RS 110 - MODULE 0.docx

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Published on 13 Jan 2014
School
University of Waterloo
Department
Religious Studies
Course
RS110
Professor
MODULE 0 – INTRODUCTION
Common methodological assumptions
Western religions  Judaism, Christianity, Islam
oKnown as the world religions.
Eastern religions  Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintuism etc.
Assumptions:
oReligious observation and/or belief
Phenomenological approach  descriptive approach necessary for a
fair evaluation of the different religion
Personal participation
Common religious assumptions
Monotheism – in all 3 religions, they worship one God
oNotion that there is only one God.
oGod is the highest being and there is no one above Him.
Ontological priority – philosophical terms
oTranscendence – God is the highest being in theological terms
oTheistic conception– God created AND continuously cares for what He
created.
Pantheism – God is everywhere.
Polytheism – belief in many gods, each of which has different
functions
Henotheism – belief that there are many gods, but among all the
gods, there is one highest god. In Greek mythology, Zeus was the
highest god.
Monotheism – only one God exists. Starting point of the three
religions that will be studied.
oExistence – we do not know the essence of God
Revelation
oLogically follows transcendence
oAct of divine self-disclosure from God
oQuestion of epistemology (philosophy of knowledge)
Scripture – all based on scripture
oCanon of writings
oWay of passing on the religion to other generations
oDivine origin that come from God
oTheological, ethical authority
Interpretation of these books is important.
oQuestion of hermeneutics  attempt to translate the scripture
Can lead to misinterpretation of the literature.
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