the Oedipus complex, out of
the relation to the father.”
 Freud was an atheist whose psychological theory held
religion to be undesirable.
What Religions Do
 Political philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) said:
“Man makes religion, religion does not make man. In
other words, religion is the self-consciousness and self-
feeling of man who has either not yet found himself or
has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract
being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of
man, the state, society… Religion is the sigh of the
oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just
as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium
of the people.”
What Religions Do
 Marx dismissed all forms of ideology as being abstractions
and obstacles to the pursuit of true well-being. He felt that
religion was like an opiate that deters the suffering
individual from attending to the true cause of the problem.
 Freud felt that religion was an effect of other forces,
viewing it as a by-product of psychological forces. He felt
that religion functions as an unhealthy but soothing buffer
against the inner terrors of the psyche.
 Freud and Marx never really tried to define religion, more
accurately, they tried to explain it away.
 Religions may function in these ways at certain times in
certain situations, but overall, there is much more to them.
What Religions Do
 Why do religions exist?
 Religions naturally respond to human needs and
readily acknowledge reasons for their doctrines and
rituals.
 There is a perceived separation from the sacred.
 Most religions have a “path” to follow that leads to
perfection or that offers fulfillment.
 Most religions arose out of fear of death. Religion was
developed as a coping mechanism for loss or the
possibility of loss.
What Religions Do
 Religions typically assert that ultimate reality is somehow
divine, and explanation of the nature and role of the divine
takes center stage in a religion’s belief system.
 “Divine” does not always mean God or gods.
 Theistic/Theism – belief in God or gods.
 Nontheistic/Atheism– no belief in God or gods.
 Polytheism – belief in more than one God or gods.
 Monotheism – belief in only one God.
 Henotheism – belief in more than only God or gods, but
elevates one of them to special status.
 Pantheism – the divine is equal to nature or the material
world.
What Religions Do
 Quasi-divine figures (supernatural but not gods):
angels, demons, giants, saints, monsters, mythical
creatures, etc.
 Monism – belief that all reality is ultimately one.
(Hindu – Brahman = essence of all) Non-dualistic. No
distinction between the divine and humans.
 Revelation – divine reality being revealed to human
beings. (Christian – Bible; Ten Commandments)
Usually these are recorded = scripture. (Buddhism –
text + direct experience (meditation) = revelation)
What Religions Do
 Sacred space – Many religions have sacred monuments, landmarks, or
places that have significant religious meaning.
 Origin and status of human beings and this planet are a primary focus
for many religions. Also, how to conduct yourself in this world.
 Cosmology (world or universe) strongly influences the degree to
which a religion’s adherents are involved in caring for the world.
 Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all maintain belief in
samsara, the “wheel of life,” that implies a series of lives, deaths, and
rebirths for every individual.
 Some religions have little to say about the afterlife.
 Christianity believes there is Heaven and Hell but even Catholics
believe there is an “in-between” holding place called purgatory where
you can gradually be purified of sin.
What Religions Do
 Numinous experience – characterized by mysterium
tremendum and fascinans. “Awe-inspiring mystery” of
the ‘wholly other’ and “fascinating” or overwhelming
attraction.
 Rudolf Otto – The Idea of the Holy
 Encounter with “the Holy” described as “numinous.” It
is alluring and frightening at the same time. The
biblical phenomenon or the “fear of God” fits this
description. He is feared but is also the source of life
and the hope for salvation.
What Religions Do
 Mystical experience – the complete dissolution of an
individual’s sense of selfhood. A state of perfect bliss
and ultimate fulfillment. (Buddhism – nirvana)
 Both the numinous experience and nirvana are
examples of transcendent states of existence.
 For Otto, this experience depended on the existence of
“the Holy.” For many Buddhists, the experience of
nirvana does not depend on the belief in God or gods.
 Achieving these, can be considered an ultimate
objective of the religious life.
Dimensions of Religion
 Ninian Smart (1927-2001) asserted there was a
“dimensional” scheme that divides the various aspects
of religious traditions:
1. The mythic (sacred narrative)
2. The doctrinal (or philosophical)
3. The ethical (or legal)
4. The ritual (or pratical)
5. The experiential (or emotional)
6. The social
7. The material
Dimensions of Religion
 Religions involve beliefs and myths.
 Beliefs can be observed and interpreted. These often
become doctrines or creeds. These are concepts that
are believed in. (Christianity most emphasizes this.)
 Myth DOES NOT MEAN FALSE. I repeat, myth DOES
NOT mean false. Myth is set forth in narrative form
and originally conveyed orally. Myths do not depend
on empirical verifiability or rational coherence for
their power. They are accepted by believers as true
accounts. (Origin myths)
Religions in the Modern World
 Religious influence can be seen in art, architecture, music, and
daily rituals.
 The roles of women are changing within most religious
traditions.
 This is due in part to the work of those in the fields of feminist
theory, gender studies, and women’s studies.
 Religion and science often intersect. (Biblical creation and
evolution; cosmology; Biblically - Earth is the center of the
cosmos)
 Balance (insider and outsider viewpoints) and empathy
(capacity of seeing things from another’s perspective) are
imperative for studying religion.
 Comparative and multidisciplinary approaches are preferred.
Religions in the Modern World
 Modernization – the general process through which
societies transform economically, socially, and culturally to
keep pace with an increasingly competitve global
marketplace.
 Urbanization – the shift of population centers to cities
instead of rural, agricultural settings.
 Globalization – the linking and intermixing of cultures.
 Multiculturalism – the coexistence of different peoples
and their cultural ways in one time and place.
 Secularization – the general turning away from
traditional religious authority and institutions.

