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INTRODUCTION
TO
RELIGION
W
HAT IS
RELIGION?
LECTURE SERIES BY
Prof. Jeff Clyde Corpuz
De La Salle University
INTRODUCTORY QUESTION
Why is religion such
a sensitive topic?
Its ok to debate
politics, products
(mac vs pc) but
not religion.
DATA
View: animated map
SOME IMAGES
Religare
 Latin root
 Re plus ligare
 ‘again’ combined with ‘to
bind’ meaning ‘to tie fast’
Religia
 Latin – ‘obligation’ or
‘bond’
Religian
 Old French
WHAT IS RELIGION?
Some Definitions
A. GARY COMSTOCK
that part of some
people’s lives which
involves rituals,
beliefs, organizations,
ethical values,
historical traditions
and personal habits
or choices – some of
which refer to the
transcendent.
“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.
B. MIRCEA ELIADE: PHENOMENOLOGY
Religion as a phenomenon looked on as
universal—Eliade’s concept of the
“sense of the sacred”
   
“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.
C. Anti-Rationalistic Definitions
 1. Lucretius—an anti-rational, coercive force.
 2. Reinanch—a sum of scruples which impede the free exercise of our faculties.
 3. Marx—a pathological manifestation of protective forces, deviation caused by ignorance
of natural causes and their effects.
D. Metaphysical Definition
Max Mueller wrote that religion is a
mental factor independent of sense
and reason to apprehend the infinite
in different names.
E. Emotional Definitions
1. Schleiermacher saw the
essence of religion as an emotion
and consists of feelings of
absolute dependence.
2. McTaggert said religion is best
described as an emotion resting
in conviction of harmony between
ourselves and the universe at
large
F. Religion as Morality
Immanuel Kant saw religion as the recognitions
of our duties as divine commands, the driving
force of the sacred is morality, e.g., tabu,
holiness
G. Psychological
Definition
 William James said that religion
comes from the feelings and
experiences and individual people
WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910)
Major work, Varieties of Religious
Experience
James distinguished between
institutional religion and
personal religion.
Institutional Religion: This refers to the
religious group or organization, and plays an
important part in society’s culture.
Personal Religion: This refers to the
individual who has a mystical experience,
one that can be experienced regardless of
the culture.
SIGMUND FREUD
1856-1939
Religion is about
projecting our
childhood
experiences with
our parents onto a
God or gods
CARL JUNG
1875-1961
Individuation or
personal fulfillment
Symbols
particularly
important
CARL JUNG (1875-1961)
Jung was concerned with the interplay
between conscious and unconscious
forces. He proposed two kinds of
unconsciousness:
1. Personal Unconscious (or shadow): This
includes things about ourselves that we
would like to forget.
2. Collective Unconscious: This refers to
events that we all share by virtue of our
common heritage (humanity).
GORGON ALLPORT (1897-1967)
Classic work, The Individual and His Religion
Allport made important contributions to the
psychology of personality, refining the
concept of “traits.”
Allport classified the use of religion as:
1. Mature: Mature religious sentiment occurs
when a person’s approach to religion is
dynamic, open-minded, and able to maintain
links between inconsistencies.
2. Immature: Immature religious sentiment is
self-serving and generally represents the
negative stereotypes that people have about
religion.
ABRAHAM MASLOW (1908-1970)
Maslow developed a hierarchy of
needs, ranging from lower level
physiological needs, through love
and belonging, to self-
actualization.
Self-actualized people are those
who have reached their potential
for self-development.
Maslow claimed that mystics are
more likely to have had “peak
experiences,” experiences in
which the person feels a sense of
ecstasy and oneness with the
universe.
Maslow’s theory of “psychological
health” is value-based.
ERIK ERIKSON (1902-1994)
Erikson is best known for his
psychology of development.
Erikson believed that proper
psychological development
occurs in a series of eight
stages that follow a
sequence.
Associated with each stage is
an identity conflict involving a
positive resolution (or,
“virtue”) and a negative
resolution (or, “pathology”).
Erikson considered religions to
be important influences in
successful personality
development, promoting
virtues and prohibiting
pathologies.
View: History of ideas:
Religion
Dimensions of Religion
Not a definition, but identifying features that
help
us understand the way academics think about
the topic.
a. Prayer
b. Asceticism
c. Possession
d. Modes of dress
e. Pilgrimage
f. Ritual
1.THE PRACTICAL AND RITUAL DIMENSION:
WHAT THE ADHERENTS OF A RELIGION DO AS
PART OF THAT RELIGION
A. : subjective, emotional side of religion. What goes on
inside the person.
