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Lecture

Methods for the Study Religion; Presuppositions of the Western Traditions

2 Pages
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Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay

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Methods for the Study Religion; Presuppositions of the Western
Traditions
Reading: Ch. 11 The Nature of Religion,” pp. 541-566
September 15
th
, 2010.
The histor y of religion is the history of European cultures
Christians understood themselves to be practicing what they took to be religion
Early theories of religion also wanted to understand religion in a scientific way, a
way detached from the religions presentation of itself, and were interested in
observing religion from the outside, through what they s aw as the lens of reason
& observation & scientific method
Started a line of religion from a pr imitive line of belief to the apex of religion,
which was considered to be monotheistic religion, while coming out of the biases
of the Christian world, the western world monotheistic commitments.
The biases emerging from the per iod of the enlightenment:
Concerned with the application of reason
The application of scientific method to all phenomena
Two of the major factors influential in forming religions in the west:
1.The discovery of other cultures, religions, ways of lime (period of the
enlightenment) – we aware there are others in the world who t hink differently,
practice differently, etc.
2.Darwin purpos es: evolutionary line of development (questions our certainties of
God, biblical account of creation, etc.)
Up until 19
th
century, the world is understood as being six thousand years old and
that god had created it at a certain point and it was progressing along to where we
are presently. Empire where Christianity dominated
Darwin provoked thoughts of the understanding of the evolut ion of the world
Questions arose about God, the biblical reliability, and chronology (whether there
is one, and how should we understand humanity & God and if we begin to
question the concept of God, what does this mean for religion, how should we
understand society and what used to be God and humanity = questions arisen by
various theorists of the 19
th
century)
Anthropologists developed ideas about the evolution of religion, where the
discipline of religious studies begins
Edward Tylor: pioneer in the f ield of anthropology, and his interests were in the
native traditions of the Caribbean and Central America
Concluded that the common denominator among cultures is a belief in spirit:
coined the term animism
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Description
Methods for the Study Religion; Presuppositions of the Western Traditions Reading: Ch. 11 The Nature of Religion, pp. 541-566 September 15 , 2010. The history of religion is the history of European cultures Christians understood themselves to be practicing what they took to be religion Early theories of religion also wanted to understand religion in a scientific way, a way detached from the religions presentation of itself, and were interested in observing religion from the outside, through what they saw as the lens of reason & observation & scientific method Started a line of religion from a primitive line of belief to the apex of religion, which was considered to be monotheistic religion, while coming out of the biases of the Christian world, the western world monotheistic commitments. The biases emerging from the period of the enlightenment: Concerned with the application of reason The application of scientific method to all phenomena Two of the major factors influential in forming religions in the west: 1. The discovery of other cultures, religions, ways of lime (period of the enlightenment) we aware there are others in the world who think differe
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