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World Religious Traditions 1

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REL/133 World Religious Traditions 1 Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) Jainism Buddhism Taoism (Daoism) Confucianism Shinto – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: World Religious Traditions 1


1
REL/133
World Religious Traditions 1
Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)
Jainism
Buddhism
Taoism (Daoism)
Confucianism
Shinto
2
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3
  • Why is it important to be knowledgeable about
    other peoples beliefs?
  • Business relationships
  • Cultural relationships
  • Medical influences
  • Spiritual / self-help trends
  • Often become business trends

4
  • Why is it important to understand other peoples
    beliefs?

5
Two major trends
  • Secularism
  • The separation of religious belief from everyday
    life and particularly from politics, law, and
    education
  • Materialism the belief that only the material
    world is real also, the rampant pursuit of
    material goods
  • This is in conflict with many religions values

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Paleolithic burial c. lt 20000 BCE
8
Cognitive Imperative
death was not the only existential worry that
early humans had to face. Why were we born
only eventually to die? What happens to us when
we die? What is our place in the universe?
Why is there suffering? What sustains and
animates the universe? How was the universe
made? How long will the universe last?
Andrew Newberg MD, Eugene DAquili MD, Vince
Rause. Why God Wont Go Away. p. 61
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11
The Nature of Religion
  • The word religion is derived from Latin meaning
    to tie back.
  • Possibly meaning to tie back people to something
    behind the surface of life.
  • A greater reality which lies beyond or invisibly
    infuses the world we can perceive with our five
    senses.

12
One of the major controversies between science
and religion is the conflict between religious
concepts of intentional divine creation and the
scientific concept of a universe that has evolved
mechanistically by processes such as genetic
mutations and random combinations of elements.
Scientific research is continually revealing
a universe whose perfections are suggestive of
purposefulness.
13
One of the major controversies between science
and religion is the conflict between religious
concepts of intentional divine creation and the
scientific concept of a universe that has evolved
mechanistically by processes such as
genetic mutations and random combinations of
elements. Scientific research is
continually revealing a universe whose
perfections are suggestive of purposefulness. They
have found, for instance, that stars could never
have formed if the force of gravity were ever so
slightly stronger or weaker. Biologists find that
the natural world is an intricate harmony of
beautifully elaborated, interrelated parts. Even
to produce the miniature propeller that allows a
tiny bacterium to swim, some forty different
proteins are required. The huge multinational
One of the major controversies between science
and religion is the conflict between religious
concepts of intentional divine creation and the
scientific concept of a universe that has evolved
mechanistically by processes such as
genetic mutations and random combinations of
elements. Scientific research is
continually revealing a universe whose
perfections are suggestive of purposefulness. They
have found, for instance, that stars could never
have formed if the force of gravity were ever so
slightly stronger or weaker. Biologists find that
the natural world is an intricate harmony of
beautifully elaborated, interrelated parts. Even
to produce the miniature propeller that allows a
tiny bacterium to swim, some forty different
proteins are required. The huge multinational
They have found, for instance, that stars could
never have formed if the force of gravity were
ever so slightly stronger or weaker.
Biologists find that the natural world is an
intricate harmony of beautifully elaborated,
interrelated parts. Even to produce the
miniature propeller that allows a tiny bacterium
to swim, some forty different proteins are
required.
Living Religions, Fifth Edition, Page 16
14
  • Why is there Religion?
  • 1. Materialistic view
  • Invented by man
  • 2. Functional view
  • Exists because it serves a purpose
  • 3. Faith view
  • Exists because it reflects ultimate reality

15
Perspectives on Religion
1. Materialistic view Invented by man
  • Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyst
  • Religion is a universal obsessional neurosis a
    cosmic projection and replaying of the loving and
    fearful relationships that we had (and have) with
    our parents. Religious belief gives us an
    external God who is so powerful that He or She
    can protect us from the terrors of life and will
    reward or punish us for obedience or
    non-obedience to social norms.

16
Freud cont.
  • Freud believed that religion is an illusion
    springing from peoples infantile insecurity and
    neurotic guilt
  • as such it closely resembles mental illness.

17
Karl Marx
  • Marx believed that religion is a tool for
    oppressing people and springs from a societys
    economic framework.
  • Man makes religion religion does not make man
    the religious world is but the reflex of the real
    world religion is the sigh of the oppressed
    creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and
    the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium
    of the people.

18
But, Religion can be Good
  • All religions help to uncover meaning in the
    midst of the mundane.

19
Religion can be good.
  • Religion can give a purpose beyond our life
  • If we believe that there is nothing more, fear of
    death may inhibit enjoyment of life and make all
    human actions seem pointless.

20
Religion can be good
  • People long to gain strength for dealing with
    personal problems such as physical illness,
    privation, terror or grief.

21
Religion can be good
  • There is the desire for perfection beyond limited
    personal or communal concerns.
  • Religious practices offers insight into Perfect
    Love, Justice and Eternal Truth in vaster
    dimensions of time and space.

