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SRS1393 (1)

SRS 1393 A Complete Lectures 2013

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Religious Studies
Shelley Rabinovitch

Religion, illusion and Reality Lec #1 Sept 10  Religion shapes the way we see the world  Colonialism has had a tremendous impact around the world and it’s still the same filter we use today, such as what’s going on in Quebec with the religious artifacts  Everyone has different assumptions about religion and the film is about lack of understanding what religion really is all about  The last residential school was in 1996-1998 in Canada where people were forced to change  One of the filters noted on the film and that most people have is Ethnocentrism which is an assumption that where you belong or whom you identify with you tend to interpret everything you see or understand because of the group you belong to, so it’s a sort of filter that we see things from or judge others or their cultures from the standard of our own values and culture  Religio: Latin background, taking care, doing it properly, such as sacrifice, you are mindful, careful about rituals, or you are under obligation to pray or you identify as a Muslim and you pray because you may be obligated to do so or to simply just practice rights  Religion: not one clear definition but it depends on what discipline you are talking about – sociology, psychology, economics etc… and religious studies is a field not a discipline and its some sort of belief system and there might be as many religions in the world as there are people  Most people usually refer to religion because it is some sort of institution and what that means is that they do not follow all the practices of their fate or prey and then they do not follow the religio  When people say they are spiritual they mean there is some sort of other external power such as their soul will go somewhere and they believe in an afterlife but they do not believe in an institutionalized way of religion such as practicing praying etc…  Faith: belief in – two kinds: Faith of the head is what allows people from different religions to have dialogue, people discussing even from the same religion, intelligent and interesting dialogue  Faith of the heart: is something you cannot explain, it moves beyond the intellect such as belief or emotion and in different societies believe in different parts of the body such as heart, stomach etc.  Atheism is still considered as faith  Faith works on two levels. Faith of the heart would apply because you heart makes you feel right! Lec #2 Sept 13  Emic: me, it’s how the participant (inside) see’s and does the action or the point of view of the individual  Etic: it’s what the subject see’s the object doing or what the researcher says who may be a reporter, scholar or observer  Fundamental/ism/ist: this word is often used during 911. Some fundamental things are core things or basic things such as air, food, water, shelter etc. Fundamental things of religions are statements such as basic core beliefs and if you adhere to fundamental ideas then you are considered a fundamentalist. Lastly, a fundamentalist is someone who believes the basic things of a religion and this is not a bad thing, but lately the media is using this word to refer to extremists or terrorists by calling them fundamentalists, but in fact this word has nothing to do with any of those statements!  William Poston – philosophical explanation of religion o Profane: part of the everyday world and unsacred, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing o Sacred acts: things such as praying o Moral code: a set of codes such as god Athena says what you must do…. o Sense of oath, sense of guilt, atteration which is to fall with passion to your feet. These are all feelings or emotions of people and we are connected to god through these various feelings o Prayer: a way of communicating with the divine o Ontological: basic questions, like why people suffer, why does god exist, why is there war, why is the world unequal etc….  Radio was the first way to bring religion virtually in people’s homes without having to go out to their church and they could now prey from the comfort of their homes  Festivals and holydays: All religions divide these two words into 2 different categories. Festivals are considered happy days, and we are allowed to to have fun and give gifts, indulge in sweets etc…. Holydays on the other hand are meant to not eat good foods but to eat bad foods. Both terms are different but in Canada they are referred to as holidays which are not correct….  