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Introduction to religion-world religions

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Introduction to religion-world religions

  2. 2. INTRODUCTORY QUESTION Why is religion such a sensitive topic? Its ok to debate politics, products (mac vs pc) but not religion.
  3. 3. DATA View: animated map
  5. 5. Religare  Latin root  Re plus ligare  ‘again’ combined with ‘to bind’ meaning ‘to tie fast’ Religia  Latin – ‘obligation’ or ‘bond’ Religian  Old French WHAT IS RELIGION?
  6. 6. Some Definitions
  7. 7. A. GARY COMSTOCK that part of some people’s lives which involves rituals, beliefs, organizations, ethical values, historical traditions and personal habits or choices – some of which refer to the transcendent.
  8. 8. “The sacred always manifests itself as a reality of a wholly different order from ‘natural’ realities. ...The first possible definition of the sacred is that it is the opposite of the profane.” sacred: Set apart for worship of a deity or as worthy of worship. profane: Nonreligious. Outside the sphere of religion. B. MIRCEA ELIADE: PHENOMENOLOGY
  9. 9. Religion as a phenomenon looked on as universal—Eliade’s concept of the “sense of the sacred”    
  10. 10. “The sacred always manifests itself as a reality of a wholly different order from ‘natural’ realities. ...The first possible definition of the sacred is that it is the opposite of the profane.” sacred: Set apart for worship of a deity or as worthy of worship. profane: Nonreligious. Outside the sphere of religion.
  11. 11. C. Anti-Rationalistic Definitions  1. Lucretius—an anti-rational, coercive force.  2. Reinanch—a sum of scruples which impede the free exercise of our faculties.  3. Marx—a pathological manifestation of protective forces, deviation caused by ignorance of natural causes and their effects.
  12. 12. D. Metaphysical Definition Max Mueller wrote that religion is a mental factor independent of sense and reason to apprehend the infinite in different names.
  13. 13. E. Emotional Definitions 1. Schleiermacher saw the essence of religion as an emotion and consists of feelings of absolute dependence. 2. McTaggert said religion is best described as an emotion resting in conviction of harmony between ourselves and the universe at large
  14. 14. F. Religion as Morality Immanuel Kant saw religion as the recognitions of our duties as divine commands, the driving force of the sacred is morality, e.g., tabu, holiness
  15. 15. G. Psychological Definition  William James said that religion comes from the feelings and experiences and individual people
  16. 16. WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910) Major work, Varieties of Religious Experience James distinguished between institutional religion and personal religion. Institutional Religion: This refers to the religious group or organization, and plays an important part in society’s culture. Personal Religion: This refers to the individual who has a mystical experience, one that can be experienced regardless of the culture.
  17. 17. SIGMUND FREUD 1856-1939 Religion is about projecting our childhood experiences with our parents onto a God or gods
  18. 18. CARL JUNG 1875-1961 Individuation or personal fulfillment Symbols particularly important
  19. 19. CARL JUNG (1875-1961) Jung was concerned with the interplay between conscious and unconscious forces. He proposed two kinds of unconsciousness: 1. Personal Unconscious (or shadow): This includes things about ourselves that we would like to forget. 2. Collective Unconscious: This refers to events that we all share by virtue of our common heritage (humanity).
  20. 20. GORGON ALLPORT (1897-1967) Classic work, The Individual and His Religion Allport made important contributions to the psychology of personality, refining the concept of “traits.” Allport classified the use of religion as: 1. Mature: Mature religious sentiment occurs when a person’s approach to religion is dynamic, open-minded, and able to maintain links between inconsistencies. 2. Immature: Immature religious sentiment is self-serving and generally represents the negative stereotypes that people have about religion.
  21. 21. ABRAHAM MASLOW (1908-1970) Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs, ranging from lower level physiological needs, through love and belonging, to self- actualization. Self-actualized people are those who have reached their potential for self-development. Maslow claimed that mystics are more likely to have had “peak experiences,” experiences in which the person feels a sense of ecstasy and oneness with the universe. Maslow’s theory of “psychological health” is value-based.