B. Basis of religious vitality and human significance,
central to ongoing individual religiosity, to the founding
of a tradition itself
Muhammad, conversion of Paul, Buddha’s
enlightenment; devotional movements; mystical
traditions (direct experience of the divine or ultimate)
   
C. The very core of religion is experience and emotion –
all else revolves around experience
         William James
2. THE EXPERIENTIAL AND EMOTIONAL
DIMENSION
Rudolf Otto
 Mysterium tremendum
fascinans – a mysterious
something that draws you
in and inspires both awe
and fear
EXPERIENTIAL OR EMOTIONAL
Bernini, Gianlorenzo
Ecstasy of St. Teresa
1647-52
Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
 Mysticism key here
- Intuitive
- Beyond reason
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)
3. NARRATIVE OR MYTHIC DIMENSION
i. Historical narratives: Moses, Buddha, Jesus,
Muhammad -- Histories of: a people; saints;
prophets; nations and lands; wars ....
ii. Creation narratives: before history,
before time
1. How the universe began - cosmogony.
2. How is creation organized -- cosmology.
iii. Destruction narratives: eschatological
(death and final destiny)
1. Nataraja: Lord of the Dance, circle of fire
2. Revelations: describes the signs and events
of final days when Christ comes to reclaim the
faithful. Final days = eschaton. Flood myths
3. Creation and destruction narratives tell us
about a tradition’s notion of time: i.e., cyclical,
linear.
KINDS OF NARRATIVE
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
4. DOCTRINAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL
DIMENSION
5. ETHICAL OR LEGAL DIMENSION
The things required of a believer.
Ethics concerns what is good and bad,
how one should live.
Law concerns what you must do
and what will happen if you
don't (rules and punishments).
                                                        i.      Examples: Shari'a
(Law): pray (5) times daily, give
alms, four wives.… Torah
("law"): hundreds of laws,
dietary (milk and meat)
6. SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL DIMENSION
how people's interactions are organized
as part of their religion
7. MATERIAL DIMENSION
Artifacts
 Buildings
 Art
 Music
 Symbols
 Natural World
physical forms in which a religion is embodied
a. Structures: churches, temples, synagogues.
b. Architecture, theology, religious practice are
interconnected.
Representations of
divine beings
Ritual objects and
substances: the
physical objects used
in religious ritual
Natural Features:
sacred landmarks
such as mountains,
rivers, trees
Sacred cities
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
 View: origin of religions
WHY DO RELIGIONS EXIST?
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
SOME KEY TERMS
Introduction to religion-world religions

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Introduction to religion-world religions

  • 1. INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION W HAT IS RELIGION? LECTURE SERIES BY Prof. Jeff Clyde Corpuz De La Salle University
  • 2. INTRODUCTORY QUESTION Why is religion such a sensitive topic? Its ok to debate politics, products (mac vs pc) but not religion.
  • 3.
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  • 9. Religare  Latin root  Re plus ligare  ‘again’ combined with ‘to bind’ meaning ‘to tie fast’ Religia  Latin – ‘obligation’ or ‘bond’ Religian  Old French WHAT IS RELIGION?
  • 11. A. GARY COMSTOCK that part of some people’s lives which involves rituals, beliefs, organizations, ethical values, historical traditions and personal habits or choices – some of which refer to the transcendent.
  • 12. “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. B. MIRCEA ELIADE: PHENOMENOLOGY
  • 13. Religion as a phenomenon looked on as universal—Eliade’s concept of the “sense of the sacred”    
  • 14. “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.
  • 15. C. Anti-Rationalistic Definitions  1. Lucretius—an anti-rational, coercive force.  2. Reinanch—a sum of scruples which impede the free exercise of our faculties.  3. Marx—a pathological manifestation of protective forces, deviation caused by ignorance of natural causes and their effects.
  • 16. D. Metaphysical Definition Max Mueller wrote that religion is a mental factor independent of sense and reason to apprehend the infinite in different names.
  • 17. E. Emotional Definitions 1. Schleiermacher saw the essence of religion as an emotion and consists of feelings of absolute dependence. 2. McTaggert said religion is best described as an emotion resting in conviction of harmony between ourselves and the universe at large
  • 18. F. Religion as Morality Immanuel Kant saw religion as the recognitions of our duties as divine commands, the driving force of the sacred is morality, e.g., tabu, holiness
  • 19. G. Psychological Definition  William James said that religion comes from the feelings and experiences and individual people
  • 20. WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910) Major work, Varieties of Religious Experience James distinguished between institutional religion and personal religion. Institutional Religion: This refers to the religious group or organization, and plays an important part in society’s culture. Personal Religion: This refers to the individual who has a mystical experience, one that can be experienced regardless of the culture.