Weitere ähnliche Inhalte

Was ist angesagt?

Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
Ryan LeBlanc
 
Christianity
ChristianityChristianity
Christianity
Jan Ine
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
Dokka Srinivasu
 
Very basic introduction to hinduism!
Very basic introduction to hinduism!Very basic introduction to hinduism!
Very basic introduction to hinduism!
katherine981
 
Christianity
ChristianityChristianity
Christianity
sjhomer13
 
Buddhism
BuddhismBuddhism
Buddhism
jschol31
 
Religion
ReligionReligion
Religion
Seth Allen
 
Hinduism: The Basics
Hinduism: The BasicsHinduism: The Basics
Hinduism: The Basics
Megan Carty
 
Buddhism
BuddhismBuddhism
Buddhism
Donald Johnson
 
Ppt humanities judaism
Ppt humanities judaismPpt humanities judaism
Ppt humanities judaism
Lester Soriano
 
World Religions-Christianity
World Religions-ChristianityWorld Religions-Christianity
World Religions-Christianity
Susan NicIago
 
Monotheism
MonotheismMonotheism
Monotheism
Kiran Fatima
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
ProfWillAdams
 
What Is Buddhism
What Is BuddhismWhat Is Buddhism
What Is Buddhism
kenyalins
 
Hinduism Presentation
Hinduism PresentationHinduism Presentation
Hinduism Presentation
erinlord
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
Kurt Capsula
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
Christianity, Islam, and JudaismChristianity, Islam, and Judaism
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
HistoryExpert006
 
Buddhism Diversity Presentation
Buddhism Diversity PresentationBuddhism Diversity Presentation
Buddhism Diversity Presentation
ANicerJealousness
 

Was ist angesagt? (20)

Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
 
Christianity
ChristianityChristianity
Christianity
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
 
Very basic introduction to hinduism!
Very basic introduction to hinduism!Very basic introduction to hinduism!
Very basic introduction to hinduism!
 
Christianity
ChristianityChristianity
Christianity
 
Buddhism
BuddhismBuddhism
Buddhism
 
Religion
ReligionReligion
Religion
 
Hinduism: The Basics
Hinduism: The BasicsHinduism: The Basics
Hinduism: The Basics
 
Buddhism
BuddhismBuddhism
Buddhism
 
Ppt humanities judaism
Ppt humanities judaismPpt humanities judaism
Ppt humanities judaism
 
World Religions-Christianity
World Religions-ChristianityWorld Religions-Christianity
World Religions-Christianity
 
Monotheism
MonotheismMonotheism
Monotheism
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
 
