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Lecture 1

RLGA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Church Attendance, Religion In Israel, Peer Pressure


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLGA02H3
Professor
David Perley
Lecture
1

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RLGA02 Lecture 1
Do the study guide. Same questions will appear on midterm.
Study syllabus for a quiz (participation mark 1) for next class.
From the reading belief is just one way to talk about what religion is.
What is the problem with representing religion with a map? Majority of Canada can
identify as Christian however that doesn’t mean the whole country is Christian.
Some people identify as being Muslim but for social or cultural religious they do not
physically go to any Mosque. Do we then say they can’t be Muslim?
Attending a temple, mosque or church. Does attending a church every week mean that I
am religious. It could be peer pressure, parents make me go, I really like the social
groups. The problem with church attendance doesn’t mean the person has the beliefs.
How can asking on a census to identify what religion you are be a problem? You can
self-identify to a certain religion but by looking on paper, your behavior, how you live
your life does not line up with the ideal person in a religious context. The problem with
this is that almost all religions have a how a perfect person or ideal person should behave.
The reality is all these religions have mechanisms to manage the fact that we all fall short
of that. Christianity takes about that original sin that we are all broken and busted. So its
just to be expected that we can’t figure stuff out. That’s why we need a higher power to
help us figure it out.
What else is religion? Beliefs, ritual activity, story telling/narrative/ creation stories.
Religious beliefs are a response to other beliefs that they feel might be in conflict or
tension.
Fundamentalism is defined as a response to modernity. Beliefs develop as a response to
other things.
Religions are like guidelines, rules and direction on how to behavior, how to think, what
to do.
Lay people- people that are not experts. Priests, ministers all have authority and then you
have the other people aka lay people. The hierarchy is absolutely prescribed in religious
traditions.
Mortality- what happens to me when I die, is there an afterlife. This is a focal point in
many traditions. Other religions beliefs when you die your soul gets reabsorbed into the
world. Religious traditions not only provide a meaning in life, again all humans want
meaning in life. Therefore, we can say religious beliefs provide an ultimate meaning in
life. What’s the difference between meaning and ultimate meaning?
Religions are expressed in structures architecture, geographic location.
Religion is a byproduct of society.
Why might this discussion seek problems in finding a definition of religion? People think
about religion in different ways. Religious are radically diverse.
Religion is fluid.
Historically these three traditions ( Christianity, Judaism and Islamic) are very connected
by content, practice, belief and narrative.
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