  22. 22. ERIK ERIKSON (1902-1994) Erikson is best known for his psychology of development. Erikson believed that proper psychological development occurs in a series of eight stages that follow a sequence. Associated with each stage is an identity conflict involving a positive resolution (or, “virtue”) and a negative resolution (or, “pathology”). Erikson considered religions to be important influences in successful personality development, promoting virtues and prohibiting pathologies.
  23. 23. View: History of ideas: Religion
  24. 24. Dimensions of Religion Not a definition, but identifying features that help us understand the way academics think about the topic.
  25. 25. a. Prayer b. Asceticism c. Possession d. Modes of dress e. Pilgrimage f. Ritual 1.THE PRACTICAL AND RITUAL DIMENSION: WHAT THE ADHERENTS OF A RELIGION DO AS PART OF THAT RELIGION
  26. 26. A. : subjective, emotional side of religion. What goes on inside the person. B. Basis of religious vitality and human significance, central to ongoing individual religiosity, to the founding of a tradition itself Muhammad, conversion of Paul, Buddha’s enlightenment; devotional movements; mystical traditions (direct experience of the divine or ultimate)     C. The very core of religion is experience and emotion – all else revolves around experience          William James 2. THE EXPERIENTIAL AND EMOTIONAL DIMENSION
  27. 27. Rudolf Otto  Mysterium tremendum fascinans – a mysterious something that draws you in and inspires both awe and fear EXPERIENTIAL OR EMOTIONAL Bernini, Gianlorenzo Ecstasy of St. Teresa 1647-52 Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome  Mysticism key here - Intuitive - Beyond reason
  28. 28. Myth – a vehicle that relates a truth defying normal expression and sets pattern for human behaviors  Cosmogony  Accounts of creation of the world  Eschatology  Accounts/Beliefs about the end of the world Scriptural or canonical (kanon is Greek for measuring rod) 3. NARRATIVE OR MYTHIC DIMENSION
  29. 29. i. Historical narratives: Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad -- Histories of: a people; saints; prophets; nations and lands; wars .... ii. Creation narratives: before history, before time 1. How the universe began - cosmogony. 2. How is creation organized -- cosmology. iii. Destruction narratives: eschatological (death and final destiny) 1. Nataraja: Lord of the Dance, circle of fire 2. Revelations: describes the signs and events of final days when Christ comes to reclaim the faithful. Final days = eschaton. Flood myths 3. Creation and destruction narratives tell us about a tradition’s notion of time: i.e., cyclical, linear. KINDS OF NARRATIVE
  30. 30. 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 4. DOCTRINAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL DIMENSION
  31. 31. 5. ETHICAL OR LEGAL DIMENSION The things required of a believer. Ethics concerns what is good and bad, how one should live. Law concerns what you must do and what will happen if you don't (rules and punishments).                                                         i.      Examples: Shari'a (Law): pray (5) times daily, give alms, four wives.… Torah ("law"): hundreds of laws, dietary (milk and meat)
  32. 32. 6. SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL DIMENSION how people's interactions are organized as part of their religion
  33. 33. 7. MATERIAL DIMENSION Artifacts  Buildings  Art  Music  Symbols  Natural World physical forms in which a religion is embodied a. Structures: churches, temples, synagogues. b. Architecture, theology, religious practice are interconnected.
  34. 34. Representations of divine beings Ritual objects and substances: the physical objects used in religious ritual Natural Features: sacred landmarks such as mountains, rivers, trees Sacred cities
  35. 35. 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  View: origin of religions WHY DO RELIGIONS EXIST?
  36. 36. Theistic  Religions based on a relationship with a divine being Monotheistic  The Divine in a Singular form Polytheistic  Multiple forms of the divine Monistic  Beneath multiple apparent forms of the divine there is one ultimate reality Atheism  Non-belief in any deity Agnosticism  No knowledge if the divine exists or can be known SOME KEY TERMS