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RLG101H5 Study Guide - Final Guide: Ethnic Religion, Mein Kampf, Major Religious Groups

Course Code
Kenneth Derry
Study Guide

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Introduction to the Study of Religion1. Introduction class Today
• TelevisionToday’s Song
• “Say Hello” by Deep Dish (2005)
Instructor Ken Derry
• Office: North Building 152
• Office 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 wouldn’t 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 he’s 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
This shows, that when something bad happens people turn to God (religious
It is noted that some people even became interested in Islam after 9/11
Contemporary world (examples?)
Banning burqa’s in France, wars in middle west, abortion debates
Earth quake in Japan (people were praying- religious act) Holocaust (Jewish
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

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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 don’t 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)
Today’s Song
• “My Definition 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
Some rituals that are portrayed in the scene are that some people have there face
half a painted which is symbolic, relates derry’s text on indigenous tradition
There are sacred sites, text and place of worship in the scene
• Specific traditions
• “World religions” approach
→Separate, distinct
→Classifications: texts, ideas, founders, histories, rituals, etc.
→Useful starting point“Religions”
• Simplistic
→ e.g., Buddhism is single tradition
→ No overlap/influence between traditions (syncretism)“Religions”
• Exclusionary

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→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 fit beliefs / definitions“Religion”
• General/universal
• Participation in specific tradition not required
• Religious atheist?
• Questions of meaning, “ultimate truth”?
• Ideologies, nationalisms, sports, film, etc.?
• Ritual, community, ethics, sacred texts, etc.?“Religion”
• Language issue
→e.g., dharma; shuukyou
→ no word (e.g., Native American)
• Power issue
→ Indigenous traditions defined 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 Qur’an, Chapter 2 Verse 283 (yes sounds rel.)
• “I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing 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 fight 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)
• Dozens of attempts by scholars
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