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Lec notes wed dec 1.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Joseph Bryant

Lec notes wed dec 1, 2010 Max weber The historical sociology of the world religion Sought to establish the interconnections between economics, politics, war, religion, etc, as these interrelations shift and unfold in the course of shaping and driving human history The importance of “religiously determined systems of life regulation” for economics, politics, warfare, art , the erotic, education and intellectual life, etc Starting point: differing levels or degrees of religious aptitude or interest among individuals Virtuoso or „heroic‟ religiosity „everyday‟ or „mass religiosty‟ Basic orientation is that human seek supernatural support and aid “so they may prosper and have a long life on earth‟‟ …..(health, wealth, status, power, etc), and they seek assurances of advantages in an afterlife” There are far more prophets that become sociologicall successful – some find teachings and not supporters -------- the tension between tradition and charisma Humans prefer order, stability, the familiarity of routine Religion is one of the most conservative or social institutions: its truths are timeless, sacred, unchanging – religions address the ultimate questions of value, meaning, purpose I,e religion is not oriented towards being fashionably, trendy, or now Chrisma- extrodaniary trait of character, personality- it is the force that raptures religion Richard Bulliet, introduced the idea of s shaped curve of conversion : The available convert pool to any religion is sociologically and psychologically diverse, and the soci-historical contexts in which conversions occur are dynamic, chagong 5 basic convert types: Innovators- the earliest recruits, who are zealots, enthusiasts, seekers=2.5% of the population Early adaptors- risk taking pioneers or social marginals = approx 13.5% Early majority- mainly those or somewhat higher social standing who are attracted to a movement moving from fringe status to greater social porminance =approx 34% Late majority- religious moderates The laggards- Webers SECT –Church dynamic Sects and churches are oriented toward a) distinctive types of religious intensity or experience and B) competing organizational and membership standards Against an existing religious tradition, new tradition, new religious movements begin by recruiting from those seeking a higher truth, a more intense experience – they are unfulfilled, uninspired by tradition, and so are willing to risk joining or exploring something new SECT- a voluntary association of those who have been called, chosen, enlightened , inspired , who are thus qualified – commonly follow exacting purity requirements, engage in intensive spirituality activity, zealous commitment to the faith –true believers- = virtuoso or heroic standards of religiosity for the members= a visible community of saints , hoi, the holy ones, the chosen Church- an organization where charismatic sancity is objectified not in the individual members, but in the institution itself, in the priestly order, the sacrements and the rituals, the sacred texts ,,,a church is an entriprise in salvation, disoensing holiness to its members on conditions of loyality = mass religiousity the church is a school for sinners – lower standard of purity , knowledge, so long as members remain loyal to the church and its leadership, which extends forgiveness and absolution, drawing upon the treasury of grace and holiness held by the church = salvation democratizied The historical-sociological tension: New religious movements typically begin with sectarian mode of heroic or virtuoso riligiousty and zeal, but to become a stable social precense, they must win over those less disposed to such intense religiousty ,,,they must compromise on the high principles and virtuosos standards to permit a mass or popular following Successful sects thus move in the direction of becoming churches ---- this sets the stage for a new upsurge of sect formation - the successful then become churches Weber sees a cyclical pattern, passing from tradition to a charismatic upsurge of rigor, enthusiasim, zeal which leads to a new tradition , opening space for a new charisma Christianity: 1) Provides a illustration of webers theortical framework There are 3 phases in emergence of chiristinaity: 1) sectarian reform movement within judiasm 2) develops into a new conversions –Salvationist cult religion ….3) eventuall achieving imperial church status The Christina movement can be a conversions salivation cult in that jesus followers spread out in roman empire and communicate his teachings and you would be safe if you convert into this movement, therefore you had to leave your previous religion and become an exclusive in this cult. During the first 300 years it operated in this form and Christianity was an illegal religion and membership could have cost your life. At a crucial movement this movement won a controversial movement, constitine became the ruler and he was a convert to christinaity this emperor and now christinaity becomes this imperial church tied to the imperial state becoming a persecuting majority making people persecuted if you belonged in other churches. - We have source problems- the earlier texts come after 20 years him being executed, but what is difficult is the chiristian scriptures were written 70 years or more after Jesus death and they do not represent contemporoy history but faith statements about a movement that is in place and these were written at a time when Christianity was formed so the text are written to reflect that situation rather than the actual movement. The faith statements aren‟t imperial but are for identify including its core principle so it‟s hard to use scriptures to originate how this formed because they were written late, they include the beliefs of the movement. The chirsitian case is complicated in another factor, these writings calim that jesus fulfill the old testaments, they are written in Hebrew scriptures, what they write in their scriptures are that there are things in jesus career that fulfills the Hebrews scriptures. There are quotations and this rasies a question….are these accounts fulfilling prophecy of earlier writings…are they really written in account for jesus or are they imitations? Some say they were written because he fuflied them while others say they were written so that it seems that Jesus fulfilled them. Fir believers you take what‟s in the scriptures to be factually true. - The crucial fact of the experience of people living in Palestine is that they are living under roman domination and they were powerful structure and year 63 onwards jews were living under their rule. - In the Hebrew scripture there is a cove net and that they are supposed to take him as a god in exchange for land, in any foreign domination raises many questions. They are concerned that the kingdoms had all these foreign threats, the reason Israel is losing is because they are not following with the convenient and God therefore allows these rulers to punish the Jews for failing to live up to the cove net, and they promised these lands and the leader comes and robs them of this position. Judaism follows monotheism and is against polytheism - Whenever they lost this lands this causes a lot of difficulty - Foreign domination caused tension - The kingdom of isreal had not a lot of power - Radical religious movements that promise a radical transformation-suffering will be rewarded. Now they use is it as milaniry cults - Through the study of scores of milinary movements wehre charismatic figures say end of world is coming and if u join my movement you will be saved, it is connected to foreign domination - Juses movements is a milinarian cult: - 1) promise heaven on earth, reversal of the present order, upsurge of emotional enthusiasm, initial social constituency largely of the dispriviledged, the marginal - Jesus is saying the kingdom of god is at hand, there is this
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