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World Religions Ethnographic Investigation - 2015


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Notes from our trip

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World Religions Ethnographic Investigation - 2015

  1. 1. Study of Religion Trip 2015 Ethnographic Investigation Mr Finlayson’s Notes
  2. 2. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, BrisbaneArchitect: Augustus Pugin A Cathedral takes its name from the Latin, Cathedra, which translates to ‘seat’ – the seat of the Bishop or Archbishop. Named after St. Stephen, the first Martyr. The EucharistItems involved in the Eucharist, The Host The Altar The Chalice Are they essential?
  3. 3. The Altar An altar used to be a place where sacrifices were made. Jesus’ death was seen as the ultimate sacrifice. The altar in St. Stephen’s cathedral designed to be rough below and smooth on top as a reflection of life.
  4. 4. The Crucifix The Crucifix is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. A plain cross is seen as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus – the cross is empty. The Crucifix of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is very symbolic. It only depicts the cross piece of the cross – a sign of the piece that Jesus was said to have carried through the streets of Jerusalem. His right hand is raised above the cross as though he has ‘broken free’ and is ‘reaching to heaven.’ To reference a speaker whose name you do not know, (Speaker, St. Stephen’s. 2015)
  5. 5. Stained Glass Windows“Stained glass windows were used to tell a story in a time of poor literacy.” DIVERGENT IDEAS: Comic Books ArtMovies
  6. 6. The Chung Tian Buddhist Temple “In all religions people need something to look at but it isn’t essential. This temple is culturally Chinese but the whole purpose is to learn about self. If material objects help then that is good.” (Speaker, Chung Tian Temple. 2015)
  7. 7. Calligraphy “Incense is the calligraphy of prayer” “Calligraphy is a form of meditation, a form of prayer and concentration.” “Calligraphy is a ritual.” It would be hard to do without the material items
  8. 8. The Three Buddhas Shakyamuni Medicine Amitabha Pogoda Lotus Swastika: good over evil
  9. 9. “Statues of the Buddha are not worshipped but respected” - “Incense purifies the air in the room, it purifies the self” - “fruit represents the law of cause and effect. If there is an orange there, how did it get there? An orange can sit on the floor and nothing happens, but if you plant it and nurture it, it will grow. Cause and effect.” - “8 celestial angels on the ceiling represent the 8 fold path.” - ‘The Fish is symbolic – always mindful, always
  10. 10. The Bodhi Tree The tree in Priestdale is a direct cutting of the Bodhi tree that the Buddha meditated under to receive enlightenment. This tree is directly linked to the Buddha - imagine how important that is – like a Christian church holding a relic of a saint.
  11. 11. “Many hands represents being able to help many people.” - “Eyes mean all seeing.” - “The sword signifies the cutting down of ignorance.” - “The arrows are to reach all people.” - “We bow to the Buddha as a sign of respect.”
  12. 12. Masjid Al Farooq – The Kuraby Mosque “the intent was not to create a structure that was foreign but to create a place of worship that blends into the indigenous landscape.” - “we consider Islam to be colourless, it reflects the bedrock of wherever it goes. If in Mali; it looks African, in Indonesia; it looks Indonesian, if in Australia; it looks Australian. There are no statues for this reason.” Dylan Chow
  13. 13. “A Mosque is a hub for the community – for school, youth, death, worship and food.” - “Tahweed – the Oneness of God – is at the centre of Islam” - “Wudu is ablution before prayer. It has a spiritual element, preparing yourself to stand in front of God” “We refer to our religion as our DEEN, a way of life. All actions done in the right intention and in the right way means life becomes worship.” - “we do things in a ritual way to make all of our life worship” - “The only 3 decorations in the mosque are calligraphy of the Shahadah, the name of Allah and the name of Muhammad. They are central to our faith.”
  14. 14. “a head covering is a sign of modesty – it is not essential, neither is a beard but we try to follow the example of Muhammad in an external way. The main emphasis of course is the internal – our intent.” - “A prayer mat is not a requirement, prayer can be anywhere, but cleanliness is important.” - “Prayer is a gift. If we neglect our prayer, we’re stealing from ourselves.” - “you can pray anywhere in the world unless the place is unclean” - “if you can pray in a mosque you should”
  15. 15. T”here is an iPhone App to find the Kabaa. It’s great but of course it is not necessary if you know nature” This suggests there are things that can help a Muslim in their daily lives and in their worship of Allah but ultimately there are few things that are essential “We feel like we have a second heartbeat. It is the idea of a beating conscience.” - “When the Kuraby mosque was burned down everything was destroyed except a small inscription that read, A strong person is not a person who reacts Violently in time of distress but with wisdom’ DIVERGENT!!!
  16. 16. St George Greek Orthodox Church Father Dimitrios Tsakas “obviously we can make do with very little but we try to engage all the senses” “the aim of the building is to allow us to worship in a correct way” ”the design is usually based on a cross” “divided into three parts and each part is divided by a screen called an iconostasis” Sanctuary Nave Narphex “the dome represents heaven – a meeting of heaven and earth. God coming to earth” “Orthodox means right & correct belief– a continuation of the church founded by Christ and his apostles. The Architecture reflects that.”
  17. 17. “Icons reflect what we believe rather than what may have happened.” “Icons are only possible because of the Incarnation of Christ, otherwise it is impossible to draw God.” “The lectern is a representation of eagle’s wings – the gospel rests on the back of these and is read to the congregation” “The resurrection icon is centre-stage because it is the most obvious focus of our faith” “An icon does not show an historical event, it is not a photograph. It shows a theological truth” “Icons are a theological commentary” “There never used to be pews because when you’re in God’s presence, you stand. Adding pews changed the nature of worship, it used to be far more interactive now it is very much a performance for an audience” “When you enter the church you cross yourself with thumb and two fingers to represent the trinity. We light a candle, kiss the icon in veneration then enter.”
  18. 18. Ngutana-Lui – ‘to teach’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies Centre “Aboriginal people have the Dreaming Torres Strait Islander people have the Before, Before Time” “We can define religion as a controlling power but that can be within” “Ritual is an integral part of Aboriginal culture and sacred stories are an essential part of the spirituality” “Telling stories of the Dreaming sets out the structures of society, the rules and the Lore” “The ritual of dance tells a story, the story gives a message”