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Religions: Civic & Culture

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Religions: Civic & Culture

  1. 1. HRT 3M1 World Religions Civic Religions Often practices that are rooted in folk tradition (more ancient or traditional religions) exist beside practices of organized religions or religious movements. ● Can you think of examples of folk traditions? No modern religion claims these practices, yet they have a religious tinge to them. The term ‘Civic Religion’ can also refer to the ritualistic expressions of PATRIOTISM (i.e. poppies). This can include swearing of oaths, a national anthem, holidays and monuments.
  2. 2. Religion & Contemporary All of the religions studied in this course developed hundreds (if not thousands) of years ago in a specific geographical location and in response to particular socio- economic context. Thus, its sacred story, ceremonies and milestones had to be expressed in such a way that the religion would be understood. However, as religions have grown, developed and SPREAD beyond their original context they have had to deal with contemporary values and issues. There are THREE ways in which a religion may do this:
  3. 3. Synthesis The religion and its worldview agrees with the culture. It sees the wider culture as being an EXPRESSION of its sacred values and beliefs. ¡For example, the height of the Medieval culture was seen as THE expression of Christian culture.
  4. 4. Confrontation The religion and its worldview are at odds with the culture, and oppose the dominant forms of cultural expression (popular media). In this case religion sets itself up as an ALTERNATIVE to the values of the culture.
  5. 5. Transformation The religion and its worldview accept some aspects of culture and rejects others. It attempts to RENEW and TRANSFORM the values of the culture in a way that is faithful to its own heritage, and yet uses new cultural modes in the expression of its viewpoint ¡i.e. many churches now use the internet to get their message across
  6. 6. Sacred Story: Course Organization Each of the religions that we will study have a worldview that is characterized by the existence of an ultimate or transcendent reality This “sacred” reality is expressed through a Sacred Story The sacred story can broken into 5 Elements: ¡Origin ¡History ¡Creed ¡Cult ¡Code
  7. 7. Origin Most often the story of the founder (the individual whose experience of the sacred transforms the people and the society around them). Founder’s often experience a dramatic encounter with the sacred (God) ¡Hierophany – experiencing the sacred (revealing of the sacred), takes place as a thinking, experiencing, modifying approach ¡Theophany – A direct revelation from God (booming voice in the sky, etc)
  8. 8. History The history develops while the founder is still alive and preaching and often continues after their death. Over the course of its history the religion: ¡will develop its “trappings” i.e. language, symbols, festivals, events, milestones, etc ¡may evolve to incorporate a larger or a narrower focus than was original to the founder How the religion develops through its history is influenced by whether the founder had a Hierophany or a Theophany.
  9. 9. Creed/Beliefs The basic beliefs or tenants of the faith. The word Creed comes from the Latin credo which means “I believe” or “What I set my heart upon.” The creed explains the meanings of the founder’s experience and tells followers what their life’s focus should be. It explains what it means to be a member of the community.
  10. 10. Cult/What we do Comes from the latin cultus which means “worship.” Cult refers to the forms of worship used to celebrate the mysteries of the faith (its what followers DO to express their beliefs). Rituals, festivals, symbols, etc. are all part of what people do as an expression of what they believe.
  11. 11. Code/Morality This is a system of rules that guides moral activity The morality determines what actions and relationships are consistent with the beliefs of the community. Ex. The 10 Commandments.

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