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RELG 207 Class notes I.docx

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Religious Studies
RELG 207
Arvind Sharma

Lecture 1 Introduction Course OutlineMidtermFinalMC or short answer examResearch essayhow to select a topic will be discussed by TAs Course ExpectationsRead the chapter of the book for the religion we are studyingLecturehighlight certain topics of chapter in more detailed discussion give a question to think about expected to have some answersdiscuss the answers and the questions invite more than one possibilitiesend with a thought for the day Question What is the opposite of love My answer apathyWhat is a religion No set definition of religion that all scholars agree upon but most have idea of what is meant by religion ie Physicsdeals with study of mattero study of natural phenomenono goal of study to determine the ultimate nature of matter what is matter ultimately made of atomssubatomic particles etc o search for the ultimate nature of matterie Politicsinvestigation into ultimate nature of governmento deals with powergovernmentcenter of power o distribution of powerwho exercised acquired and distributed to various institutionsthese fields are broad orientationsBasic Orientation of religion inquiring about the nature of the ultimate reality Physics focus of ultimate reality of matterPolitics deals with ultimate reality of powerReligion focus on ultimate reality of everything as a whole The Ultimate by itself gives rise to different religions of the worldGod of some sort discloses nature of reality of us Study of religioninvestigations and attempts to find an answer of nature of ultimate realition Matter and Power are ultimate nature of subrealitiesIs there an ultimate reality Can I exist Can you feel it Religion Ultimate Concern defined by many scholarscan be interpreted in 2 ways o that which should be ultimate concerned o that which may be the ultimate concerned may or may not be the ultimatewhat is ultimate GodA joggerrunning takes an ultimate place in his life and is an ultimate concernas soon as it acquires the characteristic of ultimacy in a persons life it takes on ritual aspect and is associated with characterisitcs of religion o get up at certain times to jog consumes a runners dietWhat is supposed to be ultimate God Should we take a substantial or functional viewis Marxism a religion Tensionboth the aspects are investigated Academic study of religion vs Confessional study of religion Academic setting of this course Religion is also studied in religious buildings What is the difference bt study of religion as it is carried out in confessional setting from our own academic setting Can do bothdifferenceConfessionthe acceptance of your own religious traditions as trueo Those who concepts the premise of the religions they are studying Can study Christianity as a nonChristian or a Christiano Very oldin India at least 3000 yrs oldo Ppl study their own relgions Academicyou can believe in all religions or non but purpose is to study it as a systemo Does not imply commitment on your part o Study as systemsWhy do they think they have the answer to the question what are they doing with the answer how do we know they have the answer is the answer for only themselveso Study with open mindwhat is it they find in their religiono What makes a group of ppl follow a certain religionshort or long time Despite the critiques and the secular temptations or temptations of other religionstho Very youngstarted in the middle of the 19 century2 aspects Academic study of religion in order to gain information of the religions of the worldMultitraditional Confessional usually only studies 1 religionIf studying other religions it is from the POV of their religionPolymethodic Dont just study all these religions by one method but many diff methodsHistoricalmost obvious when did tradition arrive its teachings evolution and where it is now factualstats on followers sacred book commentaries when it was first reveredGeology used to be called natural history emphasis on fact PhenomenologicalAll of them have scriptures and ritualswhat we are what we might become salvation o Major themes across religionso So you can horizontally studycompare religions across the worldo Ie Christiantiy hindusimBuddhism etc all have scripture ritualo We will do horizontal comparisonSociologicallook at religions as a function of social gathering and society Psychologicalreligions it to cope with life What are world religionsWe will be studying 7 traditions IndiaBuddhism HindusimChinaConfuciasm Daosim Middle EastJudaism Islam and ChristianityThese 7 are the accepted world religions
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