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Lecture

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Department
Religious Studies
Course
SRS2112
Professor
e
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture #1 Why study Religion: 1) A vital component in the various societies that have existed throughout human history 2) To help us fully understand other traditions and cultures that we come into contact with 3) Our own political and social context is bound up in religious tradition and rhetoric 4) Helps to form our own picture of reality Ninian Smart (1927­2001): o Pioneer in the field of secular religious studies o Established the first department of religious studies in the UK in 1967 o His legacy included the foundation of multiple religious studies at several institutions of higher learning Ninian Smart’s Seven Dimensions of Religion 1) The Practical and Ritual Dimension 2) The Experiential and Emotional Dimension 3) The Narrative or Mythic Dimension 4) The Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension 5) The Ethical and Legal Dimension 6) The Social and Institutional Dimension 7) The Material Dimension The Practical and Ritual Dimension  • often thought to be a formal procedure in a specific setting • even simple observances involve ritual • ritual involves both and inner and outer aspect • most rituals make reference to or are explained as originating in the actions/stories of a divine figure • life cycle rituals relate human experience to the divine world The Experimental and Emotional Dimension  involves the experience of religion on the part of the individual  hope of experiencing the divine world through ritual  personal religion normally involves the hope or realization of contact with the invisible world  experience is generally at the core of the foundation of religious traditions  experience canno
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