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Lecture

*Condensed!* RLGA02 Lecture 2

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Department
Religion
Course Code
RLGA02H3
Professor
David Perley

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Description
LECTURE 02- 10 WAVES, AND JUDAISM (Part I); RLGA02, Dr. Perley, Winter 2012 - Always bring textbook to class - Class Focus: what humans say about religion - WebOption videos only on for 2 weeks (then removed) ================================================================= 10 Waves of Religion - "wave" metaphor o (Class's interpretations of the "wave" term)  1) No one single origin that results in final wave that washes up on shore (influenced by other traditions); 1 wave compilation of many other waves  2) Crest of wave (historical moment about tradition)  3) 10 ways of talking about ways to be religious  4) Waves can come crashing into each other => abrupt changes in traditions  5) Life-sustaining, but also terrifying & powerful: drastic effect on new relig. ideas coming into loc. ex. majority of society converted to emerging religion Note to Reader: NOTHING about waves was on our exam in 2012; it is not likely to show up in subsequentuent exams; his focus is on the 3 traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Ancient Religions – Chapter 2  Main Points - concern of Afterlife o belief that something goes on after Earthly life finished o may have arose from people dreaming about their ancestors, realizing the reality that the dead people are in - multiple deities & spirits; calling upon different gods for different needs/things; serve certain functions for human beings; (ex. god of Food, god of Physical comfort) - can worship the one God, but still believe in other gods Overview of Religions Returning to the Western Traditions - theology is the study of God - doctrines & beliefs are not self-evident, but debated and interpreted - primary activity in Judaism, Christianity, Islam (“Western Traditions”) – interpretation of scripture Definition of Religion - can be defined as a set of beliefs and doctrines followed by people, but not all people describe religion like that; for instance, religion can be focused on doing things (here’s commandments and instructions, and I must follow them) Accessibility of Religion - key component that determines the likelihood of success of religious traditions is ACCESSIBILITY o because doctrines & beliefs can be complex, sometimes translated down to a narrative or myth format  in a more simpler format, it can connect with the human experiences of even laypeople. Religion in Social Context - society is key component of religion o one cannot be viewed as religious individuals without a social context Religion defined as Morality - defining religion as a “guide” of what’s right and what’s wrong o but can still be a moral, ethical person without religion (ex. Athiest) Doodle of the Treasure Chest (he drew this on slide) - INSIDE o Christianity, Judaism, Islam  Contents: scriptures, rituals, symbols & ideas in published (orally presented) form, relics & artifacts - OUTSIDE o History (ie. archaeological evidence), psychology (to interpret activity & behaviour of ingroup members), ideas that outsiders have about scriptures, philosophy (existence of God)  External contents are dynamic; serve as framework that allow us to look at chest from various perspectives; depending on what perspective taken, the contents of box change; the things in the box change depending on what perspective we look at them from JUDAISM Diversity - Judaism is a “plural” term, so there is inherent diversity within the religion o Ie. sects Ancient Israelite Religion - stories in ancient Jewish practice trace back to agriculture rituals o ~6 century BCE: due to shift of concern growing away from agriculture, these early practices were transformed into more explicit religious rituals using Moses and Abhram stories to remap rituals into a new, social context.  Description nd - Pre-Rabbanical Judaism aka Temple Judaism  existed until 70 CE: destruction of 2 Jerusalem temple - Connected to the Temple (not synagogue), located in Jerusalem; worship centred in this one sacred place Rabbanical Judaism - arose after 70CE - fueled by interpretation of Hebrew Bible, and Oral Law, though even in this there was diversity, such that there was no one single perspective accepted o differences in opinions w.r.t rituals, interpretation of scriptures continues to presist today; manifestation: different Jewish sects What does it mean to be a Jew? - the term “Jew” o does not imply practitioner of Jewish religion; can be a Jew because you are part of cultural, or ethnic organization that had ancestors who were Jews; though the group is not based on race, because genetic diversity exists among Jews due to people from different ancestral lines have converted to Judaism in past & present; someone can identify as being Jewish, but not be religious (manifestation: majority of Israelite Jews today are secular (ie. not practicing their faith)). Monotheism - Judaism describes itself as monotheistic from its very origin o Ex. Book of Deuteronomy – commands to have love for 1 God Ambiguity behind 1) "Monotheism” Interpretation #1: Interpretation #2: - classic understanding of monotheism - 1 God to worship, but don’t worship the others; BUT, this does not imply that they - 1 God, and all others are false (ex. Islam) don’t believe they exist.
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