What Is Buddhism
What Is BuddhismWhat Is Buddhism
What Is Buddhism
 
Hinduism Presentation
Hinduism PresentationHinduism Presentation
Hinduism Presentation
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
 
Hinduism
HinduismHinduism
Hinduism
 
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
Christianity, Islam, and JudaismChristianity, Islam, and Judaism
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
 
World Religions
World ReligionsWorld Religions
World Religions
 
Buddhism Diversity Presentation
Buddhism Diversity PresentationBuddhism Diversity Presentation
Buddhism Diversity Presentation
 

Ähnlich wie An Invitation to the Study of World Religions Chapter 1

11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx
11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx
11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx
Michael Bautista
 
Essay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docx
Essay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docxEssay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docx
Essay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docx
YASHU40
 
Lesson 1 understanding the nature of religion
Lesson 1 understanding the nature of religionLesson 1 understanding the nature of religion
Lesson 1 understanding the nature of religion
Justice Emilio Angeles Gancayco Memorial High School SHS
 
Religion
ReligionReligion
Religion
Eric Strayer
 
FIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docx
FIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docxFIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docx
FIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docx
greg1eden90113
 
HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...
HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...
HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...
Dr Ian Ellis-Jones
 
World Religion
World ReligionWorld Religion
World Religion
Robin Sargent
 
1.intro to rel studies and arh
1.intro to rel studies and arh1.intro to rel studies and arh
1.intro to rel studies and arh
Jeffrey W. Danese
 
Worldview
WorldviewWorldview
RELIGIOUS RESPONSES 1C H A P T E R 1RELIGIOUS RESP.docx
RELIGIOUS RESPONSES  1C H A P T E R  1RELIGIOUS RESP.docxRELIGIOUS RESPONSES  1C H A P T E R  1RELIGIOUS RESP.docx
RELIGIOUS RESPONSES 1C H A P T E R 1RELIGIOUS RESP.docx
audeleypearl
 
Chapter 6: Religion in Anthropology
Chapter 6: Religion in AnthropologyChapter 6: Religion in Anthropology
Chapter 6: Religion in Anthropology
Sagar Ibrahim Siyal
 
Module-14.pptx
Module-14.pptxModule-14.pptx
Module-14.pptx
AllaineBenitez
 
Sociology and Religion: Religion as a Social Institution
Sociology and Religion: Religion as a Social InstitutionSociology and Religion: Religion as a Social Institution
Sociology and Religion: Religion as a Social Institution
Rohan Byanjankar
 
Anthropology of Religion
Anthropology of ReligionAnthropology of Religion
Anthropology of Religion
Kebede Lemu Bekelcha
 
Religion.ppt
Religion.pptReligion.ppt
Religion.ppt
PunongGrandeNHSBanga
 
15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx
15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx
15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx
aulasnilda
 
Religious Institutions.pptx
Religious Institutions.pptxReligious Institutions.pptx
Religious Institutions.pptx
zaidiAyan
 
Religion and belief systems
Religion and belief systemsReligion and belief systems
Religion and belief systems
XyreneKayeYap
 
Intro unit power point
Intro unit power pointIntro unit power point
Intro unit power point
wendlingk
 
Week 11: Religion
Week 11: Religion Week 11: Religion
Week 11: Religion
kilgore1
 

Ähnlich wie An Invitation to the Study of World Religions Chapter 1 (20)

11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx
11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx
11. Religion and Society An Intro. and Sprituality and Social Work.pptx
 
Essay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docx
Essay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docxEssay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docx
Essay 1 generally good content; but some issues with content as n.docx
 
Lesson 1 understanding the nature of religion
Lesson 1 understanding the nature of religionLesson 1 understanding the nature of religion
Lesson 1 understanding the nature of religion
 
Religion
ReligionReligion
Religion
 
FIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docx
FIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docxFIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docx
FIGURE 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such as this large m.docx
 
HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...
HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...
HUMANISM – RELIGION OR LIFE STANCE? A CRITICAL AND PROVOCATIVE ANALYSIS OF TH...
 
