Welcome to World Religion.
Find your desk. Put everything away but paper and a pen.
DO NOW: Write down all of the religions that you know. Include everything you think of as a religion. You have 3 minutes.
On the same paper, write a definition of religion that would include everything on the board that you think is a religion. 4 minutes.
DO NOW: Now find one partner and rewrite your definition so that it is the best of both definitions.
Welcome to World Religion.
Discussion of definitions.
Immanuel Kant – recognition of all our duties as divine commands.
Freud – religion is like childhood neurosis. Freud – religion inherently false.
Paul Tillich – the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern. A concern which makes all other concerns seem preliminary and which itself contains the answer to the question of the meaning of our life.
Clifford Geertz: 1) a system of symbols which acts to 2) establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in people by 3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and 4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of reality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
Columbia University Press Encyclopedia – system of thought, feeling and action that is shared by a group and gives the members and object of devotion. It is a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe, usually religion concerns itself with that which transcends the known or the expected. Acknowledgement of the extraordinary…. Religious consciousness generally recognizes a transcendent, sacred order and elaborates a technique to deal with the …. Unexpected elements of human experience in the world or beyond it.
Religions identify gifted individuals as foundational figures. Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, Moses
Have sacred texts – diversity and variety in texts, but they all have sacred texts that shape and guide traditions in parallel ways
Practice variety of repetitive rituals and practice one-time (lifecycle) rituals – birth, coming-of-age, marriage, death
All experience division (disagreement over orthodox beliefs) – in parallel sorts of ways (content differs, but patterns occur)
Descriptive or normative?
Value of studying?
Study in order to understand human capacity for self-transcendence.
Study in order to overcome ignorance about beliefs of others.
Can help us understand our own culture with its deep roots in x, y, z.
Help us achieve a global perspective.
Help you to formulate personal beliefs & philosophy of life.