Religion as Culture Turning Points in Religious Studies Class 7
1. Geertz’ def. Of religion:
a. Symbols, individual belief, moods and motivation
2. What does Asad’ take issue with in Geertz’s def. Or religion
a. Religion in Europe has changed and evolved so much
b. Geertz is the last reprecentice of the biast Eurocentric view of the world. Geertz def.
See’s the west.
i. Asad says that you need to get out of the Eurocentric thinking and get out of the
Asad and Geertz are both anthropologist who study human culture and living communities. Qualitative
research go to the community and involve yourself with them. Learn cultural literacy to understand
how the community live their lives.
Reading Geertz from the point of Asad.
- Geertz says (reading of the slide): religion is a serious of symbols. . .
o Essentially Geertz is an old school thinker where the group and social dynamic are
initially rationalized in terms of rational beliefs based on religion
- Not just talking about belief, or neurosis (Freud), or false consciousness (MARX) but
emotions! Moods, experiences. Things that are internal and religion brings out the internal
- Geertz quote reading again
- What is the context in what this happens?
The multifaith center is a blank room. When different faith groups come they bring their faith symbols
out of the closest create there community and then put them away.
Durheim : how do these things shape these communities?
HOW DO RELIGIONS DO THINGS AND HOW DO THEY DO THAT???
Before answering he will answer what culture is.
- The bread and butter of anthropologist
- Religion theories at the root explain/describe human differences
- Theory of religion is embedded in what society is, how it changes (Durkheim, faber, Marx)
religion exist as part of the social process. Talks about human differences and what society
is. o Any theory of religion is embedded in what the individual is (Freud and neurosis)
and where religion fits in to the individual (Same as James)
- Today we can add another sub-point.
- When we have a theory of religion we are proposing a theory of culture.
- What counts as culture?
o Everything. . .
o Has to be shared among a group, often someone cultured is considered high society
o Civilization combined of music, education, P.A
o How people view, interpret and consider their environment
o School culture
o Sport culture etiquette, communal activities
- Culture is a product of the secular term of civilization
o Religion, race, the nation, art comes about. Things we come back to time after time
o Slide of what counts as culture
o Last point on the slide summary of denaturalizing
- Is Religion Culture?
o Religion is by def. Communal and therefore culture
o Is religion culture???? Depends on def. Of religion
There is no answer.