Abrahamic and People of the Book: Both are encompassing terms and they are both traced to related texts and are moral guidelines. People of the book refers to followers of monotheistic Abrahamic religions that are older than Islam  Cosmology: world view despised by religion, how you believe the world is structured  Axiology: The values such as wearing a hair net or cover your head, mainly two kinds of values: ethics and aesthetics. Ethics investigates the concepts of "right" and "good" in individual and social conduct. Aesthetics studies the concepts of "beauty" and "harmony. Lec #3 Sept 17  Substantive: what religion is, this religion believes in so and so, its history and what it is  Functional: what does it do, what function does it serve  Substance: A set of beliefs that give life to ideas  Functional: teaches us how to interact with other things and how we are supposed to live, or guide humans  Orthodoxy: belief, correct or right belief, if you believe that Jesus was hanged to relieve all your sins then you are considered Orthodoxy and believe the core ideas of the prescribed religion  Orthopraxy: less familiar, a large part of identification of jews, and it is again the right or proper practice, for example give to the poor, prey numerous times a day and do the prescribed practices of their religion  Literacy: 85-95% of Canada is literate, ability to write, read and understand  Biased: values, ethnocentrism  Gender biased he, him, his but most religions believe that god is man Lec #4 Sept 20  Universalism: All x do y, all a believe b, all babacuerians believe in blah blah blah….  Androcentrism: Interpreting everything from a human point of view how do humans respond?  Elitism: Elite white women pretending to know everything and judging what women a hijab feel like  Othering: Making another group of human beings appear less then ourselves, ―not as good as‖, demeaning, degrading others, referring to them as objects instead of subject  Everyone has a set of goggles, and we need to look beyond our self-knowledge in order to see and understand other ideas and peoples beliefs, since we all have this lens we judge from then we should look deeper to help us see things we don’t or are not used to seeing.  Experiential: based on experience, same as faith of the heart  Propitiation: trying to make god feel good, by promising or make or offer the divine to do something positive for them to feel better.  Binary: your world does not have ―shades of grey‖ but it’s the interpretation that allows religions to survive because it is able to change, and expand and thus shades of grey become acceptable  Hubris: assumption that the human being knows what god accepts or does but in fact they don’t to think you are god and be as powerful as the divine Lec #5 Sept 24  Numinous (ity): story with the Mexican lady that the teacher met in Mexico and her story about seeing virgin Marry and following the white dove.  Signs: are important and they are clear in most cases such as a stop sign on the road. Neither signs nor symbols are universal but there are similarities. Signs have very specific meanings and they are usually easy to understand or distinguish  Symbols: are not meant to be taken surface literary. When you take symbols out of their time and interpret it in today’s life they may not be properly translated therefore their meaning may not be correct. A symbol is a religious shorthand. Symbols have many different meanings and interpretations depending on the context and geographical location. Symbols are multi-vocal and not uni-vocal meaning that depending on the context it has a different meaning  Sacred: power but as explained by Elide  Sacred space: is considered anything and it’s up to people to view any space as sacred. Some religions assay anything is a sacred space but in some places like a church, mosque or religious building is considered a sacred space  Sacred place: is usually a place where a human lost their lives where a ―soul was cut short‖. Examples of this is the ―ghost white bicycles‖ on the side of the road. In some religions it is believed that the soul was not ready to leave and it is where you can connect with the individual on a deeper level since that’s the location where they lost their lives.  Sacred time: most religions have certain ritual words and once you are praying you are now in a sacred time. A sacred time is anytime you are connecting with another soul or god Lec #6 Sept 27  Numinous: comes from the word spirit, and refers to the experience in contact with the divine and it gives the individual a sense of mystery, avow, dread, and it gives people an idea of them feeling nothing but a sneeze and it is entirely beyond a human beings ability to understand and this is so big that people cannot wrap their head around it and they will never be able to turn and be able to explain this phenomenon to another person  Reality divine numinous: religion of the heart, this reality defines science and illusion.  Secular profane: another reality, day to day, non-sacred realm, things that science can test and whatever is considered real. Divine numinous is subjective reality based on participant observation and secular profane is objective reality and it’s not secular.  Monotheism: Belief in the existence of one god. Monotheism is characteristic of JUDAISM , CHRISTIANITY , and SLAM , all of which view God as the creator of the world, who oversees and intervenes in human events, and as a beneficent and holy being, the source of the highest good  Polytheism: belief in more than one god, the numerous gods may be dominated by a supreme god or by a small group of powerful gods.  Pantheism: the belief that identifies God with the universe. The belief that God is the only reality, transcending all, and that the universe and everything in it are mere manifestations of him  Animism: is the religious worldview that natural physical entities—including animals, plants, and often even inanimate objects or phenomena—possess a spiritual essence Lec #7 Oct 1  Sacred power: power is a basic religious thing, but in this case it’s numinous, great, very big and larger than life.  