World Religion
World ReligionWorld Religion
World Religion
 
1.intro to rel studies and arh
1.intro to rel studies and arh1.intro to rel studies and arh
1.intro to rel studies and arh
 
Worldview
WorldviewWorldview
Worldview
 
RELIGIOUS RESPONSES 1C H A P T E R 1RELIGIOUS RESP.docx
RELIGIOUS RESPONSES  1C H A P T E R  1RELIGIOUS RESP.docxRELIGIOUS RESPONSES  1C H A P T E R  1RELIGIOUS RESP.docx
RELIGIOUS RESPONSES 1C H A P T E R 1RELIGIOUS RESP.docx
 
Chapter 6: Religion in Anthropology
Chapter 6: Religion in AnthropologyChapter 6: Religion in Anthropology
Chapter 6: Religion in Anthropology
 
Module-14.pptx
Module-14.pptxModule-14.pptx
Module-14.pptx
 
Sociology and Religion: Religion as a Social Institution
Sociology and Religion: Religion as a Social InstitutionSociology and Religion: Religion as a Social Institution
Sociology and Religion: Religion as a Social Institution
 
Anthropology of Religion
Anthropology of ReligionAnthropology of Religion
Anthropology of Religion
 
Religion.ppt
Religion.pptReligion.ppt
Religion.ppt
 
15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx
15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx
15 ReligionFigure 15.1 Religions come in many forms, such .docx
 
Religious Institutions.pptx
Religious Institutions.pptxReligious Institutions.pptx
Religious Institutions.pptx
 
Religion and belief systems
Religion and belief systemsReligion and belief systems
Religion and belief systems
 
Intro unit power point
Intro unit power pointIntro unit power point
Intro unit power point
 
Week 11: Religion
Week 11: Religion Week 11: Religion
Week 11: Religion
 

Kürzlich hochgeladen

Webinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional Skills
Webinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional SkillsWebinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional Skills
Webinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional Skills
EduSkills OECD
 
Year-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 Dashboard
Year-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 DashboardYear-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 Dashboard
Year-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 Dashboard
Celine George
 
National Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptx
National Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptxNational Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptx
National Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptx
EdsNatividad
 
ENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUM
ENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUMENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUM
ENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUM
HappieMontevirgenCas
 
Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?
Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?
Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?
Rakesh Jalan
 
2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference
2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference
2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference
KlettWorldLanguages
 
Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...
Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...
Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...
Murugan Solaiyappan
 
NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource Book
NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource BookNAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource Book
NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource Book
lakitawilson
 
(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening
(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening
(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening
MJDuyan
 
Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal Hygiene
Edukasyong Pantahanan at  Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal HygieneEdukasyong Pantahanan at  Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal Hygiene
Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal Hygiene
MJDuyan
 
What is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 Slides
What is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 SlidesWhat is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 Slides
What is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 Slides
Celine George
 
How to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POS
How to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POSHow to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POS
How to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POS
Celine George
 
Odoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On Facebook
Odoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On FacebookOdoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On Facebook
Odoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On Facebook
Celine George
 
New Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 Slides
New Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 SlidesNew Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 Slides
New Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 Slides
Celine George
 
Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.
Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.
Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.
DrRavindrakshirsagar1
 
How to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 Notebook
How to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 NotebookHow to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 Notebook
How to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 Notebook
Celine George
 
Unlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptx
Unlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptxUnlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptx
Unlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptx
bipin95
 
The Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdf
The Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdfThe Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdf
The Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdf
JackieSparrow3
 
CTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDF
CTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDFCTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDF
CTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDF
hammadmughal76316
 
NC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline Partnership
NC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline PartnershipNC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline Partnership
NC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline Partnership
Mebane Rash
 

Kürzlich hochgeladen (20)

Webinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional Skills
Webinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional SkillsWebinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional Skills
Webinar Innovative assessments for SOcial Emotional Skills
 
Year-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 Dashboard
Year-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 DashboardYear-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 Dashboard
Year-to-Date Filter in Odoo 17 Dashboard
 
National Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptx
National Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptxNational Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptx
National Learning Camp Grade 7 ENGLISH 7-LESSON 7.pptx
 
ENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUM
ENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUMENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUM
ENGLISH-7-CURRICULUM MAP- MATATAG CURRICULUM
 
Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?
Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?
Is Email Marketing Really Effective In 2024?
 
