Questions from Lectures
1.) Describe in some detail the significant approach to the Study of Religion that the following
Historians of Religion took?
A) Max Mueller
Max Mueller was a linguist fluent in greek, latin, Italian, Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Persian, & Hebrew.
Mueller took the Comparative Linguistic approach to the study of religion. He was the founding father of
the science of religion ( Religionswissenschaft ) stressing linguistical study of textual sources. Muller‘s
theory of the origin of Religion Sun God. Sky God- Hence Ur-Monotheism. Later by ―Disease of
Language‖. Polytheism- all natural objects became personified and deified.
B) Micea Eliade (1907-1986)
Micea studied Indian Philosophy and became aware of ―Peasant Cultures.‖ In Romany he attempted a
new interpretation of myths and symbols of Archaic and Oriental Religions. In Soborne Paris, he
developed comparative phenomenological approach to sacred centers – Cosmogonies. History of
Religions brought together: Linguistical Analysis of texts and Anthropological and Social studies
C) Wilfred C. Smith (1916-2000)
Religious studies are about people. Dynamic interpretation of text and tradition (1964- 1985). He became
the director of the center for the study of World Religions at Harvard University. Graduate Center.
Created Harvard‘s first undergraduate major in religious studies graduate program. He believed one
should study religious tradition other than one‘s own and then one should study that religion in its own
2. What are the principal characteristics of ELOHIM, the GOD in GENESIS (Chapter 1, verse).
“Who created the Heavens and the Earth,” and what are the two principle CREATION
THEORIES found in GENESIS 1?
God (ELOHIM) created the heavens and the earth (cosmos). The earth was in (Tehom) chaos. The spirit
(wind) of God was moving over the face of the waters (Mayim) (problem: waters – pre-existent matter).
God said ―Let there be light; and there was light. And now god saw that the light was good, (God created
by his word, out of nothingness). Light-Day; Darkness – Night. And God said let there be a firmament
(dome) in the midst of water and it was to separate waters from the