22
Religion can be good
  • Some see religion as an appreciation for this
    extraordinary creation.
  • Ray Fadden, an elder of the Mohawk Nation,
    speaks of the native spiritual traditions as the
    thank you religion.

23
Religion can be good
  • Some people want a sense of relief from
    anxieties, a secure feeling of rootedness,
    meaning and orderliness in the midst of rapid
    social change. This can be found in a
    religion that offers absolute faith.

24
Religion may be good
  • Religions may also provide rules for living,
    governing everything from diet to personal
    relationships.

25
Religion may be good
  • Isolation in the universe is a discomforting
    thought to some. The divine may be sought as a
    loving father or mother or friend. Some
    religions offer the way of self transcendence.
    Through them, the sense of isolation is lost in
    mystical merger with the One Being, with reality
    itself.

26
2. Functional viewReligion Exists because it
serves a purpose
  • Religion is functional for society
  • Reaffirms the social bonds between people.
  • Creates social cohesion and integration through
    religious rituals.
  • Binds individuals to society by establishing a
    collective consciousness.

27
Six Defining Elements of Religion
  1. Religion is institutionalized.
  2. Religion is a feature of groups.
  3. Religions are based on beliefs that are
    considered sacred, as distinguished from profane.

28
Six Defining Elements of Religion
  1. Religion establishes norms for behavior.
  2. Religion provides answers to questions of
    ultimate meaning, as distinguished from secular
    beliefs.
  3. Religion establishes values and moral
    proscriptions for behavior.

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Animism
  • It is the idea that the world and everything in
    it is filled with souls or spirits.
  • These spirits can be communicated with.
  • Spirits feel and therefore, can be harmed,
    flattered, offended and can also hurt or
    help.

31
Magic
  • Magic is a way of controlling the natural
    elements.
  • Magicians attempt to control the elements
  • for the benefit of their society or for the
    detriment of their enemies.

Nature is understood to be controlled by forces
which can be manipulated. There is also
sympathetic magic or imitative magic.
32
Sympathetic magic
  • A person attempts to get nature to do something
    by performing the act oneself.
  • Examples
  • a voodoo doll
  • temple prostitutes

33
Divination
  • Predicting the future.
  • A person, shaman or priests, is especially
    trained for this function.

34
Divination
  • It may examine the entrails of a sacrificed
    animal or watching flights of birds or palm
    reading.
  • Tarot cards, Ouija boards are also examples of
    divination.

35
Taboo
  • Taboos are best viewed by those inside of the
    tradition as ways of protecting the individual
    from harm. Certain activities are avoided in
    order not to offend the spirits.

The word taboo comes from the Polynesian word
Tabu or tapu. In early societies holy persons,
objects and places are considered off limits to
ordinary folk.
36
Taboos (cont.)
  • "Chieftains, priests, sacred places, fetishes,
    and so on are to be avoided by the unordained,
    except on special occasions or when there is
    special preparation." Taboos follow birth and
    death rituals. Sometimes twins are considered
    taboos as well as the body of certain dead
    people. In some cultures women who are mensing
    are considered taboo.

37
Totems
  • Totems. The word totem is from the Ojibwa word
    ototeman. It is an identification that the tribe
    or clan or nation has with a certain animal, or
    sometimes certain plants or the moon or the sun
    or the stars. In many later societies "mascots"
    take the place of totems.

38
Sacrifice
  • Sacrifice is a common practice in many religions.
    "People have offered sacrifices of nearly every
    imaginable material to the gods, spirits, demons,
    and ancestors.

Most often, the sacrifices are animals, which are
slaughtered and then burned or cooked and eaten
before the gods." Sacrifice of other kinds of
objects occurs as well.
39
Sacrifice (cont.)
  • Sacrificing has various meanings
  • which depend on the religion,
  • context, location, time of year,
  • the individual sacrificing etc.
  • In the sacrifice there is the sense of
    communing between the one sacrificing and the
    deity, gods, or spirits to whom the sacrifice is
    made.

40
Myth
  • Myth does not here mean a story that is not
    true.
  • Rather, myth means a story that presents in the
    form of a narrative the basic world view of a
    society. (Ellwood)

41
Myth-Making
uncertainty causes anxiety, and anxiety must be
resolved. Sometimes resolutions are obvious and
causes are easy to spot. When they are not, the
cognitive imperative compels us to find plausible
resolutions in the form of a story the sound
of rustling leaves is a leopard in the trees
preparing to strike. These stories are
especially important when the mind confronts our
existential fears. We suffer. We die. We feel
small and vulnerable in a dangerous and confusing
world. There is no simple way to resolve these
enormous uncertainties. In such situations, the
explanatory stories that the mind creates take
the shape of religious myth.
Andrew Newberg MD, Eugene DAquili MD, Vince
Rause. Why God Wont Go Away. p. 70
42
Critical Thinking
Myth-Making
In the Critical Thinking class, one topic we
focus on is Assumptions. When judging the
soundness of a conclusion, we must consider the
unstated underlying assumptions that set the
framework in which the thinking occurs.
Myths are sets of assumptions so fundamental to
our way of thinking that we hold them
uncritically with little or no awareness that
they are even there.
43
Rituals
  • Ritual. Every religion has ritual. These are
    rites and ceremonies which could be simple or
    complex and are best interpreted in their
    original setting or context.
  • Sometimes these ritual reenact myths and stories.
    Priests and lay people take part in them. They
    sometime involve particular kind of attire, or a
    specific location. They could be the reliving of
    an important event.