2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference
2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference
2024 KWL Back 2 School Summer Conference
 
Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...
Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...
Lecture_Notes_Unit4_Chapter_8_9_10_RDBMS for the students affiliated by alaga...
 
NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource Book
NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource BookNAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource Book
NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Resource Book
 
(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening
(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening
(T.L.E.) Agriculture: Essentials of Gardening
 
Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal Hygiene
Edukasyong Pantahanan at  Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal HygieneEdukasyong Pantahanan at  Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal Hygiene
Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan 1: Personal Hygiene
 
What is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 Slides
What is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 SlidesWhat is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 Slides
What is Rescue Session in Odoo 17 POS - Odoo 17 Slides
 
How to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POS
How to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POSHow to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POS
How to Manage Early Receipt Printing in Odoo 17 POS
 
Odoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On Facebook
Odoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On FacebookOdoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On Facebook
Odoo 17 Social Marketing - Lead Generation On Facebook
 
New Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 Slides
New Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 SlidesNew Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 Slides
New Features in Odoo 17 Sign - Odoo 17 Slides
 
Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.
Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.
Genetics Teaching Plan: Dr.Kshirsagar R.V.
 
How to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 Notebook
How to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 NotebookHow to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 Notebook
How to Add Colour Kanban Records in Odoo 17 Notebook
 
Unlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptx
Unlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptxUnlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptx
Unlocking Educational Synergy-DIKSHA & Google Classroom.pptx
 
The Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdf
The Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdfThe Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdf
The Jewish Trinity : Sabbath,Shekinah and Sanctuary 4.pdf
 
CTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDF
CTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDFCTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDF
CTD Punjab Police Past Papers MCQs PPSC PDF
 
NC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline Partnership
NC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline PartnershipNC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline Partnership
NC Public Schools Involved in NCDPI, Zipline Partnership
 

