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University of Toronto St. George

SOC201H Lecture notes October 31 2 Religion 1 Hard to specify y Like community hard to specifyy Sacred and religion interchangeable y Sacredwhat is regardedexperienced as outside of everyday life Extraordinary transcendent as opposed to what is profaney Religionset of answers to problems of human existence Problems of suffering and death above all else y Religionjustification or consolation for suffering and meaning for death y Set religion aside doesnt nationalism do the same thingEx soldiers maimed in war Religion shades over into other areas of human understandingy Another difficulty belief in one god Christianity Islam Judaism other times belief in multiple gods Hinduism no gods Buddhism animism belief that things that are not living have a soul4 y Conundrum What are the conditions that religious beliefs are weakened o One possibility harder to maintain belief in a single religion when our beliefs are relativized through exposure to other culturesHow can there only be one god when other people have different beliefs o Through contact between cultures belief strengthenedculture defensibly hang on to religion as barrier to outsider conquerers hang on to belief even more strongly due to belief of superiority to a people o Question what happens when cultures come into contact with each other o Complex problemi Can it be understood objectively y Draw a conceptual distinctiona SCIENCE german pursuit of knowledge more generally b One understanding of science is academic learning scholarship c Another meaning natural sciencescientific approach d In sociology past century a debate applicability of the methods of natural science to sociologyi One camp borrow from methods of natural sciencesPOSITIVISMExamples biology
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