Animous: each living thing has a spirit and a soul but depending what it is, whether it’s human, cat, cow etc. in this case their spirit size depends on what they are  Taboo: it is not good in certain times of the year to bother snakes in any shape or form. For example, it is not good to talk about snakes, not eat, not wake them up, and if you shake up this it’s considered taboo. If you break the taboo you will manifest some kind of disease because you were not supposed to do this.  Spirits: A spirit is a force that influences the will of people. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon and he part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings  Ancestors: is based on the belief that the dead have a continued existence and/or possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living  Totem: it can be an animal such as a badger, or mythical animals that may have existed before but may no longer be living  God/dessess: a lot of them depending on the society, more often gods have thunder or lightening images because they represent a great deal of power. Demons are not always bad or evil  Monotheist Duty: is a belief in the existence of a single god  Trinitarianism: God exists as three persons: God the Father, God the Son(incarnate as Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit  Binary or dualism: Zoroastrianism a very small religion out of Iran, a revelation was given meaning it has 2 equally divine gods, one is all of the goodness and the other is all the misfortunes of the world. People that follow this religion are only born into it, and others cannot convert into it unless they are born in a family that follows it  Pantheistic: means that there are many gods and goddesses out there  Monotheistic: philosophical position which argues that the variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance  Agnostic: is a belief that there is something out there but it’s so big we cannot understand it and maybe there is something beyond human  Atheism: lack of any kind of divine and it’s assumed that there is nothing beyond us, no sense of sin, or of being reincarnated. Lec #8 Oct 5  Who is sacred: God and Bodhisattva choose to remain closer to the world of suffering and they are considered sacred. They help others to reach enlightenment and act in a way like saints, so they can hear us prey and can provide a getaway to reach god. Many religions have a sacred creating force that is beyond human understanding. Everything sacred represents the divine  God/Allah/Brahman/Buddha: the cosmology recognizes these figures as gods, god is the ultimate supreme  Intermediaries: Greece had gods/goddesses as supreme figures, but the female goddesses were higher up. When there are no divine supremes all things are considered sacred and everything alive has it’s own little spirit, so this is a cosmology that we are least knowledgeable about  Holy/wise people: Judaism has a lot of wise men or figures and they represent the sacred, ost of the times they are manifestations of the divine  Priests/ess: training or a gift or have been chosen by the divine. Years of training from childhood and these people lived all their lives under the same religion. Nuns are also considered sacred and all the above go to specific institutions and receive training and they are official intermediaries between humans and sacred  Prophets: human beings who have received knowledge and are indirect contacts to the divine, there is no objective way to know or verify that they are in fact who they say there are. Lastly, how do we know, so we are told to do all the best we can, and feel free to believe in any religion we want to. We have no way to prove or evaluate this, to believe or not to believe is our choice at the end of the day. Lec #9 Oct 7  Bodhisattva: sacred person in Buddhism and a descriptor of a saint like figure  Olorun-Yuruba Orisha: a world were god exists but as a divine figure, but people cannot talk to god because he is too busy, far away and distant so you cannot pray to him, he is white and very large  Church: all these come from sociology but applied to religion. Church in this setting does not mean Christianity at all; it’s simply a community or a large religious system. All these terms are typologies.  Sect is a sub sect of a large religious institution, like different forms like a church would have a sub sect of Greek orthodox, Christian etc.  Cult: is a small religious movement usually focused around a charismatic leader. Not necessarily bad, and usually they have a secret and know important things that they don’t want to share with others  How do we experience religion? One way is experiential and another is emotional. Sometimes the experience is the changing movement of what becomes Islam. One of the ways to do it is to practice or prey and this provides the individual the experiential way and the contact with the numinous. Mystical experiences are part of experiential because you feel a sort of emotion and know you have been contacted by the numinous and it’s supposed to give you a sense of mystery.  Chassidic: a very orthodox sect, clothing of Poland and Ukraine, a very mystical experience of contact with numinous in order to re-live that contact with the divine  Gnostic: based on Gnosis, the knowledge of t
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