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Introduction to Religion

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that part of some people's lives which ... Symbols. Natural World. Why do religions exist? ... Symbols particularly important. Some Key Terms. Theistic ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Religion


1
Introduction to Religion
  • What is religion?

2
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5
Religion
  • Religare
  • Latin root
  • Re plus ligare
  • again combined with to bind meaning to tie
    fast
  • Religia
  • Latin obligation or bond
  • Religian
  • Old French

6
Gary Comstock
  • that part of some peoples lives which involves
    rituals, beliefs, organizations, ethical values,
    historical traditions and personal habits or
    choices some of which refer to the
    transcendent.

7
Mircea Eliade
  • 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.

8
Ninian Smart
  • Seven Dimensions of Religion.
  • Not a definition, but identifying features that
    help us understand the way academics think about
    the topic.

9
Practical or Ritual
  • Formal or informal
  • Temporal and spatial

10
Experiential or Emotional
  • Rudolf Otto
  • Mysterium tremendum fascinans a mysterious
    something that draws you in and inspires both awe
    and fear
  • Mysticism key here
  • Intuitive
  • Beyond reason

Bernini, GianlorenzoEcstasy of St.
Teresa1647-52Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
11
Narrative or Mythic Dimension
  • 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)

12
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

13
Ethical or Legal Dimension
  • The things required of a believer

14
Social and Institutional Dimension
15
Material Dimension
  • Artifacts
  • Buildings
  • Art
  • Music
  • Symbols
  • Natural World

16
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

17
Sigmund Freud
  • 1856-1939
  • Religion is about projecting our childhood
    experiences with our parents onto a God or gods

18
Carl Jung
  • 1875-1961
  • Individuation or personal fulfillment
  • Symbols particularly important

19
Some Key Terms
  • 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

20
Why Study Religions
  • Insight into other cultures and into the lives of
    other people. Religion is a key to the way many
    people live. Understanding religious practice
    helps us to better understand others lives and
    hopefully, to be tolerant of people not like us.
  • Improve your appreciation of new places because
    you can understand what you see and hear and
    experience more fully.
  • To assist in your own religious quest. Summed up
    simply we can learn from others who do not
    practice as we do.
  • To appreciate every day life more fully. You
    cannot see a movie, read a book, hear a song,
    listen to a Presidential debate without some
    mention of religion it seems. Knowing more is a
    positive.
  • To make you a better citizen of the world
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