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Rel 207 sacred power in religious studies

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REL 207 studying religion
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Rel 207 sacred power in religious studies

  1. 1. Ritual Symbol Myth Unit 2 – Sacred Power
  2. 2. Ultimate Reality Truth  Language of Philosophy  Elite  Textual  Thinking not feeling  How do we know that what we know is true?  Humans can reason and therefore know Power  Language of Religion  Popular  Experiential  Feeling not thinking  How do we know that what we feel is real?  Sacred power reveals itself to humans so they can know
  3. 3. The Dao  The Nameless  Beyond human reason  Infinite and boundless  “The Way” of Nature  Yin and Yang  Potentiality without Being  Humans should live in harmony with the Dao. A path of no-action
  4. 4. GOD  “God” is a Being than which nothing greater can be conceived.  Reason alone proves that GOD exists  GOD is the Ultimate Reality  One need not experience this GOD to prove GOD exists.  Revelation and Reason lead to the same conclusion
  5. 5. Important theisms  Monotheism: belief that only one god exists  Polytheism: belief that multiple gods exist  Pantheism: belief that everything is god  Panentheism: belief that everything exists IN god.  Monism: Belief that everything emanates from the One god.  Henotheism: belief that multiple gods exist but only one (at a time) is worshiped  Atheism: belief that no god exists
  6. 6. Beliefs about god/s  Theism means “belief in the existence of god/s”. In antiquity, the Greek word “theoi” referred to the panoply of Greek gods/goddesses. The singular form theos is the same word that Greek scriptures use to refer to the God of the Christian Bible. When scholars began to study religion “scientifically” in the 19th century, religion was pretty much another word for the Christian belief in God. Not all ideas of sacred power should be equated with a belief in god/s.  When scholars began to study other religions with different conceptions of sacred beings and power, new words were created to describe these ideas: Polytheism, henotheism, pantheism, atheism, etc. Christians referred to their belief in one God as “monotheism”. Judaism and Islam were also categorized as monotheistic religions.
  7. 7. Manifestations of sacred power If the ultimate reality of most religious philosophies transcends the physical world, or is beyond human reason or reach, who are these gods, goddesses, kami, ancestral spirits, totems, etc. that people worship, pray to, placate, love and fear?
  8. 8. E B Tylor, Anthropologist (1832-1917) Tylor defined religion as “the belief in spirits” or ANIMISM. He was a rationalist who believed that human beings came up with the idea of spirits to explain why dead people still appeared to them in dreams. An evolutionist, he argued that “primitive” thinking would eventually give way to science and religion would disappear.
  9. 9. Emile Durkheim, Sociologist (1857- 1917) Durkheim studied aborignal societies in a quest to discover the origin of religious beliefs. TOTEMISM was the term he used to describe the way people divided reality into two categories: the accessible and ordinary (profane) and the special and taboo (sacred). Durkheim argued that the special power people attributed to the sacred was another way of describing the force that held their society together It was a power human beings generated, not something superhuman.
  10. 10. Sacred Power  A basic religious category or characteristic  By comparison ordinary power is “profane”  Sacred power is ambivalent and unpredictable  The human encounter with sacred power is the basic building block for most religion(s).  Religious people claim to experience this power in an endless array of forms  Early scientists tried to explain human belief in supernatural beings or sacred power.
  11. 11. Manifestations of the Sacred  Almost anything can be a symbol or manifestation of Sacred Power.  Ancestral spirits testify to the limitations of physical death in many religious cultures  Gods can be part of nature or they can demonstrate power over nature.  Gods can incarnate (become human), or appear in the material world as avatars, monstrous beings, angels, unusual objects, or animals, or their power can become visible and active even as they remain invisible.
  12. 12. Daoism and Christianity Three purities of Daoism Three persons of the Christian Godhead
