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Intro to Judaism - Lecture 1

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Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

RE204 – Lecture 1 Sept 10, 2013  Today in Judaism  Yamim Nora'im (The Day of Awe)/ High holy days (Ten Days of Repentance)  Rosh Hashanah (head of the year = New Years) / Yom Teruah  Shofar - Rams Horn  What is Judaism?  What do you know about Judaism?  religion/"race" or a group of people/Culture  Monotheism - one god  symbols - Star of David / menorah  Torah/ Tanakh (old testament)  Talmud  rabbis  synagogue  very old - about 3000 years, root of the Abrahamic traditions  other Abrahamic traditions - Christianity, Islam, Baha’i  oy - major suffering  Abrahamic because it roots from Abraham o central patriarch o made first covenant with God  either looking at Moses or Abraham  Considering "Religion"  community centered upon shared worship of deity o believing in some form of the divine, extraordinary o there are religions with many gods/no gods  understanding of sacred and profane as being in relationship with divine system and provides paradigm  system of values, symbols, shared beliefs and knowledge/stories that imbue world and humanity with meaning  set of identity tools that provide personal meaning and values as well as system of sacred rites for life events  faith/action  fellowship  values, ethics, philosophy  no easy way to define/summarize religion  old story - narrative - religion gives people patterns for understanding the world  connects past, present and future  ties things together  can generally speak in terms of abstract impressions in terms of concrete when talking about religion in general  religion - religio - no clear cut definition in Latin  may have been born as an abstract thing RE204 – Lecture 1 Sept 10, 2013  possible meaning - to tie or to bind  Judaism as a Religion  religious aspects o provides set of ethics and values o gives meaning to symbols o represents shared world view o contains meaningful stories and histories o laws, customs, behaviours can be described as "religious"  problems with this definition o rabbinic Judaism o may think of it as normative o adopted "dat" as meaning religion o has aspects of religion o most noticeable form of Judaism o Talmudic Judaism common  accepts the Talmud o Judaisms(s) - many branches of Judaism o no "one" Judaism, hard to define "Judaism" as a religion o people can be Jewish and not believe in God o organizational forms of Judaism without "God" o idea of "Religion" is newer than "Judaism"  Religion and Modernity o religion is a fairly recent construct o religion as separate from secular  constructed around synagogue or church o religions as constructs o privatized "religion"/public "life"  religion became internal, faith based/identity based, people could live in a public life without arguing or debate o maximalist versus minimalist traditions o Judaism versus Jewish o faith in everyday life (maximalist) o often referred to as "habitus"  habitus
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