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1st Term Notes


Course Code
Andre Maintenay

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What is religion; how do we study it?
Theories of Religion
No specific definition
They Study of Religion
What is it?
Religare (Latin) to tie/bind it; to join/reconnect
Cant tie definition to God
Western phenomenon
Sacred Text Bible/ religion needs it
W.C. Smith Challenges the notion of some essence of religion
Instead religious people
faith & traditions
Can believers recognize themselves in your description?
People form countries
Different views
Believers dont know their religion as well
Insider/Outsider Debate
^-Belong/ ^-outside looking in
Part of Religion
Your bring who you are, wherever you go
Comparative religions not measuring them
Most profound expression of the human spirit v. blight on civilization
Western v. Eastern religion
Religious v. Secular

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Separation of church and state
America is a secular state
Ninian Smarts: 7 Characteristics of Religion:
1.Ritual -
2.Mythical creation, stories
3.Doctrinal teaching, written down
4.Ethical right/wrong, rules
5.Social highly organized
6.Experiential personal experience
7.Material build and create, monuments, physical sight
Myth: from mythos (Greek) story
Ritual: connection to, participating in, honouring the sacred
Lec # 2: Judaism
Judaism early history
[BC (Before Christ)/ AD (After Death)] / [BCE (Before Common Era)/ CE (Common
First major monotheistic (one God) religion
Range of belief/practice from Ultra-Orthodox to secular Jews
Ethnic religion?
Shema (Hear!) Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
^^- main creed of Judaism
Judaism is quintessentially a historical religion
The myth (idea) of history begins with Judaism!
1st tradition that truly understands the progression of history (Beginning, Middle,
Early Jewish history Biblical
Pentateuch (“five scrolls): first five books of the Hebrew Bible
Torah (teaching)
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