  13. 13. Similar but Different The Three Purities  The Dao produced “One”  “One” produced “Two”  “Two” produced “Three”  “Three produced All things  Each of the purities represents a god or “deity” and a heavenly location.  Each deity is a form of “chi” or the ubiquitous energy of creation and of created things. The Catholic Trinity  The Father generates  The Son is begotten  The Spirit proceeds  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are uncreated and indivisible. They share one divine essence.  All things were created by the Father, through the Son by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
  14. 14. Hindu Trimurti  The Hindu Trimurti comprises the three main forms or manifestations of Brahman, the Ultimate Sacred Power in the Hindu universe: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva  Brahma creates  Vishnu sustains and  Shiva destroys.  Although Brahma is the creator, his role is less significant than Vishnu (and his 10 avatars) and Shiva.
  15. 15. Immortals The flow of sacred power between the created and uncreated realms is a two-way affair. In Daoism, human beings who have mastered the mysterious ways of the Dao may ascend to immortality, like Marshal Wen whose selfless act of heroism saved a town from death by poisoned water. He is worshiped as one of many gods in the Daoist pantheon.
  16. 16. Incarnation In the idea of incarnation, deity takes on human flesh, descending from the uncreated realm to the created realm for the sake of humanity. The Christian Jesus, a divine-human being, is the paradigmatic example of incarnation.
  17. 17. Avatars Avatars are also incarnations of sacred power. The term is most often used when referring to the ten animal or human forms that the Hindu deity, Vishnu, has taken when it has been necessary to intervene for the good of dharma on earth: the fish, the tortoise, the boar, the human-lion, the dwarf, the angry man, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Balarama (Buddha), Kalki. A final Avatar is yet to appear.
  18. 18. Shiva  Shiva is one of the three forms of Brahman, Hindus’ Ultimate Reality or Sacred Power. Here Shiva is depicted wreathed with snakes, which may “represent the evolutionary power within the human body, the spiritual power which may be developed through yoga, and also Shiva’s power to deal with death” (http://www.strath.ac.uk/red b/notes/hinduism/shiva/)  Ganesha, the elephant- headed god of Hindu mythology, is one of Shiva’s sons.
  19. 19. Humans and Sacred Power  Avatars, Incarnations, gods and goddesses, ancestral spirits, totems, angles, demons and ghosts … all make the Ultimate Reality of the religious universe present in some way in the mundane, profane world of the ordinary human being.  Sacred power is heady stuff, whether marked off by taboos or experienced through trance states and spirit possession.  Theological truths may nurture the religious thinker but sacred power is the experience of a lifetime for the religious believer.
  20. 20. “You can have as much of God as you want.” Them seminary preachers don’t understand that. They don’t understand the spirit of the Lord. They’re taught by man. The know the forms of godliness, but they deny the power” (Covington, Salvation on Sand Mountain, p. 64).
  21. 21. Image Sources  http://0.tqn.com/d/taoism/1/0/M/0/-/-/Laozi_large.jpg  http://img1.imagesbn.com/p/9781448936892_p0_v1_s260x420.JPG  http://sattvayoga.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Godgoddess-pic.jpg  http://mythology2051.tripod.com/EB_Tylor.jpg  http://www.wisdomportal.com/Evil/Durkheim%28410x560%29.jpg  http://www.wpclipart.com/religion_mythology/chinese/Taoist_Triad.png  http://pladelafont.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html  http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/faculties/hass/re/pictures/artefacts/hindu/Trimurti-98x108.jpg  http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/faculties/hass/re/pictures/artefacts/hindu/Shiva01-74x100.jpg  http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/Fac/Adler/Reln472/Images472/MarshalWen.jpg  http://hopebeyondreason.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/can-a-divine-jesus-have-false-beliefs/  http://gita-blog.blogspot.com/2009/04/previous-births-of-lord-krishna.html  http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/snake-handling-a-fading- tradition/2011/11/09/gIQASbXw8M_gallery.html#photo=9

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • http://pladelafont.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html
  • http://hopebeyondreason.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/can-a-divine-jesus-have-false-beliefs/
  • http://gita-blog.blogspot.com/2009/04/previous-births-of-lord-krishna.html
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/snake-handling-a-fading-tradition/2011/11/09/gIQASbXw8M_gallery.html#photo=9

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