  • 21. SIGMUND FREUD 1856-1939 Religion is about projecting our childhood experiences with our parents onto a God or gods
  • 22. CARL JUNG 1875-1961 Individuation or personal fulfillment Symbols particularly important
  • 23. CARL JUNG (1875-1961) Jung was concerned with the interplay between conscious and unconscious forces. He proposed two kinds of unconsciousness: 1. Personal Unconscious (or shadow): This includes things about ourselves that we would like to forget. 2. Collective Unconscious: This refers to events that we all share by virtue of our common heritage (humanity).
  • 24. GORGON ALLPORT (1897-1967) Classic work, The Individual and His Religion Allport made important contributions to the psychology of personality, refining the concept of “traits.” Allport classified the use of religion as: 1. Mature: Mature religious sentiment occurs when a person’s approach to religion is dynamic, open-minded, and able to maintain links between inconsistencies. 2. Immature: Immature religious sentiment is self-serving and generally represents the negative stereotypes that people have about religion.
  • 25. ABRAHAM MASLOW (1908-1970) Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs, ranging from lower level physiological needs, through love and belonging, to self- actualization. Self-actualized people are those who have reached their potential for self-development. Maslow claimed that mystics are more likely to have had “peak experiences,” experiences in which the person feels a sense of ecstasy and oneness with the universe. Maslow’s theory of “psychological health” is value-based.
  • 26.
  • 27. ERIK ERIKSON (1902-1994) Erikson is best known for his psychology of development. Erikson believed that proper psychological development occurs in a series of eight stages that follow a sequence. Associated with each stage is an identity conflict involving a positive resolution (or, “virtue”) and a negative resolution (or, “pathology”). Erikson considered religions to be important influences in successful personality development, promoting virtues and prohibiting pathologies.
  • 28.
  • 29. View: History of ideas: Religion
  • 30.
  • 31. Dimensions of Religion Not a definition, but identifying features that help us understand the way academics think about the topic.
  • 32. a. Prayer b. Asceticism c. Possession d. Modes of dress e. Pilgrimage f. Ritual 1.THE PRACTICAL AND RITUAL DIMENSION: WHAT THE ADHERENTS OF A RELIGION DO AS PART OF THAT RELIGION
  • 33. A. : subjective, emotional side of religion. What goes on inside the person. B. Basis of religious vitality and human significance, central to ongoing individual religiosity, to the founding of a tradition itself Muhammad, conversion of Paul, Buddha’s enlightenment; devotional movements; mystical traditions (direct experience of the divine or ultimate)     C. The very core of religion is experience and emotion – all else revolves around experience          William James 2. THE EXPERIENTIAL AND EMOTIONAL DIMENSION
  • 34. Rudolf Otto  Mysterium tremendum fascinans – a mysterious something that draws you in and inspires both awe and fear EXPERIENTIAL OR EMOTIONAL Bernini, Gianlorenzo Ecstasy of St. Teresa 1647-52 Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome  Mysticism key here - Intuitive - Beyond reason
  • 35. 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) 3. NARRATIVE OR MYTHIC DIMENSION
  • 36. i. Historical narratives: Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad -- Histories of: a people; saints; prophets; nations and lands; wars .... ii. Creation narratives: before history, before time 1. How the universe began - cosmogony. 2. How is creation organized -- cosmology. iii. Destruction narratives: eschatological (death and final destiny) 1. Nataraja: Lord of the Dance, circle of fire 2. Revelations: describes the signs and events of final days when Christ comes to reclaim the faithful. Final days = eschaton. Flood myths 3. Creation and destruction narratives tell us about a tradition’s notion of time: i.e., cyclical, linear. KINDS OF NARRATIVE
  • 37. 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 4. DOCTRINAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL DIMENSION
  • 38. 5. ETHICAL OR LEGAL DIMENSION The things required of a believer. Ethics concerns what is good and bad, how one should live. Law concerns what you must do and what will happen if you don't (rules and punishments).                                                         i.      Examples: Shari'a (Law): pray (5) times daily, give alms, four wives.… Torah ("law"): hundreds of laws, dietary (milk and meat)
  • 39. 6. SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL DIMENSION how people's interactions are organized as part of their religion
  • 40. 7. MATERIAL DIMENSION Artifacts  Buildings  Art  Music  Symbols  Natural World physical forms in which a religion is embodied a. Structures: churches, temples, synagogues. b. Architecture, theology, religious practice are interconnected.
  • 41. Representations of divine beings Ritual objects and substances: the physical objects used in religious ritual Natural Features: sacred landmarks such as mountains, rivers, trees Sacred cities
  • 42. 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  View: origin of religions WHY DO RELIGIONS EXIST?
  • 43. 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 SOME KEY TERMS