44
Rituals (cont.)
  • (E)veryday religious activity and practice are
    significant because their primary purpose often
    to place individuals, families, and groups in
    right relationships with gods, ancestors, other
    human beings, and nature. (Ellwood)
  • Rituals are ways in which these relationships can
    be insured.

45
Rites of Passage
  • Rites of passage are aids in the journey in life
    and are very important. Important events such
    birth, death, marriage, passage into adulthood
    are commemorated with special ceremonies.
  • They can be the enactment of myths or mirror the
    ideas of the groups with regard to a particular
    phase in life.

46
Ancestor Veneration
  • The elders have a high place in these traditions
    and are sometimes venerated. Some believe that
    death is just a transition to another phase of
    life and therefore the spirits of the ancestors
    are still active.
  • Sometimes these spirits are feared and people
    take action to prevent them from returning from
    their graves.
  • Other societies believe that deceased ancestors
    can benefit the society and make offerings to
    them.

47
Deities
  • Many Hues

48
Deism
  • Polytheism (many-gods-ism) -- There are many
    personal gods . Each has control on various
    aspects of life
  • Deism -- God has set it all in motion (though
    not particularly involved in sustaining or
    intervening in it)

49
Theism There is a personal God
  • Agnosticism -- God cannot be known
  • Atheism -- (not-God-ism) There is no God

50
Henotheism
  • Henotheism There are many gods but one
    restricts ones allegiance to one God

51
Pantheism
  • Pantheism (God-is-all-ism) -God is identical with
    nature and the universe as a whole
  • Panentheism (everything-in-God) -- Everything
    ultimately exists in god

52
  • (review) Why is there Religion?
  • Materialistic view
  • Religion is invented by man
  • Freud Religion is a projection
  • Marx Religion is the opium of the masses
  • Functional view
  • Religion is useful
  • Humans need a frame of reference
  • Still sees religion as an invention
  • 3. Faith View
  • There really is another (ultimate) reality
  • Not an invention
  • Religion is a response
  • A reflection of reality

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General Religion Vocabulary
  • Monotheistic single and only god
  • Agnostic dont know if I believe in a god
  • Atheist know I dont believe in a god
  • Immanent present in the world
  • Transcendental existing apart from this world
  • Incarnation divine appearing in human form
  • Symbol picture describing something else
  • Myth story, presented in symbols, describing an
    unknowable reality

55
Vocabulary - 2
  • Orthodox consistent with the historical form of
    the religion
  • Fundamental expressing the historical
    interpretation in light of conservative social
    currents
  • Liberal expressing the historical
    interpretation in light of progressive social
    currents
  • Heretic expressing historical interpretation in
    light of unacceptable statements and/or actions
  • Mystic expressing historical interpretation in
    light of strong, overwhelming personal experience

56
Genesis 27 And the LORD God formed man of the
dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life and man became a
living soul.
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58
Is God Separate from His Creation?
Sometimes we speak of God as transcendent
sometimes as immanent.
What do these concepts mean?
Above and beyond outside of
Within, part of, participating in
59
A useful analogy might be to imagine the ocean
with its waves.
Each of us is one of the waves, but we are never
separated from the ocean.
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61
Some Basic Differences Between Religious
Thoughts of East and West
62
Theme Eastern Western
World The world is Maya, illusion The world is real and significant because it is created by God
Human Beings The self is illusory Humans are significant because they are created by God. The self (and personality) is eternal.
Life Life is transitory, part of a constant process of birth and rebirth samsara Life is transient individuals only live once
Time Cyclical Linear significant
Salvation Goal of salvation is to escape from the wheel of death and rebirth into a state of eternal bliss (moksha) The world is Gods arena where each person has one opportunity to hear Gods word and achieve everlasting life
Morality The notion of moral retribution is reflected in the concept of karma. Individuals will pay for their sins in the hereafter unless they repent now
63
REL/133
World Religious Traditions 1
Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)
Jainism
Buddhism
Taoism (Daoism)
Confucianism
Shinto
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65
Hinduism
3rd 2nd millenniums
Height of Indus Valley Culture
66
Buddhism spreads out
67
Northern and Southern Buddhism
68
Circa 600 B.C.
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Individual Exercise
  • Quick thoughts paper (anonymous)
  • What is the basic problem of the world?
  • How does your belief system address that problem?
  • well discuss after break
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