An Invitation to the Study of World Religions Chapter 1

  • 1. Approaches, Academic Study, Defining, and Questioning
  • 2. The Academic Study of Religion  “To study the world’s religions is to progress from mere observation of things to understanding their meaning and relevance” and “to enhance one’s understanding and appreciation of the rich variety of culture’s around the globe.” (pg. 3-4)  Learning about religion increases cultural literacy.  Religions are foundational aspects of cultures around the globe.  Religion plays a crucial role in molding, transforming, and transmitting cultures.
  • 3. The Academic Study of Religion  “Religion is arguably a culture’s most potent force, in ways both constructive and destructive.” (pg.4)  Religions are powerful and sometimes even dangerous.  The study of religion arose within Christian intellectual culture that viewed Christianity as a model of what a religion ought to be and that it was the only true religion.  Until the late 19th century, theorists only applied the term “world religion” to Christianity.  Eventually Buddhism, Judaism, and occasionally Islam were considered to be in this group as well.
  • 4. The Academic Study of Religion  Today there are over 4,200 religions in the world. There are five “major” world religions: 1. Hinduism 2. Buddhism 3. Judaism 4. Christianity 5. Islam  These five are the primary focus of the course. We will be studying each of these in detail throughout the semester.
  • 5. The Academic Study of Religion  “Do’s and Don’ts” of religions studies: - Our study does not privilege any religion as being somehow exemplary or the model with which others are to be compared. - We do need to avoid terms and categories that are rooted in this privileging, such as: “faith” - We do not have preconceived notions, underlying motives, or assumptions of what any religion is, including our own. - For example: “All religions pretty much say the same thing.”
  • 6. The Academic Study of Religion  Prior to the 19th century, it rarely occurred to anyone to consider religion as an entity that could be separated from other aspects of culture.  Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) thought religion was something separate from the various phenomena the human mind is capable of perceiving.  This separation as well as the European conquering of “other” lands and their unfamiliar religions only increased the efforts to understand religion.  Be careful not to assume that all peoples recognize religion as a distinct category or even define religion, some do not.
  • 7. The Academic Study of Religion  Academic study of religion is NOT theology.  Theology is the field of inquiry that focuses on considering the nature of the divine.  Theology is an example of doing and being religious.  Religious studies is primarily based on an approach to knowledge that depends on analysis of empirical data.  Defining “religion” is extremely difficult and has various meanings across cultures and traditions.  There have been attempts at a universal definition of religion but none have been totally successful… yet?
  • 8. The Academic Study of Religion  Although a definition has not been fully agreed upon, defining terms helps us draw clear boundaries around the subject of study.  Preconceived notions are based on our own culture’s norms.  Definitions reveal as much about the historical era and about the intentions of the individual theorist as they do about the nature of religion.  We will now look at a few definitions of religion:
  • 9. The Academic Study of Religion  “A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.” -Emile Durkheim  “[Religion is]… the feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.” - William James  “[The] religions aspect points to that which is ultimate, infinite, unconditional in man’s spiritual life. Religion, in the largest and most basic sense of the word, is ultimate concern.” - Paul Tillich
  • 10. The Academic Study of Religion  Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was a French sociologist who was a founding figure of the sociological study of religion. His definition has an emphasis on the social nature of religion.  Williams James (1842-1910) was an American psychologist who emphasized the individual nature of religion. He leaves out the social aspects.  Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a Protestant theologian who connected religion to a focus on man’s “spiritual life.” This definition is very broad and says nothing of specific content in religious traditions, however, it has been very influential because of his emphasis on “ultimate concern.”  What about those who are “spiritual” and not part of a religion?
  • 11. The Academic Study of Religion  The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion states: “One may clarify the term religion by definition it as a system of beliefs and practices that are relative to superhuman beings.”  Bruce Lincoln, one of the most prominent contemporary theorists of religion, asserts there are four “domains:” 1. A discourse whose concerns transcend the human, temporal, and contingent, and that claims for itself a similarly transcendent status… 2. A set of practices whose purpose is to produce a proper world and/or proper human subjects, as defined by a religious discourse to which these practices are connected… 3. A community whose members construct their identity with reference to a religious discourse and its attendant practices… 4. An institution that regulates religious discourse, practices, and community, reproducing them over time and modifying them as necessary, while asserting their eternal validity and transcendent value.
  • 12. The Academic Study of Religion  Lincoln’s definition is precise and inclusive.  By basing religion on the notion of the “transcendent” rather than on “supernatural beings,” etc. his definition encompasses Confucianism and certain forms of Buddhism that do not focus on belief in supernatural beings.  Peter Berger, another sociologist and contributor to the study of religion, said, “a definition is not more or less true, only more or less useful.”
  • 13. What Religions Do  No matter what you think a religion is, a religion does.  Durkheim’s definition seems to reduce religion to being an effect of societal forces. Religion, in turn, serves to promote social unity.  Psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) said, “Religion would thus be the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity; like the obsessional neurosis of children, it arose out of the Oedipus complex, out of the relation to the father.”  Freud was an atheist whose psychological theory held religion to be undesirable.
