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University of Toronto Mississauga
Kenneth Derry

RLG101H Introduction to the Study of Religion1. Introduction class Today TelevisionTodays Song Say Hello by Deep Dish (2005) Instructor Ken Derry Ofce: North Building 152 Ofce Hours: Tues & Thurs, 11am-12:30pm Phone: 905-569-4550 Email: BLACKBOARD UofT grad *the first class was just an introduction and so no readings or materials were introduced. So if you really need to look at its on balck board. ( but I wouldnt was your time ) Lecture 2 Definitions May 17,2011 How does spider man 2 show the relationship b/w religion and culture? Show Peter as religious, looks like Jesus as hes being sacrifice like Peter was in one of the scenes. Superheroes come out of American cultures. Christ figure superheroes like spider man who is there to save people. He's a lone figure like many religious figures. Also heroes are mostly male in cultures. What is syncretism and why is it a problem for world religion approach? Syncretism influence b/w traditions as they overlap each other. ex- Christians Japanese pray like Buddhist Sept 11, 2001 Religion was becoming less important/ departments shut down and shrunk After 9/11, the president started talking about which motivated people Soon religion become important to everyone because a catastrophic event brought them together Then more departments of religion became bigger as they spread across the nation This shows, that when something bad happens people turn to God (religious beliefs) It is noted that some people even became interested in Islam after 9/11 Contemporary world (examples?) Banning burqas in France, wars in middle west, abortion debates Earth quake in Japan (people were praying- religious act) Holocaust (Jewish notzies) Necessary to understand religion To construct meaning Religion is something that humans do We can study god *reference to the slides there were 3 different pictures where pople were at a service *WHAT were these pictures showing? The pictures showed Christianity in 3 different parts of the world So different but, yet the same religious belief, shown in Culture influences religion Religion Basics Religion culture Complex and important Social and individual Transcendent, abstract Concrete, day to day Religion Basics Problems of generalization Importance of comparison(Buddhism, Islam, Christianity) Huge diversity Differences within and between Buddhisms, Christianities, Hinduisms Religion Basics Religion Basics Study of religion = search for truth Which religion is best? Do all share the same essence Ex. When Bush said that 9/11 Muslims were not religious, but those people can say who is he to make that assumption Ex. Atheist Christine dont believe in god but, they find Jesus an important figure in Christianity important *academic study vs. theology (imam or persist) Academic study vs. theology Focus on people, not god(s) Todays Song My Denition of a Bombastic Jazz Style by Dream Warriors (1991) Find the religious elements! we watched some short movie clips *Futurama copying star track scene, this scene relates to Christianity There is a scared text in both the movie and in christainty But the text in futurama is shipped off to space There place of worship in the scene is shapped like the Insagina symbol This symbol is on the official star track uniform The leader in the sence is shown reading from a scared text ( sort of like star trek transcription) Some rituals that are portrayed in the scene are that some people have there face half a painted which is symbolic, relates derrys text on indigenous tradition There are sacred sites, text and place of worship in the scene Religions Specic traditions World religions approach Separate, distinct Classications: texts, ideas, founders, histories, rituals, etc. Useful starting pointReligions Simplistic e.g., Buddhism is single tradition No overlap/inuence between traditions (syncretism)Religions Exclusionary e.g., omit Indigenous religions global, not local Indigenous Religions Excluded from world religions Primal / primitive Changes (colonialism, syncretism); no longer pure Animism, fetish, taboo, myth, totem, etc. Select and edit data to t beliefs / denitionsReligion Religions General/universal Participation in specic tradition not required Religious atheist? Questions of meaning, ultimate truth? Ideologies, nationalisms, sports, lm, etc.? Ritual, community, ethics, sacred texts, etc.?Religion Religions Language issue e.g., dharma; shuukyou no word (e.g., Native American) Power issue Indigenous traditions dened by non Indigenous colonizers / scholars it religious? Prof read some Quotes and asked us if they sounded rel. or not Have witnesses when you barter with one another, and let no harm be done to the scribe or to the witness. - The Quran, Chapter 2 Verse 283 (yes sounds rel.) I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overowing heart. - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 5 (yes sounds rel. but its not rel) Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. - Zen Buddhism story (Zen Flesh, Zen Bones) ( no does not sound rel.) If men get into a ght with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing his genitals, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity. (yes sounds rel) - Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy 25:11-12 See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! - Paul, Letter to the Galatians 6:11 (not sound rel) When it was cooked, he ate and ate. But he ate too much and very soon suffered the runs. - Red Willows (Anishinaubae) Denitions Dozens of attempts by scholars Academic BIAS MEANS different things to different people Issue of CLARITY PROBLEM: need to dene in order to study, but need to study to develop denition Denitions Assume religion exists Part of culture ( look at what people have said about religion) Look rst Assume no activity, thought, place, text, etc., inherently IS or is NOT religious Important for your eld research!! Denitions Insider vs. outsider How people/cultures see themselves vs. how they appear to others Which approach is more valid? Emic vs. etic Field research position? Religion: Summary Part of culture What people do Has many meanings Many methods, theories, disciplines Need to ground study in data Not about eternal/essential truth Religion: Summary Part of culture What people do Has many meanings Many methods, theories, disciplines Need to ground study in data Not about eternal/essential truth!
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