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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 20
th
, 2010.
James Frazier:
Located the source of religious sentiment in magic
Rel igion was sustained by the mystery of the unexplained
What human beings is, is that they try various techniques to control and affect
phenomena that are beyond their understanding
Rel igion or iginates in this kind of magic, and prayers and r ituals are methods for
making the universe benevolent, making the universe kindly disposed to ones self
Prayers and r ituals are really ways of trying to control the universe, which are
uncontrollable
When your prayers worked its because God listened to your prayers and when they
didnt work its because you didnt have enough faith
Emmanuel Durkheim: Worked on Australian aboriginal people
Through his observations he coined the term totemism based on the idea of a
totem (a plant or an animal species thats connected to a tribe, representative of
the tribe, often symbolized as being sacred, an emblem of a clam identity)
Totem represents the God of each clan
All religions are totemist; all religions project their own Gods
The god of a religion is imbued with the personality and the identity of the people
whom it represents
The gods we encounter in religions are less about themselves as Gods but are
more as representatives of the different culture and groups that worship them or
hold them dear
The best way to read gods of different culture is as being totems, representative
symbols, in capsulating the personality and identity of those who hold them dear
Sigmund Froyd: Wrote a book called totem and t aboo, and was an atheist Jew
Was a contemporary of Durkheim
One of his most inf luential perspectives is the idea that religion is analogous to an
inf luence dependant on a parent. A persons commitment to religion is like a
child’s dependence to his/her parents
Not surpr ised that many religions view God as a paternal f igure and is represented
as a figure who must be must be feared
Rel igion or iginates in a feeling of guilt in relation to their parents
Rel igion emerges as a way of trying to appease the father figure because of the
guilt that a child feels because of the male childs attraction to the mother f igure
because he is afraid of being smacked by t he father
Therefore humans project in the sky a great father image called God
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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 20 , 2010. James Frazier: Located the source of religious sentiment in magic Religion was sustained by the mystery of the unexplained What human beings is, is that they try various techniques to control and affect phenomena that are beyond their understanding Religion originates in this kind of magic, and prayers and rituals are methods for making the universe benevolent, making the universe kindly disposed to ones self Prayers and rituals are really ways of trying to control the universe, which are uncontrollable When your prayers worked its because God listened to your prayers and when they didnt work its because you didnt have enough faith Emmanuel Durkheim: Worked on Australian aboriginal people Through his observations he coined the term totemism based on the idea of a totem (a plant or an animal species thats connected to a tribe, representative of the tribe, often symbolized as being sacred, an emblem of a clam identity) Totem represents the God of each clan All religions are totemist; all religions project their own Gods
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