  • 14. What Religions Do  Political philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) said: “Man makes religion, religion does not make man. In other words, religion is the self-consciousness and self- feeling of man who has either not yet found himself or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, the state, society… Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”
  • 15. What Religions Do  Marx dismissed all forms of ideology as being abstractions and obstacles to the pursuit of true well-being. He felt that religion was like an opiate that deters the suffering individual from attending to the true cause of the problem.  Freud felt that religion was an effect of other forces, viewing it as a by-product of psychological forces. He felt that religion functions as an unhealthy but soothing buffer against the inner terrors of the psyche.  Freud and Marx never really tried to define religion, more accurately, they tried to explain it away.  Religions may function in these ways at certain times in certain situations, but overall, there is much more to them.
  • 16. What Religions Do  Why do religions exist?  Religions naturally respond to human needs and readily acknowledge reasons for their doctrines and rituals.  There is a perceived separation from the sacred.  Most religions have a “path” to follow that leads to perfection or that offers fulfillment.  Most religions arose out of fear of death. Religion was developed as a coping mechanism for loss or the possibility of loss.
  • 17. What Religions Do  Religions typically assert that ultimate reality is somehow divine, and explanation of the nature and role of the divine takes center stage in a religion’s belief system.  “Divine” does not always mean God or gods.  Theistic/Theism – belief in God or gods.  Nontheistic/Atheism– no belief in God or gods.  Polytheism – belief in more than one God or gods.  Monotheism – belief in only one God.  Henotheism – belief in more than only God or gods, but elevates one of them to special status.  Pantheism – the divine is equal to nature or the material world.
  • 18. What Religions Do  Quasi-divine figures (supernatural but not gods): angels, demons, giants, saints, monsters, mythical creatures, etc.  Monism – belief that all reality is ultimately one. (Hindu – Brahman = essence of all) Non-dualistic. No distinction between the divine and humans.  Revelation – divine reality being revealed to human beings. (Christian – Bible; Ten Commandments) Usually these are recorded = scripture. (Buddhism – text + direct experience (meditation) = revelation)
  • 19. What Religions Do  Sacred space – Many religions have sacred monuments, landmarks, or places that have significant religious meaning.  Origin and status of human beings and this planet are a primary focus for many religions. Also, how to conduct yourself in this world.  Cosmology (world or universe) strongly influences the degree to which a religion’s adherents are involved in caring for the world.  Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all maintain belief in samsara, the “wheel of life,” that implies a series of lives, deaths, and rebirths for every individual.  Some religions have little to say about the afterlife.  Christianity believes there is Heaven and Hell but even Catholics believe there is an “in-between” holding place called purgatory where you can gradually be purified of sin.
  • 20. What Religions Do  Numinous experience – characterized by mysterium tremendum and fascinans. “Awe-inspiring mystery” of the ‘wholly other’ and “fascinating” or overwhelming attraction.  Rudolf Otto – The Idea of the Holy  Encounter with “the Holy” described as “numinous.” It is alluring and frightening at the same time. The biblical phenomenon or the “fear of God” fits this description. He is feared but is also the source of life and the hope for salvation.
  • 21. What Religions Do  Mystical experience – the complete dissolution of an individual’s sense of selfhood. A state of perfect bliss and ultimate fulfillment. (Buddhism – nirvana)  Both the numinous experience and nirvana are examples of transcendent states of existence.  For Otto, this experience depended on the existence of “the Holy.” For many Buddhists, the experience of nirvana does not depend on the belief in God or gods.  Achieving these, can be considered an ultimate objective of the religious life.
  • 22. Dimensions of Religion  Ninian Smart (1927-2001) asserted there was a “dimensional” scheme that divides the various aspects of religious traditions: 1. The mythic (sacred narrative) 2. The doctrinal (or philosophical) 3. The ethical (or legal) 4. The ritual (or pratical) 5. The experiential (or emotional) 6. The social 7. The material
  • 23. Dimensions of Religion  Religions involve beliefs and myths.  Beliefs can be observed and interpreted. These often become doctrines or creeds. These are concepts that are believed in. (Christianity most emphasizes this.)  Myth DOES NOT MEAN FALSE. I repeat, myth DOES NOT mean false. Myth is set forth in narrative form and originally conveyed orally. Myths do not depend on empirical verifiability or rational coherence for their power. They are accepted by believers as true accounts. (Origin myths)
  • 24. Religions in the Modern World  Religious influence can be seen in art, architecture, music, and daily rituals.  The roles of women are changing within most religious traditions.  This is due in part to the work of those in the fields of feminist theory, gender studies, and women’s studies.  Religion and science often intersect. (Biblical creation and evolution; cosmology; Biblically - Earth is the center of the cosmos)  Balance (insider and outsider viewpoints) and empathy (capacity of seeing things from another’s perspective) are imperative for studying religion.  Comparative and multidisciplinary approaches are preferred.
  • 25. Religions in the Modern World  Modernization – the general process through which societies transform economically, socially, and culturally to keep pace with an increasingly competitve global marketplace.  Urbanization – the shift of population centers to cities instead of rural, agricultural settings.  Globalization – the linking and intermixing of cultures.  Multiculturalism – the coexistence of different peoples and their cultural ways in one time and place.  Secularization – the general turning away from traditional religious authority and institutions.